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Home / Technology / Huawei's Mate 20 Pro is a technical marvel

Huawei's Mate 20 Pro is a technical marvel

Photo: Sam Rutherford (Gizmodo)

If we judged the new Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro as Olympic figurines, they would no doubt earn 10s across the line for technical merit. That's because, even if they do not have a built-in stylus, Huawei's new flagship duo gives almost all the other features you want and I mean not just the easy handset.

We speak full 3D face scanning, a fingerprint sensor built-in on the screen, three rear-facing cameras (including one with 3x zoom on Mate 20 Pro), and even backward wireless charging that can be used to disable other gadgets. And with even more striking color choices, a slimmer chassis and class-leading specifications, Mate 20 earns highest marks for art and design as well.


What is it?

Huawei's latest pair of flagship phones


About $ 1000 for Mate 20, or around $ 1200 for Mate 20 Pro


Gorgeous color options, good battery life, triple rear cameras, more features than any other phone on the market

Does not like

Expensive, no official American model, Mate 20 Pro does not have a headphone jack.

I mean, just look at them. Especially when they are wearing Huawei's signature, it is not hard to imagine that Mate 20 on the ice pulls two shafts and triple locks. Huawei has also noticed small details both inside and out when it comes to things like the phone's colorful power buttons or all the enhancements in Huawei's EmUI 9 skin for Android. Unlike Galaxy Note 9, EMUI is based on the latest version of Android 9 Pie, and includes tweaks to help cut down menu bar, handy options like a built-in dark theme and more ways to customize your user interface . 19659014] That said, it's a bit dishartening to see apps like Booking.com and eBay preinstalled from the box, especially on phones starting at around $ 1000. I also noticed that when I tried to search for important features like Huawei Performance Mode, I could not find it using the search box in the settings menu. So, despite Huawei's efforts to streamline the endless options of a phone and make it easier to find, there is still a room for refinement left in Huawei's routine.

For the different Mate 20 models, Mate 20 Pro is the more luxurious of the two. Although it offers a slightly smaller 6.39 inch screen (versus 6.5 inches for standard size 20), the OLED panel is instead of LCD and slightly higher resolution, providing sharper and more vibrant images and images. In a vacuum, both displays look good, but next to it the difference is obvious.

But more importantly, Mate 20 Pro is the one that is loaded with tech. It has more base RAM, a fingerprint reader on the screen that feels even snappier than what you get in a OnePlus 6T, and a useful notch that includes a 3D infrared point projector that scans the face in approximately the same way Apple's face ID. For people worried about security, this is a significant upgrade over the simpler 2D face detection found on almost all other Android phones.

An easy way to tell Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro from each other is their notch, The Mate 20 needs only a small widow peak to fit his lone front camera while Mate 20 needs a bigger notch to hold its 3D- face scanning technology.
Photo: Sam Rutherford (Gizmodo)

And it's not all sparkly sequences and shiny technology either because the Mate 20 duo also has an IP68 rating for dust and water resistance and Huawei's new Kirin 980 processor and to and with built-in IR blaster for people who like to use the phone as a remote control. That's the second time Huawei has pulled this stunt, but it's still annoying that only standard Mate 20 offers a headphone jack.

Both Mate 20s also provide outstanding endurance, with the standard model that sets up battery life of 15 hours and 15 minutes on our rundown test. It's a whole hour better than a Galaxy Note 9 (14:11). And while the most expensive sibling did not go well, thanks to an even bigger 4,200 mAh battery, the Mate 20 Pro has enough juice to compensate its high-performance display and more power-hungry components and still pump out a great time at 14:06.

Mate 20 Pro fingerprint sensor is both fast and accurate.

Annoying, Standard Mate 20 is the only one that offers a headphone jack.

While emerald and midnight blue models are not as flashy as the twilight gradient, they offer a subtle textured back that almost feels like the tracks on a disc.

A built-in dark theme, hell yes.

It's a little touch, but I really like the color you get from the Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro power button.


In normal use, both phones almost always have an excess of energy, so Huawei figured out a way to make these reserves useful by including reverse wireless charging as well. And while you find the cute place to recharge other devices like cordless earphones or even other phones can be a bit finicky, this feature is something I'd love to look at more phones in the future. It's so simple. Just enter the battery settings, press the reverse charge switch, and slam a Qi compatible device on the back of Mate 20. No wiring is required.

But the highlight of Huawei's long program is the triple camera on the backside. For this review, I spent most of my time using Mate 20 Pro, as Standard Mate 20 has an almost identical layout and similar image quality to what you get from P20 Pro Huawei released earlier this spring. But Mate 20 Pro brings things up with a new wide-angle lens for all your big open landscape shooting needs, the same 40-MP main camera as before, and a new 8x zoom camera with 3x zoom.

Prior to Google Night Sight mode, Mate 20 Pro's Night Mode produced richer and more well-exposed images than Pixel 3.

