Huawei to go
The world’s second biggest smartphone manufacturer has just released a beast of a phone
THEY’VE really done it this time – Huawei has gone for broke with its latest Android smartphone – and it’s a beast. The Mate 20 Pro is, I’d say, the most powerful Android phone you can buy, has the best camera in any Android device, and, well, it looks pretty special, too.
It’s a brand a lot of people might not have heard of until quite recently (much less actually know how to say out loud), but Huawei is no young upstart. It is the second biggest manufacturer of smartphones.
The Chinese company has grown dramatically from its homeland in recent years, and now commands a place at the top table of global telecommunications companies. And there is no doubt that the Mate 20 Pro is the pinnacle of its achievements in the smartphone world.
Obviously, a run down of the specs does not tell the whole story, but if it did it would be a glorious and epic tale.
The 6.4in OLED screen boasts a pixel density of 538ppi – it’s super sharp and bright, although the novelty of the curved edges wears a bit thin when edge-toedge text occasionally becomes unreadable.
The power at the heart of the thing is Huawei’s own Kirin
980, it’s innovative, fast and responsive, as well as being power-efficient, and is backed up by 8GB of RAM to help make everything as snappy as possible.
And then there’s the wireless connectivity – I could throw stats at you, but let’s just say no phone is capable of faster download speeds via cellular or wifi connectivity. It’s a screamer.
It looks sensational, too, with a unique textured glass finish, coming in four colours, which reflects light beautifully and resists fingerprint marks.
Then there’s the battery – a 4200 mAh unit that, frankly, is nothing less than this powerhouse demands. There’s fast wireless charging as well, which can pump the power up to 70% of the battery’s capacity in just 30 minutes.
You can add in to that mix an amazing fingerprint scanner, which sits under the screen and is invisible (don’t worry, an on-screen prompt tells you where to put your finger). You may never even use that, though, as the Mate20 Pro also includes iPhone-esque facial recognition unlocking.
You should have guessed by now that Huawei have thrown the kitchen sink at this thing... and we haven’t even mentioned the camera yet. In-keeping with the theme that more is more, the Mate20 Pro’s back camera boasts three Leica-lensed cameras – a 40MP (yes, 40MP) main RGB lens is the main powerhouse, and there’s also an 8MP telephoto lens to bring things up close, and a new 20MP ultra wide angle to help with landscape images.
And what photos it takes! The AI magic that helps the phone process the camera settings according to the scene works sensationally, and while the portrait mode setting with blurred background might be a little too aggressive for some tastes, there’s no denying the results are impressive.
In movie mode, too, there are some nice touches, like a selection of film filters that run on your video in real time and give a unique look to the footage.
I am not a fan of Huawei’s EMUI Android skin, which layers a look and feel to the device over the standard look of Android (which I much prefer), or the company’s standard apps, which in most cases are inferior to the stock apps from Google. So there’s a little bit of sorting out to be done in that regard. But when you ally Huawei’s magnificent hardware with Google’s software, great things can happen. I can’t picture a more capable Android device at this point, and I don’t expect to see one any time soon.
If Android is your bag, and your digital life is lived through Google, you won’t find more power anywhere else.
■ The Huawei Mate20 Pro is available from October 26 and costs £899.
The Huawei Mate 20 Pro, left, has some fantastic features including a camera that will take stunning pictures like this one
The portrait mode setting on the Mate 20 Pro’s camera produces impressive results