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Rear camera – three of them

A ‘triple’ Leica Summilux rear camera with dual Image Signal Processors in a 2×2 square format

  • 40MP RGB f/1.8, PDAF+Laser Focus, HDR
  • 20MP RGB ultrawide f/2.2
  • 8MP RGB telephoto f/2.4 OIS.
  • Dual tone LED flash array
mate 20

Mate 20 has 16MP standard f/2.2, 12MP wide-angle f/1.8 and 8MP telephoto f/2.4.

The camera setup is very similar to the P20 Pro. Gone is the signature mono sensor (P20 Pro DxOMark here). Huawei says that its new RGB sensor can extract the details usually provided by a mono sensor.

40MP is huge and will capture far more detail. We understand that the 40MP will also pixel bin in low-light (Night Shot mode) to produce a 10MP image using the best pixels. PADF and Laser focus will mean better capture of moving shots.

The three lenses can provide a 5X hybrid and 10X digital zoom and an ultra-closeup macro as well. Given the massive data that this setup can capture its no wonder, Huawei needed to invent a superchip to process it. According to the Kirin 980 specs, it can process image recognition of up to 4,500 images per minute. It also has post-processing HDR manipulation and well, all the bells and whistles a ‘pro’ could ever imagine.

Mate 20

I will be very surprised if it is not the best performing camera on DxOMark although we have yet to see what the Google Pixel 3 can do with a single lens. Either way, if you want the best photos, it will be up there.

mate 20

Selfie

24MP Wide angle f/2.0 selfie for ‘friends’. AI-driven 3D facial modelling technology follows the contours of your features, adjusting for the most flattering selfies. 3D Portrait Lighting (not flash) also offers a host of studio-quality lighting effects to turn quick selfies into portraits.

More important is the AI that Huawei brings to both front and rear cameras. AI is about taking captured information and presenting what it thinks is the best photo. When I reviewed the class-leading P20 Pro, I found the AI a little too aggressive – but that was with pre-release software.

It will recognise 25 different AI Scene recognition and 1500 different scenarios.

Mate 20

Hi-Vision AI provides real-time information on food, art and building categories. It was impressive when aimed at a bowl of fruit it identified Kiwi Fruit and estimated its weight and calorie count.

Battery

4200mAH (4,000) battery AI management.
Expected 30-hour talk time and 104-hour music playback
USB-C 3.1 gen 1 fast charge (70% in 30 minutes)
15W Qi fast charge (200% faster than iPhone X 7.5W)
Reverse charge to top up other Qi phones

4,200mAh is plenty especially when the OLED screen and 7nm processor are energy misers. The reverse charging is novel. It allows you to use the Mate 20 Pro as a charging pad for emergency top ups of any Qi phone or device.

LTE

Dual 4G Sim
Cat 21 for up to 1.4GHz downloads and 200 Mbps uploads (with carrier aggregation)
Band support – at least 1/3/7/8/20/28/34/38/40
VoLTE and VoWiFi on each sim
HD Voice

As good as it gets. Dual sims means you can have your normal number and use the second for a work number or pre-paid data plan.

GPS

It has L1 + L5 dual frequency ultra-precise positioning GPS system for 4m accuracy. For most, the usual 10m accuracy is fine, but this gives an edge in in-car, turn-by-turn navigation.

Sound

Stereo speakers 32-bit/384kHz Hi-Res Wireless Audio
Dolby Atmos (to headphones)
2 x noise cancelling mics
USB-C to 3.5mm adapter

The DAC specifications are like the P20 Pro. Using Bluetooth or via USB-C it should be an audiophile’s delight.

Comms

Wi-Fi AC MU-MIMO, Miracast, Hotspot
Bluetooth 5.0 aptX/aptX HD and LDAC HD Audio capable
NFC
IR blaster

All you could need and Wi-Fi is high-end that should get over 1Gbps data connection.