Huawei Mate 20: Battery Life And The Verdict
Ever since the introduction of Android 7 Nougat, and even more so with Android 8 Oreo and 9 Pie, qualitative battery life testing has become a bit of a challenge. Unfortunately -- or fortunately as the case may be -- Google's mobile operating system is getting more aggressive at killing tasks that are consuming significant power over an extended duration and haven't had any user interaction. As a result, our usual PCMark Android battery test often fails on many phones. After a few trials, the Mate 20 was able to run the test, we just don't have as many comparison points as we would have liked...
Its exceptional battery life was one of the first things we noticed with the Mate 20. When actively testing the phone in real-world situations, it made it through our work day with ease. We used it under typical conditions -- making calls, texting, handling email, surfing the web, and ran a handful of apps. Even if we forgot to charge the Mate 20 at night after a full work day, there was still some battery life left in the morning. Even after we were done with the hands on testing, we found we could leave the Mate 20 on for days on end, come back to it and it would still have some life left. Considering how well it handled in the real-world and while asleep, it's easy to see why it was the top performer in our battery drain test.
We spent a lot of time with the Huawei Mate 20 over the course of our evaluation. In that time we found a few minor issues with the phone, but our overall experience was overwhelmingly positive. The Mate 20 has a great camera, costs less than the Mate 20 Pro and many other high-end smartphones, and it offers strong performance and amazing battery life. The only real downsides to the Mate 20 are the facts that there is no official U.S. version, so carrier support may be spotty, and you may need to supply your own charger. The charger included with the Mate 20 has an international power plug, so you'll either have to buy an adapter or use one of the million USB chargers we all have laying around at this point. Some consumers may also be concerned with the U.S. government's accusations against Huawei, but that doesn't take away from the quality of the device.
Despite its short comings (in the U.S market at least) the Huawei Mate 20 is one hell of a phone. The battery life is industry leading and the camera is excellent. Picture quality was outstanding in a wide variety of environments and lighting conditions. And using the proprietary Master AI software to enhance photos typically made things even better, though at times the AI could add a little too much contrast. Still, the Mate 20's picture quality was impressive, which is great considering this isn't the company's flagship model. So, if you're in the market for a high performance smartphone with a killer camera, add the Mate 20 to your short list.
The Mate 20's screen is also striking. The screen-to-bezel ratio is extremely small, so there's very little to get in the way when you're playing games or watching movies. Image quality is also top-notch, but the display uses IPS technology and not OLED, like the Mate 20 Pro. Gaming and graphics performance, while good, isn't on the same level as many current-gen smartphones either, so if you're a heavy gamer this might not be the option for you. For most users though, the Mate 20 is an extremely snappy and relatively affordable phone that will handle daily smartphone duties with aplomb.