Huawei P20 Pro Review: the best top of the range in circulation

huawei p20 pro review

Il Huawei P20 Pro it is the perfect embodiment of the maturity achieved by the Chinese company on the international scene, especially as regards the high end of the market. The new top of the Asian giant's range includes a mix of technology and elegance (though not very original in terms of design) that do not go unnoticed.

But how will you behave in our stress tests in everyday use? Find out in our review of the Huawei P20 Pro.

Huawei P20 Pro Review

Sales package

The box that was supplied to us (and which should be the same as the sales box) contains:

  • Pin to extract the SIM slot;
  • Type-C adapter for 3.5 mm mini-jacks;
  • USB Type-C Type A charging cable;
  • Type-C headphones;
  • Super Charge wall power supply.

Design & Materials

The smartphone is characterized by aesthetic lines clearly inspired byiPhone X with small details that contribute to attribute a specific personality. The dimensions are of 155 x 73.9 x 7.8 mm for a total weight of 180 grams. Certification is present IP67 against water and dust.

The notch is present in the front of the upper profile à the iPhone X (called by the company "Notch"In Italian) that contains a camera from Mega-pixel 24.8 with CMOS sensor accompanied by the slightly off-center earpiece in addition to the notification LED and the brightness and proximity sensors. The display is a unit OLED from 6.1 inches of diagonal with relationship 19:9 and resolution FHD +.

huawei p20 pro review

On the lower profile, on the other hand, the physical button is positioned without running with support for styled gestures Meizu. On the right profile there are the volume rocker and the slightly knurled on and off button with a red color to be better identified.

The slot is located on the left side dual SIM (both in Nano format). At the top is the IR sensor which allows you to control and control appliances and the second microphone for the reduction of environmental noise. At the bottom there is the main speaker, the door USB Type-C 3.1 and the main microphone.

Analyzing the back of the terminal, the similarities with theiPhone X in the provision of the 3 cameras placed vertically together with the color spectrum sensor, the laser autofocus and the LED flash. The back is made of metal with a special highly reflective chrome but at the same time elegant. Our unity is in coloration Midnight Blue but the real innovation lies in the variant Twilight very particular and finally different from the usual colors.

The perimeter profile is finally made of silver colored metal in the blue and black color in the Black variant. Very elegant, in my opinion, the choice of positioning the logo and writing horizontally.

huawei p20 pro review

Display

As anticipated, the display is a unit from 6.1 diagonal inches with report 19:9 and resolution FHD + 2240 × 1080 pixels. One of the main criticisms of this panel concerns the Notch which is however deactivatable or better hideaway via software. Many applications such as Instagram for example are not well optimized to work with the Notch and therefore the possibility of hiding it using the panel OLED It is very apt.

huawei p20 pro review

Compared to what has already been seen on Huawei Mate 10 Pro, P20 Pro improves even more the quality of the panel and color calibration very close to the solutions adopted by Samsung on its latest top of the range. The leap in quality compared to P10 it is drastic with vivid colors, convincing brightness (but not as high as it is Mate 10 Pro) and a rounding in the corners pleasing to the eye.

Huawei he also introduced a kind of true Tone automatic called "Natural tone"Which automatically changes the color temperature based on surrounding ambient light conditions. The touchscreen is very responsive as well as the feedback of the vibration we had already appreciated on Mate 10 Pro.

huawei p20 pro review

Hardware and Performance

Il Huawei P20 Pro It is moved by the processor octa-core HiSilicon Kirin 970 accompanied by one GPU Mali-G72 MP12, 6 GB of RAM LPDDR4X, 128 GB of internal UFS 2.1 memory not expandable via micro SD and a named neural processor NPU dedicated to the management of artificial intelligence.

The same solution has already been evaluated on the occasion of Mate 10 Pro but here it seems to have gained greater reliability with very convincing performance in everyday use. We have never detected a lag or slowing down and above all multitasking has always allowed us to manage fast switches without a hitch. The manufacturer has optimized the device to the best, making it practical in all uses. Excellent work under this by Huawei.

By exploiting the terminal for the execution of benchmarks or boosted gaming sessions, temperatures have never reached too high peaks, guaranteeing satisfactory performance.

Connectivity

Il P20 Pro is equipped with a double SIM slot standby in Nano format with support for connectivity LTE Cat.18 to 1.2 Gbps. The reception is in line with the renamed and appreciated quality of Huawei. The WiFi è Dual Band a 2.4 / 5 GHz with support for protocols 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac. The Bluetooth instead it is updated to the protocol 4.2

Do not miss the support for GPS / A-GPS / Galileo / BeiDou with a very quick and precise fix even from the exit of tunnels and places closed while driving. Finally, support forNFC which, in the future, will allow exploitation Huawei Wallet e Huawei Pay for contactless payments.

huawei p20 pro review

Audio and Telephone Section

The device is equipped with a system Dual speaker characterized by a main box placed at the bottom and by the ear box that acts as tweeter when we rotate the display. There is no lack of software technology support Dolby Atmos whose parameters are adjustable via software. The quality in multimedia playback is of a good level with a convincing sound power in line with what already seen with Mate 10 Pro.

