Huawei Mate 20 X 5G review

A four-star phone with a three-star price

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

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Interface and reliability

  • Runs Android 9 with EMUI 9
  • Features Google Play Store support
  • Customizable and stable

Running Android 9, the Huawei Mate 20 X 5G is in a great position from a future-proofing point of view. The phone has access to plenty of apps available in the Google Play Store, and Huawei has guaranteed support for the Mate 20 series in the future.

Huawei’s skin, EMUI 9, won’t be for everyone. Like iPhones, Huawei doesn’t load up an apps tray on the Mate 20 X 5G by default, but you can enable it in the settings if you want to keep your home screens app-free.

The nuts and bolts of the interface consists of a variable number of home screens, a Google Assistant screen to the left, and a notifications bar that can be pulled down from the top.

(Image credit: TechRadar)

The whole experience is very smooth and stable, with no judders or slowdowns given the ample power under the hood, and if you don’t like Huawei’s look and feel, you can swap out themes or install a custom launcher.

There are also plenty of handy customizations in the settings, from gesture inputs through to a dark theme to truly take advantage of that AMOLED display’s battery saving capabilities when showcasing blacks.

Multimedia and specs

  • Kirin 980 and 8GB of RAM
  • 256GB of storage
  • Dual SIM slot

With its Kirin 980 chipset and 8GB of RAM, the Huawei Mate 20 X 5G might not feature Huawei’s latest Kirin 990 chipset, but it’s still as powerful as we’d need a flagship today to be.

The phone scored 9,675 on Geekbench multi-core, and 3,283 single-core, putting it in the same league as the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G, but a fair bit behind the Galaxy Note 10 Plus.

(Image credit: TechRadar)

The phone’s immersive all-screen display looks great when you’re gaming on it and we didn’t have any performance issues when 2D or 3D gaming.

Loaded up with HDR10 support, compatible videos look stellar, but the lack of a headphone jack will be a bugbear for some, and a black mark against the 5G version compared to the original Mate 20 X.

(Image credit: TechRadar)

The Mate 20 X 5G also supports an optional £40 (roughly $50 / AU$75) M-Pen, which, while nowhere near as well integrated as the Samsung Galaxy Note 10’s S Pen, is still a boon for any digital artists and note-takers.

The Huawei Mate 20 X 5G has plenty of storage, with 256GB onboard and a nano memory card slot. Forgo the memory card and the phone has dual-SIM capabilities, and there’s also NFC and Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity.

As for the rear-mounted fingerprint scanner, it works like a charm, though for a grand we would have expected an under display scanner. Even more of a let-down, the Mate 20 X 5G's scanner can’t be swiped down to access notifications, something the original can - a handy tool for such a big phone.

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.