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Huawei Mate 20 Pro review: The best and most modern smartphone of 2018?

Huawei Mate 20 Pro Test
Image: © 2018 TechnikNews
(Post picture: © 2018 © 2018 TechnikNews)

With the Huawei Mate 20, which was released in mid-October Pro the Chinese have released a smartphone that is quite convincing on the data sheet. Great camera, fingerprint sensor in the display and other interesting functions can be read there. Is that really the case and whether you can use the Mate 20 Pro as the best smartphone of 2018? My review.

Huawei has with the Mate 20 Pro caused a lot of excitement at release. As one of the first larger manufacturers, a fingerprint sensor was installed in the display and with functions such as "reverse charging" it provided a lot to talk about. With this function you can use the Mate 20 Pro also charge other smartphones wirelessly. Is that Mate 20? Pro the best smartphone of 2018? After all, the Mate 20 Pro Almost completely sold out in Western Europe have been. I tested it for just under a month.

Unboxing & setup

Like every other Huawei smartphone, the Mate 20 also comes Pro in a white box. If you lift the lid, the flagship, which is protected with foil, comes straight towards you. The basic equipment with power supply, charger, USB-C headphones, USB-C to jack adapter and SIM needle is of course available. There is also a thick quick start guide in all possible languages, as well as a guarantee card.

The setup is actually pretty quick. After selecting the language, you can log in with your Google and Huawei account as usual and insert the SIM card. Then the fingerprint sensor is configured. This is the novelty here: the fingerprint sensor is not located on the front or back as usual, but in the display of the smartphone. The setup takes a little longer than usual, but is still completely uncomplicated. Then you land on the start screen - preinstalled with some advertising apps. After these are deleted, you have a completely "clean" smartphone.

Processing & design

There is nothing to complain about here. In my opinion, with the Mate 20 Pro landed the best design hit since the first Huawei smartphone. Thanks to the rounded display and corners, it lies even better in the hand, but is even more slippery, and is easy to use even with smaller hands. Despite the 6,39 inches with a resolution of 1440 x 3120 pixels (QHD+), the operation - as already mentioned - is not at all Proproblem Such a display diagonal is only possible thanks to the thin display edges and the notch.

The back in particular looks really appealing thanks to the twilight colors - I was also very impressed by the arrangement of the cameras this time. Admittedly, the Mate 20 Pro actually looks like an iPhone X (because of the notch) and a Samsung Galaxy Edge (because of the display bezels). Nevertheless, they not only copied, but also made the whole thing even better with a few ideas. However, there were negative headlines because of the display: the display turned yellowish for some users. It's not clear to me what it is - that Proproblem did not occur with my test device.

The notch doesn't bother you at all in everyday life, but only very few notifications are displayed. (Image: © 2018 TechnikNews)

Multitasking & performance

The Huawei Mate 20 Pro is with one Kirin 980 Proprocessor fitted. Compared to the Kirin 970, the new Proprocessor 20 in total Procent faster and 40 Procent more energy efficient. For this purpose, the Kirin 980 is equipped with a dual NPU. For better AI performance. In general, this improvement in performance is not really noticeable in everyday life, the battery life - compared to the Mate 10 Pro - sure. Even though I don't really believe in benchmarks, I still have some results:

  • Geekbench 4 Single Core: 3319
  • Geekbench 4 Multi Core: 9745 points
  • Antitu 7: 273 941

For everyday multitasking, the CPU has 6 GB of working memory aside. In everyday life, switching between apps was always very reliable and quick. The "Task Manager" is now - as usual in Android 9 - aligned horizontally. This means that apps are now swiped upwards instead of left or right. In addition, the recycle bin for closing all apps would have disappeared with Android 9 Pie - but Huawei has retained that in EMUI 9.

Camera & video

The Mate 20's camera Pro has once again surpassed previous Huawei smartphones - both in terms of arrangement and quality. (Image: © 2018 TechnikNews)

Even if smartphone cameras cannot be replaced with a single-lens reflex camera due to the small lenses, Huawei, in cooperation with Leica, has developed the Mate 20 Pro good job done. Although the quality of the camera compared to the P20 Pro has not noticeably improved much, you are currently ahead in all tests. The cameras each have a resolution of 40 MP + 20 MP + 8 MP and offer an aperture of f/1.8 + f/2.2 + f/2.4. The wide-angle lens is brand new and did a really good job during the test.

