The Huawei Mate 20 Pro is what the Galaxy Note 9 should have been

This article may contain personal views and opinion from the author.
The Huawei Mate 20 Pro is what the Galaxy Note 9 should have been
With the OnePlus 6T launch earlier this week, the most jam-packed month we can remember in terms of high-end, high-profile smartphone announcements has effectively been brought to an end. Although not every single product unveiled over the past few weeks is actually up for grabs around the world, it’s time for people looking to purchase a new flagship handset this holiday season to make their decision.

Android enthusiasts wanting the best of the best, no matter the costs, had a relatively easy choice until the Huawei Mate 20 family went official, trying to overshadow the impressive but somewhat repetitive Samsung Galaxy Note 9.

This writer already argued the Note 9 should have been canceled due to Samsung’s general lack of original ideas right now and what’s shaping up to be an epic Galaxy S10 lineup. Although the Galaxy Note 9 earned great praise in our in-depth review, my main points about its unoriginality and fear to innovate stand.

Not only that, but the Huawei Mate 20 Pro drives those observations home in a number of big ways. Essentially, Huawei is the new Samsung, and the Mate 20 Pro is what the Galaxy Note 9 would have been if the company wasn’t so focused playing it safe all the time.

A risk taker

Remember the original Galaxy Note? How about the Note Edge? Even the Galaxy Note 7 took a gamble, which spectacularly backfired, nonetheless adding to Samsung’s reputation as a courageous trailblazer not afraid to go the extra mile in trying to stay one step ahead of the competition.

That’s no longer what the Note 9 suggests, whereas the Huawei Mate 20 Pro pretty much changes everything about its already well-reviewed predecessor. Where the Galaxy Note 9 iterates and incrementally upgrades, the Mate 20 Pro alters significantly.

While Samsung continues to perfect an (ultrasonic) in-display fingerprint scanning technology that’s been several years in the making, Huawei takes the best option currently available (the optical method) and just rolls with it.

The same goes for the 3D facial recognition system, which might not be flawless yet but it’s definitely cool, blazing fast, and decently reliable... in most situations.

Even if Samsung does manage to release the Galaxy S10 with slightly better screen-embedded fingerprint and 3D face sensors, most people will remember what company did them first, not best.

A groundbreaker

If you ask someone like OnePlus, wireless charging is still not ready for primetime. Looking at the third-party Pixel 3 accessories situation, you may be inclined to agree with that assessment, but then there’s the Huawei Mate 20 Pro that supports 15 W wireless charging speeds. And mind-blowing 40 W wired charging. Let’s not forget this bad boy can also juice up other Qi-compatible phones using absolutely no wires. Yup, that includes the iPhone XS and XS Max.

While we’re comparing Huawei and Apple’s latest flagships, you’ll probably want to know that insane 40-watt SuperCharge wall charger sold as standard alongside the Mate 20 Pro gets the handset from 0 to 100 percent capacity in a little over an hour. In contrast, the iPhone XS Max takes an embarrassingly lengthy three and a half hours to charge fully using its standard 5 W power brick.

The Galaxy Note 9 is nowhere near as embarrassing, but at 109 minutes, it still needs considerably more time to recharge than a Mate 20 Pro that also remarkably packs a slightly bigger battery. The Note 9 is capped at 10 W wireless charging speeds too, settling for two average features Huawei is not afraid to take to the next level.

The Mate 20 family also leads the way with a 7 nm-based chipset (at least among Android high-enders), as well as unique NM (nano memory) card support. While the Kirin 980 SoC still has nothing on Apple’s A12 Bionic in terms of raw performance, its edge over the 10 nm-built Snapdragon 845 and Exynos 9810 is crystal clear and wholly unsurprising.

As for nano memory cards, it’s too soon to know if they will catch on, convincing other device manufacturers to leave the microSD standard behind, but either way, you have to give props to Huawei for trying to change the status quo in a way that would benefit both the user and the company.

A showstopper

If you think about it, the Galaxy Note 9 carries a great deal of risk too. But not the good kind. Instead, Samsung risked something like the Mate 20 Pro would show up before the Galaxy S10. A jack master of all trades, from processing power to battery life, charging speeds, camera performance, screen sharpness, and software smoothness.

And hey, if you don’t like the extra-wide notch, you can always get the “regular” Huawei Mate 20. Also, if you want something as big as a tablet, with an (optional) stylus in tow boasting a top-shelf 4096 level pressure sensitivity, the Mate 20 X looks great on paper too.

What can the Galaxy S10 do now to outshine arguably the most eye-catching Android flagship family in the world? Not much, it seems, unless Samsung somehow finds a way to drastically redesign the Galaxy S9 without embracing the notch, as well as deliver an even greater triple camera setup than this 40 + 20 + 8 MP Leica powerhouse.

