Once we first heard that the follow-up to the well-received Huawei P10 could be referred to as the P20, we have been excited. Absolutely skipping numbers P11 via P19 meant the brand new telephone could be an enormous soar ahead – maybe even twice pretty much as good – as its predecessor?
Nicely, regardless of a shocking new design and a snazzy AI-enhanced digicam, our palms on with the brand new P20 left us chilly. Now that we’ve had extra time with it, and its greater and pricier sibling the Huawei P20 Pro, our preliminary evaluation has proved principally appropriate.
Don’t get us incorrect, the Huawei P20 is a superb telephone in its personal proper, however it hasn’t moved far sufficient from the P10 to be a correctly engaging purchase for 2018 – particularly when all of the options we needed have been applied on the Professional and left off the spec sheet for the smaller telephone.
Huawei P20 worth and availability
- Out now within the UK for £599
- Not coming to the US
- Australian availability is to be confirmed
All of that is moot for individuals within the US, the place Huawei telephones appear to be quickly disappearing on account of shedding key vendor offers and probably being shut out of government contracts. Considerably unsurprisingly in that local weather, Huawei has confirmed the P20 gained’t be making an look within the Land of the Free.
It’s, nonetheless, out there within the UK at £599 SIM-free, and we’d anticipate an Australian launch too, in all probability at round AU$1,000.
That places it on par with the LG V30, and makes it cheaper than the Sony Xperia XZ2, Samsung Galaxy S9 and Google Pixel 2 XL. Nevertheless, the marginally bigger, extra highly effective Mate 10 Pro is now cheaper since its launch – meals for thought proper there.
Seems Leica Huawei
- AI-enhanced digicam
- Sturdy specs
- Attractive glass-backed gradient design
Launching on the Grand Palais in Paris, the Huawei P20 bought off to a glamorous begin. The large promote for the telephone was the AI-assisted twin digicam on the rear. Pictures has been the primary focus (pun meant) of the product line, with the continuation of the profitable Leica partnership into the newest telephone.
The P20 boasts two Leica Summilux lenses on the again, in addition to a neural processing unit on the Kirin chipset, which gives the AI functionality to the digicam app. Huawei claims the AI perform of the digicam helps you change into a greater photographer, with options and automated mode-switching primarily based on what the telephone thinks you’re attempting to painting.
If that sounds a bit scary – and scariness is one thing Huawei must be hyper-aware of with its US status hanging within the steadiness – it’s actually not. It principally simply means if you’re taking pictures of a cat, the telephone says “Hey! Cat!” and optimises the settings to get the very best shot.
The digicam additionally consists of improved low mild capabilities, together with an AI-infused model of Tremendous Evening Mode that lets you take wonderful night time pictures with out the necessity for a tripod or supernaturally nonetheless palms.
The P20 consists of flagship-level : alongside that octa-core Kirin chipset is 4GB of RAM and a super-generous 128GB of storage. The entire bundle is encased in a glass-backed, super-stylish handset in a selection of gradient finishes or, should you favor, extra extraordinary colors. Boo.
50 shades of gradient
- 149.1 x 70.eight x 7.7 mm, 165g
- Notched display screen
- No headphone jack
There’s no denying the P20 is an eye catching telephone. The very first time we took it out on the London Underground, a bunch of youngsters requested us what it was, and declared it a ‘critical telephone’ (that is, we presume, a superb factor).
We normally solely get feedback from strangers once we’re carrying a OnePlus (which is handled a bit like a Nerd Membership Membership Card), so clearly Huawei has carried out a superb job on the design. Our evaluation unit has the Pink Gold design, though realistically the gradient on that colourway is fairly delicate.
The hardened glass again of the handset has an opalescent pink end that provides it a beautiful mother-of-pearl look, and whereas not everybody will admire both the pink or the (slight) gradient, lots of people would love a telephone that appears like they discovered it on the seashore.
That mentioned, because it’s so clean, the again does make this telephone a slippery fish. You may need to put it in a grippy case should you don’t need it sliding off tables.
The again panel can be uncommon in that the Huawei brand and varied bits of bumf that producers have to incorporate (logos, mannequin numbers, that sort of factor) is written in panorama orientation, as is the Leica brand and digicam data.
This has the impact of constructing the again appear like a conventional landscape-oriented digicam, with the lenses on the fitting changing the viewfinder. The one factor lacking is a Sony-style shutter button, which might have ideally been included on the left. You need to use the quantity keys as shutter buttons, although.
The twin digicam lenses (no third digicam on this one – that’s sadly reserved for the P20 Professional) are mixed in a single oval enclosure which protrudes a millimetre or so. Flipping over to the entrance, you’ll discover the selfie digicam at prime centre, as per the ‘notch’ development of this yr (extra on that under).
The black bezels across the display screen are decently slim, although the underside strip remains to be pretty sizeable resulting from housing the fingerprint pad (it’s not pressable, sadly).
The telephone comes with a display screen protector pre-applied, which is somewhat annoying as you’ll be able to clearly see its edges across the fingerprint pad and really feel them if you swipe down from the highest, however should you have been going to place a protector on anyway, it’s in all probability higher than having a self-applied one stuffed with bubbles and dirt.
The rounded steel edges of the P20 have a light-weight pink end to them on our unit, with the SIM tray on the highest left, quantity rocker and energy key on the fitting, and two units of drilled holes (just one is a speaker) plus the centred USB-C port on the underside edge. That’s proper, no headphone jack. Sorry.
- 5.eight inches, 1080 x 2244, 428ppi
- 18.7:9 side ratio
- TFT LCD
The FHD+ show on the Huawei P20 actually does it proud. At 5.eight inches, it’s a superb compromise between a smaller telephone and a phablet, whereas not feeling giant within the hand due to the slim bezels and the notch.
Earlier than anybody will get up in arms about it, the notch on the P20 might be the least annoying we’ve seen. Huawei has neatly included a software program possibility that blacks out the remainder of the display screen on both facet, successfully eradicating the notch.
So whether or not you’d favor the additional display screen area or a extra uniform look, this telephone has you coated – and also you may discover you don’t make the selection you anticipated. This telephone really transformed us from a notch-naysayer: we simply wanted the choice to show it on and off till we labored out which we favor. Whichever method you lean, it’s good to have choices.
Which brings us to color and light-weight. The P20 has numerous choices for customising the show to your liking: you’ll be able to activate ‘pure tone’ which adjusts color temperature primarily based in your surroundings; swap between Regular and Vivid color; select Default, Heat or Chilly colors; activate the Eye Consolation mode (for higher sleep), and so forth.
The brightness slider goes from what we’d name ‘ridiculously darkish’ to ‘fairly brilliant’, or you’ll be able to let the telephone choose its personal brightness primarily based on the place you might be. You can even bump the decision down to save lots of battery if you wish to.
All of that mentioned, we discovered the default settings seemed nice out of the field, so we didn’t really feel the necessity to do a lot twiddling with the settings.
The included wallpapers harmonise properly with the color scheme of the telephone and exhibit the P20’s color replica to the total: shades, tones and shadows all seem crisp and vivid. Icons nearly soar off the display screen.
The 18.7:9 side ratio is an odd selection, however offers a tall show with loads of room for content material whether or not you’ve gotten the notch on or off. You can see, nonetheless, that you might want to manually swap fairly a number of apps into fullscreen mode at first, as a result of they’re not all the time designed for such a protracted show.
The telephone warns you that this may trigger issues, however we didn’t expertise any – apps simply restarted within the appropriate ratio and stayed that method. In the event you select to not go fullscreen, the black bar stays on the backside to fill the remainder of the area.