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  5. Huawei P20 Review: Attractive, Affordable, Huawei’s Pleasant Surprise

Huawei P20 Review: Attractive, Affordable, Huawei’s Pleasant Surprise

Huawei P20 Review: Attractive, Affordable, Huawei’s Pleasant Surprise

Powerful, robust, beautifully finished and featuring a beautiful 19: 9 screen, the Huawei P20 is not far from being the best smartphone of 2019, at a lower price than the competition. After the Mate 10 Pro’s 18: 9 format, Huawei has released the P20, equipped with a 5.8-inch full HD + screen in 19: 9 format.

Huawei P20 Review: Attractive, Affordable, Huawei’s Pleasant Surprise

From the Mate 10 Pro, the P20 takes the Kirin 970 processor clocked at 2.36 GHz, with 4 GB of RAM and 128 GB of internal storage (not expandable). Huawei P20 is equipped with a dual camera module on the back, again in collaboration with Leica.

The 12-megapixel (f / 1.8) sensor is complemented by a 20-megapixel (f / 1.6) monochrome sensor. In Italy, the P20 is launched at a price of 679 euros.

Huawei P20 design and fingerprint

Having ditched the metal of the P10 and P10 Plus, Huawei replaces it with glass – well almost, since the back of the P20 offers more reflections, it is actually polycarbonate.

The shiny effect seduces, but this original design is partially spoiled by the accumulation of fingerprints.

A defect found on several high-end smartphones, iPhone X and Samsung Galaxy S9 included. Also at the rear, the dual camera module is now positioned vertically, starting from the top left corner.

Huawei P20 – Cameras

The design of the smartphone is in silver metal, slightly rounded. This curvature, which gives a sandwich effect, allows for excellent grip. The volume control buttons are positioned at the right height on the right side. Below, we find the power button, marked with an orange line. The detail is discreet, but brings a touch of welcome elegance. This Huawei P20 is a clear aesthetic success.

Huawei P20 – Buttons

Finally, Huawei manages to integrate a physical button at the bottom of the smartphone. This button is used to do two things. The first is fingerprint recognition. To date, Huawei is probably the manufacturer that best controls this technology, they unlock in a tenth of a second.

The second is “smart” navigation. Last year, we were seduced by the Huawei P10’s navigation system, the button is for going back and multitasking. Its successor takes this system: a short press to go back, a long press to go back to the main screen, a “swipe” to view the multitasking screen.

Meanwhile, Apple has managed to get out of the main button entirely, with at least as intuitive gestures. However, this Huawei P20 is one of the most fun smartphones to use in the Android world. Or in the world of smartphones for less than 1100 euros.

Huawei P20 – Home button

Huawei P20 Review – Software

With ol Mate 10 Pro, Huawei was one of the first manufacturers to release a smartphone with Android Oreo. We are not surprised to see that this P20 runs on Android 8.1, with an EMUI 8.1 overlay without much news.

The user can in particular opt for an interface with or without an application drawer. The first option is all the more tempting as the number of pre-installed applications is still important and still annoying.

Among the disappointments, we highlight the lack of Bluetooth 5.0, which is still supported by most high-end smartphones. This wouldn’t have been a real handicap if Huawei hadn’t decided to remove the jack.

On the other hand, we underline the excellent idea of ​​the manufacturer, which allows the user to hide the notch present at the top of the screen, framing it with a black band. (Notch)

Choosing a hidden notch does not cause a loss of space, since the data at the top of the screen (time, network, etc.) remains displayed in the same place, as if the smartphone had a second screen.

Huawei P20 – Software

Huawei P20 – Display

Still in the settings, you can change the color of the screen, opting for more or less natural tones. We strongly recommend that you take a tour, to switch to “normal” colors. Color fidelity is therefore much better, with a delta E dropping to 2.28.

If we can regret that Huawei reserves the OLED P20 Pro screen (899 euros), we are comforted by a very well contrasted (2273: 1) and very bright (682 cd / m²) LCD screen, protected by Gorilla Galss5.

As strong supporters of Full HD definition (which sacrifices nothing in image quality while allowing the mobile phone to consume less power), we appreciate the choice of Full HD + definition (2244 x 1080), a resolution of 429 dpi.

Huawei P20 – Performance

Unlike the Samsung Galaxy S9 with Exynos 9810, the Kirin 970 is a chip we already know, at least on the Mate 10 Pro, for its performance. During our test, we noticed real progress over the Kirin 960, with a smoother software interface. The observation remains the same.

Kirin 970 allows you to enjoy any game, pushing the level of graphic detail to the maximum. Its performance, however, remains closer to that of the Snapdragon 835 than Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 845, Samsung’s Exynos 9810, or Apple’s A11 Bionic, as the benchmark results show.

In the short run, the difference is not significant. In the long run, this processor is slightly less powerful than those of the competition.

Huawei P20 is distinguished by excellent autonomy

During our versatile battery life test, the smartphone shut down after 12:44 minutes. It is better than all of its current competitors. The smartphone never dropped below 30%, even after a busy day. The 3400mAh battery is then used efficiently.

Huawei P20 – Cameras

To discover Huawei’s innovations in the field of photography, we must turn to the P20 Pro, equipped with a triple camera module. The P20 benefits from the dual camera module (RGB + monochrome), now habitual in the brand.

The configuration is very similar to that of the Mate 10 Pro, with a 12 Mpix RGB sensor aperture of f / 1.8 and a 20 Mpix monochrome sensor aperture of f / 1.6.

The Asian manufacturer continues its progression, with more realistic colors than the Mate 10 Pro, with slightly lower contrast and an excellent level of detail. We also liked the quality of the autofocus, now almost as fast as that of the Samsung Galaxy S9.

In conditions of poor visibility, the gap with the South Korean is felt more. The photos of the P20 are very smooth, probably to avoid excess digital noise. In very low light, the colors are desaturated, resulting in much less detail than the Galaxy S9. Video quality is good, thanks to excellent stabilization.

Huawei P20 – Photo

In the photo, the P20 still does not reach the performance of the Samsung Galaxy S9 and HTC U11 +, the two best students. It comes close to the image quality of an iPhone X, with the benefit of a monochrome sensor capable of making beautiful black and white photos.


In the shadow of a Huawei P20 Pro noted for its triple camera module, the Huawei P20 stacks the qualities, with a beautiful 19: 9 screen, beautiful finishes, excellent battery life and photo quality.

We particularly liked the integration of a physical button, which allows for really comfortable navigation. At 649 euros, the Huawei P20 is more affordable than its competitors, while still being very attractive.

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