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The most exciting Android phone of the year won’t be available in the US

Published Oct 22nd, 2018 10:07AM EDT
Huawei Mate 20 Pro Release Date
Image: Huawei

The most exciting Android phone of 2018 isn’t the Pixel 3, even if it does offer access to Android Pie right now in addition to that great camera. It’s not the Galaxy Note 9 either, with its beautiful Infinity Display and built-in stylus, or the upcoming OnePlus 6T that will probably deliver the fastest Android experience around. In fact, the most exciting Android phone of 2018 is the one that’s not even going to be sold in America.

The Huawei Mate 20 Pro was unveiled just a few days ago, and as expected, the phone will not be available from US carriers in the foreseeable future. That’s hardly a surprise for Android fans familiar with the US government’s stance on Huawei hardware — namely that it poses a threat to national security.

AT&T and Verizon were supposed to sell the Mate 10 Pro last year, the predecessor to the Mate 20 series, but the deals fell through at the last moment after the government voiced its concerns regarding technology developed by the Chinese smartphone maker. Best Buy soon dropped its contract with Huawei, so it’s not like electronics retailers will hurry to sell the Mate 20 Pro either.

A spokesperson confirmed to Business Insider that the handset, which is already available in international markets, won’t launch in the US:

We are not planning to sell the Mate 20 Series in the US. While international variants of the Mate 20 Series may be available on some US online retail sites, we encourage individuals to carefully read the details about the warranty and network compatibility before purchasing.

One other downside is that even if you find the Mate 20 Pro in the US from retailers like Amazon, you’ll have to pay full price for it. The Mate 20 Pro is slightly cheaper than the iPhone XS and XS Max in Europe, but it’ll still cost $1,000 or more in the US.

What makes the Mate 20 Pro stand out from the Android crowd this year? It’s the first Android phone to ship with a 7nm chip; it packs a massive 6.4-inch display with 3120 x 1440 resolution that resembles Samsung’s Infinity Display but has a notch at the top; and that notch houses a camera system that does 3D face unlock like the iPhone XS; it features an in-display fingerprint sensor; it packs a massive 4,200 mAh battery with fast charging support (wired and wireless); it does reverse wireless charging; it features a triple-lens camera on the back; and it features a new nano-memory card. Read more about the phone’s unique features here.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he closely follows the events in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises. Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.