- Analysis by KJ David
Bound for our list of the best smartphones for photography, this step-up version of Huawei's 2018 P20 flagship looks to turn some heads with its high-tech (as of this technical review) rear and front cameras. Sadly, some of its other pros and cons fail to keep up with the sophistication of its cameras.
For instance, although its large 6.1-inch FullView OLED display sounds rather expansive, especially if you're into binge-watching TV shows/movies on your phone, we cannot help but wish that it had a QHD/QHD+ (1440p) screen resolution, instead of a more modest 2240 x 1080 FHD+ definition . Consequently, it sits on a 408ppi-only pixel density score , whereas some of the top phablets on the market easily pass the 500ppi mark.
Also among the P20 Pro's cons is the 2.36GHz top speed of its Kirin 970 dual-cluster (It has a secondary quad-core cluster running at 1.8GHz) eight-core engine, which sounds mild compared to the 2.8GHz clock speeds boasted by some of the fastest smartphones as of its market entry. Having said that, its forenamed Kirin processor does enable AI imaging technologies for its cameras and it also supports augmented reality (AR) applications like Curate . The fact that it upgrades the plain P20's 4GB RAM to 6GB definitely helps as well.
As for its biggest pros, the P20 Pro is home to the world's first Leica Triple Camera , consisting of a whopping 40-megapixel RGB primary lens , which, by the way, was one of the highest-resolution smartphone camera lenses when it came out, a 20-megapixel monochrome lens, and an 8-megapixel telephoto lens. Leading its imaging features is the combination of phase-detection autofocus (PDAF), contrast focus, deep focus, and laser-aided focusing as well as the Master AI AI-powered scene recognition technology.
The P20 Pro also contends for a spot among the best smartphones for selfies with its 24-megapixel f/2.0 front-facing camera , which potentially attracts a good number of selfie addicts with its high pixel count, despite being limited to a fixed focal length -- some selfie-driven models have autofocus-rigged front cams.
Powering its pros and cons is a respectable 4000mAh battery coupled with Huawei's self-branded SuperCharge charging system , while a non-expandable 128GB memory takes charge of multimedia storage. The Dolby Atmos audio system joins in as well.
Its specs are housed inside an IP67-rated (for dust- and waterproofing) curved-glass body . Among its color options are gradient finishes like Pink Gold and Twilight as well as solid colors like Black and Midnight Blue.
All said, the Huawei P20 Pro's feature set may not be totally premium-class, but it more than likely appeals to tech-savvy users who have a soft spot for mobile photography.
On-paper Star rating:
We didn't see a memory expansion slot.
It's frustrating that we could not find its weight information.
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It blusters with one of the first triple camera systems on the market, which is made up of a staggering (resolution-wise) 40-megapixel RGB cam, a 20-megapixel monochrome cam, and an 8-megapixel telephoto cam.
It is described as a rugged phone (more sturdy, better water-resistance, etc).
Its Quad 2.36GHz (+ Quad 1.8GHz) processor speed running on 8 (+ i7 micro core) cores is part of the fastest in recent phones.
NFC is becoming increasingly important for electronic payments and other applications.
We're dealing with a hefty display here, making it a phablet: 6.1 inches and a resolution of 2240 x 1080 pixels means about 14.55 square inches and an image quality of at least 408 dots per inch (DPI)!
The P20 Pro is one of the rare phones to feature a 40-megapixel (RGB main cam combined with a 20-megapixel monochrome cam and an 8-megapixel telephoto cam) camera. It also sports these features: Ultra Snapshot, Night Mode, Super Slow Motion.
The 24-megapixel (fixed focal length) selfie cam offers an above-decent resolution.
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