Huawei Mate 20 Pro Review: The Most Complete Android Flagship Of 2018

Huawei Mate 20 Pro Rear View

Huawei has been quite literally taking the smartphone world by storm in the past two years. The brand has quickly moved into #2 in the world and has now set it’s sight on the numero uno spot. The latest offering from Huawei is the Mate 20 Pro. This phone has created quite an impact on the world and has been launched in India last week. I spent time with this powerful device and here is my review of this phone.

Let us get the key specifications listed down first.

Dimensions 157.8 x 72.3 x 8.6mm
Weight 189g
Display Huawei FullView Display
6.39-inch curved OLED
3120 x 1440
Processor Kirin 980
Operating System Android 9 Pie
Storage 128GB
Rear camera 1 40MP Wide Angle
Rear camera 2 20MP Ultra Wide Angle
Rear camera 3 8MP 3x Telephoto
Battery 4,200 mAh
40W Huawei SuperCharge

The new Huawei device features a flowing design. It is beautifully curved on all eight sides, and holds its iconic Matrix Camera that is immediately recognizable even at a distance. One look at the phone and you will fall in love with it. The design is a head turner, I just had to put the phone on the table in front of people to start conversations. The beautiful glass finish with the triple camera and flash in the rear and the wonderful curved screen are brilliant to look at hold in the hand. There is a notch in the front that houses the IR sensor that helps in the strong 3D face unlock implementation that the phone comes with. The phone tops the charts in the design and looks department. A royal look and feel.

Huawei Mate 20 Pro

The 2k+ OLED panel in the front is  a joy to use and offers excellent color reproduction and brightness. The Mate 20 Pro easily beats the Pixel 3 in daylight visibility, and the colors that are punchy and very well fleshed out, there isn’t the very frustrating over saturation that is now a norm in most flagships. If are using an older OLED smartphone, the options to adjust the tone and even the hue in the settings menu will help you customize what you would like the display to look like. Huawei also has its own setting called Eye Comfort – which adjusts the white balance to match the surrounding light temperature in a bid to make whites look natural regardless of the time of day, and it works pretty well. Overall, the display is brilliant and royal. Ticks all the right marks in this department.

The Matrix Camera is arranged in the rear in a unique two-by-two array, with one of the openings reserved for the flash. Each of the lenses in the two-by-two camera array on Huawei Mate 20 Pro is encircled in polished metal frames, producing a visually impactful and avant-garde look that is both bold and distinct. But the camera assembly is not just a good thing to look at, they are very strong in the imaging department.

Huawei Mate 20 Pro Display

The Huawei Mate 20 Pro camera  is now equipped with the new Leica Ultra Wide Angle Lens. The Matrix Camera system comes with three sensors (40MP, 20MP and 8MP), with the Leica Ultra Wide Angle Lens equipped on the 20MP sensor.  The Leica Ultra Wide Angle Lens lets you see and capture much more. It also helps to create a sense of spaciousness when you are capturing in a small area as the camera takes in much more information from where you’re standing. You just have to simply tap into the Camera app to use access the Leica Ultra Wide Lens for taking wide shots. You can set the magnification settings to 0.6x to shoot with an ultra-wide field of view.

You can now get deep into the details with the new macro feature of the Huawei Mate 20 Pro. The Leica Ultra Wide Angle Lens doubles as a macro lens that can land a focus on an object as close as 2.5cm from the lens.The Super Macro mode is enabled automatically when you take a close-up shot. This mode makes for great pictures with a lot of details.

Huawei Mate 20 Pro Side View

You can easily switch between the various modes using the zoom modes ranging from 0.6x, 1x to 3x and 5x. The various lenses are engaged automatically and the hybrid zoom also swings into action. The AI chops that the Kirin 980 delivers stands the camera in very good stead. The phone has dual NPUs and together, they help the phone to recognize a multitude of scenes and adjusts settings accordingly . While there are other phones that have AI features, the Huawei Mate 20 Pro has it seamlessly built into many core functions. Like for example AI features are built into video recordings. There is an AI color mode that makes the subject color and the rest of the scene is rendered perfectly in monochrome. The videos are by default compliant with most project screens and hence there will be no stretching or distortion when you play them on larger screens.

