In the battle for this year's best smartphones, Huawei is after the heavyweight belt. With the Mate 20 Pro, it did plenty of bragging, threw a few sly punches at its rivals and then delivered a device that if not a knockout, could well win on points.
It's now available in New Zealand and we've been giving it the onceover in the newsroom.
It packs the firm's new 7-nanometer Kirin 980 SoC. This is comparable to Apple's 7-nm A12 Bionic with much of the new power for the photography features and graphics processing. Overall, it allows for a fast and efficient user experience.
The Mate 20 Pro has a 6.39-inch OLED HDR panel running an above 2K resolution. It's rich and vibrant.
A 40-megapixel main sensor, a 20-megapixel wide-angle lens and an eight-megapixel telephoto shooter are laid out in an attractive square shape on the back. This design feature is something that helps the phone stand out from the pack.
By getting rid of the monochrome sensor (found on previous devices) in favour of the ultra-wide sensor, it's allowed for better cityscapes and detailed macro shots.
Like the iPhone XS, the Mate 20 Pro works well at seeing scenes that have been under or over exposed and correcting automatically as soon as the shot has been captured
If there are criticisms to be had, it's that the pictures can sometimes look a little too artificial looking. A bit too saturated colourwise or over-sharp.
However, when trying out the camera alongside the iPhone XS and Samung Galaxy Note 9, it was Huawei's photos that won the most fans in the Newshub.
Master AI definitely does all the hard work for the average photographer.
You really don't need to know anything about taking photos to get good shots.
And occasionally though it does get it wrong. It recognises heaps of scenes but mistook tree bark for snow in my garden during testing.
For those who love filming everything, a bonus of the Mate 20 Pro is that it shoot videos at 4K/30FPS with stabilization, something previous Huawei phones didn't offer.
Better battery life
The phone has easily lasted for two days at a time for me with reasonable use for browsing, a bit of YouTube etc. It wouldn’t do so well for hardcore gamers, but still impressive.
The phone has both facial recognition unlocking and on-screen fingerprint unlock.
The former is not that useful. Like the Oppo Find X it can only be used to unlock the phone whereas on the iPhone XS, face scanning can be used to verify every part of my identity.
I did like the fingerprint scanner and its position in the middle of the screen.
Sound comes out of the USB-C port and earpiece, instead of speaker grilles. It produces surprisingly good sound.
If you don't like big phones, there is no point looking at the Mate 20 Pro. It's lighter that the Galaxy Note 9 and a wee bit slimmer than the iPhone XS Max but it's still a large device. A bit undwieldy in my girly hands. These premium phones always feel like they’re designed for men.
Looks-wise, it's definitely still stylish. I really likethe new camera layout on the back. It’s also reassuring to know that if I want to get rid of the notch on the display, I can simply turn it off.
Huawei's EMUI skin on top of Android still need a bit of work. The icons look like they belong on the iPhone and the app tray isn’t great either.
One feature I didn't get to test was 3D Life Object. It's available in an update this month.
Huawei is making good inroads in New Zealand and this phone will only add to its street cred. No it's not as fashionable as some of its other phones, or indeed competitor devices, but if you need a new big phone to run your life, and the price of competitors' offerings makes you flinch, you won't go wrong with a Mate 20 Pro.