As we enter the second half of 2018, rumors for the second season of flagships have started to emerge. On the Android side, this means the latest iterations of the Google Pixel, Galaxy Note, LG V series, and Huawei Mate. Thanks to FunkyHuawei and XDA, we now have some solid rumors regarding the Huawei Mate 20.
Despite our hopes for the introduction of the P series in the US, it appears for now we are stuck with only the Mate series. I use "stuck" loosely, as these are great phones to have that consistently rank high on the best sleeper phones list. Based on the recent leaks, it looks like the Mate 20 will once again top this list, as Huawei continues to push the spec sheet for smartphones.
Thanks to XDA, we now have a rough idea of what the specifications will be with this device. And let me say, Huawei has once again impressed us.
- Skin: EMUI 9.0
- OS: Android 9.0 Pie
- CPU: Kirin 980 @ 2.8 GHz
- GPU: Mali-G72 MP24
- RAM: 6 GB or 8 GB
- Storage: 128 GB or 256 GB
- Display: 6.3-inch AMOLED display
- Resolution: 2244 x 1080
- Battery: 4,200 mAh
- Rear camera: 12 MP RGB, 16 MP monochrome, and 8 MP telephoto
- Front camera: 20 MP
- Charging options: wireless and fast charging
- Audio: stereo speakers
At the heart of the new Huawei Mate 20 is the latest entry in HiSilicon's Kirin lineup, the Kirin 980. This is the first SoC using the TSMC 7 nm process, 3 nm smaller than last year's Kirin 970. Thanks to this smaller process, the SoC has improved by 20% overall with a 40% improvement in power efficiency.
The Kirin 980 is also the first SoC to use the new Cortex-A76 cores, which are 75% more powerful than the previous generation. They're more power efficient, offering a 58% improvement. These cores are arranged in a three-level structure, with two Cortex-A76 cores at a higher frequency and two Cortex-A76 cores at a slightly lower frequency, plus four "little" Cortex-A55 cores.
Compared to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845's big.LITTLE design, this new arrangements allows the SoC to handle more types of situations, including immediate, intensive loads, sustained higher intensity lows, and light activities which don't require the computing power of the Cortex-A76 cores.
As for mobile games, the Kirin 980 is paired with a Mali-G76 GPU which, like the CPU, is a huge step up from the previous generation. The Mali-G76 has 46% greater graphics processing power than the previous generation while improving the power efficiency by 178%. The result is gaming will be much better on this new chipset, while consuming far less battery life.
And just like last year's Kirin 970, Huawei is focusing on AI, which starts with an on-board NPU. The new Kirin 980 has two NPUs for greater processing power and improved intelligence. AI enhancement to photography will help recognize objects and scenes much faster, allowing you take better photos quicker. And for apps that leverage this computing power, they too will be able to use machine learning enhancements faster for an overall better experience.
Finally, there is a new Image Signal Processor for better photos and a new Cat. 21 modem, a first for smartphones. With that modem, all Kirin 980 devices (starting with the Huawei Mate 20 and 20 Pro) will be able to receive download speed at a theoretical max speed of 1.4 Gbps.
According to XDA, early evidence indicates a 6.3-inch AMOLED panel. Based on the Mate 10 Pro, I would surmise that Huawei will once again use a Samsung panel. According to rumors, this will be a Quad HD display with 1440p resolution.
This rumored size was also confirmed by the reputable leaker, @OnLeaks, who tweeted that according to his sources, the Huawei Mate 20 Pro would, in fact, be 6.25 inches (which rounds up to 6.3). He also gave us the measurements of the notch and chin, which are 0.277 inches and 0.15 inches, respectively. As for the Mate 20, it is likely to share the same size screen but use a much smaller notch.
Last year, Huawei demonstrated its Point Cloud Depth Camera, a 3D facial scanning technology which they believe is more accurate and more secure than Apple's Face ID. Huawei's technology was able to map a 300,000-point cloud (or dots) in 10 seconds. During a shorter period, such as the second or two people expect it to take to unlock their phone, Huawei's Point Cloud Depth Camera was still able to map more dots than Face ID.
More dots equal better accuracy when detecting faces. The more dots used to reconstruct your face, the better chance of finding small differences which separate you from say (potentially) a twin. The same technology will also be used for Animojis (but Huawei's version) and object reconstruction (measure an object and creating an accurate 3D model to its exact dimensions).
This might be the first Huawei triple camera device to hit US shores. Thanks to the ongoing battle between the Chinese manufacturer and the US government, Americans missed out on Huawei's first triple camera phone, the P20 Pro. However, if a new leak proves to be true, we may have lucked out with the Mate 20.
