Huawei Mate 20 Lite - Mate Preview

Huawei's Mate 20 series will only be 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 it?

Huawei Mate 20 Lite

Price € 399,-

Colors Black, Blue, Gold

OS Android 8.1 (Oreo)

Screen 6.3 inch LCD (2340x1080)

Processor 2.2GHz quad-core (Kirin 710)

RAM 4GB

Storage 64 GB (expandable with memory card)

Battery 3,750mAh

Camera 24 and 2 megapixel dualcam (rear), 24 megapixel (front)

Connectivity 4G (LTE), Bluetooth 4.2, Wi-Fi, GPS

Format 15.8 x 7.5 x 0.8 cm

Weight 172 grams

Other fingerprint scanner, usb-c, headphone port

Website //consumer.huawei.com 8 Score 80

  • Pros
  • Build quality
  • Advanced camera
  • Screen
  • Battery life
  • Negatives
  • emui skin

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 fall it will be the turn of the Mate series, of which this Mate 20 Lite will be released earlier than the other Mate 20 smartphones. These are expected to be presented at an event in London in mid-October.

Lite versions

However, this Mate 20 Lite is a completely different smartphone than the P20 Lite. This Mate version costs 400 euros, and is therefore a bit more expensive. For that money you get a pretty large full-HD screen, which in this price range 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. So quite large, and the device is therefore quite large. Which is common with the Huawei Mate smartphone series.

To keep the format from getting too out of hand, the fingerprint scanner is placed on the back, not below the screen. There is also a notch at the top of the screen for the camera and sensors. This gives the Mate a somewhat generic appearance at the front. Fortunately, the rear is typical 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 a case is recommended. The edges around the device are made of metal. In this housing you will simply 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.

middle class

Despite the fact that the Mate 20 Lite is a middle class in terms of price, you get a lot in return. The octacore processor, four gigabytes of RAM and 64GB storage have more smartphones that cost about the same, such as the Zenfone 5 and Nokia 7 Plus: which are the best devices so far for a comparable price.

The trump card for the Mate 20 Lite is the excellent screen, which beats its competitors in terms of color reproduction and brightness. The battery life is also excellent. The capacity is already quite large with 3750 mAh. The screen, the hardware and Android are tuned quite energy-efficiently, so that a day or two on your battery is perfectly feasible. Battery empty? With the included fast charger you can charge the device very quickly.

The performance is generally good, I notice little lag. The device only occasionally stutters. For example, when you tinker in the camera settings or quickly switch between apps. Perhaps that is due to some imperfections in Huawei's Android skin.

Advanced camera

The other trump card is the dualcam on the back of the Mate 20 Lite. Huawei has established itself as one of the best brands when it comes to smartphone photography in 2018, in our smartphone camera test the Huawei P20 Pro could compete well with Samsung's Galaxy S9+ and Apple's iPhone X. this Mate 20 Lite is equipped with object and scene recognition, so that the device recognizes what you are photographing. Cats, dogs, food, text, landscapes, sunsets, the number of recognizable objects and scenes 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 afterwards.

The camera's night mode is also worth trying out. This mode adjusts the shutter speed, up to one minute. This allows you to take pictures in pitch dark environments. Provided there is no movement and the smartphone is stable. For the enthusiast, Huawei has also included some Snapchat-like filters.

Unfortunately, the dual camera cannot be used to zoom in. This unfortunately happens digitally on the Mate 20 Lite. The dualcam is especially suitable for taking portrait photos with a depth of field effect.

Of course you cannot expect miracles from a smartphone of 400 euros, such as with the P20 Pro's triple camera or best smartphone camera that is on the Galaxy S9 +. Especially when the lighting conditions get tricky, the camera drops a few stitches. I noticed this especially with backlight and in dark environments. Nevertheless, the advanced features make the Mate 20 Lite's camera worth it.

emui

The Huawei Mate 20 tells the well-known story of Huawei smartphones. Hardware is fine, software seems fine with the latest Android version (8.1, Oreo). But with the Android skin Emui 8 things go terribly wrong, there is a lot of bloatware (which cannot be removed in all cases), the stability leaves something to be desired and it is full of clumsy errors. Privacy concerns are also growing, Huawei has a lousy reputation when it comes to updates and the design could use a refresh. These problems are not equally worrisome for everyone, but keep this in mind. The adjustment that Huawei brings with Emui does ensure that the battery life is optimal.

When less light is available, you notice that the camera of the Mate 20 Lite performs a bit less than cameras of slightly more expensive smartphones. Left: Mate 20 Lite, right OnePlus 6.

Conclusion

In terms of screen, camera capabilities 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 opt for an alternative like the Nokia 7 Plus. Another interesting device with an impressively good camera is the Zenfone 5 from Asus, that device has a design that is very shamelessly copied.

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