Huawei Mate 20 Pro launched in India with Kirin 980 for ₹69,990 ($988)

Huawei Mate 20 Pro India launch

For years, the highest-end Android flagship used to be defined by Samsung’s Galaxy Note series as the “best-of-the-best” Android phones. Google entered the premium smartphone segment in 2016 with the Google Pixel. In addition, one company that has been steadily improving its flagship phones is Huawei. Huawei has also been steadily increasing the prices of its flagship phones at the same rate. Indian consumers, however, were left out as Huawei had not opted to launch any Mate series phone in India before. This year, as the company’s strategy has changed, high-end flagship smartphone buyers now have another option to choose from. The Huawei P20 Pro was launched in India in April. Now, Huawei has launched the Huawei Mate 20 Pro in India—the first ever launch of a Mate series phone in the country.

The Huawei Mate 20 Pro is the successor of the Huawei Mate 10 Pro. It’s positioned as a higher-end variant of the standard Huawei Mate 20. It should be noted that Huawei didn’t launch the standard Mate 20 or the Huawei Mate 20X in India, opting to launch only the top-end phone.

This is the second flagship Huawei phone to launch in India this year, and as expected, it’s packed with cutting edge specifications, including a triple rear camera setup, 3D face unlock, in-display fingerprint sensor, a curved 6.39-inch WQHD+ OLED display, the 7nm HiSilicon Kirin 980 SoC, 40W Huawei SuperCharge, and more. Let’s take a look at the full specifications list:

Huawei Mate 20 Pro – Specifications at a glance

Huawei Mate 20 Pro
Huawei Mate 20 Pro
Huawei Mate 20 Pro

Category Huawei Mate 20 Pro
Dimensions and Weight 157.8 x 72.3 x 8.6mm, 189g
Colors Emerald Green, Twilight
Software EMUI 9.0 based on Android 9 Pie
Display 6.39 inch WQHD+ curved OLED, 1440×3120 resolution, 19.5:9 ratio, HDR
System-on-chip
  • Octa-core HiSilicon Kirin 980 (2x Arm Cortex-A76 cores @ 2.6GHz + 2x Arm Cortex-A76 cores @ 1.92GHz + 4x Arm Cortex-A55 cores @ 1.8GHz)
  • Mali-G76MP10 GPU @ 720MHz
Co-processor Dual NPUs on the HiSilicon Kirin 980
RAM and storage configurations 6GB RAM with 128GB storage; up to 256GB proprietary Nano Memory Card for expandable storage (cards not available yet in India)
Battery 4,200 mAh
Rear Camera Sensors 40MP (Wide Angle 27mm, f/1.8)
20MP (Ultra Wide Angle 16mm, f/2.2)
8MP (3x Telephoto 80mm, f/2.4, OIS)
Night Mode, Huawei AI Image Stabilization, dual-tone flash
Video recording up to 4K@30fps
Front Camera Sensor 24MP with f/2.o aperture
Ports USB Type-C port (USB 3.1), dual nano-SIM slots
Connectivity
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • NFC, Dual-band GPS, LTE Category 21 (1.4Gbps)
Charging Wireless charging up to 15W, 40W Huawei SuperCharge, reverse wireless charging
IP Rating IP68

In terms of design, the Huawei Mate 20 Pro takes clear inspirations from the Huawei P20 Pro and the Samsung Galaxy S9. It borrows the former’s color options and the latter’s curved display type. The Mate 20 Pro’s curved display in addition with a tall 19.5:9 aspect ratio means that the phone is narrower than other flagships, which will likely have a positive impact on ergonomics. However, the 19.5:9 aspect ratio also means that the display isn’t as wide as the displays of the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 and the Google Pixel 3 XL, which have 18.5:9 displays.

In India, Huawei has launched the phone only in two colors: Twilight and Emerald Green. The company had also launched Midnight Blue, Pink Gold, and Black colors for Europe, but they are not going to be available in India.

The Mate 20 Pro’s signature design feature is the huge camera housing on the back, which contains the three cameras and the dual-tone LED flash. It’s a significant departure from the P20 Pro’s rear camera arrangement.

