Mate 20 Pro Review: Best Mobile of 2018? Not Quite…
They mate 20 pro from Huawei, is a top Android flagship phone. It has to be in the top five. It has a six point. Three: nine inch OLED screen with a resolution of thirty one twenty by 1440p. My version has eight gigabytes of RAM and 128 gigabytes of superfast storage that breaks 900 megabyte reads: that's, really, quick. In fact, the fastest I have seen the build, looks a lot like my Samsung Galaxy S9 plus, but I would have to say that it actually feels in hand a little bit more refined and the building ever so slightly bitter. The same goes for the screen there. Now those cameras on the rear, we have a three times optical zoom sensor, which is a two megapixels, and it takes a good photo it's great for getting in close, very handy. Just like the two times optical. I have on my Samsung galaxy s9, plus a 40 megapixel main sensor, and then we have a also very handy wide lens on there, which is 20 megapixels. Now the cameras as a package when you look at it as a package factoring in focus video, bitrate and audio quite disappointing in terms of video quality. As you see later on in this review, I feel that's a massive letdown. One of the weaknesses of Huawei's is mate, 20 Pro. So what do you get in the box? You get their super charger. This is rated with a maximum output of 40 watts, which is massive for this charges.
The phone in just one hour in 10 minutes in my testing from completely flat in 30 minutes, you get around 68 percent, so that's, exceptionally quick, you're, gon na instructionally fit there that one's all in Chinese, because I have the Chinese version. You get a clear case. Some in ear headphones and, of course, the type C charger, cable and then a type C, 2, 3.5 millimeter, adapter, mate, 20. Pro comes out to be eight point: six millimeters thin and weighs 190 grams, but that's not bad, considering it has a 4200 milliamp hour battery. So we do have a little bit of a top bezel and of course we have that wide notch. Now this notch is not as ridiculous as the Google pixels threes notch, which I laughed at when I first saw install, but here we've got a 24 megapixel camera. The earpiece there is a bunch of other sensors on here, so there's a dot projector and everything else they need for that 3d face unlocking and, of course, if you really hate that knotch, then you can hide it because it's got an OLED screen. The blacks. Look very dark and it looks pretty much like the top bezel you get on the samsung galaxy s 9, plus, as you can see up the top, you will find an IR transmitter great to have this on here, two antenna lines and then one of three microphones. This is use the course for noise, cancellation and in video and our buttons.
These are on the right side, so we have a red power button in the volume up and down. They are both made out of metal, they have a good feel to them and they don't rattle around not on the bottom. You will see the two distinct and tenor lines which, as I mentioned, look a lot like Samsung's, and then we have a type C port with a speaker behind it, Allisyn tray, which will house two nano Sims or one nano sim and their micro SD card. But it's not actually a micro, SD it's, their own format from Huawei, so it's a glass covered back, and I have the silver version here, which is very prone to finger prints very slippery as well. But if you go for say the midnight blue and has those lines on it, which gives it a little bit of texture, tiny, a little bit more grip and resists fingerprints, a little better and here's. What the case looks like on the phone, so it is going to protect the cameras. Only just you can see is about a millimeter difference between where the cases and then that camera module, which sticks out a little bit it offers protection for the buttons as well, and the screen, if you do place it and face down, will not actually be touching. The table here, for example, so the bill quality is premium and compared to the samsung galaxy s 9, Plus on the left.
It feels ever so slightly better because it's a little bit more narrow and I find that it's just easier to get access to the button and not only that the edges the way they've done the inches on them. 820. Pro they're, just a little bit more rounded, off a little bit, smoother feel better in hand and overall, it just gives it a slightly better feel to the s9 plus here face. Unlocking is also much quicker than my use. Loan plus, as I'll, demonstrate now tap the button. Very quick do that again, most of the time it is quick just as you've seen taking a look now at the end screen fingerprint reader, so you tap the screen. First, that'll wake it up. You see the little icon here, hopefully that's not going to get burnt into the screen. I'Ll place my thumb on there, which was a bit awkward for me and you can see it unlocks. So how long did that take it's about one to two seconds? It can be a little bit slower at times now. Sometimes you don't get the position a hundred percent correct and it will not work every single time. So speak tit to work, maybe eight out of ten times, and here it seems to be working for me quite well. Overall, I don't have any real issues with it: it's, just not as fast as those rare fingerprint readers from the likes of SATA, one plus six I'll take a look now at the screen in details.
