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Hands-on Huawei Mate 20 Pro: a new rival for the high-end

The last great creation of the Chinese manufacturer is the Huawei Mate 20 Pro, a smartphone with exceptional capabilities.

Within the high range, Huawei has been playing two bands for years. The series Mate and P are taking turns, presenting their new devices every six months. The last great creation of the Chinese manufacturer is the Huawei Mate 20 Pro, a smartphone with exceptional capabilities.

At the height of Apple and Samsung … even in the prices

The Mate 20 Pro plays in the high range, something that we can, unfortunately, note in its price: Huawei asks for 1,049 euros for its new flagship, staying above the border of 1,000 euros. Too much money for a smartphone, of course, but it’s still cheaper than the new iPhones and it’s on the same level as Samsung’s pricing policy. It is with these two brands that Huawei has its most direct competence. There are no higher prices for versions with more memory since in Spain only the 128 GB version is available.

Pretty colors and perfect finish

According to the trends of the manufacturers in 2018, a high-end smartphone has to be seen as follows: glass front and rear, slightly curved edges, with a metal frame, the smallest possible number of entrances and ports, with a notch in the top of the screen, and a minimum of two cameras in the back The standard can also be applied to the Huawei Mate 20 Pro, but there are more features worth mentioning.

Difficult to escape from the notch in 2018

Difficult to escape from the notch in 2018

For example, colors. In addition to the classic black, Huawei also offers the Mate 20 Pro coated with the famous “Twilight” of the P20 Pro in a gradient color, and also offers a pink version. There are two new models that are really good, one blue and one green, with a striped pattern on the back. Said pattern. that Huawei has baptized as Hyper Optical Pattern, serves to make the Mate 20 Pro slip a little less. The thickness of 8.6 millimeters is enough, but it prevents the camera from protruding and allows having a larger battery.

A large screen, as expected

Large screens are always part of the Huawei Mate smartphones, and the Mate 20 Pro is no exception. The OLED screen has a size of 6.39 inches and an aspect of 19.5: 9. Thanks to its QHD + resolution of 3,120 x 1,440 pixels, the screen obtains a density of 537 PPI. But these are just the figures.

As usual, the screen of the Mate is very large.

As usual, the screen of the Mate is very large.

During our first test, the screen of the Huawei Mate 20 Pro has had an excellent performance: full colors, deep blacks and the high contrasts typical of OLED screens. The parameters can be adjusted according to your tastes, and the curvature at the sides is almost imperceptible at the optical level. In general, this design makes the mobile a bit rounder and “maneuverable”, if it can be said of a device with these dimensions. The edges of the screen have no special function as in Samsung.

More comfortable and safe

Huawei has equipped the Mate 20 Pro with two biometric systems: fingerprints and face recognition. The fingerprint reader is directly on the screen, a technology that is becoming more widely available. However, learning fingerprints lasts too long, while facial recognition goes pretty fast.

For facial recognition, Huawei has equipped the Mate 20 Pro with an infrared module that, when there is little light, makes the function go better and faster than the purely optical recognition of a camera. We could not prove it in the dark, but in situations, with light, it works perfectly.

More clarity and more features

The Mate 20 Pro comes to market with Android 9 Pie and the new EMUI 9. In its current version, Huawei interface is more sober and clear. Especially in the system configuration, which is now much easier to adjust than before. The EMUI has very good functions since Huawei has perfected it especially in the area of security. Now, with Password Vault, the Mate 20 Pro has its own management system, which stores passwords locally. The functions App Lock and Data Safe can be controlled directly with the fingerprint and facial recognition. As backup options, in addition to local storage and USB devices, we have a cloud service and a private network (NAS) storage.


Obviously, a smartphone of one thousand euros has to offer an impeccable performance, and at least in the first test, the Mate 20 Pro offers what was expected. The Kirin 980 is among the fastest mobile processors today. And given that Huawei has given the Mate 20 Pro a lot of memory, the smartphone should still be up to standard within two or three years. In the coming days, we will perform the usual benchmark and performance analysis with games.

