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Huawei Mate 20 Pro hands-on and first impressions: Upping the game

Huawei is again setting a new standard in smartphone photography with its latest Mate 20 series. Here are my first impressions.

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Huawei set a new standard in smartphone photography with the P20 Pro earlier this year. Now, the company is taking things a step up with its latest Mate 20 series. After an unveiling in the UK last month, Huawei has today launched the flagship Mate 20 Pro smartphone in India. It is priced at Rs 69,990, and will be going on sale exclusively via Amazon India starting December 4. Having spent some time with the device during the London launch, here are my first impressions.

Design

On the design front, the Mate 20 Pro looks contemporary, and quite obviously premium. The Mate 20 Pro features a curved display with quite a wide notch at the top. It also features a glass body, and will be available in India in Emerald Green, and Twilight colors. Interestingly, the green variant features what Huawei calls “hyper-optical display pattern”. Essentially these are subtle textures on the rear that are not only less prone to fingerprints, but are also easier to grip.

Display and power

The Mate 20 Pro features a 6.39-inch OLED display with Quad HD+ resolution, and 19.5:9 ratio. Under the hood is Huawei’s latest Kirin 980 SoC fabricated on the 7nm process. Along with Apple, Huawei is the only company offering a 7nm chipset, and needless to say, the smartphone is quite powerful.

The Kirin 980 octa-core SoC is claimed to offer 20 percent improved performance and 40 percent improved efficiency over 10nm chipsets. In the short time I spent with the smartphone, everything worked quite smoothly without a hint of lag anywhere.

With up to 6GB RAM on offer, the smartphone is quite capable of handling anything from day-to-day multitasking to graphic-intensive games with ease. On the software front, the device runs the latest Android Pie out-of-the-box wrapped under EMUI 9.

Cameras

The four cameras on board the Mate 20 smartphones is again among the highlights. These camera lenses and the LED flash are arranged in a square-ish pattern at the back.

The Mate 20 Pro comes with a 40-megapixel f/1.8 standard lens, 20-megapixel f/2.2 ultra wide-angle lens, and an 8-megapixel f/2.4 telephoto lens with OIS. Unlike on the P20 Pro, Huawei has dropped the monochrome lens that was meant for sharper edge definition with less noise. But the company claims that the use of larger and better sensors makes the monochrome help unnecessary.

While shots clicked in ambient lighting conditions at the venue are not enough to judge a camera, my first impressions are quite positive. Still, we will reserve our judgement till we spend a considerable more time with the new smartphones.

The Mate 20 Pro is the first smartphone from Huawei to feature an in-display fingerprint sensor. For further security, the Mate 20 Pro also features an advanced 3D face scanner hidden in the notch that helps you unlock the device by just looking at it. The Pro variant also features IP68 certification making it resistant to water and dust.

Huawei Mate 20 Pro First Look

The Mate 20 Pro is backed by a 4,200mAh battery. While it might come across as standard, the talking point truly is the support for 40W SuperCharge technology. Using the bundled supercharger, the smartphones can be juiced up in almost no time.

The smartphone also supports 15W wireless charging, and the Pro also comes with a feature that differentiates it from the standard variant. Reverse wireless charging essentially allows you to juice up any other device supporting Qi-based wireless charging using the Mate 20 Pro.

Huawei has also introduced a new proprietary card slot to expand the built-in memory on the Mate 20 smartphones. The company calls it nano memory card, which is shaped like a nano SIM card and basically goes into the second SIM tray. Huawei says this is a choice driven by design, but it remains to be seen how consumers react to it.

First impressions

The new Huawei smartphone is quite impressive in what it offers. The Mate 20 Pro seems quite capable of taking the competition to the Samsung Galaxys and Google Pixels of the world.

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Huawei Mate 20
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  • Published Date: November 27, 2018 1:30 PM IST
  • Updated Date: November 27, 2018 1:30 PM IST