Huawei Mate 20 Review – Best Smartphone of the Year 2018?

Huawei Mate 20 Review

We’ve seen the growth of smartphones over the years thanks to the brands who continuously innovated cool features to entice its end-users. At first, I thought 2017 would be the year where smartphone market will hit its limit and will eventually stop its growth, reasons would be: most applications can be handled with the current hardware, cameras will never be different due to existing technology and the hype isn’t just there anymore.

But then Huawei came in and kick-started everything again with their new flagship devices and a partnership. I remembered it all began when they worked with Leica to work on better smartphone cameras. Lots of mixed reactions came in but Huawei never looked back and continued to bring Leica technology on their upcoming devices. All the patience and hard work finally paid-off as the P10 and Mate 10 series received tons of good feedback both on sales and tech reviews. Currently, Huawei ranks second in smartphone market share as of Q2 2018 and this is a huge testament to their quality and innovation.

With the new Mate 20 series, Huawei is again introducing new technologies to maintain their momentum, and hoping secure that #2 spot in global smartphone market share. We got our hands with the Huawei Mate 20 which is priced at just Php40,990.00 and I’ll be sharing my thoughts about it and tell you why I consider this as the smartphone to beat this 2018.

Mate 20 review

Huawei Mate 20 Huawei Mate 20 Pro
Size 158.2 x 77.2 x 8.3mm 157.8 x 72.3 x 8.6mm
Color Midnight Blue, Black Emeral Green, Twilight Black
Display 6.53-inch RGBW Display 18.7:9 DCIP3 HDR Display
FHD+ 2244×1080
6.39-inch curved OLED Display 19.5:9 DCI-P3 HDR Display
2K+ 3120×1440
CPU Kirin 980 Kirin 980
GPU Mali G76 720MHz, dual NPU Mali G76 720MHz, dual NPU
OS Android P- based EMUI 9 Android P- based EMUI 9
RAM 6GB 6GB
Storage 128GB expandable up to 256GB via nano memory card 128GB expandable up to 256GB via nano memory card
Rear Camera 16MP (Ultra Wide Angle, 17mm, f/2.2)
12MP (Wide Angle 27mm, f/1.8)
8MP (2x Telephoto 52mm, f/2.4, OIS)
40MP (Wide Angle, 27mm, f/1.8)
12MP (Ultra Wide Angle 16mm, f/2.2)
8MP (3x Telephoto 80mm, f/2.4, OIS)
Front Camera 24MP(f/2.0, FF) 24MP(f/2.0, FF)
Dual Sim Yes Yes
Battery 4000 mAh w/ Supercharge capability 4200 mAh w/ Supercharge capability

Quick Unboxing

Build and Design

The Huawei Mate 20 has curved metal frames on the sides which enables me to grip it securely with one hand, however, the back panel has a glossy finish which feels slippery and prone to smudges,  I recommend to use good case with it. The camera placements made the Mate 20 series unique with its square set-up formation which I am a fond of, it also shows that they are taking risks by creating new designs of their own.

The volume rockers and power button are located on the right side while on the left part is where you can find its sim card/ nano memory card tray that can support up to 256GB of memory expansion. At the bottom you’ll see its USB Type-C port for fast charging and data transfer, and a speaker grill. Lastly, a 3.5mm audio jack is found at the top together with its antenna lines.

Screen Display

It has an oddly sized screen at 6.53-inch RGBW display with FHD+ (2244×1080) resolution, the image and video qualities were okay, however, I still prefer the AMOLED or OLED displays as they have better saturation and color contrast. On the good note, this kind of panel actually felt better for my eyes in low bright settings (with or without the eye comfort mode) since you can adjust the nits lower than what the OLED screens can do at its minimum.

Mate 20 review

While using Netflix in landscape mode, the viewing area decreases to make room for the notch at the top. Viewing angles are slightly a little off on the Huawei Mate 20 which for me is actually an advantage instead since I don’t want other people beside me to see the contents on my phone.

Performance

It is powered by the newly released Kirin 980 processor which is also the world’s first 7nm Mobile A.I chipset for the best performance and efficiency. With over 6.9 billion transistors inside the new processor, it enables the Mate 20 to play MOST mobile games available in high settings with no signs of any lags or stutter. We tried playing Mobile Legends in it and to our surprise, not only it performed well but its temperature is at its minimal, we expected heat issues after 30mins of gameplay but the Mate 20 stayed chilled for another hour before feeling the heat at the back. Unfortunately for PUBG Mobile it can only be played well on medium settings.

mate 20 pubg mobile

It also houses a dual core NPU which is responsible for AI-guided process, like it automatically sets the camera settings for you depending on the subject and also notifies you which application is hogging your battery and RAM to maximize your phone’s performance.

Benchmarks: (Performance mode: OFF)

Gameplay Test:

Camera

Camera defines the Mate 20 series, it tops all of the other smartphones in terms of mobile photography thanks to its strong partnership with Leica. The triple camera set-up takes incredible photos and auto-enhances the images taken thanks to its AI capability.  What I like about it is that it has quite a number of shooting modes available which allows me to explore and experiment with it. Images taken by the Mate 20 are well-detailed and sharp, which I strongly prefer over saturation and contrast. The wide angle lens comes in handy for taking group photos and places I go to, I can definitely describe the Mate 20 as a point-and-shoot camera alternative!  However, you still need to install 3rd party software for photo editing as the native app installed have limited set of editing tools.

Software

Huawei Mate 20 comes in Android Pie 9.0 from out of the box on top of their in-house skin, EMUI version 9.0.0, . Although in my opinion they should have stick with the traditional app drawer design as I needed time to get used to it first. Noted features that I find useful is the Huawei Share, which lets you transfer files to both PC and smartphone wirelessly, a screen recorder, and face unlock feature. Speaking of face unlock, it is not as secure as the Face ID of iPhone X because it only uses the front camera to recognize its user, it can be bypassed with the use of any clear image and can be accidentally unlocked when you just glance on it. Make sure you add swipe to unlock before totally unlocking your device

It also has gestures like the ones in iPhone X: Swipe left or right to go BACK, swipe up to go to HOME and swipe up and pause to SWITCH APPS. I’ve been using it for quite some time and so far, I haven’t experienced any problem with it, so for me it is a good alternative if you want to maximize that screen space on the Huawei Mate 20.

Battery

This is another great feature of this phone as its battery life lasts more than I expected. On a single full charge, I get like 11 to 13 hours of casual use with it. Truly, the 7nm SoC helped in efficiency and performance. It supports fast charging so you can fill that 4000 mAh faster than the others as it supports 40W Huawei SuperCharge Technology

Conclusion

I got to give props to Huawei for making this smartphone, they hit it off in every aspect, from camera, performance and software. It’s really hard to see a flaw on this device, not to mention its price that is cheaper compared to other flagship devices. It is clear that the Mate 20 for me is the smartphone to beat this 2018.

Pros:

– Superb camera

– Fast charging

– Battery life is great

– Unique phone design

Cons

– Not for High Intensive games

– Screen lacks contrast and saturation

– EMUI still needs to improve

– Average speaker quality

TipsGeeks Worth Buying Award

Post Author: TipsGeeks

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