Just a few hours ago, Huawei introduced four smartphones at once. The most important for us, and for the company itself, is the Mate 20 Pro. We will be selling this particular model in green. The device is interesting, with several important innovations at once, which, quite possibly, will determine the further development of the smart phone market in the coming year.
At first, the Mate line was a bit of an experiment for Huawei. Large screen, appropriate dimensions, rather big price – the devices are good, but too specific. However, large smartphones went into fashion, so the Mate models, most likely even suddenly for the company, became popular.
It so happened that this particular line receives new processors and cameras, which, with minor changes, migrate to the “flagships of the first half of the year” – the P line. The Mate 20 Pro should become something like a showcase where the latest achievements of the Asian manufacturer are demonstrated. So let’s look at them.
What is in the box
Mate 20 Pro is a flagship smartphone, and therefore expect something from it. Options, for example, must be rich! We open a black box with textured stripes, and there …
In addition to the phone itself, there are headphones with a Type-C connector (because the device does not have a 3.5 mm audio port), an envelope with waste paper and a paper clip, a transparent silicone case, a hefty charge, a cable and an adapter for your headphones from a classic Type-C audio jack .
Not to say that the equipment forced me to open my mouth in surprise, but thanks for the cover, headphones, as well as fast charging and an audio adapter (hello Apple!).
The Mate line is more about business. Apparently, that’s why we are not pampered with a riot of colors. This is not P20 for you. This time, the design is more restrained, without dozens of layers and multiple refractions of light. However, boring colors, if it is not black, still can not be called.
Emerald green glistens, shimmers, just does it, or something, more strictly. This color may not attract attention from the outside, but it probably will not alienate the audience that is accustomed to a more rigorous color scheme.
The glass cover of the smartphone is covered with a small, but felt by the fingers mesh. It performs not only a decorative, but also a practical function, namely it prevents slipping in the hand. Well, in the palm of your hand such a surface is really and tactilely pleasant, and does not strive to slip out. However, as soon as you put the Mate 20 Pro on a flat surface, do not lose sight of it! Because the device strives to escape somewhere to the nearest “abyss”.
It was hoped that the textured coating would protect the phone cover from fingerprints. But no, they stay here as easily as on any other glass surface. Fortunately, traces are removed just as easily.
The frame is metal. There is nothing at all on the left sidewall – the slot for the SIM and memory card is located at the bottom. By the way, about the memory card. That’s all, from now on microSD will not fit here. Huawei has come up with its own card format, which in size is no different from nanoSIM, and it is called almost the same – nanoSD. A memory card is not included.
It is difficult to say how much such a solution is in demand. Unification is good, but the user still has a choice: use a SIM pair or a SIM card with a memory card. In general, everything is as before with a hybrid slot. Now, except that you do not need to look closely at which side and where to insert the memory card. In general, such an innovation – if only it were.
But the fact that the tray is protected by a rubberized gasket is definitely good. The smartphone is protected according to the IP68 standard, which means it will quietly survive under water.
But back to the layout of the ends. In addition to strips with antennas, we also see an infrared sensor for controlling home appliances and a microphone for noise reduction. Below is a couple of microphones, the mentioned slot for SIM and / or memory card and a USB Type-C connector for charging.
One could say that there is nothing unusual on the right sidewall. In the end, the power and volume buttons are almost always located here. But there is one noteworthy accent – the power key, in contrast to the other buttons, is red. A curious design move, nothing more.
Oh yes, they almost forgot – in front, the Mate 20 Pro strongly resembles the typical Galaxy line. The point is a slightly rounded display on the ends. Samsung seems to have ended the monopoly on curved matrices! Is this good or bad? It all depends on individual preferences. This curvature is hindered to some by the distortion of information along the edges. Others like it thanks to better ergonomics and grip. Well, the information is really distorted, and the grip is really convenient.
