Now, for me, the P20 Pro with its 3 Leica camera setup is more interesting but Huawei also launched a smaller, baby brother version called the Huawei P20. And, honestly, because it’s very similar and loses a few features but also a chunk of the price, it is probably still worth a look for some people. So, because Huawei was kind enough to send me a P20, I figured I’d do a complete walkthrough for you guys.
If you aren’t familiar, a complete walkthrough on this channel is when I try and go through as many features as I can on a device so you guys are better prepared should you be thinking about buying it.
Now, I also would like to apologize to anyone who read the Huawei P20 Pro Complete Walkthrough I did earlier as because of the similarities in things like software, for example, you might hear some of the same information just repeated again.
With all of that explained, let’s start with the hardware.
The P20 Hardware
Just like the P20 Pro, the P20 comes in the same sick Twilight color that is basically a gradient color going from Green to Blue to Purple that I’m in love with. The P20 I have here is in the only other gradient color that both devices come in (albeit a much more subdued color) called Pink Gold. Which, as I’m sure you can guess, goes from Pink to Gold.
If you don’t like the gradient versions though, there is still a Midnight Blue, Black, and a Champagne Gold that P20 comes in that the P20 Pro doesn’t.
The P20 has a glass back and is curved on all four sides.
The screen is a 5.8″ RGBW LCD screen that is 2244×1080 in resolution.
And, yes, we have a notch, but that notch is thankfully able to be easily hidden by going into the aptly named notch settings and selecting to hide it. Doing so will just turn the status bar black which on the LCD screen isn’t as black as the OLED screen of the P20 Pro but still does a good job of stopping people from asking if you have an iPhone.
At the bottom of the phone, we have a capacitive home button that is also the fingerprint sensor. The button can also be enabled as a form of system navigation if you want by going into settings and hiding the software navigation buttons and then using a tap, tap and hold, or a swipe to get back, home, and multitasking instead.
There is also a facial unlocking feature that works pretty quickly.
The P20 is only IP53 certified (which means it’s not water resistant at all in the way we are used to hearing about nowadays), is 7.65mm thin (0.2mm thinner than the P20 Pro for those that are wondering), and has a 3400mah battery that Huawei says can charge to 58% in just 30 mins.
Audio wise it uses AptX HD (that a lot of flagships have for higher quality audio over Bluetooth) and Sony’s LDAC tech for even higher quality audio over Bluetooth–that not that many headphones/audio players support yet.
At the bottom of the device, we have a USB Type-C port and no headphone jack.
At the top, we have… nothing.
On the left, we have our SIM card slot.
And on the right, we have our volume rocker and power button.
Finally, the Huawei P20 is powered by the Kirin 970 and 4GBs of RAM and has 128GBs of internal storage.
The P20 Software
Software-wise, it’s running Android 8.1 with EMUI 8.1 on top. And it’s the same variety of EMUI that we’re used to seeing so I won’t go through it too much, but, quickly, here are some of the apps that Huawei has pre-installed.
- Amazon: Bloatware for Amazon’s shopping app. (Pretty sure it was pre-installed but not positive. Regardless though, I would have installed it as I have an addiction.)
- Booking.com: Bloatware that takes you to Booking.com’s site.
- Backup: A phone backup and restore program.
- Files: Their own file explorer that can sort by type of file or location.
- Flashlight: Which is used to magically illuminate things behind the phone when you tap this button…
- Gallery: Their own photo album that sorts photos and videos by Albums and locations.
- Health: Huawei’s own health app.
- Hi-Care: Huawei’s customer service portal app.
- Huawei Videos: Huawei’s built-in video player.
- Huawei Wallet: Huawei’s version of Samsung Pay or Android Pay (but it doesn’t work in the US).
- Mirror: A strange app to use as a mirror that offers basically the same features as just turning on the selfie camera…
- Music: Huawei’s own music player.
- Notes: A simple note-taking application.
- Phone Clone: Which allows you to download the app on another phone and quickly transfer all of your photos, videos, apps, etc. from one device to the other.
- Phone Management: Their own app for cleaning up cache/storage, monitoring or limiting mobile data, battery monitoring and scanning for viruses.
- Quik: Bloatware for GoPro’s video editing app.
- Recorder: A simple voice recording app.
- SIM Toolkit: Apps that allow you to adjust how each SIM of the dual SIMs are used in the device.
- System Update: Which is just a shortcut to the system update option in settings.
- Themes: Where you can download or buy new themes from Huawei’s repository.
- Tips: Huawei’s app for showing you how to get more out of the device.
- Translator: A partnership between Microsoft and Huawei. The Translator app is the same one we find in the Play Store but Huawei says Microsoft has tuned it to use the NPU in the Kirin 970 and so it can translate a lot faster than normal.
- Weather: A basic weather app with weather data provided by Accuweather.
Another software thing Huawei has in the P20 Pro is Huawei Share that allows you to share devices with any other Huawei device a lot faster than pairing via Bluetooth manually–think AirDrop for Huawei.
The P20 Camera
The P20 rear camera system is comprised of a 12MP RGB sensor with an aperture of f1.8 and a 20MP monochrome sensor with an aperture of f1.6. Both of these are tuned by Leica.
There is also a 3-meter laser sensor for auto-focus, a color temperature sensor to detect light temp and adjust the white balance of photos, and they claim to have a 4D predictive focus that attempts to guess where a moving subject will be and keep focus better on it.
