Review of Huawei P20 Pro: the killer of three-camera iPhone | Technology

W with the P20 Pro, Huawei has not only proven that it can compete with the likes of Apple and Samsung, but can beat them in many ways. Three cameras really are better than one (or two).

Having established its name in value smartphones, Huawei has recently ventured into the premium market with products like Mate 10 Pro and P10 last year. They were high quality and had all the features you would expect from an iPhone or Samsung Galaxy S. But until now they had not captured the same feeling of luxury.

The P20 Pro has a 6.1-inch Full HD + OLED screen, even larger than the Mate 10 Pro, but is compressed into a compact body with small bezels that rival the Apple iPhone X and the Galaxy S9 + Samsung It also has a notch at the top: a cut on the screen that contains a 24-megapixel front camera, the headset speaker and several sensors.

The screen is bright and colorful, although not as dense in pixels as the rivals, and the text is not as clear when viewed side by side. It is a beautiful screen that is close, but not as good as the best Samsung or Apple.

  Review of Huawei P20 Pro

The Huawei fingerprint scanner is very quick to unlock the phone or authenticate payments. Photography: Samuel Gibbs for The Guardian

Unlike its rivals, Huawei has retained its best fingerprint scanner on its front, compressed in an oval shape at the bottom of the screen. The back is made of glbad with curved edges that blend perfectly into the rounded and polished metal band around the sides. The camera modules protrude from the back in a similar way to an iPhone X, which means it does not sit on a desk.

With 7.8 mm of thickness and 180 g of weight, the P20 Pro feels thin with a quality of luxury. It is 0.7 mm thinner and 9g lighter than the Samsung Galaxy S9 +, but 0.1 mm thicker and 6g heavier than Apple's iPhone X. All of which amounts to saying that the Huawei combines well.

The P20 Pro is also water resistant to IP67 standards, meaning up to 1m of water for up to 30 minutes – good enough to survive a trip down the toilet or bathroom.


  • Display: 6.1in FHD + OLED (407ppi)
  • Processor: octa-core Huawei Kirin 970
  • RAM: 6GB of RAM
  • Storage: 128GB
  • Operating system: EMUI 8.1 based on Android 8.1 Oreo
  • Camera: 40MP triple color rear camera, 20MP monochrome, 8MP telephoto, 24MP front camera
  • Connectivity: ] LTE, Wi-Fi, NFC, Bluetooth 4.2 and GPS (dual-sim available in some regions) [19659013] Dimensions: 155 x 73.9 x 7.8 mm
  • Weight: 180g

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  Review of Huawei P20 Pro

The P20 Pro is quickly charged through its USB-C port, which is flanked by speakers but does not have a headphone jack. Photography: Samuel Gibbs for The Guardian

The P20 Pro has the same processor and memory configuration as the Mate 10 Pro, Huawei's own octo-core Kirin 970 processor and its neural network processing unit, and as such is as fast and powerful as the previous one, keeping pace with its rivals.

The P20 Pro lasts much longer than the best charges between Apple and Samsung, although not as much as the 50 hours of the Mate 10 Pro. The P20 Pro always lasted more than 39 hours on a single charge without having to activate any Power saving mode. That was with two sims, using the smartphone as the main device, browsing and using applications for five hours a day with hundreds of emails and messages, 60 minutes of Netflix, the place of navigation on Google maps, shooting around 30 minutes photos and listen to around four hours of music through Bluetooth headphones.

There is no wireless charging, but the P20 Pro charges fairly fast with the supplied power adapter and the USB-C cable, despite having a comparatively large battery.

EMUI 8.1

  Review of Huawei P20 Pro

EMUI 8.1 is the most refined version of Huawei's modified Android experience, with many customization options. Photography: Samuel Gibbs for The Guardian

The P20 Pro runs the modified Android version of Huawei called EMUI 8.1, based on Android Oreo 8.1, so it is updated at launch.

It behaves very similar to EMUI 8 running on the Mate 10 Pro. A Google feed on the home screen and offers the option to have an application drawer or force each application to have an icon on the screen of start the Apple iOS.

Several energy saving features are included, including a system to prevent dishonest applications from destroying your battery life. Huawei's ultra energy-saving mode can significantly prolong battery life by disabling features and limiting the number of applications you can use, if you really need your smartphone to last four days.

EMUI handles the notch well on the screen, acting more like a screen with two ears on top than one with a disruptive cut. Notifications and other icons are easily adjusted on each side of the notch in the status bar, which by default is transparent or matches the color of the content on the screen. There is also an option to make it black all the time, hiding the notch completely.

  Review of the Huawei P20 Pro

The P20 Pro has a notch on top of the screen that contains the front camera, the headset speaker and sensors. Photography: Samuel Gibbs for The Guardian

The big difference between the approach used by Huawei and that of Apple for the iPhone X is that when the content or applications are displayed on the screen, the area on each side of the notch is blocked so that it does not interfere with what on the screen.

Some will simply hate the idea of ​​the notch, but they are narrow and use the space on each side since the status bar is really a good compromise.


