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Huawei P20 Review about Design, Camera & Using The Phone

Huawei P20 Review
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First of all, I want to point out that I’m personally a huge fan of Huawei phones. I at least like them more than Samsung’s. The Chinese have beaten the Koreans at both the design and build quality. But that’s my personal opinion. And when I look at the higher end flagship Huawei phones, I can see why its phones are so successful. Their design just resembles iPhone so much. Which is why Huawei’s flagship headphones are perfect for those who love the Apple aesthetics and build quality but don’t want the limited iOS ecosystem. Huawei – the iPhone for Android fans.

So what could be the Huawei P20’s catchphrase? Since they first appeared on the market, I have always preferred their plus series. They always had a bigger screen and better technical stats. And previously the main difference was always the size of the phone, between the regular and the plus version models. However, this has changed and phone companies have found a way to reduce the overall size of phones. Even the ones that have bigger screens. You can even work them with one hand nowadays.

Huawei P20 – Design

Huawei P20 Review - DesignDid I mention that Huawei tries to look like Apple iPhones? The P20 is the perfect example in my opinion. It took me time to find out how exactly the Huawei P20 differs from the iPhone X. Both of them have aluminum round edges, back made out of glass, same position of speakers and camera, no audio jack and of course the familiar notch on the top of the screen. Basically the same design, with a few minor exceptions of course. Even the size is similar as I couldn’t tell the difference between the two in my pocket. The main noticeable difference is the fingerprint sensor that’s positioned underneath the P20 screen.

Still, the P20 that I got has one significant difference. The backside of the iPhone X has a pretty conservative selection of colors. My P20’s back color, on the other hand, is an exotic midnight blue and it changes to green depending on the light and the angle you look at it from. It really is something else. And despite my usually conservative taste, I really like the way it looks.

That said, I have some bad news as well about the design. I kept the Huawei P20 in my front pocket with my iPhone X and the AirPods case. I wasn’t happy with the result. The P20 screen had a lot of scratches at some places. It got so many scratches that it isn’t acceptable in my opinion. No other phone has had this problem in my pockets before. So if you get the P20, then I recommend immediately to also get a screen protector. Better yet, a screen protector glass, such as gorilla glass. The backside of the phone didn’t receive any scratches.

Using Huawei P20

Huawei P20 Review - Using the phoneThe Huawei P20 is extremely comfortable to hold onto. It sits in the palm of your hand like it’s been designed for it. Even the size is perfect for holding and using it with one hand. Overall it’s a nice solid phone, and that’s mostly thanks to the superior build quality. And despite it having an IPS screen and not a superior OLED, the display is still bright and sharp like it’s supposed to be. Everything works smoothly and fast. The games don’t have any lag and the phone reacts instantly to all touches and movements. There really isn’t anything to criticize about its overall performance. Even the speakers sound good. But I’ll still never use them to listen to music, as there are other ways for listening to music with a much better audio quality.

The fingerprint sensor, underneath the screen, can also be used to navigate between apps. However, I don’t personally like using it, as it requires using two hands. You can use it with the thumb of your one hand as well but it makes the position of the phone pretty awkward in your hand. Other than that, I have nothing but praise for the fingerprint reader. It reads fingerprints faster than any other phone.

Huawei P20’s battery is average. It can last a couple of days if you don’t use it too much. But I still set it to charge every night as I’m used to doing that with my previous phones.

The camera of Huawei P20

If you have been paying attention to different phone camera data sheets, then you have probably noticed that the Huawei P20 Pro has the best camera according to the scores. Which is why I was somewhat hoping that the normal P20 would be pretty close to that. Especially since both of the phones cameras have been developed with Leica. Plus the 24MP front camera excited my selfie heart quite a bit. Unfortunately, the reality wasn’t quite as good. At least it couldn’t compete with the iPhone X camera quality. For some reason, the image quality wasn’t as good as I expected in some situations. Especially the selfie camera. And I have no idea why. That being said, I always use factory settings, like most people. The camera software does let you play around with different settings that can greatly improve the quality. You can even choose between different filters.

The most popular camera mode will probably be the portrait mode. It’s incredibly popular among iPhone users so I’m sure that we will see the same with Androids as well. You can play around with different lights here and the two camera lenses create a fashionable blurred background.

Huawei has paid extra attention to night time shots on the P20. Which I mean is great, especially since the lenses aren’t the most acceptable to light (f/1.8 and f/1.6). And even though it takes time for it to focus, the end result is still pretty good.

For some reason, Huawei hasn’t added an optical image stabilization system (OIS) to the P20. I’m quite surprised as most high-end smartphone series have it. On the plus side, they have replaced it with artificial intelligence (AI). I have to say that it’s not bad at all. I’d even go as far and say that it works surprisingly well.

Who’s It For?

For me, the main downside of the Huawei P20 is the existence of the Huawei P20 Pro. You can obviously say that hey, the P20 Pro costs around $200 more, but they are both in the higher end category, so in reality, they are only $200 apart. But that’s coming from me and I’m a technology freak. So for me, paying the extra price difference is worth it if I get a better camera and the best phone in its category. Which makes me wonder, who exactly the P20 is designed for. $650 for a phone isn’t cheap. Especially if you only get a silver medal for that and you can get a bronze (Huawei P20 Lite) for around half of the price.

A few potential P20 buyers did cross my mind though. This mysterious buyer could be a boss who bought himself the Pro version and then buys his employees the P20. Or they might buy themselves the P20 and then the P20 Lite for the employees. You know for there to be at least some power ranking.

Conclusion

Overall the Huawei P20 is a really solid and nice phone. You won’t run into any problems with it. It still has high-end hardware, which can handle everything you throw at it. I’m really happy with its performance. Even the battery can last a couple of days and the camera still offers surprises. The only thing I’m not that sure about is the price. I don’t personally mind spending the extra couple hundred dollars for the P20 Pro in this price range. Especially since it has more extras and a unique camera. But I’m sure that there’s plenty of people for who the P20 Pro is too expensive and the P20 fits their budget. Which is why I want to say that you won’t be disappointed with the Huawei P20.

About The Author

Sven Von Fawkes is a journalism student at USC. He enjoys writing smartphone & tablet reviews for his blog called Tenpire and he has previous experience from being a Product Manager at BestBuy.


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