Huawei Mate 20 Review: so much power, a few frills

After trying the Huawei Mate 20 Pro, the latest top of the range of the Chinese company, we are going to tell you about one of its younger brothers. During the presentation conference of the new line-up, three main models were unveiled to the public. We have mentioned the flagship device poco ago, pending the Mate X and the Mate 20.

The first of these will not arrive on our territory, while the other is already available for sale in Italy, fitting a chipset almost identical to the one proposed on the Pro version. It will be worth buying Huawei Mate 20? What are the compromises that must be accepted with a version like this? Find out in our interior Full review.

Huawei Mate 20 review


The sales package is characterized by the presence of a good number of accessories, revealing inside:

  • Huawei Mate 20;
  • wall power supply with Italian socket;
  • USB / USB Type-C cable;
  • warranty certificate;
  • short instruction manual;
  • a pair of classic earphones;
  • pin for removing the SIM slot;
  • soft transparent TPU cover.

Huawei Mate 20

Constructive quality

From a constructive point of view, Huawei has done a great job, releasing a market on the market solid device and well assembled. The rear body is completely built in glass, presenting a very particular weave that does not guarantee, however, a better handling of the smartphone. The Mate 20in any case, it is much wider than its older brother, with dimensions general of 158.2 x 77.2 x 8.3 mm thick, with a weight about 188 grams. Furthermore, three different colors are available: Blue Night, Black and Twilight.

Huawei Mate 20

The entire side frame is covered by a polished metal the same color as the back, which turns out to be quite slippery. Within it, however, the company has managed to embed the perfection perfectly plastic bands, to offer better reception of the antennas. The attention to detail is not lacking, however, even on the front, where the protective glass does not have any kind of special curvature. On the upper edge the company succeeded, then, to insert one headset capsule with very small dimensions, leaving space for one notch to drop containing the front camera. On this same small surface there are also the LED notification RGB, as well as proximity and brightness sensors.

Huawei Mate 20


Huawei Mate 20 presents a budget of doors complete, as shown by the forum mini jack for headphones placed at the top, accompanied by well two microphones and infrared sensor.

Huawei Mate 20

The right frame shows, instead, the classic volume balance and On / off button. The latter has a knurled surface and a lateral milling of red, which inevitably stands out also on this blue color.

Huawei Mate 20

The left side has the trolley for the insertion of well two nano SIM or, alternatively, of a nano SIM and an NM Card, or the new one Nano SD owner of Huawei. At the bottom, instead, we find two other microphones, assisted by the entrance USB Type-C 3.1 and system speaker.

Looking at the back profile of the device, the large upper square can not go unnoticed, inside which they are well contained three photographic sensors and a Bitonal LED flash. This structure also protrudes slightly from the profile of the device, but such a problem is easily solved by applying a protective protective cover.

Huawei Mate 20

The IP68 certification, present on the Pro version, is missing in favor of a less effective one IP53.


Huawei Mate 20 presents very small frames, thus offering an almost full-screen view. The mounted on this smartphone is, however, a unit LCD (IPS) by well 6.53 diagonal inches, with resolution Full HD + (2244 x 1080 pixels), density of 381 ppi and aspect ratio 18:9. In case you try to save the battery, you can manually set a lower quality, using the option HD +, also being able to decide to delegate everything to the system, automatically adjusting the resolution of the screen.

Huawei Mate 20

The panel is characterized by a good contrast, proposing quite bright colors. In the event that the color rendering is not, however, of liking, it will be possible to modify it from the settings menu, acting on the color temperature. White people, in general, tend slightly to blue at different inclinations of the smartphone, while i neri they are deep enough.

Referring to the front surface, oleophobic treatment it's quite good, not showing many fingerprints.

Hardware & Performance

Huawei Mate 20 is characterized by the presence of a HiSilicon Kirin 980 processor, an octa-core solution from 2x Cortex-A76 a 2.6 GHz + 2x Cortex-A76 a 1.92 GHz + 4x Cortex-A55 a 1.8 GHz and from a production process a 7 nm. The GPU it is, instead, one Mali-G76 and we also find one Dual NPU for the management of machine learning processes and artificial intelligence. At the memory level, one has been implemented RAM LPDDR4X da 4 GB, while for the internal storage you can rely on 128 GB, expandable up to 256 GB using the new one NM Card, the new standard of Nano SD Huawei owner. Taking advantage of this last solution it is necessary to renounce the use of a double Nano SIM.

