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Huawei Mate 20 Review – The First 5G Smartphone in China

Huawei launches their flagships twice in a year, one is P series in the first half, and the other is Mate series in the second half. Especially, Mate 20 series has a 5G edition which is The First 5G Smartphone in China!

 

I love the idea that now USA, Korea, China now compete 5G in the same marathon, can’t wait to see the truth how 5G will change the way we live today justl ike the first generations of iPhones.

 

On 16-Aug, people in China could make a pre-order online for Mate 20 X(5G) , and it is mentioned that the total orders received is now over 1 million.(Amazing!)

 

Let’s follow Blablaphones for a better dive with 5G! 🙂 🙂 🙂

 

 

Product: Huawei Mate 20
Display:  
6.53″ LCD (1080 x 2244 pixels) 18.7:9 ratio (~381 ppi density)
Chipset: HiSilicon Kirin 980 (7 nm)
RAM: 6 GB
Storage: 128GB storage, NM (Nano Memory) card slot
Camera: 12.0 MP(wide) + 8.0 MP(telephoto, 2x optical zoom) + 16.0 MP(ultrawide)
Front Camera:  24.0 MP(wide)
Battery: 4,000 mAh and fast battery charging 22.5W(58% in 30mins)
Colors:
 Midnight Blue, Twilight, Black, Emerald Green, Pink Gold
Other Features:  IP53 / Corning Gorilla Glass(unspecified version)
Released:
Nov 2018

 

Product: Huawei Mate 20 Pro
Display:  
6.39″ OLED (1440 x 3120 pixels) 19.5:9 ratio (~538 ppi density)
Chipset: HiSilicon Kirin 980 (7 nm)
RAM: 8 GB
Storage: 256GB storage, NM (Nano Memory) card slot
Camera: 40.0 MP(wide) + 8.0 MP(telephoto, 3x optical zoom)+ 20.0 MP(ultrawide)
Front Camera:  24.0 MP(wide, 3D Depth Sensing camera)
Battery: 4,200 mAh and fast battery charging 40W / fast wireless charging 15W
Colors: Emerald Green, Midnight Blue, Twilight, Pink Gold, Black
Other Features:  Corning Gorilla Glass 5 / IP68 / fingerprint (under display)
Released: Nov 2018

 

(Huawei Mate 20 Pro looks extremely symmetrical on the back.)

 

Product: Huawei Mate 20 X
Display:  
7.2″ OLED (1080 x 2340 pixels) 18.7:9 ratio (~346 ppi density)
Chipset: HiSilicon Kirin 980 (7 nm)
RAM: 8 GB
Storage: 256GB storage, NM (Nano Memory) card slot
Camera: 40.0 MP(wide) + 8.0 MP(telephoto, 3x optical zoom)+ 20.0 MP(ultrawide)
Front Camera:  24.0 MP(wide)
Battery: 5,000 mAh and fast battery charging 22.5W
Colors:
 Midnight Blue, Phantom Silver
Other Features: IP53 / Corning Gorilla Glass(unspecified version)
Released: Nov 2018

 

Product: Huawei Mate 20 X (5G)
Display:  
7.2″ OLED (1080 x 2243 pixels) 18.7:9 ratio (~346 ppi density)
Chipset: HiSilicon Kirin 980 (7 nm)
RAM: 8 GB
Storage: 256GB storage, NM (Nano Memory) card slot
Camera: 40.0 MP(wide) + 8.0 MP(telephoto, 3x optical zoom)+ 20.0 MP(ultrawide)
Front Camera:  24.0 MP(wide)
Battery: 4,200 mAh and fast battery charging 2W
Colors:
 Emerald Green
Other Features: IP53 / Corning Gorilla Glass(unspecified version) / Stylus (optional)
Released: Aug 2019

 

Design & Display


Huawei Mate 20 Pro comes with a notch on the top and a thin bezel on the bottom, and the rest family members come with a notch called “Dewdrop” and a thin bezel on the bottom.

 

In the earlier this year, we see so many Samsung Galaxy A series phones with waterdrop design which houses a selfie camera and a better full-screen user experience.

 

Now, if we look at the design on Huawei Mate 20 family, you might feel a old and retro feeling for the notch since Apple iPhone X brought it to the world since 2017.

