Huawei may have already won several hearts over this year with its beautiful P20 Pro but the Chinese manufacturer isn't done yet. Like rivals LG with its V series and Samsung with its Note series, Huawei also releases two flagship smartphone ranges a year.
Generally revealed towards the latter half of the year, the Huawei Mate series has traditionally offered plenty. Last year we saw the arrival of the Mate 10 and Mate 10 Pro, succeeding the Mate 9, but this year it is thought the new Mate, or Mates will stray away from the sequential number naming to go by the name Mate 20.
Here is everything rumoured so far for the Huawei Mate 20, Mate 20 Lite and Mate 20 Pro together with our own speculation.
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Huawei Mate 20: Release date
- Expected October 2018
- Likely to be available before end of year
Huawei announced the Mate 10 and Mate 10 Pro in October 2017, with both devices being made available shortly after at the end of October and beginning of November.
It is presumed the Mate 20 range will follow a similar launch cycle as there is currently nothing to suggest otherwise. We've seen a number of teasers and leaks relating to both the Mate 20 Pro and the Mate 20 Lite but nothing substantial on when they might arrive as yet.
Huawei Mate 20 design
- Premium design expected
- Metal core with glass front and back probable
- Waterproofing likely
- Notch design expected
The Mate series is typically the larger of Huawei's flagship smartphone ranges. The Mate 10 features a metal core sandwiched between robust tempered glass, offering a lovely premium design.
It isn't waterproof, though the Pro model is, and it features slim bezels at the top and bottom of the display, along with a fingerprint sensor at the bottom.
We'd expect the Mate 20 series to continue with the premium design found on the Mate 10 and Mate 10 Pro, though it is likely to adopt waterproofing, hopefully on all models, and the notch design of the P20 and P20 Pro.
If this is the case, the Mate 20 could ditch the bezel above the display in favour of a small notch within the display itself for the camera, as many other Android devices have done recently. It is not yet clear whether Huawei will opt to retain the bezel below for the fingerprint sensor or whether it will reposition it to the rear.
The Mate 10 measures 150.5 x 77.8 x 8.2mm and weighs 186g while the Mate 10 Pro measures 154.2 x 74.5 x 7.9mm and weighs 178g. The Mate 20 will likely be similar in footprint, even if it features a larger display as rumours have suggested.
Huawei Mate 20 Lite design
- Notch display
- Rear fingerprint sensor
- Dual rear camera
Notorious leaker Evan Blass (@evleaks) recently posted an image of what he claims to be the Mate 20 Lite in all its glory. It is shown in three colour options with a notched display and a dual rear camera.
The image also shows a circular fingerprint sensor on the rear below the camera arrangement and it looks like the Lite will feature a metal core and a curved-edge rear.
It is not clear from the image from Blass whether the rear will be glass or metal, but the image does support a separate leak from WinFuture and Roland Quandt, showing the same design for the Mate 20 Lite.
Huawei Mate 20 display
- 6.9-inch AMOLED display rumoured
- 18:9 aspect ratio expected
- Footprint expected to be similar to Mate 10 despite display increase
The Huawei Mate 10 has a 5.9-inch display with a standard 16:9 aspect ratio and a 2560 x 1440 resolution, while the Mate 10 Pro has a 6-inch display with an 18:9 aspect ratio and a 2160 x 1080 resolution.
With most flagship smartphones adopting the 18:9 aspect ratio, or thereabouts, we wouldn't be surprised to see the Mate 20 do the same. It has been reported the Mate 20 will feature a 6.9-inch OLED screen, made by Samsung Display.
The resolution of the panel has yet to be revealed though it has been claimed they are flat panels rather than curved and that Samsung Display will be supplying them to Huawei in the third quarter of 2018, which would tie in with the expected Mate 20 launch.
A 6.9-inch display on the Mate 20 would of course be an inch larger than the Mate 10 it would replace but with the adoption of the 18:9 aspect ratio, the footprint of the device should remain similar. The Mate 10 also has an LCD display over AMOLED so the colours should be richer and more vibrant on the Mate 20 if the rumours are accurate. Expect HDR10 compatibility too.
Huawei Mate 20 Lite display
The Huawei Mate 20 Lite is reported to be coming with a 6.3-inch screen, making it slightly smaller than the standard Mate 20. The leaked images show what we presume is a 18:9, or thereabouts, aspect ratio with a notch at the top, as we mentioned.
