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Chinese tech giant Huawei took the smartphone market by storm when it launched the P20 series and it is attempting to cause yet another seismic industry shift with the recent launch of the Mate 20 series.

Huawei insists that its P-line of devices differ from the Mate family, with the former focused on photography and the latter focused on productivity.

While the Mate 20 series is great for productivity with its wireless projecting and ability to offer a desktop-like experience, on top of the ultra long-lasting battery life, it also offers great photography features.

The Huawei P20 Pro has been named as having one of the world’s best camera phones, and the Mate 20 series do not disappoint as it keeps in line with Huawei’s reputation for high-quality photography.

Like the P20, the Mate 20 retains the Leica triple lens camera system for the rear.

For the Mate 20, you’ll find a 16MP ultra-wide angle lens with a f/2.2 aperture, a 12MP wide-angle lens with a f/1.8 aperture, and an 8MP 2x telephoto zoom lens with optical image stabilisation (OIS) and a f/2.4 aperture.

The Pro model sports bigger numbers, with a 20MP ultra-wide angle lens with a f/2.2 aperture, 40MP wide-angle lens with a f/1.8 aperture, and an 8MP 3x telephoto zoom lens with OIS and a f/2.2 aperture.

The superb camera specs aside, here are five photography features we absolutely love about the Mate 20 series:

1. Ultra-Wide Angle Lens

The Huawei Mate 20 boasts a similar set-up to the P20, with the exception that the pure monochrome lens has been dropped in favour of an ultra-wide angle lens (this monochrome is still available as a software feature).

The ultra wide-angle lens definitely allows you to capture more in a single shot, and is a saving grace when you are struggling to fit a subject into a frame on the standard lens.

Photo taken at 1x zoom / Image Credit: Vulcan Post
Photo taken at 0.6x zoom which lets you capture more / Image Credit: Vulcan Post
Landscape shot of a Chinese temple / Image Credit: Vulcan Post
Ultra-wide angle shot, which captures the surrounding buildings and shophouses / Image Credit: Vulcan Post

While the wide-angle system mean that you need to slightly compromise on the quality of your shots, the photo differentiation it provides is certainly worth the trade-off.

Theoretically, image quality shouldn’t be as great as the 20MP sensor is certainly not as capable as the 40MP main lens, but these ultra-wide angle shots at 0.6x zoom show that images still turn out clear and sharp!

2. Super Macro

The same ultra-wide angle lens also doubles as macro lens, which allows you to take extreme close-up shots from 2.5cm while still retaining focus.

With this super macro mode, you can easily capture details with immense clarity, capturing stunningly detailed shots.

Regular shot of a tiny cactus / Image Credit: Vulcan Post
Look at the level of detail captured at 2.5x macro / Image Credit: Vulcan Post
Even the dust on the tiny pot can be visibly seen / Image Credit: Vulcan Post

3. AI Scene Recognition

Huawei is big on AI, so it’s no surprise to see it present throughout the camera experience as well.

On the Mate 20 series, Huawei’s Master AI will actually auto-select the proper lens based on what you’re taking a photo of. For instance, if you’re trying to take a photo of a landscape, the Mate 20 will switch to the wide-angle lens for you.

Or if you get incredibly close to an object, the camera will automatically switch to the macro mode. But of course, you can manually change it back at any time.

Now thanks to the Kirin 980’s dual NPU, the Master AI feature will be able to recognise over 1,500 scenes as opposed to the 500+ scenes on the Mate 10 line.

The upgraded AI-powered photography now can segment different objects and scenes in one photo, whereby colours, brightness and contrast are all adjusted automatically.

It accurately identifies the rose as a ‘flower’ / Image Credit: Vulcan Post

The AI has proven to work extremely well. It can identify an object accurately, and after adjusting its settings accordingly, the colour and focus was not drastically altered. In all, this feature is extremely helpful for enhancing shots to make them look more visually pleasing.

4. More Portrait Lighting And Bokeh Effects

With the Mate 20’s Portrait mode, you can no longer choose the blur strength like in the P20 series.

Instead, you now have the option to play around with bokeh effects of different shapes such as the traditional round lights, to hearts, swirls, or diamonds.

Heart bokeh / Image Credit: Vulcan Post
Disc bokeh / Image Credit: Vulcan Post
Swirl bokeh / Image Credit: Vulcan Post

These Portrait filters however, are only applicable with portrait shots so it will not trigger on inanimate objects.

Stained glass effect / Image Credit: Vulcan Post

It also features a few more Portrait Lighting filters, such as stained glass and window blinds, which definitely adds a very interesting flair to standard portrait shots. You can also disguise ugly backgrounds with this filter to take a cool portrait shot!

5. Night Photography

Debuted in the P20 Pro, this night mode allows for shots to be taken even in incredibly low-light conditions.

Powered by advanced AI Image Stabilisation, the Night mode helps to shoot blur-free and focused handheld photos without the need for a tripod.

Instead, when snapping a photo using the device’s night mode, you just have to hold still for six seconds while the smartphone captures the shot.

Within these six seconds, the Mate 20 collects various images at differing exposures before stitching them all together in a single image. The result? A brighter image with less noise.

Night shot taken in normal mode still looks decent and sharp / Image Credit: Vulcan Post
But with night mode, photo appears much brighter / Image Credit: Vulcan Post
Another photo taken at Trafalgar Square, London in night mode / Image Credit: Vulcan Post

Good News: It’s Finally Available In Singapore

Its photography prowess is definitely undeniable and we dare say that it’s on par with other flagship counterparts in the market like the iPhone XS Max and the Samsung Galaxy Note 9.

You can check out our video review here to see how it stacks up against the other two phones:

If you are already itching to get your hands on this nifty device, you’ll be pleased to know that it’s already available in Singapore at all Huawei concept stores, local telecommunication operators, selected consumer electronic stores, authorised mobile retailers and selected online marketplace.

The Huawei Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro retails at $998 and $1,348 respectively. Both comes with 128GB (expandable up to 256GB) storage and an additional 6GB RAM.

Featured Image Credit: Vulcan Post


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© 2021 GRVTY Media Pte. Ltd.
(UEN 201431998C.)

Vulcan Post aims to be the knowledge hub of Singapore and Malaysia.

© 2021 GRVTY Media Pte. Ltd.
(UEN 201431998C.)