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HUAWEI Mate 20 Pro Hands On Review

Huawei Consumer Business Group and Huawei Australia recently announced the launch of their new Mate 20 Series mobile handsets. Utilising the power of the Kirin 980 processor, the new series is arguably one of the most advanced handsets out there. Incorporating numerous advances in AI coupled with the latest technology, Huawei hopes to deliver a ground-breaking smartphone experience.

“Our mantra has always been to create products with innovations that enrich the lives of our users and the new HUAWEI Mate 20 Series is a true reflection of our commitment.” – Larking Huang, Managing Director of Huawei Australia Consumer Business Group.

Some of the phones key features:

  • Large 6.39” Huawei OLED Display
  • In-screen fingerprint sensor
  • Secure and fast facial recognition unlock
  • Kirin980 Dual AI 7nm processor
  • AI-powered triple Leica camera with ultra-wide lens
  • 40 Megapixel + 20MP + 8MP sensor
  • Ultra-close-up macro
  • High capacity 4200mAh battery with new generation SuperCharge technology
  • High-speed wireless charging compatible – also supports reverse wireless charging
  • IP68-rated – dustproof and water-resistant up to 1.5m
  • Dual 4G SIM Card Slots
  • Android 9.0 featuring EMUI 9.0
  • Comes with a clear protective case
  • Phoneclone – hassle-free smartphone switching and transfer from your old device

That’s some lovely tech eye candy right there. Let’s dive into some of those features in a little more detail.


Specifications of the Huawei Mate 20 Pro include:

ColoursMidnight Blue
Emerald Green (not available in Australia)
Twilight (not available in Australia)
OLED DisplaySize: 6.39 inches
Colour: 16.7 million colours
Colour gamut: DCI-P3
Resolution: 2K + 3120 x 1440, 538 PPI
Processing PowerHUAWEI Kirin 980
2*Cortex A76 2.6 GHz + 2*Cortex A76 1.92 GHz + 4*Cortex A55 1.8 GHz
Operating SystemAndroid 9
Capacity6 GB RAM + 128 GB ROM
8 GB RAM + 256 GB ROM
NM card: support up to 256 GB
Supported NetworksLYA-L29:
Primary SIM card:
4G LTE TDD: B34 / B38 / B39 / B40
4G LTE FDD: B1 / B2 / B3 / B4 / B5 / B6 / B7 / B8 / B9 / B12 / B17 / B18 / B19 / B20 / B26 / B28 / B32
3G WCDMA: B1 / B2 / B4 / B5 / B6 (Japan) / B8 / B19 (Japan) ;
3G TD-SCDMA: B34 / B39
2G GSM: B2 / B3 / B5 / B8 (850 / 900 / 1,800 / 1,900 MHz)
Secondary SIM card :
4G LTE TDD: B34 / B38 / B39 / B40
4G LTE FDD: B1 / B2 / B3 / B4 / B5 / B6 / B7 / B8 / B9 / B12 / B17 / B18 / B19 / B20 / B26 / B28
3G WCDMA: B1 / B2 / B4 / B5 / B6 / B8 / B19
2G GSM: B2 / B3 / B5 / B8 (850 / 900 / 1,800 / 1,900 MHz)

4G LTE TDD: B34 / B38 / B39 / B40 4G LTE FDD: B1 / B2 / B3 / B4 / B5 / B6 / B7 / B8 / B9 / B12 / B17 / B18 / B19 / B20 / B26 / B28 / B32
3G WCDMA: B1 / B2 / B4 /B5 / B6 (Japan) / B8 / B19 (Japan);
3G TD-SCDMA: B34 / B39 2G GSM: B2 / B3 / B5 / B8 (850 / 900 / 1,800 / 1,900 MHz)
GPSGPS (L1 + L5 dual band) / AGPS / Glonass / BeiDou / Galileo (E1 + E5a dual band) / QZSS (L1 + L5 dual band)
Connectivity802.11 a/b/g/n/ac(wave2), 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz
Bluetooth 5.0, BLE, SBC, AAC, aptX, aptX HD, LDAC and HWA Audio
Type-C, USB 3.1 GEN1*
Type-C earjack
PC Data Synchronisation
SensorsGravity Sensor
Ambient Light Sensor
Proximity Sensor
In-Screen Fingerprint Sensor, Hall sensor, laser sensor, Barometer, Infrared sensor, colour temprature sensor
CameraLeica Triple camera:
40 MP (Wide Angle Lens, f/1.8 aperture) + 20 MP (Ultra Wide Angle Lens, f/2.2 aperture) + 8 MP (Telephoto, f/2.4 aperture), supports autofocus (laser focus, phase focus, contrast focus), supports AIS (Huawei AI Image Stabilization).

