Huawei P20 Pro Review – Let’s see if its truly worth $975

It seems like it’s never quite enough to just nail all the pillars of a great smartphone and put it out. It seems like not only do you have to do all of that but you have to take one of them and push it to the absolute extreme and by that I mean the maximum. And Huawei P20 pro is definitely what it looks like when you nail all the pillars of a great smartphone, and then take one of them to the very next level.

Android Smartphone Huawei P20 Pro Review

So this is one of those phones you might have heard a lot about recently. I mean it was literally everywhere, from TV commercials to Billboards and from Youtube Ads to Amazon’s homepage.

Now let me make it very clear to you guys. This Android smartphone is not coming to the US. Huawei phones, in general, have just been getting my attention more and more lately, but this one just captured it completely. This time, this very new generation has a crazy new color, triple cameras on the back, 4000mAh battery and it has scored freaking 109 on DxO Mark.

So I picked it up, I used it and here are my thoughts. ( This review is not sponsored by Huawei, everything here is my personal thoughts. )

So aesthetics wise I do like this phone a lot but then it has a couple of flaws. It’s not perfect but it’s one of the few really unique looking phones out there in the market. Personally, I really appreciate it. I mean at least Huawei has tried to bring something new to its customers and brand followers. They have taken the risk and trust me the outcome is truly a masterpiece.

Crazy Colors

Oh man, how do I describe this to your guys?

The gradient color in the back of P20 Pro is simply gorgeous. I mean it’s a crazy looking awesome. When you flip the phone to the back it blends from like aqua green color to blue to purple and that in different amounts, all depending on from where you look at it.

This is definitely the coolest looking one android smartphone I have ever held in my hands. And for all those design freaks, this gradient is called Twilight.

It’s weird that there’s a lot of text on the back of the phone. I would think it would look a lot cleaner if all those texts and messages weren’t here. This just is what it is. It’s a super unique, colorful but also fingerprint and dust magnet phone.

It has got your power button and your volume rocker on the same side. Its whole body is prime. It’s what you’d expect from a high-end 2018 flagship, which it is. Metal rails, curved edges, its IP 607 water resistant, which is always nice. It’s definitely not too thin, you know, feel solid and the hand nice weight. It has an IR blaster which not every phone does now but also notes payable, storage, and no headphone jack.

Its camera bump is also mildly annoying to me because it sticks out enough from the phone that it will rock on a table. I just got to point that out mainly because not all flagship smartphones have a problem, but it’s not a dealbreaker.

Design

My biggest? Is on the front of this phone so it has a notch. So, not just what you do and phone in 2018. When you want to get rid of all the bezels but you don’t quite have the technology to fully do so. So you know, the front facing speaker. The selfie camera. You, Gotta, keep them just make a little cut out around them, fine. I get it. This phone also has a fingerprint scanner on the front and then a huge empty gin bezel with nothing else in it. No buttons, just a bezel like you’re either trying to get rid of the bezel or you’re not.

The fingerprint reader is on the front it still super fast. I don’t mind being here. Huawei does that may be better than anyone still. Furthermore, it also acts as a gesture pad if you want to disable on-screen buttons and get some extra screen real estate back. But above it, all is that pretty nice 6.1-inch Oled display.

It’s a 2240 x 10 80 panels so it’s an 18.7 x 9 aspect ratio which basically means its slightly taller than the normal tall, but the OLED panel itself is pretty good. It gets bright enough to see in the outdoors, there’s absolutely no problem. There are no shift issues, which is not quite to the great level of like a Samsung phone. It is not quite as bright or as vibrant but its definitely right in line with what you expect from a flagship.

Battery power

It also packs in a 4000 million power battery in a phone that’s not that thick so that’s pretty great. This is been consistently 5+ hours of screen on time was for my use is excellent so there’s no problem. The battery here and I’ve been preaching like if you want to make a phone make it as thick as you want. No one really wants the phone to be that razor thin, adding a couple extra millimeters for a sizable battery is a great choice.

Look at that this phone is definitely not thick at all. Bravo to Huawei, definitely keep doing that.

Hardware

So for the hardware, it’s all pretty damn good. You get 6GB RAM, 128GB of storage. It comes with octa-core Hisilicon Kirin 970 chipset which is alright because we definitely have better mobiles out in the market with Qualcomm, but it’s still good enough.

It has Mali-G72 MP12 GPU and it also comes with a stereo speakers which offers great sound experience.

