Huawei just launched the newest in their Mate lineup of flagship phones, the Huawei Mate 20 and the Huawei Mate 20 Pro. They were kind enough to bring me to London to check them out and even gave me some to test so first, here’s my complete walkthrough on the Huawei Mate 20.
If you aren’t familiar, a complete walkthrough on this channel is where I try and go through every feature I possibly can on a device so that you guys are better prepared should you be in the market to buy one.
Now, for anyone who’s seen my Mate RS or Mate 20 Pro walkthroughs, a lot of this is going to be familiar since they are all similar in a lot of ways. Fair warning.
With that said, there’s still a lot to go through, so let’s get started with the design.
And first, I have to say that with the P20 and P20 Pro from last year and, now, with these two new phones, there’s this sense that Huawei is paying a lot more attention to design language and trying to make their devices uniquely theirs. The P series is meant to resemble a camera from behind, while this new look for the Mate series that I imagine they’ll continue isn’t on any other popular device I know of. I kinda like it.
We have curved glass all-around that makes it feel nice in hand actually, and it comes in 5 colors. Two gradient colors: pink gold and the new Twilight that goes from black to purple to blue instead of the old one that went from green to blue to purple. It’s a more pronounced color because of that.
We have a new texture that Huawei is calling Hyper Optical Display Pattern that has a feather-line pattern with a vinyl texture to make it less slippery apparently (you can even scratch at it to make that vinyl sound). It’ll come in midnight blue and emerald green in that new texture. And for those people who want it, we have plain old black.
On the left, we have the dual SIM card tray.
On the right, we have our different colored power button and our volume buttons.
On the top, we an IR blaster that can be used with the included app to control TV’s, air conditioning units, and a bunch of other things so long as they have an IR receiver as well as our 3.5mm headphone jack.
On the bottom, we have our USB-C port that can be used with Huawei’s 22.5W Supercharge system that’ll get the device from 0-58% in 30 mins (compared to the 70% in 30 mins of the 40W system in the Pro) as well as our speaker.
Also, that dual SIM card slot can use the SIM2 card slot for a new type of memory card called Nano-Memory. It’s the same size as a Nano SIM, but there is no word yet on the pricing or availability of this memory (if one of you guys knows, let everyone else know in the comments below).
The device is IP53 water resistant (so occasional drops of water on it are fine but this rating means that even if caught in the rain you should try and put it away as soon as possible, and if it gets submerged in water it’ll most likely kill it).
It’s powered by the new Kirin 980 chipset that has a dual NPU for machine learning, an 8-core CPU that Huawei claims is 75% more powerful and 58% more power efficient, and a new GPU. And I think it feels snappier than the Mate 10 Pro or even the P20, for that matter.
Paired with this is the option of either 4GBs or 6GBs of RAM and 128GBs of storage.
On the front, we have a 6.53″ 2244×1080 18.7:9 aspect ratio LCD HDR display that is RGBW instead of the more common RGB. Without getting too technical, this means it has the same red, green, and blue LEDs per chip we’re used to but also adds a dedicated white LED that can be used to produce a purer white than the normal way of turning the red, blue, and green to full brightness as well as adding the white to the other colors to get more shades of color.
Besides this, the screen also has a kinder dewdrop (as Huawei is calling it) notch shape. In this notch, we have the same 24MP f2.0 front-facing camera but none of the 3D face scanning tech. This doesn’t mean you can’t use face unlock however as most Android devices have a version of this that just uses the camera. It’s less secure, less accurate, and a bit slower, but if you want to use it, it’s still there.
Speaking of security, we have a fingerprint sensor located on the back under the camera.
And finally, we have 1.4Gbps LTE, WiFi 802.11ac that can supposedly hit 1.7Gbps thanks to new MIMO antennas perhaps, Bluetooth 5.0, and a massive 4000mah battery.
For software, it’s running Android Pie with EMUI 9, Huawei’s custom user interface, running on top. Since it is similar to any other version of Android and especially any other EMUI device, I won’t go through every single piece of the software, but here’s the software Huawei has installed and some of the more significant software changes.
Firstly, you can choose between the traditional Android software buttons at the bottom of the screen, or you use a gesture-based system. The gesture system lets you swipe from the left or right sides of the screen to go back, up from the bottom of the phone to go home, up from the bottom and hold it to get to multitasking, and up from a corner to get to Google Assistant.
You can choose between no app drawer, and all your apps are on your home screen or, the more traditional, dotted icon to get to your app drawer.
We have our usual shortcuts in the notification shade that can be customized and swapped out for others.
And for included apps, we have:
- App Gallery: Huawei’s app store.
- Backup: App that lets you backup your device to the internal storage or an external device.
- Booking.com: Bloatware for booking.com
- Huawei Health: Huawei’s health tracking app for steps, etc.
- HiCare: Huawei’s customer service app for support.
- Mirror: A weird app to let you use the device as a mirror (basically just opens the front-facing camera).
- Music: Huawei’s music app to play back music as well as buy new songs.
- Phone Clone: Let’s you copy all your apps and data from or to another device.
- Phone Manager: Let’s you monitor and adjust the performance, storage space, and battery usage.
- Recorder: Audio recording app.
- SIM Toolkit: An app to manage each of the dual SIMs.
- Smart Remote: The app to use the IR blaster I mentioned.
- Themes: Place to download or buy new themes/skins.
- Tips: An app to help you learn more about the device.
- Torch: Tapping this button turns on the LED as a flashlight.
- Microsoft Translator: A specialized version of the Microsoft Translator app that is optimized for the NPU in the Kirin chipset.
