Top range performance at a great price – 4/5
Huawei’s cheaper sub-brand has a new flagship, and for its £549.99 price tag it’s an absolutely fantastic device.
The Honor 20 Pro came out at the beginning of August, a few months after its cheaper cousin the Honor 20, due to the company’s struggles with Donald Trump. Naysayers might think its slightly larger dimensions, battery and storage don’t warrant a £150 increase, but that’s still a remarkable price for a phone of its calibre.
Design is arguably the 20 Pro’s weakest aspect. It’s big (though not as big as some recent releases), and also slippery – this almost goes without saying with smartphones, but a case is a must for this one. Adding to this need is the fact that the camera setup bulges out of the phone’s rear as well – you’ll feel uncomfortable placing it on a surface without a case on as it doesn’t lie flat. This is a shame, given the attractive reflective colours the phone comes in.
The fingerprint scanner, however, is perfectly placed halfway up the device’s right side, and slightly indented into the body, which makes for an effortless right thumb unlocking movement. If, on the rarest of occasions, it doesn’t immediately unlock, then the facial unlock works almost instantaneously as a backup – it’s practically seamless.
What doesn’t quite work so well are the volume control buttons immediately above it. They get unresponsive and have to be pressed quite hard, which worsens precision, and which a case can often make a bit trickier.
The phone is great to use; although the LCD screen isn’t up to the same level of its rivals’ OLED screens, you won’t notice the difference. The hole-punch display of the camera looks great when navigating through the home screen or apps, and there’s just a sliver of a bezel at the top allowing for a green notification light. There’s a bit of stretching the thumbs to the top of the screen due to its height, but that’s becoming par for the course these days.
It runs very smoothly as well, and can comfortably last up to three days of everyday use. It charges fully in under 90 minutes. Gaming apps such as Asphalt or PUBG are lag-free experiences. The OS is not very battery intensive, and the device has barely any bloatware to its name.
All new Huawei devices have used the camera as a chief calling card, and the 20 Pro is no exception. The main camera produces simply fantastic images, especially in portrait and low light modes, and there is a bevy of modes that camera enthusiasts will delight in. If you just want to take good pictures, though, you can also do that without getting bogged down in aspect ratios and lenses.
There are some further cons aside from the aforementioned design issues, however. While most people (myself included) would be more than happy with 256GB of memory, the lack of a micro SD slot is surprising, as is the lack of any sort of dust or water resistance certification. Further niggles such as a lack of a (separate) headphone jack and no wireless charging also present themselves. Some might also think that it hews too close spec-wise to the Honor 20 to warrant such a price increase.
Trump’s blacklisting of Huawei will also mean that there’s a bit of uncertainty around how Google’s apps will update going forward.
However, it’s easy to excuse these when considering what the phone is already offering in terms of performance and camera for its price – and you’re unlikely to need to charge it on the go.
- OS: Android 9.0 Magic 2.1.0
- Processor: Kirin 980
- Resolution: 1080 x 2340 pixels
- RAM: 8GB
- Internal storage: 256GB
- External memory: None
- Water resistance: None
- Rear camera: 48MP + 16MP + 8MP + 2MP
- Front camera: 32MP
- Video: 4K at 30fps
- Battery: 4,000mAh
- Connectivity: 4G, WiFi, Bluetooth
- Cellular speed:
- Dimensions: 154.6 x 74 x 8.4 mm
- Weight: 182g
- Geekbench: single-core – 3,280, multi-core – 9839
- GFXBench – 1,226
- AnTuTu – 266,180
- 3DMark – 4,068