Just over a month plus ago Huawei had a big launch in Paris for the P20 and P20 Pro well here is my review of the P20 and the P20 Pro.

Left is the P20 Pro and the Right in the P20

Specs

P20 Pro

Display6.1 inches, 1080 x 2240 pixels (408 ppi) OLED
Camera40 megapixels
Hardware
HiSilicon Kirin, Octa-core, 2360 MHz, ARM Cortex-A73 and ARM Cortex-A53 processor
6 GB RAM
Size6.10 x 2.91 x 0.31 inches
(155 x 73.9 x 7.8 mm)
6.35 oz  (180 g)
Battery4000 mAh, 25 hours talk time

 

P20

Display5.8 inches, 1080 x 2240 pixels (429 ppi) IPS LCD
Camera40 megapixels
Hardware
HiSilicon Kirin, Octa-core, 2360 MHz, ARM Cortex-A73 and ARM Cortex-A53 processor
4 GB RAM
Size5.87 x 2.79 x 0.30 inches (149.1 x 70.8 x 7.65 mm)5.82 oz  (165 g)
Battery3400 mAh, 19 hours talk time

 

First, here is what’s In the box with the two phones:

  • Phone
  • Huawei fast wall charger
  • USB-C to USB-A cable
  • USB-C to 3.5mm audio adapter
  • Sim ejector tool
  • White Earbuds with in-line mic
  • User Manual

All physical buttons are on the right side, instead of having the volume on the left and power on the right. This may be a convenient solution to some, as it may lower the chances of accidental presses. The buttons are made of metal and feel nice and clicky, the power key is marked with a red accent line, a nice little touch.

On the bottom, you have a USB-C port for charging and… no headphone jack, unfortunately. You do get a pair of basic USB-C earbuds in the box with both phones and they sound just okay.

One difference between the P20 and the P20 Pro is that the former is only splash-resistant, while the Pro features a proper IP67 water-resistance rating, meaning that it will survive a short dive in water and those summer days by the pool.

                                                            

6.1 x 2.91 x 0.31 inches                                                    5.87 x 2.79 x 0.3 inches
155 x 73.9 x 7.8 mm                                                        149.1 x 70.8 x 7.65 mm
6.35 oz (180 g)                                                                5.82 oz (165 g)
Huawei P20 Pro                                                               Huawei P20
Fingerprint sensor

Both phones have a fingerprint sensor right below the screen on both phones.

It’s still convenient to have the fingerprint scanner on the front as you can unlock your phone when it’s laying flat on a table.

With the fingerprint recognition happens nearly instantly and with just a tap you unlock the phone.

The P20 Pro and P20 come with on-screen navigation buttons, but if you want to use the full screen, you can opt to use fingerprint scanner gestures: tap once to go back, hold it down to go to the home screen, swipe sideways to go into multitasking card-view.

You also have face identification that you can use alongside fingerprint recognition, it is impressively quick.

Screen

One key difference between the P20 and the P20 Pro is in the screen technology they use: while both have the same Full HD+ resolution, the P20 features a 5.8-inch LCD screen, while the P20 Pro has a 6.1-inch OLED display with lush colours and deeper blacks.

Interface and more

Huawei interface is called EMUI, short for emotion user interface, you have EMUI 8.1, the latest version, on top of Android 8.1 Oreo with the P20 and P20 Pro.

First, let’s talk about the good things in EMUI and that is just how rich in terms of features it is. Huawei adopts a bucket-load approach and has most everything you can think of it has its own Huawei cloud sharing option that you can use to automatically back up photos and videos, it has all sorts of “ultra” battery saving modes, a screen recording option, twin apps that allow you to stay logged in with two different accounts in services like Facebook, Skype, Whatsapp and others, its own “file safe” secure folder-like feature where you can hide apps and photos, and much more.

Processor, Performance/Memory

The Kirin 970 chip is built on the modern 10nm manufacturing process, which means that it gets excellent power-to-performance ratings. It runs on Cortex A73 high-powered CPU cores and Cortex A53 frugal cores depending on the load to ensure optimal performance. In the P20 you get 4GB of RAM, while with the P20 Pro you have 6GB of RAM on board.

While the P20 series of phones does not have a microSD card slot, they offset this by shipping with a plentiful 128GB of onboard storage.

Camera

With the Huawei, P20 Pro has a lot to do with its triple camera system: a 40-megapixel main shooter, coupled with a 20-megapixel black-and-white sensor and a third, 8-megapixel telephoto camera.

The P20 has a more modest camera system, with a dual cam system, where the main camera is a 12-megapixel shooter, while the secondary one is an identical 20-megapixel B&W sensor, but there is no telephoto camera.

You have a different shortcut to go to the camera here: instead of double clicking the power button, you double press the volume down key to enter the camera.

The camera app itself has changed and now features a slider with different shooting modes, just like on the… you guessed it, iPhones!

But then, the shutter sound when you take a picture reminds of a Leica camera (after all, Huawei teamed up with Leica for the colour setting of its photos).

The app itself has a retro look and feel, and offers the following modes: you have the standard photo mode, and then a portrait mode, a night mode where the phone takes a few shots and combines them all in one brighter and more detailed picture, an aperture mode where you can artificially simulate different aperture settings; then video mode, the pro mode and a few others hidden under more (those include a panorama, slow-mo, monochrome, light-painting, manual HDR, time-lapse, and more).

Night Mode on
Normal photo mode

Night Mode on
Normal Photo mode

Light Mode

Normal mode
Three Times Zoom

Normal Mode
Two Times Zoom

oznor

3 times zoom
normal mode

Video

The P20 Pro can shoot video in up to 4K30 resolution, but at this highest resolution it does not support proper stabilization and footage can look very shaky.

Sound

P20 series use a dual speaker system similar to the one on the recent non-Android phone, you have audio separated into two channels, one coming from the bottom-firing speaker where you have the whole range of sound, and one more coming from the earpiece at the top that acts as a tweeter with higher-pitched sound.

Both speakers do indeed get plenty loud and the quality is very good, the P20 Pro definitely lives up to the expectations here.

Please remember, that there is no headphone jack on board and you can listen to audio via USB-C headphones (basic ones are included in the box) or with Bluetooth headphones.

Battery

With 3,400mAh battery on the P20 and a massive, 4,000mAh battery on the P20 Pro. Both phones do come with rather larger quick chargers in the box and with a USB-A to USB-C cables that you use to charge them.

The Huawei P20 and especially the P20 Pro are the best phones that Huawei has made to date. The P20 Pro especially is in many ways an exciting phone, it brings back to life the 40-megapixel PureView technology of Nokia fame (it’s no coincidence that a Nokia engineer worked on Huawei’s camera), it has a great battery life and a good-looking display.

Pricing

Now on to the pricing of the two smartphones available from Carphone Warehouse and the Huawei P20 and P20 Pro can both be purchased on all the available networks, or without a contract at all. The P20 is £600 ($840) in Blue or Black, while the P20 Pro is £800 in (Blue, Black and the amazing Twilight).

Pros

  • Amazing camera on P20 Pro, especially for night photos but still a great camera on the P20
  • High-quality OLED display on P20 Pro
  • Great loudspeaker quality
  • Plentiful 128GB storage

Cons

  • No wireless charging

For me, while I reviewing both phones I was drawn more towards the P20 Pro because you can do more with the three lenses like having the option of five-times zoom.