 

But, after a couple of days using the phone and holding it for any photos, I found myself not noticing the notch and the chin at all.

 

I fall in love with Huawei Mate 20 series is because of its design. The first time I saw it and touched it, I got a premium feeling for its 3D-glass-curved edges and they were TRULY hand-candy.

 

I also like the symmetrical layout on the back, and they give me a calm and peaceful feeling that could be timeless. The color on the back is very pretty.

 

Among all the different choices, I like the emerald green which reflects a special optical pattern glitters if you flip it in different angles.

 

Camera


If you look closely, you may notice that the rear camera set on the back of Huawei Mate 20 series look like the upcoming iPhone 11’s copycat camera square, right?

 

It looks like Apple is copying Huawei’s idea, a great artist steals?

 

(The camera set on Huawei Mate 20 series are just like the upcoming iPhone 11’s camera!)

 

Huawei starts working with Leica since 2014, and after the first phone with Leica lens in 2016, Huawei continued to launch many smartphones that carry Leica lens.

 

I have to admit that I used to be only aware of Apple & Samsung flagships in the past, but many Chinese smartphone manufacturers caught my eyes with the most creative innovations I never saw 2017 onward, especially in 2018.

 

Let’s see some of the best features on Huawei Mate 20 Pro that comes with Leica lens!

 

New Leica Triple Camera

The camera set on Huawei Mate 20 Pro is 40.0 MP(wide) + 8.0 MP(telephoto, 3x optical zoom)+ 20.0 MP(ultrawide), and all the camera on the world-famous square are with autofocus and laser AF which make the autofocus quick and efficient.

 

In bright condition, it gives beautiful & vibrant colors. But in low-light condition, I could see some noise occurrence with a certain level of control, still fascinating!

 

I try to take photos in good condition, and I discovered some results are becoming too “Instagrammable”! I prefer some more natural photo that I could add filters by myself later on any social media.

 

But, the powerful AI inside Kirin 980 chipset sometimes run too much, I think.

 

Ultrawide-Angle Lens

I currently like Samsung’s wide-angle camera the most since it could let you adjust the corner or edges very naturally without losing too many fine details.

 

Huawei Mate 20 Pro also got an ultrawide-angle lens to mention, and it got the same problem – the loss of details on edges. But, you could crop it out as much as you want for the best result! Don’t worry.

 


(You are able to take an ultrawide photo for a scenic view as above, isn’t it amazing?)

 

Night Mode

It takes a few seconds to get a good night shot from Huawei Mate 20 Pro. I used to try many times and even hold my breath to get a good result, but it is becoming so easy with Huawei Mate 20 Pro.

 

It’s still hard to compete with Google Pixel 3’s night sight since they have the best software enhancement so far in the world. Huawei, on this point, was doing a great job!

 

Macro Shooting

I found this macro shooting on Huawei Mate 20 Pro is surprisingly useful when you want to take some pretty photos for any creatures in the wild.

 

Imagine you travel in a forest or in a garden with so many insects, you could use Huawei Mate P20 series for the perfect shot just like what we saw often on Discovery channel.

 

If the object is less than 8cm, the smart camera will switch to the wide-angle mode and activate the super macro mode. I love to see something from my macro shots since human’s naked eyes sometimes don’t notice that much from our daily life.

 

If you try some macro shots with Huawei Mate 20 Pro, you would definitely be amazed again by the mother nature and glad you have a camera like Mate 20 Pro for so many details.

 

(Huawei’s super macro mode takes photos that we didn’t see much by naked eyes.)

 

3D Depth Sensing Camera

Using the front camera on Huawei Mate 20 Pro, you could either create a 3D live emoji based on your face(Apple called it Memoji.)

 

You could also scan any dolls to have an AR emoji and use them in any kind of photo and video, and I am sure it would be so much fun when you share with your friends.

 

Dxomark

(Huawei Mate 20 gets 109 scorings on Dxomark smartphone competition which ranks currently #6 on the list! Photo: Dxomark.)

 

Shortcut to Dxomark review on Huawei Mate 20 Pro:

-Photo-

  • Pros: wide dynamic range, good zoom
  • Cons: unnatural rendering of fine details

-Video-

  • Pros: fast and smooth autofocus, efficient stabilization
  • Cons: lack of fine detail, judder

 

Performance & Battery


The world’s 1st 7nm Mobile AI Chipset – Kirin 980, compared to the last version 970, both CPU & GPU’s performance got improved at least 46%.

