Honor 20 Review : Competent mid-range flagship
Huawei Honor 20 series has launched at a time when the company is mired in controversy and stuck smack in the middle of a trade war between the two biggest superpowers. The series includes three phones that cater to three different segments, and the Honor 20 is the interesting affordable flagship – or a premium uncompromised phone that you may access without spending too much.
At a starting price of 32,9999, the Honor 20 has the best Huawei chipset and quad-rear cameras, and it will directly compete against the likes of OnePlus 7 and Asus 6Z. Is it good enough to take on these Snapdragon 855-powered rivals? Let’s discuss in our Honor 20 review.
Honor 20 Specs and Price in India
|Display||6.26-inch, Full HD, 1080 X 2340|
|Processor||7nm Kirin 980 octa-core chipset|
|Rear Camera||48MP primary (f/1.8)
16MP ultra-wide (f/1.6)
2MP macro-camera (f/2.4)
2MP depth sensor (f/2.4)
|Front Camera||32MP (f/2.0)|
|Software||Android 9.0 Pie, Magic 2.1|
|Dimensions and Weight||154.3 x 74 x 7.9 mm, 174 grams|
Design, Build and Display
Going by current standards, the Honor 20 is a compact, slim (7.8mm) and light phone (174 grams) even when it comes with a 6.2-inch Full HD display. The selfie camera has been housed within a circular cut-out on the top left corner, and most of what remains on the front is the IPS LCD screen.
The display is sharp and vibrant. Honor follows a nearly uniform color calibration through its portfolio and there aren’t any ugly surprises here. The EMUI is quite flexible in this regards and you get a bunch of options to further tune the screen colors and color temperature to your liking. The display brightness is about average, and so is the outdoor visibility. Other than that, there isn’t any reason to complain. This is a great display to watch multimedia content.
The Honor 20 uses the familiar glass metal construction. It’s wonderful to touch, and the gradient-ish finish on the back looks very appealing. Add to that the comfortable ergonomics and, you have got yourself a very premium experience.
The power button on the right edge is within easy reach and also doubles as a fingerprint sensor. The handset has dual SIM card slot, a USB Type-C port and a mono speaker grill at the bottom.
All is not perfect though. The camera module protrudes on the back and the phone is missing the 3.5mm audio jack. But still, it is a good smartphone in terms of design & build quality.
Performance and Software
The 7nm Kirin 980 that powers the Honor 20 is by now a tried and tested chipset. This is a really powerful SoC at par with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855. In India, the handset is offered in single 6GB RAM and 128GB storage option.
The performance is flawless as expected. All high-end games we tried ran butter smooth and we didn’t notice any random erratic behaviour or app crashes with the new update. Needless to say, this aspect is well covered.
The fingerprint sensor and face unlock are fast and efficient. We didn’t face any issues with call quality and connectivity either.
The software running on the phone is EMUI 9 based on Android Pie. This is feature rich software and has numerous customization options. The sheer number of options can feel overwhelming at times, but mostly we could find whatever we were looking for without much trouble.
A lot of users are concerned about the software updates on the Honor 20i and other Huawei/Honor smartphones. The company has released a statement informing users that Honor 20 & 20 Pro will get Android Q but there is no update on the timeline. Another thing worth mentioning is that this update was from Huawei UK, there is still no confirmation for other regions or India.
Honor has also released an update answering some of the queries. Based on the answers, Honor 20 should at least get security updates and Google play services will continue to work on the device. Will update the article in case we get any more information about the Android Q update.
Camera and Battery
The Honor 20 has four rear cameras. The primary sensor is 48MP Sony IMX586 which basically shoots great 12MP shots unless you particularly insist on the maximum resolution. The next is a 16MP ultra-wide sensor that should come in handy while shooting wide landscape shots. The app adds correction for barrel distortion at the edges.
The handset also has a 2MP depth sensor that aids with portraits. And lastly, there is a 2MP macro camera for shooting close-ups.
The main 48MP sensor does a fine job with adequate lighting, both indoors and outdoors, and is the one you’d be using most often. In low light, the camera performance is still quite good.
The portrait mode shots show great edge detection and even bokeh. The 2MP macro camera isn’t anything to write home about. It is something that most users won’t need but having extra options don’t hurt.
The 32MP selfie camera captures really good selfies with ample details and accurate metering. In low light, selfies turned out a bit soft.
Overall, the camera performance is surely good enough for the price.
The 3750mAh battery capacity doesn’t sound like much, but we managed remarkable mileage from the battery with moderate to heavy usage. The handset supports 22.5W fast charging and a full charge takes around 1.5 hours.
Honor 20 is a very competitive option for its price. What particularly helps it stand out is its compact design and light profile, which is something most of its rivals like OnePlus 7 and Asus Zenfone 6Z don’t offer.
It also benefits from a long-lasting battery and excellent performance. On the downside, there is no 3.5mm Audio jack and micro SD card support. Also, confirmation about Android Q update for the smartphone is still not there for the Indian consumers but as per reports from T3, the phone should get the update in coming months.
So, should you buy the Honor 20? Well, there is no aspect where the Honor 20 particularly disappoints and if you prioritize a compact footprint for your next phone, the Honor 20 is definitely a phone you should consider.
Honor 20 is a very competitive option for its price. What particularly helps it stand out is its compact design and light profile, which is something most of its rivals don't offer.