My Review of EMUI 12 on Huawei Mate 20 X

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hyellow

Senior Member
Oct 27, 2006
549
70
Thanks, but I won't be doing that :) My phone is too heavily used for my consulting business, banking etc.
Sorry I couldn't help!
Understandable, well, then i'll just have to try it out myself, one day, when i have mustered enough courage to do a clean install ;) It's not like i have not done it so many times before, but lately, i just can't be bothered with it.
 

hyellow

Senior Member
Oct 27, 2006
549
70
So i have finally upgraded to emui 12 en did a factory reset afterwards, just so i can start out clean.

i can confirm that the call recorder apk for emui 12 works.

i have noticed that the notification sound is not persistent. i have set it to silent, as default, but somehow it always reverts back to the default notification sound. Anybody else has noticed this?

Anyway, the mate 20x is still going strong after all these years, still love it.
 

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  • 2
    Last week EMUI 12 made its debut on my phone with some cosmetic improvements. The following are my thoughts on it as a 2 year user of huawei products. This should help users evaluate the attributes EMUI 12 offers to help them decide whether or not its worth to upgrade....


    Control Center, Notification Area & Media Player
    While my initial impressions of the control center were good they later turned poor with its function relative to the notification area from which it is split. Admittingly, it is a stunning feature visually no one can deny. But while both notification area and control center do not occupy the same space, many users are unimpressed and agape in frustration. To paraphrase a user regarding it, "its something we got to get used to."

    At first I was disappointed by this split personality. But after a week playing with it, I'm still trying to get used to it. Although its somewhat convenient to swipe left to right at the top to switch between the two spheres, the smartest thing huawei should have done was extend this back and forth swiping to the bottom where its most frequently needed and far more accommodating. Had huawei added this functionality a lot of users would not be complaining about it especially since this is a tall phone with a big real estate display and one shouldn't have to suffer to reach all the way up with both hands. Just one swipe down for the control panel and another swipe across at the bottom to alternate between it and the notifications area on which your fingers rest naturally would have done the trick!

    Regarding the controversial media player widget, the aim of its placement in the control panel is to add accessibility to MP3. Although admittingly it is wise to situate it there for easy access for media, the problem emerges when you must use huawei's own proprietary media player in order to play songs. Your favorite third party music players like Spotify and PlayerPro are not supported, sadly. Removal of the widget from view is not possible so it lingers in the corner like a dead satellite in orbit uselessly taking up unnecessary space.

    Very disappointing that huawei failed to see this given their vested time in making the EMUI 12 project solid for its users. Perhaps this is a feature huawei may add in future updates.

    Visuals
    Noticeably, the screen is brighter under manual brightness setting which is a good plus. Images are evidently sharper than what they were under EMUI 11. However, auto brightness is still enabled by default at bootup which is another annoyance.

    Concerning the font style huawei has imposed, unfortunately, there's no way to change that since it is etched in by corporate de facto decree. Yet another hindrance. Also, the feature to change the font size globally failed to impress since there was really no problem with the font size before.

    Battery
    On average, I charge my Mate 20 X every 5 - 7 days. After about a week's use of EMUI 12, I did notice slight battery improvement. It's not exactly earth shattering gain in juice but its nonetheless a slight enhancement since this is a phone whose battery life many have complained about for the past 4 years ever since it was first introduced to the public.

    Sound
    Sound quality is the same as in previous version iterations. It is much louder which is a tad ok despite the fact that it has always been loud. However, making a loud phone louder is barely considered an improvement.

    'Double Tap to Wake' Feature
    Huawei yet again omits the 'double tap to wake' feature about which folks have grumbled the phone lacks and needs. It would be enjoyable to possess it since the grand majority of the smartphones in the world have this feature already baked in from jump. Yet again, huawei continues to stick to their script of ignoring users' complaints and suggestions of improving this phone.

    Other Issues
    We all love notifications as a heads-up system that we can't do without. For comfort's sake, they must strike a delicate balance between short and informative without being overbearing. However, the frequent annoyance of 'network location' notifications that pokes at folks ad nauseum plagues their experience. Add to that, the sticky 'display over other apps' notification adds pain to injury especially when you cannot swipe these types of notifications away. Instead, you either grin and bear it or install from the playstore an app that removes them. The only issue with that is, the app will not be permitted to remove these notifications at boot up due to security restrictions introduced to Android versions 8 or 9 - the same security restrictions that by the way force these notifications in the first place. In such a case at boot up, you monotonously open up the app at each and every power cycle to zap them. This can prove to be a headache with automatic scheduled power management set on a daily basis but it's the only fix available given the system impediment.

