Huawei throws down the gauntlet with its best phone to date
Release date: November 2018 | Weight: 189g | Dimensions: 157.8 x 72.3 x 8.6mm | OS: Android 9 | Screen size: 6.39-inch | Resolution: 1440 x 3120 | CPU: Kirin 980 | RAM: 6GB | Storage: 128GB | Battery: 4,200mAh | Rear camera: 40MP + 20MP + 8MP | Front camera: 24MP
UPDATE: While we'd previously placed the Huawei Mate 20 Pro in a higher position, the ongoing trouble the company faces with the US Government casts a great deal of uncertainty on the degree of support its products will receive into the future. As such, we've moved Huawei's handsets to the bottom of our top 10 recommendations list.
The Huawei Mate 20 Pro is the supercharged version of the 'standard' Huawei Mate 20, and while its specs are similar to its less expensive counterpart, with both handsets boasting Huawei's latest Kirin 980 7nm processor, 128GB of onboard storage and 6GB of RAM, the Huawei Mate 20 Pro is able to justify its higher cost with several impressive additional high-end inclusions.
Sporting a number of futuristic features (including one world-first) and a more premium price point than we're used to seeing from the Chinese manufacturer, the Mate 20 Pro is clearly Huawei's play for the 'best smartphone in the world' crown – and for once, the company is very much within reach, offering a handset we think belongs in the same league as the iPhone XS Max and Samsung Galaxy Note 9.
Screen & Design: With its curved glass display and coloured aluminium frame, it's very easy to mistake the Huawei Mate 20 Pro for a Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus at first glance. Look closer, and you'll start to notice Huawei's signature styling and other, more subtle differences.
Yes, it's got a notch, but it's for the inclusion of a second sensor to allow for 3D facial recognition functionality, which is said to provide more security than the standard Mate 20's image-based facial unlock.
Although our tests have shown the Mate 20 Pro's 3D face unlock to be exceptionally fast (way speedier than Apple and Samsung's equivalent implementations), the Pro also offers an in-display fingerprint scanner that you can use instead.
Camera: Of course, being a Huawei phone, it's photographic capability is also off the charts. Once again sporting Leica branding, the Mate 20 Pro has ditched the monochrome sensor this year, instead opting for a primary 40MP sensor that handles both RGB and monochrome modes.
With this ultra-wide sensor and Huawei’s 3X fixed and 5X hybrid zoom, you can not only close in on any subject (macro photography allows for photos from just 2.5cm away), but also pull out to get a much wider view, making the Mate 20 Pro the most versatile camera we’ve yet seen on a flagship smartphone.
Performance: While Google's Pixel 3 handsets have only just received wireless charging functionality, Huawei has taken things a step further with the inclusion of reverse wireless charging – and yes, you read that correctly. Compatible with any phone that boasts Qi functionality, the Huawei Mate 20 Pro is actually able to wirelessly charge another device when you place the two back-to-back.
Easily the most advanced phone that Huawei has produced to date, the Mate 20 Pro is premium in every sense of the word. Throw in a massive 4,200mAh battery, and what you have is a handset that's very hard to resist.