Huawei Mate 20 Pro
Cool factor 5/5
Usability 5/5
Value for money 4/5

The Huawei Mate 20 Pro ticks a lot of the right boxes: speedy processor, excellent camera, long battery life, advanced built-in artificial intelligence (AI) features.

The smartphone has a stunning symmetrical design, and despite its large 6.4-inch screen still sits comfortably in one hand due to the narrow bezels, with almost edge-to-edge display. Love or hate the notch, it can be disabled. It is powered by a 7nm Kirin 980 AI chipset that’s speedy and more efficient than its predecessor, with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage.

I used as many apps as I loaded onto the device, switched between them, played games, edited photos and used the AI features from the video camera, and it handled everything without stuttering.

The triple lens set-up consists of a 40MP wide angle, 20MP ultra-wide angle and 8MP telephoto, delivering results previously not seen on a smartphone. I snapped large historical buildings in London without having to move further back, all captured through the ultra-wide angle. You can now do 2.5cm close-up macro shots; other handsets do it 8cm away from the subject.

AI comes into play through its ability to record video by isolating the subject and keeping it in colour, while keeping the background black and white. This is a nifty feature that could not be done natively on a smartphone before.

After two weeks of daily use, I didn’t need to recharge the handset or use a power bank between nightly charges: the 4200mAh battery is built to handle intensive tasks. On the occasion I forgot to charge the handset overnight, I powered it up to 70% in 30 minutes.

The Huawei Mate 20 Pro is easily the best Android smartphone released in 2018. It retails for R18,999 on prepaid on most networks.

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