Huawei Unveils the P20 and P20 Pro with Impressive Cameras and Notch Display Design

BY Rajesh Pandey

Published 27 Mar 2018

Huawei today unveiled its latest flagship smartphone for Europe: the P20. The company launched not one but three different variants of the handset to cater to a wider range of audience. Alongside the P20, Huawei also launched the P20 Pro and the P20 Lite.

Huawei P20

First, let’s talk about the Huawei P20. The handset will sport a 5.8-inch FHD+ (2240 x 1080) LCD display at the front with a notch design similar to that of the iPhone X. The notch is smaller than that of the iPhone X but it is still there nonetheless. The bottom bezel on the handset is also slim but Huawei has still managed to fit in a fingerprint there. In case you don’t like the notch, Huawei does offer an option in Emotion UI 8.1 that allows one to mask the bezel by disabling parts of the screen surrounding it. Instead, the notifications will be displayed below the notch thereby giving an impression that there’s no cutout on the display. While the P20 lacks wireless charging, it is IP53 certified thereby making it dust and splash resistant.

Bucking the trend of 18:9 aspect ratio displays, the handset features a 19:9 aspect ratio display keeping the notch in mind. It will be powered by Huawei’s octa-core Kirin 970 chipset clocked at 2.36GHz. This will be paired with 4GB RAM and 128GB of internal storage. The Chinese OEM has given the 3.5mm headphone jack and the microSD card slot a boot on the P20 this time around. It does make up for it by upping the base storage on the device to 128GB though. There will also be a 6GB RAM variant of the handset carrying a slightly higher price tag.

The rear of the P20 will sport a dual-camera setup with Leica branding. The primary camera 12MP camera has been paired with a 20MP monochrome sensor that allows the handset to offer hybrid zoom. The 12MP sensor has a wide f/1.8 aperture and large 1.55um pixels that should allow it to capture more light in low-light scenarios. The 20MP monochrome lens features a f/1.6 aperture. The 24MP camera hidden inside the notch at the front is also used for face unlocking purposes by Huawei.

The P20 will sport the usual connectivity options and sensors including Wi-Fi ac, Gigabit LTE, fingerprint scanner, dual-SIM support, VoLTE, Bluetooth 5, and more. There’s no headphone jack on the phone sadly. All this will be powered by a 3400mAh battery with Huawei’s proprietary SuperCharge technology support. On the software side, both handsets are running on Android 8.1 Oreo with the latest version of Huawei’s Emotion UI on top of it.

The base variant of the P20 is priced at £680 in Europe.

Huawei P20 Pro

As the name suggests, the P20 Pro is the ‘pro’ model of the regular P20 aimed at hardcore users. It packs all the bells and whistles that its smaller brother lacks. The biggest differentiator between the two phones is in terms of their screen size and battery capacity. The P20 Pro features a 6.1-inch OLED display with a 19:9 aspect ratio. Unlike Samsung and other OEMs, Huawei continues to use an FHD+ (2240 x 1080) resolution display on the handset for the optimum mix of performance and battery life. Like the P20, there is a notch at the top of the P20 Pro as well. It is also not truly a bezel-less phone as the bottom chin of the phone houses a fingerprint scanner. Like the P20, the notch on the P20 Pro can also be masked using software trickery.

The most interesting part of the P20 Pro design is the twilight series of colors. Apart from offering the phone in the usual black, gold, and blue colors, the P20 Pro will be available in a bunch of gradient finish. The twilight finish in particular changes colors depending on how light strikes it and looks pretty darn cool.

The highlight of the P20 Pro is its triple-camera setup at the rear. Its the first smartphone to feature three cameras at the rear. The primary camera features a staggering 40MP resolution and its paired with a secondary 8MP telephoto lens. This allows the P20 Pro to offer 5x hybrid zoom or 3x optical zoom. The third sensor is a monochrome one meant for capturing more details. While Huawei will allow you to take shots at full 40MP, it will by default output photos at 10MP resolution. For this, the phone’s camera will take data from four adjacent pixels to output cleaner and less noisy 10MP photos. Huawei is calling this feature Light Fusion and its similar to pixel binning tech used by various other OEMs in the past. Interestingly, only the telephoto lens has OIS while the other two lens makes use of Huawei’s AI-powered stabilization (AIS as Huawei calls it). There are plenty of camera features on the P20 Pro including a 5-second long exposure mode. The 4D Predective Focus relies on laser, depth, contrast, and face detection to quickly achieve focus irrespective of the situation.

Huawei is particularly proud of the triple camera setup on the P20 Pro. The handset even tops the DxOMark’s smartphone camera ranking currently with a photo score of 114, which puts it significantly ahead of the Pixel 2 and the Galaxy S9.

There’s a 24MP selfie camera at the front which also makes use of Light Fusion to output lower resolution but detailed selfies. Huawei also uses this 24MP camera to offer face unlock on the handset.

Like the P20, the Pro variant also uses the Kirin 970 chipset running at 2.36GHz. In Europe, Huawei will be launching the handset with 6GB RAM and 128GB of storage. Other parts of the world might also see an 8GB RAM/256GB storage variant of the device going on sale. The handset is powered by a beefy 4000mAh battery with Huawei’s SuperCharge support. There’s no headphone jack on the P20 Pro but unlike its smaller brother, the Pro variant does feature an IP67 rating making it dust and water-resistant. Oh, and there’s an IR blaster as well.