Huawei Mate 20 Pro review

GSMArena team, 27 October 2018.

Display

Huawei Mate 20 Pro packs a curved 6.39" AMOLED screen with a large notch at the top. The resolution is 3,120 x 1,440 pixels, which makes for flagship-grade 538ppi density. The aspect ratio is 19.5:9 - among the tallest the market has to offer so far.

The screen supports the large DCI-P3 color space, and it can display native HDR10 content.

Huawei Mate 20 Pro review

According to the most recent reports, Huawei has opted out of Samsung's screens and chose BOE for its main OLED supplier, while LG is the backup one. And the subpixel arrangement is easily giving away that switch.

Huawei Mate 20 Pro review

All Samsung OLED panels have Dimond PenTile subpixel arrangement, while the BOE's OLED matrix uses Triangular PenTile pattern also known as RGB-Delta. It has the green subpixel split in two, but other than this oddity, the panel is still PenTile, just with a different arrangement that was once very popular on the CRT monitors.

The screen of the Mate 20 Pro has two Color modes - Normal and Vivid. Each of those also has three sub-modes - Default, Warm, and Cold.

The Vivid option represents the DCI-P3 color space, while the Normal one switches to sRGB. Huawei hasn't specified this anywhere, so we had to find it the hard way - by testing the screen in our lab.

Anyway, the Mate 20 Pro comes set on Vivid by default and we suggest leaving it this way. The mode offers 508 nits of (manual) maximum brightness, but it can go as high as 660 nits in bright light if you leave it on auto. There is a minor light bleed on the pitch-black screen, but this is not unseen and nothing to worry about.

Display test 100% brightness
Black, cd/m2 White, cd/m2 Contrast ratio
Huawei Mate 20 Pro 0.002 508 254000
Huawei Mate 20 Pro (Max Auto) 0.003 657 219000
Huawei Mate 20 0.347 491 1415
Huawei Mate 20 (Max Auto) 0.554 778 1404
Huawei Mate 10 (vivid) 0.314 433 1379
Huawei Mate 10 (max auto vivid) 0.468 667 1425
Huawei Mate 10 Pro (vivid) 0 440
Huawei Mate 10 Pro (max auto vivid) 0 623
Huawei P20 Pro 0 412
Huawei P20 Pro (Max Auto) 0 582
Huawei P20 0.328 477 1454
Huawei P20 (Max Auto) 0.481 695 1445
Samsung Galaxy Note9 0 367
Samsung Galaxy Note9 (Max Auto) 0 658
Samsung Galaxy S9+ 0 376
Samsung Galaxy S9+ (Max Auto) 0 631
Apple iPhone X 0 679
Apple iPhone XS 0 660
Apple iPhone XS Max 0 653
Sony Xperia XZ3 0 442
Sony Xperia XZ3 (Max Auto) 0 620
Razer Phone 2 0.401 380 948
Razer Phone 2 (Max Auto) 0.403 426 1057
OnePlus 6 0 456
LG G7 ThinQ 0.225 460 2044
LG G7 ThinQ (outdoor) 0.499 920 1844
Xiaomi Mi 8 0 458
Xiaomi Mi 8 (Max Auto) 0.002 624 312000
Xiaomi Pocophone F1 0.314 461 1468
HTC U12+ 0.2 366 1830
HTC U12+ (Max Auto) 0.214 389 1818

The average deltaE we measured for the screen on Vivid is 4.7 with a maximum deviation of 7.5, which is not the best accuracy, but fine enough. You can fix the bluish whites by switching to Warm color temperature, but the overall accuracy won't improve by much.

The color accuracy for the Normal (sRGB) mode is pretty much the same as for the Vivid (DCI-P3), and again, switching to the Warm setting won't do much in improving it.

The sunlight contrast on the Huawei Mate 20 Pro is excellent, if not class-leading, but we expected nothing less from an AMOLED screen.