According to QQ, the Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro will both have triple camera arrays, unlike the P20 series where only the bigger device had the three cameras. Each will be arranged differently, with the Pro version using a L-shaped design, and the Mate 20 having a layout similar to the P20 but along the center of the back cover. The former new design was confirmed by FrAndroid, who saw an L-shaped photo sensor during the Kirin 980 event at IFA 2018.
Rumors indicate it will have a similar but slightly scaled down version of the P20 Pro's camera system. The Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro will use a 12 MP RGB Sony IMX380 lens, a 16 MP monochrome Sony IMX600, and an 8 MP telephoto lens (no details on what sensor this lens will use). Since the price for the modules dropped in the second half by about 33%, this shouldn't have a negative impact on the Mate 20's overall price.
There is a rumor that the main camera is actually the same 40 MP RGB sensor from the P20, but this information has been called to question.
According to XDA, Huawei will finally bring wireless charging to the Mate series. Despite the introduction of a glass back on the Mate 10, Huawei decided against wireless charging for a reason similar to OnePlus — it was too slow. However, it appears Huawei heard the call and decided to add the highly desired feature to their upcoming devices.
According to Gizmochina, Huawei might introduce a new and improved wireless charging dock alongside the Mate 20 that is probably the main reason for the wireless charging addition. According to Gizmochina, the new wireless charging technology would allow for one dock to charge multiple devices at the same time.
Earlier reports indicated Huawei wants the Mate 20 to be one of a handful of phones with an in-display fingerprint scanner. According to XDA, the Mate 20 Pro will include this technology, but it will not be included the Mate 20 or Lite version. If this rumor ends up being true, it will be one of six phones to include the feature, with more coming next year.
However, rumors have it that this isn't the same in-display fingerprint scanner as the one found in previous phones. According to BGR, the scanner in the Mate 20 will be Qualcomm's second-generation ultrasonic fingerprint scanner. This technology is much more accurate than the in-display fingerprint scanner found in the Vivo X21 UD. It is also able to operate in thicker displays, up to 800 microns compared to 300 microns of the older technology.
According to QQ, the technology will be optimized using Huawei's algorithm that is based on Liu Haiping's design. With this optimization, it should be much faster than previous devices which included the feature that are typically criticized for having somewhat slow performance.
According to BGR, Huawei will likely monopolize this technology until February 2019, preventing any phone between now and then from using it. Similar to the strategy implemented by Samsung with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, it is likely this will prevent Samsung from including the same in-display technology in the Galaxy S10 unless they delay the release.
According to renders created by XDA, the Mate 20 will support stereo speakers. In addition to the bottom-firing speaker, there's a speaker above the small display notch under the grill, and the two will work in unison. No leaks have come out on whether Huawei will borrow from Samsung and includes some third-party household name to configure the speakers specifically for the device (but don't count this out of the realms of possibilities).
According to XDA, this will also be the first Huawei phone to launch with Android P. EMUI will be running on top as usual, with the skin updated to 9.0, matching the version number of Android P. With it comes some new changes, including improvements to battery life and security. While we don't know how the skin will change visually, expect Huawei to bring many of the visual changes you've come to expect with EMUI skins.
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According to Roland Quandt, Huawei will also be introducing a new color: Dark Green. This would be the second confirmed color, with black being seen in multiple leaked photos. How exactly this color looks is anyone's guess, but we are hoping "dark" doesn't mean black with a small hint of green.
We know the Mate 10 Pro debuted in the US for $799. Therefore, we believe the Mate 20 or Mate 20 Pro (which version they decide to give us) will be at least $50 more than that, around $849. However, with all the rumored changes and the higher prices of Apple and Samsung flagships, Huawei has a bit of wiggle phone to increase profit margins while remaining the cheaper option. Therefore, our assumption is a price between $899–$949.
However, according to a recent leak on Slashleaks, the price of the Mate 20 will be $999. This price would indicate that the Pro version will be at least $100 more, around $1099. However, this leak has been called into question, so take it with even more grains of salt than the other rumors.
As for availability, Huawei is sending out invites for an event on October 16th in London, which is powered by the Kirin 980. So more than likely, this is the date for the upcoming devices.
Huawei seems determined to ship 200 million smartphones by the end of the year. With such a competitive offering (at least on paper) with the Mate 20 series, it looks like they will be able to meet their goal. What do think about the Mate 20 Pro? Are you excited about the specs? Let us know in the comments below.