Why Huawei P20 Pro – the biggest failure of the year

About the  Huawei P20 Pro this summer did not say just lazy. “The best camera in smartphones”, “The main flagship of the year”, “The perfect smartphone for connoisseurs”  – and this is only a small part of the titles that they managed to christen a novelty made in China.

Is it true? Alas, not everything goes smoothly with him. More precisely – pure marketing.

This is another iPhone X clone with a wild price.

In the 2017/2018 season, only 3 companies decided to produce a smartphone with their own design, and only did it more than 1 time: Xiaomi with its Mix 2s , OPPO Find X  and Sharpline  – that’s all we deserve.

Huawei , troll Apple for “monobrow”, went the beaten path. Designers pretended to work – but it would be better if they did not. The hybrid of a monobrovy and touch pad under the screen looks strange. And it is inconvenient!

Apple made gestures, and all Android brands followed, combining them with onscreen navigation keys and a fingerprint scanner on the back. It is convenient – it is always at hand.

Why a scanner under the screen? And if only it was just a scanner combined with the Homebutton ! The flagship of Huawei has a full-fledged touchpad, which works according to the principle borrowed from the iPhone by the readers  .

The idea was good, as long as smartphones were made of metal, and there was a little space around the button. When it is not there, the finger constantly hits the screen, creating unnecessary problems. You can turn on the onscreen keys. But then the scanner will interfere even more.


Smartphone for Liliput? Maybe. Only a combination of metal, perfectly smooth glass and right angles does not allow using the Huawei P20 Pro without a case and with a small palm.

He tritely slips out of his hands, including because of the glass, dimensions, lack of ergonomic elements and small thickness. In my opinion, the P20 Pro should be called “the most slippery smartphone.” In this, even Mi 8  and  ZUK 2 / Edge are inferior to him .

But more and more users, geeks write that it is time to increase the thickness. And choose gaming smarts.

Huawei processors become a problem


We can say that it is time to get used to the typical design, and the days of unique cell phones of the push-button era cannot be returned. Why not unify the “guts” platform, playing with combinations of peripherals and software?

Users will get used to it, programmers will be able to send forces to optimize the software, and we will finally see a normally working, full-featured Android. Then it will be possible to talk about the upcoming victory over iOS.

In fact, there are enough problems even when working with Qualcomm platforms . So much so that many vendors have refused to use potentially cheaper and more productive when working with MediaTek multimedia (at least in terms of price / performance in certain scenarios).

So-so result on the background of Snapdragon 845

And then Huawei with his Kirin. Undoubtedly, healthy competition is necessary, and Huawei can afford to develop a mobile platform on its own. After all, the equipment of the company we use almost everything, connecting to a home or mobile network.

But software becomes a problem, because only the largest software developers can afford to maintain optimization for 3-4 platforms. Therefore, a battery of greater capacity than its competitors did not become a panacea for the P20 Pro.

Flowers: microlags and software crashes, battery pack optimized for other application platforms.

Berries: mad overheating and wild energy consumption in the processing of 3D-graphics. In a couple of minutes, the back cover heats up to  46 degrees ! The operating time of the P20 Pro in this mode is the smallest among all flagships: only 3 hours versus 5 for the Samsung S9 +or 6 for the OnePlus 6 .

So see the notorious “parrots” and the infinite performance will not succeed. Increasingly heavier than 2D platformers on this model causes rapid overheating and a reset of the clock frequency. It would be worthwhile to introduce “water cooling”, like gaming smartphones on  Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 .

Lost a lot in the race


Like much more. Little things say that Huawei was in a hurry to develop a smartphone that was supposed to show who’s boss. The same reason explains the incredible abundance of materials on all kinds of resources. The war of brands leads to disastrous results.

A caveat: of all brands, only Xiaomi manages to produce adequate smartphones ( Mi 5s Plus) in response to Apple . Only due to low prices and good luck. Other vendors either spend a lot of time or create pretty lousy copies.

It may seem that Bluetooth 5.0 is not needed today. But when music in wireless headphones discharges the flagship of Huawei 2 times faster than any OnePlus , it becomes uneasy.


For the sake of decency, one could also recall wireless charging. But she stayed for the Huawei Mate 10 Porshe Edition .

Surprisingly, the lack of accelerated communication technologies. The actual transfer rate of the P20 Pro modem is inferior to the devices on the Snap 845. Unpleasant.

Why do I need a smartphone on Android, which can not be flashed?

Many users support the idea that proprietary EMUI based on Android  is one of the most important problems of Huawei. Most of the competitors managed to experiment and abandon their own developments in favor of “pure” Android.

Only Xiaomi and Huawei are left. Let’s not forget that the first one, in fact, is a software developer, while Huawei engineers mainly worked on hardware solutions.

