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Technology

Can the Huawei Mate 20 Pro convert iPhone Users?

Words by Gareth Kurt Warren

Long story short: Yes. I have used the iPhone X and Huawei Arabia’s latest Mate 20 Pro for the past month. And as my Mate 20 Pro review smartphone was collected, my Mate 20 Pro personal smartphone was delivered.

Huawei Mate 20 Pro Specs

Dimensions

157.8 x 72.3 x 8.6 mm

Weight

189 g

SIM

Nano-SIM

Display

6.39-inch, AMOLED

OS

Android 9.0 (Pie)

Chipset

HiSilicon Kirin 980

Memory

256GB/8GB RAM or 128GB,6GB

Rear Camera

40MP+20MP+8MP

Front Camera

24MP

Battery

4200 mAh

I have a feeling Huawei’s top brass sat down with its mobile development team, asked them to pick out the best features in every competing smartphone and add them all into the Mate 20 Pro.

And they did.

Having used the Mate S, the Mate 8, the Mate 10 and the P20 Pro over the years, I’m a fan of Huawei phones. However I still preferred the iPhone — namely the X. It would take a really special Android to make me look the other way.

Here are the stats for spec heads. And for those who don’t care very much about numbers, I’ll break it down.

The latest operating system (Android 9) runs on Huawei’s most powerful chipset (the Kirin 980) and is powered by an incredibly large battery at 4200 mAh.

Besides being packed with features you would expect from any self-respecting flagship such as waterproofing, decent memory, etc., the Mate 20 Pro also features an industry-leading Leica Triple camera which we will talk about later.

Now, at first glance the phone is beautiful. Its colours cater to everyone.

Midnight Blue and Black for the minimalists, multi-coloured Twilight for the OTT posers, and Emerald Green for the classy bunch that appreciates good design and prefers standing out from the rest – but not too far out.

I obviously chose the Emerald Green.

The finish on the phone is unique and different. Not only from the other Huawei colours, but from every other smartphone out there.

Pictures do not do this finish justice, so swing by a store and take a look at this beauty up close.

Each colour way sports a rusty-red power button on the right of the phone under the volume rockers – which is a neat touch. The SIM and memory card tray is at the bottom, next to the USB Type-C charging port. The left and top of the phone is clean.

huawei mate 20 pro

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Two of my favourite things

Before we dive into the camera, there are two unique and quirky things I have to mention about this phone:

  • the wireless reverse charging, and
  • the fingerprint and face sensor.

Prior to getting my hands on it, Daanesh from #GNTECH blew my mind with the device’s wireless reverse charging. iPhones are famous for their less-than-a-day battery life. He placed my X on his Mate, back-to-back, and, well, wirelessly charged my phone.

As simple as it sounds – it’s an amazing feature to have. And with a 4300mAh battery (the iPhone XS is 2658 mAh), every group of friends must have at least one Mate 20 Pro on a long night out.

The second thing that really impressed me about the phone is its face and fingerprint unlock. I feel the face unlock is similar, if not a bit quicker, than the iPhone X. It is incredibly intuitive even from 2 feet away. You wouldn’t actually even need the fingerprint sensor as it unlocks while you pick it up.

It can even recognise you when it’s on a flat surface about 80% of the time. This wasn’t something I could enjoy on my iPhone.

You would only have to use the fingerprint sensor if you’re looking at it from a strange angle while it’s on a flat surface. And it’s more theatrics than functionality. The sensor is embedded within the screen itself. Which is a pretty cool party trick that you can show your iPhone-using friends right before you charge their phones with the Battery-Charity Feature ©.

Huawei Mate 20 Pro: The Camera(s)

Love the back, dislike the front. Don’t get me wrong – the selfie snapper is OK, but when you compare those images to what the Leica Triple camera on the rear can do – you would dislike them as well.

Allow me to explain and follow me on this.

Being someone who constantly takes pictures of friends on a night out (…and yes those friends don’t click pictures of me), my camera roll is packed with gorgeous pictures of them and flat mediocre selfies of me, alone, in the corner of the bar. It’s quite sad – similar to the image quality of my selfies.

The only reason I’m being quite hard on the 24MP front camera is because the rear set the bar quite high. The rear is a cluster that features a 40MP (wide angle lens) a 20MP (ultra wide angle lens) and an 8MP (telephoto lens) for crying out loud. How can anything compare to that.

Here’s a picture I clicked in Dubai Marina, with the ‘Night Mode’ on the Huawei Mate 20 Pro.

huawei mate 20 pro

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Huawei Mate 20 Pro: The one con

I did find one flaw with the phone. It’s mildly annoying but minor. If you use the case that comes in the box, and hold the phone with a normal grasp, the ridge of your little finger naturally slides into the groove of the case, near the opening of the charging port.

Now this seems normal, but when you’re listening to music out loud – your finger muffles it because for some reason Huawei decided the charging port would also double up as the main output for sound.

So yep. This can’t be fixed with a software update so we just have to live with it.

Mate 20 Pro over the iPhones?

One of the things I loved about the iPhone was the fluid interface, gestures and navigation. Huawei have incorporated this in its own little way – which makes the transition much easier.

Secondly, my Airpods work exactly the same way with the Mate 20 Pro as it did with the iPhone. However, I will miss Airdrop though.

To wrap up, Mate 20 Pro over the iPhones? Yes. Sorry Apple fans, but having used both devices extensively, my main pocket-piece for now is the Mate 20 Pro. I will however, look longingly towards September 2019 with hope in my heart.

 

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