Huawei Mate 20 Pro evaluation: An elite smartphone with the seems to be to match

“What did you consider of it?”

“It is really quite badass.”

That’s what I informed my CNET colleague Eric Franklin, when he questioned what I imagined of the new Huawei Mate 20 Pro ($1,309 at Amazon).

And I intended it. This cellular phone not only has a spec listing which is the equivalent of any flagship cellular phone out there, but it will come with sufficient new characteristics to make it a genuinely thrilling cellular phone. And enjoyment is one thing the cellular phone world’s sorely lacking.

Combine in the P20 and P20 Pro’s smooth, vibrant and water-resistant style, the amazing show and the reliable digicam and you have a cellular phone which is not just “very good for Huawei” — it is a bloody good cellular phone. Complete cease.


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Before Huawei phones this sort of as 2014’s P7 had been totally forgettable, but the company has upped its match with subsequent launches and is now the 2nd-greatest cellular phone manufacturer in the world. With the Mate 20 Pro, Huawei is firmly cementing that place. It is really unquestionably up there with present flagships this sort of as the Samsung Galaxy S9 ($650 at Amazon), Apple iphone XS ($1,180 at Amazon Marketplace) and Google Pixel three ($875 at Amazon Marketplace).

At £899, SIM-no cost in the United kingdom with 128GB of storage, this system does not occur affordable, but it will continue to value fewer than the Apple iphone XS, which commences at £1,099 with half as a lot storage. It is really also a lot more reasonably priced than the Google Pixel three XL ($900 at Greatest Get), which clocks in at £969 with 128GB of storage.

In Australia, the Mate 20 Pro can be yours, SIM-no cost for AU$1,599. Dwell in the US? Undesirable information for you as Huawei’s ongoing turmoil with the US authorities implies this cellular phone will not be formally accessible to acquire there, nevertheless adventurous American purchasers ought to at some point be equipped to discover it on line. For reference nevertheless, that £899 value tag converts to about $1,one hundred seventy.

What about these new characteristics?

The Mate 20 Pro is a person of the to start with phones we’ve noticed to use an in-display fingerprint scanner, which is just what it seems like. In its place of having a focused fingerprint scanner on the back again or the base of the cellular phone, a patch of the real show is equipped to scan your print. You cannot see the sensor with your naked eye, and you can find unquestionably no way of telling it is there when the screen’s on. A small fingerprint icon lights up when the screen’s locked to explain to you where to area your finger.


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It recognised my fingerprint as promptly and properly as practically any other fingerprint scanner I have used and Huawei suggests it is just as safe. It is really positioned about a third of the way up the phone’s display and is relaxed and hassle-free to use. But Huawei’s also long gone the Apple route of constructing face unlock into the Mate — that provides you two unlocking choices. 

Encounter unlock operates just like Apple’s Encounter ID. You sign up your face on the cellular phone to start with and it will quickly scan to unlock when you wake the cellular phone up. It is really continue to fantastic to have the fingerprint reader as a backup, particularly for circumstances when it is inconvenient to hold the cellular phone to your face.

The Mate 20 Pro’s face unlock function also operates nicely, and recognised my face a lot more typically than not — even with a hood above my hair and with or devoid of my glasses on. Like Apple’s Encounter ID, it scans your face in 3D, which provides an more depth of complexity and implies it cannot be fooled into unlocking by showing it a 2d photo of your own face. (Of course, I tried out.) 

You cannot use it nonetheless to authorise payments having said that, nor could I use it to log into my lender, both of which I can do using the fingerprint scanner. It is really probable that particular person products and services will need to have to help the face unlock to function for authentication — a lot like with Apple’s face ID. I have questioned Huawei to affirm irrespective of whether it is functioning with financial institutions and other products and services to let face unlock to function, but the company has nonetheless to reply. At the second then, it is greatest to see the face scanner as a hassle-free way to unlock the cellular phone and absolutely nothing a lot more. 

But you can find a lot more in the “quirky new characteristics” classification. The Mate 20 is the to start with cellular phone we’ve noticed with two-way wireless charging, effectively turning the cellular phone into a ability lender for a different system. Change the perform on, and you can area a different cellular phone on to the back again of the Mate 20 Pro and that cellular phone will draw ability as if you would positioned it on any wireless charging pad.

It is really a neat notion, nevertheless irrespective of whether you are going to experience generous sufficient to donate your own ability to a buddy who’s functioning low is a query you are going to need to have to determine out for oneself. It worked with my Apple iphone X and evidently will function with any system that supports the Qi charging normal. I discovered it a small awkward to switch on, since you have to dive into the settings menu to activate it — Huawei ought to switch this into a fast settings toggle if they want men and women to use it. The function will also switch by itself off right after a though, so you are going to need to have to continue to keep an eye on it if you are desperately hoping to give a lot more ability to a 2nd cellular phone. A small finessing would make this function a handy addition.


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