Huawei make great phones … but will the Mate 20 Pro offer more than the P20 Pro?
Apart from the Samsung similarities and lack of headphone jack, everything else about the Mate 20 Pro’s design is pretty unique. The way Huawei’s arranged the three cameras and flash into a single block, for example, make it look something like a crude robot eye. It’s completely different from the more standard layout of the P20 Pro, and is no doubt divisive. I personally like its distinctive appearance, but I’m not a fan of how it protrudes off the back — mainly because I’m worried about it picking up scratches — and its edges also seem to harbor dust. Pretty much every phone has a camera hump, though, and Huawei includes a transparent rubbery sheath that puts a little bit of distance between coffee table and camera glass.
Something everyone can agree on is Huawei’s Twilight color scheme is gorgeous. Compared with the P20 Pro, the Mate 20 Pro has a darker and slightly less-metallic blend of black, purple and blue. The bright red power button is the cherry on top, and anyone grabbing the phone in one of the other colors like green or black is simply doing it wrong. The back glass of the device also has what Huawei calls a “hyper-optical pattern,” which is a slight texturing that’s visually imperceptible on the Twilight model. It’s supposed to repel fingerprints (which isn’t holding true for me) and give it a non-slip effect. This is a legitimate claim. It makes your hand feel a tad clammier where skin touches phone, but the real proof is how it clings to the arm of a sofa when placed at a usually precarious angle. Where the Mate 20 Pro stays put, other glass phones slide right off.
Taking performance, efficiency and other things like Cat 21 LTE (up to 1.4 Gbps), WiFi 802.11ac Wave 2 and fast 2,133MHz LPDDR4X RAM support into consideration, the Kirin 980 in the Mate 20 Pro is certainly a competent chip.
Depending on your region, the Mate 20 Pro comes with 6GB or 8GB of RAM and 128GB or 256GB of storage. That’s plenty of space for most people, and technically the storage is expandable. Only, like an ill-conceived joke, Huawei created a proprietary memory card for the Mate 20 Pro, and presumably for its subsequent phones. It’s the same size as a nano-SIM, which is to say it’s a bit smaller than the microSD cards most people are familiar with.
- Incredible cameras
- Plenty of premium features like an in-screen fingerprint reader
- Large high-resolution display
- Long battery life
- That Twilight finish
- Easily scuffed screen
- Only takes proprietary storage cards
- EMUI looks dated
- No US availability