Will it matter much?

In an ideal world, I’d wrap this all up by recommending Android power users they buy the Huawei Mate 20 Pro from a carrier or a trusted authorized retailer. Unfortunately, if you live in the US, that’s not an option. It will also never be, due mostly to an increasingly tense diplomatic and business relationship between the current American and Chinese governments.

Now, the US smartphone market is not as large and booming as it used to be, but it still guarantees essentially unrivaled exposure. Just ask OnePlus.

This might save Samsung from facing the consequences of its unambitious and unimaginative flagship release strategy in the short term, but if Huawei continues growing on a global scale, the US may not be able to resist its expansion much longer. After all, money talks louder than anything in this business. So, yeah, even if the Mate 20 Pro is almost completely inaccessible to a key audience, its breakthroughs and bold risks will be remembered when the Mate 30 or Mate 40 Pro eventually hits a major US network.



1. handsomparis

Posts: 129; Member since: Jun 11, 2015

Lmao hell naw

39. Medevac1

Posts: 20; Member since: Sep 06, 2017

My sentiments exactly.

51. worldpeace

Posts: 3135; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

Big notch, no 3.5mm jack, no S-pen.. Yup, that's totally sounds like a Galaxy Note. /s In all fairness, it's better if the write "The Huawei Mate 20 Pro is what the iPhone XS Max should have been" instead. under-screen FPscanner, 1440screen, 4000mAh+ battery, triple back camera, XS Max need all of that to justify it's price.

47. Loveneesh

Posts: 451; Member since: Jul 14, 2015

Title of the article:- "The Huawei Mate 20 Pro is what the Galaxy Note 9 should have been" But, still you gives lower rating for mate 20 pro than note 9 in review. Btw I think "Huawei Mate 20 is what all $1000+ should have been".

2. Rampage_Taco

Posts: 1114; Member since: Jan 17, 2017

Samsung has reached the point in where they are comfortable with limited innovation. They would prefer to perfect a feature before tossing out a half baked hardware solution. Sure they may have rushed out BIXBY, but it was done so for them to be able to get bixby exposure and use by millions in order to be able to innovate it more instead of waiting until it was far too late. Similar in trend to Apple who plateaued years ago with their innovation, instead relying on mastering features found on other devices for their own products.

3. Lanx1998

Posts: 59; Member since: Mar 06, 2017

I also think that Samsung's being conservative after Note7 but who knows (look in the past they're quite experimental) they might be saving up and refining their stand out features for the 10th anniversary flagships.

17. Cicero

Posts: 1157; Member since: Jan 22, 2014

This Huawei Mate 20 Pro is a copy of Samsung S9+. Just talking about 7nm soc, under the screen optical fps, 3 cameras, and fast charging by increasing the wattage which is risky imo it is the begining of the cycle.

34. AmashAziz

Posts: 2934; Member since: Jun 30, 2014

Can you elaborate please?

48. Cicero

Posts: 1157; Member since: Jan 22, 2014

First of all is the general view. Edge style. Remove the ugly notch and you will have S9+. And do you think that fast charging at 40w for a long period of time will not reduce the lifespan of your battery? Take a closer look at the picture and you will see the same dna. Finally I am not saying that Mate 20 Pro is bad but to many praises of a deja vu style and normal incrementally tech.

4. Plasticsh1t

Posts: 3109; Member since: Sep 01, 2014

Every phone have their unique set of features that distinguishes themselves from the rest. No phone should be the other.

5. jellmoo

Posts: 2674; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

This seems silly to me. The Mate 20 Pro is a series of compromised stuff thrown on the wall to see what sticks. An in screen fps that isn't as good as what it replaced. An extra camera for the sake of having an extra camera. A proprietary sd card used for no apparent reason... It's change for the sake of change and bundled as "innovation" when it's really just fluff. The Note 9 isn't a sexy departure. It isn't a radical redesign. It doesn't try to mix things up just to show off some new goodies. It takes a tried and tested formula, and improves on it. I'm not a huge Samsung fan, but I can appreciate the fact that they went out and just fixed the issues on the Note 8 and produced a better device all around. The Mate 20 Pro is the opposite of what they should be doing.

12. alanrock

Posts: 341; Member since: Oct 04, 2018

i completely disagree with you...moving FPS position 1cm to the left is not at all "produced a better device all around"...Note 9 is basically same phone from last year.

21. jellmoo

Posts: 2674; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

But with a bigger battery, brighter screen, increased storage and a better S-Pen. It's incremental, absolutely, but it's an overall improvement on the issues that the Note 8 had, which is a great foundation for a device.

