We haven’t even seen the Mate 20 or the Mate 20 Professional but, however breaking from custom, Huawei has determined to skip forward to the Mate 20 lite, a excessive mid-range smartphone introduced at IFA 2018.
It isn’t the primary time we’ve seen this cellphone – Vodafone announced it would be ranging it a week ago, however that is the primary time we’ve had a hands-on alternative to see if this glass backed Mate with twin entrance cameras is a promising introduction to the Mate 20 sequence.
Value and availability
You’ll be able to choose up the Mate 20 Lite in September within the UK for £379 (round $500 / AU$665). Will probably be out there at Vodafone and Carphone Warehouse first, with EE ranging it shortly after, though we do not find out about different territories simply now.
With the Honor Play having simply launched for £100 much less SIM-free, it’s a tricky promote given this cellphone has an inferior processor, however when you think about the Mate 20 Lite’s higher in-hand really feel and richer, extra mature aesthetic, its positioning begins to make sense, particularly on contract.
Providing a premium in-hand really feel, the Mate 20 Lite pairs a glass back and front with a rounded steel body and a big 6.Three-inch display screen.
Obtainable in a spread of colors, we obtained our palms on the black and gold variations, with the latter trying considerably richer.
The twin-camera set-up across the again is surrounded by a striated ornament whereas the entrance twin cameras are housed within the notch on the prime of the display screen, making the give attention to selfie-photography clear with only a look at this cellphone.
The Mate 20 Lite is massive, although it doesn’t really feel unwieldy due to its comparatively slender physique and comfy weighting. Followers of smaller telephones ought to look to the Honor 10 or different equally sized gadgets.
So whereas the spec sheet doesn’t scream flagship, the feel and appear positively isn’t far off and the inclusion of a headphone jack will please many.
The IPS Full HD+ show measures in at 6.Three-inches and comes full with a notch up prime. Not the sharpest display screen round, within the flesh, content material showcased doesn’t look pixelated both.
The bezels are additionally good and slight with the fascia sporting a decent 81% screen-to-body ratio.
Viewing angles appeared good and brightness was truthful, although we didn’t get to attempt it out in sunny circumstances and actually put it via its paces.
Operating Android eight, it’s a disgrace we’re not seeing the most recent flavour of Google’s cell OS on this cellphone. Huawei has mentioned that an replace can be rolling out, however hasn’t give a timeframe.
Excessive of Android sits Huawei’s customized interface, EMUI eight.2. This hundreds up Huawei particular options like knuckle gestures and extra superior digital camera modes – however the important thing message being pushed on the Mate 20 Lite is AI.
Huawei’s AI Recreation Suite for instance is ready to orient energy so gaming may be loved interruption free. The AI Gallery can auto-sort images and the good AI scene detection launched on the Mate 10 sequence is current.
Advertising jargon? Completely. Among the options, nonetheless, are useful to have.
In our brief time with the cellphone, the interface appeared snappy and multi-window multitasking carried out effectively, although we didn’t check out gaming, which additionally affords GPU Turbo for a greater PUBG, Cellular Legends and Asphalt 9 expertise.
4 cameras and plenty of pixels
The Mate 20 Professional’s twin entrance and rear cameras function the identical decision, with the first cameras packing 24MP sensors and the secondary cameras clocking in at 2MP.
The secondary digital camera is completely for depth results, which means the entrance digital camera can take bokeh mode selfies that ought to rival the standard of images taken on the rear digital camera.
Huawei’s intensive listing of digital camera modes are right here, from AI scene detection via to full handbook and light-weight portray. That is good, although the AI Stabilisation as launched on the Huawei P20 Pro isn’t right here, so lengthy publicity and low gentle pictures will want a gentle hand or a tripod.
A brand new playful selfie AR digital camera mode is onboard – Qmoji – a direct response to Apple’s AR Emoji with a lot the identical performance although much less polish. There’s additionally a 3D lighting impact for after the shot superior selfie modifying.
On first impression, the digital camera is competent when it comes to taking pictures modes and performs simply high quality in good gentle, regardless of often aggressive saturation in AI mode.
Decrease gentle paired with its excessive pixel rely and lack of OIS produced grain we’d have sooner anticipated to see from a sub-£300 smartphone although.
This being an early pattern, we’re holding off on the ultimate judgement till our full evaluate is full – but it surely’s clear the digital camera isn’t the important thing promoting level of this cellphone.
Much less energy, extra reasonably priced
What actually units the Mate 20 Lite other than different premium Huawei telephones is the facility underneath the hood.
That includes a Kirin 710 octa-core processor paired with 4GB RAM, it doesn’t fairly stack as much as the Kirin 970 discovered within the P20 and Mate 10, and even the cheaper Honor Play.
For informal customers, this shouldn’t elevate any eyebrows, particularly given the actual fact there’s an ample 64GB storage onboard and the Mate 20 Lite takes microSD playing cards as much as 256GB for all of your films and images.
With a Three,750 mAh battery, there’s a variety of juice right here. In the identical breath – there’s additionally a variety of display screen, so whereas we’re anticipating it to get you thru a day, with Huawei quoting 17 hours of video playback, and 23 hours of voice calling, the way it stacks as much as the competitors stays to be seen.
For £379, you get a cellphone that appears and seems like a big-screened flagship, however doesn’t fairly ship flagship experiences relating to the digital camera and brute pressure.
Huawei is clearly focusing on the selfie takers and a youthful demographic than older Mate gadgets did in a single respect, but in addition a design-oriented, informal person in one other.
Because of this, whereas the Mate 20 Lite’s SIM free value could also be just a little steep – that is the sort of cellphone you’d see in a retailer and be impressed by on first impression. The pixel-count additionally reads effectively and the display screen seems to be nice.
May you get higher worth for cash? Completely. Would it not look this good? In all probability not.
That’s our first impression – examine again within the coming weeks for the definitive verdict after we check the Huawei Mate 20 Lite out in our full evaluate.