Front Camera:
Support 3D Depth Sensing Camera.
24 MP, f/2.0 aperture
Audio Formatsmp3,mp4,3gp,ogg,amr,aac,flac,wav,midi
Video Formats3gp, mp4
Battery & Charging4200 mAh
Wire Charging: MAX 40W HUAWEI SuperCharge
Wireless charging: 15W HUAWEI Wireless Quick Charge
NFCRead Write mode / Peer to Peer mode / Card Emulation mode (payment by *SIM card, or HCE) is supported.

*SIM card only supports SIM 1 slot.
Weather ResistanceIP68
Included in the boxHandset x 1
Type-C Earphones x 1
Charger x 1
Type-C Cable x 1
Eject tool x 1
Quick Start Guide x 1
Protective case x 1
Warranty card x 1
Type-C to 3.5 mm headphone jack adapter × 1

Next Generation Processing Capabilities

The Mate 20 Pro is built around the 7nm Kirin 980 processor, one of the industry’s most advanced chip containing up to 6.9 billion transistors etched on a fingernail-sized die. In simple terms, this means better performance and power efficiencies over its predecessor. During internal tests, Huawei saw up to 40% improved performance over the Kirin 970.

Similarly, we found that the additional processing power of the Kirin 980 also helped supercharge the phone’s AI capabilities and overall responsiveness and performance. Using the device for a day, we found it to be as smooth as butter.

Three Lenses Are Better Than One With Leica Triple Lens Camera

The camera and AI technology in the HUAWEI Mate 20 Pro take Huawei’s photographic abilities to another level. Featuring next generation triple camera technology from Leica, the Mate 20 Pro comes with a Leica Ultra Wide angle Lens. This new lens gives you the ability to capture so much more.

A square design combining Leica Triple Camera and one flash

But what we loved about the new lens setup was the ability to also capture stunning close-ups. Using the Leica technology, the Mate 20 Pro was able to take some great close up shots.

Found a bug to test the macro with

Great close up capabilities on the Mate 20 Pro

Have a look at some of the other great images we took with the HUAWEI Mate 20 Pro:

The phone also supports native 21:9 photo and video capturing. This provides a much wider perspective to the regular 16:9 ratio.  The 21:9 aspect ratio can make your videos pop and appear more artistic and cinematic.

We talked earlier about the improved processor and AI capabilities of the phone. Huawei spared no expense with improving the camera experience as well.  An AI Cinema Mode is available on the handset that lets you tweak a range of settings including the hue, saturation, and brightness of video clips. The software is also capable of supporting selective desaturation. Using AI, it can isolate human subjects and desaturate the colours around them

Video recording isn’t the only feature to benefit from the enhanced software capabilities. A feature called “Identify” can be used to search the Internet for information relating to the subject matter currently in focus on the camera.

Battery Performance

Huawei smartphone media day. O Bar Australia Square. 10th October 2018. Photograph Dallas Kilponen/PPR

The Mate 20 Pro comes with a 4200mAh battery. AI is used here as well to constantly monitor and tweak performance to get the most out of the battery. If you use the 40W power pack, a 30-minute charge gives you around 70% battery capacity. This is great for a quick top up when in transit during long distance travels.

The HUAWEI Mate 20 Pro also supports wireless charging albeit a little slower than the traditional method due to the 15W charging capacity over wireless. One standout feature with the wireless charging is that the HUAWEI Mate 20 Pro can also act as a reverse wireless charging station. That’s right, reverse charging. What this means is that you could, if you so desired, charge up your mate’s wireless Qi charging capable phone with your Mate 20 Pro.

Wireless Projecting

Huawei smartphone media day. O Bar Australia Square. 10th October 2018. Photograph Dallas Kilponen/PPR

Although I didn’t get a chance to play with the wireless projecting during this review, I did have a play on the media day. The HUAWEI Mate 20 Pro lets you use wireless projecting to show your presentations, games or even Netflix to a larger screen. But not only that, you can be using the handset independently of what is being presented on screen. My only gripe with this feature was that it didn’t support 4k. 1080p is currently the highest resolution output you can have.

Secure and Convenient Authentication With Biometric Technology

Security was also a focus with the new Mate 20 Pro. In addition to the traditional authentication methods, the phone also supports face unlock, 3D face unlock and in-screen fingerprint unlock. The last one is a pretty cool feature. The fingerprint sensor is actually built into the front screen.

Final Thoughts

It’s been a little while since we took a look at mobile phones. We had stopped as models started to become stagnant with features and capabilities. The HUAWEI Mate 20 Pro was anything but our previous experiences. A great phone jam packed with features and great performance to boot. The camera features alone would be enough to get me on board.

Anyone interested in grabbing one, check out the pre-launch offer on the Mate 20 Pro. There are a bunch of free goodies on offer atm. The pre-launch offer will be available through Optus, Vodafone, JB Hi-Fi, Harvey Norman, Mobileciti and Kogan and will apply to pre-orders made from 17th October 2018 until 31st October 2018. Terms and conditions will apply so best to check their promo site for full terms and conditions:

In the meantime, get yourself to one of the authorised resellers and get a hands on view.