Huawei Mate 11 Pro: what we want to see

Techno


Update: The latest leak points to the Huawei Mate 20 Pro having a 6.9-inch OLED display built by Samsung, which would make it one of the biggest smartphones around.

The Huawei P20 and Huawei P20 Pro have landed, but Huawei isn’t done with flagships for the year, as we’re still expecting to see the Mate 11 and Mate 11 Pro (or Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro as they might be called), the latter of which could be its most powerful and feature-packed phone yet.

News of the phone is quiet so far, but we’ll add every credible leak and rumor to this article as and when we hear them, and in the meantime we’ve taken some educated guesses about the likely specs, features and release date.

You’ll also find our wish list for the phone below, because while the Huawei Mate 10 Pro is a great handset there’s always room for improvement, and its successor could learn from some of Huawei’s more recent phones.

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? Huawei’s next flagship phablet
  • When is it out? Probably November
  • What will it cost? Probably over £799 (about $1,110, AU$1,450)

Huawei typically starts selling new entries in the Mate range in November, most recently with the Mate 10 and Mate 10 Pro in November 2017, though those two were announced in October.

It’s likely that the company will sell the Huawei Mate 11 Pro from November 2018, but with an announcement in October 2018.

However there aren’t any actual release date rumors yet, and if you’re in the US we wouldn’t count on being able to buy it, as Huawei’s recent handsets haven’t hit the states.

There also aren’t any price rumors, but the Mate 10 Pro launched at £699 / AU$1,099 / $799, so we’d expect the Mate 11 Pro will cost at least that much. 

In fact it will probably be more, given that the Huawei P20 Pro costs £799 (about $1,110, AU$1,450) and the Mate 10 Pro is likely to be more powerful than that phone.

The Huawei Mate 11 Pro is sure to be an expensive phone

Huawei Mate 11 Pro news and rumors

We haven’t heard much about the Huawei Mate 11 Pro (or Mate 20 Pro as it might be called) so far, but one early rumor points to the standard Mate 11 featuring an in-display fingerprint scanner, and if the Mate 11 has one the Mate 11 Pro almost certainly will too.

Industry sources claim that the phone will use a Qualcomm ultrasonic scanner, which can work when greasy or wet. It’s a believable claim too, given that the super-premium Huawei Mate RS Porsche Design has recently landed with an in-screen scanner.

We’ve also heard that the Huawei Mate 20 Pro might have a 6.9-inch OLED screen, as the company is apparently in the process of sampling screens of that size from Samsung Display, for use in a smartphone. That could make the Mate 20 Pro the biggest mainstream phone yet.

Beyond that we can take some guesses. For example, the Mate 11 Pro will probably use a new chipset from Huawei, likely to be called the Kirin 980, since Huawei often debuts new chipsets on its Mate range, and since the Mate 10 and P20 phones use the Kirin 970.

It will also probably have a large battery, since recent big-screen Huawei flagships have had 4,000mAh ones.

The screen resolution meanwhile is tougher to guess at, since the Mate 10 Pro and the P20 range all have Full HD screens, but the standard Mate 10 and the Mate RS Porsche Design have QHD displays. If it really is 6.9 inches though then a QHD resolution is likely.

We expect it will have an OLED screen in any case though, given that the Mate 10 Pro and P20 Pro both do.

What we want to see

As we wait for more leaks and rumors about the Huawei Mate 11 Pro to come in we’ve come up with the wish list below for what we want from it.

1. An in-screen scanner

Having an in-screen fingerprint scanner would give the Mate 11 Pro a standout feature

Having an in-screen fingerprint scanner would give the Mate 11 Pro a standout feature

The Huawei Mate RS Porsche Design has a fingerprint scanner built into the screen, but the phone is beyond expensive, so we’re hopeful that Huawei will bring the tech to a more mainstream phone before long.

Sticking it in the Mate 11 Pro would help the phablet stand out from other late 2018 flagships like the iPhone XI and Samsung Galaxy Note 9 (which is rumored to have an in-screen scanner of its own).

2. A QHD display

The Huawei Mate 10 Pro has just a 1080p screen, which was especially odd as the standard Mate 10 has a QHD one. 

Huawei seems in no hurry to make QHD its flagship standard, but as such many of its phones feel a bit lacking compared to Android rivals, at least when it comes to resolution, so we really hope the Mate 11 Pro will up the resolution to QHD.

It could make a significant difference on the 6-inch+ screen that we’re likely to get.

3. A headphone jack

We'd like to be able to plug headphones into the Huawei Mate 11 Pro

We’d like to be able to plug headphones into the Huawei Mate 11 Pro

Huawei has ditched headphone jacks on its flagship phones, but we’d like to see them make a return so we can use wired headphones without an adaptor.

We’re not optimistic that this will happen since Huawei might see it as a backwards step, but we live in hope.

4. Wireless charging

While the Mate 10 Pro has a big battery and fast charging, one thing it can’t do is charge wirelessly, which many modern flagships – and even some mid-rangers – can, so we’d like Huawei to add the feature to the Mate 11 Pro.

There’s hope that the company might, as the Mate RS Porsche Design has recently launched with wireless charging, so it’s possible that the tech will trickle down to other Huawei phones soon.

5. A new chipset

The P20 and P20 Pro are powerful phones overall, but they launched with last year’s chipset, specifically the Kirin 970 which first appeared in the Huawei Mate 10 range. If Huawei uses that chip again in the Mate 11 Pro we’ll be really unimpressed.

But this is one wish that we think will come true, as Huawei often sticks new chipsets in the Mate series, so we’re expecting to see the Kirin 980 (or whatever Huawei ends up calling it) in the Mate 11 Pro.

6. A gradient finish

Huawei's new gradient finish is too good not to use on more phones

Huawei’s new gradient finish is too good not to use on more phones

One of the more eye-catching features of the P20 and P20 Pro is the ‘gradient finish’ that you get with certain shades of the phones. 

This essentially melds several different colors, with different ones visible depending on the lighting and what angle you look at the phone.

It’s a good look and one we’d like to see offered on the Huawei Mate 11 Pro.

7. A bezel-free design

The Mate 10 and P20 ranges are already fairly light on bezel, but we want to see even less from the Mate 11 Pro.

One slight issue with that is the fingerprint scanner, as we’re not huge fans of rear-facing ones and putting a scanner on the front tends to mean a large bottom bezel, but if Huawei does build the scanner into the screen as we’ve wished for above then there’s no need for that.

  • The OnePlus 6 is also expected sometime this year



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