The Mate 20 Pro was Huawei’s flagship phone from late 2018. Featuring the full suite of Google apps, unlike the newer Mate 30 Pro, it is a fully featured flagship, even in 2020. But the big question is how has it been supported in the UK? Well here is the low-down…
Unlike some Chinese phones the Mate 20 Pro has been kept updated fairly well, certainly if you count security updates. It took a while to get Android 10, which personally I don’t mind as long as the security updates keep coming, which they did. EMUI 10 based on Android 10 came around January for the UK, however some got it earlier and later. My device is unlocked, so this may explain the middle ground.
The current state of play as of Mid April 2020 is:
Operating System: EMUI 10 based on Android 10.0
Android Security Patch: March 2020
The Huawei’s Battery life is still very good, but a little down from the “great” battery life I had before. Probably due to the hundreds of apps I have on my phone. I am a bit of an app hoarder! The battery capacity from new was a huge 4500mah, and with, the still modern today, 7nm based Kirin 980 chipset, battery life isn’t a concern. The included 40w charger is ridiculous too if you need a topup. Literally 5-10 minutes and you have enough battery boost for the rest of the day. Basically with the Mate 20 Pro you don’t have to think about battery. And that is all I want from a phone. This is especially true if you dive into Huawei’s battery saving settings. For reference, I leave the OLED screen with its always on display and have the phone on Huawei’s “balanced” performance which lowers the resolution to 720p (ish) when the battery is sub 20%.
So what about general speed? Well everyday tasks never stutter. This is down to a combination of the superb Kirin 980 as well as 6GB RAM and the UFS 2.1 storage. EMUI has a useful knuckle gesture to use the split screen mode and it really works nicely for multitasking. The Mate 20 Pro is a great performer for games too. Everything I have put on it, from Call of Duty to Mario Kart, have been flawless and on highest settings. You get a smooth 60fps on most games and the look great on the OLED. I have also used PlayStation Remote Play streaming with my Dual Shock 4 via both cable and bluetooth (since the Android 10 update bluetooth is enabled for remote play). This really shows off the screen, however the weight of the phone is a bit much for my controller holder. At 189g its a chunky phone, which I like in everyday use, however if it was a few grams lighter that would be great.
So what dont I like?
The curved screen. I DETEST curved screens on phones. They have no advantage bar looking nice. Give me a flat screen anyday. Because of the curved screen I sometimes get mis types and gestures which is infuriating as it is such a simple fix. I am also not keen on the in display fingerprint reader. It is good but its nowhere near as fast as my normal one on my old P20 Pro. The face unlock is nice though but it raises questions about its security.
The best bit?
Its a premium Huawei, so of cause its the camera. Is it a massive leap from my previous P20 Pro? (Click here to see our comparison between the P9 v P20 Pro for a true generational leap) On paper no, however in reality it is a step up, if not a leap. The inclusion of the ultrawide was the main reason I bought this phone. It really changes my photography, and I find myself using it about half the time I take photos. The selfie camera however is massively improved over the P20 Pro. Its not at the same quality of the rear cameras, but not a huge gap, like on the P20 Pro which had a very average front camera. The main 40mp camera has incredible colour and detail, and my favourite is the 3x optical zoom camera. It allows you to go to 5x zoom with hardly any detail loss, and in good light even 10x. It has made my pocket travel Canon camera nearly redundant. And if you want to take a bunch of photos and by an app hoarder like me you have 128GB AND expandable storage which is a rarity on a flagship device. Nice!
Overall the Huawei Mate 20 Pro is an excellent used buy in April 2020. You can pick them up for around £300 which it absolutely decimates the competition for its camera and premium build. Only a Pixel 3a camera comes close at this price point, but it lacks ultrawide and telephoto. The Pixel is a cheap phone (both build and feeling), has just 64gb storage and a weak mid range processor. If you can find one in like new condition it is well worth £300 and you wont get anything that performs this well everyday for that price.