At £899 / $920 / €1,000 this phone comes at the high end of the market. Expectations are high…
At 157.8 x 72.3 x 8.6 mm (6.21 x 2.85 x 0.34 inches) and 189g, the Huawei Mate 20 Pro is a huge and rather heavy phone. The dimensions (aspect ratio of 19.5:9) do make it feasible to navigate the entire width of the screen with your thumb. However, the length of the phone does pose problems, particularly with reaching the notification drawer.
Luckily the display sports a “2K+” resolution (3120x1440), so at 538 PPI (pixels per inch) it’s sharper than a Google Pixel 3.
Screen unlock precision
Usual fingerprint readers use capacitance sensors that are faster and more accurate than the optical sensor used by the Mate 20 Pro. Although the optical sensor overcomes the problem faced by other manufacturers who have moved the fingerprint reader to the back, it’s just not as precise. Using it in combination with face unlock helps, especially as this phone searches for your face as soon as you pick it up, contrary to the OnePlus 6t that requires you to press a button. On the plus side, the optical sensor enables you to unlock the phone while it rests on any surface.
“Glue gate” - green tint on the screen sides
Follow the #gluegate on Twitter and you’ll find several complaints regarding what seems to be a manufacturing problem related to glueing the screen to the phone, leaving a green tint on either or both sides of the phone.
You can see the problem on the following tweet and YouTube video:
If you were to have this problem you’d be fully covered by the warranty and despite all the noise the issue seems to be limited to relatively few units. This is a very popular phone after all…
Read more about it on the official Huawei forum.
Is it Android? Is it iOS? Huawei’s EMUI operating system again does not impress, even when updated to the latest Android 9 version.
The settings are hard to navigate and the phone comes with some apps pre-installed, A.K.A. bloatware! You can usually disable these apps in the settings but in my opinion when manufacturers include Facebook & Co on your phone without asking and then don’t let you uninstall them it’s a 🍆 move.
Let the stock Android operating system be!!!
Wide, although narrow, notch
As notches go this one is pretty thin. However it is still quite wide, meaning there is less space for notification icons than phones without a notch, or with a narrow one like the OnePlus 6t one.
USB-C port as a speaker 🔊
Did you know that the sound from one speaker comes out of the USB-C port at the bottom? As cool as this is, it dampens the sound slightly when you use the port. Thankfully, the Mate 20 Pro has another loudspeaker at the top for a truly stereo sound, so it’s not as bad as you’d think!
They sure look classy but curved edges often result in your fingers accidentally touching the screen and causing unwanted ‘ghost touches’.
The curve is so pronounced that sometimes you can see glare on the side of the screen, and not much else.
No headphone jack
The headphone jack is being dropped by most manufacturers nowadays, no exceptions here. Huawei does however provide you with USB-C headphone and a USB-C-to-3.5mm jack converter.
Proprietary external memory card
The Mate 20 Pro has 2 slots for 2 nano sims, doubling up as “nano memory” slots, which is Huawei’s proprietary system. This is a welcome addition considering most flagship phones support no external memory whatsoever but the cards may be hard to find and expensive.
Easy to bend
JerryRigEverything was impressed with some innovative features but found the screen to crack easily if bent, probably due to the curved screen.
Do you sometimes bend your phones? No, I don’t either. But sometimes 💩 happens.