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Huawei Mate 20 Unboxing and First Impressions

Most of the attention from Huawei's Mate 20 series went to the Pro and the X models which is a shame because on paper the vanilla Mate 20 is great too!
Huawei Mate 20 Unboxing and First Impressions
Meet Mate 20

The Philippines will be getting the 6GB/128GB model for PHP 40,990. It has a 1080p display without the in-display fingerprint sensor. The fingerprint sensor is at the back, under the camera module.

The camera set up consists of a 16MP f/2.2 ultra-wide angle lens, 12MP f/1.8 wide angle lens, and an 8MP f/2.4 2x telephoto lens while the 4000mAh battery supports the 22.5W SuperCharge.

This is underspeced compared to the Mate 20 Pro with the 1440p display with in-display fingerprint scanner, 40MP f/1.8 Main shooter and a larger 4,200mAh battery with the 22.5W SuperCharge. Lastly, the Mate 20 doesn't have wireless charging support.

It does have a 3.5 mm headphone jack that the Pro doesn't have along with a smaller dewdrop notch.

Is this 2018's most underrated phone for PHP 40,990? Let's find out!


Inside the retail box!
Inside the retail box!

The Mate 20 comes in a black box that is smaller than the black box of the Mate 10. It is similar to the white box of the P20 series. Outside is the Huawei and Leica branding.

Inside is the phone, jelly case, documentation, SIM ejector tool. 22.5W SuperCharge brick, USB to USB Type-C cable and 3.5 mm earphones.

Build Quality/Design

The beautiful textured back!
The beautiful textured back!

The Mate 20's design and engineering is stunning! We got the blue one and the color carries over to the metal frame. The frame itself is shiny and reflective with the blue color but it feels sturdy and hefty.
Antenna lines, 3.5 mm headphone jack, microphones and IR Blaster!
Antenna lines, 3.5 mm headphone jack, microphones and IR Blaster!
Antenna lines, speaker, microphones and USB Type-C!
Antenna lines, speaker, microphones and USB Type-C!
The SIM card tray!
The SIM card tray!
Volume rocker and power button!
Volume rocker and power button!

It is one of the most beautiful phones Huawei has produced and it is one of the prettiest phones this year! Huawei takes pride in the symmetry of phone. They say it is inspired by nature and honestly I couldn't care less, but it just looks great!

It is one of the prettiest phones this year!

In front is the large and immersive 6.53-inch IPS display with 2.5D curved display with a resolution of 2244 x 1080 with 381 ppi and one of the smallest dewdrop notch ever! Bezels are also slimmer than most phones with notch.

It still has a 3.5 mm headphone jack slot!

The top of the frame are the 3.5 mm headphone jack, antenna lines, IR blaster and microphones while at the bottom houses the speaker, microphones, antenna lines and USB Type-C port.

On the right side of the frame is the volume rocker and power button while the SIM card tray is found on the right.

The phone is also easy to hold with two hands. 

Initial findings

Mate 20 defeated 99 percent of other devices!

1. This is one of the prettiest phones of the year and for its design, it is a bargain at PHP 40,990. The large 6.53-inch 2244 x 1080 resolution display is large and immersive but the width of the phone is just enough to not hurt your palms when holding the phone for an extended period.
The large immersive display with a small dewdrop notch!
The large immersive display with a small dewdrop notch!

The brightness of the display goes up to 800+ nits so it is one of the brightest displays on a phone in the market today.

2. It is running one of few 7nm in the world as of this writing: the 2.6GHz 64-bit Kirin 980 octa-core processor with Dual-NPU. It is powerful enough to beat 99 percent of other phones with a score of 301709 in AnTuTu!

The Dual-NPU is also expected to improve the AI features from previous Huawei phones.

It carries a large 4,000mAh battery with support for the 22.5W SuperCharger that promises to 0 to 100 percent charge around 60 minutes.

Unlike the Mate 20 Pro, the Mate 20 does not support wireless charging.