 

It’s one the best chipsets in the smartphone industry compared to Qualcomm Snapdragon, Samsung’s Exynos, and Apple’s A-series Bionic. It’s another proof that Huawei is chasing so hard at a light-year speed.

 

For the battery, 4,200 mAh on Huawei Mate 20 Pro and Mate 20 X, 4,000 mAh on Huawei Mate 20, and 5,000 mAh on Mate 20 X(5G) which will be released soon in Aug 2019 which is this month.

 

It’s hard to understand that a 5,000mAh battery for a 5G phone is enough or not since what we know is so little so far for the 5G generation.

 

(Huawei Mate 20 Pro is equipped with a 4,200mAh battery which could last a whole day long.)

 

5G in China


The ugly truth of 5G is China takes this as the top priority to develop each process for the whole world, and Huawei plays a very important role in 5G technology which is something that the USA is afraid of.

 

The first license approved for 5G in China is Huawei Mate 20 X(5G), the order received so far exceeds 1 million. Also, many Chinese smartphone manufacturers are going to launch 5G phones together by end of 2019.

 

So, it looks like in this 5G early stage, China would win due to the involvement of the world’s 5G progress and the 5G phones’ rapid universalization.

 

(Huawei got the first 5G license in China and will release the first 5G phone in Aug 2019.)

 

Other minor features


  • 3D Face Unlock: unlock your phone with your face, yeah!
  • In-screen Fingerprint: a must-have for all flagships in 2019
  • EMUI: Huawei’s own interface on tops of Android 9.0(Pie)
  • Wireless Projecting: just like Samsung’s DeX mode!

 

Downsides


Top#01 User Experience

People tend to compare Huawei to iPhone, and wonder why are people still choose iPhone Xs MAX when the price is double? it’s mainly due to the user experience.

 

I heard a lot from my friends that A12 chipset from Apple is the best, and the whole experience is no other smartphone manufacturers could compete. My answer is almost the same.

 

With face ID, 3D touch/haptic touch, IP68 water & dust resistant and the OLED comes with super retina, all of this makes Apple the phone for the best user experience.

 

Top#02 Huawei Ban in the USA

Huawei ban was a giant issue in the first half of 2019, but it gets loose when both USA & China shake hands for the trade war. We are not sure the ban is officially off, and it might be turned on again once USA president tweets tomorrow.

 

Due to the ban, Huawei introduced their own operating system – HarmonyOS in Aug 2019. It’s the beginning of Huawei’s first try to connect all the smart devices they made 2019 onward.

 

Although I am still a fan of Android & iOS, I kinda expect something explicit Huawei’s HarmonyOS might bring to the whole world later on.

 

Top#03 Personal Privacy Issue

I know it’s a cliche that all Chinese smartphone companies will eventually work for its country, to expose all the users’ data to the government. But, there is no proof that could show any pieces of evidence on this concern so far.

 

Just keep this in mind, Huawei is the Top 2 smartphone manufacturer in the world. If you care about personal privacy so much, I suggest you go for iPhones or Google Pixels.

 

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Conclusion


Huawei Mate 20 series is powerful that could easily fulfill our daily chores, so it’s hard to imagine the first 5G smartphone in China – Huawei Mate 20 X(5G).

 

I love the color, the build quality, the triple camera set, and the fast charging 40W on Huawei Mate 20 Pro. And, if the price ever bothered you in 2018, I suggest you check the price again today. It gets lower and lower when the new flagships are approaching later in 2019.

 

And, one more thing, at last, is to keep in mind that 5G will definitely bring a huge wave like Tsunami to our current world, now it’s just the beginning.

 

I hope you enjoyed this review and if you have any questions about Huawei Mate 20 family or want to leave your own personal opinions, you are welcome to leave a comment below.

 

(All Photos: Huawei)

 

You may also like:

01.Honor 20 Pro Review – Everything You Need to Know

02.Huawei P20 Review – The Leica Triple Camera

03.Samsung Note 10 Review – The Intelligent S Pen

04.Samsung S10 Review – The Best Phone In 2019 So Far?

