Huawei Mate 20 Series – What You Need to Know
October 17, 2018 Andrew Cheng

After months of teasers and leaks, the Huawei Mate 20 series is finally official. Consisting of the Huawei Mate 20, Mate 20 Pro, Mate 20 X, and the Porsche Design Huawei Mate 20 RS, this is Huawei’s most elaborate series yet.

With four different devices to choose from, is the Mate 20 series worth considering? Looking at the phones’ hardware and feature set, they’re certainly very promising. In fact, they could even be Huawei’s best phones to date.

Let’s start with the most “basic” model, the Mate 20. Like all devices in the new series, the Mate 20 is powered by Huawei’s brand new Kirin 980 chipset. Built on a 7nm process, this is the Chinese company’s most power-efficient SoC right now.

The power efficiency of the Kirin 980 is complemented by the Mate 20’s generous 4,000mAh battery. Together with the phone’s 6.53-inch 2244 x 1080 IPS display, the Mate 20 should be able to return very good battery life. This is, after all, a trademark feature of the Mate series.

Speaking of which, the Mate 20 has one of the smallest display notches we’ve seen on a smartphone; yes, we’ve come to the point where we’re comparing notch sizes. Because of the shape of the notch, Huawei is calling the Mate 20’s screen a “Dewdrop” display. On the back, the Mate 20 comes with a Leica Triple Camera system made up of a 12MP f/1.8 primary shooter, a 16MP f/2.2 ultra-wide lens, and an 8MP f/2.4 telephoto shooter. As for the selfie camera, it’s a 24MP f/2.0 snapper.

Rounding out the specifications of the Mate 20 include a rear fingerprint sensor, up to 6GB of RAM, 128GB of internal storage, and…a Nano Memory card slot. Basically, it’s a new type of expandable storage introduced by Huawei that is identical in shape and size to a nano-SIM card. Naturally, all four devices in the Mate 20 series feature NM card slots.

Right, so that’s the Mate 20. Next, we have the higher-end Mate 20 Pro. Compared to the standard Mate 20, the Pro model sports a smaller and higher resolution 6.39-inch 3120 x 1440 dual curve OLED display. Unlike the Mate 20’s minuscule display notch, the Pro’s notch is much wider to accommodate a more advanced 24MP front camera with 3D Depth Sensing technology.

Aside from that, the Mate 20 Pro also comes with an in-screen fingerprint sensor, a 4,200mAh battery, up to 8GB of RAM, 128GB or 256GB of internal storage, and a more sophisticated Leica Triple Camera system. The primary shooter is a 40MP f/1.8 shooter, and it’s complemented with a 20MP f/2.2 ultra-wide camera and an 8MP f/2.4 telephoto lens.

There’s no telling yet how good are the new Leica-branded cameras on the Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro, but if the Huawei P20 Pro’s camera performance is anything to go by, we’re optimistic the new Mate 20 phones will be excellent shooters; especially the Pro model with its more advanced camera system.

And then we have the third device in the series, the Mate 20 X. Sporting the same camera system as the Mate 20 Pro, the 20 X’s main appeal is its huge 7.2-inch 2244 x 1080 OLED display, 5,000mAh battery, and stylus support. On top of that, there’s also a gamepad for the Mate 20 X – it attaches to the left side of the phone – that adds an analog stick and D-pad.

Needless to say, Huawei is targeting mobile gamers with the Mate 20 X. To further drive this point home, the 20 X also has Huawei’s “Supercool” technology; it’s touted as the “world’s first liquid multi-dimensional cooling system” with a vapour chamber cooling solution and a graphene film for even better heat management.

If the company’s Supercool cooling solution works as intended on the Mate 20 X, it will be a an ideal phone for mobile gamers. On top of that, the 20 X also gets the exact same camera hardware as the Mate 20 Pro – it wouldn’t be as one-dimensional, as, say, the Asus ROG Phone, which is almost solely focused on gaming.

Last but definitely not least is the Porsche Design Huawei Mate 20 RS. Other than its dearer asking price (it retails at a whopping €1,695), the Mate 20 RS is really a more luxurious version of the Mate 20 Pro with a slightly different design and leather bits. Yeap, that’s it.

Looking at the whole Mate 20 lineup, the Mate 20 Pro is the most interesting of the bunch. It’s the sleekest-looking device – though we’re not crazy about the design of the square-shaped camera module on the back – its Leica Triple Camera system is promising, the Kirin 980 is a fast chipset, and the phone’s dual curve display is a high resolution, OLED panel.

On top of that, the Mate 20 Pro (and by extension, the Mate 20 RS), is IP68-rated; the standard Mate 20 and Mate 20 X are not resistant to water or dust. And if you’re into wireless charging, you’ll be happy to know that the Mate 20 Pro also support the feature. It can even do reverse wireless charging, if you’ve ever wanted to wirelessly charge another device with the phone.

Now then, is the new Huawei Mate 20 series worth it? They certainly are, especially when we take into account how much they cost in our region. In Malaysia, for example, the Mate 20 retails at RM2,799. The prices go up to RM3,199 and RM3,599 for the Mate 20 X and Mate 20 Pro respectively. The Mate 20 RS, on the other hand, has yet to receive any pricing in the country, but expect it to cost a pretty penny.

The new Mate 20 phones are by no means affordable, per se, but they’re without a doubt competitively priced for flagship-tier devices. We can’t say for sure if either one of these phones are worth recommending until we have them in for review, but one thing’s for sure – they’re Huawei’s most exciting phones to date.