Le performance are in line with what we have already enjoyed on the Mate 20 Pro, always appreciating a system fluid and snappy, without recording any stumbling or critical situation, even when it is particularly stressed. The production process a 7 nmmoreover, it allows to always maintain very low temperatures, even with extended gaming sessions.

The new EMUI 9.0 plays a role certainly fundamental in this case, because it offers an even more satisfying experience in terms of software, not particularly weighing on consumption.


On board this device there is the new one EMUI 9, Based on Android 9.0 Pie. In fact, Huawei has decided to give new luster to the entire interface, however implementing most of the graphic solutions already seen on the new software release of the green robot.

Although the settings menu has also been revisited, because the arrangement of some voices has changed, the system turns out to be equally fluid and pleasant to use in everyday life. There graphics some applications seem to feel, however, the weight of time on their shoulders.

With the EMUI 9 it is possible, among the many functions, remove the upper notch and set the gesture full screen. The first of these I have never used, because the small drop notch in the long run is appreciated. Furthermore, all applications are well managed from this point of view, not conflicting with the hardware solution adopted by Huawei. The left side offers enough space, then, for viewing the notification icons and other information. Regarding the second point, related to the gesture, there are no obvious distortions with respect to the ideas brought to other devices. With a swipe from the bottom to the top, you fall directly to the home, with a side swipe you return to the previous screen and with a swipe extended upwards you access the multitasking.

Among the most interesting settings we also find the digital screen management, which allows you to set a time within which to use a certain type of applications. This solution could be of interest to a parent, for example, allowing him to manage his child's smartphone.


Huawei has decided to partially change course with its new product line, abandoning the black / white photo sensor in favor of one wide-angle camera. The partnership with Leicainstead, it is always alive.

Analyzing with order the posterior photographic compartment, we find a main sensor from 12 mega-pixels with opening f / 1.8 and optics equivalent to one 27 mm, a second one wide-angle lens da 16 mega-pixels with opening f / 2.2 and optics equivalent to one 17 mm, and a third telescopic sensor da 8 mega-pixels with opening f / 2.4 and optics equivalent to one 52 mm, which offers one zoom 2X with optical stabilizer (OIS).

On the other hand, on the other hand, we find a photographic sensor from 24 mega-pixels with opening f / 2.0, identical to the one on the Mate 20 Pro.

Huawei Mate 20

The shots, in the daytime hours, turn out to be always rich in detail and well balanced from the color point of view. Even in the most difficult lighting conditions, the software manages to manage the environmental variables well, without overexposing any objects present in the background. THE'artificial intelligence it also allows us to identify well 1500 scene different, offering a dynamism at the top of the category. Unlike previous versions, on this software the AI ​​does not modify the final image too much, while maintaining a good overall balance.

The presence of one wide-angle camera It is essential, managing to cover a very large portion of the scene. On the other side, we also find one 2X optical zoom which, although it can not compete with the 3X on its older brother, offers equally good shots. In any case, it is necessary to remain quite still with your hand, to avoid getting blurred photos.

At the end of the notte, this smartphone manages to pull out images worthy of note, especially thanks to the night mode. In the almost total darkness, in fact, this functionality proved to be excellent, revealing details that can not be reproduced on other devices. The photographic noise is clearly visible, but it is absolutely normal in such a situation. In this mode, among other things, it is possible to take advantage of all the available sensors, although the less luminous ones wear slightly more. Using the telescopic lens, with f / 2.4 aperture, one can notice how the light captured is lower than the main sensor.

Huawei did not want to put limits on creativity, developing an artificial intelligence able to activate, on distant subjects ? cm from the goal, the mode Super Macro. This function is automatically managed by theAI, which uses the wide-angle lens to provide sharper and more detailed images of the subjects in the foreground.

At the software level, Huawei has added some new features, dedicated to the rear photographic industry. HiVision is the first of these new features, providing a type of service similar to the one already experimented with Google Lens. It is also possible to have fun with the Qmojis 3D, software dedicated to emoji in 3D that, thanks to the scanning of our face, can be exploited for the creation of nice videos to share on social networks.

La front camera, from 24 mega-pixel, allows you to take enough images, but not exceptional. Despite having eliminated the beauty filter, all the shots seem to show equally a lightly polished skin, without any particular details. From a sensor of this type one could have expected something better.

Following are also some shots taken by means of dual flash LEDs back, completely in the dark. The autofocus has not accused any problem even in these extreme conditions, returning colors quite faithful to reality.

Some filters have also been implemented for the portrait mode, which allows you to blur the entire portion of the scene that is behind the foreground subject. This type of tool works well enough, remaining a step below other current tops.

