We take a hands-on look at the Huawei Mate 20 Pro
Tech Guide has taken a hands-on look at the Mate 20 Pro – which has just been unveiled alongside the Mate 20 at a global launch event in London.
The new flagship device has a 6.39-inch AMOLED display and includes a notch to make way for the front camera and sensors.
The screen is sharp and bright and has an aspect ratio of 19.5:9 so its slightly thinner and longer than a regular smartphone.
On the design side the Huawei Mate 20 Pro has a similar curved look as the Samsung Galaxy S9 including a curved edge on the screen like Samsung’s Infinity Display.
It has subtle rounded edges and, because of its thinner and longer design, it fits nicely in your hand.
There’s a special textured material on the rear panel that was created with a photoresist etching which ensures both a better grip and impressive resistance to fingerprints and smudging.
And because it has a notch (which the Galaxy S9 doesn’t) the Mate 20 Pro looks like a cross between the iPhone X and the Galaxy S9.
But there are many features on the Mate 20 Pro that neither Apple or Samsung offer on their respective devices.
The first is the in-screen fingerprint reader. When we got the product in our hand for the first time we knew there was fingerprint security but couldn’t see a home button or rear sensor.
The fingerprint reader is part of the screen and registering a fingerprint obviously involves pressing your finger or thumb right there on the display.
Now whenever you want to unlock the device, you’ll see a small fingerprint icon to indicate the position on the screen where you need to push.
All you need is a slight amount of pressure and you see ripples forming on the screen to indicate it is reading your fingerprint.
A split second later the device is unlocked and your home screen is right there in front of you.
The Mate 20 Pro is running the Android 9 Pie operating system along with the Huawei EMUI 9.0 which is a clean interface that’s been streamlined while still keeping the features and settings at your fingertips.
One of the best new features of the device is the new Triple Leica Camera – three cameras in one – 40-megapixel, 20-megapixel and 8-megapixel – that work together to produce some stunning results.
And throw in the AI and what you get is a camera that offers amazing quality but that’s also super smart so it knows what you’re looking at and optimises the colour and exposure on the spot to save you having to go back and edit them later.
It has a bank of 1500 scenarios and can recognise 5000 objects across 25 categories to come up with the perfect shot each time.
With the images we shot, the colours really popped and they were all as sharp as a pin even when we were going to full zoom.
Huawei had already come up with the world’s best smartphone camera with the P20 Pro according to DxOMark but the Mate 20 Pro could possibly overtake it.
Under the hood is Huawei’s own silicone in the form of the Kirin 980 chipset. It has an octa-core CPU among four larger cores that have been clocked as fast as 2.6Ghz.
This processor is responsible for all the heavy lifting that provides efficient operation that delivers everything from the snappy operation to the AI and all the smarts in the camera.
And that can also be seen in the smooth video and intense gaming on the device thanks to the advanced graphics processing as well.
With the Huawei Mate 20 Pro, the company has also delivered the biggest battery in its class with a capacity of 4,200mAh.
That’s really impressive when you consider the device is just 8.6mm thick.
That’s a lot of power to get you through the day and in to the next day.
And when it is time to recharge, the Mate 20 Pro can get to 70 per cent capacity – enough to get you through an entire day – in just 30 minutes.
That’s going to be a lifesaver for many users and will also mean you don’t have to carry around a battery to top up the device.
But if one of your friends is running short on charge, there’s another world-first feature aboard the Huawei Mate 20 Pro that can come to their rescue.
It’s Reverse Wireless Charging, which means you can charge another smartphone that’s compatible with wireless charging by resting it on the back of the Mate 20 Pro like a charging mat.
Now that’s being a true friend.
Australia will be one of the first places where you can buy the Huawei Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro.
They go on sale on November 1 and are priced at $1,099 (Mate 20) and $1,599 (Mate 20 Pro).
* Stephen Fenech travelled to London as a guest of Huawei.