Huawei Mate 20 PRO Launch: TODAY! All The Pre-Launch Rumors (In One Place)

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Huawei’s had two major flagship brands which have seen multiple iterations in recent years, somewhat echoing Samsung’s Galaxy S and Galaxy Note series with the Huawei P series and Huawei Mate series.

The latest phablet is coming in October, according to leaked details, as the Huawei Mate 20. Huawei has now confirmed its plans to put the Kirin 980 inside the Huawei Mate 20, thanks to comments from the firm’s CEO, Richard Yu, according to a report from Gearburn.

The “Kirin 980 will power the Mate 20 Series”, he said, in an official statement.

And now we’ve seen official confirmation that the handsets will launch on October 16, at a dedicated event in London, UK. The info was revealed at the Huawei keynote speech at IFA 2018, taking place now in Berlin, Germany.

Huawei confirmed the phones will be powered by its new Kirin 980 7nm processor, which was also announced at IFA 2018. 7nm processors have been long-rumoured, and it seems the Kirin 980 will be first to market.

The Huawei Mate series has consistently been somewhat more impressive than the Huawei P series, despite sharing a lot of the same features, the Mate has regularly knocked it out of the park when it comes to battery life and camera capabilities, particularly the former, which has put the firm up there with the best of the market in terms of long-lasting devices on a single charge.

The main package of juicy leaked details comes via reputable source XDA-Developers forum, where leakster @FunkyHuawei shared firmware files containing a glut of information on the upcoming launch handsets.

Yes, plural; somewhat unsurprisingly, as per the Huawei Mate launch last year, there will be at least three Huawei Mate 20 handsets wearing exactly the same monikers as the 2017 range.

That’s the Huawei Mate 20, the Huawei Mate 20 Lite, and the super-premium Huawei Mate 20 Pro. We wouldn’t be at all surprised if there was a repeat of the special Porsche Design edition as well, but that has not been tipped just yet.

The firmware files leaked specifically detail the standard model, the Huawei Mate 20, which means you can expect the Huawei Mate 20 Lite to have a slightly reduced spec in some areas from this, while the Huawei Mate 20 Pro will have a few extra perks.

Huawei Mate 20 Specs & Hardware

Twitter account @bang_gogo_ revealed a full spec sheet for the Huawei Mate 20:

  • Waterdrop notch
  • Triple rear cameras
  • Kirin 980
  • 4200 mah
  • 6.3″ AMOLED
  • 2244 x 1080
  • Wireless charging
  • Android Pie (EMUI 9)
  • 3.5mm headphone jack on top
  • USB Type-C
  • Speaker above the notch & bottom side
  • Glass back cover#huawei #mate20

The signature feature of the spec sheet is the Huawei own-brand HiSilicon Kirin 980 processor, this is the latest powerhouse CPU from the firm and it is based on the 7nm semiconductor architecture. Rumours include a 2.8GHz clockspeed, a 20% performance hike, and a 40% boost in battery efficiency. The chip itself is pegged for a big announcement at IFA 2018 in Berlin, Germany, expected on August 30, while the phones running it should be announced at a later date.

The battery is BIG, a massive 4,200mAh. The display is also big at 6.3in, and despite the fact that the Huawei Mate series last year all had the same size display, there is a rumour the Huawei Mate 20 Pro might have a 6.9in screen, but this is unconfirmed.

The files for the Huawei Mate 20 showed a handset with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of onboard storage, but this doesn’t rule out the possibility of higher tier models, particularly now that Samsung’s Galaxy Note 9 has gone for 512GB and 8GB RAM.

Other tips suggest the Pro model will have an in-display fingerprint scanner, and the whole range will run Android Pie with a new edition of Huawei’s Emotion UI (EMUI).

More details have since emerged regarding the Kirin 980, which has been benchmarked in China, showing an octa-core CPU with four Cortex-A77 cores clocked at 2.8GHz and four Cortex-A55 cores. It also has LPDDR4X RAM and an ARM Mali-G72 MP24 GPU; that doubles the number of GPU cores found on the previous model.

A second-generation NPU (Neural Processing Unit) for the AI features Huawei has been shown to have a massive amount of enthusiasm for. 

Huawei Mate 20 Design

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A leak via the reputable XDA-Developers forum has showcased some of the Huawei Mate 20’s design. The source managed to get hold of photos of an engineering sample of the regular Mate 20 and then created these renders from them.

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The rear of the phone wasn’t shown in the original photos, however, and the dimensions were also not known when rendering the handset. A certain amount of educated guesswork and artistic license has therefore needed to be used to bring the phone to life. In addition, it’s not known what the final button placement layout is going to be like.

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The sources who’ve seen the phone say the notch design is like a”water droplet”, which is much smaller and doesn’t take up much of the display. There will be no keys on the front of the phone, it’ll be just a massive screen. A 3.5mm headphone jack and Type-C USB port are also present, along with two speakers.

