Huawei P20 Pro: Long term review
Huawei is about to release their 2019 flagship Huawei P30 pro next week. Same time last year, the company brought the 2018 Camera King Huawei P20 Pro. The Huawei P20 pro was the first phone with a 3 camera set up at the back. It scored a whopping 109 in DxOmark benchmarks score, which is still one the highest.
The device when came out was among the best out there for smartphone photography and was backed by a very promising setup.
The Huawei P20 Pro, Is the premium offering of the Huawei smartphones. The phone was launched back when we were in early stages of notches, sporting a 6.1-inch OLED display with a resolution of 1080×2240 pixels at an aspect ratio of 19:9 thanks to a notch smaller than that can be found on iPhone X.
The smartphone is powered by Huawei’s Kirin 970 SoC, an octa-core processor clocked at 1.8GHz. There is 6GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage which isn’t expandable. The P20 Pro runs Android 8.1 Oreo and has Huawei’s custom EMUI 8.1 on top. The smartphone now has been updated to EMUI 9.0 based on Android Pie. You get dual-SIM support with two Nano SIM slots. The smartphone is powered by a 4000mAh battery and can be charged via the USB Type-C port. The phone supports fast charging but doesn’t come with a fast charger in-box.
The triple camera system at the back consists of an 8-megapixel sensor with a telephoto lens, a 40-megapixel primary sensor and a 20-megapixel monochrome sensor. The selfie camera has a 24-megapixel sensor alongside the microphone.
The Huawei flagship launched with then flagship HiSilicon Kirin 970 which is developed in-house by Huawei, the SoC is paired with 6GB of RAM. The phone performed better than Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 processor powered smartphones and did stood up to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 powered phones.
The Kirin 970 chipset brings in better RAM management and battery performance. The Huawei P20 Pro is still very much efficient in loading heavy apps as it was earlier. Near lag-less experience, while playing games such as PUBG: mobile, Asphalt 9.
There is no overheating issue, the at top hits 35-degree Celsius while loading heavy apps and charging using the fast charger. While the ageing of the phone has led to a fall in the benchmarks score, but the real-life usage hasn’t changed a bit.
Although the Kirin 970 is a perfect match for the P20 Pro the whole EMUI is a bit too fixated to optimising the SoC which sometimes holds the device back from its true potential.
Huawei has collaborated with Leica (Among the oldest camera brand), for the rear cameras. The phone was touted to perform similar or even better than SLRs on a few occasions. The smartphone features a 40MP main camera, a 20MP Ultrawide Camera and an 8MP telephoto camera. Sporting a wide range of Focal length, similar to 16-270mm Zoom lens.
The phone actually performs up to the claims the company made. The best camera phone available at this price, the smartphone shocked the world with record highest DxOmark benchmarks for the rear setup. The phone has a 3x optical zoom, 2x hybrid zoom and another 5x digital zoom.
During the launch event, Huawei did special emphasis on the zooming capabilities it has endowed thanks to the third lens on this smartphone. We tested the same claims and found that the phone did make the solid case for the claims made by the company.
We were impressed by the 5x hybrid zoom and even 10x zoom how less the images were distorted after being scoped under 3 different zooms.
The phone keeps quality and details as the priority when it comes to images taken from the back camera. Leica has partnered with Huawei and has changed the camera app. The camera app has a scene detection feature which auto-fills colours according to the scene giving better results. Night mode on the smartphone is good, keeps the details of the image intact while the images aren’t as bright as we have seen in OnePlus 6 and Pixel phones.
When it comes to the front facing camera, the phone has only got a single shooter placed on the notch with a speaker and another sensor. The front facing camera might be the lowest point of the phone but still performs at par with other phones available in the same range.
Even after close to a year of launch the benchmarks given by a year-old P20 pro performs very similarly to the new phone when it comes to optics, the camera performance has been a little bit improved due to the regular software updates provided by the company.
The smartphone packs in 4000 mAh battery, supported fast charging. The smartphone came in with a 5V/2A charger in the box, which gave a pretty decent charging speed. The optional fast charger could be bought from the store, while quick charging using the fast charger phone could charge up twice as fast as before.
The phone has quite a big screen, OLED panel requires more battery, the company went with 4000 mAh battery. Which is quite big as compared to other smartphones batteries! Initially, the phone did last long spells of not charging. In the initial days, the full charge was able to pull off more than 24 hours. Which seemed quite a big thing, when considering OLED panel and the latest processor. Although, after the phone became a bit old(6-8 months), The time on screen did get down. While the battery settings on system settings still show that the phone might get you around 15 hours on performance mode. But, the battery took more than a 50% dive in over 5 games of PubG mobile on balanced mode.
The 4000 mAh battery takes a bit longer to charge, While the successors of the phone Huawei Honor view 20 and Huawei mate 20 has 40W supercharge support while the Huawei p20 pro lacks the same. This issue might affect the person who doesn’t like to charge their smartphones overnight to prevent battery issues over time. Even the smartphone misses out on Wireless charging, which is now available in all of the leading smartphones.
Huawei has come a long way when it comes to EMUI, Huawei launched the 2018 flagship with EMUI 8.0 based on Android Oreo but has updated the smartphone to EMUI 9.0 based Android Pie, as the first priority for the firm. The company started updating the Huawei P20 pro just after a week to the launch of Mate 20 Pro.
EMUI not only bring stability to the smartphone but also brings better battery performance and Full power performance. The EMUI custom ROM might be good, but brings in a lot of bloatware with it. Even the fastest processors on the smartphone don’t appear snappy on the custom ROM. Huawei has come a long way in building their ROM, Having included the best features such as Desktop mode, ultra battery saver and many others which enhance user experience and still keeping the phone simple to use.
Huawei P20 Pro the camera king from Huawei came to be one of the best smartphones in 2018. The design of the smartphone was up to date per the standards of 2018. Phone sported a small Notch on top and a fingerprint module at the chin. The Chin because of the fingerprint sensor is massive and defeats the purpose of a Bezel-less display.
It seems to have been outdated when it comes to design
But the design was not the reason why this smartphone was critically acclaimed in the first place. Performance of this smartphone is notably good in terms of hardware performance of Kirin 970 processor is to be considered. The camera which was the high point of this smartphone is still standing strong, as the image quality still remains best available in the market. The OLED panel on the smartphone does produce good colours, but the always-on display does not have much effect or use.
The smartphone is still a good buy when it comes to the camera, the design of the phone being outdated but is still premium enough to make the phone appealing. The things which are not in favour of this smartphone is the outdated Kirin 970 processor and effective fast charging. At a price of Rs 50,000 the phone is still appealing for the camera geeks and enthusiasts but if you are looking for overall better smartphone Huawei Mate 20 Pro is a better option where you get a better design, better camera setup, better all-around device for a bit more money.