Fancy a smartphone which will let you take wide angle shots without attaching telephoto lenses? That can charge and share its battery power wirelessly? That will recognise landmarks, paintings and food?
Cue Huawei’s latest smartphones Mate20 and Mate20 Pro, which were launched in London today at its Global Press Conference.
For just over a week now, the press has been sworn to secrecy about the exciting features of these new phones of Huawei’s flagship series, which make the P20 Pro (just launched in March this year) seem downright ancient in comparison. The new Mate20 and Mate20 Pro are fitted with EMUI 9.0, Android 9.0 and the world’s first 7nm mobile artificial intelligence (AI) chipset, which enable real-time text translation and real-time object recognition across three categories – landmarks, paintings and food.
Which means, theoretically, if you switch on HiVision on the new Mate20 or Mate20 Pro, and let it hover over your food, the phone is supposed to recognise what you’re eating and tell you how many calories it contains. If you hover it over a prolific piece of artwork, the phone can identify its name and artist. If you’re travelling and you need help identifying a landmark, HiVision is also supposed to help.
Another remarkable AI feature of the new phones is an app called 3D Live Maker, where you can scan a doll (or a model with appendages) and bring it to life in augmented reality.
But the part of the preview which made all members of media twitter in excitement was this: one can use the Mate20 and Mate20 Pro to reverse charge another smartphone wirelessly. That means if your friend’s smartphone (even iPhone or Samsung models, just as long as it supports wireless charging) is running low on battery, all you need to do is press your Mate20 or Mate20 Pro on that phone to share some juice. Yes, you just need to let them Mate (cue eye roll), Yang Guo and Xiaolongnu style.
And with a 4000mAh (Mate20) and 4200mAh (Mate20 Pro) battery, you can be sure that your Huawei phone is almost always going to have more power than an iPhone at the end of the day. The Huawei Mate20 Pro supports Fastest Huawei 40W SuperCharge and 15W Wireless Quick Charge, while the Mate20 supports Huawei 22.5W SuperCharge with TUV Safe Fast-Charge Certification.
Building on the foundation of Huawei P20 Series’ camera system, Huawei has augmented the Huawei
Mate 20 with a16mm Leica Ultra Wide Angle Lens. This wider perspective is said to create a sense of spaciousness and a three dimensional effect to the images. The new camera system also supports macro distance, which produces crisp images of objects that are placed as close as 2.5cm from the lens.
The Huawei Mate20 Pro is equipped with a 40MP main camera, a 20MP ultra wide-angle camera, and an 8MP telephoto camera. Together, the trio of lenses supports a wide range of focal lengths (equivalent to the performance of a 16-270mm zoom lens), enabling it to mimic the results from professional cameras.
One can also use the Portrait function to create stunning portraits with a personalised bokeh effect. You can choose to create circles, hearts, discs or swirls with the dots of light surrounding the subject.
The Huawei Mate20 Series also features an AI Portrait Color video mode. Using AI, the Huawei Mate20 Series can isolate human subjects and desaturate the colors around them to dramatically highlight the person. AI Spotlight Reel identifies clips with a shared theme and auto-generates a montage, made entirely of highlights.
Camera specs of the Mate20 Pro
Front camera: Single-lens camera, 24MP @ ƒ2.0 aperture
Rear camera: Triple Leica lens camera: RGB Camera: 40MP Wide Angle Lens @ ƒ1.8 Ultra Wide Angle Camera: 20MP Ultra Wide Angle Lens @ ƒ2.2 Telephoto Camera: 8MP Telephoto Lens @ ƒ2.4
Camera specs of the Mate20
Front camera: Single-lens camera, 24MP @ ƒ2.0 aperture
Rear camera: Triple Leica lens camera: RGB Camera: 12MP Wide Angle Lens @ ƒ1.8 Ultra Wide Angle Camera: 16MP Ultra Wide Angle Lens @ ƒ2.2 Telephoto Camera: 8MP Telephoto Lens @ ƒ2.4
Those worried about capacity would be happy to find out that both phones have an ROM of 128GB, 6GB RAM, and expandable up to 256GB with a nano memory card. It is meant to be fitted into the SIM 2 slot. This is a first for a Huawei smartphone, and an essential feature considering that one would want to take lots of photos with these phones.
While Huawei made heads turn with the gradient Twilight colourway earlier in March this year, the colourway to look out for this time would be the Emerald Green – the only colourway to sport an iridescent Hyper Optical Pattern on the glass back, which makes the device easy to grip and fingerprint resistant. Twilight is still available in the Huawei Mate20 Pro, with the hues made slightly bluer and deeper than that of the P20 Pro’s.
The design of the Mate20 series phones is sleek, with curved edges and a high screen-to-body ratio. Its screen is 6.39 inches wide.
In a nutshell, here are the unique selling points of the Huawei Mate20 series:
- Long battery life (4200mAh and 4000mAh)
- Charging speed at 40W
- Macro photography (2.5cm distance)
- Low-light photography (ISO 102400)
- Wide-angle and zoom photography (16-270mm)
- Higher app launch speeds than competitors
- Faster speed at 4.5G (downloads at 1.4Gbps)
- WiFi speed (1733Mbps)
- GPS accuracy (L5+L1 GPS)
Porsche Design and Huawei Consumer Business Group also unveiled the new Porsche Design Huawei Mate20 RS Series smartphone today, the latest mobile luxury device created through the collaboration between Porsche Design and Huawei. Its symmetrical design is inspired by racing stripes and sports top grain leather flanks, which is durable as well as grippy.
New Huawei wearables
In addition to the smartphones, Huawei also announced a new line of wearables – two new lines of smart watches. The Huawei Watch GT is packed with a battery life that can last up to two weeks with smart features such as:
- scientific sleep monitoring
- fitness monitoring
- information assistance
- heart rate monitoring
- GPS functionalities and more
There’s also the slimmer and more feminine Huawei Band 3 Pro, but that won’t be available in Singapore.
The Huawei Mate20 series smartphones will have more phone cover choices. There’s also supposed to be a supercharging dock for the car and a wireless charging dock for the desk, but at this moment we are not sure which are going to be available in the Singapore market.
The new Huawei Mate20 (in Midnight Blue, and Black) and Huawei Mate20 Pro (in Emerald Green, Twilight, and Black) will be available in Singapore from 27 October at the recommended retail price of S$998 and S$1,348 respectively. Unfortunately, the other colourways are not available in the Singapore market. That includes the Porsche Design Huawei Mate20 RS in Red. The Porsche Design Huawei Mate20 RS in Black, as well as the Huawei Watch GT (in Brown, and Black), will be available in Singapore in late November. Prices to be confirmed. The Huawei Mate20 X will not be available in Singapore.
To mark the debut of the Mate20 and Mate20 Pro, customers can head down to Causeway Point on 27 October and receive a premium gift set (worth up to $470) with every purchase of either smartphone.
Check out our Instagram feed and stories for demo videos and photos of the Huawei Mate20 series smartphones!