Huawei Mate 20 series launches with a Leica triple lens and in-screen fingerprint reader

It’s the best flagship phone – that you can’t get in the U.S.

Today in London, Huawei took the wraps off of their slick new flagship phones, the Mate 20 series, and they are a dramatic revamp over their Mate 10 predecessors. Huawei has scrapped an all-metal body and moved to an all glass-body that more closely resembles their stunning P20 Pro. The new Mate 20 series includes the Mate 20 Pro and the Mate 20.

This new look features a beautiful brand new effect called a “hyper optical pattern” which is essentially a hairline effect. Not only is this attractive because it creates a cool duotone effect, but it helps make the phone more fingerprint resistant than typical glass. To that effect, when you scratch your fingernail against it, it feels a lot like an old school record, but when you hold it in your hand, it otherwise feels smooth. The Mate 20 Pro is also IP68 water and dust resistant, while the Mate 20 is certified IP53.

All in all, the Mate 20 series phones are amongst the nicest all-glass designs we’ve seen on a flagship to date, so much so that photos really don’t do it justice. However, the hyper optical pattern will be available with the midnight blue and emerald green color options only. There will be 3 other colors available; pink gold, black, and a twilight option.

The Mate 20 Pro packs in a 6.39-inch 2K curved OLED HDR display with a 19.5:9 aspect ratio. Despite its phablet-sized display, the Mate 20 Pro feels really comfortable and rather petite to hold in your hand. The Mate 20, on the other hand, is slightly bigger in its dimensions and it comes with a 6.53-inch FHD RGBW HDR LCD display with an 18.7:9 aspect ratio. Even though the display on the Mate 20 Pro is technically superior, the Mate 20 has a smaller notch – it’s actually one of the smallest we’ve ever come across. But don’t call it a notch, Huawei is calling it a “dewdrop” display.

But perhaps the most exciting aspect of the display on the Mate 20 Pro is the new in-screen DPS (dynamic pressure sensing) fingerprint reader. As your finger approaches the screen, the screen lights up to direct where your finger is supposed to go.

Under the hood, the Mate 20 series is powered by Huawei’s best and fastest processor yet – the Kirin 980. Huawei says that the 980 offers a 20% improvement when it comes to speed, and a 40% improvement when it comes to power efficiency. It’s also the first phone to support LTE cat21 with speeds up to 1.4gb per second – so it’s pretty future proof in the connectivity department.

When it comes to battery life, the Mate 20 Pro packs in a very large 4,200 mAh capacity and the Mate 20 comes with a 4,000 mAh battery. The Mate 20 Pro also comes with Huawei’s latest 40W SuperCharge technology that is able to charge the phone to 70% in just 30 minutes! Meanwhile, the Mate 20 will come with the previous generation of SuperCharge which charges at 22.5W.

The Mate 20 Pro offers 15W wireless quick charging. As if that wasn’t impressive enough, the Mate 20 Pro can be used as a wireless charging pad in itself! That means that you can take advantage of the Mate 20 Pro’s large 4,200 mAh battery to charge other Qi-enabled devices. That is a pretty neat trick, and certainly not one that any other phone can offer to date.

But it’s not just in the looks department that the Mate 20 series resembles the P20 Pro, it also comes rocking Leica optics. Huawei has continued their partnership with Leica with the Mate 20 series, and this time you’re getting a brand new Leica triple camera system. On the Mate 20 Pro, the Leica triple camera system is made up of a 40MP sensor (f1.8), along with a dedicated 8MP telephoto lens and a new dedicated 20MP ultra wide angle 16mm lens that can take photos of objects while being as close as 2.5 cm. On the other hand, the Mate 20 comes with a 12MP (f1.8 lens), a 16MP ultra wide-angle lens (f2.2), and an 8MP telephoto lens.

Like with Huawei’s other AI-powered phones, the camera is able to recognize objects in a scene and have the camera automatically optimize the settings for the scene. At present, the AI-powered camera can recognize over 500 different types of scenes.

The AI also comes into play when the camera is focusing on objects. Huawei’s AI 4D technology is able to automatically recognize when to focus on an object. This is super useful when recording video. Speaking of video, there’s a new Cinema Mode that is able to render effects onto your video in real-time. That includes a neat Sin City-like effect where everything but the object in focus is colored black and white.

When it comes to Face unlock, the front-facing camera on the Mate 20 Pro is a 3D depth sensing camera. That means that if you grow a beard, or put on a hat or glasses, the device will still be able to recognize you.

The Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro both come running Android Pie based EMUI 9.0. EMUI 9.0 has been refined and is now less complex, more intuitive, and easier to navigate – even when using just one hand.

EMUI 9.0 is also a lot faster. System responsiveness is 47% faster than the Mate 10 Pro, while starting an app is up to 51% faster and using apps is up to 42% smoother than the Mate 10 Pro. Huawei says that EMUI 9.0 is able to launch popular apps like Chromebook, Facebook and Google apps faster than any of the competition.

GPU performance has been improved too, with full frame support for top games and a more stable overall gaming experience. There is also a big focus within the EMUI 9.0 U.I. to be in tune with “nature”. For example, alarm tones now include natural sounds.

There’s also wireless PC projection support which allows you to use the Mate 20 series phones as a wireless trackpad. And last but not least, there’s a new Digital Balance feature that lets you see the phone usage patterns for yourself and your kids, and lets you set time limits.

All in all, the Huawei Mate20 series, and especially the Mate20 Pro are worthy flagship contenders. Between the beautiful design, in-screen fingerprint reader, triple camera Leica set up, extra large battery, and ultra-fast charging, Huawei has a killer flagship on their hands that looks like it could potentially wipe the floor with most other flagships. It’s no wonder then that in the 2nd quarter of 2018, Huawei overtook Apple and became the second largest manufacturer in terms of smartphone shipments globally. Unfortunately, it’s super disappointing that the Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro will not be widely available in the U.S. unless you buy them imported and unlocked.

The Mate 20 will retail for 799 Euro for the 4GB RAM / 128GB model and 849 Euro for the 6GB RAM / 128GB model. The Mate 20 Pro will retail for 1049 Euro

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