So I know there's been something going around with glue gate. There'S been a problem with the glue between the glass and then the OLED panel below. Luckily, for me, with this unit, it's perfectly fine, now you're gon na get this right here you can see that the edge screen is exactly the same as my Samsung Super AMOLED panel that's in the explain, plus you get that discoloration, you get the color shifting out Now that's, just a trait there of the screen, it's, not really too much of an issue. But if you're really fussy about your screens, then that may bother. You now light leakage bleeding and things like that I'm. Not seeing a problem here not like the some of the IPS panels that I look at that often have like a dark shadow ring around the knotch. That is not happening here now. You will sometimes see this shimmering happing see those lines going across like pulse width, modulation, flicker. This is only happening on camera it's, like whenever I records, OLED screens or Samsung AMOLED panels. This happens. You can see that this green is flickering away here at the moment. But again, this is only on camera, so we've got our color temperature mode and your white balance that you can see it so out of the box it's on vivid to me, which is that's not really that accurate, normal is probably the best the more accurate the White balance is more correct there and we also have eye comfort mode, so that's a blue light filter.
So you know you don't, keep yourself awake at night. The other useful option here too, is the text and display slider. So you can slide this up. So if you find that it's too small you can increase it, you find it allowed to decrease it and also the display size. This is very handy to have now the gamma is one. This screen is completely off no matter what sitting I use here. It should be 2.2 or closer to 2.2, but it's miles off here hovering around 1.4. As you can see, brightness tops out at 790 lux, which is a little bit lower than the 830. I messaged on the mate 20 X, dark colors on the screen when you're showing them. They do look very good, because this is an OLED panel, of course, and overall, it is a really nice screen a premium screen that only complaint. There is the the gamma being. Quite off, for some reason, when you take a look at the touch performance, that is also excellent. It goes with your finger. There'S no stuttering, it is very smooth. They seem to have it synced perfectly, with the refresh rate of the screen, which is great. The UI performance is decent. Now this UI comes with a huge amount of bloatware. I will just show you what I recorded of how much bloatware had had on here blow wet applications. So you can see right here from the screenshot. When I first got it, then it actually has about 16 crappy applications on there that you're not going to want you're gon na want to remove and even under top apps you'll find a lot more.
So it takes a good 15 20 minutes to uninstall. All of those I did also receive this firmware update now. This brings it up to Android 9 security patch level December, the 1st, which is really good, so it's up to date, and it may have possibly fixed the display dimming issues. So when you went into certain applications you're on a manual brightness setting that it would dim down the display, even though you don't want it to do that, and that seems to be fixed because it's not happening to me now if you do buy the Chinese version. Beware, it will not have Google Play installed, but it is a very easy fix. You go into the app gallery, which is mostly all in Chinese. In fact, a hundred percent Chinese search Google you'll find there in the Google Play Store. It will then install that, and you can see it's running fine. I haven't had any problems with it. It is very fast, the performance there, so I have the full screen gestures at the moment enabled so you swipe up and hold to get your recent apps and go through and multitask. You just swipe up to go home and then, if you're, in an application, for example, to go into gallery here and then I swipe from the side that takes you back it's very easy to get used to and prefer it over the on screen menu keys that You can use chrome scrolling performance.
