Huawei announces iPhone rivals: flagship Mate 20 Pro and Mate 20 smartphones

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Chinese brand Huawei (pronounced Wa-Way in case you were wondering) has announced four new Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro flagship smartphones in its bid to challenge the dominance of rivals Samsung and Apple. 

The new Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro both house dual neural processing units (NPU) for the first time. These use artificial intelligence to split the processing tasks of the device between them. Other new features include a fingerprint scanner built directly into the screen and wireless charging capabilities.

The Huawei Mate 20 Series is powered by Huawei’s densest and highest performing system on chip (SoC) to date—the Kirin 980. Manufactured with the advanced 7nm process, it incorporates the powerful Cortex-A76-based CPU and Mali-G76 GPU.

Furthermore, the new 40W Huawei SuperCharge, 15W Huawei Wireless Quick Charge and large batteries work in tandem to provide users with excellent battery life, claims Huawei. The Matrix Camera System includes Leica Ultra Wide Angle Lens that lets users not only see wider, but also closer with its new macro distance capability. 

Available in 6.53-inch, 6.39-inch and 7.2-inch sizes, the Mate 20 Series comprises four devices: the Mate 20, Mate 20 Pro,  Mate 20 X and a Porsche designed Mate 20 RS.

Says Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei Consumer BG:

“Smartphones are an important entrance to the digital world. The Huawei Mate 20 Series is designed to be the best ‘mate’ of consumers, accompanying and empowering them to enjoy a richer, more fulfilled life with their higher intelligence, unparalleled battery lives and powerful camera performance,” 

The Mate 20 Pro is the world’s first smartphone to support the 4.5G LTE Cat. 21 standard, allowing consumers to experience download speeds of up to 1.4Gbps. It also supports the world’s fastest Wi-Fi connection speeds–2GB footage requires only 10 seconds to download.

The Huawei Mate 20 Pro houses a large, high-density 4200mAh battery, and supports 40W Huawei SuperCharge, which gives the device 70 percent charge in 30 minutes.  It also supports 15W Huawei Wireless Quick Charge and Wireless Reverse Charge, which enables the device to work as a power bank for selected electronic devices supporting wireless charging.

The HUAWEI Mate 20 X supports an ultra-large 5000mAh battery, and is equipped with a revolutionary super cool system that uses a combination of graphene film and vapour chamber to deliver outstanding cooling performance, claims Huawei. With the cooling system in place, the CPU and GPU embedded in the Mate 20 X can remain at full throttle for an extended period of time.

Building on the foundation of its P20 Series’ camera system, the Mate 20 also boasts an additional 16mm Leica Ultra Wide Angle Lens. This wider perspective creates a sense of spaciousness and a three dimensional effect to the images. The new camera system also supports macro distance, which produces crisp images of objects that are placed as close as 2.5cm from the lens.

The Mate 20 Pro is equipped with a 40MP main camera, a 20MP ultra wide-angle camera, and an 8MP telephoto camera. Together, the trio of lenses supports a wide range of focal lengths (equivalent to the performance of a 16-270mm zoom lens), enabling it to mimic the results from professional cameras.

The Mate 20 Series also features an AI Portrait Colour video mode. Using AI, the Mate 20 Series can isolate human subjects and desaturate the colours around them to dramatically highlight the person. AI Spotlight Reel identifies clips with a shared theme and auto-generates a montage, made entirely of highlights.

HUAWEI Mate 20 Pro and PORSCHE DESIGN HUAWEI Mate 20 RS both support 3D Face Unlock. The solution quickly and securely authenticates users within 0.6s at a false acceptance rate of below 1/1,000,000. Using the 3D Depth Sensing Camera System located at the front, the two devices can accurately read the facial features of a subject and recognize even small details.

The Matrix Camera array on the back of the Mate 20 Series features a four-point design with the three cameras and sensor encircled in a polished metal frame. The flagship series comes in a new Emerald Green colorway.

HUAWEI PRICE LIST

The HUAWEI Mate 20 (4GB + 128GB configuration) will have a MSRP of EUR799 and the HUAWEI Mate 20 (6GB + 128GB configuration) will have a MSRP of EUR849 from 16th October, 2018.

The HUAWEI Mate 20 Pro (6GB + 128GB configuration) will have a MSRP of EUR1049 from 16th October, 2018.

The HUAWEI Mate 20 X (6GB + 128GB configuration) will have a MSRP of EUR899 from 26th October, 2018.

The PORSCHE DESIGN HUAWEI Mate 20 RS (8GB + 256GB configuration) will have a MSRP of EUR1695, and the PORSCHE DESIGN HUAWEI Mate 20 RS (8GB + 512GB configuration) will have a MSRP of EUR2095 from 16th November, 2018.

Embodying exquisite design, powerful performance, extraordinary capturing capabilities and next-generation intelligence, the new HUAWEI Mate 20 Series is the partner of choice for professionals pursuing quality of life.

The Mate 20 has a 6.53in full HD display, and the Mate 20 Pro a 6.39in OLED HDR screen.

Even bigger is the Mate 20 X which boasts a 7.2in OLED display and a 5000mAh battery. Huawei claims this is one of the largest seen in a smartphone. The X is compatible with Huawei’s M-Pen stylus, making it a direct competitor for Samsung’s Note range of devices which come with a built-in stylus.

Certainly commentators seem to be impressed with the new line-up. Says Ru Bhikha, mobiles expert at uSwitch.com:

“The Mate 20 is yet another statement of intent from a manufacturer that has often impressed with its knack for creating powerful and exciting smartphones that challenge the Apple and Samsung status quo.

“With its latest flagships – the Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro – Huawei has refused to rest on its laurels by simply building on the successes of last year’s Mate 10. The tweaks they’ve made look set to revolutionise the whole range, rather than simply evolve it.

“The improved camera is right at the top of its game when using the new AI portrait colour feature, which allows users to take striking Sin City-like video in real time – thanks to the AI – where the subject of the footage pops in full colour against a moody monochrome backdrop.

“Paired with hefty competitor-beating batteries for the Mate 20 and Pro, and smart, user-experience improving changes – like putting a fingerprint-scanner behind the screen – the Mate 20 manages to marry performance with genuine innovation.

“All-in-all, this tranche of exciting improvements to the Mate range could help the Chinese manufacturer win the droves of fans that it deserves.” 

Both the Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro will be available in several colour options common for both. These include Emerald Green, Midnight Blue, Twilight, Pink Gold, and Black. 

Chris Price