Huawei Mate 20 Pro Review: The pinnacle of Android

The Huawei Mate 20 Pro is the follow up to last year’s Mate 10 Pro and builds on that design for an even more powerful and refined package. The Mate 20 Pro is one of the most premium phones on the market right now, but its dizzying array of features come with a price tag to match. However, I found that you get what you pay for here and I’d put the Mate 20 Pro against the best from Samsung, LG, and other Android device manufacturers any day.

Huawei Mate 20 Pro Review: The Outside

Huawei Mate 20 Pro Review Multi Angle

The Mate 20 Pro is a complete redesign, so you won’t just find dressed up Mate 10 Pro here. The rear of the phone is bare besides the camera module, and my review model came in a beautiful pearlescent blue. Like most flagship phones the Mate 20 Pro has a Gorilla Glass back so that it can support wireless charging, but the paint scheme gives it a unique metal look that is unparalleled amongst its peers.

The camera module contains a 40 MP f/1.8 wide-angle lens, an 8 MP f/2.4 telephoto lens with 3x optical zoom, and a 20 MP, f/2.2 ultrawide lens. The phone’s dual-LED, dual-tone flash is also contained in the module, which means that little square packs a lot of tech. The front camera is a 24 MP, f/2.0 wide-angle lens and does a great job with both selfies and the Face ID tech of which this phone is the first of Huawei’s to offer.

The Mate 20 Pro also sees a considerable upgrade in display compared to the Mate 10 Pro. The 6.4-inch 1440×3120 resolution screen is absolutely beautiful and stacks favorably compared to the iPhone XS and Pixel 3. It’s also one of the growing number of smartphones to support HDR10, which really pops on this screen.

Huawei Mate 20 Pro Review: The Inside

Huawei Mate 20 Pro Review Colors

The Mate 20 Pro introduces the Kirin 980 System on a chip that pairs an Octa-core CPU (2×2.6 GHz Cortex-A76, 2×1.92 GHz Cortex-A76, 4×1.8 GHz Cortex-A55) with a Mali-G76 MP10 GPU. Huawei has also equipped the phone with 6 GB of RAM which means you’ll have zero issues running any of today’s (and probably tomorrow’s) most intensive applications.

The 4,200 mAh battery gives the Mate 20 Pro similar performance to its predecessor, which is excellent. I easily ended the day at 50-60% charge even with intensive use, and since the phone has USB-C and wireless fast charge, the days of worrying about dead phone batteries are over.

USB-C continues to grow more ubiquitous, so it’s no surprise the Mate 20 Pro uses it for data transfer and charging. The glaring lack of a 3.5mm jack is a disappointment, but the Mate 20 Pro is only one of many flagship phones to drop support for that type of connector.

You may have noticed that the Mate 20 Pro lacks a discernable fingerprint reader. Well, that’s because it’s in the screen. Mindblowingly (at least for me) enough, about 1/3 of the way up from the bottom is a reader that works just like those you find on the side or rear of most mid-high end phones. I noticed it seemed to a have a bit more trouble reading my fingerprints than the type that is mounted on the back, but it’s an excellent complement to the Mate 20 Pro’s Face ID security, and I found myself just using it as a backup method.

Huawei Mate 20 Pro Review: Premium for a price

Huawei Mate 20 Pro Review Side

The Mate 10 Pro is an excellent phone and offers flagship specs for a low price. However, the Mate 20 Pro goes all out. Where the Mate 10 Pro cut a few corners here and there to reach its relatively low price point, this phone has all the bells and whistles. At around $1,150 retail, you’re definitely paying for the high quality and performance with no compromises. Additionally, the phone isn’t carried by any U.S. carrier so you can’t subsidize it like you can with an Apple or a Samsung device.

I love the Mate 20 Pro and think it’s one of the best phones I’ve ever used. With the Apple iPhone XS Max retailing for roughly the same price, it’s hard to say that Huawei’s offering is “too expensive.” Instead, it’s best to see the Mate 20 Pro as the flipside to the iPhone. This is an Android boutique phone, and it’s aimed towards those who want the very best device available right now. If you’re looking to experience the pinnacle of Android smartphones currently, look no further than the Huawei Mate 20 Pro.