Mate 20 X 5G hands-on: Huawei's largest and fastest flagship ever deserves your attention

Mate 20 X 5G hands-on: Huawei's largest and fastest flagship ever deserves your attention


Huawei Mate 20 X 5G hands-on

The Mate 20 X 5G’s dual speakers will also keep owners engrossed in video (Image: Express Newspapers)

Mate 20 X 5G is Huawei’s first 5G flagship smartphone – the device is extremely similar to the regular Mate 20 X that launched back in October last year but is capable of delivering next-generation internet speeds.

The Mate 20 X 5G does not compromise on features and specifications to deliver 5G connectivity though – it comes with a titanic display, astounding battery life and one of the best camera systems on the market.

Without further ado, here is Express.co.uk’s first impressions of the Mate 20 X 5G.

Design and display

The Huawei Mate 20 X 5G is an absolute beast of a smartphone – it boasts a monolithic 7.2-inch display that has the resolution of 1080×2244 and the density of 345-pixels-per-inch.

This flagship certainly blurs the line between smartphone and tablet – its size cannot be understated.

Using the device with one hand is nigh impossible – attempting to do so results in awkward hand shuffling where the product feels only an accidental slip away from crashing to the ground.

The Mate 20 X 5G’s display is striking to say the least and it is certainly tailored for gaming and video consumption.

During our time testing the device so far, Express.co.uk has been surprised with how much we enjoy its ridiculously large panel – scrolling through typical applications such as Instagram are so much more immersive when the photos displayed are exponentially larger than on any other competing product.

The Mate 20 X 5G’s dual speakers will also keep owners engrossed in video, too – the device is able to get incredibly loud while still retaining great levels of clarity.

Moreover, the Mate 20 X 5G also excels in productivity because of its added screen real estate too – this is easily our new favourite device for photo editing.

Huawei Mate 20 X 5G hands-on

Mate 20 X 5G is Huawei’s first 5G flagship smartphone (Image: Express Newspapers)

The panel’s sheer scale is by far an acceptable trade off for its somewhat average resolution in our eyes.

The Mate 20 X 5G’s screen is surrounded by extremely small bezels and has a tiny notch at its top that houses a single front-facing camera.

Turning the flagship over reveals a glass rear with a unique texture that appears to provide a greater resistance to fingerprints than most other handsets on the market.

Huawei has also placed unnecessary 5G branding on the Mate 20 X 5G’s back plate to make sure others know you have a phone capable of supporting next-generation internet speeds.

The Chinese flagship totes a triple-camera system on its rear in a square housing just like the Mate 20 Pro.

Unfortunately the Mate 20 X 5G comes without a headphone jack, a port the regular Mate 20 X did boast.

Plus, the device also comes with a physical fingerprint sensor on its rear and not one embedded in its display.

Huawei Mate 20 X 5G hands-on

We haven’t been able to put down the Mate 20 X 5G since the device arrived for testing (Image: Express Newspapers)

Performance

The Mate 20 X 5G totes expected fast internals – the device is powered by Huawei’s own Kirin 980 chipset, the same silicon as found in the Mate 20 Pro and P30 Pro.

The gigantic device also comes with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage.

During this outlet’s testing, the Huawei hardware has delivered rapid performance, even when under heavy loads.

Moreover, the product has also proved to be supremely capable where gaming is concerned – this outlet has played titles such as The Elder Scrolls: Blades, Asphalt 9: Legends and Fortnite on the Mate 20 X 5G, all of which have run smoothly.

However, the biggest reason to pick up this device, at least where performance is concerned, is for Huawei’s Balong 5000 modem housed inside it.

This component allows the product to support 5G speeds.

Express.co.uk has not tested the Mate 20 X 5G on either EE or Vodafone’s 5G network, so we are currently unable to comment on the device’s capabilities in this regard.

However, this publication has used a number of other 5G devices on both networks – we have been able to get over 250Mbps speeds on EE and 360Mbps on Vodafone in London.

Huawei Mate 20 X 5G hands-on

The Mate 20 X 5G’s display makes all content, such as Instagram, incredibly immersive (Image: Express Newspapers)

It is also worth noting the Mate 20 X 5G will also be available on Three’s 5G network launching later this month.

