Huawei's Mate 20 Pro may take the name of the company's ultimate flagship for this generation, but the slightly low-end Mate 20 is still a phone worth considering with its own strengths. It replaces an OLED 1440p display for a 1080p IPS panel, drops camera resolutions, and loses both the fingerprint sensor and a laser-based facial recognition display. Still, for 20% less you get a lot of phone, arguably a more attractive design, and one of the best cameras in the world of Android.
Unfortunately for most of our readers, it does not come to the US.
We reviewed the 6 / 128GB SKU at midnight blue, but the overall performance should be similar to the 4GB model.
Design, hardware, what's in the box
I think Mate 20 is Gorgeous Phone. Although I would like to see the "Twilight" two color tone colors, the blue glass texture back on the pinched model was still more interesting than most boring black lines out there.
Like a lot of 2018 ship ships, it's a glass and metal sandwich. Unlike Big Brother, Mate 20 Pro, the Mate 20 does not have wireless charging. It's also a bit thicker than some recent phones at 8.3mm, but I enjoyed the extra height.
It may not be the location I prefer, but the Mate 20 has a headphone socket up, along with an IR blaster. The left side is empty, but save the SIM tray, while the right has the volume and the power buttons. At the bottom, you have the USB-C port and the speaker shoots down, which work together with the headset for stereo sound, Samsung style.
On the back, you have the three cameras together with a flash in a square configuration, lifted from the glass. I'm not a fan of the look, but it's not the end you usually stare at. Underneath the camera is a fingerprint sensor – there is no solution in the display as with the Mate 20 Pro.
Mate 20 has a 6.53 ", 2244 x 1080 IPS display with a teardrop / waterdrop slot in the same vein as OnePlus 6.T seemingly it could reach more than 800 nits, and I had no problems using it outdoors.
Macro of RGBW subpixel configuration in the Mate 20 IPS panel.
381 PPI would look on the low side, but it really did not bother me any more than artificial objects on higher density OLED monitors. This could be the result of the secret weapon of the screen Mate 20: It has a RGBW band configuration for pixels. I've never used a phone with white subpixels before, and it's probably a big part of why and how the screen can get so bright and looks so sharp.
It was very difficult to get a picture of what a minor bleeding it was.
There are recent reports of problems with the OLED display at Mate 20 Pro, where the LG-panel suffers from a spontaneous failure after days or weeks of use, resulting in a smudged and uneven screen. It should not have been a problem with Mate who do not support 20. The IPS display was very even, with only a very little minor bleed in one corner on my unit.As someone tends to be choosy when it comes to screens, it was such a small flaw that I could easily ignore it.
Something is wrong with how to view the Mate 20's color maps and calibrated space settings, though.
"Natural" (left) and "Live" (right) color calibrations. Remark a strange remapping in magenta blue on the "natural". (Ignore the moire on the correct image, it is difficult to photograph these tests.)
I lack the right hardware to do an exact probe, but the "natural" color mode, which looks closer to the sRGB calibrated area, has some peculiar behavior with certain blue and purple tones. If Andtek checks, we will probably get a detailed explanation, but in the meantime it's unfortunate.
Sticker not included.
The phone comes with a base: a package of warranty / training manuals, a clear TPU case, a cheap pair of headphones, a USB C-type cord to A, and Huawei's 22.5W "SuperCharge" wall wart – EU, my case, considering the phone is not sold In the US spec in pure spec, that SuperCharge system should be among the fastest you can get, and it raised my battery very quickly.
Software, performance, and battery
I have not rehash every aspect of the phone's software since we have already talked about this bit about this Mate 20 Pro review. I do not find EMUI quite obnoxious as our editor in the UK Scott did, but I am known for my adaptation software. Those coming from iOS may feel More At home in EMUI confirms Android, in my opinion, and was able to adjust its shortcomings within a week or so. While I still prefer very stock or stock as, EMUI can be acceptable for amenable.
Still, there were still some differences that felt like changes for a change that I could not force myself to get used to. for example:
- No feedback hit when you open the phone.
- Double-clicking the power button's power button uses the volume key (and needs to be turned on separately in the camera app).
- Huawei seems to have broken compatibility with most third-party launchers.
- PIN-based security is an arbitrary six-digit length
- DPI software is cranked so high that I can see every piece of JPEG in avatars or icons in most applications (and if you crank it up to compensate, some first party apps look weird).
