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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The Huawei Mate 20 X 5G is a strange phone. In a bubble, it’s excellent for enthusiasts who want the biggest 5G phone around. Its gorgeous design marries with a massive, engulfing screen that plays back HDR10 videos like a mesmerizing slab of pure joy.

The phone’s camera is also fantastic, and with plenty of storage and a stable UI, we’re not left wanting for much - though we do wish the battery was a bit better, even if it does charge quickly.

Considering the original Huawei Mate 20 X costs half the price of the Mate 20 X 5G in the UK, and packs the same glorious design, screen and camera, not to mention a larger battery and a headphone jack, we’re left scratching our heads. Would you pay £500 more for 5G, fewer ports, double the storage, 2GB more RAM, worse battery and faster charging? Because that’s ultimately what it comes down to.

So while both the 4G and 5G Mate 20 X are very good phones, until 5G coverage improves, the choice is obvious - save yourself £500 and go for the original.

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Who's this for?

If you want the biggest 5G phone around, the Mate 20 X 5G is it - its screen is sensationally good for playing back videos, and it’s an immersive gaming device too.

Given the fact it has 5G, its mobile data speeds are quite a bit faster than 4G devices, with our experience on EE capping out at about 400Mbps in St. Pauls, central London. So if you need that speed then it's also worth considering - though remember 5G isn't available in most places yet.

Should you buy it?

The Huawei Mate 20 X 5G will be too big for most. But even if you like its size and are considering this phone once 5G coverage is more widespread/brings with it more tangible benefits than it does at the time of writing, the 4G option is likely the better choice.

First reviewed: September 2019

Consider these options instead:

Huawei Mate 20 X

(Image credit: TechRadar)

The most obvious alternative to the Mate 20 X 5G is the Mate 20 X. Updates since it launched mean the phone’s camera stands up to the best around in all areas other than zoom, and given the fact it costs £499 in the UK if you shop around, it’s excellent value.

Read our full Huawei Mate 20 X review

OnePlus 7 Pro 5G

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Both the OnePlus 7 Pro 5G and the Mate 20 X 5G are great phones. The OnePlus 7 edges ahead in certain respects - its screen is sharper, it features an under display fingerprint scanner, and a cleaner interface.

Meanwhile, the Mate 20 X 5G has a better night mode for photography, uses all its lenses when capturing video and packs a bigger display.

Read our hands-on OnePlus 7 Pro review

Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus

Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus

(Image credit: TechRadar)

The Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus is better than the Mate 20 X 5G. It has a comparably huge display, a sharper screen, wireless charging, an included pen and better performance and battery life.

Sure, there’s no 5G on the standard model, but given the fact 5G coverage is sparse at the time of this review, if we had a grand, we’d go with the Note.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus review

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.