Display

The Huawei Mate 20 Pro has a 6.39-inch WQHD+ (3120×1440) HDR OLED display with a 19.5:9 aspect ratio. The displays are supplied by LG Display and BOE. The Mate 20 Pro has significantly higher resolution than the P20 Pro’s Full HD+ display, but the LG Display panel hasn’t been proven to be free from issues.

Performance

The HiSilicon Kirin 980 chipset is fabricated on a 7nm TSMC FinFET process, and it shows a glimpse of the performance we will get on 2019 flagship phones. It has a triple-cluster CPU core setup, making use of Arm’s DynamIQ. The arrival of the next-generation Arm Cortex-A76 means that the Mate 20 Pro should be one of the fastest, if not the fastest, Android phones in the market. Performance should be vastly improved over the P20 Pro’s Kirin 970 SoC, which featured the two generations-old Arm Cortex-A73 cores.

The Arm Mali-G76MP10 GPU is also a good improvement over the somewhat disappointing GPU of the Kirin 970. In terms of peak GPU performance, Qualcomm is still ahead, though.

Lastly, the dual NPUs of the Kirin 980 mean that when it comes to AI performance, the Mate 20 Pro is as cutting-edge as it gets.

Cameras

Huawei Mate 20 ProWe praised the P20 Pro’s class-leading low-light camera performance in our review. The Huawei Mate 20 Pro’s primary camera is the same 40MP sensor which takes photos in 10MP resolution by default to benefit from pixel binning. The 8MP 3x zoom (80mm) telephoto camera has also been carried over from the P20 Pro, but the big change here is the absence of the 20MP monochrome camera. In its place, we get a 20MP ultra wide-angle (16mm) camera for the first time in a Huawei phone. Thus, all three rear cameras now have different focal lengths.

With Night Mode and Huawei AI Image Stabilization, the Mate 20 Pro is already setup to be an excellent camera performer in low-light. It will go head-to-head with the Pixel 3’s Night Sight mode.

Video recording, unfortunately, is let down by the Kirin 980’s encoding capabilities. 4K@60fps video recording still isn’t supported on the Mate 20 Pro as the SoC doesn’t support it.

Audio, battery, charging, and connectivity

The Mate 20 Pro has stereo speakers. Audio from the rear speaker is played out through the USB Type-C port, as there is no dedicated speaker grill. Unfortunately, and unlike the standard Mate 20, the Mate 20 Pro lacks a 3.5mm headphone jack. This means users will have to either rely on USB Type-C audio, the included 3.5mm-to-USB-C adapter, or Bluetooth audio.

The phone has a big 4,200mAh battery to power the WQHD+ OLED display. It supports 40W fast charging with the Huawei SuperCharge adapter, and Huawei is promoting that users will be able to get 70% charge in 30 minutes. 15W fast wireless charging is also supported. In addition, the Mate 20 Pro supports reverse wireless charging as well.

In terms of connectivity, the Mate 20 Pro is fully loaded with dual-band GPS, NFC, dual VoLTE, 4×4 MIMO Wi-Fi, Cat.21 (1.4Gbps) LTE, and the other standard connectivity options.

Pricing and availability

In India, the Mate 20 Pro will cost ₹69,990 ($988) for the single 6GB RAM/128GB storage variant. Huawei is also offering a bundle offer which includes the Sennheiser PXC 550 wireless headphones for ₹71,990 for a limited time.

The Mate 20 Pro will be available on Amazon India from midnight, December 3 for Amazon Prime members, and midnight December 4 for regular consumers. It will be available via offline Croma stores from December 10 along with the bundle offer.

Launch offers include an additional 1.1GB data per day for 12 recharges worth ₹199 being offered by Vodafone India.

The Huawei Mate 20 Pro aims to compete with the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 and the Google Pixel 3 XL in India. Its pricing is very high, but so is the Galaxy Note 9’s price, which is ₹2,000 cheaper. The Mate 20 Pro is actually substantially cheaper than the Pixel 3 XL, which costs ₹83,000 for the 64GB storage variant. All three phones have their strengths and weaknesses, but the Mate 20 Pro makes a good case for itself.

Note: Huawei has stopped providing official bootloader unlock codes for its devices. Therefore, the bootloader of the Huawei Mate 20 Pro cannot be unlocked, which means that users cannot flash Magisk/TWRP/AOSP-based custom ROMs.


Huawei Mate 20 Pro on Amazon

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