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Huawei’s Mate 20 Pro can charge other phones wirelessly


Huawei's new flagship has a square camera array, Kirin 980 processor and will be available in Australia from 1 November.

It's quite the season for smartphone launches right now, with Huawei the latest to unveil its new flagship phones, the Huawei Mate 20 and Huawei Mate 20 Pro.

Huawei had already announced the names of the new phones and the fact that they'd run on Huawei's new Kirin 980 processor back at IFA, but today in London it took the formal wraps off its new flagship phones.

As you might expect, the Huawei Mate 20 Pro is the star of the show, with a 6.39-inch 3,120 x 1,440 pixel OLED display that features an under-glass fingerprint sensor for biometric identification. It's got a gently curved display, but unlike Samsung's curved smartphone screens this is purely an aesthetic play rather than one with any kind of edge-specific features.

As is the style for 2018 flagships, there's a notable notch to cover the front-facing 24MP selfie camera, but it's around the back where Huawei has made some substantial camera changes.

Huawei has had an association with prime camera maker Leica since the Huawei P9 and in that time it has offered up a variety of phones with monochrome secondary lenses.

In the case of the Huawei P20 Pro, it was joined by a 40MP lens, largely used to downscale and sharpen images. The 40MP lens makes its way to the Huawei Mate 20 Pro, but monochrome is no more, replaced instead with a square array of flash, 40MP wide f/18, 20MP ultra-wide f/2.2 and 8MP telephoto f/2.4 lenses. If you do want monochrome shooting, it's available as an effect within Huawei's camera app.

The four point design of the camera module on the Huawei Mate 20 Pro is, according to Huawei's Richard Yu, inspired by classic sports car headlamps.

While the Huawei P20 Pro had fixed storage, the Huawei Mate 20 Pro will support expandable storage, but via a new nano memory card format to add up to 256GB to the Mate 20 Pro's existing 128GB of storage.

The Huawei Mate 20 Pro features a dual SIM slot, with that secondary slot alternatively used for nano memory card storage. Huawei advises that in Australia, a 128GB nano memory card will cost $139, somewhat more pricey than their microSD equivalents.

The Huawei Mate 20 Pro features wireless charging, which we expect from most flagship phones, but it has the unique twist of also being a wireless Qi charger in its own right.

Line up another Qi-compatible phone – it doesn't have to be a Huawei handset – and the Huawei Mate 20 Pro will provide it a slow wireless charge.

Not something you're likely to casually slap phones together to enable, but potentially quite handy if you're having a meeting or lunch with friends whose phones are running low. Huawei representatives told finder that once the Huawei Mate 20 Pro's 4,200 mAh battery is depleted down to 40% of capacity it'll stop wirelessly charging, so your friend's power-thirsty iPhone won't be able to vampire drain away all your own precious juice.

Not that it'll be slow to charge, with 40W charging onboard. According to Huawei, 30 minutes of charging will get the Huawei Mate 20 Pro up to 70% of its battery back.

The Huawei Mate 20 Pro as sold in Australia will come in either Black or Midnight Blue finishes and will retail through JB Hi-Fi, Mobileciti, Kogan and Harvey Norman from 1 November 2018 for $1,599 outright.

It will also be available on contract terms through Vodafone or Optus, although there you'll also be stuck for colour choice, with Vodafone nabbing the Black model while Optus offers up the Midnight Blue variant. Predictably, the models sold through carriers are single SIM capable only.

The Huawei Mate 20 features a 6.53-inch, 2,244 x 1,080 pixel LCD display with a teardrop shaped notch, much smaller than that found on the Huawei Mate 20 Pro. You get triple Leica lenses at the rear, with 12MP wide f/1.8, 16MP ultra-wide f/2.2 and 8MP telephoto f/2.4 lenses, slightly down on the specifications of the Huawei Mate 20 Pro. It features a 4,000mAh battery, but fast charging is of the tethered variety and there's no wireless charging outwards ability.

Like the Huawei Mate 20 Pro, the Huawei Mate 20 will go on sale in Australia on 1 November 2018 for $1,099 outright. It'll be available in Australia in Black finish only and will sell outright through JB Hi-Fi, Kogan and Mobileciti. If you're keen on the Huawei Mate 20 on contract, it'll be on offer with Vodafone and given the relatively short timeframe between launch and availability, we'd expect contract terms to be available quite quickly.

We've already gone hands-on with the Huawei Mate 20 and you can read our early impressions here.
For more coverage of the Huawei Mate 20 launch, check out our dedicated Huawei launch news hub here.

Huawei Mate 20 Pro specifications

OS Android 9
Display size (inches) 6.39
Display resolution (pixels) 1140 x 3120
Pixels per inch (PPI) 538
Processor Kirin 980
Height (mm) 157.8
Width (mm) 72.3
Depth (mm) 8.6
Weight (g) 189
Battery size (mAh) 4,200
Wireless charging Qi
Internal storage 128GB
MicroSD expansion 256GB
Fingerprint scanner Yes
Water resistance IP68
Rear camera (1) resolution 40
Rear camera (1) aperture f/1.8
Rear camera (2) resolution 20
Rear camera (2) aperture f/2.2
Rear camera (3) resolution 8
Rear camera (3) aperture f/2.4
Front camera (1) resolution 24
Front camera (1) aperture f/2.0
Front camera (2) resolution
Front camera (2) aperture
Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
Network category speed Category 21
NFC support Yes

Alex Kidman travelled to London as a guest of Huawei

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