Over the last six months, more or less, Honor has undertaken a brand change exercise to give the impression of a more modern smartphone maker that attracts a youthful audience and, in part, a distance from the parent company Huawei. . In view of the recent political developments, it is obviously beneficial for Huawei to have a secondary brand that carries a different name and seal, although they come as a package in regards to Google and it seems that it could mean problems for both.
Let's suppose, for a moment, that everything will be solved (otherwise, this revision will have been a huge waste of time). Honor is the latest flagship phone that will capture the imagination of the youth market as part of its update image. The Honor 20 Pro could be described as a budget of the Huawei P30 Pro, which provides excellence and versatility to photography for a younger and less wealthy audience. Despite its low price, the phone still has the Soin Kirin 980 Huawei as part of a specification sheet that is anything but budget. On paper, the configuration of the camera even comes close to Huawei's expensive flagship, which raises a question similar to what the Pixel 3a had many critics asking: do you need to get out of the extra money when this cheaper version makes the most of the same things? as well
Design, hardware, what's in the box.
The honor seems to have been established in a coherent and attractive design language, as demonstrated here by the decision to continue with the drill hole screen once again. The 4.5mm hole that houses the front camera is on the left side, unlike the Samsung S10 phones, with time in its traditional position on the right and does not really take up too much of the status bar (around two notification icons). The chin bezel is a bit larger than the rest of the phone, but ultimately, it is looking at a device that is almost on the screen and hard to find fault with.
The 6.26-inch FHD LED screen makes a phone sit comfortably in your hand, about an inch shorter than the Pixel 3 XL, most recently used with an equivalent usable screen size. The screen itself is not of the highest quality, it is a bit dark around the edges, but it will be suitable for anyone, but the most demanding user, and it gets bright enough. While the part of the screen is completely flat, there is a subtle curve at the edges so that the lateral movements feel really satisfying. The default calibration of the screen starts towards a cooler profile with vivid colors, but this can be modified to your liking in the configuration. I found that the auto brightness setting was a bit too aggressive with its settings to begin with, but this seems to have improved over time (and after an update or two), so it should not be a big concern.
Although not much larger in size or weight, the Honor 20 Pro feels more bulky than the company's latest flagship, the View20. It is a few millimeters thicker and the bulge of the camera is one of the most visible, explaining why it feels substantial in the hand. Something also feels a little out of the weight distribution. I did not use a case, but it would be prudent to protect the back glass, and that would add more to the phone. After seeing what Google has done with the Pixel 3a, I find myself questioning the use of anything other than plastic for the housing of an affordable phone. However, it probably makes this phone feel more premium than it is, which presumably is the intention. However, the accumulation of spots and spots spoils the aesthetics after a day or two. This phone is also a little jerk, to the point where I had to anchor my charger to keep it from sliding off the nightstand during the night.
Fortunately, Honor resisted the inclusion of a fingerprint scanner on the screen, although it has been moved to a side-mounted scanner that is part of the power button. Like most capacitive scanners these days, it's accurate and quick to unlock, but its location still bothers me. If I'm sure some of you do, I like to occasionally look at the lock screen notifications without unlocking and enter my phone. This is only possible in the Honor 20 Pro if you wake up with a finger that has registered in the print or does not present your thumb as you would to unlock it. The muscle memory that I have accumulated when using other Android phones tells me that this is not good, and unfortunately there is no configuration to correct it.
In terms of other hardware features, there is a notification LED hidden inside the headphone strip on the screen, and there is a single power speaker to the right of the USB-C port. The sound produced by this speaker is loud but confusing, and is muted too easily when the phone is held vertically. The haptics are another area in which the Honor 20 Pro does not excel: the vibration motor is very loud and noisy, so it is disabled to write. In case you ask, waterproofing is not mentioned at all, so keep this in mind. I was stuck in the rain a couple of times and I had to be more cautious than usual.
In the box, you get a 22.5W SuperCharge power pack, a USB-A to USB-C cable, a 3.5mm to USB-C headset adapter and a TPU case (although my review unit did not have that last piece).
Performance, software, battery life
You could say that Huawei was the 7nm hit with the Kirin 980 SoC with Dual-NPU, and it continues to perform at least as well as the best silicone from Qualcomm, Apple and Samsung. The fact that even Honor can include that chip in this price range is impressive, allowing stellar performance when combined with 8GB or RAM and 256GB of storage. The multitasking is very easy, while the animations, the displacement and the general experience are very smooth. Not especially for mobile games, but the few games that were played occasionally (like Odyssey Alto) were handled with ease.
Every time a critic criticizes EMUI, or the Magic Magic user interface that is sent on Honor phones, they come with a flow of disapproval in the comments, but that does not mean we should take an easy walk. It is definitely true that the software has improved, but still it is literally with annoyances that you would only notice when you change your phone frequently and use other Android masks. Notifications are common and much better than iOS, however, Huawei insists on brass with them. Only the most recently mentioned adorn the lock screen, and even then they can expand or interact with them. Other Android phones allow you to access the full notification screen, but there is no option for it.