Of course there is also the up to 10x zoom - as with the P20 Pro – with you. However, this time it has been improved a bit and the shots from far away now look even better. We already know things like night mode from the P20 Pro, but that has been surpassed again here. Below are some test photos (somewhat compressed due to the otherwise large image size) with an explanation.

Huawei Mate 20 Pro Camera: test photos

Fingerprint sensor & face recognition

Due to the new fingerprint sensor and face recognition, we take a closer look at the two functions. Basically, the fingerprint sensor in the display worked a little faster before the first update - after that the finger often had to be placed 2-3 times. However, if the display is a bit damp or even wet, the fingerprint sensor is of course unusable. Unfortunately, unlocking the smartphone in the rain does not work. Compared to the fingerprint sensor of the Huawei P20 Pro but this is significantly slower and not as reliable.

The fingerprint sensor lights up when you hold your finger on it. Unlocking is also possible without the display being switched on (Image: © 2018 TechnikNews)

Face recognition is said to have become a bit more secure thanks to the new cameras on the front and should also work faster. It actually does. But I deactivated this again shortly afterwards for a good reason: The display becomes completely bright at night when the smartphone tries to recognize the face. That's the downside here. Otherwise it is even a bit faster than the new fingerprint sensor.

Expand storage space with nano SD cards

The standard 128 GB storage cannot be expanded with a micro SD card. This is the case with the Huawei Mate 20 Pro own nano SD cards, which can be inserted instead of a second SIM card. However, since these cards are currently still quite expensive (50 euros for 128 GB, instead of just under 35 euros for a 128 GB micro SD card) and are not supported by any other manufacturer, they are still somewhat impractical. Nevertheless, the cards are quite small as a result and so they could actually become the standard size - after all, they are exactly the same size as current nano-SIM cards.

Battery life & charging with "reverse charging"

The battery life felt like one of the longest I've ever had in a Huawei smartphone. With the Mate 20 Pro I came proproblem-free throughout the day - almost two days were prowithout any problems. And despite mobile data, Bluetooth and GPS permanently on. The 4200 mAh battery is fully charged in just over an hour using the quick charger. It takes just under two hours with the QI charger from Huawei.

The Huawei Mate 20 Pro supports wireless charging - also vice versa "to" other smartphones. (Image: © 2018 TechnikNews)

With the Huawei Mate 20 Pro the Chinese are also launching a completely new function called “Reverse Charging”. This technology allows you to use your smartphone to charge other smartphones via wireless charging. To do this, the "foreign" smartphone simply has to be placed on the back of the Mate 20 Pro and activate the corresponding point in the settings under “Battery”. The function is not very practical, but it is practical if you want to supply your friends with a battery for a short time. Charging a Galaxy S7 with 3000 mAh took almost three hours.


Huawei is currently stepping on the gas. You have that with the Mate 20 Pro clearly shown. In my opinion, no other manufacturer has combined so much modern technology in one smartphone as Huawei did with the Mate 20 Pro. In terms of display, camera and battery life, the competition has been clearly beaten here.

Although Huawei has slimmed down the software a bit with the new EMUI 9, there are still some incomprehensible menus and senseless interleaving. On the other hand, I find my own implementations such as closing all apps and a global dark mode very good.

Although the smartphone is still expensive with an MSRP of 999, there is no reason not to buy it. Unless you are not satisfied with the software from Huawei - there is simply no getting around it. Even with alternative launchers, the "core" of the software has not been covered. Thus, Huawei could use the Mate 20 Pro prolet the name be given as the “best smartphone of 2018” without any problems. It's definitely one of the best. The test reports on the Mate 20 and Mate 20 Lite will follow in the coming weeks.

Huawei Mate 20 Pro buy

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David Wurm

Do that TechnikNews-Ding together with a great team since 2015. Works in the background on the server infrastructure and is also responsible for everything editorial. Is fascinated by current technology and enjoys blogging about everything digital. In his free time he can often be found developing webs, taking photographs or making radio.

David has already written 964 articles and left 382 comments.

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With the camera you really overtake all competitors here. Great cell phone, even if too expensive for me personally.

Gerhard Gaich

It is also worth mentioning that recording videos is a dream! Even when you are in motion, they are practically blur-free. Just great.
The fingerprint sensor in the display is, however, completely BIG ... Totally unreliable. Although I was against facial recognition, I am now glad that it is available in the Mate. Otherwise I would have thrown the cell phone against the wall.