Huawei wowed the world when it released its Mate 20 series, headlined of course by the Huawei Mate 20 Pro. But while the spotlight is mostly trained toward the pricier model on the series, the base model Mate 20 offers a lot of things that deserves merit and consideration.
Priced at P40,990 when it was launched in the country, the Huawei Mate 20 is relatively more affordable than its higher-end sibling, and even compared with flagship models of other global brands. We put the Mate 20 and see this smartphone for what it’s really worth.
Design & Construction
One thing that catches your attention from the get-go is a prominent square at the back that features the Mate 20’s triple camera system, LED flash, and other sensors. Below the square is the fingerprint sensor (no in-display fingerprint sensor like on the Pro version). Lastly, at the bottom part is the Huawei logo. Greeting you in front is the display with 18.7:9 aspect ratio. The Mate 20 achieves an 88 percent screen-to-body ratio thanks to its slim bezels (the earpiece hides stealthily at the top part) and “Dewdrop” notch (that houses the front camera).
On the right side are the buttons for volume and power/lock. Both are responsive, but difficult to reach for people with small hands. Meanwhile, the SIM/memory card tray sits on the left side of the handset. It has a hybrid dual Nano SIM configuration, which means the second SIM slot also supports Huawei’s Nano Memory card. The 3.5mm audio jack is at the top, while the USB-C port and loudspeaker is at the bottom.
Overall the phone looks gorgeous, sleek and slim. Our Midnight Blue (with diagonal line patterns at the rear) review unit can look stylish and professional, matching whatever the look you’re going for. At 158.2 x 77.2 x 8.3mm, the phone is tall and can be difficult to hold with one hand, but the curved sides provides additional grip to it. Using the free case that comes with the handset also helps a lot with the grip and added protection. At 188g, the Mate 20 has the right weight to feel solid but not heavy to hold.
This smartphone is only IP53-rated. It’s still good, though, knowing it can take occasional splashes here and there. Plus, if you’re using it as a daily driver and work tool, it’s hard to imagine an scenario where you would need it to be really water-resistant. The Gorilla Glass protection is a standard that is also available on this device.
Display & Multimedia
The 6.53-inch Full HD+ screen has 1080 x 2244 resolution and 338ppi pixel density. While it isn’t as sharp as the OLED one in the Pro model, the Mate 20 display still looks great and immersive. The images and text looks crisp and vibrant; the screen also comes with good viewing angles. The screen comes with RGBW matrix and HDR10 support. Watching on Netflix or YouTube is an enjoyable activity to do on this smartphone. We also tried playing Mobile Legends, CarX Drift Racing, and PlayerUnknown’s Battleground on the Mate 20; we were impressed on how it rendered the graphics of the games.
Because of the big screen, reading on this device is easy and less straining. Visibility under bright sunlight is great too. Turn on the Auto Mode for brightness as it automatically and fastly adapts to the lighting conditions you’re in.
For consuming content, two speakers–one at the bottom and the other at the top–complement the display. The sound coming from the speakers is in good quality. Noticeably, the one at the bottom is louder than the speaker located at the top.
The Huawei Mate 20 carries a triple camera system. There’s a 12MP main camera, a 16MP ultra wide-angle shooter, and an 8MP telephoto sensor. In front, a 24MP takes care of your self portraits and group shots.
The photos from both front and rear snappers are great; they are bright, detailed, and vibrant, especially when taken on broad daylight or in well-lit places. Low light photography on this device is still good, but you can already see some minimal noise on the images. The beauty effect on the front camera is good and almost looks natural; the Portrait mode produces good bokeh effect on the images, and comes with various lighting effect for more fun selfie-taking sessions.
There are quite remarkable features on the Mate 20’s camera. One is that is capable of up to 2x optical zoom and up to 10x digital zoom. This lets you get close to subjects far away and also play with some creative macro shots. Zooming in, however, causes the image to suffer a bit. We recommend to have good lighting and steady hands to produce decent photos. Another feature to try is the AR lens, which automatically determines the subject of your photo and apply the best camera settings for it. There’s also the 3D Live emoji feature for unique emojis you can share to your social media friends.
Finally, the video recording on this can be maxed out in 4K resolution at 30fps. The video has a nice quality, stable recording, and decent audio.
Huawei Mate 20 Sample Photos:
For the Mate 20, Huawei had to do away with several of the cutting-edge features found on the Pro model and instead focusing on making this smartphone a legit productivity performer. Under the hood, the Mate 20 has a 2.6GHz Kirin 980 octa-core processor–a combination of two cores of 2.6GHz Cortex A76, two cores of 1.92GHz Cortex A76, and four coresof 1.8GHz Cortez A55–plus 6GB RAM and a Mali-G76 MP10 GPU. For your storage needs, this handset offers 128GB ROM, which, if not enough for you, is still expandable up to 256GB via Huawei’s new Nano memory card.
Running on EMUI 9.0 based on Android 9 Pie, this Huawei Mate device sports a clean almost minimalist UI. There is no app drawers, instead you get multiple home screens where you can keep and arrange your apps. At the top of the screen, you’ll find the notification bar, which can accommodate a lot of notification icons thanks to the extra space provided by dewdrop notch design. Swipe down the screen to reveal the quick access settings. There’s some bloatware, but that’s nothing to worry about as Huawei gives you the option to uninstall them.
Basic tasks like switching between multiple apps are a breeze on this smartphone. Demanding games and apps are not an issue as the Mate 20 can handle almost any graphic-heavy and power-intensive applications. You can also turn on the Performance Mode, an option that optimizes the phone’s settings to get the best performance from the Mate 20 during games.
This device also comes with a lot of connectivity technologies–4G+, dual-band Wi-Fi, NFC, Bluetooth 5.0, GPS, and more. Access to the Nano memory card is exclusively from Huawei for now. However, we are looking forward to see more third-party manufacturers to produce this new-generation storage cards in the near future.
Powering the Mate 20 all through the day (and night, depending on use) is a large 4,000mAh battery. With just basic tasks running–call, text, and occasional Web browsing–the fully charged battery lasted over 18 hours before needing to juice up. Playing several games and streaming videos on top of the basic phone tasks decreased the battery life to only 13 hours or so in a day. Although the phone doesn’t come with wireless charging capabilities, Huawei’s SuperCharge tech is available. This feature allows you to fill the battery up from zero to 75 percent in just a little over 30 minutes.
Here are the synthetic benchmark results:
Geekbench : Single-Core (3024), Multi-Core (5822)
3DMark: Sling Shot Extreme OpenGL ES 3.1 (1349), Sling Shot Extreme Vulkan (1555)
The Huawei Mate 20 maybe a plain-looking device (except for the rear camera design at the back) but this reliable and powerful smartphone comes with big battery, great camera, and incredible power–everything you would want from a high-end model. True it doesn’t have much of the bells and whistles, but there’s the Mate 20 Pro for that kind of needs (or wants, really).
The Huawei Mate 20 in now priced at just Php 35,990.