Despite a massive presence in China and Europe, Huawei is still seen as an also-ran by some. The company is hoping to change that with its latest flagship, the Mate 20 Pro.
The Mate 20 Pro is an enormous phone absolutely stuffed with the latest tech. Up front is a 6.4-inch OLED display, hanging out in the same range as the iPhone XS Max, the Galaxy Note 9, and the Pixel XL 3, complete with, yes, a screen notch. Around back are no less than three camera sensors: an 8-megapixel zoom lens, a 20-megapixel super wide-angle, and a standard lens with 40 megapixels. (That’s not a typo: forty megapixels.) Inside is Huawei’s completely custom Kirin 980 processor, which the company claims will beat Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 845 in every way.
Other notable features of the Mate 20 Pro include dual-direction wireless charging (that means the huge 4200mAh battery can wirelessly charge other phones in addition to its own Qi capabilities), an in-screen fingerprint reader, Huawei’s own face unlock technology, and IP68 water resistance. Of course, there’s tons of stuff in Huawei’s software for better photos and access to apps, including such wild features as a 3D food scanner that recognizes food types and estimates calories based on volume. It’s running on top of Android 9.0 Pie right at launch, a first for a non-Google device. The monster specs include a monster price: the Mate 20 Pro will sell for 1050 Euro in its standard 6GB RAM/128 ROM starting today.
Is that still not enough for you? Then check out the even more massive Mate 20 X. Somewhere between a giant phone and a small tablet, this device is being marketed as a “gamer” phone, a la recent entries from Razer and ASUS. It uses most of the same specs as the Mate 20 Pro, but pairs them with a 7.2-inch screen, a smaller “teardrop” screen notch, a 5000mAh battery, and a vapor cooling chamber attached to the processor. It’s compatible with the Huawei M-Pen stylus, to boot.
To emphasize the phone’s gaming prowess, Huawei will be selling a first-party add-on controller, which docks onto the side to add an analog stick and D-pad. Huawei wants you to compare this with the Nintendo Switch and its smaller, lower-res screen, but it’s notably missing a secondary side with A/B/X/Y face buttons, which you get on alternatives like the ROG Phone’s third-party controller.
Strangely, the Mate 20 X has a lower-resolution 1080p screen versus the Mate 20 Pro, it lacks the in-screen fingerprint reader, and its water and dust resistance isn’t quite as impressive. Maybe that helps to explain its lower 900 Euro price for the 6GB/128GB model. It goes on sale on October 26th.