Huawei wants to have more than the best camera, they want the best phone across all categories. This is what they have aimed to do with their latest device, the Huawei Mate20 Pro. At a breakfast event in Toronto recently we learned about the device from experts, later taking it home to test it out for ourselves.
We most recently reviewed the Huawei P20 Pro whose device aimed to be the most competitive and best smartphone camera on the market, and they pretty much achieved that goal. So will their newest device achieve the goal of smartphone supremacy? Let’s take a look.
Huawei Mate20 Pro – The Device
The device measures 157.8 x 72.3 x 8.6 mm, it weighs 189g and comes in black and Twilight (a purple/black pearlescent paint type colourway). More colours will come out soon including Pink Gold, Midnight Blue and Emerald Green. The display is a 16.23 cm (6.39 inch) curved OLED. I have some reservations about curved screens. The first, is that is is easier to accidentally touch the screen in a variety of situations. The other reason is that cases don’t work well with them. Because cases must be designed with the low edge in mind, the convex shape of the screen leaves the display vulnerable. No edges allows for raised case edges protecting the phone from damage. Though I am also not a promoter of good design features taking a back seat to people’s clumsiness. What do you think?
The battery on this phone is a beast. A 4200 mAh pack with definitely get you through the day with moderate to heavy use (severe chronic use not accounted for).
The Triple camera is back! Along with the light the 4 utility backing has changed shape and is now in a square pattern with the light and one camera closer to the top of the device. The 3 rear facing cameras on this device are the main 40MP (27mm, F1.8), the ultra wide-angle 20MP (16mm, F2.2) and the telephoto 8MP (80mm, F2.4). The Front facing camera is a 24 MP (F2.0, FF).
The device comes with 128GB or 256GB of storage with the ability to add a 256 GB nano memory card. It will have 6GB and 8GB of RAM for the 128GB and the 256GB versions. Perfect for all of your movies and songs. Speaking of which, the new dual speakers are at both ends and are covered for more protection and a minimalist design. This does not reduce the quality or power of the sound. We loved them but still prefer front facing speakers like the Google Pixel 2 phones because you don’t cover them when cupping the phones.
What’s in the box?
The contents of the box are the device itself, the SIM pin, a USB -> USB-C cable, a wall plug that requires a USB attachment, headphones with a USB-C jack, a headphone jack to USB-C converter cord. There is no way to attach USB-C to USB-C with the contents of this device. If I want to plug my Huawei Mate20 Pro into my laptop with all USB-C plugs (Macbook Pro), I would have to get another attachment separately. A thin clear gel case also comes with the device.
Huawei Mate20 Pro – The Features
There are a lot of new features on the Huawei Mate20 Pro.
We already mentioned the 3 rear facing cameras and the front facing camera but these lenses offer up some new features that go beyond the focal length and resolution.
The wide angle lens has a few cool functions. The first is the ability to shoot macro with it, allowing you to get as close as a couple centimetres from your subject. Another feature is the ability to shoot video at 21:9 ratio with the wide angle zoom. Allowing you to catch that real movie feel.
The camera has improved on the AI from the P series phone and now can recognize 1500 scenarios across 25 categories. This is great for those who want great photos without having to go full manual and edit the images after. It will detect what you are shooting and provide the right settings and edits to make it look great. It will automatically fix highlights, shadows, contrast and colours.
The AI Portrait colour mode allows you to select colours in an otherwise black and white image. At our showcase event we were shown the ability to select a subject to be in colour while the rest is in black and white, all while shooting video. This was pretty cool.
We already mentioned the amazing 4200 mAh battery pack but there are some other exciting features too. The new supercharger allows you to charge your phone from 0% – 70% in 30 minutes using the 40W HUAWEI SuperCharge. The phone also supports wireless charging with the 15W HUAWEI Quick Wireless Charge. Does your friend need a boost? The Huawei Mate20 Pro has REVERSE CHARGING! You can now simply rest your phone against your friend’s phone and charge their phone wirelessly. Your friends will love you.
A couple new features with the biometric scans. The first is the new facescan unlock that boasts a 0.6 second reaction time and a 1:1,000,000 chance of failure. (we weren’t able to get to a million before writing this to verify).
A feature that I think is great that will rival the Pixel phone fingerprint scanner, is a anywhere on screen fingerprint scanner. With the Huawei Mate20 Pro, you can touch anywhere on the screen to unlock the phone with your fingerprint. During the event we were also shown how two different fingers can unlock two separate users on the same phone. You can have your regular personal phone and then your work phone, all with different apps, layouts and unlocked by different fingers or thumbs.
Huawei Mate20 Pro – Notes
I only had the device for a few days prior to writing this so wasn’t able to get through everything on the device. Here are some extra notes that I may add on as I learn more.
If you want larger text from accessibility settings, it may effect other apps in a negative way. I raised the size just 1 point and my Instagram format was a bit off. Maybe they could turn off these setting for certain apps that don’t support the changes.
The IP 68 waterproofing is great but with the add-on water housing case, you can turn the Huawei Mate20 Pro into an underwater video camera that can go much deeper for a longer period of time. We hope to try this out while on vacation this winter.
The Huawei Mate20 Pro will sell for $1199 in Canada.
*This review was done on the Twilight Huawei Mate20 Pro connected with TELUS.