WinFuture claimed the 6.3-inch panel would offer a 2340 x 1080 pixel density, which would deliver a 409ppi pixel density, though nothing is confirmed as yet.
Huawei Mate 20 camera
- Leica-branding expected to continue for Mate 20
- 24-megapixel front camera likely
- Dual or triple setup expected on rear
The Huawei Mate 10 comes with Leica-branded dual rear cameras. There's a 12-megapixel colour sensor with an optically stabilised f/1.6 27mm equivalent lens, coupled with a 20-megapixel monochrome sensor with the same lens but no optical stabilisation.
This year's Huawei P20 also sees a Leica-branded dual rear camera setup but the P20 Pro features three Leica cameras on the rear, made up of a 40-megapixel RGB sensor, 20-megapixel monochrome sensor and an 8-megapixel 3x optical zoom camera. The P20 devices also both offer a 24-megapixel front camera compared to the Mate 10 and Mate 10 Pro's 8-megapixel offering.
Whether the Mate 20 will adopt the P20 Pro's camera setup on the rear or stick with a dual setup remains to be seen for now, but expect a big focus on this area again. We'd expect the P20's 24-megapixel front camera to make an appearance on the Mate 20, even if the triple setup is reserved for the Mate 20 Pro.
Huawei Mate 20 Lite camera
Leaks suggest the Huawei Mate 20 Lite will be sticking with two cameras on the rear. WinFuture has claimed the rear arrangement will consist of 20-megapixel and 2-megapixel sensors, while the front is said to be 24-megapixels.
There doesn't appear to be any Leica branding on any of the leaked images so for now, we are assuming the Leica branding is reserved for the standard Mate 20 and the Mate 20 Pro, assuming we see all three.
Huawei Mate 20 hardware
- Latest Kirin processor expected
- Increase in RAM?
- Large battery capacity likely
- Wireless charging?
The Huawei Mate 20 will no doubt improve on the Mate 10 in terms of its hardware specifications, as all succeeding flagships do.
The Mate 10 runs on the Kirin 970 CPU with Mali G72 GPU and it comes with 4GB of RAM, while the Mate 10 Pro has 6GB. There is 64GB of storage in the Mate 10 with microSD support for storage expansion and a 4000mAh battery runs the show.
The Mate 20 will no doubt opt for the upcoming Kirin 980 processor, expected to be revealed in full at IFA 2018, or the Kirin 970, which is used in the P20 and P20 Pro and we wouldn't be surprised to see an increase to 6GB of RAM, like the P20 Pro and Mate 10 Pro. Whether the Mate 20 will ditch microSD support like the P20 devices is unclear for now, but we would expect to see an increase in internal storage either way and dual SIM is also likely.
A large battery capacity is likely to remain for the Mate 20 too as it has done for all preceding Mate devices, but we'd hope to see wireless charging introduced, a feature still missing from Huawei devices, even in the case of the P20 and P20 Pro.
Huawei Mate 20 Lite hardware
WinFuture has claimed the Huawei Mate 20 Lite will run on the octa-core Kirin 710 processor, supported by 6GB of RAM. It has also been rumoured to have a 3650mAh battery inside.
Huawei Mate 20 Pro hardware
We recently received a hand-delivered press release, locked in a safe with an emoji-encoded password, which appeared to refer to the Mate 20 Pro. The device wasn't named but a promotional placard depicting the company's previous high-end devices including the Mate 10 Pro and P20 Pro with a blank space following them was inside the safe.
The release highlighted the battery capacity of the previous high-end devices, suggesting the Mate 20 Pro will offer a larger capacity than the 4000mAh in the P20 Pro. Nothing is certain as the release was only a teaser with no official names or capacities revealed for the upcoming device, but it's safe to say a large battery is a given for the Mate 20 Pro.
Huawei Mate 20 software
- Android with EMUI
The Huawei Mate 20 series will no doubt run on Android with Huawei's EMUI (Emotion UI) over the top.
The Huawei P20 and P20 Pro run on EMUI 8.1 but the Mate 20 series will likely launch with new features on top of what these devices already offer. What these features will be remains to be seen for now but expect a number of leaks to appear over the next couple of months, some of which may give us a better indication of what to expect from the Mate 20 series.