There is still much to say about the new Huawei Mate 20 Pro; a model that will be analyzed thoroughly, and that can be key for the Chinese manufacturer to become the benchmark of the sector. But for that, the hardware has to be up to par.
Although today any smartphone in conditions offers you acceptable performance, the user who is looking for a high-end model like the Mate 20 Pro does not comply with that. He wants something else, and competition in this regard is shocking. The Snapdragon 845 is the current reference, present in the most powerful models; and we cannot forget the other side of the gate, Apple with its A12.
The Kirin 980 may be Huawei's most important SoC
In the middle of all this, Huawei arrives with its Kirin 980; What is probably the most important SoC he has developed is under magnifying glass. Both for the supposed performance it offers and for the way in which it achieves it.
With a 7 nm manufacturing process, the Kirin 980 can be an important performance leap; Of the eight available cores, only two reach 2.6 GHz, a frequency that can make a difference. Especially in applications that require a greater power per wire than a real performance in multitasking. That is why discerning the real power of the Kirin 980 can be difficult.
Kirin 980: as is Huawei's most powerful and intelligent processor
Huawei has introduced its new processor for high-end phones, the Kirin 980 that will have devices such as the Huawei Mate 20.
Benchmarks remain an option. Although we are not so aware of the lists of more powerful models, they are a reference as long as we do not take it very seriously. The score achieved in a benchmark does not always translate into performance in real applications.
The power of the Huawei Mate 20 Pro compared to current models
With this in mind, it is interesting to see the first benchmarks published with the Huawei Mate 20 Pro; They have been made with AnTuTu, and the score achieved is interesting, although not as surprising as we might think.
The Huawei Mate 20 Pro has managed to exceed 300,000 points in AnTuTu; specifically, it has achieved 307059 average points. Figures that can make you dizzy but make sense in context, if we compare them with other models already available.
According to the list of AnTuTu's most powerful models last September, the Huawei Mate 20 Pro could be the most powerful Android mobile on the market; the best models, such as Xiaomi's Black Shark, "only" exceed 290,000 points. To complete, it must be said that Apple's A12 greatly exceeds these figures, around 348,000 points.
Snapdragon 845 VS Kirin 980
How could it be otherwise, most of the phones on the list carry a Snapdragon 845; Therefore, this score can be a major blow to Qualcomm, and a boost to Huawei's aspirations.
The picture is unlikely to change excessively because of this, of course; Snapdragon's dominance will continue, especially for the next generations. Above all, it is a moral victory for Huawei, which we are sure will take advantage of in its marketing.
It is well to remember that the 300,000 point barrier is only psychological; you will not notice the difference between a model that gets 300,000 and another that gets 290,000. There are too many variants and details that affect the performance of a device during normal use. That is why we usually say that benchmarks are not an exact representation of the performance of a device; They should only be a reference.
Huawei and the benchmark controversy
Of course, we cannot ignore Huawei's controversial past with benchmarks. It was not so long ago that the company was hunted using a special way to give better results in benchmarks. That answer pointing to the rest of manufacturers with the finger did not give very good image, the truth.
Huawei responds to the scandal of benchmarks with a new function for their phones
Unexpectedly, Huawei has responded to the problem of some of its phones with benchmarks by creating a new function with artificial intelligence.
The interesting thing is that, to calm the criticism, the company made this "high performance" mode available to everyone; It can make the system unstable and consume more battery, but it is there if we want more frames per second in our games, for example.
The score exceeding 300,000 points has been achieved with high performance mode. As we have seen, repeating the same test with this mode off the impact is tremendous: approximately 80,000 points are lost with the change.
Therefore, without the high performance mode the Kirin 980 is unable to beat the Snapdragon 845. It is something to keep in mind if you are not going to use that mode constantly. However, we must also emphasize that In 3D Mark and Geekbench 4 we have not found significant differences between the two modes.
But as we said before, that really doesn't matter so much; What matters is that Huawei has achieved a processor that lives up to what we expect in a device in its range. One of Huawei's weaknesses may have disappeared, and the rest of the manufacturers would do well to realize it.