Arabian Gazette’s Aman Ali reviews Huawei Mate 20 Pro and is pretty impressed with the phone. So, should you buy the phone? Read more to know more!
Let’s face it. We’ve reached a stage where phones lack innovation. It’s the same old upgrades over and over again completely eliminating the wow factor. Phones get slimmer, camera gets a spec bump, faster processor, the usual stuff. Nothing out of the ordinary. Apple now sells far fewer iPhones than they did back in the day. Like no kidding. Fun fact, the numbers are so bad that they’ve announced they will no longer disclose device sales to shareholders.
But how often do you hear about a Chinese manufacturer suddenly making its way to No. 2 in the world in terms of smartphone market share. A manufacturer that has options for different sectors from budget friendly phones for emerging markets to high end flagships for the elite. You see, that’s where Huawei shines.
Enter Huawei Mate 20 Pro
2018 brought us a plethora of high end devices. From Samsung’s lackluster Note 9, to OnePlus’s 6T, HTC’s U12+ and Apple’s iPhone XS series. Neither of these phones packed never-seen-before innovative features that would want me to upgrade my current iPhone X. But hold your horses.
Enter, the mightiest Huawei Mate 20 Pro. The Chinese manufacturer’s most ambitious phone till date. Before we go deep into it, let me save you the trouble and declare this device as ‘Arabian Gazette’s Flagship of the Year 2018’
- 6.39 inch AMOLED Screen (537 PPI) with Corning Gorilla Glass (1440×3120 pixels)
- 4200 mAh Non Removable Li-Po Battery
- 6GB/8GB RAM
- 128GB/256 GB Storage
- Kirin 980 (7nm) Octa-Core Processor
- 40 MP + 20 MP + 8 MP Primary Camera and 24 MP Selfie Camera with Leica Optics
- Bluetooth 5.0
- USB 3.1 Type C Connector with OTG Support
- Android 9.0 Pie (EMUI 9.0)
What we like
- Stellar Camera Performance especially in low light
- In-Screen Fingerprint Reader
- Colossal Battery life
- Kirin 980 CPU is no less of a beast in terms of performance
- Reverse Wireless charging
- Universal TV Remote Control via IR Blaster
- IP68 Water Resistance
- Dual Sim Capabilities
- Fast Charging via 40W Included Charger (75% in 30 Minutes)
What we didn’t like
- Both the front screen and the back are fingerprint magnets
- EMUI still needs a few tweaks here and there based on the stock user interface
- Ridiculous amount of bloatware apps
- Limited amount of third party accessories in the market
- No headphone jack which is quite the bummer
- Still on the pricier end for a flagship
With a curved edge to edge display and Huawei’s signature flashy color options, you can be rest assured, this phone is going to grab a lot of attention. The phone feels solid with no compromises in terms of build quality. Basically, If Apple and Samsung had a baby, this is what it would look like. The phone is too large for one handed use but thanks to EMUI, Huawei has managed to incorporate some pretty nifty tricks like reducing the screen area . The phone comes in five colors. Standard Black, Pink Golf, Blue fading to Purple Twilight, Emerald Green and Midnight blue.
The Mate 20 Pro’s 6.39 inch OLED Display is gorgeous. It’s nothing too fancy or over the top but manages to get things done. With a 2K+ Resolution (537 PPI), you can be rest assured the blacks are quite deep and images and videos output are pretty vibrant colors. Given how it’s become a standard industry practice now, the Mate 20 Pro comes with a bezel less display with a notch on top that houses the dot projector something similar to Apple’s FaceID technology. The notch can be hidden using Huawei’s internal tweaks around the user interface. The display has an unbelievable 19:5:9 ratio which makes it perfect for watching movies or playing games.
This phone has by far one of the biggest batteries in a smartphone today. With 4200 mAh, you can be rest assured it will easily get you through the day with ample amount of juice remaining. But bigger battery doesn’t necessarily mean longer hours of charging when that runs out.
