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IFA 2018: Huawei unveils the Mate 20 Lite

While the Huawei Mate was previously known as a business-class smartphone lineup, the company has targeted a much younger range with the introduction of the Mate 20 Lite. This new phone sports an AI enhanced camera, sizeable screen-to-body ratio and a large battery. The Mate 20 Lite contends heavily with Huawei’s premium P20 line and other flagships, which begs the question of what the inevitable ‘Pro’ version might mean for the smartphone industry.

Huawei’s Mate 20 Lite doesn’t pull punches on flagship features despite its £379 price tag. Sporting HDR on a 6.3-inch FHD+ display, the screen ratio borders on bezel-less with 81 percent screen-to-body-ratio. The device is also taller than previous models, with Huawei suggesting that his enables the smartphone to “fit better in the user’s hand.”

Within its all-glass body sits 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, expandable by up to 256GB via a microSD card. Inside, the new handset sports an all-new 12nm Kirin 710 chipset with AI capability, built for mid-range devices. The 3,750mAh battery is impressive, given that it rivals the 4,000 mAh battery of the Huawei P20 Pro on a significantly cheaper handset.

Particularly since the introduction of the third camera on the P20 Pro, lenses have been one of Huawei’s flagship features. The Mate 20 Lite is no different, sporting a dual cameras on the front with 24MP RGB for the one on the right and 2MP camera on the left dedicated to the left. This is a similar setup to the rear-facing camera, which sits at 20MP RGB and 2MP Depth. This allows for a solid bokeh effect across all 4 lenses, both pre and post-production.

Selifes are an important aspect of the Mate 20 Lite, introducing plenty of features including Huawei’s proprietary “Perfect Selfie,” “3D Qmoji” and “Artistic Mode.” Perfect Selfie allows for adjustments to be made to the photo in editing, changing the whiteness of someone’s teeth or even the shape of their eyes. 3D Qmoji is a direct rival to Apple’s Animoji, replacing the user with an animated character. And lastly, Artistic Mode enables any photo or video to transition into a drawing-like creation.

This is one of the built-in AI’s most powerful features, with Scenery Recognition optimising picture quality in real time by adjusting saturation, contrast and crispiness. This includes an improved recognition towards a total of 22 extablished scene/objectives, including “Panda, ancient building, bike and car.” Huawei’s AI also assits in the composition of a photo, by ensuring everyone is within the frame that accidentally missed during shooting.

Huawei’s EMUI 8.2 gives the Mate 20 Lite a fast 360 Face Unlock that works from any angle. This is expected to last the majority of the day, depending on individual usage, claiming that its 3,750 mAh battery stands up to the P20 Pro. This equates to 107 hours of music, 17 hours if videos, 23 hours in calls and texts with simultaneous switching between 4G and Wi-Fi.

Huawei has optimised the software, building on top of traditional split-screen features by introducing a third usable application simultaneously with other booted apps. Gesture control has also been implemented, making it even easier for each user to navigate their smartphone. The built-in AI enables users to find an image much more accurately, and then potentially use those photos to shop, according to Huawei. Continuing its alliance with Amazon, users can find Alexa baked in, with more potential partners on their way.

Given that the Mate 20 Lite is a mid-range handset, it’s no surprise that it doesn’t sport an IP rating and it’s traded out the SuperCharge technology found within the P20 and P20 Pro for FastCharge instead. It does, however, retain the 3.5mm headphone jack.

The Huawei Mate 20 Lite will be available starting on Wednesday the 5th of September for £379, with many looking ahead as to what the undisclosed Mate 20 Pro might offer in comparison.

KitGuru Says: Considering the shift in focus towards a younger market, it will be interesting to see how this stacks up against the highly regarded P20. Has the Mate 20 Lite landed on your radar?

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