Another important mistake for me is the status bar. I do not need to know that the NFC is on; it's always on And what are the mobile device and WiFi icons on the left where the notifications should be? These are annoyances that can be easily solved with simple settings; consult OnePlus to find out how this should be done. You have the option to deactivate the "operator name", why not allow the customization of the other elements of the status bar? What I miss most about Pixel 3 XL that has been used for much of the last 6 months is probably the screen always on, but since this phone has an LCD panel, that omission is understandable.
Too much visual disorder makes it difficult to see what is important.
However, there are aspects of the software that I like. Gesture browsing is essentially what Google has imitated for its latest implementation, and after getting used to it on the Pixel with Android Q Beta 3, I was happy to have an almost identical experience here. The only place it falls is that there is no fast change management, but the back button works just as well in my opinion and is now my preferred method. Another useful enhancement in Magic UI is a native screen recorder, which can be accessed by pressing the volume and power (similar to the abbreviated screen capture method). Many third-party Android masks include this and rightly so. I feel that the tactile response and the displacement are much better compared to the previous rates, so that is another point in favor.
The life of the battery in the Honor View20 was monstrous, and the Honor 20 Pro continues in the same way. The capacity of 4,000 mAh is more than enough to last a whole day, and some people will get two. I used to end the day around 45-50% with a screen time ranging from 3-5 hours, which is frankly dreamer compared to the lack of brightness of the longevity offered by my Pixel. The included 22.5W can give you up to 50% after only 30 minutes, making it easy to recharge before going out at night. Wireless charging is a feature that is included, understandably at this price.
According to Honor, his research suggests that the camera's capacity is the highest priority for his youthful target audience, making the decision to maximize the camera technician in the Honor 20 Pro and easy. Not only does it remember the Huawei P30 Pro in appearance, the image configuration is also very similar. This phone includes a 48MP main camera (Sony IMX586) with a large sensor size of 1/2 inch, although by default it emits 12 MP pixels. OIS, AIS and EIS join PDAF and laser autofocus for an incredibly feature-rich master trigger. To complement it, there is a wide angle of 16MP (117 °) and a telephoto of 8MP that allows an optical zoom without loss of 3x, hybrid of 5x and digital zoom of up to 30x. Instead of a TOF sensor like the P30 Pro, the Honor 20 Pro has the alternative of a 2MP macro lens with a recommended distance of 4 cm. At the front, inside the drill hole, there is a 32MP selfie camera.
Now that everything sounds very impressive, but it is performance that counts. Fortunately, it does not disappoint. The results of the main sensor are very similar to those of the View20: you get a lot of details and a well-balanced contrast. I do not think you can get the dynamic range of a pixel, but the color reproduction is at one point and the photos are usually very real. The 3x zoom in the telephoto lens is excellent, but not too many details are lost with the 5x hybrid zoom. The wide-angle lens is also a welcome inclusion, which adds great value to landscape shots. While the macro lens allows you to focus much closer (4 cm) than you would normally, that only 2 MP, the resulting photos are especially impressive. A TOF sensor could have been a more useful inclusion.
On the left: Standard mode of pixel 3, night view. On the right: Honor 20 Pro standard mode, AIS Super Night Mode.
All image functions are all these days, and the Honor 20 Pro is no exception. In Super Clarity mode, the full resolution of 48MP and combines several shots for greater accuracy. Zoom in on the resulting image will show amazing details. The AIS Super Night mode works similarly to illuminate scenes in low light, and is almost as impressive as the P30 Pro. It was said that the phone was even in standard mode, that the sensor attracted a ridiculous amount of light, and The same is true here. The Super Night mode then adds additional details for some notable shots, see the previous examples.
Should you buy it?
Yes (but also maybe not now). It's not a perfect device by any means, and you can get yourself a 3a pixel, but you can see this phone appealing to younger users who want something more modern and enjoy playing with camera functions. Who knows, maybe even the amount of cameras on the back of your phone is a source of pride among today's youth. In any case, few phones can match the versatility offered by the configuration of the camera in the Honor 20 Pro. As a point and shot, only for the occasional publication of Instagram, you will not be disappointed, but you can do much more if what you want is to experience. Add excellent performance and incredible battery life to the combination, and this phone is easy to recommend, even if you do not get into Honor's inferior software experience.
* It would be negligent or not mention the current situation in which Huawei / Honor would lose access to Android and Play Store updates. There is a lot of political stance at the moment, and everything is a little on the air, but I would say it is better not to buy this phone right now. Wait until the current situation is cleared.
- You are not good for you
- You want great camera performance and an attractive phone for a reasonable price.
Do not buy if:
- You want a better software experience, a headphone jack or a really nice screen.
- The versatility of the camera is not important to you.
Where to buy