Review of the Honor 20 – perhaps the latest Huawei smartphone on Android

We understand how the Honor flagship turned out, which came out, perhaps, at the most inappropriate moment for the company.

On May 21, Honor introduced the flagship line Honor 20 Series in London. It includes three smartphones, but in Russia only two will be sold at first: the Lite version called Honor 10i and Honor 20. The Pro model will be available later, although at first the company was told that it would not be in the country.

Honor 20 was introduced during the escalation of the conflict between Huawei and the US authorities, so the device could become the latest Android smartphone from Google’s services. The next flagship Huawei will be released only in November, when the restrictions should already come into force. Editor studied Honor 20 before the start of sales and talks about the device.

The camera is not bad, but without the bells and whistles

In recent years, Huawei and Honor have constantly improved the cameras in their smartphones and added something new. For example, the Honor View 20 was one of the first in the world to receive the 48-megapixel IMX586 sensor, and in the P30 Pro a fivefold optical zoom was introduced thanks to the periscope layout.

In this sense, there is no innovation in Honor 20. The smartphone received a system of four cameras: the main one with a resolution of 48 megapixels (the same Sony IMX 586 sensor), ultra-wide by 16 megapixels, a 2-megapixel macro camera and a depth sensor.

Although on paper, the smartphone has an excellent camera, in fact there are several problems with it. For example, with image enhancement enabled using AI, the images are too saturated, and without processing, they are too faded.

In addition, Honor 20, unlike the Pro version, did not receive a telephoto lens, therefore, it magnifies only with the help of digital zoom. But a depth sensor was built into the smartphone – probably, in order not to change the case for different versions of the smartphone and save on assembly. In everyday life, it does not affect the quality of images in any way and can only be useful in portrait mode with a bokeh blur effect.

The Honor 20 camera has other major differences from the Pro model. Despite the fact that the main sensor of both smartphones removes with a resolution of 48 megapixels, they have different aperture values ​​- the ability of the lens to capture light.

In Honor 20, the diameter of the aperture is smaller, so it takes worse in the dark and in low light. With a lack of light, the device begins to combine data from four pixels and cuts the resolution to 12 megapixels.

Unlike the older version, the smartphone did not receive optical stabilization, but most of the questions are caused by a separate macro camera installed in the Honor 20 and 20 Pro. Typically, these sensors are installed in devices with a bias in professional photography, and more everyday smartphones cost the main sensor.

After spending a week and a half with Honor 20, I still could not find the scenarios for which I would need a macro camera. Its presence becomes especially strange, if we consider that Honor is a youth brand: judging by the social networks among teenagers, it is hardly popular to take pictures in macro.

From left to right: flash, depth sensor, wide-angle camera, main camera. Macro camera – bottom

It seems that even in Honor they do not consider macro photography as a rather useful function. The presentation didn’t focus on it at all, and unlike the night and portrait modes, Super Macro should be turned on in the More menu.Honor 20 shoots video well, despite software image stabilization.

Honor 20 shoots video well, despite software image stabilization.

Performance as a flagship, which is twice as expensive

The Honor 20 and 20 Pro got the Kirin 980 – the same processor as the much more expensive Huawei P30 Pro. The chip provides fast operation of everyday applications and social networks, and 6 GB (in the Pro-version 8 GB) of RAM is enough for normal multitasking.

The rest between the flagships of Huawei and Honor is almost nothing in common. The subsidiary’s smartphone received a cheaper IPS-LCD-screen, but due to the lack of a “bang” the display occupies a larger area on the front panel – 91.7% versus 88.6% of the P30 Pro.

In many other aspects, Honor 20 is frankly weaker. For example, it is not equipped with the wireless charging function, and fast charging is twice as slow as in the P30 Pro: the device charges up to 50% in about half an hour.

At the same time, a battery of 3750 mAh allows the smartphone to operate on a single charge almost all day with active use. As told TJ in Honor, such a capacious battery was able to accommodate thanks to the L-shaped layout of the camera.

