Huawei Mate 20 Unboxing and Hands-on Review

If you missed my Huawei Mate 20 Pro unboxing and hands-on review, you can check it out here. Besides from that smartphone, Tekpone store also lent us its sibling called the Mate 20 for this unboxing and hands-on. So in this post I will be sharing with you my Mate 20 unboxing and a few of my initial impressions of device.

As you may have already know, a couple of weeks ago, Huawei officially unveiled two new flagship smartphones under the Mate series. Of the two and as the name suggests, the Mate 20 is the watered down and more affordable version of the beastly Mate 20 Pro.

Just a quick note though before you continue reading below. Like the Mate 20 Pro variant, I only had this Mate 20 unit for a couple of days which is a very very limited time for me to fully explore and test this device for this review. But despite that, I am still be more than happy to share with you my initial impressions of these devices during their short stay with me.


In terms of packaging, as expected, it is 100 percent identical to its Pro version. All in black with simple Huawei Mate 20 and Leica branding on the box's front face. At the bottom will show you which variant is on the inside such as color, RAM and storage sizes. But for the Philippine market I guess it's all 6GB RAM and 128 storage that we all be getting and nothing more, even the gaming-centric Mate 20 X version is not getting a local release as far as I know, well at least for now.


The Huawei Mate 20 comes with the usual suspects in the box such as the USB Type C cable, wall charger, earphones, some papers, soft silicon case, and the SIM ejector tool. Every accessory is in white color, so no matter which color variant you get everything else remains in white.

Just a side note. All of the phones that I have ever unboxed, even the ones from Apple, these accessories default color is always white. My question is why? I mean why not in black in some instances? Everything looks more premium and classy in black, right? Or maybe it is just me. : )

The pair of earphones looks the same as the one with the Mate 20 Pro version, but with one single major difference. It has a 3.5mm audiojack. If you remember, unlike this non-Pro model, the Mate 20 Pro does not have 3.5mm audioport anymore, the USB Type-C port that it has doubles as the speaker and port for the earphones.

With the Huawei Mate 20, the dedicated 3.5mm audioport remains intact this time. That said, you can still use the earphones and charge the phone both at the same time. And if that is some you still prefer on a flagship smartphone to this date, Mate 20 has your back.

The Huawei Mate 20 still comes with a SuperCharge technology through this wall charger and the cable. But unlike the Mate 20 Pro's 40W power adapter that provides up to 70% life in just 30 minutes time for its 4200mAh battery, this one here offers 58% battery juice for the same 30-minute period. But it has a bit smaller 4000mAh battery pack. Despite that, the Mate 20 still has one of the fastest chargers around.


Now let's start talking about the main star of this packaging. Being under the same Mate 20 lineup, this smartphone shares a lot of similarities with its more powerful sibling. One of those is the design and, especially on its back.

The review unit I got is in black. And its glossy, thanks to its glass back panel. Like on its brother, the rear of the Mate 20 has curved edges and the degree of its curvature is similar as well. Even though the Mate 20 is slightly bigger and wider, those curves and rounded corners provide users a much better grip and premium feel. But for small-handed users, this phone is quite big for one-hand use. Another similarity here is the camera and flash arrangement and the only difference is the LED flash is situated on the right part, instead of left on the Mate 20 Pro.

If you have already seen my Huawei Mate 20 Pro unboxing post, you would have already noticed that this one has a fingerpint scanner located right below the triple-lens camera. That's because while the Pro has the fingerprint scanner embedded right under the display, the Mate 20 still has the traditional and way faster sensor on its back. And as expected, it is very fast and reliable all the time.

While both the Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro share many of its specs and design language, they both have a lot of unique features as well. One of those is the display. The Mate 20 has a much bigger display panel at 6.53" at Full HD+ or 2244 x 1080 resolution with 381 pixel -per inch and 88% screen to body ratio display aspect. And it's screen is flat, meaning it does not have as much curved edges as the Pro variant.

It has a very good display quality, thanks to its IPS panel. It's very immersive as well due to extremely thin bezels from all the sides plus the display is much wider than the Mate 20 Pro. I don't know, but I like the display on the Mate 20 much better than this maybe because the Pro has a OLED panel, curved edges similar to Galaxy Note9 and resolution that can be set up to Quad HD+.

The viewing experience with the Mate 20 is very good but not as great as with the Mate 20 Pro.

And yes of course, like the Mate 20 Pro, the Mate 20 has the notch. But this one has a dewdrop notch that only holds the front camera as opposed to the Pro's iPhone X-like notch, wider and has extra sensors for additional security features. During my very short time with the Mate 20, I don't seem to notice the notch most of the time so I don't mind having it visible all the time on the screen. But if I wanted it hidden, I could still do so via display settings.

