Huawei surprised all of us with its triple camera setup on the P20 Pro launched earlier this year which offered a great level of versatility when it came to clicking pictures with lossless zoom or if you wanted to fit in more into the frame with the wide-angle lens. While the P20 Pro was majorly built around its camera prowess, the new Mate 20 Pro brings a lot more to the table in the form of a new 7nm based SoC, a curved display and a fingerprint scanner that resides under the display to name a few. Huawei has thrown in a bucket-load of features onto the Mate 20 Pro but does that make it the ultimate smartphone to purchase? Let’s address that and talk about our first impressions of the Huawei Mate 20 Pro.
Right off the bat, the Mate 20 Pro is one premium looking smartphone. The display subtly melts over the edges to give an extremely smooth feel that makes the transition between the glass and the metal body look seamless. The back is also curved glass and has the typical Huawei dual-tone look that we’ve been seeing for a while now. The subtle curvature on both sides means that despite having a relatively large 6.39-inch display, the Mate 20 Pro feels surprisingly comfortable to hold and use in one hand.
Talking about that display, the resolution is 1440 x 3120 pixels which makes it plenty sharp, and there’s also a notch at the top housing vital sensors, an earpiece which also doubles up as a speaker, a front-facing 24MP f/2.0 camera and some dedicated electronics for secure face unlock, much like the newer iPhones. Being an AMOLED panel, the blacks are as deep as you would expect and the colors look pleasing to the eye, albeit a little oversaturated.
The Mate 20 Pro is the first smartphone to sport the all-new Kirin 980 SoC based on the 7nm manufacturing process, and while it’s too early to settle on a judgment just yet, performance does look promising with apps flying open as soon as you tap on them, and multitasking feels like a breeze too. EMUI 9 running on top of Android 9 Pie complements the powerful hardware by providing a blazingly fast experience while retaining a lot of handy features. There’s either 6 or 8GB of RAM along with 128 or 256GB of onboard storage.
The 7nm architecture of the Kirin 980 also implies superior power efficiency, and when coupled with a humongous 4200mAh battery, you’re in for a battery marathon which just keeps going on and on and on! The included Super Charger in the box with an insane 40W rating also means you wouldn’t have to have your phone plugged in for too long if you’re in a hurry.
The most talked about attribute of the Mate 20 Pro is its camera module. The missile launcher lookalike setup on the back house three cameras – A 40MP f/1.8 lens for normal shots, a 20MP f/2.2 lens for ultra-wide angle shots, and 8MP f/2.4 telephoto lens for up to 5X lossless zoom. That’s a lot of numbers, how does it compare to the likes of the Pixel 3 or the iPhone XS you ask? Initial impressions show promising outputs from the rear shooter and while its too early to give a verdict, the superior processing algorithm from Google might surely give the Mate 20 Pro’s hardware a run for its money. Care for a comparison between the two? Let us know, and we’ll make it happen! However, having two extra lenses that offer more functionality is always handy in certain scenarios.
Talking about some extras, the USB-C port on the Mate 20 Pro (which is the only I/O port on the device, by the way, RIP headphone jack) is USB 3.1 compatible, something that we seldom see on smartphones. The Mate 20 Pro is IP68 rated, has an IR blaster up top, supports wireless charging, and can also act as a wireless charging pad for other smartphones which might feel gimmicky, but it’s there nonetheless. The fingerprint scanner now rests under the display and while its fast and accurate, I would have preferred the placement to be slightly lower. The dedicated sensors for face unlock work pretty well too as the phone unlocks almost instantaneously even in extremely dark conditions.
While the Huawei Mate 20 Pro does seem like an almost perfect smartphone, the exorbitant pricing would surely be a deal breaker for many. Priced at Rs. 69,990 in India, the Mate 20 Pro is shaping out to be one of the more complete smartphones out there if price is not an issue, but we’ll have to wait to see how well it fairs in the long run, so watch out for our full review of the Mate 20 Pro that should be coming out real soon.