    Wishful thinking would have one fantasize about using powerful ADB commands to possibly cure the situation at the source. Unfortunately, not even it can help. The ideal way to resolve it without use of pesky 3rd party apps is by rooting the system. Regrettably again, huawei shamelessly decided to lock the bootloader of this 4-year old Mate 20 X with the advent of EMUI 10 preventing full benefits of rooting that otherwise extend the phone's hidden features, including bypassing the aforementioned annoying system-imposed security measure.

    As for the multi-window dock that pops out from the side on EMUI 11, suggested apps never got pinned to the top as they unfortunately do now by default on EMUI 12. This adds unnecessary clutter to an already slim dock which might drive people to install 3rd party dock alternatives.

    Personal Thoughts on Huawei
    Unfortunately, in their eternal holy quest to emulate the iPhone o/s, huawei continues to repeat the crucial mistake of not adopting what huawei customers truly want to see on their huawei phones; instead, it prefers to prioritize its needs ahead of those of its loyal base. A real killjoy. Unlike samsung, they keep ignoring customers at the expense of their annoyances and stick them with whatever they think they want, even offering cheap incentives as compensation: the old stick and carrot trick. Huawei should keep it Android, not iPhone.

    This is surely not the first time huawei shakes its finger at huawei customers after begging its software team to introduce long sought after features in future upgrades. It's actually a historical, ongoing internal problem the company is too stubborn to understand let alone address. Huawei, not Trump, was and is the reason behind the company's market share decline, fed up customers are switching to other competitive phones and struggles to keep up with major industry peers. To suggest that huawei is not a champion of the consumer is by far a gross understatement.

    As one may have already observed, the word "annoyance" never ceases to spread its tentacles throughout this review. If you can deal with the drawbacks inherent in EMUI 12 then go for it, upgrade. If not, stay with EMUI 11 as it's still a "relatively" good version that makes people thankful they didn't upgrade.

    Personally, I can tolerate EMUI 12's shortcomings to a certain point. Continued lack of much needed and missing features makes me doubt its keep and gives me reason to switch to either the Note 20 Ultra or S22 Ultra eventually. As always, blame huawei for it!
    2
    stick to EMUI11.
    1
    Last week EMUI 12 made its debut on my phone with some cosmetic improvements. The following are my thoughts on it as a 2 year user of huawei products. This should help users evaluate the attributes EMUI 12 offers to help them decide whether or not its worth to upgrade....


    Control Center & Notifications Area
    While my initial impressions of the control center were good they later turned poor with its function relative to the notification area from which it is split. Admittingly, it is a stunning feature visually no one can deny. But while both notification area and control center do not occupy the same space, many users are unimpressed and agape in frustration. To paraphrase a user regarding it, "its something we got to get used to."

    At first I was disappointed by this split personality. But after a week playing with it, I'm still trying to get used to it. Although its somewhat convenient to swipe left to right at the top to switch between the two spheres, the smartest thing huawei should have done was extend this back and forth swiping to the bottom where its most needed and far more convenient. Had huawei added this functionality a lot of users would not be complaining about it especially since this is a tall phone with a big real estate display and one shouldn't have to suffer to reach all the way up with both hands. Just one swipe down for the control panel and another swipe across at the bottom to alternate between it and the notifications area on which your fingers rest naturally would have done the trick!

    Very disappointing that huawei failed to see this given their vested time in making the EMUI 12 project solid for its users. Perhaps this is a feature huawei may add in future updates.

    Visuals
    Noticeably, the screen is brighter under manual brightness setting which is a good plus. Images are evidently sharper than what they were under EMUI 11. However, auto brightness is still enabled by default at bootup which is another annoyance.

    Concerning the font style huawei has imposed, unfortunately, there's no way to change that. Sadly, it's etched in by corporate decree. Yet another annoyance. Also, the feature to change the font size globally didn't impress since there was really no problem with the font size before.

    Battery
    On average, I charge my Mate 20 X every 5 - 7 days. After about a week's use of EMUI 12, I did notice slight battery improvement. It's not exactly earth shattering gain in juice but its nonetheless a slight enhancement since this is a phone whose battery life many have complained about for the past 4 years ever since it was first introduced to the public.

    Sound
    Sound quality is the same as in previous version iterations. It is much louder which is a tad ok despite the fact that it has always been loud. However, making a loud phone louder is barely considered an improvement.

    'Double Tap to Wake' Feature
    Huawei yet again omits the 'double tap to wake' feature folks about which have grumbled the phone lacks and needs. It would be enjoyable to possess it since the grand majority of the smartphones in the world have this feature already baked in from jump. Yet again, huawei continues to stick to their script of ignoring users' complaints and suggestions of improving this phone.

