REVIEW: Huawei Mate 20 X 5G

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REVIEW: Huawei Mate 20 X 5G

The Huawei Mate 20 X is back... and it welcomes you to the 5G era

By Alvin R Cabral

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Published: Fri 26 Jul 2019, 12:00 AM

Last updated: Sat 27 Jul 2019, 8:50 PM

In January, Huawei introduced us to the Mate 20 X, which was crazy-fast. Add another speedy component and what do you have? The Huawei Mate 20 X 5G, of course.
We won't go into all the details here, since the Mate 20 X 5G is practically the Mate 20 X, only on 5G. But, the second 5G Huawei device (after the foldable Mate X) is what you'd expect it to be: insanely fast, multiple times that of what we're enjoying with the present 4G/LTE standard. There's one fact we all know through: 5G is not available everywhere in the UAE. Both Etisalat and du, on their respective websites, have 'heat maps' that show where their 5G spots are in the country. Virgin Mobile also has its own list.
Ergo, you'll only get a 5G signal when you're within range of a 5G tower that belts it out. In the areas where I took the smartphone - Dubai Internet City, Tecom, Downtown Dubai and Al Barsha - I did get a 5G signal but it's few and far in between.
Despite the limited availability of the network, we've been able to see the capabilities. At recent demos using the Mate 20 X 5G, download speeds peaked (at least in our demo) at a fantastic1,022Mbps (that's 1.02Gbps), while upload speeds hit over 32Mbps. For comparison, my home Wi-Fi plan is at 20Mbps, while my 4G data package maxes out at a shade below 100Mbps (at certain times). But don't worry: Etisalat and du are working towards rolling out 5G everywhere in the UAE.
In those rare times I was able to eke out a 5G signal on the Mate 20 X 5G, the results are good as advertised: YouTube videos are done with buffering. Web pages load before you can blink, and social media apps pop up content in a snap. Battery life, meanwhile, doesn't differ a lot from the Mate 20 X; the 5G version lost 11 per cent in our standard one-hour YouTube-at-full-brightness test, versus its predecessor's 10 per cent. The difference is that the 5G has a 4,200mAh battery compared to its predecessor's 5,000mAh.
The device retains a dual-SIM setup, but the SIM 2 slot can only max out a 4G network.
One thing that caught us by surprise is its price. 5G devices were supposed to be expensive, right? But the Mate 20 X 5G clocks in at just Dh3,699 (Dh1,200 costlier than its 4G twin). By comparison, the ZTE Axon 10 Pro, the first 5G device offered to the UAE public, costs Dh5,555.
Spoiler alert: Huawei removed the 3.5mm audio jack on this one, so get those USB-C adaptors ready (though a pair of compatible headsets are included in the box).

5G is just starting out, and network coverage isn't at maximum capacity. So, the question is, do we really need a 5G device? The Huawei Mate 20 X 5G answers that in a simple way: Yes, if only to be among the first to experience 5G, which gives us a glimpse of the mobile connection of the future - and at a reasonable cost at that.

CPU: Octa-core Kirin 980 + Balong 5000
Platform: Android 9.0 Pie, EMUI 9.0
Storage: 256GB, NM Card up to 256GB
Display: 7.2" FHD+ OLED, 2244 x 1080, 346ppi
Camera: Main - Leica triple lens 40MP wide (f/1.8), 20MP ultra-wide (f/2.2), 8MP telephoto (f/2.4); front - 24MP (f/2.0)
Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC; USB-C; dual nano-SIM
Durability: IP53
Battery: 4,200mAh
Price: Dh3,699
Pros: 5G. That's all you need to know
Cons: Do we really need 5G right now?
Author's rating: 4.5/5

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