I have found to be very fast and smooth, in fact better than the mate 20x that I just finished reviewing, and that is probably aided by the fact that this version I have has 8 gigabytes of RAM. That model has the karin 980, but with the 6 gigabytes, so that 8 gigabytes of RAM to me makes it feel just ever so, slightly faster and a little bit smoother, and that is also reflected in synthetic benchmarks. For example, this is an and we're getting a score of almost 270000, where I got about 260000 on the make 20x, with only 6 gigabytes of RAM and like them, 820 X, that has superfast ufs, 2.1 spec storage. Take a look at the sequential reads here: over 900 megabytes per second that's, going to be faster than a lot of people's laptops if you're still using a set of 3 SSD that's, almost double the read speeds there that you'll be able to get sequential, writes. Also good and then the random writes are impressive for a mobile phone GPS performance is solid, no complaints and only hovers around 4 meters of accuracy and locks on to almost all of the satellites. It sees with good signal strength. If you are purchasing the global version, then you've got global LTE band coverage, and here in Spain, it's working fine, the Chinese version it's got to even out eBay in 20 as well. The other people would need if you were gon na, buy the Chinese version.
Although I wouldn't recommend it, I'll go for the global one, so good 4G speeds it's, LTE, plus there that it managed to lock on 4G plus it's. Alright, I mean not the fastest, of course, but that's my provider, and here we have wireless performance. So no problems here as well, so the signal strength, the range that I'm getting is all good. It all checks out on to battery life. So it is very good. This is way better than my samsung galaxy s. 9 plus I've got 9 hours of screen. On time. I had 14 percent battery left. I could possibly get 10 now I was using the screen set to 200 Lux and this is my year, so it was heavy use. I did a bit of gaming, so Pub G by the way pub G I don't know if it's because of the turbo boost, but it burns through the battery very quick pub G YouTube streaming. Prime video as well, I was watching that Play services was using a little bit of battery chrome and general use. Overall, the battery holds up really well it's, going to be a two day: mobile phone for most people, and maybe even three. Now, if you're gon na buy the Chinese version, you need to be aware of this. If you want to use a third party launcher and that is Nova Launcher, for example, okay, it's running oh that's, great swipes up you can see all your apps performance is really good.
But what happens when you go home? It brings back huawei's launcher there. Emui you can't override it because they will not let you sit nova launcher as the default launcher or any third party launcher. I have some good news for those of you out there that, like to use netflix on your mobile phone, that drm info tells us that has security level with Widevine level one. What that jargon translates into is netflix will run in HD Full HD it's, not gon. Na be stuck and standard definition, and it works really well and for those wondering about a notification LED, there is one that is up here, but as far as I can tell it's, not a multicolored one, definitely not as good as the one. On my samsung galaxy s, 9, plus now your notifications, you can have the icons as you can see right now or you can actually change it over to numbers. If you want so you can see how many you have now on to gaming performance. So, as expected, it performs really well. This is on the ultra frame rate on HD and you don't notice, really any performance dips at all until it gets hot after gaming, for it about 30 minutes or so when you go in with the scope, that's all very fluid and smooth overall excellent top performance From the keren 980 here so this phone, like mini flagships, has dual loudspeakers because the earpiece doubles as a loudspeaker.
We'Ve got the type C speaker placement, which is a little bit awkward. But when you have a cable plugged in, as you will hear just now, then it doesn't actually muffle it too. Much so to me, it's not a deal breaker and the speaker sounds decent. It has a nice level of base and the loudness as well as good but here's that sample. So, as you can hear from that that when you plug in a cable to charge it and use that I'll speak at the same time, it's not actually muffling it. At all, much hardly anything just a tiny little bit now the 3.5 millimeter headphone output, when you use the type C, adapter or type C headphones, it's good, it's clean it is loud and overall I like it, there's nothing really wrong with it at all. You can't fault it a voice call quality as well as excellent, it's. Good, no problems moving over to the cameras now so there's still camera very good. Good performance overall takes a very decent image, and sometimes the exposure is a little bit off. But when you have a look at the video performance but I'm showing you now, this is 4k with electronic image stabilization you can see. The stabilization is OK, but I have noticed that you do get some shutters in the video that the electronic image stabilization is not as good as other flagships quite disappointing. Also, the bitrate with 4k, not as high as it could be.
