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Huawei Mate 20 Pro iFixit Teardown Gives a Closer Look at In-Display Fingerprint Scanner


Huawei’s latest premium flagship smartphone model, the Mate 20 Pro, was launched last month alongside the Huawei Mate 20 and Huawei Mate 20 X. The key features of the Mate 20 Pro include a triple rear camera setup, 3D facial recognition, 40W Huawei SuperCharge technology, 6.39-inch QHD+ OLED display, IP68 certification, and a 7nm HiSilicon Kirin 980 SoC with AI capabilities. Now, DIY repair authority iFixit has brought a detailed teardown to reveal the internals of the new Huawei Mate 20 Pro flagship smartphone. While we already know that the new smartphone has a powerful processor and more cameras, among other features, the iFixit teardown assessment reveals many other features.

While there were no surprises found in the specifications department, not unusual as most Android phones are released with a detailed list of hardware components (unlike Apple devices), the iFixit teardown revealed more details regarding the internals of the Huawei Mate 20 Pro. The iFixit teardown of the smartphone reveals that several of its components are modular and can be replaced independently. It also added that replacing the batteries is technically possible, by removing only the back panel and mid-frame.

The iFixit teardown begins by heating the back glass of the Huawei Mate 20 Pro to soften the adhesive holding the smartphone inside. There is no flex cable tethered to the glass because of an absence of rear-mounted fingerprint scanner, so the glass comes off easily.

The report says that between the glass and battery is a mid-frame assembly that houses a bi-directional wireless charging coil, an NFC antenna, and the dual-tone LED flash. This part is held together by a flex connector and eight screws.

The Huawei Mate 20 Pro’s motherboard is relatively small compared to the overall body of the phone to make space for the battery. With the 3D face unlock hardware and the triple rear camera taking up more motherboard area, the company had to cut some camera holes and change the layout a bit, the report says. Also, the board is held together by nine flex cables so there is a lot of things going on inside.

Using a spudger, the folks at iFixit managed to take out the rear camera setup as well, which sits inside cutouts within the mainboard. The other things found inside the motherboard are Toshiba 128GB Universal Flash Storage, HiSilicon Hi6421 power management IC, among other things.

The teardown around the display notch area contains the 3D unlock assembly, that includes a dot projector, 24-megapixel sensor, rangefinder or proximity sensor, flood illuminator, ambient light sensor, IR camera, and a “rectangle of mystery”. Meanwhile, the Mate 20 Pro teardown revealed that the smartphone’s SIM tray supports a new memory card format called nano-memory (NM). Also, since the USB Type-C charging port is mounted to a large flex cable, users only have to replace the main cable instead of a more expensive daughterboard, the report claims.

Due to the curved screen, replacing the front glass without destroying the display is extremely difficult. The iFixit report jokingly added that eleven opening picks dramatically improved this smartphone’s aerodynamics.

Finally, there is an in-display fingerprint sensor beneath the display panel. The fingerprint sensor is made by Goodix and sits under the AMOLED panel, the report reveals. The sensor is not capacitive, but optical.

The iFixit report says that only standard Phillips screws are used in the Huawei Mate 20 Pro along with an average amount of adhesive. Also, because of the sandwich build around the motherboard, there are more flex connectors than average and repairs will consume more time. The report adds that the glued-down front and back glass means a greater risk of breakage while making repairs difficult to start. Additionally, screen repairs require a lot of disassembly while battling tough adhesive. Lastly, a broken screen possibly means you need to replace the fingerprint reader as well, or vice versa. In conclusion, iFixit gave both the smartphones a repairability score of 4 out of 10.