Camera

All right, when it was announced that Huawei P20 Pro will come with a 40-megapixel main camera, I knew that I had to get one for myself. This smartphone beast has not one, not two but three cameras on the back and that itself makes its worth a try.

Moreover it has scored 109 on DxO Mark, so basically, I just couldn’t resist picking it up and actually seeing it’s all about.

Let’s take a deep look at why I was even interested in this phone. No 1. reason is the camera.

So yes, the Huawei P20 Pro has three cameras on the back. The main sensor is a 40-megapixel sensor with optical stabilization and an F2.0 complaint aperture. The secondary is a 20-megapixel monochrome sensor also with optical image stabilization and an F1.6 aperture. The third is an eight-megapixel 3X telephoto lens which is again stabilized, this time with F2.4.

The 40-megapixel sensor is huge. I don’t just mean like the megapixel count is huge. I mean the actual physical size of the sensor. When measured diagonally it’s a 1.7-inch sensor. That’s about twice the size of the Galaxy S9 and the Google Pixel 2. When compared to iPhone 10 sensors, Huawei P20 Pro primary camera is like half an inch bigger diagonally.

There are a lot of potential advantages to a physically larger sensor. A camera with a massive sensor will get you better lowlight sensitivity, bigger pixels, better overall performance, less grain, a wider field of view. So I love the concept. I love the idea of putting a big sensor in a smartphone.

So how’s the performance of camera?

Not only is it a big sensor, it is definitely a good sensor. You get accurate colors, a nice dynamic range, plenty of details and these are really the main characteristic I noticed about the P20 pro photos. Lots of detail and all thanks goes to the sensor. The only problem I have is with the sharpening which is super aggressive.

Here are some notes for you to consider about these cameras besides just pointing and shooting in inbuilt auto mode.

Point 1: The main camera uses a quad bear structure when taking photos. What does that mean?

It means that even though it’s a 40-megapixel sensor, it’s outputting data binned in 2 x 2 blocks of pixels. So you’re getting an output image of 10-MP instead of 40-MP. Still, its super sharp and detailed but you get 10-MP pictures.

Point 2: The video mode is really not that great. Some might say trash and I would like to agree with them to a certain point. It can shoot stabilized 1080P video with decent color and detail, but because of the image/video processing chip it’s using, it just can’t keep up with the stabilization of 4K resolution videos. The 4K video really looks bad off of this phone.

Point 3: The overall photography experience on Huawei P20 Pro Android smartphone is seriously super fast. It has laser autofocus which is super quick. The time to open the inbuilt camera application and the time to actually grab a shot is super snappy. You can even double press volume down button to take a snapshot of what you’re pointing at.

It can take shots within .3 seconds, but then you don’t really know what you’re taking a picture of, so its maybe a little extreme, but the point is, it’s fast. Once you’re in the app you can even use the telephoto zoom button which gives you 3X or 5X zoom with a single touch.

Camera AI

Okay, there are lots of people who keep asking me about the AI of this phone.

I’ll tell you exactly what this AI is capable of doing. Actually, it’s pretty straightforward.

There’s a trigger to turn on AI and the camera and to your surprise, it is on by default. When it’s on, if you give a second in the viewfinder, it tries to identify everything you take a photo of and then automatically enhance some predetermined things this AI thinks you like about that photo. And astonishingly it’s right about identifying what you try to take a photo of.

If you try to take a picture of greenery the AI puts the sensor in greenery mode. Similarly, if you try to take a shot of a  bouquet then it will automatically switch the mode to flower mode.

There is definitely one thing to note and that is this AI is fast. Pretty much instantly it knows everything about the surrounding and then it tries to understand the subject of which you are trying to take the picture and then applies some pre-determined color channels to further enhance the look.

Like in greenery mode for example, if you’re taking a photo of a plant and it has green in it, it turns on greenery mode and it just basically blasts the green channel in the plants and makes it look more green; cool.

Similarly in the blue sky mode, if you have pointed out your phone to the skyline and there’s blue in the sky, it knows its blue sky and it just blasts the blue channel and then makes the sky even bluer.

Sometimes its good but most of the time I hate the filters it puts on my pictures. I mean I just wanted a picture of what I’m taking a picture of. Ok maybe I am not the normal smartphone photo taker, but automatic enhancement has never been my thing. I usually just want to take a photo straight from the sensor which looks pretty good.

You know the pictures taken via the camera of this smartphone don’t need any editing or enhancing because they look great straight off the sensor.

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