Huawei will launch the Mate 20 X 5G smartphone in the U.K. on July 26. This is important for several reasons. First, it’s Huawei’s debut 5G device to launch in the U.K., and second it shows that the bottleneck that recently stopped the phone from launching on several networks has been broken.
The Mate 20 X 5G will arrive on the Three network, Sky Mobile, and be sold through the Carphone Warehouse retail stores. This means it should also operate on the other networks with operational 5G in the U.K. — EE and Vodafone. The phone will cost 1,000 British pounds, which is the equivalent of $1,250. It will be available only in the emerald green color, a color we first saw on the Mate 20 Pro.
Huawei’s first commercially available 5G phone is big. It has a 7.2-inch OLED screen with a 2,244 x 1,080 pixel resolution, the company’s own Kirin 980 processor — as seen in the Huawei P30 Pro — and Huawei’s Balong 5000 5G modem. It has 8GB of RAM and 256GB of internal storage space, with the option of adding a memory card or a second SIM.
The design is close to the Mate 20 Pro, right down to the square camera lens array on the back of the phone, where the same specification camera lenses from the Mate 20 Pro live. This means a 40-megapixel main lens, a second 20-megapixel wide-angle lens, and an 8-megapixel telephoto lens. It’s capable of 5x hybrid shots, has an effective night mode, and plenty of artificial intelligence too.
A 4,200mAh battery provides the energy, with Huawei’s 40W SuperCharge charging system taking it to 70% capacity in an impressive 30 minutes. Put a 7.2-inch screen on any phone, and the result is going to be a large handset, but the Mate 20 X 5G is surprisingly manageable, although heavy at 240 grams. In the U.K. it faces competition from several other 5G phones, including the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G, the OnePlus 7 Pro 5G, the Oppo Reno 10x Zoom 5G, and the Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 5G.
Vodafone initially reported the Mate 20 X 5G would be part of its 5G launch line-up, as did EE; but following Huawei’s battle with the U.S. after it was placed on the Entity List, preventing U.S. businesses from doing business with it, the phone’s release was put on hold. These two networks are conspicuously absent from the new list. The announcement of the launch comes just days after the U.K. government delayed the decision over which firms would contribute to further building its 5G network.