I often get asked what’s the best smartphone camera. My standard response – the best one is the one that works for you. Agreed, it’s a simple response to a rather complex question. Smartphone cameras are no longer just about their megapixels or lenses but a whole bunch of things that need to come together each time you want your camera to capture a memory or moment that you’d like to preserve for posterity. And these moments can be in low light or demand a time-lapse video. Huawei’s strategic alliance with Leica has lent it’s premier flagships an edge on the camera front. The Mate 20 Pro aims to take that to the next level.

This device is now the crown jewel in the Huawei portfolio and it’s got the looks to justify that tag. Huawei knocks the bezels off with an all-screen curved design that might evoke comparisons with the Samsung Galaxy flagships. But there’s a significant design differentiator – the notch. This one’s not obtrusive. Huawei’s design team has crafted a device that won’t feel too bulky in your hand despite a large 6.39-inch display. The curved OLED display (3120 x 1440 pixels) is guaranteed to impress. We’re glad to see Huawei improve the display specs from this year’s P20 Pro. The colours are gorgeous under any light.

Huawei Mate 20 Pro

The camera is the defining feature of the Mate 20 Pro. It features a 24MP selfie cam but it’s the primary cam that is the device’s taking point. The triple camera has been rearranged (from the P20 Pro) along with the LED flash and we like the layout on the rear of the device that seeks inspiration from Porsche design. The rear cam set up features a 40MP primary lens, a 20MP ultra-wide angle lens and an 8MP telephoto lens. It’s a formidable package. This unique set up allows you to shoot up to 5X with lossless zoom. It’s the feature we loved about the P20 Pro and gives it a significant edge over other dual cameras aboard flagship devices that typically offer 2X zoom. The second is the ultra-wide option, the Mate20 Pro swaps the monochrome lens on the P20 Pro for this lens with a 150-degree field of view. So whether you’re trying to capture an urban scene or a landscape, you’re sorted. The Mate 20 Pro is easy to recommend purely based on its Leica engineered cam. It’s probably the best all-around smartphone camera. 

The Mate20 Pro is more than just its stellar cam. The device is propelled by Huawei’s next generation HiSilicon Kirin 980 processor and 6GB of RAM. There’s 128GB of onboard memory and support for an NM card. This next wave storage device is a nano-sim size memory card that slips into a standard Nano-SIM slot. Huawei announced that these cards will soon be available in India. That’s not the only innovation the Mate 20 Pro boasts of. Our favourite feature is the ‘reverse charging’ feature that can charge other smartphones. Imagine the reaction when you place your friend’s smartphone on the back of your Mate 20 Pro charge sans wires. You don’t have to worry about sharing your battery back up. The 4200 mAh battery is one of the most robust in its class; it’s something we will test during our deep dive.

The device sports the latest iteration of Huawei’s custom EMUI user interface. It’s not our favourite custom UI and is not for users looking for a pure-play Android device. That’s one of our only cribs about the Huawei Mate 20 Pro other than the fact that a flagship of this stature deserves a better branding nomenclature than just ‘Mate’. Also there’s just one 128GB internal memory option at a time when some of its rivals boast of 256GB and 512GB Internal memory versions.  The Mate 20 Pro brings some real innovations that make a difference in daily usage scenarios, it’s ridiculously quick – even through intense gaming and it features a killer camera.

 The Huawei Mate 20 Pro is priced at Rs 69,990 and comes in Emerald Green and Twilight. The Huawei Mate 20 Pro will be available as part of a bundle along with the Sennheiser PXC 550 for a special cost of INR 71,990, for early bird customers

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