There was a cover with a block of cameras. Frankly speaking, in the pictures this square with four eyes looks more ugly than it actually is. The live unit with three cameras and a flash does not seem to be something alien. However, this island also does not pull on designer refinement. The pad rises a millimeter above the surface of the phone. If you absolutely do not accept this alignment, it’s time to pay attention to the Mate 20 RS, where there is no protrusion.
In general, the design of the Mate 20 Pro is not a loud “wow!”, But also not a faceless rectangle. Designers borrowed something from others, added something else. The result is logical – the appearance of the smartphone is calm, but not dull, modern, but not innovative. Perhaps this option will cover the maximum possible audience, including both those eschewing deliberate brightness of users, and those who are tired of faded black and gray “bricks”.
It is very pleasing that you can not worry about the quality of displays in smartphones for a long time. Whatever device you take, you are unlikely to be dissatisfied with the screen. Ergonomics, a slow processor, heating, or a short battery life can be inconvenient, but the times when we complained about inverted colors or pixels the size of a fist have passed.
Perhaps, only lingering disputes between IPS lovers and OLED adherents can revive the display calm. But these arguments are empty. Both technologies, albeit not without minor flaws, but have reached such a stage of development that it will no longer be possible to turn the nose from a poor-quality screen.
All this, of course, applies to the Mate 20 Pro. Here, the OLED matrix with a diagonal of almost 6.4 inches with a resolution of 3120 × 1440 pixels. By default, “smart resolution” is activated, preferring to remain within the framework of Full HD + (2340 × 1080 pixels). Our test human eye could not detect the difference between the two values, so the settings were left as they are.
The already mentioned bends of the display do not carry any additional functionality. The only question is aesthetics and ergonomics.
The cutout at the top of the screen is quite large, similar to the current iPhone models. This probably happened because of the cumbersome face recognition system. Here we will talk about it in the next section.
Android 9.0, EMUI 9.0, face and sound
Model Mate 20 Pro boasts the latest version of Android, as well as its own shell EMUI. Nothing has changed dramatically – Huawei’s proprietary interface is recognized at a glance. But there are a few nuances.
Firstly, now you can turn on the “gesture” control system without displaying any buttons. Swiped right or left – returned to the previous screen, pulled from the bottom – got “home”, pulled and delayed – opened a menu with recent applications. You get used to such a system quickly, everything works properly and is perceived as convenient after half an hour.
Secondly, it became possible to scan 3D objects. During the presentation, they showed how you can scan a toy panda, and then send it for a walk through augmented reality. Funny, but generally useless. In addition, we didn’t have a toy panda at hand, and the system did not want to scan a banalism like a cup or a camera.
Thirdly, Huawei has slightly redesigned the design of branded applications so that they are convenient to use taking into account the large display. Many controls are shifted to the bottom – so you can reach them with one hand.
Fourth, they simplified the output of images from the smartphone screen to a large monitor, as well as sending to network printers.
However, all these are trifles. The most interesting in this section is the fingerprint sensor and face recognition system located under the display. Most liked the latter. Thanks to the three-dimensional function of determining the depth of field, using a vertical laser emitter, the device recognizes more than 30 thousand points on the user’s face. It is because of this system that such a wide “monobrow” has turned out.
It takes a few seconds to register a face. Unlock – moments. Huawei already had models with a face-unlock feature that works quickly and almost unmistakably. Her only problem is darkness. Smartphone Mate 20 Pro recognizes the owner in half a second, even in pitch darkness. Verified – it works no worse than in the new iPhone XS .
But the screen unlock looks so-so. To turn on the phone, you need to aim at a specific place on the display, hold your finger to it with effort (a light touch is not good) and hold it a little. It works for sure, but somehow not quickly compared to the usual sensors. One thing is good – with a remarkably working face recognition function, fingerprint authorization is not required.
Pleasantly surprised by the complete headphones. Inveterate music lovers will probably immediately send them to the bucket, but if without jokes, then for inexpensive-looking plugs, the sound is very decent. In any case, I don’t even want to go into any settings.
There are external stereo speakers for calls. They sound clean, except I would like to add a little volume.
