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by Rob Follis

1st November, 2018


The Huawei Mate 20 Pro is the Chinese company’s second flagship smartphone of 2018. The first was the warmly received P20 Pro, which many considered the best phone available at the time of its arrival. We think the Mate 20 Pro is even better and for the first time with Huawei, their flagship phone is available in Australia on the global launch day, November 1st 2018.

According to Huawei:

Following unprecedented worldwide demand since its global announcement in London in October, the HUAWEI Mate20 Series is Huawei Australia’s most successful launch to date, with all pre-order offers completely sold out within days of being announced. Due to high demand, Huawei is extending its free headphone and charger pre-order offer to Friday, 9 November.

We went to the Sydney press launch and had a chance to do a throrough hands-on review of the new phone.

On first glance it looks, well, like pretty much any other pricey flagship handset: there’s a tall OLED screen with an iPhone notch at the top; a fast processor that runs the most demanding apps and games in smooth, slick fashion; plenty of built-in storage space; stereo speakers; IP68-rated protection against water and dust; wireless charging. If you’ve been following recent smartphone launches, you probably know the drill by now – but the Mate 20 Pro bolsters its expected specs and features with techie treats you won’t find on rivals.


The fingerprint sensor, for instance, is built into the glass of the touchscreen (and don’t worry, it works as well as a traditional fingerprint sensor). A 3D face unlock camera is onboard that works pleasingly quickly, this enables Apple style 3D emojis, but unlike Apple's Face ID it only unlocks the phone and can't secure passwords, banking apps and the like, the fingerprint sensor handles these.

The three-module rear camera is the highlight of a phone rich with features. It is beatutifully engineered in collaboration with Leica and offers a choice between using its 40MP wide angle, 20MP ultra-wide angle and 8MP telephoto modules individually or as a whole. There are AI-driven improvements to low light performance over even the P20 Pro’s excellent setup, resulting in sharp, richly detailed nighttime images, and the replacement of the P20 Pro’s monochromatic module with the ultra-wide angle module feels like a smart move: it’s a much more useful ability to have, as it lets you shoot impactful interiors and snap buildings without having to back up into a corner or step into the street. Even better the wide-angle lens focuses to 2.5cm making real close-up photography possible.

A unique innovation is reverse wireless charging, which allows you to use the Mate 20 Pro’s power to wirelessly top up the battery on another Qi-equipped phone, even an iPhone X. Another impressive feature, albeit one not quite as headline-grabbing as some of those already mentioned, is the battery life. You’ll struggle to get through a charge in a day, despite all the power-hungry features available, and it’s more likely that you’ll get through a full day and a half before needing to reach for the (very fast) charger.

Despite all that’s been crammed into this phone, it’s surprisingly compact. We won’t go so far as to call it “small” – it’s clearly not that – but with its narrow 6.39-inch screen curving around the sides slightly to make the most of the front panel, it’s trim enough to hold comfortably. For those who don’t opt for a protective case (and with a phone this pricey, you probably should), the glass back’s slightly ridged texture makes the Mate 20 Pro less slippery than it might appear. The screen, for its part, is an absolute knockout: the colours are rich, the blacks are deep and punchy, and the viewing angles are wide.

As for criticisms, we’d probably point to the non-standard NM Card expandable memory and the EMUI 9 interface,  which isn’t quite as slick and intuitive as we’d like – although many will find neither of these to be a problem in any way, shape or form.

Key features

  • 6.39-inch OLED screen with 1440 x 3120 resolution
  • Kirin 980 processor
  • Android 9.0
  • Dual SIM with one slot available for NM card storage up to 256 GB
  • 6GB RAM/128GB storage or 8GB/256GB storage
  • 40MP wide / 20MP ultra-wide / 8MP telephoto rear cameras by Leica
  • 24MP front camera
  • Face ID and in-screen fingerprint sensor
  • 4200mAh battery with 40 watt Fast Charger
  • IP68 dust/water resistant
  • 189g weight
  • 157.8 x 72.3 x 8.6mm

GadgetNET says: The Mate 20 Pro stands among the very best handsets on the market – a powerful performer toting almost every feature imaginable. At a whopping $1,599, it could never be described as affordable, but with it (and the P20 Pro launched earlier this year), Huawei has claimed its spot alongside the likes of Apple and Samsung as a maker of truly top-level smartphones. This might just be the best Android phone ever made.

For more information visit HUAWEI


Posted in: Smartphones & Tablets
Tags: mobile phone  huawei  leica 

Rob Follis's avatar

Written by:

Rob Follis

Rob Follis has been writing about tech on and off for over 40 years, is a designer, photographer, information omnivore, gadget-head, Hi-Fi afficionado, owner of far far too many things and sadly an unsuccessful app developer. A born & bred Londoner now happily living in Melbourne. Email Rob.

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