Honor View20 Review – Goodbye notch, Honor’s most Feature Packed smartphone is here

Honor’s latest smartphone in the flagship category, the Honor View20 is finally launched in India and it features an on-screen camera with AllView display. After Apple released a notched iPhone, Androids went crazy over the notch. Soon enough, we saw the notch to grow smaller and now, Honor brought us a phone with no notch onboard.

This is the first smartphone in India ever launched with an in-screen selfie camera. Aside from this, the Honor View20 flaunts a glass design, a whopping 48 MP camera, and Kirin 980 CPU for blazing fast performance. Check out our Honor View20 review below.

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What’s In The Box

  • Honor View20 with built-in battery
  • USB Cable (Type-C)
  • Fast Charger (5V, 4A)
  • Flexible Silicon Clear Case
  • SIM Tray Ejector Pin
  • User Manuals and Warranty Card

Honor View20 Specifications

  • Display: 6.4-inch All-View Display, Full HD+ resolution (2310 x 1080 pixels | 398 ppi)
  • Software: MagicUI 2.0.1 based on Android 9.0 Pie
  • Fingerprint Scanner: Yes, at the back
  • CPU: Up to 2.6 GHz octa-core (4x Cortex-A76 + 4x Cortex-A55) processor, 7nm Kirin 980 octa-core SoC, dual NPUs, 64-bit
  • GPU: Mali-G76, GPU Turbo 2.0
  • Memory: 6 GB RAM, LPDDR4X (2133 MHz)
  • Storage: 128 GB or 256 GB UFS 2.1, expands via microSD card
  • Main Camera: 48 MP f/1.8 (Sony IMX586) + 3D TOF camera with Portrait Mode, AR Stickers, 3D Qmoji, 960 FPS Slow-Motion video recording, AI Vision, and LED flash
  • Selfie Camera: 25 MP f/2.0, AI-backed
  • SIM: 4G LTE, 2x nano SIM (GSM), dual VoLTE
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 5.0, AI GPS (dual frequency), USB OTG, USB Type-C
  • Audio: aptX, aptX HD, LDAC
  • Other: Link Turbo
  • Colors: Blue, Red, Black, Moschino Edition
  • Battery: 4,000 mAh, 40W (10V, 4A) fast charging
  • Price: ₹37,999 (6 GB RAM & 128 GB storage), ₹45,999 (8 GB RAM & 256 GB storage)
  • Availability: Amazon India and HiHonor India, sale starts from 30th January at 12 AM

Design, Build, & Ergonomics

Honor has often been a forerunner in the field of smartphone design, compared to the predecessor, the Honor View10, you will see a lot of difference in the design itself. The Honor View20 offers a glass design and a cut-out in the screen for its selfie camera to offer a full-screen design.

The back of the phone has a V-shape Aurora Nanotexture behind the glass that reflects when the light falls on it. The sides are no wonder metallic with tapered edges giving a solid build quality. The only drawback I found is that the phone is not water resistant or splash resistant.

The front side has a so-called All-View screen which is nothing but a full-screen design with no notch at the top, unlike the notch enabled phones. The hole is under the display that takes the least space on the screen giving a better viewing experience.

For the rest, the back boasts off a dual camera design with AI Vision moniker, a fingerprint scanner, and Honor logo. No, you are not getting the fancy in-display fingerprint scanner here.

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No Notch, Just A Pin-Hole For Camera
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V-Shape Pattern
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Dual Cameras With One 3D ToF Sensor

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Honor View20 comes with a Type-C USB port alongside a 3.5mm jack which is a good thing, other smartphone makers are eliminating the earphone jack. You’ll find loudspeakers and a microphone at the bottom and another microphone at the top with an IR Blaster and earpiece on the edge.

On the left side, the phone holds a hybrid SIM tray, there are two 4G nano SIM slots and a microSD combo slot on SIM2. The right side has the usual power button and volume control.