3. It is running Android 9.0 Pie with Huawei's EMUI 9.0 on top. It is the latest version and it improves upon the last with better integration with Google services and apps. Though if you didn't like EMUI before, you probably won't change your mind. 

What I didn't like that stood out is that there are preinstalled apps like Lazada, Camera360, Booking.com, Asphalt, Spider-Man and other games. Fortunately, you can uninstall this.

4. The triple-camera system from the P20 Pro has been improved upon. However, the Mate 20 only has a 12MP f/1.8 and not the large 40MP sensor on the P20 Pro and the Mate 20 Pro but from our initial use, it doesn't affect the utility and image output. We'll have to do more testing though.

Huawei removed the signature monochrome sensor and replaced it with an ultra wide angle 16MP f/2.2 camera that also supports super macro which means it can focus super close to the subject.

The 8MP f/2.4 OIS telephoto sensor is retained. All cameras support 4D predictive focus, AIS, 5x zoom, 4K video recording, 960 fps slow motion, and dual-tone LED flash.

5. It doesn't have the sophisticated face unlock of the Mate 20 Pro but it does have one of the fastest and most accurate fingerprint scanner on the back and the optical face unlock on the Mate 20 so far has yet to fail to unlock when scanning our face with or without eye glasses.

Being a Huawei device, the WiFi and 4G LTE are one of the best. It now has a dual-band GPS for more accurate location and tracking. 

It is rated for IP53 which means it can withstand light splashes and not full immersion. It is not as good as the IP68 of the Mate 20 Pro.

It doesn't have a notification and temperature sensor. It has OTG support, accelerometer, light sensor, orientation sensor, proximity sensor, gyroscope, magnetic and pressure sensors.

Lastly, it has an IR blaster to control other appliances that support IR remotes like TVs.

Related: Huawei Mate 20: First Camera Samples

Huawei Mate 20 Specs

Display: 6.53-inch 2.5D curved IPS screen w/ FHD+ 2244 x 1080 resolution at 381 ppi
CPU: 2.6GHz 64-bit Kirin 980 octa-core processor w/ Dual-NPU
GPU: Mali-G76 MP10 w/ GPU Turbo 2.0
ROM: 128GB expandable via NM card slot up to 256GB
Back Camera: 12MP f/1.8 RGB sensor + 16MP f/2.2 ultra wide-angle + 8MP f/2.4 OIS telephoto sensor w/ 4D predictive focus, AIS, 5x zoom, 4K video recording, 960 fps slow motion, and dual-tone LED flash
Selfie Camera: 24MP f/2.0 w/ AI face beauty and 3D portrait lighting
Battery: 4,000mAh w/ 22.5W SuperCharge
OS: Android 9.0 Pie w/ EMUI 9.0
Connectivity: WiFi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac (2.4/5GHz), 4G LTE Cat 21, Bluetooth 5 BLE, aptX HD, OTG, NFC, dual-band GPS, dual SIM (hybrid)
Sensors: Accelerometer, light, orientation, proximity, gyroscope, sound, magnetic, pressure
Others: Fingerprint sensor, 3D face unlock, IR Blaster, IP53 water and dust resistance, 384K/32-bit HiFi DAC, USB Type-C, stereo speakers, Colors: emerald green, midnight blue, classical black, pink gold, twilight
Dimensions: 158.2 x 77.2 x 8.3 mm
Weight: 188 g
Price: PHP 40,990 (PHP 35,990 sale price)

As of the moment

The Mate 20 is looking to be the most competent phone for PHP 40,990. It only has an IP53 rating and it doesn't have wireless charging and the display is only 1080p but if you can live with it, it is one of the best phones for the price. 

It is a flagship with some lacking features but the large 4,000mAh battery, 7nm processor, 6GB RAM/128GB storage and premium design make it hard to not look at especially if you have a limited budget of under PHP 41K.

So so far, we can't discount this phone yet.

We have to do more testing to see if all these features hold up and are truly able to compete with similarly priced phones.

For our review: Huawei Mate 20 Review - Most affordable 7nm processor smartphone!
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