No problem in calling with clean incoming audio and also in output thanks to the automatic optimization technology introduced to the microphone introduced for the first time with the launch of the Mate 10 Pro.

The mini jack from 3.5 mm for headphones but in the package there is an adapter to take advantage of the door Type-C with the classic wired earphones. There are also USB Type-C headphones in bundle of discrete workmanship and quality.

Photo gallery

Il Huawei P20 Pro is equipped with a triple photo system divided as follows:

  • RGB sensor from 40 mega-pixel with f / 1.8 aperture;
  • Monochromatic (black and white) sensote from 20 mega-pixel with f / 1.6 aperture;
  • 3X 8X XegaMicX telescope sensor with f / 2.4 opening.

huawei p20 pro review

The three sensors, made in collaboration with Leica, are accompanied by a color spectrum sensor edited by the same company and a Laser Autofocus that manages to work up to 2.4 meters distance (against the1.2 m from Huawei P10), as well as from Flash LED.

The three combined sensors allow you to shoot with 3X optical zoom, Hybrid to 5X and digital up to 10X to the resolution of 10 mega-pixels. The result convinces and is very interesting in situations of distant subjects. Below are some examples of shots taken using the two main shooting distances.

Automatic scene recognition automatically intervenes to improve shooting quality (can be deactivated).

You can not take a 40 mega-pixels taking advantage of the digital zoom only, which is a bit annoying in the quick switch between the resolution a 40 mega-pixels e 10 mega-pixels to take advantage of the zoom. An automatic switch between the two resolutions would have been preferable when trying to zoom into the scene in the camera app. You will find yourself, however, to shoot almost totally at 10 mega-pixels for convenience and speed of use. The shots made in 40 mega-pixel are well defined, full of details but in practice they do not differ so much if not in the crop of the shots compared to the results obtained using the most convenient and versatile resolution to 10 mega-pixels.

To signal that in the switch between the various zoom modes theAI takes a few seconds to "stabilize" the scene and then return excellent profile results.

Compared to Huawei Mate 10 Pro, P20 Pro can count well 19 scene automatic managed byAI that in80% cases are detected correctly. In some circumstances, in fact, theAI interprets strong colors such as green as vegetables or snow, even if they are totally different subjects.

The HDR can only be activated manually but in this week of prolonged and intense use I could see how this functionality is partly integrated within the management of the scenes of the AI. As seen in the pictures below, in some cases leaving a few seconds to the software before shooting is possible to obtain more contrasted photos and more suited to ambient light conditions.

At night the P20 Pro excels and stands at the top of the category beating, in some cases, in a net competition. Technology Light Fusion introduced by the Chinese company allows to "merge" 4 pixels in 1 to return balanced, defined and well-contrasted shots.

The camera application includes a mode notte that compared to the past allows you to use extended exposure time with free hand without the aid of a tripod. The results are of the highest level with times of 4 and 8 seconds with "transformed" images compared to what you can see from the viewfinder and the naked eye. Huawei during the presentation of the device he said "we will take out details that the eye does not see", this statement is partly confirmed by the performances we have found. Here are some examples:

In some cases, however, theAI in point and shoot it does even better than night mode in common and not extreme use circumstances as reported cases poco over it. This is visible from the shots below. In my opinion this is definitely a plus as a smartphone that in the tip and snaps returns so solid performance has a gear more than the competition.

I really appreciated the portrait mode that automatically detects the subject framed and applies a very good and successful bokeh effect in the background. To date, I think that this implementation is one of the best, if not the best, in the category.

Also excellent are the macros that maintain the detail even in unfavorable ambient light conditions:

There are also some additional shooting and recording modes:

  • Pro;
  • HDR;
  • Text;
  • Light-Painting;
  • Time-Lapse;
  • Panorama;
  • 3D panorama;
  • Filter;
  • Black and white;
  • Super Slow-motion.

Videos can be recorded at the maximum resolution 4K without stabilization or Full HD with a truly amazing software stabilization. In fact, at times, it seems to use a gimbal. Too bad that in 4K the absence of stabilization puts the P20 Pro under the competitors like the Samsung Galaxy S9 +. In case you decide to record videos in Full HD you will still be surprised by the quality of theAIS di Huawei (AI Stabilization).

Huawei he also introduced slow-motion a 960 fps a 720p that with an excellent ambient brightness return a good effect but compared to what is seen on S9 and on Sony Xperia XZ2 they have too many artifacts.

The front camera, on the other hand, has a sensor CMOS da 24.8 mega-pixels that guarantees decent level selfies. Despite the high resolution, the selfies made do not reach the top of the category resulting in some cases burned with strong or slightly micro-wavy ambient lights. In this case, resolution is not everything.