This may well explain the noticeable lags of earlier versions. Forgivable? Of course, if the update comes every 2-3 weeks, like with Xiaomi. But Huawei is bad .


This is expressed in the speed of work, the smoothness of the interface. And the minimal difference between EMUI and Android stock: in fact, this is a launcher, a visual shell for displaying the desktop and settings.

It would be great to install a custom bootloader and an alternative system on this potentially interesting phone. I think the smartphone would be much more interesting.

From September 2018, the Huawei P10 / P20 / P20 Pro cannot unlock the bootloader, get the root and install custom recovery. Nonsense, limiting functionality.


This is prohibited for the same reasons as Xiaomi . But the latter allow any intervention on the instructions, even the “brick” can be raised. In the case of Huawei, any manipulation is prohibited.

For what, then, in general, use Android, if you deprive the user to edit it? And marketers manage to make a “feature” out of this political decision, say, a smartphone gets additional protection.

More is not always better, and cameras are excellent proof.

So, devoid of the main advantages of Android over other operating systems, users can only rely on the capabilities of the camera. Although the DxO scores (they are higher in the P20 Pro) were already wrong with the Xiaomi Mix 2s and Mi 8 .

By the way, marketers of Huawei have already fallen into disguise , trying to get photos from a DSLR camera for images taken with the P9 smartphone. Many managed to believe, because the device came out with the support of Leica.

This time the vendor used heavy artillery, sending free samples to all possible sources on the Internet. The result is in Google. Almost every smartphone review says about the unique capabilities of the P20 Pro camera and calls it the “Best Mobile Camera.”


The system of 3 cameras built quite strange. Not for nothing in all the reviews so much is given to laser focusing, which can be found even in cheap “Chinese”.

So what is? The front camera is equipped with a  24 megapixel sensor without stabilization with an aperture of f / 2.0 . A similar solution has been haunting since the OnePlus 3T . There was a time to make sure – without stabilization of the “front-end”, the size of the matrix does not solve! Live selfies will get very difficult.


Even with anti-aliasing turned off, the camera unpleasantly “improves” the photo. “Soap” and aberrations in all its glory

The main HYPE around the Huawei P20 Pro is dedicated to the main camera , which consists of 3 modules:

  • 8 MP  – color with a threefold increase and optical stabilization, f / 2.4 ,
  • 40 MP  – color, without stabilization, f / 1.8 ,
  • 20 MP  – black and white, without stabilization, f / 1.6 ,
  • color temperature sensor

What is wrong here? The module with the increase is the main, and the only stabilized, and therefore it affects the final result of the combination if necessary stabilization. Therefore, in the hands of a professional P20 Pro works wonders by the standards of Chinese smartphones.

And it is easy to be left behind if it falls into a direct real comparison with another flagship without the use of additional funds. This smartphone is definitely not for shooting in automatic mode.

Huawei is not Google. Artificial Intelligence Kirin – Raw

All anything, but it is tied to the work of the artificial intelligence of the processor and desperately trying to fix the photos. Yes, the most important thing – because of its low characteristics, it only works in good light.

As a result, the combination of excellent color and B / W cameras loses details in motion , blurred edges and too beautiful faces for the Huawei P20 Pro  – the norm. Machine learning algorithms allow you to make excellent night photos, but they lose the details.


Left – Huawei P20 Pro

Anything is possible with the Huawei P20 Pro . So the developers of Huawei using the useless module- “telephoto” spoiled everything in a flash. Why it is impossible to stabilize the main module? Riddle.

Other advantages of using artificial intelligence cause only a yawn: the translation of texts without the Internet, the forecast of user requests and other similar “chips”. All that Android does even on the cheapest Redmi.

Another marketing ploy.

Smartphone presentation. For a photographer (?), Not for people


Android smartphones are often released raw, and are refined by buyers. Why test if the fans do half the job? At Xiaomi, this chip has acquired such proportions that several paid communities with their own firmware have appeared.

Maybe with the  Huawei P20 Pro it turned out the same? Less than six months of its existence? Of course not. Considering the bootloader closed as a surprise (and someone was buying a smartphone in China, and hoping to flash a Russian-language firmware), everything is very bad.

He is literally crammed with unique technologies, but none of them works to its fullest. The best camera, excellent screen, surround battery. And all this was aligned with other flagships of 2018 due to the fact that the developers were quick to release a response.


As a presentation of the achievements of the company, the Huawei P20 Pro smartphone turned out perfectly. I think that a professional photographer will find a special use for him, having managed to use his potential.

But for a mere mortal for 50 thousand rubles there are many better options: “gray” Samsung Note 9 , Samsung S9 +  from the nearest store, OnePlus 6  with Xiaomi Mi 8  or Mix 2s  for change.

If it weren’t in a hurry … But now the Huawei P20 Pro is one of the first contenders for the title “The failure of the year.” After Pixel , of course.

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