Sunlight contrast ratio

  • Apple iPhone XS
    5.171
  • Apple iPhone X
    5.013
  • Huawei Mate 20 Pro
    4.965
  • OnePlus 5T
    4.789
  • Samsung Galaxy S8
    4.768
  • Samsung Galaxy S8+
    4.658
  • Samsung Galaxy S9
    4.63
  • Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+
    4.615
  • Samsung Galaxy S9+
    4.537
  • Samsung Galaxy Note9
    4.531
  • Apple iPhone XS Max
    4.516
  • Sony Xperia XZ3
    4.502
  • Motorola Moto Z2 Play
    4.459
  • Oppo R11
    4.454
  • Samsung Galaxy S7 edge
    4.439
  • OnePlus 3
    4.424
  • Samsung Galaxy S7
    4.376
  • OnePlus 6
    4.321
  • HTC One A9
    4.274
  • Oppo R15 Pro
    4.251
  • Samsung Galaxy Note7
    4.247
  • Samsung Galaxy A3
    4.241
  • Nokia 8
    4.239
  • Google Pixel 2 XL (pre-update)
    4.234
  • OnePlus 3T
    4.232
  • Google Pixel XL
    4.164
  • ZTE Axon 7
    4.154
  • Samsung Galaxy Note8
    4.148
  • Meizu Pro 7 Plus
    4.147
  • Samsung Galaxy S6 edge
    4.124
  • Samsung Galaxy A7 (2017)
    4.124
  • vivo V11
    4.113
  • Huawei Mate 10 Pro (normal)
    4.096
  • Samsung Galaxy Note5
    4.09
  • Huawei P20 Pro
    4.087
  • Xiaomi Mi 8
    4.086
  • Meizu 15
    4.082
  • Nokia 6 (2018)
    4.052
  • Google Pixel 2 (pre-update)
    4.023
  • LG V30
    4.022
  • Huawei Nexus 6P
    4.019
  • vivo NEX S
    4.012
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 Pro
    3.998
  • Vivo Xplay5 Elite
    3.983
  • OnePlus X
    3.983
  • LG G7 ThinQ (outdoor)
    3.978
  • Oppo R7s
    3.964
  • Apple iPhone 7
    3.964
  • Apple iPhone 8 (True Tone)
    3.957
  • Huawei P9 Plus
    3.956
  • Oppo Find X
    3.954
  • Meizu Pro 6 Plus
    3.935
  • Lenovo Moto Z
    3.931
  • Samsung Galaxy A7 (2016)
    3.918
  • OnePlus 5
    3.914
  • Samsung Galaxy C5
    3.911
  • Xiaomi Mi 8 SE
    3.901
  • Samsung Galaxy C7
    3.896
  • Samsung Galaxy A5
    3.895
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 outdoor
    3.879
  • Samsung Galaxy J2 outdoor
    3.873
  • Motorola Moto G6 Plus
    3.865
  • Samsung Galaxy A8
    3.859
  • Samsung Galaxy A8 (2018)
    3.842
  • Microsoft Lumia 950XL
    3.837
  • Samsung Galaxy A6+ (2018)
    3.834
  • Sony Xperia XZs
    3.818
  • Samsung Galaxy A9 (2016)
    3.817
  • Motorola Moto X (2014)
    3.816
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 (2017)
    3.812
  • Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017)
    3.804
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016) outdoor mode
    3.802
  • Xiaomi Redmi Pro
    3.798
  • LG V20 Max auto
    3.798
  • Sony Xperia XZ
    3.795
  • Samsung Galaxy A5 (2016)
    3.789
  • Apple iPhone 6s
    3.783
  • Meizu Pro 5
    3.781
  • Microsoft Lumia 650
    3.772
  • Xiaomi Mi 6
    3.767
  • Sony Xperia XZ1
    3.765
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016)
    3.756
  • Nokia 8 Sirocco
    3.745
  • Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact
    3.729
  • Apple iPhone 8 Plus (True Tone)
    3.725
  • Oppo F1 Plus
    3.709
  • Vivo X5Pro
    3.706
  • Samsung Galaxy A3 (2017)
    3.688
  • Huawei P20
    3.683
  • Apple iPhone SE
    3.681
  • Huawei Mate 9
    3.68
  • Samsung Galaxy A7
    3.679
  • Sony Xperia XZ2 Compact
    3.675
  • Meizu PRO 6
    3.659
  • BlackBerry Priv
    3.645
  • Sony Xperia XA1 Ultra
    3.597
  • Apple iPhone 7 Plus
    3.588
  • Sony Xperia XZ2
    3.58
  • LG G6
    3.556
  • Apple iPhone 6s Plus
    3.53
  • Motorola Moto Z Play
    3.526
  • Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016) outdoor mode
    3.523
  • Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016)
    3.523
  • Acer Jade Primo
    3.521
  • Microsoft Lumia 950
    3.512
  • Oppo R7 Plus
    3.499
  • Nokia 7 plus
    3.479
  • nubia Z11
    3.466
  • Huawei P10 Plus
    3.456
  • HTC U Ultra
    3.453
  • Motorola Moto G6
    3.448
  • Sony Xperia XA2 Plus
    3.445
  • Sony Xperia XA2 Ultra
    3.445
  • Samsung Galaxy J7
    3.422
  • Motorola Moto G6 Play
    3.419
  • Meizu MX5
    3.416
  • LG V20
    3.402
  • Samsung Galaxy A6 (2018)
    3.397
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 AI Dual Camera
    3.393
  • LG G7 ThinQ
    3.39
  • Huawei P10
    3.379
  • Samsung Galaxy J5 (2016)
    3.378
  • Oppo R9s
    3.352
  • Honor Play
    3.349
  • Honor 8 Pro
    3.341
  • Oppo F7
    3.333
  • Oppo R7
    3.32
  • Lenovo P2
    3.316
  • Archos Diamond Omega
    3.305
  • Honor 9
    3.289
  • Xiaomi Mi 5s
    3.276
  • Nokia 5
    3.261
  • Nokia 6 (Chinese version)
    3.244
  • Xiaomi Mi 5
    3.24
  • Nokia 6 (Global version)
    3.238
  • Oppo Realme 2 Pro
    3.235
  • Samsung Galaxy J2
    3.235
  • Sony Xperia X Performance
    3.234
  • Xiaomi Mi Note 2
    3.228
  • Motorola Moto X Play
    3.222
  • Oppo F3 Plus
    3.218
  • BlackBerry KEY2
    3.212
  • Huawei Mate 9 Pro
    3.206
  • Huawei P9
    3.195
  • Xiaomi Mi Mix 2
    3.19
  • ZTE Nubia Z17
    3.159
  • Oppo R11s
    3.153
  • Lenovo Vibe Shot
    3.113
  • HTC U11 Life
    3.108
  • Motorola Moto X Force
    3.105
  • LG Nexus 5X
    3.092
  • HTC U11
    3.089
  • Xiaomi Mi A2 Lite
    3.087
  • HTC U12+
    3.085
  • Xiaomi Redmi S2 (Y2)
    3.077
  • Huawei Mate S
    3.073
  • Oppo F9
    3.069
  • Microsoft Lumia 640 XL
    3.065
  • Xiaomi Mi Max 3
    3.061
  • Xiaomi Pocophone F1
    3.059
  • Huawei Mate 20 Lite
    3.051
  • Apple iPhone 6 Plus
    3.023
  • Asus Zenfone 4 ZE554KL
    3.019
  • Sony Xperia XA1
    3.012
  • Motorola Moto X4
    3.012
  • Oppo Realme 2
    3.006
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 6 Pro
    2.966
  • Huawei P20 Lite
    2.952
  • Xiaomi Redmi 5
    2.951
  • Huawei Mate 8
    2.949
  • Sony Xperia XA2
    2.938
  • Oppo Realme 1
    2.932
  • Xiaomi Redmi 4
    2.92
  • Xiaomi Redmi 3S
    2.913
  • Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus
    2.913
  • Sony Xperia XA Ultra
    2.906
  • LG G5
    2.905
  • Huawei Honor View 10
    2.896
  • Xiaomi Redmi 3s Prime
    2.893
  • Xiaomi Mi 5s Plus
    2.884
  • Sony Xperia XZ Premium
    2.877
  • Sony Xperia XZ Premium (sRGB)
    2.877
  • Nokia 3.1
    2.837
  • Lenovo Moto M
    2.813
  • Nokia 7.1
    2.804
  • Xiaomi Redmi 3 Pro
    2.803
  • Sony Xperia Z5 compact
    2.784
  • Honor 10 (Vivid)
    2.757
  • Nokia 2
    2.752
  • Meizu MX6
    2.751
  • LG V10
    2.744
  • Huawei Mate 10 (normal)
    2.742
  • Motorola Moto G5S Plus
    2.737
  • Xiaomi Redmi 3
    2.735
  • Huawei Honor 7X
    2.734
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 (S625)
    2.714
  • Meizu M5
    2.71
  • Xiaomi Mi A2
    2.696
  • Sony Xperia M5
    2.69
  • Xiaomi Mi A1
    2.689
  • Huawei P9 Lite
    2.679
  • Xiaomi Redmi 4 Prime
    2.679
  • vivo V7+
    2.671
  • Vivo V3Max
    2.659
  • Xiaomi Mi Mix
    2.658
  • Huawei Mate 10 Lite
    2.654
  • Xiaomi Mi 5X (Standard)
    2.616
  • Lenovo K6 Note
    2.544
  • Oppo F1
    2.528
  • Sony Xperia Z5 Premium
    2.525
  • Lenovo Vibe K5
    2.459
  • Meizu m3 max
    2.447
  • Xiaomi Mi 5X (Auto)
    2.417
  • HTC 10 evo
    2.407
  • Huawei Honor 7
    2.406
  • Vivo V7
    2.404
  • Sony Xperia E5
    2.386
  • ZUK Z1 by Lenovo
    2.382

