Huawei Mate 20 review

Orlin Milinov, 2 November 2018.

Display

The Huawei Mate 20 features a 6.53" IPS LCD, larger and taller than the 5.9" unit on the Mate 10, but the resolution is now 1080p - lower than both the Mate 10 and Mate 20 Pro. The actual pixel count is 2,244 x 1,080 meaning an 18.7:9 aspect ratio and 381 ppi density. There is a tiny waterdrop notch at the top for the selfie camera, while a sheet of Gorilla Glass protects the whole thing.

Huawei Mate 20 review

The screen has the same RGBW underlying matrix as the Mate 10 and should deliver superb brightness. It's HDR10-certified, too, and supports the larger DCI-P3 color space.

Huawei Mate 20 review

The RGBW subpixel arrangement replaces every second blue pixel with a white one - or rather every second blue filter is removed to let more light through. Which means instead of having a string of red-green-blue-white subpixels (RGBW), here you get a string, which looks something like GBR-GWR.

The screen of the Mate 20 has two Color modes - Normal and Vivid. Each of those also has three sub-modes - Default, Warm, and Cold.

The Vivid option corresponds to the DCI-P3 color space, while the Normal one switches to sRGB. Huawei hasn't specified this anywhere, so we had to find it by testing the screen in our lab.

Anyway, the Mate 20 comes set on Vivid by default and we suggest leaving it this way. The mode offers 491 nits of (manual) maximum brightness, but it can go as high as 780 nits in bright light if you leave it on auto. No matter the mode, the contrast is always excellent at north of 1400:1.

We also measured a minimum brightness of just 1.4 nits.

Display test 100% brightness
Black, cd/m2 White, cd/m2 Contrast ratio
Huawei Mate 20 0.347 491 1415
Huawei Mate 20 (Max Auto) 0.554 778 1404
Huawei Mate 10 (normal) 0.3 415 1383
Huawei Mate 10 (normal max auto) 0.456 630 1382
Huawei Mate 10 (max auto vivid) 0.468 667 1425
Huawei Mate 20 Pro 0.002 508 254000
Huawei Mate 20 Pro (Max Auto) 0.003 657 219000
Huawei Mate 10 Pro (normal) 0 422
Huawei Mate 10 Pro (max auto vivid) 0 623
Apple iPhone XS 0 660
Apple iPhone XS Max 0 653
Samsung Galaxy Note9 0 367
Samsung Galaxy Note9 (Max Auto) 0 658
Google Pixel 3 0 426
Google Pixel 2 XL 0 420
HTC U12+ 0.2 366 1830
HTC U12+ (Max Auto) 0.214 389 1818
OnePlus 6T 0 453
OnePlus 6T (Max Auto) 0 455
Razer Phone 2 0.401 380 948
Razer Phone 2 (Max Auto) 0.403 426 1057
LG G7 ThinQ 0.225 460 2044
LG G7 ThinQ (outdoor) 0.499 920 1844
Xiaomi Pocophone F1 0.314 461 1468
Xiaomi Mi 8 0 458
Xiaomi Mi 8 (Max Auto) 0.002 624 312000

The average deltaE we measured for the screen on Vivid is 3.4 with a maximum deviation of 8.5 - a fine enough. The color accuracy for the Normal (sRGB) mode is also fine with an average deltaE of 3.

The sunlight contrast on the Huawei Mate 20 is good, though washed out colors are expected under bright sunlight. You do get much better results if you use the auto mode that allows the phone to push the brightness much higher though.

