Huawei P20 Pro Review – World’s first tri-camera smartphone

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After the HUAWEI P9, we haven’t heard from the company. Now the Huawei P20 Pro, the successor to the HUAWEI P10 which wasn’t in India focuses on its triple cameras. Other highlights of the phone include are its 3D glass design, FullView OLED display, fast Kirin 970 CPU, and a chunk of AI camera features. Here’s our HUAWEI P20 Pro review.

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What’s in the box

  • HUAWEI P20 Pro with built-in battery
  • USB Cable (type-C)
  • Earphones (type-C)
  • Charger (Output: 5V, 2A | 9V, 2A)
  • Silicon Clear Case
  • SIM Ejector
  • User Manuals & Warranty Information

Here’s the HUAWEI P20 Pro quick video showing all the accessories provided with the phone. The box contains the P20 Pro with a built-in battery, fast charger (5V, 2A | 9V, 2A), USB type-C cable, earphones (type-C), type-C to 3.5 mm adapter, silicon clear case, SIM ejector, User manuals and warranty information.

Huawei P20 Pro Specifications

  • Display: 6.1-inch OLED display, Full HD+ resolution (2240 x 1080 pixels | 408 ppi), 2.5D curved glass
  • Software: EMUI 8.1 based on Android 8.1 Oreo, AI-enabled
  • CPU: Up to 2.36 GHz octa-core Cortex-A73 + Cortex-A53 processor, 1x micro core i7, Kirin 970 SoC, 10nm TSMC, 64-bit, AI backed
  • GPU: ARM Mali-G72 MP12
  • Memory: 6 GB RAM, LPDDR4
  • Storage: 128 GB UFS internal storage, no microSD support
  • Main Camera: Triple cameras (40 MP + 20 MP + 8 MP), Leica Summilux lens, AI Image Stabilization
    40 MP (RGB, f/1.8 aperture)
    20 MP (Monochrome, f/1.6 aperture)
    8 MP (Telephoto, f/2.4 aperture)
    4D predictive focus (laser focus, deep focus, phase focus, contrast focus), 3D Portrait Lightning, 960 fps super slow-motion, dual-tone LED
  • Selfie Camera: 24 MP, f/2.0 aperture, supports fixed focal length
  • Connectivity: USB Type-C, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC, GPS (A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS), 3.5 mm jack (via adapter)
  • Sensors: Gravity sensor, Ambient light sensor, Proximity sensor, Front fingerprint sensor, Hall-sensor, Gyroscope, Compass, Colour Temperature sensor
  • Cellular: 4G LTE network, Single OR Dual nano SIM, VoLTE-enabled
  • Colors: Black, Twilight, Pink Gold, Midnight Blue
  • Battery: 4,000 mAh
  • Dimensions: 155 mm x 73.9 mm x 7.8 mm
  • Weight: 180 grams
  • Price: Rs 64,999 (899 Euros)
  • Availability: Exclusively on Amazon India from May 3

Design, Build & Ergonomics

The HUAWEI P20 Pro highlights the triple cameras on the rear side, an OLED display with a notch, and a stylish glass body. About the design, there is extremely high-quality build chassis with a gorgeous 3D glass designed glass on the back and chrome finish metal frames, the sleek curves, everything about the design is excellent.

The bottom has a Home button that doubles as a fingerprint scanner utilizes the bottom space. The bezels are smaller with no extra navigation keys, the Home button is all you got, the navigation gestures can be used to navigate the phone or just change in the settings to get the stock-based on-screen navigation. The face unlock is another as seen on the Honor View10.

The Huawei P20 Pro is also IP67-rated to protect against dust and water. Being a flagship, it is necessary to survive the competition, the current flagship segment is already offering water-proofing abilities. No wireless charging is provided which makes it inferior to the phones like Apple iPhone X and Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus.

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The right side has a power button and volume control while the left carries a SIM tray. The top offers an IR Blaster and another microphone whereas the bottom provides loudspeakers, microphone, and a USB type-C port.

Unfortunately, it also joins the league of the phones without 3.5 mm, you will not find a 3.5 mm port for earphones/headphones. However, you can always make use of the bundled adapter which converts the type-C port to 3.5 mm. It also has the type-C earphones that plug into the USB.

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Display

The 6.1-inch P20 Pro display, being an OLED, offers rather a Full HD+ resolution (2240 x 1080 pixels) which is somewhat lower to the existing flagships like Samsung Galaxy S9+ and the upcoming Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium with a 4K display.

The screen is however extremely bright and can be visible under sunlight and bright daylight. The viewing angles are great, the coolors and contrasts are deep, and the text is sharp, although it could benefit from a 2K display for a 6.1-inch screen.

You see a notch up top, there’s no surprise that the upcoming phones will emerge with a notch, after iPhone X we have heard the ASUS ZenFone 5, Vivo V9, and OPPO F7 are also in the league. Fortunately, the notch looks smaller than the iPhone X, hence more screen space.

