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Huawei Mate 20 Pro review: This is the best smartphone of 2018

By James Lu - 2 Feb 2019
Prices:

Camera features and performance

Camera Performance: Like having a full set of lenses in your pocket

The Mate 20 Pro is armed with a triple camera setup compromising of a wide 40-megapixel f/1.8, an ultra-wide 20-megapixel f/2.2, and an 8-megapixel f/2.4 telephoto.

The main 40-megapixel sensor appears to be the same one we first saw in the Huawei P20 Pro, and by default spits out 10-megapixel images through pixel binning (although, if you prefer, you can still save the full 40-megapixel image). The 8-megapixel telephoto lens also appears to be the same one from the P20 Pro and grants 3x optical zoom, or 5x hybrid zoom. The ultra-wide 20-megapixel lens is completely new, and replaces the black and white monochrome lens on previous Huawei-Leica phones (which used to be required for better low-light performance, but isn't needed anymore due to better sensors and the use of image stacking for night photography.)

Like the P20 Pro, the camera app is enhanced by Huawei's Master AI, which can now recognize and tune settings for up to 1,500 different scenes. Thankfully, Huawei has made it less aggressive on greens and blues, which helps tone down the super vivid and unrealistic trees and skies you would get from the P20 Pro. The Mate 20 Pro also includes basically every shooting mode you can think of, including HDR, Portrait, slow-motion video, time-lapse video, and the excellent Night Mode we first saw on the P20 Pro.

Image quality is excellent with great detail, true to life colors, and minimal noise and processing. Unlike many smartphone cameras, corners are sharp, and there's very little lens distortion, even when using the ultra-wide lens. Don't be afraid to use the 5x hybrid zoom either, unlike most digital zooms, there's hardly any loss in image quality and thanks to the optical image stabilization it can capture tack sharp images fairly easily.

Click for full-size image.

 

3x optical zoom. Click for full-size image.

5x hybrid zoom. Click for full-size image.

0.6x zoom (ultra-wide angle). Click for full-size image.

The ultra-wide angle lens also doubles up as a very useful macro lens, thanks to its extremely close minimum focal length.

 

Sample Images

3x zoom, ISO50, 1/115 sec

1x zoom, ISO80, 1/100 sec

0.6x zoom (ultra-wide), ISO160, 1/500 sec

3x zoom, ISO50, 1/100 sec

5x zoom (hybrid zoom), ISO50, 1/125 sec

9.0
  • Design 9
  • Features 9
  • User-Friendliness 9
  • Performance 8.5
  • Value 8.5
The Good
Classy, modern design
IP68 build
Gorgeous curved AMOLED display
Long battery life
Super fast charging
Kirin 980 processor on par with Snapdragon 845
True 3D Face Recognition
In-display fingerprint scanner
Versatile triple rear camera setup with great image quality
More competitively priced than a Note9, Pixel 3 XL, and iPhone XS
The Bad
No headphone port
Proprietary memory card
Unbalanced stereo speakers
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