05.OnePlus 7 Pro Review – The Flagship Killer

06.Google Pixel 3 Review – The Best Android Phone In 2018


Huawei Mate 20 Pro

USD$592.79
8.6

Design

9.0/10

Camera

9.0/10

Battery

8.0/10

Build Quality

8.5/10

Performance

8.5/10

Matt Lin

10 Comments

  1. To see that even iPhone is stealing designs from Huawei is actually funny to know of but what shall we not see with the advancement of Huawei.

    This brand actually launched a 5g phone in China! How I wish I can get such here in the US too. I have been a constant follower of the Huawei’s development even though I have never used any of their products. This mate 20 is simply put as a beast. Some nice camera it has got there.

    I really do hope that Huawei’s ban can be lifted real soon. I really like the phone

    • Hi Roland, 

      Glad you like Huawei Mate 20, it’s really powerful and beyond my tiny imaginations. Huawei is going to launch the next generation – Mate 30 later this month, fingers crossed! But for now, you may check here for the latest price of Mate 20.

      🙂 🙂 🙂

  2. I was not surprised that Huawei actually did the fist 5G phone is China. With the rate of their developments and advancements., I knew it would be just a matter of time before they would take it to the next level.

    This mate 20X seems like a badass phone and being the fact that it can perform so much and even have that much battery life to it is great. Just a perfect for anyone who wishes to use this.

    • Hi Mattias,


      I think since 2018 Huawei is trying to prove themselves the greatest ambition that they could make it, so P20, Mate20, P30 are great for your daily driver!

  3. Hello! I’m loving exploring your site!  You have a great way of reviewing products and captivating your audience.  I have never heard of this brand of phone, but I like you detailed you are in your research and descriptions.

    The feature that would ‘sell’ me is macro shooting. You mention that it’s great for animals, etc.  I live in a place where it’s not uncommon to come across a moose or an elk! Visually, this product is appealing and looks like a good deal.

    Thank you for your quality research!  I love reading your posts!

  4. After reading this post, one thing I can say is that the future is now. This is a very good review of the Huawei phone. I like this phone even though it looks so much like the new iPhone reviewed.

    Like you said, maybe iPhone is copying this beauty. A 5G sounds great but I never heard about the fact that the phone is banned in the US. That’s really sad because this phone is one of the best I’ve seen in a while.

    Overall, I think Huawei is going a long way and they are at the forefront of competing against the popular iPhone brand. Overall, this is a good review. I enjoyed reading your details.

  5. Thanks for great and informative review about Huawei mate 20. It’s actually one of the most advanced smartphones and in my opinion, the best phone I have ever had.

    And what comes to concerns about China; yes, there are serious concerns but as cases of NSA proofed, I would be much more concerned to use iPhone or any other smartphones with even theoretical possibility that NSA and other agencies caring about nothing of peoples personal security, there are no “good or bad” manufacturers, no matter if its American, Chinese or Japanese company.

    How fast your mate 20 is when using 5G? :)I tested my 5G phone using our local (Finnish) 5G network and it was even faster than I imagined, speed testers gave avg. download speed of 1050 Mbps and upload of 85 Mbps. Using 4G it was only 100/15. But so far 5G coverage here is only 50% of our country and may take up to a year to have full 100% coverage.

    And as an independent it expert (non-biased) I have to say practically all of the research our university mates have done, shows that Kiril  chipset performance is clearly better, CPU is a little bit better while semiconductors size is signifially smaller (better). In-memory capacities Kiril  beats  A 12 as well. Only in features, A12 is slightly ahead.

    So basically if speed and memory don’t matter, A12 may be a better choice. But in my opinion, if I can choose decent or very good, I choose last mentioned. I will take a further look at your website and other articles as well. thanks for a good review. 

    • Hi Jesse,

      Thanks so much for this amazing feedback that you gave, I still use 4G in my region since I am not always the first one to try new things! Hahaha…Might wait for another year to see the condition or the comments from my friends…Love to see you test the 5G speed in Finland and the 100% 5G coverage in a year.

      If you are looking for a better phone form Huawei with a better chipset, let’s wait for the Mate 30 in a week. Before that, maybe just look at other reviews here to resonate!

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