Sunlight contrast ratio

  • Apple iPhone XS
    5.171
  • Apple iPhone X
    5.013
  • Huawei Mate 20 Pro
    4.965
  • OnePlus 5T
    4.789
  • Samsung Galaxy S8
    4.768
  • Samsung Galaxy S8+
    4.658
  • Samsung Galaxy S9
    4.63
  • Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+
    4.615
  • Samsung Galaxy S9+
    4.537
  • Samsung Galaxy Note9
    4.531
  • Apple iPhone XS Max
    4.516
  • Sony Xperia XZ3
    4.502
  • Motorola Moto Z2 Play
    4.459
  • Oppo R11
    4.454
  • Samsung Galaxy S7 edge
    4.439
  • OnePlus 3
    4.424
  • Samsung Galaxy S7
    4.376
  • Google Pixel 3
    4.35
  • OnePlus 6
    4.321
  • HTC One A9
    4.274
  • Oppo R15 Pro
    4.251
  • Samsung Galaxy Note7
    4.247
  • Samsung Galaxy A3
    4.241
  • Nokia 8
    4.239
  • Google Pixel 2 XL (pre-update)
    4.234
  • OnePlus 3T
    4.232
  • Google Pixel XL
    4.164
  • ZTE Axon 7
    4.154
  • Samsung Galaxy Note8
    4.148
  • Meizu Pro 7 Plus
    4.147
  • OnePlus 6T
    4.138
  • Samsung Galaxy A7 (2017)
    4.124
  • Samsung Galaxy S6 edge
    4.124
  • vivo V11
    4.113
  • Huawei Mate 10 Pro (normal)
    4.096
  • Samsung Galaxy Note5
    4.09
  • Huawei P20 Pro
    4.087
  • Xiaomi Mi 8
    4.086
  • Meizu 15
    4.082
  • Nokia 6 (2018)
    4.052
  • Google Pixel 2 (pre-update)
    4.023
  • LG V30
    4.022
  • Huawei Nexus 6P
    4.019
  • vivo NEX S
    4.012
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 Pro
    3.998
  • OnePlus X
    3.983
  • Vivo Xplay5 Elite
    3.983
  • LG G7 ThinQ (outdoor)
    3.978
  • Oppo R7s
    3.964
  • Apple iPhone 7
    3.964
  • Apple iPhone 8 (True Tone)
    3.957
  • Huawei P9 Plus
    3.956
  • Oppo Find X
    3.954
  • Meizu Pro 6 Plus
    3.935
  • Lenovo Moto Z
    3.931
  • Samsung Galaxy A7 (2016)
    3.918
  • OnePlus 5
    3.914
  • Samsung Galaxy C5
    3.911
  • Xiaomi Mi 8 SE
    3.901
  • Samsung Galaxy C7
    3.896
  • Samsung Galaxy A5
    3.895
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 outdoor
    3.879
  • Samsung Galaxy J2 outdoor
    3.873
  • Motorola Moto G6 Plus
    3.865
  • Samsung Galaxy A8
    3.859
  • Samsung Galaxy A8 (2018)
    3.842
  • Microsoft Lumia 950XL
    3.837
  • Samsung Galaxy A6+ (2018)
    3.834
  • Sony Xperia XZs
    3.818
  • Samsung Galaxy A9 (2016)
    3.817
  • Motorola Moto X (2014)
    3.816
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 (2017)
    3.812
  • Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017)
    3.804
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016) outdoor mode
    3.802
  • Xiaomi Redmi Pro
    3.798
  • LG V20 Max auto
    3.798
  • Sony Xperia XZ
    3.795
  • Samsung Galaxy A5 (2016)
    3.789
  • Apple iPhone 6s
    3.783
  • Meizu Pro 5
    3.781
  • Microsoft Lumia 650
    3.772
  • Xiaomi Mi 6
    3.767
  • Sony Xperia XZ1
    3.765
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016)
    3.756
  • Nokia 8 Sirocco
    3.745
  • Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact
    3.729
  • Apple iPhone 8 Plus (True Tone)
    3.725
  • Oppo F1 Plus
    3.709
  • Vivo X5Pro
    3.706
  • Samsung Galaxy A3 (2017)
    3.688
  • Huawei P20
    3.683
  • Apple iPhone SE
    3.681
  • Huawei Mate 9
    3.68
  • Samsung Galaxy A7
    3.679
  • Sony Xperia XZ2 Compact
    3.675
  • Meizu PRO 6
    3.659
  • BlackBerry Priv
    3.645
  • Sony Xperia XA1 Ultra
    3.597
  • Apple iPhone 7 Plus
    3.588
  • Sony Xperia XZ2
    3.58
  • LG G6
    3.556
  • Apple iPhone 6s Plus
    3.53
  • Motorola Moto Z Play
    3.526
  • Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016)
    3.523
  • Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016) outdoor mode
    3.523
  • Acer Jade Primo
    3.521
  • Microsoft Lumia 950
    3.512
  • Oppo R7 Plus
    3.499
  • Nokia 7 plus
    3.479
  • nubia Z11
    3.466
  • Huawei P10 Plus
    3.456
  • HTC U Ultra
    3.453
  • Motorola Moto G6
    3.448
  • Sony Xperia XA2 Ultra
    3.445
  • Sony Xperia XA2 Plus
    3.445
  • Samsung Galaxy J7
    3.422
  • Motorola Moto G6 Play
    3.419
  • Meizu MX5
    3.416
  • LG V20
    3.402
  • Samsung Galaxy A6 (2018)
    3.397
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 AI Dual Camera
    3.393