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The rear panel renders are based on earlier rumours and are just there to illustrate them. These include a rear fingerprint scanner, a triple-sensor camera, and a glass backing for wirless charging purposes.

The Huawei Mate 20 Lite has also leaked online in a render posted by Evan Blass, aka @evleaks on Twitter. Three colour options are shown in what appears to be an official product render – not unusual for Mr Blass to get hold of these. It seems you’ll be able to choose from blue, black, or gold variants. 

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Reliable Twitter tipster @OnLeaks claims the Huawei Mate 20 Pro will have a very small notch in the display and a very small chin at the lower portion of the front fascia. 

@OnLeaks quoted the proportions of the phone’s display and front panel as “6.25-inch (6.8mm notch + 3.8mm chin)”. It’s not clear if these proportons will apply to both the Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro, or just the latter. If last year’s Mate lineup is any indication, however, the Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro should be quite similar in overall design, with differences primarily in specs.

A new leak via Android Authority claims the Huawei Mate 20 Pro will launch with TWO new “gradient” colours, which will be showcased at IFA 2018. Huawei has released phones in gradient colours before – namely the “Twighlight” finish –  and they’ve proven popular with fans, prompting the firm to experiment further with different finishes in this style for the new model.

As per the name, the gradient colours will transition from one colour in certain parts of the phone through a gradual blend into another colour elsewhere.

AA explains that one colour – apparently inspired by the night sky and the northern lights (aurora borealis) will go from black to turquoise.

It uses a wider color gamut than the twilight P20 Pro gradient but shares some of the same colors. Starting at black on the left, it uses a gradient to transition towards turquoise at the right of the phone, and includes the purple and blue hues found on the twilight P20 Pro.”

The other has allegedly been inspired by the sea. This second finish will reportedly be much more “subtle” and will feature white, pink, and yellow.

The second color is inspired by the sea, and that which lies beneath it, including sea shells and pearls. Rather than a striking contrast like the other gradient colors, it is predominantly white with subtle hints of yellow and pink.”

“We’ve seen images of the new colors and verified their existence, but we can’t reveal any photos or their names to protect our source,” the report said.

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The Huawei Mate 20 Lite has leaked in images found by GSMArena, these seem to be legit product renders too.

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The picture set also reveals some interesting specs and features, including the battery capacity of 3,750mAh, the dual-camera pictured in the first image, as well as HDR and shooting features. We get to see the camera UI also.

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Huawei Mate 20 Price & Release Date

An early retail listing at Giztop appears to show a possible RRP of the standard Huawei Mate 20 model, and if this proves accurate, it could be set at an eye-watering $999.

The Mate 20 Lite is of course expected to be cheaper, while the Mate 20 Pro should be more expensive than the base model owing to a better spec and feature set. This is also without taking into account onboard storage, with different varianst being priced accordingly higher with more storage included.

The listing also includes specs, listing the Kirin 980 processor, a 6.3in AMOLED QHD display, and a 40MP triple-sensor Leica camera.

It has a 4,200mAh battery, Android Pie, and options for 6GB or 8GB of RAM with 128GB or 256GB of storage – presumably the $999 is for the 128GB model with 6GB RAM, and the 256GB/8GB RAM model will be even pricier!

Lastly, the listing says it will be available at the “end of September” which is earlier than the previously anticipated launch bracket inside October.

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Huawei’s gained a LOT of ground in recent years, in a market dominated by Apple and Samsung. It can perhaps be forgiven for being confident in its own product. But will consumers pay nearly $1000 for a Huawei phone?

Sales figures in recent months would suggest most people won’t pay that much for a Samsung Galaxy S or an iPhone, let alone a brand which, however prominent, would be a step into the unkown for a lot of people buying a Huawe for the first time, having previously been Samsung or Apple owners.

Both Samsung’s Galaxy S9 series and the iPhone X have struggled to perform as their respective manufacturers had hoped since their launches in Q1 2018 and Q4 2017 respectively.

This isn’t to say that Huawei flagships aren’t worth the same as those of their key rivals, however.

Nope, the point is those very rivals have proved that most consumers just won’t pay that much for a new phone, regardless of who makes it and how many fancy tricks, bells, and whistles it has.

For what it’s worth, this appears to be a preliminary sales listing rather than a definitive thing to draw solid conclusions from. The image doesn’t look like an official one and could have been mocked up, but this doesn’t necessarily mean the retail store which did so is lacking accurate information when it comes to price, specs, and the rest.

It’s not an unusual thing for retailers to set up placeholder listings like this ahead of big launches. 

The Huawei Mate 20 Lite has already gone up for pre-order in Poland and Germany, despite not having been officially announced. Shipping is pegged as September 9 on the Polish listing, where it’s priced at PLN 1,600 (€370).

The German listing doesn’t have a shipping date (or a product image, oddly) and lists it at €435.

Meanwhile, a few Polish reviewers have already gone hands-on with the phone.

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