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Huawei Mate 20 review – GSMArena.com tests

Introduction

Huawei Mate 20 or Huawei Mate 20 Pro? That’s one very reasonable dilemma, but you don’t have much of a choice, do you? If you are lucky to live in one of the few markets where both phones are available, then you can save some cash by getting the regular Mate 20. But it is one peculiar trade-off with some odd gains and losses. Let’s find out if that’s a deal worth making.

The Mate 20 is indeed the oddball in this duo. It has a lot in common with the Pro, but it also changes some of the key aspect of the phablet. The screen is bigger with a tiny droplet notch, but an LCD one with lower resolution and without and curves. The body is not water-resistant but has an audio jack and a proper bottom speaker. And the main camera while still triple, is completely different.

Huawei Mate 20 review

The Mate 20 lacks the new 40W SuperCharge and is stripped of all wireless charging capabilities, but it still can do 22.5W SuperCharge. It also loses the advanced face unlock, and the under-display fingerprint scanner, but gets the fan-favorite blazing-fast reader on the back.

The main camera is the feature to raise the biggest concerns. It’s still a triple one, but with different sensors, lenses, and there is no optical stabilization to be found. The Night Mode is present though, so the Mate 20 is keeping its cool under low-light.

Huawei Mate 20 specs

Body: dual-glass with metal frame; IP53-rated for dust and splash resistance
Screen: 6.53″ RGBW HDR IPS LCD, 1080 x 2244 px resolution (381ppi); waterdrop notch
Chipset: Kirin 980 chipset, octa-core processor (2xA76 @2.6GHz + 2xA76 @1.92GHz +4xA55 @1.8GHz), Mali-G76 MP10 GPU
Memory: 4/6GB RAM, 128GB storage (expandable via Nano Memory – hybrid slot)
OS: Android 9 Pie with EMUI 9;
Camera: 12MP f/1.8 + 8MP f/2.4 telephoto (54mm) + 16MP f/2.2 ultra-wide (17mm); 4K video capture, 720@960fps slow-mo, Leica branding
Camera features: 2x optical zoom, EIS, Variable Aperture, Portrait Mode, can shoot long-exposure without a tripod
Selfie cam: 24MP, f/2.0 Leica lens, Portrait Mode with live bokeh effects
Battery: 4,000mAh; Super Charge 22.5W
Security: Fingerprint reader (back), 2D Face Unlock
Connectivity: Dual SIM, Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 5 + LE, NFC, USB Type-C
Misc: IR blaster, 3.5mm audio port

Huawei Mate 20, just like the Pro, has a hybrid SIM slot that supports only the new Nano Memory Cards by Huawei. We are still looking to get one of those, but here is hoping Huawei broadens their availability soon enough.

There is a lot to talk about the Mate 20, so let’s start by popping this thing out of the box, shall we?

Unboxing

The Huawei Mate 20 is packed in a rather compact paper box, but don’t let the looks fool you – it’s full of goodies. The retail bundle contains a fat 22.5W charger and a modified USB-C cable – you need both for Super Charge to work.

Huawei Mate 20 review

Huawei’s most recent headphones are inside the box, too.

Huawei Mate 20 review

Just like the Mate 20 Pro, some of the Mate 20 retail boxes contain a transparent case – which happened to be present in our reviewer’s kit. Not all European markets are getting a case, and whatever the reason might be, we are not happy with this weird segmentation.