Huawei Mate 20 X 5G review

A four-star phone with a three-star price

Huawei Mate 20 X 5G
(Image: © TechRadar)

TechRadar Verdict

The Mate 20 X 5G is a strange beast. On the one hand, it’s the perfect streaming and gaming device, poised to take advantage of fast data speeds thanks to its huge screen and ample power. On the other, the 4G version packs a bigger battery and costs half the price in the UK. So while in isolation it’s a great phone, until 5G coverage improves, or its price goes down, it is a tough sell at £999.


  • +

    Premium design

  • +

    Fast 5G capabilities

  • +

    Great, versatile camera


  • -

    No waterproofing

  • -

    5G coverage is sparse (as of Sept 2019)

  • -

    No headphone jack

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The Huawei Mate 20 X 5G is a big-screened 5G phone with plenty of power and a great triple camera setup. Set up for success? Absolutely, until you consider its price, and the fact the 4G Huawei Mate 20 X costs less and is arguably better.

With a 7.2-inch screen, a 40MP camera and a Kirin 980 chipset powering the experience along, the two phones share the same core DNA and look virtually identical side-by-side.

Where the Mate 20 X 5G excels is in its inclusion of very fast charging - 40W, the same speed as found on the Huawei P30 Pro. It also features an extra 2GB of RAM as standard, and, of course, 5G data speeds. Meanwhile, the original Mate 20 X has a much larger battery, a headphone jack, and a much lower price-tag.

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Huawei Mate 20 X 5G price and availability

  • Available now in the UK and throughout Europe
  • Not available in the US
  • Costs £999 (around $1,240 / AU$1,830)

The Huawei Mate 20 X 5G is available with 256GB of storage, and can be bought across Europe on contract. However, in the UK, the hardest thing to stomach about the Mate 20 X 5G is its price.

Available for £999 (around $1,240 / AU$1,830), it’s also available on contract at Vodafone, EE and O2. Elsewhere in Europe, it costs significantly less than the contract prices in the UK.

There’s been no word on a US release, which isn't surprising given the current political US/China/Huawei situation.

In terms of device support going forward, Huawei has guaranteed that the Mate 20 X 5G along with all its phones currently on the market at the time of writing (other than the Huawei Mate 30 range) will continue to have access to Google Play services.

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Design and screen

  • Premium design
  • Huge 7.2-inch AMOLED screen
  • Attractive ‘hyper optical’ glass back

The Huawei Mate 20 X 5G is a great-looking phone. From the front, there’s a lot of screen thanks to the small bezels and the phone’s teardrop notch. Its curved body also feels good in the hand, and Huawei’s hyper optical patterning looks attractive and repels fingerprints, too.

As with the Xiaomi Mi 9T Pro, the phone’s buffed aluminum frame curves into the phone’s front and rear glass panels. A red accent pops nicely around the power button, and the squircle of a rear camera surround reminds you this is a Huawei Mate 20-series device, even though it’s a design feature that looks set to make its way to the Google Pixel 4.

There’s also a rear fingerprint scanner below the camera bump, which is a strange inclusion for a phone that costs roughly £1,000 - we really would have expected to see an in-screen scanner here. It's yet another odd corner-cutting alongside very advanced other features.

(Image credit: TechRadar)

As with the OnePlus 7 Pro, the Mate 20 X features a triple camera system with ultra-wide, main and telephoto lenses.

Unlike the flagship Mate 20 Pro and P30 Pro, there’s no significant waterproofing on the 20 X 5G, though devices in some regions will get a case to protect the back of the phone in the box, so check with your local retailer to confirm box contents if you decide to pick one up. On-device protection includes a Gorilla Glass screen combined with a pre-fitted screen protector.

The phone’s USB-C port is at the base, along with one of the stereo speakers, and volume and power buttons are on the right side. The earpiece doubles up as the second speaker, though this only produces about 20% of the phone’s total sound.

(Image credit: TechRadar)

As for the display, it’s enormous at 7.2 inches, combining a 1080 x 2244 resolution with OLED tech to deliver a very good viewing experience.

At 346 pixels-per-inch it isn’t as sharp as its 5G competition, such as the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G and OnePlus 7 Pro 5G. That said, for most, it will still deliver a comfortable, crisp viewing experience, similar to that of the iPhone XR.

Viewing angles are strong and max brightness suffices for comfortable outdoor use. The high point of the Huawei Mate 20 X 5G’s screen is video playback though - TV shows and movies look spectacular on it, especially HDR10 videos, which play back at up to 60fps beautifully.

Basil Kronfli

Basil Kronfli is the Head of content at Make Honey and freelance technology journalist. He is an experienced writer and producer and is skilled in video production, and runs the technology YouTube channel TechEdit.