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Software & User Interface

The EMUI 8.1 software is based on the Android 8.1 Oreo and it comes with a host of features in it. The security patch is dated 1st April 2018 which is more than enough to outperform other flagships like Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus, OnePlus 5T, and others.

You can make use of the home button navigation gestures to navigate the P20 Pro which clears the on-screen button and gives more space to the screen. Honor View10 supports the same navigation gestures. Thanks to the new EMUI software, these navigation gestures are easy for navigation all with just one button.

Tapping the Home button once will go one step back. It acts as a back button on the phone. Tapping and holding on the Home button will take you to the homesceen. When you tap and hold the Home button and then swipe (either on the right side or on the left side) opens the recent apps menu.

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Hardware, Performance & Gaming

At the heart of the HUAWEI P20 Pro, there lies a Kirin 970 octa-core SoC with one additional micro core i7. The chip combines with a 6 GB LPDDR4 RAM and a large 128 GB storage all powered by a 4,000 mAh battery. The hardware does remind us of the Honor View10 and HUAWEI Mate 10 Pro.

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Here are the benchmark results, mostly takes on the Snapdragon 835 powered smartphones.

AnTuTu Benchmark

  • 208,204 points

Geekbench 4

  • 1,920 points (single-core CPU)
  • 6,767 points (multi-core CPU)
  • 8,346 points (GPU)

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Storage & Memory

The HUAWEI P20 Pro packs a large 128 GB storage, but cannot be expanded via microSD card. According to the benchmarks we have performed with the HUAWEI P20 Pro and Honor View10, the result is extremely similar, the Kirin 970 chip offers a UFS 2.1 type storage which delivers flagship-level performance. It competes with the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus, Google Pixel 2, OnePlus 5T, and similar phones.

A1 SD Bench

  • 415.47 MB/s (Read)
  • 218.25 MB/s (Write)
  • 7,692.90 MB/s (RAM Copy)

AndroBench

  • 835.76 MB/s (Sequential Read)
  • 210.18 MB/s (Sequential Write)
  • 187.89 MB/s (Random Read)
  • 130.64 MB/s (Random Write)

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Cameras

Behind the phone, these stunning three cameras (40 MP + 20 MP + 8 MP) with dual-tone LED will surprise you for sure. Not one, not two, the HUAWEI P20 Pro is the world’s first smartphone with triple cameras at the back. HUAWEI completely turns the game by bringing in the three cameras in the industry when dual cameras are just making its way.

The 40 MP camera is RGB whereas the 20 MP is a Monochrome and the latter 8 MP camera uses a Telephoto lens. These cameras are smart enough to use the Leica branded lens making it high-end cameras in the segment. The cameras are placed vertically with a protruding design.

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When it comes to mobile photography, the HUAWEI P20 Pro has the most features a camera phone can offer. The EMUI software optimized the camera with AI features, the P20 Pro takes impressive shots even in low light.

The camera takes 960 fps super slow motion videos but when captured from the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus, turns out to be smoother and better quality. Unlike iPhone X, the P20 Pro also can’t capture 60 fps videos at UHD.

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Camera Interface (Rear)
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Camera Settings

HUAWEI P20 Pro Camera Samples

HUAWEI P20 Pro Super Slow Motion Videos (960 FPS) Samples

Battery Runtime & Charging

The battery life of the Huawei P20 Pro is very good, thanks to the software optimizations, the battery lasts up to 2 days in our test. It is worth mentioning that the Honor View10 which offers the same hardware base and the lower battery capacity (3,750 mAh) has noticeably better battery life.

Only the camera pulls the battery percentage most, otherwise the battery can last longer. To increase the battery runtimes, HUAWEI still offers numerous energy-saving settings. There’s always a room for improvement in the future software updates.

Anyways, the battery life is still better than the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus and OnePlus 5T.

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Verdict

HUAWEI P20 Pro is currently one of the best overall packages in a high-end smartphone. No wonder the company brings innovations sets new standards with its triple camera. You won’t see any phone with triple cameras any sooner. With its Triple Leica Cameras, it makes the dual camera competition look dull.

About its performance, it’s as fast as the Snapdragon 835 level phones such as the Pixel 2 and OnePlus 5T. There’s plenty of storage to offer, the display is bright in sunlight, but would surely benefit from a 2K display if this is the price it asks. Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus is a great alternative considering the price is identical.

Rivals

Strength

  • Gorgeous Design | Solid Build Quality
  • High Display Brightness | Great Viewing Angles
  • Triple Cameras | Great Photography | Packed with features (Monochrome, Depth, Portrait, Super Slow-Mo etc.)
  • 960 FPS Super Slow Motion Video Recording
  • Stunning Selfies & Portraits
  • Powerful CPU | High-performance 6 GB RAM & 128 GB Storage
  • Fast Fingerprint Scanner | Gesture Support
  • Dual 4G VoLTE Support
  • Fast Charging Support
  • IP67 – Water Resistant

Weakness

  • No Wireless Charging
  • No MicroSD Support