Flagship phones are better than ever these days, all duking it out to earn a spot in your pocket. But what really makes a flagship? Is it about specs? Features? Design? Performance? What about endurance? It’s all this and more.
Take Huawei’s latest flagship, the Mate 20 Pro, for example. It’s a seriously impressive handset that packs a bevy of class-leading features. These include a triple rear camera co-developed with Leica, a 3D depth-sensing front camera with an in-display fingerprint sensor, the first 7-nanometer chip in any Android phone, and a massive battery that can wirelessly charge other devices.
At the heart of the Mate 20 Pro is Huawei’s Kirin 980 CPU. This tiny chip crams 6.9 billion transistors into a die the size of your pinky (about 1 cm2). It’s the world’s first 7-nanometer SoC, and compared with the Kirin 970, its CPU is 75 percent more powerful and it has 4 percent greater graphics processing.The Kirin 980 is also the first chipset to use A76-based CPU cores, a Mali-G76 GPU, and dual NPUs—Huawei’s dedicated AI processor that helps with everything from recognizing objects with HiVision, to capturing better pictures and video, to keeping the Mate 20 Pro fast over time.
For years now, Huawei has partnered with Leica to deliver outstanding cameras in its flagships, and the Mate 20 Pro is no exception. It incorporates a triple rear camera system with a 40-megapixel f/1.8 primary sensor, an 8MP f/2.4 3x telephoto shooter with OIS, and a 20MP f/2.2 Ultra Wide Lens (16mm equivalent) with autofocus. The latter enables macro photography as close as 2.5cm (1 inch) from the subject. Other features include AI HDR, AI 4D predictive focus, and Master AI image recognition, which can now discern objects across 25 categories for incredible pictures every time.
On the video front, the Mate 20 Pro includes a 21:9 aspect ratio and AI Cinema Mode, which offers a set of Instagram-like filters for your budding inner film director. Selective desaturation highlights human subjects by making everything around them black and white—very cool. Spotlight Real identifies key moments in your videos and auto-generates a 10-second highlight montage. Finally there’s HiVision, which uses AI to identify objects in the real world.
The Mate 20 Pro is a battery life champ thanks to a massive 4200mAh cell that can be charged to 70-percent capacity in just 30 minutes with the supplied 40-watt fast charger. It also supports 15W wireless fast charging, which can refill the battery to 30-percent capacity in 30 minutes. Better yet, Wireless Reverse Charging allows your Mate 20 Pro to wirelessly charge a friend’s iPhone or Galaxy, which is clever. Oh, and the entire system is TÜV Rheinland Safety Certified for the ultimate peace of mind.
Need to download some Netflix right before boarding that long flight across the pond? No problem. The Mate 20 Pro’s got you covered with LTE speeds up to 1.4Gbps (vs. 1.2Gbps on other flagships). That means you can download a 2GB video in just 10 seconds.
Specs and features are nice, but flagships are also about exquisite design, something the Mate 20 Pro delivers in spades. It’s a precision-crafted glass and aluminum sandwich that’s curved on all eight sides and feels amazing in hand. The signature camera pod, with its two-by-two array of lenses and LEDs, is inspired by modern Porsche headlights. Huawei even found a way to hide the bottom speaker inside the USB Type-C port. Now that’s attention to detail.