Finally, the videos are recorded at a maximum resolution 4K a 30 fps. All movies are stabilized through AIS and they also offer good results in 1080p is 60 fps, although the quality of stabilization in the latter case is lower. Huawei has implemented, however, other details worthy of mention. On this device there are, in fact, two details registration mode, absolutely unthinkable until a few years ago, at least in the smartphone. The new processor Kirin 980 can therefore afford to show off all its computing power, offering the mode AI Blur e AI Color. Both show the same operation, processing in real time the images on the screen and tracing the subject in the foreground. In the first case we will simply see a dynamic bokeh effect, while with the second mode a black and white filter will be applied to the background.


As regards the connectivity, on Mate 20 we find the best you can wish for any type of user. The smartphone has a Wi-Fi ac Dual Band module with excellent coverage, being able to fully carry out its work outdoors, thanks to a connectivity LTE Gigabit Cat 21 up to 1400 Mbps. We find, then, the Bluetooth 5.0, GPS to dual frequency L1 + L5, GLONASS / Beidu / Galileo, infrared control via emitter IR, USB Type-C 3.1 e NFC.

Both under the Wi-Fi network and in 4G (Fastweb mobile) I did not have any signal problems, managing to navigate well enough even in the most critical points for all devices. The GPS also has a very fast fix, offering stable and reliable accuracy along the way.

Release systems

Huawei Mate 20 features two main unlocking systems: biometric sensor e face recognition. The first of these two works very well, although it is not as responsive as on other high-end smartphones. Accuracy is, however, good. Although the position in which it is located is comfortable, this component is almost flush with the body, making it difficult to identify with eyes closed.

The face release is controlled by the front camera. In the daytime the system is very fast, recognizing the face very easily. During the evening, especially in the darkest places, it turns out to be, instead, almost inefficient.

Huawei Mate 20

Audio & Telephone

The smartphone presents a stereo audio, with the first source positioned at the bottom and the second one mounted inside the ear capsule. The quality expressed, however, did not particularly impress me. All shades are fairly defined, but there is a total absence of them bassi, which makes the sound flat. On a system of this type I would have expected a greater depth. The Mate 20 presents, unlike the Pro version, a mini jack from 3.5 mm, being able to exploit so any headset. In the sales package, in fact, there are a pair of classic headphones (no in-ear), through which the acoustic quality increases significantly.

During a call the quality, however, is very good, managing to converse easily with our interlocutor. I have not recorded any problems, audio and video, even with the video calls.

On this device is present the FM radio.


La battery mounted on Huawei Mate 20 is a well unit 4000 mAh, 200 mAh less than the Mate 20 Pro. Despite this, however, the performances are worthy of note, managing to bring you up to the evening without a hitch. On average I always reached them 6 Hours and 30 Minute Screen On, on a total of approx 15-16 hours of continuous use. I have always had the opportunity to exploit the device a lot, although I do not stress it excessively during the whole test period.

The refill relies on the Super Charge of Huawei from 22.5W. This technology allows to achieve excellent results, being able to pass by 10 to 50% in just 20 minutes, coming to the 70% in 40 minutes, concluding the whole session after about 1 20 hours and minutes.

There is no wireless charging.


Huawei Mate 20 is officially sold in Italy in the version from 4 / 128 GB, available in three different colors: Black, Midnight Blue and Twilight. The list price is of 799 € but on Amazon it is already around €679. We are on a slightly higher level than the competition, although the figure is set to decline over the months.

This device can not compete with Mate 20 Pro, because obviously it has been deprived of some premium features. Its purpose, however, is not to compete with the latter, but to impose itself in a lower price range, where competition is still quite high.

Who wants to own a Mate series product, but is willing to accept something less under the hardware profile, can definitely think of buying Mate 20 without any problem. The performances offered by Kirin 980 are excellent, in line with the other products that mount this same processor, and from the point of view of multimedia differences, although present, can be overcome against a much lower price.

Design and Materials
Audio and connectivity
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From an early age I cultivated a passion for the whole world of electronics, especially for what surrounds the microprocessors. From about 3 years my passion for smartphones has taken shape and has evolved, feeling more and more the need to share it with as many people as possible. If a terminal with a screen appears before my eyes? I have to try it!
huawei-mate-20-review-lots-power-few-frillsAfter trying the Huawei Mate 20 Pro, the latest top of the Chinese company's range, we are going to tell you about one of its younger brothers. During the presentation conference of the new line-up, three main models were unveiled to the public. The device ...