The usual ports and buttons are all present here on the Mate 20. Up top are the noise cancelling microphone together with the IR Blaster and 3.5mm audioport, down at the bottom are the mic, USB Type-C port and speaker. Also the earpiece near the front camera also acts as a speaker which is a nice addition for a much clearer and louder audio listening experience. On the right is the Dual nano-SIM tray which allows users to have two SIM cards active at the same time, or a Nano Memory card on the SIM 2 slot. Nano Memory cards, in case you have not heard yet, are proprietary memory cards that are developed by Huawei. Currently, only the Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro support this new type of external storage cards. That being said, it means that we can no longer use the traditional microSD card with any of these new Huawei flagships in case we need more than 128GB of storage space. Also, Huawei has yet to reveal more details about these new NM cards such as availability, sizes, and pricing. It's called Nano Memory card as it has size and shape identical to regular nano SIM cards.

The Huawei Mate 20 is running the super latest Android 9 Pie with EMUI 9.0 right out of the box. The interface is very fast and smooth and I never had any issue using it. No matter how may apps I open and let them run in the background, the phone remains optimized and super responsive. All of this because the device is being powered by the latest HiSilicon Kirin 980 octa-core processor from Huawei paired with Mali-G76 MPU, and that massive 6GB RAM.


Of course the camera is still one of Huawei's main selling points with its latest flagship smartphones. The Mate 20, just like the previous Mate and P series of smartphones, are still being equipped with Leica optics - all of its three cameras on the back.

There is the main 12MP shooter with f/1.8 aperture, a secondary 16MP ultrawide lens, and 8MP telephoto sensor. On the front is a 24MP selfie camera.

These cameras are assisted with Master AI developed by Huawei. Through this artificial intelligence, the phone will be able to do a lot of things to help users produce the best photo and video quality. For example, it can detect what subject you are trying to take pictures of and automatically adjust and apply colors it thinks is the best for the subject. Be it blue sky, trees/plants, or food, the Master AI can detect.

Another thing is, when the AI is turned on, it will also try to select the best mode for a subject or scenario. For instance, when I was trying to take a photo of escalators inside the mall while standing right in the middle, the camera automatically activated the ultrawide lens, or the Portrait mode everytime I was capturing close up photos of my daughter, and many others.

The Night Mode is one the camera features I really like in the Mate 20 series. And thankfully, that one is still present on this device. What it does is, it allows you to capture photos with up to 4-second exposure before the image is generated allowing more details to come in through the lens. There is also image stabilization feature in the device, so even though you are only using it with your hands to capture on this mode, the phone can still produce clear and shake-free images.

Overall, the camera experience with the Huawei Mate 20 is superb. Though not as great as the Mate 20 Pro but the Mate 20 still does a good job in providing the best photo and video qualities a flagship smartphone can do in 2018.

Then in terms of videos, users won't be disappointed as well. It can record up to 4K clips. As for 1080p, I liked how to produce 1080p clips with 60fps.


Here are a few photo samples I was able to capture using the Mate 20. Everything is captured in Auto mode with the Master AI turned on all the time. These images are unedited as well, every single one of them were taken straight out of the phone, not even a crop was done on any of them.

2X Zoom


I mentioned in this post and in my Huawei Mate 20 Pro unboxing that I only had these two smartphones for only a couple of days each. And to be honest, that was really short for me to give my overall impressions and reviews of these smartphones, not to mention tons of its features to be tested, discovered and enjoyed at the same time.

But despite having only a very limited time with these great Huawei devices, I can definitely say that the Php9K price difference between the two is worth spending on getting the Mate 20 Pro instead. I am not saying this Mate 20 is a bad smartphone for its price tag, it is actually good and it has a lot of things to offer to users without compromising speed, performance and reliability. The 3.5mm jack and traditional fingerprint scanner which is way faster than in-display sensor found on the Mate 20 Pro are still something that kind of hard for many of us to get go of at this moment, and Mate 20 is still there to accommodate these users for that matter. But if you have this Mate 20 Pro available as another option that will only cost you an additional Php9,000 and you get additional innovative features such as the wireless/reverse wireless charging, larger battery, super fast charging tech, AMOLED display on Quad HD+ screen, triple Leica camera lenses on the back with higher megapixels, a more sleek. modern and premium overall design, and more, better get it than the Mate 20.

The Huawei Mate 20 is currently priced at Php40,990 while the Huawei Mate 20 Pro is at Php49,990. Both are available nationwide and, as of posting, both still come with freebies upon purchase. The Mate 20 is offered with free SoundStone Bluetooth speaker and the Mate 20 Pro a wireless charger.

If you are in Davao, you can get yours from Tekpone stores at Abreeza and Gaisano Mall of Davao or from Huawei Experience Stores at SM Lanang or at Gaisano Mall of Davao. You can pay in cash, credit card, or via Home Credit.
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