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Right
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Left Holds Hybrid SIM Tray
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IR Blaster On The Top
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USB Type-C Port At The Bottom

Display

Goodbye notch! The Honor View20 has a large 6.4-inch screen that covers almost the entire surface of the phone leaving a 4.5mm tiny pin-hole on the top-left side for the selfie camera. While the hole won’t bother much when viewing the screen, you can simply hide the camera hole by adding a black bar similar to how you hide the notch.

The screen is an IPS LCD and it’s crisp and looks beautiful, it offers a Full HD+ resolution (2310 x 1080 pixels) which sounds to be fair enough. The colors and contrast are well balanced, and has great viewing angles, while the quality of the screen, when compared to OnePlus 6T, is inferior. It’s time, Honor should opt for AMOLEDs or OLED displays for better picture clarity.

You get a decent amount of display options in the settings such as the color mode and temperature, eye comfort, changing screen resolution, notch hiding and full-screen apps and a couple of more.

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All-View Display

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Software & User Interface, & Features

No there’s no EMUI running on the phone, it’s more of a customized interface for Honor flagships rather than the classic EMUI, it’s named as Magic UI version 2.0.1 and it’s based off on the new Android 9 Pie operating system. Not all Honor phones run on the Magic UI, the Honor View20 is the first Honor smartphone in India to feature the Magic UI.

Speaking of the interface, it’s pretty much the same as the EMUI with a few things added including the distinct theme and icons and some optimizations for the AI and battery. The UI also adds in the Digital Balance which is a rip off of the Digital Wellbeing we saw on the Google Pixel 3 XL.

Honor View20 has the gesture-based navigation as we saw on the previous Honor phones but you don’t have the native Android Pie navigation. The navigation works with swipe gestures, you can also enable the navigation dock to add a ball.

You get the preloaded apps as usual on the phone, the interface is smooth and fast, no major lags occurred. The features remain mostly the same we found on the EMUI based flagships, you’ll find a number of features like GPU Turbo, Link Turbo, AI Calorie Counting, AI Dual Frequency GPS, Wireless projection for full PC experience, HiTouch, Party Mode and more.

Some new features on the phone include the AI Dual Frequency GPS for accurate positioning, AI Calorie Counting that instantly counts the calories of the food just by hovering the camera over the food, Link Turbo technology that uses the WiFi and LTE networks both at the same time and intelligently switches instant applications to 4G channels allowing users to chat, shop, and download without any delays. Triple-Antenna Wi-Fi is a feature that prevents the signal from weakening while you game especially when your hands cover the receiver.

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Hardware, Performance, & Gaming

On the performance side, the Honor View20 is equipped with an octa-core Kirin 980 SoC clocked at 2.6 GHz coupled with up to 8 GB LPDDR4X RAM. This is the newest 7nm chip and it’s most powerful Kirin chip as of now. This is the same chip found on the HUAWEI’s top-of-the-line Mate20 Pro and it’s the world’s first dual NPU designed chip that can quickly adapt to AI scenes like face recognition, object recognition, object detection, image segmentation, and intelligent translation.

The chip is further paired with a Mali-G76 MP10 GPU for high-end gaming, as much as 8 GB LPDDR4X RAM, and a fast 256 GB UFS 2.1 internal storage. Other variants of the Honor View20 include 6 GB RAM and 128 GB internal storage, being the base variant.

Honor View20 Key Specifications

  • Display: 6.4-inch All-View Display, Full HD+ resolution (2310 x 1080 pixels | 398 ppi)
  • Software: MagicUI 2.0.1 based on Android 9.0 Pie
  • CPU: Up to 2.6 GHz octa-core (4x Cortex-A76 + 4x Cortex-A55) processor, 7nm Kirin 980 octa-core SoC, dual NPUs, 64-bit
  • GPU: Mali-G76 MP10, GPU Turbo 2.0
  • Memory: 6 GB RAM, LPDDR4X (2133 MHz)
  • Storage: 128 GB or 256 GB UFS 2.1, expands via microSD card
  • Battery: 4,000 mAh, Honor SuperCharge technology

The performance of the Kirin 980 is likely to compete the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845. According to the benchmarks, the Honor View20 seems to be in the top 10 best-performing smartphones. The AnTuTu scores 274,042 points and Geekbench 4 scores 3,274 points in single-core, 9,699 points in multi-core, and 6,568 points in GPU.

