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Huawei Mate 20 Pro Review

We review the Huawei Mate 20 Pro - Huawei's premium, top-of-the-range, all-singing, all-dancing premium smartphone, with a Leica Triple Camera setup, and new ultra-wide-angle lens.

| Huawei Mate20 Pro in Camera Phones

Huawei Mate 20 Pro Review: Huawei Mate20 Pro (11)

Quick Verdict

The Huawei Mate 20 Pro is a true flagship smartphone, pushing the boundaries of what's considered possible, with a stylish design, in-screen fingerprint reader, face recognition, 3D scanning (coming soon), impressive battery life, extremely fast processor, plenty of storage and more. With three cameras it offers a variety of shooting possibilities, and will certainly keep the majority of people very impressed. 

+ Pros

  • Leica Triple Camera
  • Ultra-wide-angle 16mm equivalent lens
  • Master AI can produce some very good looking photos
  • Large 4200mAh battery 
  • In-screen fingerprint reader
  • Stereo speakers

- Cons

  • Focus issues with telephoto and standard lens at times
  • Strong purple fringing from the ultra-wide-angle lens
  • Selfie camera focus point
  • 4K video framerate alters
  • High price




Huawei Mate 20 Pro Review: Mate20 Pro

The Huawei Mate 20 Pro was announced, with much aplomb, alongside a Porsche Design RS version, a larger Mate 20 X version, and a Mate 20 (Standard) version. The Mate 20 Pro offers a new Leica Triple Camera system, with a new ultra-wide-angle 20mp camera. Huawei says that there have been improvements made to the cameras, since the P20 Pro, so lets dive in and find out how the smartphone performs. 

Huawei Mate 20 Pro Features

Huawei Mate 20 Pro Review: Huawei Mate20 Pro (6)


Huawei release new smartphone ranges twice a year, with the Huawei P series and the Huawei Mate series. The P20 Pro was the top of the range smartphone and remains the top of the range in the P series, however, with the introduction of the latest Mate series, the Mate20 Pro now sits at the top, with an updated camera system. A further development of the Leica Triple Camera system found in the P20 Pro, the Mate20 Pro now features a new ultra-wide-angle camera, instead of a dedicated monochrome camera. The Mate 20 X and Porsche Design Mate 20 RS also feature the same Leica Triple Camera system as the Mate 20 Pro. 

Huawei Mate 20 Pro Leica Triple Cameras: 

  • 16mm f/2.2 equivalent ultra-wide-angle lens, 20mp sensor
  • 27mm f/1.8 standard lens, with larger 40mp 1/1.7inch Quad Bayer sensor
  • 81mm f/2.4 telephoto lens, with 8mp sensor (outputs 10mp images), with OIS

If you take a look at the cameras, going from 16mm equivalent ultra-wide-angle, all the way to 81mm equivalent telephoto, you have a 5x optical zoom range available. 

However, Huawei has labelled the cameras as:

  • 0.6x Ultra-Wide-Angle (16mm equivalent)
  • 1x Standard (27mm equivalent)
  • 3x Telephoto (81mm equivalent)

Beyond this you also have 5x "Hybrid" zoom, which is meant to be "lossless" digital zoom, giving 135mm equivalent. The ultra-wide-angle camera also offers 2.5cm macro focus, for impressive close-ups. 

There are manual controls, as well as an ISO range from ISO50 all the way up to ISO102400 (when using the main camera). You can shoot raw images, and these are saved as AdobeDNG files. 

The camera records 4K (UHD) video at different frame rates depending on how the camera feels, so far we've recorded 4K video at frame rates between 26.82fps and 27.88fps. FullHD video is recorded at 120, 60 or 30fps. High-speed video can be recorded at 240 or 960fps at a resolution of 1280x720 (720p). Electronic image stabilisation is available, and this is on by default, with no option to switch this on or off. 


Huawei Mate 20 Pro Review: Huawei Mate20 Pro (1)


The front-facing camera(s) have an array of features, including the main 24mp f/2.0 "Selfie" camera, there's also a dot projector, flood illuminator, proximity sensor, ambient light sensor, and an IR camera. All of this technology is used as part of the face unlock feature, as well as 3D scanning. Not only can you use your face to unlock the phone, but you can also use a fingerprint scanner, which is built into the screen!

Other firsts for the Huawei Mate 20 Pro include wireless charging, not only so that you can wirelessly charge the Mate 20 Pro, but you can also charge other smartphones from the Mate 20 Pro! Included in the box is a 40W charger, which means you can charge the phone up to 70%, in just 30 minutes.

The smartphone features a large 6.39inch screen, with a high resolution, and the phone is quick thin, which makes it easier to hold. The edges of the screen are curved down to the metal frame of the smartphone, and the glass back is also curved, giving the impression of a thinner smartphone. The latest Huawei processor is included, which is the Kirin 980 - Huawei's fastest processor yet. There's 6GB of RAM built-in, and 128GB of storage, as well as an impressively large 4200mAh battery. 