25. toosmoove

Posts: 914; Member since: Sep 28, 2017

Exactly. Anyone with a brain can see this, yet somehow alanrock seems to be an imbecile.

45. sissy246

Posts: 7129; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

You forgot stereo speakers that the note 8 also doesn't have.

40. luis.aag90

Posts: 279; Member since: Aug 12, 2014

Totally agreed. Also if a big notch and no 3.5mm is what the Note9 should have been, then no thanks. There are a lot of those to choose from...

6. bucknassty

Posts: 1395; Member since: Mar 24, 2017

"Even if Samsung does manage to release the Galaxy S10 with slightly better screen-embedded fingerprint and 3D face sensors, most people will remember what company did them first, not best." OH THE IRONY IN THIS STATEMENT!!!!!!!!!! THE POLAR OPPOSITE OF WHAT THIS SITE SAYS ABOUT THE FRUIT BEING LATE TO EVERYTHING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

29. AdrianDiaconescu

Posts: 3; Member since: Oct 31, 2018

You do understand PhoneArena writers are not all the same and we're entitled to different opinions sometimes, right? By the way, in case you haven't noticed, this article is tagged as an editorial, which means it expresses solely my opinions. If you have a problem with my arguments, I welcome any and all counterarguments. But I don't understand exactly how I'm being hypocritical here.

36. toosmoove

Posts: 914; Member since: Sep 28, 2017

Who does the phone reviews?

38. kopkiwi

Posts: 102; Member since: May 31, 2013

That doesn't make it any less stupid to say. The majority of the tech industry froths at the mouth when Apple start doing something that Samsung did months, if not years, earlier. But here you sound like an idiot fanboy. In fact this entire site just comes across as though it's run by Apple itself. Your reviews are clearly paid for and your opinion pieces are pathetically vailed attempts to big ups Apple.

46. ChicagoBorn

Posts: 105; Member since: Jan 24, 2018

God forbid someone gives their opinions. Smh the world we live in.

49. Cicero

Posts: 1157; Member since: Jan 22, 2014

Miroase a articol platit. There are to many forced bright spots for Huawei.

58. bucknassty

Posts: 1395; Member since: Mar 24, 2017

Basically you're piece is praising huawei for copying an apple design with extras that android OEMs have the ability to implement all while saying Samsung is falling behind for not introducing a new design on something that is in its final iteration (pretty much a new design every 2 years with refinements every other year) (S8 and S9 infinity display, note to follow) Can you name the amount of features or hardware samsung has been first to market with? or will you? (i'll be waiting)

59. Kibzara

Posts: 125; Member since: Feb 24, 2016

That's why there are many different reviews and many different opinions, on a same device. And then people get confused, cause they listen to dosen other opinions and cant decide for themselves. There shouldn't be such long stories in reviews, only specs, samples and photos. And thats it. Let people decide for themselves. Don't make a drama out of a piece of hardware!

60. steveedojob

Posts: 20; Member since: Nov 06, 2012

You're great, Dude. I want to give an example to the author. Smart watches have been long in the market long before Apple I Watch but when Apple I Watch out many Apple devotees and crowds feel like, Apple is the creator of the smartwatch. .

9. nivek4011

Posts: 49; Member since: Jul 31, 2014

this article makes me want to never read phone arena again.

10. KonaStang4.6

Posts: 285; Member since: Nov 04, 2011

I live in the US. I'll never know.

11. ramdroid

Posts: 138; Member since: May 21, 2016

I can't believe I just waisted some time reading this!!

13. strategic_developer

Posts: 1627; Member since: Jul 17, 2018

What gamble doe Samsung take with the Note 7? The Nkte 7 has a 3500Mah battery that had a defect.. The same sized battery was already being used in another Samsung model. The Note 9 is fine how it is. Gamble with what? Gamble with hardware that was poorly tested and not ready for prime time? Let Apple do crap like that because Pple can sell a bag of garbage and people will buy it. Samsung has taken many risks that panned out. The Note 7 wasn't a risk.

14. strategic_developer

Posts: 1627; Member since: Jul 17, 2018

Iys amazing how every writer here is Samsung bashing shill. The Note 9 should have been this? Why?! Not it shouldn't have been. The Note 9 is perfect as is. It refined and improved what was great already about the Note 8. The Mate 20 is a nice phone, but it's not better or even equal to the Note. In fact no phone is. You all kiss Apples arse taking about how if it ain't broke dont fix it. You sont bash Apple doe never taking any risks. You dont bash them when their products dont work properly and how they blame you and charge you and arm and a leg to fix their problem that they should be fixing. But you dont even bite your tongue when you're bashing Samsung. Amazing!

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.
FCC OKs Cingular's purchase of AT&T Wireless