Huawei just launched the new P20 series flagships and I’m mostly interested in the P20 Pro, which alongside the P20, are successors to the P10 series that was launched last year in Barcelona. Learn more in our Huawei P20 Pro hands-on review.
In fact, this is a completely new phone with all new design, new powerful cameras, improved AI neural processing unit and much more.
I’m not going to talk about the notch design in Android phones and P20’s similarities to the iPhone X. I will leave that for you, so make sure to use that comment section.
In case you don’t like the notch, you can always hide it. Thanks, Huawei, for giving us options. I will keep the notch as I got used to this design element very quickly.
First of all, let’s get the specs out of the way. Both P20 and the Pro will ship with the AI-powered Kirin 970 chipset but the Pro model will have more storage (6GB of RAM and 128GB ROM). Sadly, there is no microSD slot for storage expansion but both phones have dual SIM card slots.
In the hand, the P20 Pro feels very premium and expensive and it all starts with a large OLED full-view display, that I found to be really sharp and bright. The P20 will have a slightly smaller 5.8” LCD panel with the same resolution.
The P20 is said to be the world’s first to use gradient color and it looks beautiful, especially the color that I have. If you add a shiny metal trim and quality metal buttons, you are looking at a truly premium device.
I was also impressed by the fact that Huawei managed to cram in a huge battery into such a thin profile of the P20. The P20 has a 3400mAh power bank and the P20 Pro has a 4000mAh unit.
Other things you need to know about the design: there is no headset jack, the P20 Pro is IP67-certified for water and dust resistance whereas the P20 has a lower IP53 certification. Finally, the P20 has hi-fi wireless audio system that assures great sound quality via the Bluetooth.
The P20 phones are all about the new powerful cameras. The P20 Pro is more interesting since it has 3 cameras that have combined 68MP. Well, there is a 4th selfie camera with impressive 24MP.
The first is a powerful 40MP RGB camera that is accompanied by the 8MP telephoto lens. The third is the monochrome sensor that also has plenty of megapixels to play with (20MP). Huawei also added a laser receiver to achieve fast auto-focusing speeds and a flash with the color temperature sensor that is used for white balance adjustment.
Here is more information about the cameras: the P20 Pro uses a 223% larger sensor than the competition, it has 5x hybrid zoom, 4 in 1 hybrid focus system, 4D predictive focus, it can achieve ISO levels up to 51200 and it can record 960fps slow-motion at 720p. Finally, the AI-powered Kirin processor makes the best out of this powerful hardware configuration. In other words, AI helps apply the best camera settings to take a nice-looking picture automatically in any light. Well, all of that sound really impressive on paper.
During my brief time with the device, I took quite a few pictures in low-light and first impressions about the image quality are pretty good thanks to no small part to AIS or AI image stabilization. In fact, Huawei claims that their image stabilization is so powerful, so you won’t need a tripod even in extremely low light situations. We’ll see if that’s true in the full review. I was also impressed with the 5x hybrid zoom as the image remained sharp and clear zoomed in. You can zoom in a lot as the object shown in the video was really far away. The camera app is really fast and responsive, and you can switch between different camera modes easily. There is also a pro and other modes that I will test in detail very soon.
The EMUI 8.1 is based on Android 8.1, which is said to be a more capable platform for the AI.
As usual, there are plenty of features and customization options Huawei phones have been famous for. My first impressions – the phone is really fast and smooth thanks to a powerful chipset and neural processing unit that helps allocate resources to the specific task. Obviously, it will be interesting to see how the phone performs after installing plenty of apps. I also found the fingerprint scanner to be really fast but I was most impressed with the face unlock feature.
I used it in low light but it still unlocked the phone very fast but keep in mind that you still need to press the power button first in order to use the face unlock feature. The Huawei P20 will cost about 650 EUR and the P20 will cost about 900 EUR in Europe.
My first impressions of the P20 Pro are very positive as the phone looks and feels premium, the display is really nice, I’m okay with the notch design, the cameras produce good-looking images even in low-light and the phone is really fast despite many features and customization options in the UI. If you want to learn more about the Huawei P20 Pro, make sure to stay tuned for the full review which is coming out soon.
P20 Pro in pictures: