Huawei’s Mate Series has always been about pushing innovations. Starting from the newest chipset to a whole new camera set-up, these improvements to the smartphone eventually trickles down to its series pipeline down the months.

This is why the Mate launches are crucial as they serve somewhat of a blueprint of what we can expect from the brand in the coming months. In the case of the Mate 20 series, we’re happy with what we’re seeing, and the series offer a solid entry to what could be the best smartphone of the year.

Blazing-fast with a new SoC, large battery and an interesting 3-rear cam setup, the Mate 20 is the flagship that’s worth investing at.

Before anything, let’s look at what’s under the hood:

HUAWEI MATE 20

  • HiSilicon Kirin 980 octa-core processor
  • 6GB RAM
  • 53-inch Full HD+ IPS RGBW display, 18.7:9 Aspect ratio, DCI-P3 HDR support, 2244×1080 resolution
  • 128GB internal storage, expandable via Nano memory card
  • Triple Leica rear cameras: 12-megapixel 27mm f/1.8 wide-angle lens, 16-megapixel 17mm f/2.2 ultra wide-angle camera, and 8-megapixel 52mm f/2.4 telephoto camera with Ultra Macro Mode, Huawei AIS, 5X Hybrid Zoom, 3X Optical Zoom, Master AI, up to ISO 102400 sensitivity
  • 24-megapixel front camera
  • Dual SIM
  • WiFi, Bluetooth, Dual band GPS, NFC
  • Fingerprint scanner, face unlock, IP53 rating,
  • 4000mAh battery with 22.5W fast charging
  • Android 9 Pie (EMUI 9)

Geeksthetic -8/10

 

In the same vein as the P-Series counterpart of the year, the Mate series improves on the aesthetic of the old Mate 10 line and borrows a lot of design improvements from Huawei’s other 2018 phones – namely the P20 and P20 Pro. While utilizing various colors, the Mate 20 has a more subdued look, maybe because of the phone’s intended target audience – which are mainly on-the-go business people.

While the gradient Twilight is present in the series (Mate 20 Pro), it’s the special series colors that got our attention. Specific to Mate 20 is the Midnight Blue colorway with the back entirely running on Huawei’s hyper-optic texture design. This nano-grooves help prevent slippage and somewhat doesn’t attract as much fingerprint smudges as its much smoother counterparts.

Surprising, the Mate 20 is Huawei’s first phone to fit a water-droplet notch –similar to what we saw on OPPO F9. Removing some of the sensors and LED notification, the water droplet notch houses a 24-megapixel front-facing camera that should handle all your daily selfie needs. While it doesn’t have the advanced 3D-face tracing of the Mate 20 Pro, the Mate 20 does have Face Unlock security feature so you can still use that if you prefer.

However, the blazing-fast fingerprint scanner at the back should be sufficiently enough. If ever, though, my only gripe with the design would be the position of the finger print scanner which I feel comes a wee bit too close to the camera. There are times when I’d be pressing the camera lens when I try to unlock my phone.

I’m also not that big of a fan with the water-droplet notch. With the size of the Mate 20 (at 6.53” screen), a I wouldn’t really mind a small regular notch that could probably house some more functionalities to the phone. Maybe it’s the implementation, but the single notch just takes away the premium factor quite a bit.

 

Geek Binge Factor – 9.5/10

Wide Screen and 2 solid speakers? Count us in! The 6.53” screen has enough real estate for your movie, tv or anime-binge watching sessions. Speakers are nice and crisp and the 18.7:9 aspect ration frames majority of media and game screens perfectly.

If there ever is a (slight) complaint to the display on the Mate 20, it’s the fact that Huawei opted not to fit it with AMOLED and instead decided to use a standard IPS panel. True, the screen supports up to 2244×1080 resolution but you are commanding a premium with the Mate 20 Device. Premium material aside, the colors are still vivid enough to really take notice plus the large real estate makes you forget that you’re viewing everything in just FHD (that is until you compare the display with the Mate 20 Pro).

 

Gaming – 10/10

GGEZ with Kirin 980 chipset. The first SoC of Kirin to be placed on a 7nm chipset, this thing is crazy fast. Paired with 6G of RAM, suffice to say, it cannot find anything it can’t play…yet. When we got our hands on the Mate 20 it was the height of Ragnarok Mobile’s Resurgence. Suffice to say, we played on it without much problems and delays.


Similarly (and as expected), the Mate 20 ran Asphalt 9 Legends with ease. There is an issue with PUBG Mobile, though, that it clocks at medium setting but this is a fault of Tencent than it is the phone. The game isn’t optimized yet to run well with the Kirin 980 but it’s just a matter of time before it does.

 

Everyday Realiability – 9/10

6.53” screen with the strongest processor the company has produced and 6GB of RAM, your phone would be powering through a multitude of apps all day long. How does the battery hold up? Pretty good, if you ask me. At 4000 mAH, the Mate 20 would last you pretty much the entire day until you have to recharge it. If you’re a heavy user – meaning you binge on a couple of Netflix shows (like 4 in a row), had to shoot a couple of videos and do the usual data consumption (internet, Facebook, YouTube), you may have to plug the device a little after 6 hours of continuous use but then, coupled with Huawei’s Super Charger, the Mate 20 can power up fully a bit over an hour (definitely less than 2). That’s not bad considering you get another full charge of 4000 mAH at your disposal. It doesn’t come with wireless charging, though – so there is that downside.

On the optics side, there hardly anything that this cannot catch. Just check the following out:

Ultrawide Angle
Max Zoom from the same vantage point as above
Crystal Clear Night-Mode Photography

The phone is IP53 rated – which means it’s a bit splash proof but not entirely water-resistant –partly because of the 3.5mm headphone jack and speaker grills. Still, despite all that, the phone can withstand the daily abuses it faces.

Overall – 9/10

The Mate 20 is an amazing phone with a large-screen format. One of the best (and most practical) of the flagships across the various brands, the Mate 20 clocks in a little under 42,000 at Php 40,990. I’m sure you can still get a couple of freebies from various dealers if you try but if you’re one of the lucky ones that pre-ordered, enjoy the Huawei Talkband and the Bluetooth Speaker that it comes with.

For more on the Huawei and their excellent Mate 20 series, head over to their official page.

 

Wider, Better – Looking Closely at the Huawei Mate 20 | Unboxing & Initial Impression