  Huawei P20 Pro review [19659040] The three cameras on the back work in harmony to produce the best possible image depending on the level of light, zoom or stage. Photography: Samuel Gibbs for The Guardian
<p>  The P20 Pro is the first smartphone that does not have one, not two, but three cameras on the back, all working together to provide a multilayer camera experience. </p>
<p>  The main camera is a large 40-megapixel color camera with a f1.8 lens, which joins a 20-megapixel monochrome camera with a f1.6 lens and an eight-megapixel telephoto camera with a objective f2.4. </p>
<p>  The system automatically uses a combination of cameras on the back to produce each shot. The monochrome camera adds more light, detail and depth information, while the telephoto camera increases zoom magnification. </p>
<p>  The combination produces excellent detail, low noise and accurate color capture. With good light shoots images that are impressive. In low light conditions, the P20 Pro also stands out, routinely producing better images than rivals. </p>
<p>  But it's the hybrid zoom that really makes the P20 Pro really stand out. Many dual camera smartphones offer up to 2x zoom, which is often quite modest. The Huawei offers a hybrid zoom up to 5x, with steps up and a button to switch between the 1x, 3x and 5x zoom. The images taken with a 3x and 5x zoom are very good, even in low light. </p>
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  Review of Huawei P20 Pro

The P20 Pro has the best hybrid zoom in the business. Photography: Samuel Gibbs for The Guardian

There are many playback modes, including portrait and aperture modes, a monochromatic mode using the dedicated camera and an excellent long exposure night mode, which works very well even when in portable mode.

The P20 Pro also captures very good video, including up to 960 fps of slow motion, and has a "Pro" mode with many settings to keep most photographers happy, including RAW capture.

By default, the camera captures 10-megapixel images, but there is an option to shoot at full-size 40 megapixels, which can be fun.

Huawei's built-in AI camera performs object recognition in real time to detect the subject and switch to the appropriate mode or scene. In most circumstances, he does an admirable job, but from time to time he gets caught between scenes, like "green" and "flower" when he tries to throw a bouquet of roses. I also found some of the ways to artificially skew the colors of the image too much for my taste, making them look like retouched photos for Instagram. I turned it off for some filming and got better results.

The front selfie camera is also very good, producing very detailed and illuminated shots, completed with your choice of embellishment effects, such as the "perfect selfie" modeling the face "Mode.


  huawei p20 pro review

The twilight color option is beautiful and really stands out in a sea of ​​uniformity Photo: Samuel Gibbs for The Guardian
  • The back of the phone is beautifully smooth and rounded in the hand, but it is super slippery when placed on cloth surfaces
  • The P20 Pro made a message appear to indicate that it would turn off in 30 seconds when the battery hit 2%, giving time to quickly send a message before it dies
  • Huawei says that its integrated AI will keep the P20 Pro running as fast on 365 days as it does on the first day
  • Facial recognition on the P20 Pro is lightning fast and works with sunglbades too, but it is not clear how safe it is compared to a fingerprint or a long pin
  • The twilight option is beautiful and really stands out from the competition
  • The performance of 4G is a cut above, cling to an LTE signal usable in places where most other devices have difficulty connecting
  • The cone Bluetooth performance to a set of wireless headphones was not as good as that of a Samsung Galaxy S9 +
  • The lower stereo speakers are surprisingly good for a smartphone. but with little in the w ay of stereo separation
  • It has Dolby Atmos, but the Bluetooth headphones are not compatible


The Huawei P20 Pro costs £ 799 with 128 GB of storage and is available in three colors.

For comparison, the 6in Huawei Mate 10 Pro with 128GB costs £ 699, the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 with 6.3in with 64GB of storage costs £ 869, the Samsung Galaxy S9 + with 6.2in ​​costs £ 869 with 128GB of storage. storage, the 6in Google Pixel 2 XL with 64GB of cost £ 799, the 6in OnePlus 5T with 64GB costs £ 449, the 6in Honor 10 View with 128GB costs £ 450, and the 5.8in iPhone X with 64GB costs £ 999. [19659011] Verdict

With the P20 Pro Huawei finally produced something I would recommend about the competition, regardless of the price. While it's not cheap, it costs £ 800, somehow you get a better experience than rivals costing £ 200 more.

But the P20 Pro is not a value proposition; it is an unlimited attempt to usurp the current kings of the high-end smartphone, Samsung and Apple. The Mate 10 Pro was great, but Huawei hit a home run with the P20 Pro.

It's a fantastic looking phone that feels better than its rivals in the hand, lasts much longer between charges and has one of the best cameras available , which offers useful functions that others can not match.

There is no wireless charging, no headphone jack, EMUI has its quirks and the Huawei registry of being up to date with software and security updates is a little patchy. But it's really great to see a company that is not Apple or Samsung that is pushing the limits one more time.

Pros: long-lasting battery, excellent design, bright camera, good display, outstanding color options, water resistance, Android 8.1 Oreo, great performance

Cons: no headphone jack, no microSD card slot, no wireless charging, the screen does not have the highest resolution, no Bluetooth support 5

  huawei p20 pro review

The P20 Pro looks and feels like a phone that is worth its price of £ 800. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs for The Guardian

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