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Huawei P20 Review: The Best Camera Phone for Instagramers

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Huawei shook the whole smartphone industry with the arrival of the new Huawei P20 series. Its revolutionary triple camera system of the pricier P20 Pro earned positive reviews and praises from many Asian and European tech bloggers and vloggers. Its design was also praised.

We see less reviews of the regular Huawei P20 but we were surprised of what this smartphone can do. As our daily driver for the past three weeks, we want to share our most honest review yet. Check it out.

Huawei P20 specs:

  • Octa Core HiSilicon 970 processor
  • Mali G71 MP12 graphics
  • 4GB RAM
  • 128GB internal memory
  • 5.8-inch Full HD LTPS IPS LCD display (1080 x 2244) 18.7:9 aspect ratio
  • 12 megapixel (f/1.8 aperture) + 20 megapixel (f/1.6 aperture) with Leica optics, PDAF, dual LED flash
  • 24 megapixel front camera with f/2.0 aperture
  • Dual SIM, Dual Standby
  • 4G/LTE, WiFi, Bluetooth, Fingerprint Scanner, USB Type C
  • GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS
  • 3,400 mAh battery with Fast Charging
  • Android 8.1 Oreo with EMUI 8.1
  • Price: P34,990
  • Status: Available at Huawei stores and retailers

Related article – Huawei P20 Unboxing and First Impressions

HARDWARE AND DESIGN

We’ve discussed much of its design on our first impressions article. One big con of the Huawei P20 is it is not water and dust resistant unlike the P20 Pro. We hope Huawei could also made it IP68 certified considering the price of the device.

Getting that off our shoulders and we have the most beautifully crafted and sophisticated look in a smartphone. It is by far the most good looking smartphone among 2018 flagships – Galaxy S9, Xperia XZ2 and even the newly launched LG G7 ThinQ.

We actually dropped the phone twice already and good thing the hold remained solid and didn’t acquire any scratches. The phone is so slippery and sometimes it wanders off on a perfectly leveled table which is weird. Good thing Huawei included a jelly case to protect the chassis.

DISPLAY

Because of its small and almost small bezels, the phone seems so small and you won’t notice the 5.8-inch display is actually large.  The phone has an IPS LCD display which it is fine outdoors but it struggles a bit under direct sunlight. Nonetheless, it is a good display with great color accuracy and saturation. Being also a 1080p display is not a bother to us. It saves battery because of its lower power consumption.

The notch? Well, there’s nothing we can say about it. We hate it honestly but Huawei has an option to hide it and that’s the P20’s best feature.

SOFTWARE AND PERFORMANCE

We do love Huawei’s custom skin EMUI but it is not our favorite. Let’s talk about the positives first. EMUI is giving you more options such as hiding that notch, power options,a and gesture options. There is face unlock to which works fast even in low light situations.

On the flip side, we encountered some weird software glitches. Like one time the phone just froze and we have to reboot it. Another instance while booking for a Grab ride, we can’t see the whereabouts of our driver. Though they are not frequent, it is still quite annoying.  Worry not, Huawei is faster on updates and this will be fixed in no time.

Huawei has also recently joined Google’s Android P beta program. This also means we will get updates for the Huawei P20 when the final Android P comes out later this year. There will be guaranteed update to Android Q as well.

CAMERA

Just like the Mate 10 Pro, the cameras on the Huawei P20 is also powered by AI (Articial Intelligence). This time, the dual rear cameras can identify more shooting subjects and automatically adjusts the settings. The photos taken were mind blowing. Colors do pop indeed!

We are not professional photographers but we know a good photo. Using the AI backed auto settings, photos appeared to be over saturated. That is not a bad thing and many of those we showed our sample shots tend to like them. Those can be corrected when you use the pro mode in which you can manually adjust settings.

Behold and check out our sample photos of different subjects and situations.

CONNECTIVITY

All connectivity options are available – WiFi, Bluetooth, Huawei Share, 4G/LTE and NFC. Data transfers are easier when you use Huawei share. It is like Apple’s airdrop but it only works with Huawei devices. Calls are clear with no issues of call drops. Network signal is highly stable. 4G’LTE is normal with no incident of signal drops.

BATTERY

The 3,400 mAh battery can survive a whole day of mixed moderate to heavy use. With the good choice of a 1080p display, a power efficient Kirin 970 processor and EMUI’s software optimizations, we manage to get around 12 hours of use – Netflix, games, You Tube, I Want TV and social media. Not bad!

VERDICT

Now here’s a decision point. Will you get the P20 or the P20 Pro? If you are an Instagrammer and you simply love taking photos in simply point-and-shoot way, get the Huawei P20. Its cheaper and the AI works very well. You also get a great design, guaranteed Android updates, stable battery life and an amazing display. It is one phone you really need to look at. 🙂

Using a Huawei P9 or the P10? Time to upgrade! 😀

We also give our #FTARecommended Seal for the best camera in low light photography and gorgeous design.

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