Battery life

The Huawei Mate 20 Pro is powered by a large 4,200 mAh battery. Being the more premium Mate from the new duo, it enjoys Huawei's new version of SuperCharge that goes up to 40W. The charger is rated 5V/2A, 9V/2A, or 10V/4A.

Unlike the regular SuperCharge, this one uses higher voltage and the battery does heat up. Huawei says the battery was TUV-certified for safety and users shouldn't have any worries.

So, the bundled cable and charger can fill a flat battery up to 74% in just 30 mins, 90% in 40 mins and 100% in 60 mins. That's not Oppo Find X Lamborghini Edition fast, but it's among the fastest solutions you can get today and downright impressive. The obvious downside is that you need proprietary chargers and cables for that to work.

In our testing, the Mate 20 Pro lasted upwards of 15 hours looping videos and fourteen hours running our web browsing script. The 3G voice call test returned a 29h talk time. All three of these numbers are slightly better than what we got out of the P20 Pro. The overall Endurance rating ended up 85 hours, though. That's lower than what we expected after such an excellent job on the standalone tests, but the standby performance is just average and it took its tall.

If you turn the under-display fingerprint sensor off, you can get a few extra hours due to the improved standby performance but the difference is not that huge to make disabling the feature completely worth it.

Huawei Mate 20 Pro review

Our endurance rating denotes how long a single battery charge will last you if you use the Huawei Mate 20 Pro for an hour each of telephony, web browsing, and video playback daily. We've established this usage pattern so our battery results are comparable across devices in the most common day-to-day tasks. The battery testing procedure is described in detail in case you're interested in the nitty-gritties. You can also check out our complete battery test table, where you can see how all of the smartphones we've tested will compare under your own typical use.

Speakers

Huawei Mate 20 Pro enjoys the same stereo speakers we've previously heard on the P20 Pro and Mate 10 Pro, among other devices. And while Huawei failed to mention this, it's also the same setup the regular Mate 20 has.

Huawei Mate 20 Pro review

Huawei hasn't upped its game when it comes to the speakers - it still uses the tiny and squeaky earpiece for a second speaker, and it still sounds rather cheap. Yes, it does the stereo effect, but the loudness of the speakers is mostly uneven, and you can tell. At some point, it might even become annoying.

Then there is the thing with the primary speaker being inside the USB port. While Huawei can argue the port is used as a chamber and amplifies the sound - it isn't louder than what we measured on the Mate 20. The sound does sound a bit deeper, but it's a minor difference.

Finally, when plugging a charger, the sound through the USB port does take a hit and it's as big as 50%. But then its loudness becomes more even with the earpiece's, so there is that.

