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Huawei Mate 20 preview: Everything we know so far

Can Huawei repeat the feat later this year with the Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro? We really liked last year’s Mate 10 Pro, even if the design now feels awfully dated compared to the sleek P20 Pro, and we’re looking forward to seeing Huawei’s next-gen take on the handset.

Huawei has already confirmed an October debut for the handsets after launching the Mate 20 Lite at IFA 2018, and we’ve heard plenty of rumours and reports about what to expect. Here’s the latest.

WHEN WILL THE HUAWEI MATE 20 BE OUT?

Rumours pointed to a Huawei Mate 20 debut at IFA 2018 in late August, and they were half-right: Huawei debuted the Mate 20 Lite, but not the pricier, surely more appealing Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro.

However, Huawei didn’t totally leave us hanging: they confirmed that we’ll see the Mate 20 series debut on 16 October in London (via GSM Arena). Given that launch timeline, it’s entirely possible that we’ll have the Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro in hand by the time Halloween rolls around.

Also, Huawei has since teased a Mate 20X model, promising a phone that runs cooler for longer gaming sessions. We expect to see that on Tuesday, as well, despite the surprising lack of earlier leaks.

HOW MUCH WILL THE HUAWEI MATE 20 COST?

Last year’s Mate 10 Pro launched at £699 and then the P20 Pro debuted at £799. We wouldn’t be surprised to see the Mate 20 Pro push even higher than that.

A late September leak of marketing slides suggests an ILS 4,000 (about £849) price for the Mate 20 Pro, while the Mate 20 weighs in at ILS 3,000 (about £635).

Using leaked Swiss retail pricing details, Phone Arena estimates a consumer cost of between US$850-900 (about £650-690) for the Mate 20 and upwards of US$1100 for the Mate 20 Pro (about £840).

WinFuture, meanwhile, claims a €750 (about £660) price target for the Mate 20 and at least €100 more for the Pro version. All told, these leaks roughly point to something around £650 for the Mate 20 and as much as £850 for the Mate 20 Pro… although exchange rate differences could drive that up significantly, especially with Apple sticking to 1:1 USD-to-GBP conversions of late.

WinFuture author Roland Quandt has since reported that the Mate 20 Pro will sell for £899 unlocked.

WHAT WILL THE HUAWEI MATE 20 LOOK LIKE?

We’ve already seen the Mate 20 Lite, which was announced at IFA 2018, but leaks suggest that the Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro will vary from that design in some key ways.

Purported leaks of both devices from Weibo (via BGR) suggest a new kind of approach for the triple-camera setup from the P20 Pro. Instead of aligning them vertically on the left side of the phone, we see them arranged in a backwards “L” shape in the upper center, with the flash arranged to complete the square pattern.

It’s an eye-catching tweak, and supposed photos of live devices spotted at IFA (see further down, via Teknofilo) seem to confirm that unique approach. The Mate 20 also drops in a fingerprint sensor beneath the back camera array.

On the front, you’ll spot further differences, but both seem to have a notch. The Mate 20 (directly above, via WinFuture) has a very small, teardrop-like notch, while the notch on the Mate 20 Pro (seen further up) is closer to the Apple iPhone X. Why? It’s rumoured to have the same kind of 3D facial unlocking feature.

There’s still a chin at the bottom, but it looks pretty slim. And at the top of the screen, you can see what’s expected to be the Mate 20’s version of the brilliant Twilight gradient colour from the P20 Pro (via WinFuture).

And if an XDA Developers leak proves true, you also won’t see a fingerprint sensor on the larger device. That’s because the Mate 20 Pro will reportedly feature an in-display fingerprint sensor, letting you scan your digits on the screen itself. The pricey Huawei Mate RS Porsche Design handset had the same feature earlier this year, so that addition here makes a lot of sense.

 

Updated: October 16, 2018 — 11:04 am

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