  • LG G7 ThinQ
    3.39
  • Huawei P10
    3.379
  • Samsung Galaxy J5 (2016)
    3.378
  • Oppo R9s
    3.352
  • Honor Play
    3.349
  • Honor 8 Pro
    3.341
  • Oppo F7
    3.333
  • Oppo R7
    3.32
  • Lenovo P2
    3.316
  • Archos Diamond Omega
    3.305
  • Honor 9
    3.289
  • Xiaomi Mi 5s
    3.276
  • Nokia 5
    3.261
  • Nokia 6 (Chinese version)
    3.244
  • Xiaomi Mi 5
    3.24
  • Nokia 6 (Global version)
    3.238
  • Samsung Galaxy J2
    3.235
  • Oppo Realme 2 Pro
    3.235
  • Sony Xperia X Performance
    3.234
  • Xiaomi Mi Note 2
    3.228
  • Motorola Moto X Play
    3.222
  • Oppo F3 Plus
    3.218
  • BlackBerry KEY2
    3.212
  • Huawei Mate 9 Pro
    3.206
  • Huawei P9
    3.195
  • Xiaomi Mi Mix 2
    3.19
  • ZTE Nubia Z17
    3.159
  • Oppo R11s
    3.153
  • Lenovo Vibe Shot
    3.113
  • HTC U11 Life
    3.108
  • Motorola Moto X Force
    3.105
  • LG Nexus 5X
    3.092
  • HTC U11
    3.089
  • Xiaomi Mi A2 Lite
    3.087
  • HTC U12+
    3.085
  • Xiaomi Redmi S2 (Y2)
    3.077
  • Huawei Mate S
    3.073
  • Oppo F9
    3.069
  • Microsoft Lumia 640 XL
    3.065
  • Xiaomi Mi Max 3
    3.061
  • Xiaomi Pocophone F1
    3.059
  • Huawei Mate 20
    3.052
  • Huawei Mate 20 Lite
    3.051
  • Apple iPhone 6 Plus
    3.023
  • Asus Zenfone 4 ZE554KL
    3.019
  • Sony Xperia XA1
    3.012
  • Motorola Moto X4
    3.012
  • Oppo Realme 2
    3.006
  • Sony Xperia L1
    2.994
  • Sony Xperia X
    2.989
  • LG Q6
    2.987
  • Huawei P10 Lite
    2.974
  • Samsung Galaxy Note
    2.97
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 6 Pro
    2.966
  • Huawei P20 Lite
    2.952
  • Xiaomi Redmi 5
    2.951
  • Huawei Mate 8
    2.949
  • Sony Xperia XA2
    2.938
  • Oppo Realme 1
    2.932
  • Razer Phone 2
    2.932
  • Xiaomi Redmi 4
    2.92
  • Xiaomi Redmi 3S
    2.913
  • Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus
    2.913
  • Sony Xperia XA Ultra
    2.906
  • LG G5
    2.905
  • Huawei Honor View 10
    2.896
  • Xiaomi Redmi 3s Prime
    2.893
  • Xiaomi Mi 5s Plus
    2.884
  • Sony Xperia XZ Premium (sRGB)
    2.877
  • Sony Xperia XZ Premium
    2.877
  • Sony Xperia Z5
    2.876
  • Nokia 3
    2.871
  • Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium
    2.867
  • Microsoft Lumia 550
    2.851
  • Nokia 3.1
    2.837
  • Lenovo Moto M
    2.813
  • Nokia 7.1
    2.804
  • Xiaomi Redmi 3 Pro
    2.803
  • Sony Xperia Z5 compact
    2.784
  • Honor 10 (Vivid)
    2.757
  • Nokia 2
    2.752
  • Meizu MX6
    2.751
  • LG V10
    2.744
  • Huawei Mate 10 (normal)
    2.742
  • Motorola Moto G5S Plus
    2.737
  • Xiaomi Redmi 3
    2.735
  • Huawei Honor 7X
    2.734
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 (S625)
    2.714
  • Meizu M5
    2.71
  • Xiaomi Mi A2
    2.696
  • Sony Xperia M5
    2.69
  • Xiaomi Mi A1
    2.689
  • Motorola Moto G4 Plus (max auto)
    2.582
  • Motorola Moto G4 Plus
    2.582
  • Meizu M5s
    2.58
  • Xiaomi Mi 4c
    2.574
  • LeEco Le Max 2
    2.567
  • Asus Zenfone 3 ZE552KL
    2.563
  • Microsoft Lumia 640
    2.563
  • Huawei P Smart
    2.563
  • Xiaomi Mi Max 2
    2.561
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 5A (Y1)
    2.556
  • HTC U11+
    2.556
  • Motorola Moto G 4G
    2.546
  • Lenovo Moto G4
    2.544
  • Lenovo K6 Note
    2.544
  • Oppo F1
    2.528
  • Sony Xperia Z5 Premium
    2.525
  • Huawei Honor 7 Lite / Honor 5c
    2.506
  • Sony Xperia M4 Aqua
    2.503
  • BlackBerry Motion
    2.494
  • Huawei nova plus
    2.329
  • Razer Phone
    2.328
  • HTC One E9+
    2.305
  • Alcatel One Touch Hero
    2.272
  • Sony Xperia L2
    2.266
  • Lenovo Vibe K4 Note
    2.254
  • Sony Xperia C5 Ultra
    2.253
  • HTC U11+ (EU)
    2.253
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 (MediaTek)
    2.249
  • Sony Xperia C4 Dual
    2.235
  • Xiaomi Mi Note
    2.234
  • Motorola Moto G (2014)
    2.233
  • LG Nexus 5
    2.228
  • Huawei P8
    2.196
  • Meizu M5 Note
    2.189
  • Huawei Honor 6
    2.169
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 2
    2.166
  • OnePlus Two
    2.165
  • HTC One X
    2.158
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 (X20)
    2.145
  • LG Aka
    2.145