So, the Huawei Mate 20 Pro speakers scored a Very Good mark in our loudness test, half a decibel shy of Excellent. The sound quality is about average though, far from the best in the industry. While playing some music, the audio was loud enough, but it's rather shallow and often squeaky.

Speakerphone testVoice, dB Pink noise/ Music, dB Ringing phone, dB Overall score
Huawei P20 (Film) 65.0 67.8 75.0 Average
Google Pixel 2 XL 66.2 70.4 78.2 Good
OnePlus 6 70.2 74.7 70.0 Good
Apple iPhone X 68.9 74.0 76.2 Very Good
Huawei P20 (Music) 65.1 70.5 86.6 Very Good
Samsung Galaxy S9+ 68.4 74.0 80.1 Very Good
Xiaomi Mi 8 68.1 72.3 82.2 Very Good
Apple iPhone XS 71.5 75.7 78.9 Very Good
Samsung Galaxy Note9 71.2 74.9 80.2 Very Good
Huawei Mate 20 74.3 70.2 82.6 Very Good
Oppo Find X 70.7 75.2 81.2 Very Good
Huawei Mate 20 Pro 70.3 73.4 83.8 Very Good
Google Pixel 2 70.0 77.0 81.1 Excellent
Huawei Mate 10 Pro 70.1 73.8 84.2 Excellent
Apple iPhone XS Max 70.5 74.0 84.7 Excellent
Sony Xperia XZ3 71.0 75.4 82.9 Excellent
Huawei P20 Pro 71.8 69.2 91.0 Excellent
Xiaomi Pocophone F1 72.8 74.7 86.6 Excellent
LG G7 ThinQ 78.3 76.4 82.3 Excellent
HTC U12+ (Music) 76.0 73.6 88.5 Excellent
Huawei Mate 10 90.6 73.7 84.0 Excellent

Audio quality

The Huawei Mate 20 Pro delivered a perfectly accurate output when connected to an active external amplifier, which is what we’d expect from a flagship these days. Even considering the price point, however, the clarity of its output with headphones was impressive. Stereo crosstalk barely increased, which is a real rarity and the other readings were hardly affected either.

The area where the Mate 20 Pro doesn’t shine is loudness - it was above average without headphones and only average when we plugged those in. So, all in all, it's a very good, but not quite the perfect showing.

TestFrequency responseNoise levelDynamic rangeTHDIMD + NoiseStereo crosstalk
Huawei Mate 20 Pro+0.02, -0.09-87.787.00.00240.012-87.8
Huawei Mate 20 Pro (headphones)+0.15, -0.07-92.192.00.00290.149-82.2
Sony Xperia XZ3+0.01, -0.02-91.293.20.00240.0080-88.7
Sony Xperia XZ3 (headphones)+0.38, -0.21-93.192.50.00490.233-61.7
Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium+0.01, -0.02-91.093.40.00260.0082-87.6
Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium (headphones)+0.40, -0.20-92.991.20.00490.236-61.7
Samsung Galaxy Note9+0.01, -0.03-93.793.70.00170.0074-94.1
Samsung Galaxy Note9 (headphones)+0.03, -0.02-93.693.50.00330.046-93.2
Oppo Find X+0.03, -0.07-93.493.90.00120.0063-89.3
Oppo Find X (headphones)+0.01, -0.58-92.293.50.00880.330-55.7
HTC U12++0.02, -0.15-94.394.30.00210.0069-94.3
HTC U12+ (headphones)+0.18, -0.13-93.793.60.00240.104-52.7
LG V30+0.02, -0.01-93.293.10.00080.0069-94.2
LG V30 (headphones)+0.03, -0.02-92.992.90.00570.051-68.1

Huawei Mate 20 Pro frequency response
Huawei Mate 20 Pro frequency response

You can learn more about the tested parameters and the whole testing process here.

Reader comments

  • Anonymous

I received the update sign up in the hicare app a month ago still waiting for the software it has appeared twice in the settings menu when I click on it it says preparing to download then tells me the software is up to date on 9.0.0.266 lol so I'm no...

really!!!!!!

  • Mate 20 king

Got the update more than a week ago, in the hicare app