Huawei Announces Mate 20 Phone With Upgraded Chipset

After Honor’s CEO George Zhao let the proverbial cat out of the bag at its launch yesterday, Huawei has now officially announced its new chipset at IFA, the Kirin 980.

But that's not all.

It's been less than six months since the release of the P20 series, but Huawei is already planning it's next big thing, the Mate 20 which is launching in London on October 16.

This was was originally published on August 31 at 23:00.

But a bit about the Kirin 980 first.

It's the world's first commercial SoC that has been manufactured with TSMC's 7nm process. It offers improved efficiency, connectivity and Dual NPU AI processing power.

"The Huawei Kirin 980 is a further demonstration of our commitment to improve our customers’ experience" Said Larking Huang, Managing Director of Huawei Australia Consumer Business Group.

"We look forward to seeing it in our future products to elevate our customers’ experiences such as in the camera, gaming and entertainment."

If the P20 and Mate series (both of which have Kirin 970s) are anything to go by, it's probably safe to assume that the Mate 20 camera phone is going to be impressive.

The 980 has Huawei's proprietary 4th gen ISP which offers better support for multi-camera configurations, as well as an upgade to the HDR colur reproduction tech. This allows the camera to manipulate the picture contrast to highlight objects in various parts of the photo.

Multi-pass noise reduction is utilised to remove remove artifacts without a loss of image detail in low-light images.

Motion tracking also gets a boost, with the ISP able to recognise a moving subject with 97.4 per cent accuracy.

When it comes to video, the Kirin 980 allows the camera to shoot with 33 per cent less delay.

As a fan of the P20 Pro camera, this has me excited. I may not be able to get on 5G with it (It is 5G ready, but that will be irrelevant in Australia), but I'll still be tempted if Huawei up the ante on camera phone photography again.

Regarding performance, TSCM's 7nm processor technology allows the 980 to pack 6.9 billion transistors within a 1cm2 die size, which is up 1.6 times from the previous generation, as well as a 46 per cent increase in data throughput compared to its predecessor.

The 7nm process also delivers a 20 per cent improvement on performance and a 40 per cent improvement on efficiency compared to the 10nm process.

It's also the first SoC to include Cortex-A76 cores and it has a Mali-G76 GPU.

In layman's terms — the technology used in the Kirin 980 SoC makes everything more efficient and faster.

The Mali-G76 has an added advantage when it comes to gaming — the AI can intelligently identify gaming workloads and adjust resource allocation accordingly for optimal performance.

The Dual NPU also increases the on-device Ai experience as it offers double the processing power and intelligence.

Together they can recognise up to 4,600 images per minute, which is 120 per cent more compared to the previous generation.

In regards to connectivity, the 980 has the world's first modem supporting LTE Cat.21, which has a peak download speed of 1.4Gbps. This includes carrier aggregation across frequency bands, allowing users to have the same speeds with their telco of choice.

For developers, the 980 supports common AI frameworks such as Caffee, Tensorflow and Tensorflow Lite.

The significant upgrades offered by the Kirin 980 definitely has me curious about what Huawei has planned for the Mate 20. It wouldn't be announcing a new SoC this powerful for nothing.

While the P20 Pro is impressive, Huawei still hasn't released a phone with the specs or price point to really challenge the likes of Samsung and Apple in the premium mobile space.

Perhaps we are seeing the first indicator of that with this announcement.

Even if Huawei plan to hover a few hundred below the industry leaders, they still seem to have something significant in store for the Mate 20.

October can't come fast enough.

The author traveled to IFA as a guest of Huawei and Samsung.

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