Huawei was kind enough to include a 40 W charges inside the box so within 30 minutes you’re at 75% charge, and this is no joke. Android 9.0’s power management ensures you get the best of your battery life by disabling power intensive apps.
Given how large the battery capacity is, the manufacture also decided to include a pretty nifty feature of reverse wireless charging. You could be at a party and completely out of juice. All of you have to do is enable Reverse Wireless Charging in the settings menu and just gently place your phone that supports wireless charging on the back of the Mate 20 Pro. Sure it is painstakingly slow to charge but quite handy in emergency situation.
Huawei’s Mate 20 Pro comes with Huawei’s custom silicon out of the box. The Kirin 980 7nm CPU is the world’s fastest mobile processor combined with an insane 6GB of RAM, the phone had some impressive results on GeekBench 4, outclassing competition. The multi-core score of 9714 even outperformed some of the biggest flagships of the year like the Note 9 and the One Plus 6T. Games like Ashphalt worked buttery smooth. We noticed no lag whatsoever having multiple apps open in the background.
The P20 Pro had one of the best cameras we had seen earlier this year. The Leica based triple camera system is no joke. Photos are vivid but no over saturated. Thanks to Huawei incorporating AI into a lot of it’s functionalities, you can be rest assured you will automatically have the best settings for the specific scene you are capturing whether a concert or simple a butterfly in your garden. In terms of hardware, you’ve got a triple lens setup on the rear of the phone with a 40 Megapixel f/1.8 wide angle lens coupled to a 20 MP f/2.2 ultra wide angle and 8 MP f/2.4 telephoto lens.
In the selfie department, you’ve got a massive 24 megapixel f/2.0 front camera that is guaranteed to give you the best snapchat and instagram stories out there.
The camera is so good that people could easily mistake it for some SLR professional camera shot. The hardware and software integration is unbelievable. The fact that the device supports autofocus, laser focus, phase detection, contrast focus and then AI based stabilization controls proves this is the right tool for all you YouTube movie makers out there who would want to carry a quick point and shoot around. You’ve got an array of real time filters to choose from. But where the device really stands out is its zoom functionality. The 0.6X Macro mode allows you to take pictures of objects from a close distance of just 2.5 cms away.
Even capturing images at 5x zoom is impressive as the camera is able to retain a good amount of detail nor are they noisy as you’d expect from phone of similar capabilities. Huawei also allows you to capture images in a 18:8:9 ratio thanks to its 120 degree ultra wide-angle lens.
Last but not the least, low light performance is stellar. The Mate 20 Pro’s night mode is similar to the P20 Pro’s night mode. Takes about 5 seconds to capture multiple photos with different exposures and stacks them together to form that one perfect shot. No other flagship even comes close. Yep. Not even Google’s Pixel series.
But one has to keep in mind, there are certain drawbacks when it comes to night mode. There will be a slight loss in detail and certain key aspects of the image might seem a little faded.
It goes without saying that Huawei has managed to launch the most innovative phone of the year. Officially priced at AED 3299, the device ensures you get a bang for the buck. The phone has everything you’d expect from a flagship with a few extras. The unique design adds a lot of elements to the bling value. I mean who doesn’t want a phone that grabs a lot of attention right? With top notch specs, the Mate 20 Pro actually feels a lot more premium than this year’s iPhones as well. Performance wise, the Kirin 980 is the most powerful 7nm CPU in the market so you can be rest assured the device will easily get you through a few years of heavy usage if you don’t intend to upgrade your phone for a while. Huawei even highlight’s this through their promotions that unlike other OEM’s like Samsung, they don’t throttle the performance of the device as newer updates come out.
An IP68 water resistance rating is a nice added touch for those accidental water spills or fall in the pool. A universal IR blaster to control your home devices is something I feel every phone should have and Huawei packed that in as well.
So yeah, Huawei Mate 20 Pro is without a doubt the smartphone of the year for 2018 and it’s going to hold that title for a while. We’ve got Samsung’s upcoming S10 series but that’s a long way to go. Probably around the time of Mobile World Congress in 2019.