2018’s been a massive year for Huawei – the company unveiled the first rear-facing triple camera on a smartphone (something that’s now becoming the norm), introduced the gradient colour back (which companies including Samsung and Motorola have adopted) and overtook Apple to become the second largest smartphone manufacturer in the world.
The recently unveiled Mate 20 Pro is the crowning jewel in an already impressive device portfolio for Huawei, but it’s facing one major criticism – it looks too much like the iPhone XS.
It’s a fair criticism, in fact, I’ve gone as far as saying that the Mate 20 Pro is the lovechild of the Samsung Galaxy S9 and the iPhone XS.
However, it’s also so much more than that. It takes the best of 2018’s flagships, makes it better and then puts it all in one handset.
Here’s how the Mate 20 Pro stacks up against the iPhone XS Max:
|Feature||Mate 20 Pro||iPhone XS Max|
|Display||2K 6.39-inch OLED. 3120 x 1440. 538 PPI||Super Retina HD 6.5-inch OLED. 2688 x 1242. 458 PPI|
|Storage||128GB or 256GB (storage options depend on region). Exapndable via NM SD card.||64GB or 256GB or 512GB. Non-expandable.|
|Cameras||Rear facing: Leica triple camera – 40MP (wide angle f/1.8 aperture) + 20MP (ultra wide angle lens, f/2.2 aperture + 8MP (telephoto f/2.4 aperture). Front camera (with 3D depth sensing camera) : 24MP f/2.0 aperture.||Rear facing: Dual 12MP wide angle (f/1.8 aperture) and telephoto (f/2.4 aperture) lenses. Front facing (True Depth) camera: 7MP f/2.2 aperture.|
|IP rating||IP 68||IP 68|
|Chipset||7nm Kirin 980 with NPU (Neural Processing Unit)||7nm A12 Bionic with Neural Engine|
|Security||3D Face Unlock, Under Glass fingerprint scanner, PIN||Face ID, PIN|
|Headphone jack||No, however, a 3.5mm to USB type C dongle is included in the box||No. No 3.5mm to Lightning dongle included in the box.|
|Extras||Google Assistant, 40W Huawei SuperCharge, 15W Huawei Wireless Quick Charge, Reverse Wireless charge, dual speakers.||Siri, wireless charging, dual speakers.|
As you can see, the Mate 20 Pro is only marginally smaller than the iPhone XS Max, however, it has a larger battery, a triple camera setup and weighs almost 30g less.
Yes, you could argue that smartphones are not all about specs and that it’s about how well everything is optimised to work together, and that’s exactly what Huawei’s done with the Mate 20 Pro. Their battery optimisation is industry leading and as a super heavy user, I’ve consistently gotten over 2 full days (averaging over 10 hours a day) on a single charge and that includes streaming high-quality audio, watching Netflix and YouTube in Full HD as well as the regular messaging and social media use. On the Galaxy Note 9 for example, I can’t make it through a day without needing to plug my phone in to charge before I leave the office.
The one advantage that Apple has with the iPhone is that they are in charge of both the hardware and the software, something that Huawei cannot claim because the Android OS is controlled by Google.
Despite that, the Mate 20 Pro is the most flawless Android device I’ve ever used and packs in more features than its iPhone and Android competitors.
Huawei has done exactly what Apple has done for years – take existing features and software, make it better and then put it into their handsets.
The battle for smartphone dominance is no longer between Apple and Samsung, it’s now between Samsung and Huawei, and the Chinese company has proven that it has the skill, expertise, drive and innovation to not only take on the world’s number 1 smartphone brand but replace them.
If you’re anti-notch and you need a 3.5mm headphone jack, then the Mate 20 Pro and iPhones are most likely not the devices for you, but if you want the most advanced technology, amazing battery and first-class camera, then the Mate 20 Pro is the best, most advanced phone you can get in South Africa.
In fact, it’s so good, that we’ve named it our Phone of the Year for 2018!