Breaking something of a market monopoly is a tall order. The fact that 82% of teenagers in the US have opted for an iPhone ahead of any Android-based competitors underlines the challenge that rivals face in toppling Apple’s prominence when it comes to smartphones.
So why are we here discussing the latest effort from Huawei when much of the western world is so set in their ways? Well, the Huawei Mate 20 Pro could be a game changer. Confidently labelled as the phone that ‘the iPhone XS should be’ by Wired, this impressive handset has been making sizable waves within the industry amid faltering sales for Apple’s flagship models.
When they released the XS, Apple redefined our perception of what goes into a luxury phone – as well as the retail price for high-end models. Android manufacturers have found themselves wandering into blind alleyways trying to compete, but finally, we have solid proof that a smartphone exists that’s capable of going toe-to-toe with the finest of Apple’s technology and even surpass the computing juggernauts.
So, is the Huawei Mate 20 Pro the world’s best smartphone?
It’s hard to know where to start when it comes to the Huawei Mate 20 Pro. Visually we’re treated to the type of large, infinity pool-esque screen that’s become something of a standard with modern high-end smartphones.
The Mate 20 Pro’s 6.39 inch OLED screen is complemented by an impressive Quad HD (1440p) resolution, providing the crisp picture you’d expect from a model of its stature.
However, it’s in Huawei’s improved security measures that we really begin to see why the Mate 20 Pro is such an impressive handset.
Here, Huawei has ‘borrowed’ Apple’s Face ID feature for supreme bio metric security – the phone even has an IR dot projector that enables face recognition functionality even in poor lighting conditions.
Another excellent addition to the security of the Mate 20 Pro is the in-screen fingerprint sensor. Hover a finger over the display and the area used by the finger scanner glows. This in-screen tech works by searching for your fingerprint in-between the pixels of the OLED panel.
At a time when sensitive data is seemingly so easy to compromise, Huawei’s move to embrace advanced bio-metrics represents some much-needed steps away from the altogether less secure old standard of relentless pass-codes and login screens.
The Huawei Mate 20 Pro’s camera has a very solid claim as the best of its kind. With the front 24-megapixel camera capable of facial recognition and the back boasting three cameras rolled into one for superior image quality.
Stuff magazine sums up the Mate 20 Pro’s camera thus: “Instead of a monochrome sensor, it adds a 20MP ultra-wide-angle camera alongside the 40MP wide-angle and 8MP telephoto lenses. Added benefits over the P20 Pro include better close-up shooting and certainly improved wide-angle shots, plus it delivers startlingly strong nighttime shots.”
The adaptability of the Huawei Mate 20 Pro’s camera to nearly all environments regardless of light level is spectacular. The added perks of 3x and 5x optical and digital zooms coupled with features like ‘portrait mode.’
The Mate 20 Pro’s AI comes out in full force when it comes to camera work, and the phone is capable of differentiating between faces and detecting landscapes – all the while offering different photography modes to better support the end product. Essentially, with this handset, anybody can become a master photographer.
The Huawei Mate 20 Pro and Apple iPhone XS were the first two smartphones to be released with processors made with a 7nm production process.
The iPhone XS’ A12 Bionic processor is a monstrous addition to the handset and is unlikely to be beaten for speed by competitors for a long time.
That said, the Mate 20 Pro’s Kirin 980 chip is still an excellent and smooth performer that’s perfectly capable of handling most tasks that the Android 9 Pie-powered EMUI 9.0 could throw at it.
Essentially, if the quest for the world’s best smartphone could be resolved based on processing power alone, then the iPhone X series would remain head and shoulders above the chasing pack for the foreseeable future.
Never one to be beaten on mod-cons, Huawei has packed plenty of pleasant surprises both inside and outside of the Mate 20 Pro.
The first welcome addition is that of the standard 40W ‘super’ charger that’s capable of charging the phone’s battery from 0% to 70% in 30 half an hour. The handset also acts as a sort of two-way wireless charger. When you connect your Mate 20 Pro to a wireless charging spot – it becomes capable of supplying battery life to other wireless charging devices that are placed on top of it.
As for battery life itself, Huawei has outdone themselves. With a seismic 4,200mAh battery under the bonnet, you could easily find yourself browsing on your smartphone all the way through into a second day of usage.
Of course, it’s important to remember that the best smartphone is a subjective title and dependent on a lot of factors that have subjective importance.
If you’re looking for a high performing phone that’s already integrated into the familiar Apple ID framework that many of us have become so familiar with then it’s a safe bet to stick with Apple’s high-end X models.
However, if you’re after a handset that’s truly a breath of fresh air, boasting useful and innovative functions and an astoundingly strong camera to boot, then the Huawei Mate 20 Pro may well be your cellular soulmate.
Then, of course, there’s the price. It may have a strong claim for being the world’s best smartphone but the Huawei Mate 20 Pro doesn’t carry the inflated price tags used by so many competitors.