Huawei Mate 20: leaks, rumours, and everything we already know about the next Huawei flagship

This is going to be one premium smartphone

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It's already been a good year for Huawei, with the Huawei P20 and the Huawei P20 Pro both well received after arriving in March, but the Chinese company isn't finished yet – and we're now eagerly counting down the days til we get to see the Huawei Mate 20 appear.

If you're new to the Pro series, these phones take the regular Huawei flagships and add more screen space and extra features – case in point, the Huawei Mate 10 Pro from last year. Here's the lowdown on everything we're expecting from the smartphone so far.

Huawei Mate 20: release date and price

Huawei P20

Huawei P20

The Huawei Mate 10 and the Huawei Mate 10 Pro were revealed to the world in October 2017 – so will Huawei decide to launch their successors in October 2018? It seems unlikely that it would leave it any later.

It might, however, be sooner. There have been whispers that Huawei is preparing to unveil the Mate 20 at the IFA 2018 tech show, which starts at the end of August. If Huawei wants to grab the event headlines that would be one way to do it – and so the new phones should show up right at the end of August, during September, or not long into October.

And we are talking about phones, plural. Based on the leaks we've seen so far, Huawei is going to roll out a Huawei Mate 20 Lite, a standard Huawei Mate 20, and a Huawei Mate 20 Pro with all the bells and whistles. The prices will be adjusted accordingly.

As for what those prices will be, that remains to be seen. The Huawei Mate 10 Pro arrived with a price tag of £699 or $799 and we'd expect the Mate 20 Pro to be along the same lines, with the other two models costing slightly less. Considering the trend across the market as a whole though, the 2018 prices might get a significant bump from 2017.

Huawei Mate 20: design

Huawei Mate 20 leak

Huawei Mate 20 leak (Credit: XDA Developers)

Dominating early talk of the Huawei Mate 20's screen is the rumour that the phone is going to feature a gigantic 6.9-inch display. Even as handsets grow ever bigger, year on year, that's huge, and very nearly into tablet territory.

Bear in mind the large Samsung Galaxy Note 9 has a screen size of 6.4 inches, and you get an idea of the sort of dimensions we're talking about. It's not clear what resolution the screen is going to be running at, but an upgrade over the 1080 x 2160 pixel resolution of the Huawei Mate 10 Pro looks to be on the cards.

Aside from the screen, you can expect another slim, stylish handset from Huawei, with a few design flourishes – possibly around the back near the camera, if we can believe the leaks and renders hitting the internet. Apparently the notch on the front display is going to be smaller and more discreet than we're used to as well.

We haven't heard much about the colours that Huawei is going to make available with the Mate 20 Lite, the Mate 20, and the Mate 20 Pro, but knowing Huawei we'd say there's likely to be a good set of choices to pick from.

Huawei Mate 20: specs

Huawei Mate 10 Pro

Huawei Mate 10 Pro

Something we have official word on is the CPU inside the Mate 20 phones – Huawei has confirmed that the company's own, brand-new Kirin 980 processor is going to be powering these new flagships, a step up in performance and power efficiency from the Kirin 970 sitting inside the Huawei P20 phones.

Aside from that, we haven't heard too much about the components Huawei is planning on fitting here. The Mate 10 Pro from 2017 came with 4GB or 6GB of RAM, the P20 Pro from earlier this year came with 6GB of RAM, and so we'd expect the Huawei Mate 20 to offer between 6GB and 8GB of RAM – though the specs are going to vary between the three models (and RAM might be one of the differentiators).

Expect a selection of internal storage options as well, from 64GB and up – this might be one of the other ways Huawei decides to differentiate between the three models rumoured to be appearing under the Mate 20 umbrella.

One spec that might raise a few eyebrows is the battery: based on a teaser package sent out by Huawei itself, the phone's battery might be one of the major draws of the new handset(s). The biggest battery Huawei has ever put in a phone is 4,000mAh, and if the new models that then they should have some pretty impressive battery life.

Huawei Mate 20: features

Huawei Mate 20 leak

Huawei Mate 20 leak (Credit: XDA Developers)

Huawei's loves its cameras, and slapped a three-lens camera on the back of the Huawei P20 Pro – something we haven't yet seen from any of its main competitors. At least one of the Mate 20 devices is likely to also feature a three-lens affair for its rear-facing camera, and leaked renders show a rather unusual layout for it.

As for the actual spec of the camera, Huawei will probably want to push the boat out as much as it can. We saw a 40MP+20MP+8MP model on the P20 Pro, so something along the same lines is looking likely.

What else can we expect? Huawei hasn't yet given any of its phones the top-end IP68 waterproofing and dustproofing rating – IP67 is its current maximum – so that might be something to look forward to on the Huawei Mate 20. Android 9 Pie is probably going to be the on-board OS, with Huawei's own skin loaded on top.

There's also talk of an in-screen fingerprint scanner on the front of the device, which would make the Huawei Mate 20 the first globally recognised flagship phone with such a feature – Huawei loves to talk about how it's innovating ahead of other companies, so you can expect it to be working hard to make this a reality.