Huawei's first 5G-certified smartphone, the Huawei Mate 20 X 5G, will go on sale in the UK with Three, Sky Mobile, and Carphone Warehouse in the coming weeks.
From the announcement that three UK operators will sell the Mate 20 X 5G shows that UK operators are gaining confidence in Huawei again, so much so that they've agreed to sell Huawei's first 5G flagship. Sales have been disappointing in the UK since Huawei was placed on the US Entity List in mid-May. Germany and Spain have shown a 40-60% decline in Huawei smartphone sales, a disappointment Huawei concedes.
US President Donald J. Trump issued an Executive Order against Huawei, forbidding Huawei to buy and sell in the US. The US has tried to discourage other countries, particularly its allies, from employing Huawei in 5G network deployments, warning that Huawei is a threat to the national security of any country, not just the US.
The United States has had mixed results convincing its allies that Huawei can't be trusted. The UK considered a Huawei Ban of its own, as a result of the US ban, but the UK decided against it. According to UK Parliament member and Science and Technology Committee Chair Norman Lamb and his letter, Huawei is not such a threat to national security that they should be denied participation in the UK's 5G network rollout.
Lamb did state, however, that there are sensitive areas of the UK's 5G network that should be guarded against Huawei. And yet, there are other areas of the UK's network from which Huawei shouldn't be shut out.
Lamb based his decision on the Huawei-backed Huawei Cyber Security Evaluation Centre Oversight Board, the entity who reported on Huawei's software loopholes and vulnerabilities earlier this year. According to the HCSEC, Huawei hasn't improved some of its software loopholes from a year ago.
The HCSEC Oversight Board report isn't the only report against Huawei. Finite State reported later that there are potential backdoors in at least 55% of Huawei devices. Nokia CTO Marcus Weldon says that Huawei received government subsidies in China, that, despite Nokia's far superior security record, it couldn't compete against Huawei in Shenzhen Pride's home country.
The Huawei Mate 20 X 5G features the same specs as the 4G-enabled Mate 20 X, the major exceptions being the 5G connectivity and the battery capacity. A 7.2-inch OLED screen is on the Mate 20 X 5G, an OLED providing better color contrasts and deeper blacks. The 7-inch screen on this 5G smartphone features a Full HD+ resolution of 1080 x 2244p with a pixel density of 345 PPI (pixels per inch).
"OLED" is acronymic for "organic light-emitting diode," referring to light within the screen supplying the brightness as opposed to LCD (liquid crystal diode) screens where a backlight is necessary to power the display. LCD displays tend to guzzle more battery as opposed to OLED displays that have light within the display (meaning OLED screens do not need a backlight).
The Mate 20 X 5G features Huawei's octa-core Kirin 980 SoC and the 7-nanometer Balong 5000 modem, as well as the Mali G76 GPU. 8GB of LPDDR 4X RAM comes with the handset, a sign that the Mate 20 X 5G is a high-end flagship. 256GB of storage comes with the phone, though users can purchase an additional 256GB microSD card. The 256GB of storage is also the best of the best for storage in a high-end flagship.
Most Android-powered flagships currently on the market come with 128GB of storage. Samsung offers a 512GB version of the Galaxy Note 9, and sources say that the Korean juggernaut will offer a 1TB version of the Galaxy Note 10 Plus (Note 10+).
Huawei has provided a Leica triple camera, with a 40MP Wide Angle Lens, 20MP Ultra Wide Angle Lens, and an 8MP telephoto camera with Huawei's AI Image Stabilization. The 24MP selfie camera features an f/2.0 camera aperture.
Keeping the lights on with the Mate 20 X 5G is a 4,200mAh battery, down from the 5,000mAh battery of the 4G model. It was said that the Mate 20 X 5G would provide disappointing battery life, and perhaps it will. The Full HD screen resolution, though, won't be responsible for pulling down the phone's stamina, though the 5G cellular data may prove to be a battery guzzler.
The Mate 20 X 5G supports SA and NSA 5G modes. "SA" refers to "Standalone 5G" and "NSA" refers to "Non-Standalone 5G." Most initial phones will support NSA 5G, which means that NSA 5G will still rely on 4G for cellular services with cell towers and servers.
Standalone 5G includes an end-to-end 5G network with support for signaling and information transfer. Huawei's Mate 20 X 5G supports both Standalone 5G and Non-Standalone 5G, making Huawei's first 5G-certified smartphone ready for the evolving 5G future.
Three, Sky Mobile, and Carphone Warehouse in the UK will all launch the Huawei Mate 20 X 5G in Emerald Green (only), in Dual-SIM (only), for £999. Huawei's flagship phone will go on sale on today, Friday, July 26th.