- Wallet: Huawei’s own version of Android Pay.
Now, on the back, we have our new three-camera system tuned by Leica that thankfully has lost the monochrome sensor in exchange for three different focal lengths (which I think is way more useful).
We have a 12MP main camera with an f1.8 aperture and a standard focal length. Then we have a 2x optical zoom 8MP f2.4 lens that is optically stabilized thankfully.
And finally, we have the new wide angle lens replacing the monochrome, that is a 16MP f2.2 equivalent of a 17mm lens.
You can switch between the cameras using the same button at the bottom of the viewfinder to go from the 0.6x super-wide, to the normal angle, to the 2x optical telephoto, to the 5x software zoom.
Now, inside the camera UI, we have:
- Huawei Lens: This shortcut to allow you to use their version of Google Lens that identifies items to search for shopping, images, etc.
- Flash: Flash options.
- Motion: Essentially Live Photo which takes a small clip before and after a photo is taken that can be played back in the gallery.
- Color: Select from Standard, Vivid, and Smooth coloring (which mimic Leica film stocks I’m told).
- Aperture: This allows you to mimic a faster aperture with a blurred background. This is similar to Portrait mode, but this will work on any object whereas Portrait is meant for people. You can also select between 1x, 2x, and 3x zoom.
- Portrait: Does the same blurred background trick as Aperture but will only work if it recognizes a face and also adds, a beautification feature to smooth skin (which I always find terrifying). We also have 3D Lighting Effects that can add stained glass reflections, shadows from blinds, and other cheesy lighting effects.
- Photo: The usual auto mode for taking photos. You can shoot from 8MPs in 18:9 aspect ratio to 12MP in 4:3.
- Video: The usual auto mode for taking videos. You can shoot from 720P to 4K30.
- Pro: A mode that allows you to control various camera settings like ISO, Shutter Speed, etc.
- Food: Basically ups the saturation.
- Night: One of my favorite features from the P20 series has made it’s way to the Mate 20 Pro, night mode. This takes a long exposure shot then uses some software magic to overlay the different exposures over the image to create a crisper better exposed overall shot. Other devices can do something similar, but this is the only one I’ve found that can do such a long exposure and because of its software stabilization it can negate your handshake which normally would result in an image with streaks in it (even from a much more expensive camera).
- Slow-Mo: You can do 720P video in 960fps for short 0.2 sec bursts, and either has it automatically take a burst when something moves through the square, or you can manually control when it takes the bursts. You can also go to 240fps or 120fps, as well (personally the 120fps is slow enough for me, and it looks surprisingly good).
- Panorama: The normal panorama mode that stitches photos together to make a larger image.
- Monochrome: For anyone sad about the monochrome sensor being removed in favor the wide angle one, don’t worry as there is still a monochrome mode (it just uses software instead of the specific sensor–again think that makes way more sense to me).
- AR Lens: Even though we don’t have the more complex sensors in the notch as we do with the Mate 20 Pro, Huawei still allows you to use the front camera to control their AR lenses (think Animoji).
- Light Painting: Special mode to allow for using a source of light (like a flashlight) to draw in an image.
- HDR: Still don’t understand why this is here as its own mode on Huawei devices as the camera automatically turns this on automatically in normal mode.
- Timelapse: Allows you to take a video that is then sped up.
- Filters: Think Instagram filters.
- Watermarks: Think location tags.
- Document Scanner: Let’s you take a photo of a document, and it’ll try it’s best to mimic a scan.
- Download: You can download other camera modes from the more button whenever more are available I imagine.
Then in the camera settings, we have:
- GPS Tag: Adds location metadata to the photo for organizational reasons.
- Add Watermark: Adds “Huawei Mate 20 Pro Leica Triple Camera AI” to the bottom left of every photo you take. Not sure why you’d want that but sure.
- Master AI: The usual AI camera helper we’re used to now that can recognize various scenes and automatically adjusts the camera settings for that scene. The new addition is that it can now also adjust to the different lenses based on what you’re shooting (i.e., switching automatically to the wide angle lens when it thinks you’re taking a photo of a landscape). I always turn this off on every phone as I find it never does what I want and frankly the addition of the switching lens “feature” is even more obnoxious in my opinion.
- Assistive Grid: Turn on different grids to help you line up shots in the frame (I always use the rule of thirds, personally).
- Mirror Reflection: Turns the camera view around, so it more resembles a mirror.
- Mute: Turns off the camera sounds (why you would ever want these on, I’m not sure).
- Timer: Choose between 3, 5 and 10-sec timers.
- Audio Control: Allows you to say cheese to take a photo or have it automatically take a photo when the noise around the phone gets to a certain decibel level.
- Capture Smiles: Have it automatically take a photo whenever it recognizes a smile in the photo.
- 4D Predictive Focus: This is a clever use of the AI on the device, I think. It can recognize the subject (i.e., a person, a dog, etc.) and automatically track that person with the autofocus and seems to be pretty accurate and fast in my quick time with it.
- Ultra Snapshot: You can choose whether you want to automatically take a photo when you double tap the power button, have it open the camera (my preferred setting), or do nothing.
And here are some camera samples, straight from the Mate 20 (no edits):
And there you go, guys. As much as I could squeeze into this video. I have to admit, it feels like Huawei just listened to all of us say what things we liked in other phones and just threw them all into this phone. I’m not gonna lie, kinda excited to try it out.
Follow me on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter (@theunlockr) for photos from the device coming ASAP and subscribe for more videos if you aren’t already and make sure to check the bell next to the word subscribe, so you get notified about new videos and let me know what you guys think about this phone in the comments below. Thanks for reading.