But with Night Sight, Google's expertise in computing produces low-light photography.

Here's a comparison of macro images where Mate 20 Pros shorter focus distance gives a photo with better details than I got from a Pixel 3.

And if it's not close enough, you can connect macro photos with the zoom lens to capture an incredibly detailed detail.

Huawei's AI image setting is not without error but seen in these pages next to where the P20 Pro shot looks positive as radioactive.

This shows how much AI tuning can do, so it's great that you can turn it off with a touch when needed.

While the phone's Blue Sky tuning is a little intense, it's hard to see a lot of errors in the P20 Pros wide-angle camera.

A comparison of the main prozoomers in Pro 20 and Pixel 3 shows live colors from Huawei, even though I want details so sharper.

P20 Pros great advtange over Pixel 3 is its 3x animal park. Well, the Google Super Res Zoom feature can not overcome good optics.


Only image quality, Mate 20 Pro is almost certainly Pixel 3's largest photo album. But when you add the features of the extra lenses and sensors to the top of all Huawei software tricks, the Mate 20 Pro is the largest and most robust photo tool on any phone on the market. The number of image modes alone is dizzying, with Huawei offering options for things like painting, timelapse, document scanning and more. There is even an underwater mode designed for use with a special waterproof case, allowing you to snap pictures while swimming. And if it was not for Google's recently released Night Sight mode, Huawei's night mode would boast of the most impressive low light possibilities in the market.

In terms of Mate 20 Pros alleged 3x zoom, I discover something odd. According to the specifications, the zoom lens has an 8-MP sensor, but when you hit the 3x button in the camera app and get an image, the resolution of the resulting image is 3648 x 2736, actually 10 megapixels, and the same size as The pictures you get from the phone's main camera. This makes you wonder how much data Mate 20 Pros 3x zoom lens actually collects and how much info the phone comes from the other lenses on the back. What's even stranger is that the wide-angle lens does not seem to suffer from this, as images taken with it are 5120 x 3840, matching its 20-MP-listed specification.

It is possible that much of the heavy lifting is shared between 40 MP main camera and 8 MP zoom sensor and Huawei uses some kind of computational photography to hit the 3x zoom, but at this point it is quite safe to say that Mate 20 Pro's zoom is not It's not purely optical in nature. I have reached Huawei for more info about Mate 20 Pros zoom camera, and will update the review if I hear back.

Mate 20 has so many photo prints on the sleeve.
Photo: Sam Rutherford (Gizmodo)

But perhaps the biggest problem with Mate 20 Pros image capture is when Huawei's AI photo setting becomes too aggressive. It's distracting enough when you see colors appearing like Huawei's machine learning algorithms detect things like food or flowers, but in a shot I took some apples. Huawei's Master AI made them look damn close to radioactive next to a shot captured by a Pixel 3. Fortunately, you can reject these improvements if things look wonky, or disable Master AI completely using the switch in the setup menus. I would not do that, though, because when it works, images cut by Mate 20 Pro are defeated in their humble smartphone origin. It is so good.

Really, after checking out Mate 20 and Mate 20, the goodness permeates both devices. Even with all its innovative technology, you do not run into mistakes or mistakes that you might expect from this edge. Mate 20's biggest disadvantage is the price, starting at around $ 1,000 for the standard version, going up to $ 1200 for Mate 20 Pro.

Photo: Sam Rutherford (Gizmodo)

But, like some of the most memorable skating moments, it's a last wrinkle when it's going to judge. This is because after questioning Huawei's security and credibility of organizations like the FBI and CIA made earlier this year, Huawei did not make an American specific variant of Mate 20 as it has for its three previous Mate series. Technically, you can still buy your phone through dealers like Amazon, but only as an unlocked international model, which means that your phone may not support operator-specific features like RCS or Wi-Fi.

So for many Americans, instead of Mate 20 is a welcome and even more technically advanced alternative to Apple and Samsung duopoly, the phone will probably end up with a DQ. There is a feeling like a cheap shot against the knee because Mate 20 is a very good phone, but one like us here in the United States will not be able to fully appreciate.

Photo: Sam Rutherford (Gizmodo) [19659052] README
  • Mate 20 Pro has more technical features (in addition to some smart camera tricks) than any other phone made this year.
  • Huawei presents the best color choices for any phone manufacturer.
  • Both phones have amazing battery life, with standard Mate 20 (15 hours, 15 minutes) turns off Mate 20 Pro (14 hours, 6 minutes) by about an hour.
  • The main differences between Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro are that Mate 20 has a 6.53 inch 2244 x 1080 LCD display (as opposed to a smaller but higher 6.99-inch 3120 x 1440 OLED display) and a headset connector, but missing the fingerprint reader on screen, 3D face scanning technology and 3x zoom found on Mate 20 Pro.
  • In the United States, Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro will only be available as unlocked international phones, support for operator-specific features such as Wi-Fi or collection of carriers may be spotty.

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