HUAWEI’S new smartphone can charge up other handsets just by touching them together –and we’ve spent a week with it.
MOST READ IN TECH The new Huawei Mate 20 is the Chinese phone giant’s latest offering, and has plenty of tricks that could woo users away from Apple’s new
iPhone XS . Here’s our full review.
Huawei’s new Mate 20 Pro is feature-packed, and has bleeding-edge specs
Huawei Mate 20 Pro design – a phone of two halves
The Huawei Mate 20 Pro is an attractive phone – at least from the front.
It’s got a slick all-screen design (with an iPhone-sized “notch” in the top, housing a selfie camera), with a display that curves gently downwards at the edges.
It looks slim and well-built, and feels solid and weighty in the hand – exactly what you’d expect from a premium handset.
I’m less enamoured with the back, sadly. The Twilight paintjob looks a bit tacky and is a complete fingerprint magnet. No one likes a visibly greasy phone.
The new handset is capable of charging other mobile phones simply by touching their backs together
The phone also feels slippery, which is a nightmare because you’ll constantly be terrified of dropping this £899 mobile powerhouse.
The only other point to note is that there’s a triple-camera array on the back, squared up with a flash module.
It looks a bit silly, but it’s centred and doesn’t protrude significantly, so you don’t get noticeable device rocking on a flat surface – like you do with an iPhone.
Overall the handset is pretty, but its rear will definitely depend on your own tastes.
Huawei Mate 20 Pro specs and performance – a real speed demon
Huawei’s handset is powered by the company’s own new Kirin 980 chip.
This chip is particularly impressive because it’s built on a 7nm (nanometre) manufacturing process.
This means the transistors on the chip are just 7 nanometres apart.
Huawei has fitted its new phone with three cameras (and a dual-tone flash system) on the back of the device
Transistors are tiny electronic switches that allow computing to happen. The more transistors, the more computing you can get done.
Most modern phone chips are built using a 10nm process, which means the transistor distance is greater.
Huawei was able squeeze more transistors into the same amount of space, boosting computing power and energy efficiency.
This is the same type of revolutionary chip we saw on Apple’s new iPhone XS.
We found operating the Huawei Mate 20 Pro to be smooth and fluid, which is no surprise.
Huawei’s mobile software has come a long way, and although it’s not as clean as Apple’s iOS or the Google Pixel version of Android, it’s still very impressive.
So what else can Huawei’s new phone offer?
The handset has a seriously attractive 6.39-inch screen that boasts a dense 3,120 x 1,440-pixel display panel.
This model offers up 6GB of RAM and 128GB of stor
One of the headline features is called “reverse charging” – letting the phone itself act as a wireless charger.
It works using the very common Qi charging standard, so popular phones – including recent Apple iPhones – support it.
There’s a sizeable 4,200mAh battery on board, which charges up very quickly – to 70% in 30 minutes, by official measures..
Battery life was fine: the phone made it through an entire day with no problem.
Other cool features include a new in-screen fingerprint scanner (invisible to the naked eye), and 3D face unlock that verifies your identity by scanning your mug.
Huawei Mate 20 Pro camera – a super snapper
Recent Huawei phones have been lauded over their cameras, and the new Mate 20 Pro appears to have decent photography chops too.
It’s got a triple camera set-up on the back built in partnership with acclaimed camera firm Leica.
This is a combination of a wide-angle 40-megapixel lens (f/1.8), an ultra-wide-angle 20-megapixel lens (f/2.2), and an 8-megapixel telephoto lens (f/2.4) with built-in optical image stabilisation – for blur-free snaps.
There’s a cool AI-powered monochrome effect that keeps your subject in colour – even during live video recording
Artificial intelligence built into the camera lets Huawei detect 1,500 different scenes and scenarios, and then optimise the camera for best photographic potential.
There’s also a cool Sin City-style effect that turns video footage monochrome – while keeping the subject of the frame in colour.
The camera was generally very impressive, capturing great detail and colour in a range of environments.
We’re still more enamoured with the iPhone XS when it comes to shots with very dark and very bright areas – simply due to Apple’s very clever Smart HDR feature.
The Huawei Mate 20 Pro can capture loads of detail
Colours are accurate and vibrant, although the exposure in this shot could be better – some areas are too dark, and part of the Minstrels packet is overexposed
Here’s an example of the Huawei struggling with dynamic range – both shots fail to expose correctly, either leaving the light looking correct but the scene dark, or the light too bright but the scene lit perfectly
But the Huawei Mate 20 Pro’s camera is undoubtedly one of the best snappers on any Android phone today.
Huawei Mate 20 Pro review verdict – should you buy it?
The Huawei Mate 20 Pro will be a sure-fire hit with Android fans.
Sure it’s expensive at £899, but that’s the price you pay in 2018 for top-tier handsets.
And compared to Apple’s pricey £1,099 to £1,449 iPhone XS Max, the Mate 20 Pro looks like a bargain.
We’re still not entirely sold on the design of the Mate 20 Pro, but we’ve spoken to others who love it – so it’s definitely a Marmite look.
Performance is no issue for this phone (the Kirin chip is spectacular), and the camera is extremely capable. An Instagram star, you’ll soon become.
This is a great rival to the Google Pixel 3 XL, and if you can handle receiving Android updates less quickly then you’ll have no troubles with the Huawei model.
Verdict: The Huawei Mate 20 Pro is one of the best Android phones you can buy today. If the funky back doesn’t put you off, you’ll enjoy a powerhouse blower that takes amazing snaps and runs like a dream.