It is supplemented. After several busy days with the Mate 20 Pro, several other interesting software improvements were noted. Now, for example, to remove the application, you do not need to drag its shortcut to the upper right corner of the screen – instead, a pop-up menu appears with a “trash” above the icon itself.
An option called “Digital Balance” appeared in the settings. Here you can restrict access to applications and set a temporary daily limit on the use of the phone. A similar feature has already been seen on the iPhone.
From top-end smartphones Samsung switched the ability to display the current time and date on the screen of the turned off smartphone. She also eats up the battery decently, so I set it up so that it only showed time at night. It turned out something like a night watch.
It is difficult to talk about the superiority of a particular processor without detailed and thorough research. One thing is clear – the “iron” capabilities of smartphones currently exceed software needs. There is nothing to load flagship chips yet, the power is excessive, the “parrots” are useless, but you need to constantly invent and implement something new.
The Kirin 980 processor was introduced by Huawei separately from smart phones in late summer. Most likely, they hastened to become the creators of the “world’s first” 7-nanometer chip before the announcement of the iPhone XS with its A12 Bionic. So the swallows arrived in time – the Mate 20 with its “pro” fellow.
The development received eight cores, but they are not divided into two groups, as before (four productive and four weak cores), but into three. One still includes four economical cores (not Cortex-A53, but newer Cortex-A55). They are involved in operations that do not require serious computing capabilities. For example, listening to music, telephone functionality – everything is left to these particular cores.
The second unit includes two powerful Cortex-A76 cores operating at lower frequencies. They come in when the user launches the camera or games. Went completely “heavy” with top-end toys, AR, VR and other difficulties? Then a pair of cores of the third block with an increased frequency is activated.
The peculiarity is that Kirin 980 can turn on any number of cores in any combination and with different frequencies at any given time depending on current tasks. Previously, either a cluster of low-power cores or the most productive one usually worked. There could also be combinations within one unit (for example, only three energy-efficient or only two powerful ones, and so on). Now the processor has much more opportunities to select the core bundles suitable for a particular situation.
Responsible for this selection is the very artificial intelligence that we used to perceive only as a decorator of photographs. However, the chip also learns the user’s habits and actions, learning on time and quickly switching combinations of different cores.
All this, together with new cores and a reduced process technology, allowed, as claimed by Huawei, to increase productivity and reduce power consumption by about a third. This is compared to the still flagship and very common Snapdragon 845 chip.
As for the graphics, Kirin did not use the most advanced Mali chips in this regard. The Kirin 980 is also Mali, but the G76, as the manufacturer claims, has cosmically gone far from its predecessor in the face of the G72. Everything should become even faster, smoother and more incredible. Just to find where to apply this power.
So, according to Huawei, the new Mate 20/20 Pro got a very productive and at the same time energy-efficient processor. Everything is wonderful in words, in fact, we also failed to deal with a lack of productivity. “Everything flies, there are no brakes” – it’s good that this phrase has recently been applied not only to flagships, but also to mid-range phones. It is not surprising that the new products during the testing never gave reason to doubt the lack of speed.
In AnTuTu tests, you can squeeze out about 300 thousand points, but for this you need to activate the productive mode. At the same time, a high load literally “gives heat” and warms up the area in the area of the camera. In a balanced mode, the heat is barely felt, the games continue to fly, but the benchmark loses about 20% of the points.
Note that the Mate 20 Pro is equipped with 6 GB of RAM and 128 GB of internal memory. Also declared the “fastest in the world” Wi-Fi and LTE. Alas, there is nowhere to measure their ultrahigh speeds in real conditions.
4200 mAh is a lot. Add an energy-efficient processor and OLED screen, as well as an intelligent power management system. Must last a long time!
Huawei promises that on a single charge, the Mate 20 Pro will work for more than a day, even with the most intensive use. We have not yet managed to verify this statement, but it should be something like this – for half a day of hellish testing with active photography, account transfer, video launch and network games, the battery charge decreased from the initial 53% to 22%. Most likely, with an average daily use, the battery can last two days. If this is not so, we will update this section in the future.