Battery life

Huawei Mate 20, just like the Mate 10, is powered by a large 4,000 mAh battery sticking to a tradition dating back to the Mate 7 in 2014.

The Mate 20 supports the company's proprietary SuperCharge at 5V and 4.5A. The required cable and charger are bundled with the Mate 20 and they can fill 55% of a depleted battery in half an hour and reach 100% in an hour and a half.

There is no wireless charging support on the Mate 20. That, and the 40W Super Charge support, are reserved for the Mate 20 Pro.

In our testing, the Mate 20 lasted upwards of 14 hours looping videos and twenty hours running our web browsing script. The 3G voice call test returned a 23h talk time. All these standalone tests returned impressive scores, indeed.

The overall Endurance rating ended up 92 hours. Just as on the Mate 20 Pro, that's a bit lower than what we expected after such an excellent job on the screen-on tests, but the standby performance is just average, and it took its toll.

Huawei Mate 20 review

Our endurance rating denotes how long a single battery charge will last you if you use the Huawei Mate 20 for an hour each of telephony, web browsing, and video playback daily. We've established this usage pattern so our battery results are comparable across devices in the most common day-to-day tasks. The battery testing procedure is described in detail in case you're interested in the nitty-gritties. You can also check out our complete battery test table, where you can see how all of the smartphones we've tested will compare under your own typical use.

