Huawei recently introduced the latest contender in the super phone market. And with the Mate 20 officially coming to the Philippines soon, we want to take a quick look at what you should be excited about when it comes to this refreshed series.

New camera setup

One of the first things you’ll notice about the Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro is the new camera setup. We still get a triple camera Leica lens setup, but with slightly different specs and a new look. The Mate 20 series sets itself apart from its competition with this new squircle setup in the upper middle part of the phones’ rear cover. It’s not something we find particularly attractive, but it’s certainly eye-catching.

The Mate 20 setup comprises of a 16-megapixel ultra-wide angle lens with an f/2.2 aperture; 12-megapixel wide-angle lens with an f/1.8 aperture; and an 8-megapixel 2x telephoto zoom lens with an f/2.4 aperture and optical image stabilization (OIS). Meanwhile, the Mate 20 Pro gets a 40-megapixel wide-angle lens with an f/1.8 aperture; a 20-megapixel ultra-wide angle lens with an f/2.2 aperture; and an 8-megapixel 3x telephoto zoom lens with and f/2.2 aperture and OIS.

If you’ve noticed, Huawei has ditched the monochrome lens in favor of an ultra-wide angle lens. The company found that the monochrome data was being used less and so they opted to give users the option to get wider viewing angles and greater focal length for macro shots. Huawei promises you can get 2.5cm closer with the new cameras. If you’re missing the monochrome option, though, you can still access it as a camera mode in the phone.

While we’ll dive deeper into the artificial intelligence capabilities of the Mate 20 later, one of its primary uses is for the camera. The neural processing unit (NPU) allows for real-time processing. AI on these new phones can control even more features of your camera to help you produce the best possible photos.

While you can manually swap between lenses, the AI in these phones can automatically swap lenses when needed. It can recognize the primary subject in your frame and keep that in focus. It can segment photos into sections and treat these differently. For example, it can separate the sky from the rest of the image and tweak this differently from the rest of the photo—thus giving you a less artificial looking shot. AI could also be used to look for people in your gallery. For videos, you can get classic movie color modes and a color isolation mode that keeps people in color while the background changes to black and white. The downside to these features is once you’ve opted to use the processed image, you won’t get an unprocessed option as a backup in case you change your mind.

All that power

Huawei brings the first 7nm processor into Android with the new Kirin 980, which powers both phones. It’s the first chip to get two NPUs, moving the AI processing out of the cloud and into the phone itself to improve overall experience and provide faster loading times and longer battery life. Huawei claims these chips are 20 percent faster and up to 40 percent more power efficient.

The Mate 20 are packed with faster LTE Cat 21 modem (supposedly 40 percent faster than those on other phones), faster Wi-Fi and DDR RAM support, better GPS tracking, among others.

The Mate 20 will come with 4GB or 6GB RAM options, while the Mate 20 Pro gets 6GB as a standard. Storage is at 128GB but you get an option to get an extra 256GB via expandable storage. For some reason, Huawei has opted to offer a new proprietary nano memory card, so your standby microSD won’t work here.

The improved GPU Turbo 2.0 boosts gaming performance by offering 22 percent higher stability and 14 percent more power efficiency.

Huawei partners this with the latest version of Android 9.0 Pie that skinned over the new EMUI 9.0 interface. Settings have been tweaked and tucked away to reduce the system’s complexity. A more intuitive touch setting is in place to make it easier to navigate the phone. Starting an app is said to be quicker, too, by up to 51 percent. And Huawei promises performance slowdown is down to five percent after 18 months with these phones.

With the company’s partnership with Google, you’ll also gain access to Android 9.0’s biggest features like Digital Wellbeing and Wind-Down mode.

Charge away

Battery-wise, you get some huge batteries packed into these phones. The Mate 20 has a 4,000mAh battery, while the Mate 20 Pro has a 4,200mAh battery. But aside from larger batteries, Huawei’s SuperCharge fast charging comes to the Mate 20 Pro, which promises to charge the phone’s battery up to 70 percent in just 30 minutes with its 40W charger. The Mate 20 gets a lower powered 22.5W charger, but we still expect a quick charge with this one.

Huawei Mate 20

Both phones get 15W wireless charging support, which is impressive. But the outstanding feature has to be the Mate 20 Pro’s ability to wirelessly charge other Qi-compatible devices. (It can even charge the new iPhones or Galaxy Note 9.)

Let’s talk design

We already mentioned earlier how we aren’t fans of the squircle look but Huawei has improved on the comfort and grip these phones offer. The company boasts that it’s more comfortable to hold and with a new hyper optical pattern on the phones’ glass backs, the new Mate 20s are less slippery, durable, and fingerprint-resistant.

There are five colors for both phones: Emerald Green, Midnight Blue, Classical Black, Pink Gold, and that eye-catching Twilight option.

Huawei Mate 20 Pro

The Mate 20 Pro can survive a quick accidental dip into the pool with an IP68 rating, while the Mate 20 can only withstand splashes with its IP54 rating.

The Mate 20 Pro loses the headphone jack, but the Mate 20 still has it. These phones offer dual speakers with sound coming out of the receiver and the USB Type-C port.

In front, you’ll be able to tell the phones apart by the size of those notches. The Mate 20 has a tiny Dewdrop notch, which cuts into the 6.53-inch RGBW HDR display. It has a 2,244 x 1,080 resolution with an 18.7:9 aspect ratio, while the Mate 20 Pro has a slightly smaller screen with a 6.39-inch curved OLED panel, 3,120 x 1,440 resolution, and 19.5:9 aspect ratio. The Mate 20 Pro has a bigger notch to accommodate the advanced 3D depth-sensing array built into the front of the phone.

Huawei Mate 20

The Mate 20 gets a fingerprint sensor on the back, while the Mate 20 Pro incorporates this into the display.

If this deluge of features are enough to convince you to get one, the Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro will be available for pre-order starting today, October 26 until Friday, November 2. The Mate 20 retails for P40,990, while the Mate 20 Pro goes for P49,990. You just need to deposit P1,000 to pre-order. The Mate 20 comes with a free Huawei TalkBand B3 Lite and Outdoor Speaker worth P7,890, while the Mate 20 Pro comes with a free TalkBand B3 Lite and Wireless Charger worth P8,980.

About The Author

Nicole Batac
Managing Editor

Nicole calls herself an accidental techie that has learned to love all things consumer tech since she started with this line of work around seven years ago. In her spare time, she devours books, TV shows, movies, and a large amount of Japan-related entertainment.