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The chip further sports with a Mali-G76 MP10 GPU for high-end gaming and it’s capable of running almost any graphic-intensive game you throw. The phone also packs some great features like Dual Turbo (CPU + GPU Turbo) to give performance boost while playing games and an innovative 3D Gaming feature that involves motion-controlled gaming using the 3D ToF sensor on the back of the phone.

Note: The 3D Gaming requires a dedicated screen to enable motion gaming, it’s much similar to the consoles like Nintendo Wii, Sony PlayStation, and Microsoft Xbox.

The chip is also equipped with The NINE liquid cooling system for heat dissipation, the temperatures we recorded are mostly on the cooler side, the phone doesn’t heat much on load, being a flagship performer.

Games Tested on Honor View20

  • PUBG MOBILE
  • Asphalt 9: Legends
  • Sky Force Reloaded
  • MARVEL Contest of Champions
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Sky Force Reloaded

Cameras

Honor View20 highlights its 48 MP rear camera coupled with a 3D ToF sensor summing up as dual cameras. The back uses a dual rear camera setup with a 48 MP f/1.8 being the main camera utilizing the Sony IMX586 sensor and a ToF sensor used for depth measuring and to recognize the shapes of your body or objects in 3D. On the front side, it is backed with a 25 MP f/2.0 selfie camera and both the front and the rear supports AI.

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Honor View20 Camera Specifications

  • Main Camera: Dual cameras 48 MP f/1.8 + 3D ToF sensor
  • Camera Sensor: Sony IMX586
  • Optical Image Stabilization (OIS): N/A
  • Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS): Yes
  • Rear Flash: Single LED flash
  • Features: AI Multi-Scene Recognition, Portrait Mode, 3D Portrait Lighting, Aperture Mode, Live Photos, AR Lens (Stickers, Effects, Background), AI Color, Background Blur, 3D Qmoji, AR Vision, 3D Panorama, Artist Mode, Pro mode, Beauty Photo, Beauty Video, Good food, Stickers, Panorama, Night Mode, Light painting, Time-lapse, Slow-mo, Filter, Burst Shot, Watermark, Audio note, Document Scan, Geo-tagging, Tap to focus, HDR
  • Video Recording: Up to 4K video @30fps, super slow motion 720p @960fps, 1080p video @60fps, normal slow motion 720p video @120fps & @240fps
  • Front Camera: 25 MP f/2.0, AI-backed
  • Video Recording: 1080p video @30fps
  • Front Flash: Screen flash

Next to the main camera is a second lens, it’s so-called Time of Flight or TOF camera. It senses the depth to create a bokeh effect. While Honor could use a Monochrome sensor, a wide-angle lens or telephoto lens, but the 3D ToF camera is special in its own. It is used for 3D Gaming feature available on the phone, it offers a motion-controlled gaming experience.

Like most Honor phones, this one also packs a punch rather more than what we have seen on the predecessors. You will find a variety of features including the AI Multi Scene Recognition, 3D Portrait Lighting, Night mode, AR Lens, 960fps slow-motion video recording, 3D Qmoji, and lastly, the two innovative features that are only available in the top-of-the-line HUAWEI Mate 20 Pro, the AI Color and the Background Blur video capabilities.

