Huawei Mate 20 Pro Review - Performance

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Huawei Mate 20 Pro Performance

The performance section is where we look at the image quality performance of the camera. Additional sample photos and product shots are available in the Equipment Database, where you can add your own review, photos and product ratings.


Huawei Mate20 Pro Sample Photos

Sample Photos - Colour reproduction is generally very good, with pleasing colours straight from the camera. If colours appear too saturated, then you can turn off the Master AI setting. Exposure is also reliable, and images are captured with plenty of dynamic range thanks to automatic HDR shooting. 

Some of the camera modes worth highlighting include the Aperture mode, which has been available on Huawei mobile phones for a while now. Using the Aperture shooting mode you can set the artificial aperture setting or "Aperture level" from 0.95 all the way to 16. You can adjust this after taking the photo in playback as well. The effect can be quite subtle and depends on the subjects and distance from the camera as well.

Low-light performance is impressive, using the Night mode, with the camera offering up to 6, or 7-second exposures hand-held, without the need of a tripod. The camera will automatically merge a number of photos reducing noise, and aligning the image to avoid camera shake. This can be used with the ultra-wide-angle and wide-angle cameras.


Huawei Mate20 Pro Lens test images

Lens Performance - As there are three different lenses on the rear of the smartphone, we'll look at these individually to start with. 

Ultra Wide Angle Camera: Auto HDR (High Dynamic Range) has resulted in an ultra-wide-angle image of Sheffield Botanic Gardens, that looks overly unrealistic, and an artistic impression of the scene rather than a realistic representation. However, it's also resulted in an image with much more detail than an image without HDR. The Ultra-Wide-Angle lens suffers from chromatic aberrations and strong purple fringing. There is noticeable distortion towards the corners of the frame. 

Telephoto Lens: When the camera gets everything right, the results can be very good. However, in low-light conditions, the camera will often use the digital zoom instead of the telephoto zoom, resulting in poor images. 

The standard lens, with a 27mm equivalent view (in 35mm terms), performs very well, with good levels of detail and no signed of purple fringing or chromatic aberrations. "AI Image Stabilisation" - Electronic image stabilisation can work well, but care still needs to be taken in low-light as image shake can occur. 

Lens-flare can be an issue with all of the cameras, although this is less noticeable with the main camera. Keep the lens(es) clean and avoid shooting into the light, and this shouldn't be too much of a problem. 


Huawei Mate20 Pro ISO test images

ISO Noise Performance - The ISO range available varies depending on which camera you are using. ISO can go up to ISO3200 with the ultra-wide-angle and telephoto cameras. When using the standard camera, the ISO speed can go all the way up to ISO102400. 

Using the standard camera, noise performance is good up to ISO400, where noise starts to become visible. At ISO800 and ISO1600 noise is visible but is quite fine. At ISO1600 colour saturation drops off. At ISO3200 noise increases more, and gets quite ugly at ISO6400. At ISO12800 and above, the shutter speed is limited, with the fastest shutter speed available being 1/15s - so you'll need to be in really low-light conditions to need these settings. The results are reasonable considering. 

When using the telephoto camera, noise is noticeable at every ISO setting, so ISO50 or ISO100 is the best choice here. Noise performance from the ultra-wide-angle camera is good until you get to the highest ISO speed, ISO3200, which should be avoided. 


Huawei Mate20 Pro White-balance test images

White Balance Performance - Auto White Balance (AWB) performs well in all lighting conditions, whether using Tungsten lighting, Fluorescent lighting or mixed lighting. The only way we could get a result that wasn't good, was by selecting the fluorescent white balance setting, which gave a magenta/orange colour cast to the image. 

Shooting at 40mp you can get slightly more detail, however, the JPEG processing and noise reduction reduces detail noticeably, and to get the maximum detail from images you are best shooting raw. For many, this will make the 40mp mode too much hassle, and for most people, it's best simply to stick to the 10mp mode. The camera struggled to focus correctly for some of these shots, so we had to reshoot them a number of times. 


Huawei Mate20 Pro Digital filters

Selfie Camera - The selfie camera has some fairly impressive lighting effects available, and can completely replace the background regardless of where you are. There are options to alter the artificial bokeh in an image, with options for heart shaped bokeh, circular, swirl and discs. You can adjust your skin softness, colour, and create a thinner face. The bokeh effect works relatively well, although the outline of the subject isn't always perfect. As with most selfie cameras, there is no optical image stabilisation, so care needs to be taken to hold the phone as steady as possible.

There are a number of filters available in the camera app that you can apply before shooting, as well as another set of filters that can be applied after shooting. The camera features an automatic panoramic mode, where you simply press the shutter release button and pan the camera from one side to the other. Results are quite good, with a high-resolution image produced. 


Video - 4K video uses electronic image stabilisation, making video much more stable than without, although there can be some weird distortion at the edges as you pan and move the phone around. Focus was disappointing, particularly when using the 3x telephoto camera - where it simply refused to focus correctly on a number of occasions. The wide-angle and ultra-wide-angle cameras performed much better, but care needs to be taken to ensure the focus is correct. The 4K videos often used different frame rates, which will be frustrating if you want to combine a number of different videos later. 

You can record FullHD video at 60 or 30fps. High-speed video is available, recording FullHD video at 120fps, or 720p video at 240 or 960fps. The selfie, front-facing camera can record FullHD video. You can view additional videos on the ePHOTOzine YouTube Channel


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randomrubble 15 3.0k 12 United Kingdom
24 Oct 2018 12:15PM
Interesting that 28mm equiv. has become a 'standard' lens.

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sjjs 4
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
9 903 United Kingdom
3 Nov 2018 7:30AM
Hi, Sugavanam, you should be able to see them here:

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