At the moment 5G is only available in select UK cities, meaning only those that live in supported areas will be able to take advantage of the new technology.

The increased speeds offered by 5G mean downloading or streaming movies, music and more is exponentially faster than on 4G.

Moreover, online mobile gaming will also be smoother when connected to a 5G network thanks to reduced latency.

Express.co.uk will test Huawei’s new device on 5G networks extensively before we deliver our final review.

Huawei Mate 20 X 5G hands-on

The Mate 20 X 5G has the same camera system as the Mate 20 Pro (Image: Express Newspapers)

Battery

Unfortunately, the Huawei Mate 20 X 5G does not come with the same monstrous 5,000mAh battery found inside the standard Mate 20 X.

Instead, the device houses a still sizeable 4,200mAh pack that has been able to easily deliver all-day life in Express.co.uk’s exhaustive testing.

The biggest disappointment in this regard comes from the device’s lack of support for wireless charging.

Because of this, the handset is also unable to perform any kind of reverse wireless charging – a feature that seems like a shoo-in for a flagship of this size.

Camera

The Huawei Mate 20 X 5G comes with the same camera system as the Mate 20 Pro, meaning the device flaunts a primary, telephoto and ultra wide-angle sensor that are each able to capture laudably detailed shots during the day and in low-light.

While the device doesn’t come with either the P30 Pro’s improved main shooter or its innovative zooming lens, the Mate 20 X 5G is still able to take some of the best snaps on a smartphone right now.

The Mate 20 X 5G can also record great video too – although it is worth noting the device cannot record in 4K at 60-frames-per-second like many of its rivals.

On its front the Huawei handset sports a single 24-megapixel front-facing camera that, once again, is the same as on the Mate 20 Pro.

The sensor certainly does not take the best selfies around – a huge reason for this is because the device has the tendency to smooth over front-facing shots.

Here are some camera samples taken on the Huawei Mate 20 X 5G:

Huawei Mate 20 X 5G camera sample

Huawei Mate 20 X 5G camera sample (Image: Express Newspapers)

Huawei Mate 20 X 5G camera test

Huawei Mate 20 X 5G camera sample (Image: Express Newspapers)

Huawei Mate 20 X 5G camera test

Huawei Mate 20 X 5G camera sample (Image: Express Newspapers)

Huawei Mate 20 X 5G camera test

Huawei Mate 20 X 5G camera sample (Image: Express Newspapers)

Huawei Mate 20 X 5G camera test

Huawei Mate 20 X 5G camera sample (Image: Express Newspapers)

Huawei Mate 20 X 5G camera test

Huawei Mate 20 X 5G camera sample (Image: Express Newspapers)

Huawei Mate 20 X 5G camera test

Huawei Mate 20 X 5G camera sample (Image: Express Newspapers)

Huawei Mate 20 X 5G camera test

Huawei Mate 20 X 5G camera sample (Image: Express Newspapers)

Price

The Huawei Mate 20 X 5G is available on various 5G plans from EE and Vodafone right now.

However, the device will also launch on Three’s next-generation network set to launch later this month.

Those wanting to pick up the device outright can do so for £999.

Huawei’s fastest flagship is certainly not cheap – especially when you consider the regular Mate 20 X – that comes with the same design, a bigger battery and a headphone jack but does not have 5G – can be picked up for £499.

Huawei Mate 20 X 5G hands-on

Huawei’s Balong 5000 modem is housed inside the Mate 20 X 5G (Image: Huawei)

Verdict

We haven’t been able to put down the Mate 20 X 5G since the device arrived for testing – its humongous 7.2-inch screen makes all content supremely immersive.

The phone’s panel, combined with its next-generation network capabilities, great camera and hefty battery make it one of our favourite 5G phones so far.

Huawei’s device will certainly not be for everyone though – those that are not fussed about taking advantage of 5G in its early form are better off with cheaper handsets that are just as capable.

Moreover, some will simply find the hardware too large and will be more tempted by the smaller 5G devices on the market.

Express.co.uk will issue our final thoughts on the Huawei Mate 20 X 5G after further testing.

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