The P20 and P20 Pro, two quite unique phones from Huawei, were just announced and Huawei was kind enough to give me a little time with each before they were launched. So as is the usual here on my channel, I used that time to try and do a complete walkthrough. Now, if you aren’t familiar, a complete walkthrough on here is me trying to go through as many features as I can on a device so you guys can be better informed on what the device can do before you decide if you want to buy it in the future.
Now, personally, I’m more interested in the P20 Pro with its three-camera setup than I am the P20 so selfishly I’m going to do this walkthrough on that device. I’ll link below the specs differences between the two though as they’re pretty similar anyway for anyone more interested in the baby brother.
With that said, here’s the Huawei P20 Pro.
First and foremost, we have to talk about this color. It’s called Twilight and it’s very reminiscent to me of the color change (sometimes called Chameleon) paint you sometimes see celebrities have on their fancy cars, except in the form of a phone I find it far less douchey. In fact, I’m sort of in love with the color. It’s basically a gradient that goes from Purple to Blue to Green and looks different depending on the lighting.
Now, if you’re not into the flashy nature of this color like I clearly am, there are plenty of other options, including a very sexy Midnight Blue and a Pink Gold that I didn’t get a chance to see but was told is a gradient like the Twilight but in a pink to gold version, and then, if none of those appeal to you, there’s, of course, a black version.
The device is made out of glass and has curved edges on all four sides.
The screen is a 6.1″ OLED 18.7:9 2240×1080 screen and yes, it has a notch.
But, Huawei had the sense to at least add a software feature that, when turned on, hides the notch by simply making the status bar entirely black instead of transparent.
At the other side of the screen, we have a front-facing fingerprint sensor that Huawei allows to also be used as navigation where you can turn off the on-screen navigation buttons and use a system of swipes and taps to get home, go back, or open multitasking, etc.
They’ve also enabled a facial unlocking feature, that I was surprised by. I set it up, and, while trying to film it, kept pushing the button to show you guys it unlocking but it just kept taking me to the home screen so I assumed maybe it wasn’t on. I turned it away, pushed the button, and it did, in fact, ask for a face. Turning it towards me it then unlocked. So, needless to say, at least in the conditions I was in, it’s a seriously fast solution that I look forward to putting through its paces when I have the device for a longer period of time.
The P20 Pro is also IP67 certified, is about 7.8mm thick and has a 4000mah battery that Huawei says will charge from 0-58% in about 30 mins and supports up to 1.2Gbps LTE.
Audio hardware wise it has Sony’s LDAC 990kbps which is some of the highest quality Bluetooth audio streaming you can get, although there aren’t many devices that can utilize it frankly. With that said, there is, of course, no headphone jack and just a USB-C port at the bottom.
At the top, we have an IR blaster that we’ll get into more in a sec.
On the left, we only have a SIM card/MicroSD card slot.
And on the right, we have our power button and volume rocker.
Finally, on the hardware-side, we have the Kirin 970 powering the device, the same as the Huawei Mate 10 Pro, along with 6GBs of RAM with a 128GBs of storage.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Recorder: A simple voice recording app.
- Smart Remote: Which uses the built-in IR blaster to use the phone as a universal remote to control any number of devices from TVs to ACs to Cameras, etc.
- 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.
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.
And sharing that photo brings us to the big feature that Huawei’s been teasing with this phone for weeks. It’s the three O’s in their See Mooore campaign–the cameras.
This is now the first Leica powered three camera system and, honestly, it’s more than a gimmick (at least in my initial use, but we’ll put the camera through proper paces soon as I get more time with the device).
This collection of three cameras is comprised of on 20MP Monochrome sensor with an aperture of f1.6, a 40MP RGD main camera with an aperture of f.18, and an 8MP telephoto one with an f2.4 aperture. 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 telephoto lens here is just for another option when zooming in. It’s a 3x optical zoom compared to the 2x on the S9+, Note8, and iPhone X and they’ve added up to 5x zoom through software that they say doesn’t affect quality, and from there it’s a normal crappy digital zoom that gets blurred as you pinch-in up to 10x. Could be interesting to see how well it does though, as I for one, like the idea of having a 3x zoom to allow me to take more types of photos, in the same way, I would swap lenses on my mirrorless camera.
Now, according to Huawei, we not only have these higher megapixel cameras, but we also have a sensor that is 223% larger than the iPhone X sensor and 170% larger than the Galaxy S9 sensor which allows the device to get up to 102,400 extended ISO (which I wasn’t able to display in Pro mode but was told the camera is capable of so we’ll test that, too when we can).
As far as stabilization, the telephoto camera has optical stabilization, while the other cameras have AIS, as Huawei is calling it, which they claim is AI assisted stabilization or an advanced form of electronic stabilization. Which you can see me quickly messing with in a video here (full test in the future).
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:
- Pro: Allows you to adjust all of the camera’s functions like ISO, shutter speed, exposure, autofocus, white balance, etc.
- Night Shot: This setting allows you to take a long exposure shot that holds the shutter open for 4 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).
- 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.
- Portrait Mode: Now 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. If you aren’t familiar it’s the concept of blurring out the background of a photo using software.
P20 Pro vs P20
For those curious about the P20, 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 when I can get one. Thanks!