From the software point of view, Huawei has introduced the possibility to modify the lighting of the framed subject as already seen on iPhone X with discreet but improved results especially in the definition of the contours of the subjects.

Photo taken with Huawei P20 Pro

Fingerprint reader and Face ID

The fingerprint reader is very fast and responsive. Recognizing the finger 10/10 even if at an early stage if you are used to one 18:9 classic you have to resume the hand with the idea of ​​having a physical frontal button. It is still a good choice to improve the user experience thanks to the gestures and fully enjoy this format of display.

Very good and fast Face ID called from Huawei "Unlock with a smile". I was pleasantly impressed by the speed of unlock and recognition. At night it loses a few hits but considering that the implementation is software the work done is very good profile.

huawei p20 pro review

As well as on iPhone X, if the relative option is active, it will be possible to hide the contents of the notifications in the screen lock until the face is recognized. The unlocking animation, finally, is clearly inspired by the iPhone with a lock that opens in recognition.

I finally appreciated the ability to unlock the device without pressing the power button simply by lifting it and framing the face using the movement sensors of the terminal. In this case the release will take place with a fraction of a second delay but the convenience of this option is worth the slight "delay" in the recognition.

Battery and Autonomy

The battery is a unit from 4000 mAh enclosed in a thickness of 7.8 mm. A plaud to Huawei under this point of view in the optimization of the spaces of the internal components. The smartphone does not betray the expectations and confirms a very valid device from the standpoint of autonomy with almost 6 hours on screen turned on intense use that rise to 7/8 with medium / intense use. Also on the P20 Pro you can select the dark theme for the interface in order to save battery. Quick charge support is present Super Charge owner of Huawei which allows you to recharge the terminal from 0 a 100% in about 1 hours e 30 minutes.

Il P20 Pro is currently one of the best top of the range in circulation for autonomy and reliability of use with a single charge.

We report as a lack, given the market trend, the wireless charging that would make this smartphone really complete from a technological point of view. Huawei however he introduced this technology for the first time on the Mate RS also announced together with the series P20.

huawei p20 pro battery

Software and interface

Il P20 Pro is moved by the operating system Android 8.1 Oreo custom interface with proprietary interface EMUI 8.1. The customization made by Huawei does not introduce substantial changes compared to what has already been seen on Mate 10 Pro but some interesting options to make the most of the notch and the fingerprint sensor.

The notch, in fact, is not supported as anticipated in many apps like Instagram, Facebook and so on with a display interrupted at some points. About that Huawei has introduced the possibility of standardizing the two ends of the display turning the smartphone into a 18:9. The peculiarity of this mode is the use as Second Display of the two ends which makes the notch itself innovative or at least useful.

huawei p20 pro software

There are no known features of theEMUI as the Twin App that allow you to duplicate an application like WhatsApp o controls with movement to launch certain applications, answer the phone or perform actions using the knuckles. Always comfortable to draw a line with the knuckle by placing the app in multiwindows.

The panel OLED could be exploited with a mode Always-on and the P20 Pro it integrates but that returns very little information limiting itself to the missed calls and SMS. Really a pity that Huawei has not improved this feature already implemented in the Mate 10 Pro.

Support is also present PC Mode already seen in operation on Mate 10 Pro which allows you to use a cable HDMI connected to a monitor to turn the smartphone into a desktop location. The software in fact once detected the monitor will change the interface and will allow you to open applications, minimize them and work on "folders" like a normal desktop from PC.

As regards the fingerprint reader, the same can be used as a navigation key by means of gestures or alternatively you can activate the on-screen navigation bar, a floating button that supports navigation gestures or even a kind of styled bar iPhone X with the same gestures of the physical key.

From the point of view of design, Huawei it has aroused a bit of the aesthetics of the software by introducing new themes and redesigning the icons.

huawei p20 pro software

Conclusions

I can define the Huawei P20 Pro as the best smartphone on the market for quality / price and especially for the balance of hardware features as well as software proposals. The photographic sector is in my opinion the best in circulation thanks to a AI well implemented, a very convincing night management and an ease of use suitable for anyone.

The performances guarantee a daily use at the top and even if the benchmarks are inferior to the competitors the results are not seen in the management of the applications whatever they are. The presence of a physical key on a display in 19:9 and the possibility of disabling the notch gives one more gear to this terminal if compared to competitors. Another very important aspect is the autonomy that allows you to arrive in the evening or even the day after with light use.

Among the cons in the purchase of this device include the lack of wireless charging, the micro SD slot and a stabilization in 4K poco suited to a top of the range.

The list price of Huawei P20 Pro and of 899 € in the chromatic variants Black, Midnight Blue e Twilight but it is already available at pre-order on Amazon a 858€. If the street price will reach i 699 € in the coming months the P20 Pro it will really become a best-buy difficult to counter.


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Honor