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Common Huawei Mate 20 Pro problems, and how to fix them

You’ve got your Huawei Mate 20 Pro in your hands, but there’s something you’re not sure about or an issue that just doesn’t seem right. You may not be alone, and your Mate 20 Pro may have a gremlin or two inside. Here’s our roundup of the most common problems being reported about Huawei’s otherwise very impressive phone.

Problem: Write permission to SD card not working for third-party apps

Some users posting in the XDA Developers forum have reported having an issue transferring files from their Mate 20 Pro to an external SD card. In particular, this issue arises in some cases after upgrading to EMUI 10. Huawei and Google apps remain capable of transferring files to an SD card, yet some third-party apps can’t.

Based on posts in the forum, it’s not entirely clear what is causing this and whether there’s a single solution guaranteed to work in all cases. According to Huawei’s own comments in its official forum, this is in fact a design feature implemented “to ensure smooth system performance and data security.” Nonetheless, users have suggested the following potential fixes, which may work in certain cases.

Potential fixes:

  • Use Mixplorer or other root explorer apps, which are third-party Android file managers. Some users report these apps working for them.
  • Downgrade back down to EMUI 9. This is an involved process that erases your phone’s data (you need to back up first) and should be undertaken only if you really, really need to use third-party file explorers to transfer files to an SD card. As detailed on Huawei’s website, it requires downloading the latest version of HiSuite. Once you’ve downloaded HiSuite onto your computer, you then connect it to your Mate 20 Pro, launch HiSuite, and click Update > Switch to Other Version. You may first need to go to your Mate 20 Pro’s Settings and switch on Allow HiSuite to use HDB before doing this.

Issue: NFC not working

We’ve seen a few complaints in the Huawei forum and in the XDA Developers forum about issues with NFC and specifically with payments through Google Pay not working properly. This doesn’t seem to be an issue with EMUI 10, but only EMUI 9. However, if you are still on EMUI 9, there are a couple of different possible issues here, so here’s what to try:

Potential fixes:

  • Update to EMUI 10.
  • If you have rooted your Mate 20 Pro or unlocked the bootloader, that may prevent mobile payments from working; installing an Android beta can also impact banking apps.
  • Turn your Huawei Mate 20 Pro off, then hold down the Power and Volume up keys together. The phone should load up the recovery menu and you can use Volume down to highlight Wipe cache partition and press the Power key to select it. When it’s done, select Reboot system now.
  • If your problem is with Google Pay specifically, try uninstalling the Google Pay app. Then restart your phone, install the Google Pay app, and set it up again.

Annoyance: Volume is low

There have been a few reports in the XDA Developers forum and on Reddit about volume issues with the Mate 20 Pro. Some people feel that the volume is generally too low. Again, this is a problem that has been reported for EMUI 9, with no reports online associating it with EMUI 10. Try updating to see if that solves the issues. If not, try one of these possible solutions:


  • If you’re having an issue in landscape view, it may be because the main speaker is reducing the volume to switch to stereo sound. Take a look in Settings > Sound and make sure that Stereo+ is toggled off, then test again.
  • Take a look in Settings > Sound > Dolby Atmos and try changing the setting from Smart to whatever makes sense for your content to see if it makes a difference.
  • Low volume could be related to the headphones or the USB-C adapter that you’re using. Look for a 3.5mm to USB-C adapter that has a Digital-to-Analog-Converter (DAC) chip in it.
  • You can find volume booster apps, like this one, in the Play Store, but we advise caution because high volumes can damage your hearing and potentially destroy speakers.

Problem: Green screen tint

Multiple cases of people complaining that their phone screens have taken on a green tint, that only gets worse, have shown up online since the phone launched. Often most noticeable against a dark wallpaper or in low-light conditions, the green tint spreads from where the side of the phone curves and can extend over the top of the display. Huawei has issued a statement about this issue on its support website, stating that it can result from using the phone at low temperatures. It suggests taking the following steps to improve the situation:

Potential solution:

  • Go to Settings > Display > Color & Eye Comfort > Color Mode & Temperature, then touch or drag the spot on the color circle, or touch Warm or Cool to adjust the color temperature to a preferred level. Huawei recommends adjusting the color temperature to a cooler color for a better experience.
  • Disable Eye Comfort mode and check whether the issue has been resolved.
  • Disable Night Mode and increase screen brightness. Huawei states that this can reduce the green tint.
  • If the above solutions don’t work, contact a Huawei Service Center, your network, or the supplying retailer in the event of any hardware problem, as it should be covered under warranty. Visit Huawei’s website for information on the closest one to you.

Glitch: In-display fingerprint sensor

New technology can often be problematic, and while the Mate 20 Pro’s in-display fingerprint sensor is one of the better ones, it’s not perfect, and can become less reliable over time. If your fingerprint sensor is taking a few tries to unlock the phone, when it used to only take one, the best thing to do is re-register your fingerprint. That said, this is another problem that hasn’t been reported more recently, so it may also be worth updating, as Huawei has released updates since the Mate 20 Pro’s launch that have improved the fingerprint sensor.

Potential solution:

  • Open Settings on your Mate 20 Pro, go to Security & Privacy, then Fingerprint ID and enter your security code. Select the fingerprint registered that’s causing the problem, then Delete from the list that appears at the bottom of the screen. You will be prompted to add a new fingerprint, or if not, select New In-screen Fingerprint from the available options.
  • If you have a screen protector fitted, this may affect registration or use. If possible, remove it and rescan your fingerprint. Additionally, some screen protectors may lower the reliability of in-display fingerprint sensors, so check with the company that makes it before buying.

Issue: Notification icons can’t be seen

You’ve likely noticed the groove at the top of the Huawei Mate 20 Pro screen, which leaves very little available display space on either side of that notch. The limited space only leaves room for some permanent icons, like the battery, time, network signal, Bluetooth, and NFC. Occasionally, some app notifications may not appear because of the limited space. Unfortunately, even if you turn off the notch in your Settings, the problem won’t be fixed. There is a silver lining to this issue, though; Users haven’t reported recent complaints in the Huawei community forums, so it may be solved by updating the phone.

Potential solution:

  • Update your phone to the latest version of EMUI.
  • This is an issue with Huawei’s EMUI user interface over the top of Android 9.0, and any notched Huawei phone will be affected, rather than specifically the Mate 20 Pro. Currently, there is no solution to this, outside of providing feedback to Huawei. The company does listen to this, and alterations may arrive in a future version of EMUI.

Problem: Missing artificial intelligence features in video

Huawei phones have been using artificial intelligence to boost and improve image quality for a while. For that reason, the Mate 20 Pro also uses this long-standing software to enhance your videos too. With A.I. features, people can blur out their backgrounds, isolate different colors or objects, and add live filters to their recordings. If you can’t find these tools on your Mate 20 Pro, your firmware could be outdated.

Potential solution:

  • Depending on your location, your device’s design, and your network— updating to firmware or can help add these features back. Confirm which version your phone is currently operating on by tapping Settings > System > About Phone. If you find there’s a newer version available, select Software Update to begin installing it.
  • Firmware updates roll out when they release. You may need to check back again soon if the update isn’t available yet for your specific device or region. Enabling the Auto-download Over Wi-Fi setting can help your device remain on the latest updates automatically. You can find this feature by tapping on the menu button in the top right-hand corner of your screen.

This collection was some of the most-reported issues we found with the Huawei Mate 20 Pro. If any new problems come to light, we’ll be sure to update this list with any proactive solutions.

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Simon Hill
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Simon Hill is an experienced technology journalist and editor who loves all things tech. He is currently the Associate Mobile…
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