Key Camera Features

  • Leica Triple Cameras (Rear)
  • 20mp f/2.2 Ultra-Wide-Angle Lens - 16mm equivalent, 20mp output
  • 40mp f/1.8 Standard Lens - 27mm equivalent, 10/40mp output
  • 8mp f/2.4 Telephoto Lens - 81mm equivalent, 10mp output, with OIS
  • AI Image Stabilisation (Electronic / Optical Image Stabilisation depending on the camera used)
  • 24mp f/2.0 selfie camera - fixed focus
  • Dual-tone LED flash
  • ISO50 to ISO102400
  • 4K UHD video recording
  • FullHD video at 60fps
  • High-speed FullHD video at 120fps
  • High-speed 720p video at 240/960fps
  • 2.5cm macro focus (with ultra-wide-angle lens)
  • Super HDR - up to 10 frames fusion in raw format
  • Personalised bokeh effect (heart effect, or swirl effect)

Smartphone Features:

  • 6.39inch curved OLED screen, 3120x1440 resolution, 19.5:9 DCI-P3 HDR
  • IP68 rating, waterproof to 2m for 30 minutes
  • In-screen fingerprint reader
  • 6GB RAM / 128GB Storage
  • 4200mAh battery
  • Android 9
  • Available in Midnight blue, Emerald green, Black, or Twilight

Huawei Mate 20 Pro Handling

Huawei Mate 20 Pro Review: Huawei Mate20 Pro (12)


The Huawei Mate 20 Pro feels and looks like a premium smartphone, there are enough cutting-edge technologies built-in to excite even the most uninterested. The on-screen fingerprint reader is very impressive. The face unlock is impressive as well, but unfortunately, lasers don't swish out from the phone in a magical sci-fi fashion. It just works, reliably, almost every time you use it. There are also "invisible" stereo speakers, with the bottom speaker firing out of the Type-C USB port!

The smartphone offers a whole new way to unlock the phone, with a built-in fingerprint reader in the screen!

The screen has an impressive resolution of 3120x1440 resolution, however, the phone can intelligently switch between different resolutions in order to save power. Some of the earlier smartphones with a high resolution were stuck on the highest resolution, resulting in awful battery life. Whichever screen resolution you pick, the phone will automatically adjust the text and icon size so that nothing is ever too small. The screen curves down at the edges on the left and right of the screen - this isn't an issue, but you do notice it when taking photos with straight edges in the edges of the photo. 

Build quality appears to be excellent, the smartphone feels extremely solid, and there are some nice design touches, such as a red power button. The black and twilight versions have a smooth glossy back, that is slippery and prone to fingerprints. The green and blue versions have a slightly textured back that is designed to be slightly less slippery, as well as disguise fingerprints. Whichever phone you pick, you're going to want to buy a case (or skin) for the phone to protect against scratches and damage, which is a shame, as you then end up hiding the phone in an ugly case. Unfortunately, this is unavoidable these days if you want the phone to survive being accidentally dropped.

Using the Camera

Along the bottom of the camera app, you can find the main shooting modes:

Aperture, Night, Portrait, Photo, Video, Pro, and More. Under 'more', you'll find a whole host of additional shooting modes, including slow-mo, panorama, monochrome, AR lens, light painting, HDR, time-lapse, Filter, 3D panorama, watermark, documents, underwater, good food, as well as the option to download more. 

Huawei Mate 20 Pro Review: Screenshot 20181018 111529 Com Huawei Mate 20 Pro Review: Screenshot 20181018 111325 Com Huawei Mate 20 Pro Review: Screenshot 20181018 111544 Com
Additional shooting modes Pro shooting mode Settings


There are so many shooting features and options that it's easy to get lost in the camera app. For most people using the basic photo mode will be straightforward, and with Master AI switched on you won't have to worry about changing settings, the camera will work it all out for you, automatically detecting the scene and optimising settings for you. 

Master AI (Artificial Intelligence)

"Recognising more than 1500 scenarios and 25 categories, the upgraded AI-powered photography now can segment different objects and scenes in one photo." - Huawei

The Master AI can result in overly saturated images, however, you can easily turn this off, and take control of settings yourself. With Master AI switched on, the camera will automatically switch to the ultra-wide-angle camera if you're trying to focus on a subject that is too close for the standard camera, and in most situations, the camera will automatically detect the situation and pick the best settings for you.

In manual mode, you get control of a variety of settings including the ISO speed. The ISO range (and resolution) available changes depending which camera you use, and using the standard (27mm equivalent) camera you can set the ISO speed from ISO50 all the way up to ISO102400. 

Touching the screen to set the exposure you can adjust this, after a pause of about a second, with a slider to adjust the exposure compensation. On other smartphones, the exposure compensation slider pops up straight away. 

With performance mode enabled we managed the following GeekBench and AnTuTu scores:

GeekBench v4.3.0 AnTuTu v7.1.0
3383 Single Core 300763 
10092 Multi-Core (258205 without performance mode)


Scores were lower without performance mode enabled, but still impressive. 

Battery life - The battery has a generous rating of 4200mAh, and with some good battery management, the battery life of the smartphone is very good, lasting at least a day and a half or more depending on how much you use it. If you're going to be away from a power source, you can always get yourself a portable power bank just in case.  

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randomrubble 18 3.1k 12 United Kingdom
24 Oct 2018 12:15PM
Interesting that 28mm equiv. has become a 'standard' lens.
sjjs 8
29 Oct 2018 4:07PM

Quote:Interesting that 28mm equiv. has become a 'standard' lens.

"Standard", as in among phone camera lenses equiv. ~28mm has always been (and generally, still is) the most common focal length.
2 Nov 2018 6:44PM
Good review... but no samples of still photos or videos...
joshwa Plus
12 927 1 United Kingdom
3 Nov 2018 7:30AM
Hi, Sugavanam, you should be able to see them here:

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