The Mate 20 series from Huawei is only announced in October, but the Mate 20 Lite has been available since September. The Lite version of Huawei’s most luxurious smartphone series costs about 400 euros, is the Huawei Mate 20 Lite worth the effort?
Huawei Mate 20 Lite
Price: € 399, –
Colors: Black, blue, gold
OS: Android 8.1 (Oreo)
Screen: 6.3 inch LCD (2340×1080)
Processor: 2.2 GHz quadcore (Kirin 710)
RAM: 4 GB
Storage: 64 GB (expandable with memory card)
Battery: 3.750 mAh
Camera: 24 and 2-megapixel dual-cam (rear), 24 megapixels (front)
Connectivity: 4G (LTE), Bluetooth 4.2, WiFi, GPS
Size: 15.8 x 7.5 x 0.8 cm
Weight: 172 grams
Other: fingerprint scanner, USB-c, headphone port
Huawei announces a smartphone series twice a year. The P20 series appeared in the spring, the consumer smartphones came in three versions: the P20 Lite, the regular P20, and the most expensive Huawei P20 Pro. In the autumn it is the turn of the Mate series, of which this Mate 20 Lite comes out earlier than the other Mate 20 smartphones. These are expected to be presented mid-October at an event in London.
However, this Mate 20 Lite is a completely different smartphone than the P20 Lite. This Mate version costs 400 euros, making it a lot more expensive. For that money, you get a pretty large full-HD screen, which in this price class leaves the competition far behind. The screen diagonal of the Mate 20 Lite is 6.3 inches, converted 16 centimeters and has a screen ratio of 19.5 by 9. That’s pretty hefty, and the device is therefore quite large. What is common with the Huawei Mate smartphone series.
The fingerprint scanner is not placed on the back, not under the screen, in order not to let the size go too far out of control. There is also a notch on the top of the screen for the camera and sensors. This gives the Mate a somewhat generic appearance at the front. Fortunately, the back is characteristic of Mate smartphones, with a band around the cameras and fingerprint scanner. The Mate 20 Lite is therefore not an iPhone X clone, but a smartphone with its own identity.
The housing is made of glass so that a case is recommended. The edges around the device are made of metal. In this case, you will also find a headphone port and a USB-c port.
Despite the fact that the Mate 20 Lite is a middle class in terms of price, you get a lot in return.
Despite the fact that the Mate 20 Lite is a middle class in terms of price, you get a lot in return. The octa-core processor, four gigabytes of RAM and 64GB of storage have more smartphones that cost about the same, like the Zenfone 5 and Nokia 7 Plus: what are the best devices for a comparable price so far.
The trump for the Mate 20 Lite is the excellent screen, which outperforms its competitors in terms of color and clarity. The battery life is also excellent. With 3750 mAh, the capacity is already quite substantial. The screen, the hardware, and Android are quite energy-efficient, so a day or two on your battery is perfectly achievable. Battery empty? With the included quick charger you have the device very quickly again full.
The performance is generally good, I notice the little delay. Only occasionally does the device sometimes stutter. For example, when you use the camera settings or quickly switch between apps. Perhaps that is due to some imperfections in Huawei’s Android skin.
The back of the Huawei Mate 20 Lite has a unique design.
The other trump is the dualism on the back of Mate 20 Lite. Huawei has put itself on the map in 2018 as one of the best brands when it comes to smartphone photography, in our smartphone camera test the Huawei P20 Pro could well measure with Samsung’s Galaxy S9 + and Apple’s iPhone X. Just like the previous smartphones, this Mate 20 Lite features object and scene recognition, which allows the device to recognize what you are photographing. Cats, dogs, food, text, landscapes, sunsets, the number of objects and scenes to be recognized is impressively large and accurate. When the object or scene is recognized, the settings are optimized and the image is optimally processed so that you can get the most out of the camera without having to edit afterward.
The night mode of the camera is also worth trying. This mode adjusts the shutter speed, up to a minute. This allows you to take photos in pitch-dark environments. Provided there is no movement and the smartphone is stable. For the enthusiast, Huawei has also inserted some Snapchat-like filters.
The double camera can unfortunately not be used for zooming. Unfortunately, this happens digitally on the Mate 20 Lite. The dualism is especially suitable for taking portrait photos with a depth-of-field effect.
Of course, you can not expect a miracle from a 400 euro smartphone, such as with the P20 Pro’s triple camera or best smartphone camera on the Galaxy S9 +. Especially when the light conditions become difficult, the camera drops some stitches. I noticed that especially in backlight and in dark environments. Nevertheless, the advanced features of the Mate 20 Lite camera make it worthwhile.
The Huawei Mate 20 tells the well-known story of Huawei smartphones. Hardware is great, software seems everything right with the latest Android version ( 8.1, Oreo ). But with the Android skin, Emui 8 things go badly wrong, there is a lot of bloatware (which can not be removed in all cases), the stability leaves much to be desired and it is full of clumsy mistakes. Also, the privacy concerns, Huawei has a poor reputation when it comes to updates and the design can use a refreshment. Not for everyone, these problems are equally worrisome, but keep this in mind. The adjustment that Huawei brings with Emui also ensures that the battery life is optimal.
In terms of screen, camera options and specifications, the Huawei Mate 20 Lite is the best smartphone in its price range. The device is very complete, from the cameras to connections, specifications, and design. Only the Emui skin is something you have to learn to live with or choose an alternative such as the Nokia 7 Plus. Another interesting device with an impressive camera is the Zenfone 5 from Asus, that device has a design that is very blatantly copied.