The camera also supports EIS (Electronic Image Stabilization) on board to stabilize the videos, but a hardware stabilization i.e. OIS would do a better job. A couple of things that we missed on the camera are the dedicated Monochrome mode and the wide angle lens as seen on the Mate20 Pro. There’s also no optical zoom available in the camera, you get a 2X digital zoom shortcut on the interface. Nevertheless, this is by far the most featured pack smartphone camera in this segment, as far as the features are concerned.

Let’s look into the camera samples we took from the Honor View20.

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Honor View20 Camera Samples

3D Qmoji

3D Qmoji

Background Blur

Battery & Charging

Battery Runtime

Another impressive thing about the phone is the battery, packs a 4,000 mAh battery under the hood, the Honor View20 packs delivers an impressive battery life. The battery has been increased from its predecessor, last year’s Honor View10 came with a 3,750 mAh vs. 4,000 mAh on the View20.

On our average use, the phone survived on the first day with almost half of the battery left. The moderate usage gives about 1.5 days of battery life which is certainly good for a flagship. The 7nm CPU and Magic UI battery optimizations give the advantage to stretch the battery life further.

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Average Usage
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Moderate Usage
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Intense Usage

Honor View20 Battery Test Results

Apps/GamesBattery usedRuntimeBrightnessWireless
1080p Video2%20 minutesAutoOff (Wi-Fi, GPS, Data)
4K Video3%20 minutesAutoOff (Wi-Fi, GPS, Data)
YouTube (1080p) - Wi-Fi2%20 minutesAutoOn (Wi-Fi)
PUBG MOBILE7%20 minutesAutoOff (Wi-Fi, GPS, Data)
Asphalt 9: Legends5%20 minutesAutoOff (Wi-Fi, GPS, Data)
Sky Force Reload4%20 minutesAutoOff (Wi-Fi, GPS, Data)
Music (Offline)1%1 HourScreen OffOff (Wi-Fi, GPS, Data)
Music (Online) -
SoundCloud
2%30 minutesScreen OffOn (Wi-Fi)
Facebook3%20 minutesAutoOn (Wi-Fi)
Instagram3%20 minutesAutoOn (Wi-Fi)

Battery Charging

Besides, the 4,000 mAh battery can be charged with Honor’s fast charging technology called SuperCharge with 20W fast charging (5V, 4A). The provided charger is powerful enough to charge the battery to full in ~75 minutes. Usually, it’s above 80% in 60 minutes which is close to OnePlus Dash charge.

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Verdict – Worth It?

There is no denying that the Honor View20 is a solid device for its features offered at a fair price. Honor View20 has a lot more to offer than a large screen-to-body ratio. Aside from its pin-hole camera design, you have a unique looking back, the flexible dual cameras, and top-notch performance that competes with high-end phones.

The camera is more versatile as compared to the OnePlus 6T, there are a lot of features you won’t be able to find on many smartphone cameras. While certain things that you should know are its display which seems inferior to the one you see on the OnePlus 6T, it’s AMOLED vs. IPS and no water-resistant design is offered.

Overall, the Honor View20 will be the right pick if you want a better-looking phone with no-notch design and more camera features in this price range. Other than these, the features list make the phone a winner in its class.

Buy Honor View20 on Amazon India

Honor View20 is also available on HiHonor India online store.

Rivals

Strength

  • Splendid glass design | V-shape pattern | Metallic build
  • All-View display with a pin-hole for selfie camera | Good viewing angles
  • Stunning camera performance | Packed with features (AI Color, Background Blur, Super Slow-Mo, 3D Live Emojis, etc.)
  • Great selfies & portraits | Features AR Lens, 3D Qmoji, and more
  • Top-notch CPU | Faster storage & RAM performance
  • 3D motion-controlled gaming
  • Impressive battery life
  • Super fast charging | Charges fully in about 75 Minutes
  • Android 9 Pie out-of-the-box | Loaded with features (Magic UI 2.0.1)

Weakness

  • AMOLED display would add a greater advantage over Honor’s existing IPS screen
  • No in-display fingerprint scanner
  • Not water resistant