It often offers around 30 megabits per second 33. I feel a Chevy a bit high, you do see some artifacts and then the audio quality from those microphones. You often get like a reverb or some sort of noise cancellation effect that comes in, which is quite distracting and despawning as well. Now, if you do look at this video on a 4k monitor on a 4k TV, you'll notice compared to again other flagships that the quality is a little bit soft it's, not so sharp. Now you can swap over to the other lenses. This is now the wide lens I'll show you, but when you pan around with this one you'll notice, it will start to drop frames and the video performance it's quite choppy, I mean the lens probably ideally is not set up really for a video and then when You move over to the 3 times zoom well it's great to zoom in you can see the quality really does drop off and is quite disappointing. Now let's have a look now at the front facing camera, so this is the front facing camera. It has electronic image. Stabilisation and because it is using that it has to crop the image it's 1080p and right now, I've got to push my arm right out to get it now. What I would call like a reasonable kinda, normal thing that you would get facing camera. You can see the electronic image stabilization works reasonably well, it's, keeping which didn't and good to have those flagship cameras.
Phones, Mobile's should all have image stabilization with the front facing cameras, a lot of them still don't and when I walk along, you can see it's doing a good job here. Overall, a standing out the image I find that the front facing camera can be a little bit soft at times, and it is focusing and keeping my face in exposure, which is good when you can see the background there with the Sun it's very bright, but it's Mean to do it's not going to override this. Of course, if I tap the screen, then it's now focused onto the background, and that is adjusted. The exposure and everything yeah now you'll notice that their mic, sometimes they have this funny kind of effect to them. Like almost like noise cancellation or a bit of reverb, or something like that, because the way I'm holding up perhaps blocking the mics a little on the end – is why this happens. So video performance in low light you can see now is not good at all. It'S. Actually, very poor. Look at the grain look at the artifacts it's dropping frames. Now, if you swap over to the three times, then you'll see what I mean there look, how bad that is. It'S all washed out we're losing a lot of detail and indoors low light. You can see now the front facing camera has a lot more grain to it. The electronic image stabilization also doesn't work as well, but, of course this is to be expected in these difficult conditions.
All right now quickly, recapping, so bill, quality's, great great battery life, excellent performance, it's right up there it's very, very good, really good screen on it. The build quality, I think, is actually slightly better than my Samsung Galaxy S, 9 plus that's, all great now, the downsides to it are very minor. Well there's, a couple of minor ones in one big one, so the minor ones would to be the fingerprint reader. So it's sometimes a little bit hard to find so at night. When you go to find it and then it's only going to work about seven to eight times out of ten, which is a little bit disappointing and it takes about two seconds so it's not a big issue, because we do have very good faced, unlocking, which is 3D mapping face unlocking to with this so it's more secure. The UI that it has okay, so am UI from Huawei, has a lot of bloatware that they've already pushed on there a lot of silly applications. I counted about 16 applications of junk on there and the Chinese version will not let you use a third party launcher. You can run it, but you can't set it as the default launcher, which is the big issue they won't. Let you away for security reasons. They say which is it's just kind of wrong. I wish they would let us over right there but that's, why you go for the global version and to get no bloatware.
So the cameras when you look at these cameras as a package, the whole package not just still images, not just low light. I find them to be disappointing, okay front facing camera, even though you disable all the beautifying effects. So you set all the sliders and everything to zero and off it still looks like it's too soft it's got some beautifying. There always that's a little disappointing to me, but the biggest disappointment has to be the video. So video has low Bret bit rate and average focus. The focus is not really that good in it electronic image stabilization again, not fantastic dropped frames, it's, not very good, and then the microphones as well so it's like five things with video that are just wrong with this. So very poor video performance on this flagship, expensive mobile phone. So if you're gon na be spending this kind of cash on this phone, you'd expect to have really decent great 4k. Video quality. 1080P 1080p is a lot better but 4k compared to the other flagships. Big letdown so that's the reason not to go for the phone for everything else. Yes, if you want the great performance build quality the screen. This is one of the ones to go for if you can afford it, that is, of course, and you're not going to be shooting any video. So, thank you so much for watching this lengthy review and if you haven't, already do check out my review of the larger 7.