The idea here is familiar for the most part though. When in auto mode the camera will automatically take the image from the monochrome and RGB sensors and combine them to make a higher-quality image.
The image sensor, just like with the P20 Pro, is actually physically larger than other flagship devices’ sensors (the P20 has a smaller one than the P20 Pro, though).
As for stabilization on the P20, there is no optical stabilization, and instead, Huawei uses what they are calling AIS or AI Image Stabilization, which is a fancy way of saying they think they have a better version of EIS (Electronic Image Stabilization).
The device also has the same AI scene detection that, in auto mode, will detect what you are trying to shoot and automatically adjust the camera settings for you to optimize for that type of photo. The nice thing here though is that there is an X that you can easily tap if you don’t want it to apply the settings and even a setting in the camera settings to completely disable it.
Going through the camera settings we have the following modes besides our normal photo and video:
- Aperture: Allows you to add software enabled bokeh by adjusting a virtual aperture from 0.95 to 16. Think of it like portrait mode in a way.
- Portrait Mode: Similar to aperture mode above, but only seems to work with human beings. Also, this does automatically turn on as part of the AI scene detection if you’re taking a photo of a person (and you can X it out if you don’t want that). But you can also turn it on manually. In addition to blurring out the background it also has a beauty mode that the intensity can be adjusted up or down (something I’ve noticed though, is that even if you turn it all the way off, it still adds a tiny bit of softening and makes your skin a little lighter).
- Night Shot: This setting allows you to take a long exposure shot that holds the shutter open for 4-8 seconds. Huawei claims because of the AIS stabilization this feature can even work handheld (unlike the normal way of having to make sure to mount a camera doing these type of shots or you’ll have a lot of streaks in your image).
- Pro: Allows you to adjust all of the camera’s functions like ISO, shutter speed, exposure, autofocus, white balance, etc.
- Super Slow-Mo: You knew it was coming with all the other devices this year coming with it. It allows 960fps slow motion in 0.2-second bursts creating a 6 second super slow clip in 720P.
- Slow-Mo: Regular slow-motion can also be recorded but at 120 fps in 1080P only (no 240 that I saw in the settings).
- Monochrome: Which of course allows you to use only the monochrome sensor to take black and white photos.
- Time-Lapse: Which allows you to shoot at lower frame rates to have a sped up video.
- HDR: Which is a mode on Huawei devices instead of just being an automatically detected thing in the Auto mode like most manufacturers which I don’t understand.
- Light Painting: Which allows you to create long exposure photos that you’ve undoubtedly seen on social media somewhere.
- Watermark: Think Snapchat stickers based on time, location, etc.
- 3D Panorama: Which lets you circle an object to make a 3D like moveable image (that honestly, I couldn’t get to work well enough to show you the result).
- Panorama: Which we’re used to that let’s you take a wider photo by sticthing photos together.
- Document Scanner: Allows you to take photos of documents (or anything that resembles one really) and it’ll automatically crop it and brighten it.
- Good Food: Which is available in Downloads, and allows you to choose manually to do what I imagine the AI scene detection does automatically when it recognizes food (which is to turn up the saturation basically).
And now, let’s dive quickly into the Settings of the P20’s camera.
- Resolution: You can choose from 20MP 4:3, 12MP 4:3, 9MP 1:1, or 8MP 18:9.
- RAW format: If shooting in Pro mode you can capture RAW format photos. If you don’t know what those are, then you don’t need to enable this probably but it allows for more complex photo editing after the fact, let’s say.
- GPS Tag: Turn on or off whether you want location data stored in the metadata of the image file.
- Add Watermarks: This automatically adds the Leica logo to the photos you take on the rear camera in case you feel like advertising for them for free every time you take a picture.
- Master AI: This allows you to globally turn off the suggested AI scene detection (which is a great addition over the Mate 10 Pro).
- Assistive Grid: Allows you to add various grids to the viewfinder while taking an image to help you line up shots (I personally always use this myself with any camera).
- Mirror Reflection: This flips the front-facing camera around to more resemble a mirror.
- Mute: Turn off camera sounds (why would you ever want a shutter sound frankly?)
- Timer: Set a timer for when the photo is taken after the shutter is pressed of either 2, 5, or 10 seconds.
- Audio Control: Allows you to take photos with your voice by either saying Cheese or when your voice hits a certain decibel level (aka gets loud).
- Touch to Capture: Allows you to tap the screen to take a photo.
- Capture Smiles: Automatically take a photo if it detects anyone smiling in it.
- 4D Predictive Focus: Turns on and off the AI-enabled predictive focus that attempts to figure out where a moving object is heading to keep it in focus better.
- Touch & Hold Shutter Icon: Choose whether you want a burst shot or to lock the focal length when you touch and hold the shutter button.
- Volume Button Function: Choose if you want the volume buttons to take a photo (shutter), zoom in and out, or move the focus in and out.
- Ultra Snapshot: Whenever the screen is off you can double tap the volume down button to either open the camera immediately, open the camera and take a quick photo automatically, or, of course, not do anything.
P20 Pro vs P20
For those curious about the P20 Pro, here is a quick chart of the differences:
[table id=10 /]
And there we go. Hope that wasn’t too long for you guys and that you enjoyed it. Please like, comment or subscribe if you liked it and make sure to tap the bell next to subscribe to be notified when I do new videos, it’s greatly appreciated and don’t forget to follow me on Instagram to see sample photos from the P20 Pro. Thanks!