A very good material

A very good material

There is no micro SD, but you can expand the memory

But in terms of internal storage, the Mate 20 Pro has a great advantage and is that Huawei offers the possibility of using the slot with a second SIM or with a memory card. The funny thing is that the Chinese manufacturer has not opted for a micro SD as they are doing the others, but for an NM type card. This type of card is just as big as a Nano SIM, which should save space inside the device, but also not because a micro SD is not much larger. So far, there are only NM cards produced by Huawei, no other manufacturer is offering this format. A rather strange decision, which probably will not please everyone.

Three cameras and infinite possibilities

Huawei, faithful to the 3 rear cameras

Huawei, faithful to the 3 rear cameras

Three cameras, something we’ve already seen in the P20 Pro. But in the Mate 20 Pro everything is different, not just the location of the objectives. The monochrome sensor has been removed, and instead, Leica has joined three high resolution color sensors with three different focal lengths in the same camera. The following objectives are found on the back of the Mate 20 Pro:

  • Focal length: 83 mm / Megapixels: 8 / Aperture: f / 2.4 / optical stabilization
  • Focal length: 27 mm / Megapixels: 40 / Aperture: f / 1.8
  • Focal length: 16 mm / Megapixels: 20 / Aperture: f / 2.2

Only one of the three cameras has an optical stabilizer. In the application of the camera, you can change the different focal lengths between 0,6x, 1x, 3x and 5x, or also without steps with a slider. The front camera has 24 megapixels and an aperture of f / 2.2.

During the first test, the camera has given me a good impression, especially thanks to the wide-angle lens offers more space for creativity. With the 16 mm lens you can also make good macros, being able to take pictures of an object up to a distance of only 2.5 centimeters. The lack of the monochrome sensor is not so noticeable, especially since the app already has a black and white mode. The quality of the photos will be better evaluated during our detailed analysis, but we can say that after the P20 Pro, the expectations are quite high.

Everything still does not work perfectly

However there are some objections: in the real-time filters for videos, Huawei has to improve. The Retro filter tweaks the image too much, the Color Portrait mode, which leaves the background in black and white and people in color, causes small movement errors, and the Bokeh mode for video is not as good as that dedicated to photos.

The power button, in red.

The power button, in red.

But experience says that, after launching a new smartphone, Huawei usually makes a big update, which usually makes changes to the camera. We hope that this will be repeated with the Mate 20 Pro and that if it does take place, the update will also have an effect on the functions for video.

Even more battery and with emergency mode

As regards the battery of the Mate 20 Pro, Huawei has improved again. The device has 4,200 mAh, that is, 5 percent more than in the Mate 10 Pro. With these figures, the Mate 20 Pro should have a pretty good duration. In this case, the unknown is the energy efficiency of the Kirin 980, which still remains to be analyzed. The battery is charged either with the fast charging device with a power of up to 40 watts (in 30 minutes it charges 70 percent), or wirelessly up to 15 watts.

And that’s not all, the Mate 20 Pro has more tricks: for example, reverse load, and what’s more: wireless. This means that any smartphone with QI can be connected without wires to the Mate 20 Pro to be charged. With this function, you can save your friends with iPhone or other smartphones, when you are partying and they run out of battery.

Huawei Mate 20 Pro – Technical specifications

DIMENSIONS: 156.9 x 72.4 x 8.6 mm
WEIGHT: 189 gr
SCREEN SIZE: 6.39 inches
SCREEN: 3120 x 1440 pixels (538 ppi)
FRONTAL CAMERA: 24 megapixels
REAR CAMERA: 40 megapixels
CHIPSET: HiSilicon Kirin 980

First verdict

After having tested the Huawei Mate 20 Pro, we are as or more enthusiastic than before the launch. One of the strengths is the triple camera, but the Mate 20 Pro has much more to offer. We have not discovered big problems, nor did we expect them. Both visually and functionally, we are talking about a smartphone of the highest quality.

Something that is clear is that the battle for the throne this year will be more close than ever. Apple with the iPhone XS, Samsung with the Galaxy Note 9, Google with the third generation of the Pixel … They are all more than worthy rivals for the Mate 20 Pro of Huawei. More reasons to analyze the device with special precision!


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