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| October 18, 2018

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REVIEW: Huawei P20

John Reilly
  • On July 17, 2018
  • http://www.theeffect.net

Last year, we were very impressed at the strides Huawei took with the release of the Mate 10 series of smartphones but, nearly half a year later, they managed to really knock it out of the park with the capabilities of the Huawei P20 Pro. While it’s easy to get drawn into the allure of the triple camera monster, we’re going to take a closer look at the P20 to see if it can hang with its bigger brother and see if it’s worth considering. Below are some of its key stats to get you started:

 

 

 

Huawei P20 Specs

  • 2.4GHz HiSilicon Kirin 970 octa-core processor
  • Mali-G72 M12 GPU
  • 4GB of RAM
  • 5.8-inch Full HD+ LTPS IPS display, 2240 x 1080, 429 pixels per inch
  • 128GB of internal storage
  • 12-megapixel RGB camera at f/1.8 + 20-megapixel monochrome camera f/1.6 Leica cameras with PDAF, OIS,
  • 24-megapixel front camera. f/2.0 aperture
  • Dual SIM
  • WiFi, Bluetooth, NFC
  • A-GPS, GLONASS
  • Fingerprint scanner
  • 3400mAh battery with SuperCharge
  • Android 8.1 Oreo w/ EMUI 8

Build Quality

No surprises here. The Huawei P20 looks just as incredible at the P20 Pro. They are cut from the same cloth after all with a stainless steel frame between two curved glass panels that make the phone feel great in the hand and look incredibly luxurious; no matter what color you decide to choose but our fave still remains to be the awesome gradient on the Twilight. The P20 is, of course, smaller than the Pro — making it a prime choice for those with smaller digits — and is lacking any form of water resistance, so you might want to be extra careful with the device around liquids.

 

Screen

One of the big differences between the two siblings is their displays. The Pro versions of Huawei’s flagship is rocking a 6.1-inch OLED display, while the base model’s screen measures in at 5.8-inches at the same resolution but has an LTPS IPS LCD panel instead. It still performs very well with great viewing angles, enough brightness to be legibility to be used outdoors, and the colors are on point too. Sadly, we’ve been a little spoiled by the quality of the OLED panel on its sibling and we can’t help but wish that the P20’s screen got the same treatment as well.

 

 

 

You may know by now but, for the sake of those who don’t, you can hide the notch if you’re not a fan of it by a quick toggle in the display settings.

Internals

The Huawei P20 is rocking the same Kirin 970 processor we first saw on the Mate 10 Series. The Mate 10 Pro has been my personal daily driver since its release and I am still quite happy with how it chugs along nearly half a year later. You’ve got a little less RAM for multitasking on this device compared to its brother but you will be able to tackle your standard suite of apps and tasks easily.

 

 

 

If you’re looking to game on this device then you shouldn’t be worried about playing the biggest and baddest games available on Google Play. The Kirin 970 and its Mali-G72 MP12 GPU has more than enough zip to crush those games without breaking a sweat.

Battery

The Huawei P20 Pro has a 3400mAh battery and It managed a result of 8 hours and 39 minutes on PC Mark’s Battery Benchmark Test. In the real world, we got a full day’s worth of juice out of it but you may want to top up before you leave the office if you happen to be a heavy user or on mobile data for the greater part of the day. It shouldn’t take long anyway since it does support the company’s SuperCharge.

Camera

This is probably the part you guys are going to be most interested in but before we answer that question. Let’s talk about the hardware the P20 is rocking first. It has a dual camera setup, which consists of a 12-megapixel RGB camera at f/1.8 plus a 20-megapixel monochrome shooter at f/1.6.

 

 

It may not have a third camera, the same insane megapixel count, and the ability to zoom in up to 5x but the images you can capture on the P20 are still amazing and it’s backed by the same AI capabilities as well. Photos come out just as good as the ones shot on the P20 Pro, all things considered, and isn’t that much of a step down unless you’re a real stickler. You’ve also got the same front camera on the P20, so you can expect selfies to come out great too.

 

HDR sample shot

 

2x optical zoom sample

 

Conclusion

Without a doubt, the limelight for Huawei is still on the Huawei P20 Pro and if you’re looking to immensely step up your mobile photography game plus have all the bells and whistles at your disposal, then we would direct you to that smartphone. Trouble is, you’ll have to shell out quite a bit more when compared to the P20. Yes, there are a few compromises, but the Huawei P20 is an amazing device that produces some of the best photos we’ve seen come out of a mobile phone. If you can’t see yourself dropping  P20 Pro, the P20 is a great option and definitely worth considering.

The Huawei P20 is available from no upfront cost on Billpay and from €559.99 on Prepay.

Review Overview

Build Quality
8
Screen
8
Internal
8.5
Battery
9
Camera
9.5
8.6

Great

The Huawei P20 is an extremely solid all-rounder smartphone that's only really overshadowed by its bigger brother, the P20 Pro. You could definitely do a lot worse than picking up the P20 if you're looking to keep your spending in check but still want to have one of the best smartphone cameras out there.

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