If you are someone who does not want to get to technical and just needs good pictures whenever you click them with your phone, then the Mate 20 Pro has you covered. Here are a few sample pictures that I clicked with the phone. A detailed camera review is coming soon.

There is a nifty feature called HiVision on the camera UI. With HiVision , the Huawei Mate 20 Pro is an encyclopedia that fits in a pocket. HiVision leverages the AI capabilities of the device to identify various objects in the real world. You can even shop directly from the camera UI and buy stuff that you think is interesting. Huawei has tied up with multiple e-commerce sites to make this happen.

A word must be said about the in-display fingerprint scanner and the face unlock. Huawei Mate 20 Pro has by far the best and fastest implementation of face unlock I have seen on an Android phone and is very fast. The in-display fingerprint scanner has also proved to be very fast and reliable. Huawei has done away with the conventional speakers and converted the type-c socket in the bottom as the housing for speakers. The speakers deliver great sound. The wireless earphone connected via bluetooth also deliver good audio out. Video playback was crisp and very clear. The notch is hide-able through settings anytime. The usual ability to make emojis for social media based on your face with other effects is also there if you are into that sort of thing.

Huawei Mate 20 Pro Top View

Let us talk about performance now, the phone performs like a powerhouse and breezes through resource heavy tasks without even a flutter. Heavy gaming and continuous streaming also went through fine. The Kirin 980 and the 6GB RAM stand the phone in good stead and it delivers blazing fast performance. The phone comes with Android Pie based EMUI 9.0 and has AI deeply integrated into many facets. The phone is also capable of learning your app usage habits and tuning performance according  to that. There are a lot of digital health features present that can help you balance phone usage and a healthy lifestyle. EMUI is getting lighter and that is very good to see.

The Huawei Mate 20 Pro is tuned to work on all global bands and so it supports all Telco networks in India. My Jio SIM also worked perfectly on it. The call quality was very good and there were absolutely no issues or drops. The phone also supports very fast WiFi and comes with a bevy of connectivity options. I took the phone on two national and international trips and roaming was not an issue at all.

Huawei Mate 20 Pro Bottom View

The phone is powered by a massive 4200mAh battery The new flagship supports the TÜV Safety Certified 40W Huawei SuperCharge. That means you can charge your Huawei Mate 20 Pro quickly and safely. The fast-charging technology can charge the Huawei Mate 20 Pro to up to 70 percent (or 2940mAh) in 30 minutes. On a single charge, the phone was able to easily run for a day and half for me without any issues. And the quick charge has the phone juiced up in no time.

The phone supports 15W Huawei Quick Wireless Charge. Simply place it on a Huawei Quick Wireless Charge dock to enjoy convenient charging at extreme speeds: a 30-minute charge gives the device 30 percent (1300mAh) battery. The  phone supports Wireless Reverse Charging, effectively enabling it to act as a power bank for other devices. Just put your device on the back of the Huawei Mate 20 Pro to get it charged up. This helped a lot of my friends with iPhones and Samsung phones when they ran out of juice. Overall the battery is the best I have seen on an android flagship this year.

The phone is priced at INR 69,999/- and that price is justified given the feature packed nature of the device and the royal smooth performance it brings to the table.


In my books, the Huawei Mate 20 Pro is the most complete Android flagship of 2018. It brings in many features that other brands are still contemplating. In many ways this phone is the King of smartphones and brings the future into your hands. All hail the new king.

About Shakthi

I am a Tech Blogger, Disability Activist, Keynote Speaker, Startup Mentor and Digital Branding Consultant. Also a McKinsey Executive Panel Member. Also known as @v_shakthi on twitter. Been around Tech for two decades now.

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