Speakers

Huawei failed to mention this, but the Mate 20 enjoys the same stereo speakers as the Mate 20 Pro, P20 Pro and Mate 10 Pro, among other devices. But unlike the Mate 20 Pro, the Mate 20 has its bottom speaker outside of the USB-C port.

Sadly, the Mate 20 still uses the tiny and squeaky earpiece for a second speaker, and it still sounds rather poorly. Yes, it does the stereo effect, but the loudness of the speakers is mostly uneven, and you can tell. At some point, it might even become annoying.

The Huawei Mate 20 speakers scored a Very Good mark in our loudness test, a decibel shy of Excellent. The sound quality is about average though, far from the best in the industry. While playing some music, the audio was loud enough, but it's rather shallow and often squeaky.

Speakerphone testVoice, dB Pink noise/ Music, dB Ringing phone, dB Overall score
Huawei Mate 20 Lite 67.8 70.0 84.2 Very Good
Samsung Galaxy S9+ 68.4 74.0 80.1 Very Good
Xiaomi Mi 8 68.1 72.3 82.2 Very Good
Huawei Mate 10 Lite 67.8 71.0 84.5 Very Good
OnePlus 6T 67.2 72.5 84.5 Very Good
Apple iPhone XS 71.5 75.7 78.9 Very Good
Samsung Galaxy Note9 71.2 74.9 80.2 Very Good
Huawei Mate 20 74.3 70.2 82.6 Very Good
Sony Xperia XZ3 (ClearAudio+) 68.0 75.3 84.0 Very Good
Huawei Mate 20 Pro 70.3 73.4 83.8 Very Good
Huawei Mate 10 Pro 70.1 73.8 84.2 Excellent
Apple iPhone XS Max 70.5 74.0 84.7 Excellent
Sony Xperia XZ3 71.0 75.4 82.9 Excellent
Xiaomi Mi 8 SE 70.5 74.1 85.2 Excellent
Huawei P20 Pro 71.8 69.2 91.0 Excellent
Xiaomi Pocophone F1 72.8 74.7 86.6 Excellent
Razer Phone 69.3 75.0 90.5 Excellent
LG G7 ThinQ 78.3 76.4 82.3 Excellent
HTC U12+ (Music) 76.0 73.6 88.5 Excellent
Huawei Mate 10 90.6 73.7 84.0 Excellent

Audio quality

The Huawei Mate 20 delivered decently accurate audio output in both parts of our test. All its scores were excellent with an active external amplifier and the damage dealt by headphones was minimal too.

Unfortunately, volume was only average so if you have very high-impedance headphones you may find the Mate 20 somewhat lacking. If that's not the case though, you should be happy with its performance.

TestFrequency responseNoise levelDynamic rangeTHDIMD + NoiseStereo crosstalk
Huawei Mate 20 Pro+0.02, -0.09-87.787.00.00240.012-87.8
Huawei Mate 20 Pro (headphones)+0.15, -0.07-92.192.00.00290.149-82.2
Huawei Mate 20 +0.02, -0.16-92.192.00.00170.013-85.6
Huawei Mate 20 (headphones)+0.07, -0.07-92.192.40.00210.106-66.5
OnePlus 6T+0.03, -0.05-93.493.30.00100.0070-93.8
OnePlus 6T (headphones)+0.17, -0.15-93.293.10.00560.245-61.1
Sony Xperia XZ3+0.01, -0.02-91.293.20.00240.0080-88.7
Sony Xperia XZ3 (headphones)+0.38, -0.21-93.192.50.00490.233-61.7
Samsung Galaxy Note9+0.01, -0.03-93.793.70.00170.0074-94.1
Samsung Galaxy Note9 (headphones)+0.03, -0.02-93.693.50.00330.046-93.2
HTC U12++0.02, -0.15-94.394.30.00210.0069-94.3
HTC U12+ (headphones)+0.18, -0.13-93.793.60.00240.104-52.7

Huawei Mate 20 frequency response
Huawei Mate 20 frequency response

You can learn more about the tested parameters and the whole testing process here.

Reader comments

  • Anonymous

Or you could use Bluetooth media like everyone else on the planet?

  • Anonymous

Is mate 20 both Sims work simultaneously

  • xL

Why ?