Feature | In hindsight, the Huawei Mate 20 X was an incredibly underrated smartphone
Back in late 2018, Huawei surprised us all by releasing a fourth Mate 20-series phone, the Mate 20 X. The company had never done something like that, so it was a left-field move. The Mate 20 Pro dominated all the headlines—for both positive and negative reasons—but, in hindsight, the Mate 20 X may have been the true winner that year.
DxOMark reviewed the Mate 20 X's cameras recently and it performed well, recording an overall score of 111. That's just one point lower than the Mate 20 Pro—no surprise, since it featured the same camera hardware. That score happens to place it in the same ballpark as phones like the Galaxy S10+ and the iPhone 11. The website also tested the phone's audio, and ranked it at the very top of its leaderboard, even over newer powerhouses like the iPhone 11 Pro Max and Galaxy Note 10+.
Of course, DxOMark's scores aren't to be taken as conclusive evidence, but our own review of the Mate 20 X also shows it doing rather well in the camera and audio tests.
While one would get the impression that most enthusiasts prefer smaller devices, there's also a sizeable market for larger phones. It's peculiar niche, really, as it caters for phones that are larger than normal but smaller than tablets. Xiaomi's Mi Max series used to offer that, and it had a cult following. The Mate 20 X took things a step forward and offered a premium package.
It featured a big 7.2" AMOLED display, without any of the green tint issues that plagued the Mate 20 Pro; a loud, class-leading set of stereo speakers; a flagship SoC that still holds up excellently till date; excellent cameras; a headphone jack; and a massive 5000 mAh battery with impressive fast-charging support.
For those who love huge phones, the Mate 20 X was—and is—nigh-perfect. Yes, Huawei's software isn't quite the best, but it's a lot better than some claim it to be. The phone cost about US$1,000 at launch but can now be had for as low as US$500 if you know where to go. Bit hard to argue with the value it provides at that price point, especially if you like your phones with some meat on 'em.