The smartphone supports fast charging technology, both by wire and without them. A complete charger allows you to replenish energy up to 70% in half an hour. The rest will take somewhere else about an hour.
There is an interesting feature called “Reverse Wireless Charging”. Put another phone on the Mate 20 Pro, and it charges. A miracle that works! The main thing is that the Mate 20 Pro battery has at least 20% remaining charge.
It is supplemented. In the process of operation, it turned out that it would be more correct to talk about a day and a half of the stable operation of the smartphone in active operation. We Mate 20 Pro sat down to zero at 18 hours of the second day. This is taking into account the shooting of 4K-video, navigation and photography.
Fast charging is surprising. In just 40 minutes, a smartphone with a completely depleted battery is 93% charged! The remaining 7% took another 20 minutes.
Huawei once again relies on artificial intelligence. But if earlier one neuroprocessor was responsible for his work, now there are two of them. Was it really enough for coloring photos? The manufacturer assures – not enough.
Thanks to two processors calculating neural networks, the Mate 20 Pro can recognize not only contours, but also objects, both in videos and photos. A smartphone can simultaneously lead up to 10 objects in a frame, process graphic effects in real time, select and do a smooth zoom-in on an object. At the same time there is a zoom and sound!
It should be noted that Leica does not produce photomodules for the Mate 20 Pro, but the lens layout and signal processing have passed German control. Contrast and deep shadows – signature from Leica.
The device received three cameras: a wide-angle 40-megapixel f / 1.8, a telephoto module with a resolution of 8 megapixels and an f / 2.4 aperture, and finally an ultra-wide 20-megapixel f / 2.2, equivalent to a focal length of 16 mm. Recall, the 40-megapixel sensor is gigantic by the standards of mobile phones with a size of 1 / 1.7 inches. Such for a long time were placed in compact cameras of the upper price range.
Huawei has decided to abandon the monochrome sensor, which this year put on the most titled camera phone P20 Pro. Thanks to the NPU and high resolution of the new module, it is simply not necessary. The phone already perfectly recognizes contours and “smooths out” noises, taking into account the context of objects.
To compute the scene, the Mate 20 Pro has a wide-angle module. Ultra-wide also allows you to shoot macro from a distance of just 2.5 centimeters.
The smartphone has a full set of manual shooting settings, tracking AI 4D autofocus system, bitonal LED flash, which is taken out by a separate eye, and a 24-megapixel selfie camera with f / 2 aperture. The device’s AI works with the image, breaking it into segments. Thus, if the neural network decides to make the sky more blue, your blue pants will remain a natural color, and not go into a deep blue-blue gradient.
Unlike Apple’s flagships and Samsung’s new 4-module camera, the Mate 20 Pro photomodules are located in the center of the device. This provides smoother panning and less axial shake of the picture during spontaneous shooting.
As you can see, the smartphone provides good quality photos in the dark. On a five-time hybrid zoom, a distinctive bokeh is noticeable, small details are smeared. The colors, automatic exposure and white balance are beautiful, there is nothing to complain about.
Everything is simple here. Given the price and claims, only two current flagships can compete with the Huawei Mate 20 Pro – Samsung Galaxy Note9 and iPhone XS Max.
In addition, in the direction of the newcomer, his “folder” in the face of the Huawei P20 Pro squinted his eyes. Yes, they have serious differences in the filling and in general, but it will be interesting to compare the photo capabilities of the devices. In the end, the Mate 20 Pro is not the least of all a camera phone.
Huawei Mate 20 Pro is a true flagship with the corresponding price. In Europe, they ask for 1,050 euros for a model. How much will you have to pay for the phone with us? It is still unknown, but they say that it will definitely not be more expensive.
We have no doubt that from now on top-end smartphones will have a new race, this time related not only to quality, but also to the number of cameras. The Chinese company was one of the first to implement a useful combination of photomodules. Together with the finely trained AI, this has led the Mate 20 Pro to take great shots. It will be very interesting to compare the photo capabilities of the new product and its competitors. We will do it soon.