In the past couple of years, Huawei did a great job of delivering some of the best phones for the price. Sure, they had their ups and downs and I’m fairly interested to see how will their new lineup stack against many powerful phones like Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+. Up until two or three years ago, we didn’t know Huawei as a manufacturer that is highly competitive in the high-end market. Well… some things really had to change and now, we have a completely new lineup consisting of P20, P20 Pro, and P20 Lite. Today, we are going to talk about Huawei P20, a phone that delivers great performance for the price.
Design and Build Quality
When you buy an expensive, premium phone, you want a beast that could set some standards when it comes to the design. Huawei P20 indeed set some standards, especially because it’s the most beautiful phone Huawei ever made! With its thickness of 7.7 millimeters and slightly curved edges, P20 lies comfortably in the hands. Even though I have small hands, I still managed to use it with a single hand. If we take a look at its colors… well, Huawei made sure to offers us a plethora of colors and all of those are simply majestic.
Now, you are wondering if the build quality is any good? Oh, yeah… it is! Despite its small thickness, this phone weighs around 165 grams, which is okay. We have a glass back and underneath that is a high-quality aluminum. This might sound mediocre, but this glass is hard to scratch…damn! Although the buttons are greatly placed and clunky enough, I still can’t get over the fact that we don’t have a 3.5mm port. Still, the fingerprint on the front side works like a charm.
If you’ve read my reviews in the past, you know that I’m a whore when it comes to AMOLED displays. Well, I might have to think about P20’s display twice. First, it’s not an AMOLED panel and second, it’s not the brightest one. Sure, IPS panels are sometimes great. I mean, this one is really awesome, but I don’t see it on the same level as with Samsung smartphones. Sorry, Huawei, but try to put an AMOLED display next time you develop P30, or whatever you try to do.
On the brighter side, we have a gorgeous 1080×2240 pixels display that packs 429 ppi of pixel density. It’s pretty clear that we are talking about an 18.7:9 display, which is always great. Another thing you’ll notice here is the obvious influence of iPhone X. Yes… it’s the freaking notch! It can sometimes be very annoying, especially with the apps that don’t support it (there are lots of them). But, you can go to Settings and simply turn it off. It’s not a big deal, isn’t it?
Many say that this camera can dethrone Galaxy S9’s one. Hmph… is it really like that? Let’s find out. You’ve probably heard that P20 has three cameras on the back of the phone. It’s like the two of them weren’t good, so we have a third one. Needless to say, the quality of this camera is breath-taking. With its 12MP dual and 20MP B/W camera, this phone nails it in every lighting condition. Do you want to take a perfect photo in a low-light condition? Well, the f/1.6 aperture will do its best of giving you some fresh light for your perfect photo.
For the daylight, you simply can’t beat P20 that easily. When it comes to the video recording, P20 is a bit less impressive, although still packs a punch. It can record 2160p video in 30 fps, 1080p in 60 fps and 720p in 960 fps, for some cool slow-motion videos. The quality is reasonable but the optical stability could be a little better. On the front side, the 24MP sensor will give a solid performance. Despite all of this, the camera is still hovering around Galaxy S9’s camera. It’s not that better and in fact, it’s not even better in some conditions.
Huawei P20 comes with the newest Android 8.1 OS and Hisilicon Kirin 970 Chipset. With its powerful Octa-Core CPU and Mali-G72 MP12, this phone will crush everything in its way. From multitasking to high-demanding games, you can expect it to be smooth as a butter. But, we need to mention something when it comes to demanding games. As much as this CPU works great, we still found some stuttering, hitching and occasional frame drops here and there. This is due to the GPU that isn’t the most powerful.
Still, Huawei P20 fares pretty well in our tests. The memory management is also great, given the total amount of 4GB. You’ll agree that this isn’t the best number, but hey… it’s still amazing! Another great thing here is the huge 128GB storage that should be enough for the most apps, 4K videos, photos, and other data. But, we don’t have a card slot here, so expanding your memory is impossible. Overall, this phone packs a punch – a very strong one!
Battery and Speaker
As a high-end smartphone, Huawei really took care of this compartment. You simply can’t pack a strong CPU and lots of memory without a proper battery. Huawei knows this, so they implemented a great non-removable Li-Po 3400 mAh battery. For a heavy user, a whole day of usage is granted. And if you are just a casual user… well, you can expect even two days of use, which is quite impressive!
The speaker quality is good, although I would like it to be more powerful. Sure, we have the much-needed quality but the power is not what I was expecting. You can blame for this since many say that I have higher expectations in this department. Nonetheless, it’s a solid speaker for the price.
Huawei P20 comes at a price of 830 USD, making it a very expensive piece of hardware. As such, this phone perfectly justifies its high price, although some flaws could be solved here and there. With the addition of better GPU, 3.5mm port, and a louder speaker, P20 could become much, much more. Still, this is the phone I would brag about if I had it. That’s for sure!