Main characteristics of Honor 20

  • 6.2-inch IPS-LCD-screen with a resolution of 1080×2340 pixels and an aspect ratio of 19.5 to 9;
  • Kirin 980 processor, 6 GB of RAM and 128 GB of internal memory;
  • Four cameras: 48 Mp with an aperture diameter of f / 1.8, ultra-wide at 16 Mp with an aperture diameter of f / 2.2, a macro at 2 Mp and f / 2.4, a depth sensor. Record video in 2K and 30 frames per second or FullHD up to 60 frames per second. Selfie camera 32 megapixel;
  • Battery – 3750 mAh with fast charging function with a capacity of 22.5 watts;
  • Fingerprint sensor on the side face;
  • No protection against dust and moisture, as well as a headphone jack.

Ambiguous appearance and ergonomics

During the presentation in London, a lot of time was given to the appearance of the device. Honor President George Zhao announced from the stage that the back panel was created using a special Triple 3D Mesh technology. According to him, for this they combined three layers of glass, which creates the effect of “millions of small prisms that look like diamonds.”

So the back cover will look like most of the time actually

On the promotional slides, smartphones really look stylish and beautiful, but they look weird live. For example, in the demo zone after the presentation it turned out to be dark and it was not really possible to disassemble what color the smartphone was holding in my hands – the back cover simply reflected everything around like a mirror.

Honor 20 Pro (left) and Honor 20 (right) in promotional pictures

In the daytime and with soft lighting, the situation is getting better, but other problems arise. The glass collects scratches and dirt well: you have to either wipe it constantly or carry it in a case.View of Honor near and in daylight

Ergonomics Honor 20 leaves much to be desired. Unlike the same P30 Pro and View 20, the side edges did not smooth out in this flagship, so it is not so convenient to hold it.

The location of the fingerprint sensor on the side was particularly inconvenient for me. A strange decision, considering that last year’s Honor 10 sensor was placedunder the screen, and in View 20 – on the rear panel.

Fingerprint sensor in the side button

The sensor on the side is lightning fast compared to the intrascreen in the Huawei P30 Pro, but it feels unnatural. In 2019, smartphones have long been activated when the screen is raised, so there is almost no point in the power button, and in Honor 20 it will have to be used all the time.Unlocking fingerprint on Honor 20 takes a split second

In addition, unlocking at the touch of a button was not very convenient if you just need to watch the time or check notifications. But it can be configured to unlock by pressing – this solves the problem.

Honor 20 – a smartphone that is worth the money, but not surprising

It seemed to me that Honor 20 shoots even worse View 20, which came out earlier and is equipped with a smaller number of cameras. Apparently, part of the problem lies in the incorrect operation of the software – perhaps this will be fixed to the beginning of sales.

The device is positioned as a youth, but in it there are not the most popular elements in adolescents like the macro camera. The case may look beautiful, but it may not – it all depends on the lighting and angle, but in any case you will have to wipe the glass, or carry a smartphone in a case.

Honor 20 is the flagship Huawei P30, but with very reduced capabilities and without some sort of killer feature. The smartphone did without bold decisions and innovations, and the focus was on the camera, processor and battery, which simply work with dignity. However, many of the shortcomings pale in the background of the low price of the device.

As TJ was told in Honor, the new flagship will cost less in Russia than in the rest of the world – 27,990 rubles against 499 euros (about 36 thousand rubles). Sales of the smartphone will begin from June 21, and pre-order – from June 14. The smartphone will be available in the colors “midnight black” and “sapphire blue”, and when you buy on pre-order as a gift will give headphones Fly Pods Lite.

However, it should be borne in mind that Honor 20 came out, perhaps, at the most unfortunate moment. The future of Huawei remains uncertain: the company has not yet agreed with the US authorities, and is actively preparing to release its own operating system based on Android and without Google services.

And although the American corporation explained that the devices already released will not lose support for the Play Market and other services, they are unlikely to continue to receive major updates. It is possible that the conflict will be resolved peacefully, but when buying a company device it is better to keep in mind all the options for the development of events.

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