    Other Issues
    We all love notifications as a heads up-system we can't do without. For comfort's sake, they must strike a delicate balance between short and informative without being overbearing. However, the frequent annoyance of 'network location' notifications that pokes at folks ad nauseum plagues their experience. Add to that, the sticky 'display over other apps' notification adds pain to injury especially when you cannot swipe these types of notifications away. Instead, you either grin and bear it or install from the playstore an app that removes them. The only issue with that is, the app will not be permitted to remove these notifications at boot up due to security restrictions introduced to Android versions 8 or 9 - the same security restrictions that by the way force these notifications in the first place. In such a case at boot up, you have to monotonously open up the app at each and every power cycle to zap them. This can prove to be a headache with automatic scheduled power management set on a daily basis but it's the only fix given the system impediment.

    Wishful thinking would have one fantasize about using powerful ADB commands to possibly cure the situation at the source. Unfortunately, not even it can help. The ideal way to resolve it without use of pesky 3rd party apps is by rooting the system. Regrettably again, huawei shamelessly decided to lock the bootloader of this 4-year old Mate 20 X with the advent of EMUI 10 preventing full benefits of rooting that otherwise extend the phone's hidden features, including bypassing the aforementioned system-imposed security measure.

    As for the multi-window dock that pops out from the side on EMUI 11, suggested apps never got pinned to the top by default as they unfortunately do now on EMUI 12. This adds unnecessary clutter to an already slim dock which might drive people to install 3rd party alternative docks.

    Personal Thoughts on Huawei
    Unfortunately, in their eternal holy quest to emulate the iphone o/s, huawei continues to repeat the crucial mistake of not adopting what huawei customers truly want to see on their huawei phones; instead, it prefers to prioritize its needs ahead of those of its loyal base. A real killjoy. Unlike samsung, they keep ignoring customers at the expense of their annoyances and stick them with whatever they think they want, even offering cheap incentives as compensation: the old stick and carrot trick.

    This is surely not the first time huawei shakes its finger at huawei customers after begging its software team to introduce sought after features in future upgrades. It's actually a historical, ongoing internal problem the company is too stubborn to understand let alone address. Huawei, not Trump, was and is the reason behind the company's market share decline, fed up customers switching to other competitive phones and its struggles to keep up with major industry peers. To suggest that huawei is not a champion of the consumer is by far a gross understatement.

    As one may have already observed, the word "annoyance" never ceases to spread its tentacles throughout this review. If you can deal with the drawbacks inherent in EMUI 12 then go for it, upgrade. If not, stay with EMUI 11 as it's still a "relatively" good version that makes people thankful they didn't upgrade.

    Personally, I can tolerate EMUI 12's shortcomings to a certain point. Continued lack of much needed and missing features makes me doubt its keep and gives me reason to switch to either the Note 20 Ultra or S22 Ultra eventually. As always, blame huawei for it!
    I have been searching for reviews on EMUI 12 and I'm so happy I found this one. I'm using a Mate 20 Pro. I think EMUI 12's Control Panel is rubbish. I can't stand the fact that there is a music player "widget" there that doesn't even link to my default player, and when my bluetooth is on, the icon is too big so the "h" at the end of the word "Bluetooth" goes onto the next line which (as a designer) I think looks horrific. Then, to touch on the split betwen the notifications and the ctrl panel... As someone with small hands, this is impossible to navigate with one hand. I really hope that Huawei listens to the rants I have been posting all over and reverts some of these annoyances back to their perfectly functional predecessors... So other than these complaints, the UI is fine... It looks pretty but it needs inprovement.
    1
    What exactly is a "sticky 'display over other apps' notification"?

    'Display over other apps' notification is one that "warns" you of a 3rd party app that displays its elements as an overlay over other apps.
    1
    Installed the damn thing cos it kept bugging me to do so. And boy, yes, did they mess up the swipe down panel. Control panel looks like **** (at least give us an option to remove that music player crap!). And I'm right handed, so everytime I want to swipe down to see the notifications, I need to move my hand to the left of the screen. Utter crap. The swipe down panel was perfectly fine as it was, no need to mess it up like this. Other things I don't like: desktop icons are bigger. Would like to set it back to their previous size, but I haven't been able to find out how to do it, or if it's even possible. Furthermore, I fail so see the added value of the new "enlarge folder" thing. I didn't have any problems with the way it was before. All in all, totally unnecessary update for me. Only good thing is that it bumped the security patch from June 2021 to Feb 2022.