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Hands on with the Honor 20 Pro: top smartphone with an uncertain future
Honor 20 Pro Hardware Review 6 min read No comments

Hands on with the Honor 20 Pro: top smartphone with an uncertain future

Honor, the daughter brand of Huawei, slowly comes of age and emancipates itself more and more from its parent company. The most recent example of this is the new Honor 20 Pro, which is not a direct clone of the Huawei P30 Pro, but sets new accents. We took a close look at it in our initial review.

Much cheaper than Huawei P30 Pro

The Honor 20 Pro is offered with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of internal storage and costs 599 Euros in Europe, where you can preorder the Pro from the 15th of June (deliveries start the 1st of July). We're still waiting to know UK availability. The Honor 20 Pro is available in the colors Phantom Black and Phantom Blue.

Another less pricey alternative is the Honor 20 Lite, which was already presented before the two new models.

Special techniques for a chic design

Honor, like Huawei, attaches great importance to design and exciting colors. The Honor 20 Pro makes no difference and hides its technology in a pretty stylish case. Honor named the design "Dynamic Holographic Design" and emphasized that the manufacturing process with three layers of glass on top of each other is completely new. It is possible, but it is certain that the result has become an eye-catcher in every case. Especially the black version, which shimmers purple at the right incidence of light, looks really good.

Otherwise, Honor follows the trends, and they are glass front and back and a slim metal frame. With its curves and flowing shapes, the Honor 20 Pro is really good to hold. The one-hand operation, which promises a fee, is unlikely to be achievable with the 154.6 x 74 x 8.4-millimeter size. The Honor 20 Pro weighs 182 grams.

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Sometimes black, sometimes purple: The Honor 20 Pro looks different depending on the incidence of light / © AndroidPIT

Too bad: There is no IP certification, no headphone output, but stereo sound and USB-C, even if only with the slow USB 2.0 standard. Android 9 Pie and Honor's Magic UI, which has been developed separately from EMUI for some time, but has many parallels to the Huawei system, are of course also on board.

LCD with hole, instead of OLED display

The comparatively low price of the Honor 20 Pro is evident in the display technology, among other things, because Honor uses LCD instead of OLED. The display is quite large with a diagonal of 6.29 inches. Full HD+ resolution is sufficient for everyday use. There is no notch on the Honor 20 Pro, but there is a hole in the screen for the front camera. The opening is 4.5 millimeters in size and is hardly noticeable after a bit of getting used to it.

In a direct comparison with a high-resolution OLED display, the Honor 20 Pro's LCD already shows that the colors shine a little less, the viewing angle stability isn't quite as high and black isn't quite as unfathomably deep. All in all, the display of the Honor 20 Pro can be more than seen, especially as the display can be adapted to your own taste.

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The hole in the display of the Honor 20 Pro is easy to get used to. / © AndroidPIT

Full power and memory

The performance of the Kirin 980, which sets the pace in the Honor 20 Pro, is excellent in the first test. Everything runs smoothly, there are no dropouts or seconds of remembrance when starting an app. The ample RAM does the rest and ensures impeccable performance. It remains to be seen how the Honor 20 Pro will perform in the benchmark test, but no major differences to the Huawei P30 Pro are to be expected.

Honor 20 Pro comes with four cameras

The differences to the Huawei P30 pro look different with the camera because here Honor goes his own way and does without the ToF camera. Instead, there are four "real" cameras on the back of the Honor 20 Pro. Let's go over them: There's an ultra-wide-angle camera with 16 megapixels, the main camera with a full 48 megapixels and a huge f/1.4 aperture, a telephoto lens with 8 megapixels and triple zoom, and even a macro camera with 2 megapixels. The telephoto optics and the 48-megapixel main camera have an optical image stabilizer. The technical data at a glance:

  • 16 MP ultra wide angle, 17 mm focal length, 117-degree field of view, aperture f/2.2
  • 48 MP normal focal length, Sony IMX 586, aperture f/1.4, OIS, 1/2-inch sensor
  • 8 MP Tele, 80 mm focal length, OIS, aperture f/2.4
  • 2 MP Macro, 27 mm focal length, aperture f/2.4

You should be able to do a lot with that. The Huawei P30 Pro has an even more powerful zoom, but no own macro-nips. The Honor 20 Pro also has Huawei's Super Night mode on board.

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The camera is the star of the Honor 20 Pro / © AndroidPIT

The Honor 20 without Pro has only three "real" cameras plus one that is only used for the depth map, no image stabilizer and no telephoto lens. The cameras have the following specifications:

  • 16 MP ultra wide angle, 17 mm focal length, 117-degree field of view, aperture f/2.2
  • 48 MP normal focal length, Sony IMX 586, aperture f/1.4, OIS, 1/2-inch sensor
  • 2 MP Macro, 27 mm focal length, aperture f/2.4
  • 2 MP Depth Assistant, 27 mm focal length, iris f/2.4

The front camera, in turn, is identical on both smartphones, taking pictures with 32 megapixels. AI support is of course provided thanks to the Kirin 980.

Battery has potential

The battery in the Honor 20 Pro is quite strong with 4,000 mAh - well that's good, so the new model is likely to follow in the footsteps of long-distance runners like the Honor View 20 and the Huawei Mate 20 Pro. The Honor 20 leaves it at 3,750 mAh. Both Honor smartphones can't charge wirelessly, but over with SuperCharge and 22 watts relatively quickly by cable.

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The Honor 20 has a smaller battery on board. / © AndroidPIT

Honor 20 Pro technical specifications

Dimensions: 154.6 x 73.97 x 8.44 mm
Weight: 182 g
Battery size: 4000 mAh
Screen size: 6.26 in
Display technology: LCD
Screen: 2340 x 1080 pixels (244 ppi)
Front camera: 32 megapixels
Rear camera: 48 megapixels
Flashlight: LED
Android version: 9 - Pie
User interface: Emotion UI
Internal storage: 256 GB
Removable storage: Not available
Chipset: HiSilicon Kirin 980
Number of cores: 8
Max. clock speed: 2.6 GHz
Connectivity: HSPA, LTE, NFC, Dual-SIM , Bluetooth 5.0

A promising package

This is already a considerable overall package, which pays off for the customer, especially in view of the price difference to the top models of other manufacturers. The big question mark remains as to how the Chinese manufacturer will proceed after the Huawei boycott by Google and other companies. If the manufacturer finds a solution, the Honor 20 Pro should become a strong competitor for the OnePlus 7 Pro and the Asus ZenFone 6.

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