Huawei's tribute gesture is also quite terrible, and the Permission Permission dialogues for each built-in Huawei's crapware – some of them will feed you ads – was annoying.
Most of the launchers also did not work.
I also had some problems with telephony using T-Mobile in the US More than once, calls went directly to voicemail, even though I had enough signal, and sometimes I could not hear the person on the other end of the line after answering.Tips were also too delayed Once, although disabling Wi-Fi and loading something using mobile data would usually pull them down.
The performance was fantastic. I do not remember one frame dropped or stutter at my time with Mate 20, with one exception: Wi-Fi performance was intermittently rather slow.
The Mate 20 is powered by Kirin 980's Huawei, which is the first 7nm Android SoC and the first based on A76's ARM reference designs. I skip the benchmark (there's a lot out there if you care), but everyday used, the phone was among the fastest I've ever used. And above all, the battery life that goes with it were extraordinary.
In my normal use with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, two Google Accounts sync, social media light, I was able to go 2-3 days between charges. It is also without the benefit of OLED display or dark subjects. Coming from OnePlus 6T, which already had a pretty large battery life, the longevity of the Mate 20 was amazing.
Silicon of Huawei continues to be magical.
A lot of people say the Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro can be a better camera than Google's pixels. It's a matter of taste, but in many circumstances, I agree.
left: Mate 20, right: Pixel3.
It does not always beat my benchmarking, but the Mate 20 pulls some unusual details in challenging lighting conditions where the 3 pixel can not. Sometimes its colors are also a bit closer to reality. Like pixels, (and unlike other phones) images do not blend into an oily mess on a crop. Huawei is able to refine without oversharpening, preserving details.
left: Zoom 1x / 27mm, Middle School: 2x zoom / 52mm, right: 10x zoom assisted software.
Having three different focal lengths / zoom available was also nice for those times when you just can not get close, and you do not want to deal with how crappy digital zoom always looks.
left: 3 Pixel Zoom Res Zoom, right: 20x 20x Zoom.
However, I think Google might be an advantage with its Zoom Res Zoom. To be fair, both zoom and software results are a muddy mess, but the 3 pixel pulls more details than the Mate 20, although Mate 20 has a strong zoom at the end.
Mate 20 greatest strengths to come out if you turn the camera app into "Pro" mode, where you can have full manual control over everything from ISO exposure and even manual focus. If you dslr-toting shugbug, it's pretty sweet.
My biggest complaint was that if you plan to use the "automatic" shooting mode, the results can vary wildly between shots. While Pixel 3 will give you around the same results at a time, 20 Net Mate will choose dramatically different settings for exposure and white balance less than the other separately.
On average, I still prefer the results of the Google image processing on the pixels, but the Mate 20's camera is easily at the same level. And with the added benefit of three different focal lengths and manual controls, Mate 20 provides an additional 3 pixel tool and 3 XL just can not.
Should you buy it?
Yes, But Mate 20 is not for everyone. Huawei's software will bother those ordinary Android inventory – or even most other OEM ROMs like the Samsung experience. I hate the harp for the "non-stock = bad" stereotype, but the changes of Android Huawei are heavy, without a consistent or considerate approach, and expense of functionality in some cases. The software here is an explicit compromise, although you can get used to, and which can be absolutely helpful if you deserve iOS.
There are other aspects where Huawei's Non-Pro flag strikes the competition in a good way. Mate 20 has some of the most beautiful hardware I've ever seen on the phone, period. It's the first Android device I've ever used without a chin – or, rather, its chin is so small and too symmetrical to lose its name, and I've completely loved the screen, and industrial design is one of the best on the Android phone.
Adjusted with a fantastic triple-camera setup, the Mate 20 (and by extension, Mate 20 Pro) is one of the best Android phones out there right now, but only if you are willing to accept Huawei's Myufic Software Vision.
Buy it if:
- A more flexible phone camera is a priority.
- You are outside the US.
- The software experience is not a major concern.
Do not buy it if:
- You are in the US.
- The software is important, and you prefer Android stocks (or at least more control).
- 800 € The price starts too high for you.
Where to buy:
UK (Only available on contract) – Mobile carriers, Buymobiles.net, GoMobile
Germany – € 799 – Amazon.de
France – € 799 – Amazon.fr, Fnac
Spain – € 799 – Fnac.es, El Corte Inglés