Based on the Kirin 980 dual NPU chipset, the Mate 20 series is expected to consolidate Huawei’s strengths in integrated AI, photography and battery life. Note the output of a model over 2000 euros, the Porsche Design Mate 20 RS 512 GB.
Huawei unveiled the 2018 editions of Mate smartphones. No surprise about the name of the new terminals, the Mate 20 and the Mate 20 Pro, intended according to Huawei to “new entrepreneurs.”
“It’s the audience that really resonates with the Mate family,” “the top performers who understand technology as a tool, and how it improves what they can achieve,” says Peter Gauden, Global Product Marketing Manager. From Huawei. The market of high-end smartphones remains very
competitive and to stand out manufacturers generally seeks to rely on embedded artificial intelligence and the performance of the camera.
Huawei has serious strengths in these areas. The Chinese can now claim second place in the global smartphone market after beating Apple in the second quarter of 2018. The Mate and P ranges contributed to this performance. The new Mate 20s are part of the continuity.
The latest HiSilicon Kirin 980 chipset, announced at the end of August, equips the Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro models. The first Kiri 980 marketed by TSMC offers 20% better performance and improved energy efficiency of 40% compared to the previous Kirin 970 according to Huawei.
For AI applications, the technical architecture of the new smartphones also includes two neural processing units (NPUs), targeted to different types of IA / ML tasks such as object recognition and natural language processing.
This is the trend in the smartphone market. The Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro are larger than their predecessors of 2017: 6.53 and 6.39 inches against 5.9 and 6.0 inches. The distinction between LCD on the standard model and OLED on the Pro version remains in force. Pixel densities are also increasing.
As before, the standard model (Mate 20) has a 3.5mm headphone jack and no IP resistance to dust and water, while the Mate 20 Pro uses a USB-C port for charging and connecting to the headset. It also complies with the IP68 standard (IP67 for the Mate 10 Pro).
Huawei’s Mate does not include MicroSD port. Instead, the external memory is managed through a new format: the Nano Memory Card (NMC), which can fit into the second SIM slot of the terminal. NMC cards do not exceed 256 GB, however.
Other design elements: a wider “notch” on the Mate 20 Pro in 19.5: 9 format. The 2018 Mate handsets will be available in five colors.
The main advance is on the Mate 20 Pro which, like the P20 Pro launched earlier this year, has a three-device configuration with 40MP, 8MP and 20MP sensors. The 40MP and 8MP cameras are equipped with wide-angle and telephoto lenses, as before.
The 20MP camera is now an RGB unit with an ultra-wide-angle lens that supports macro images. On the P20, the 20MP camera was equipped with a mono sensor to add additional detail to the images – which is now considered unnecessary due to improvements made to the Mate 20 Pro’s 40 MP main sensor.
The three Leica lenses, as well as the two-tone flash, are arranged in a rectangle in the middle of the back of the Mate 20 Pro. No other smartphone on the market has opted for this distinctive layout. The Mate 20 has a similar arrangement, with low-resolution (12MP) and ultra wide-angle (16MP) wide-angle sensors.
The Kirin 980 processor brings photographic advances such as improved recognition of objects and scenes (about 1,500 different scenarios against 500 with the system of the previous generation) and 4D predictive focus, which recognizes objects in motion and maintains the focus on the subject of the video.
A new AI Cinema mode performs real-time “post-processing”, supporting features such as AI Portrait Color to display the subject in color and the background in monochrome.
Huawei smartphones usually focus on autonomy. The Mate 20 series is no exception. The Mate 20 has a battery of 4,000 mAh (just like the Mate 10), while the Mate 20 Pro climbs up to 4,200 mAh – only larger smartphones like the XiaomiMi Max 3 from 6.9 to 5.500 mAh exceed this capacity.
The fast charge, called by Huawei SuperCharge, is improved on the Mate 20 Pro, which can reach 70% charge in 30 minutes. The Mate 20, by contrast, can reach a 58% load over the same period.
Wireless charging is also supported for the first time on Huawei’s consumer devices. At 15W, it operates at a speed nearly twice the industry standard, says the manufacturer. The Mate 20 Pro also debuts in “reverse wireless charging”, that is to say the ability to use the 4.200 mAh smartphone to power another phone compatible with wireless charging technology.
The Mate 20 Pro supports facial recognition for unlocking the terminal through a 3D face mapping system built into the front sensor array (hence the wider notch on this model). The user can also use facial recognition to lock applications or files on the phone.
The Mate 20 Pro includes an on-screen fingerprint reader – an improved version of the technology introduced earlier this year in the upscale Porsche Design Mate RS. This means a cleaner design at the back compared to the Mate 10 Pro.
A new password vault also stores login information for third party applications and services, accessed via face biometrics or fingerprints, while backup options now extend to NAS systems. .
OS and user interface:
The overlays applied by the builders to the Android UI can inspire extreme feelings, love or hate. But over the years, various elements of the company’s EMUI system have made their way into the mobile operating system itself.
The latest version, EMUI 9.0, attempts to simplify the user experience by consolidating multiple entry points to change the wallpaper on a single screen, for example. It’s also possible to instantly print to nearby Wi-Fi or Bluetooth printers with one click via Huawei Share. Finally, Huawei’s desktop mode, previously activated via a USB-C connection to an external display, now benefits from wireless support via Miracast.
Two other things…
In the Apple style, Huawei introduced two additional phones. The Mate 20 X 7.2-inch OLED display is equipped with a pen stand (Huawei M-Pen), a 5,000 mAh battery and a cooling system. Aimed at gamers, the Mate 20X offers a gamepad.
The second unveiled phone was the upscale Porsche Design Mate 20 RS, with a red or black leather trim on the back and a price to match.
Price and availability:
The Mate 20 is available since October 16 at 799 € with 4 GB of RAM and 128 GB of internal storage and 849 € with 6 GB of RAM. The Mate 20 Pro, also available since October 16, costs € 1,049 with 6 GB of RAM and 128 GB of internal storage.
The Mate 20 X of 7.2 inches will be available from October 26 to 899 € with 6 GB of RAM and 128 GB of internal storage. You will have to wait until November 16th to receive the Porsche Design Mate 20 RS, which will cost you € 1,695 (8GB / 256GB) or € 2,095 (8GB / 512GB).