Huawei today finally took the wraps off its much-anticipated flagship smartphone lineup for 2018. This time around, there are two devices known as the P20 and P20 Pro. Each handset comes with a similar design and varying specs for different price points.
As for the design, Huawei has used several layers of NCVM optical coatings underneath a sheet of glass on the backs of the P20 and P20 Pro to achieve a reflection that varies in color depending on how the light is hitting it. It’s similar to HTC’s Liquid Design on the U11. It arrives in black, Midnight Blue, and two gradient colors called Twilight and Pink Gold.
On the front of the devices sit 5.8-inch and 6.1-inch displays, respectively. The standard P20 uses an LCD panel while the Pro model comes with an OLED screen. Both include Full HD+ resolutions. And whether you like it or not, both come with notches.
Admittedly, they are smaller than what’s on, say, the iPhone X, but there’s still no real reason to follow this trend unless you have to be like everyone else. And to Huawei, it looks like they believe that.
Notably, however, the company includes a way for you to hide the notch, a feature not common across many phones. There’s a setting on the P20 and P20 Plus that let you turn on a black strip which sits across the top of the screen, therefore hiding the notch and only showing the time and battery information in the left and right corners. If you’re a stickler for having a notch on your display, Huawei seems to have your back in this case.
As for specs, we’re looking at a Kirin 970 processor in both the P20 and P20 Pro alongside up to 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. Android 8.1 Oreo comes preinstalled on both devices, and so does EMUI 8.1. You also get a USB-C port for charging the batteries which weigh in at 3,400mAh for the P20 and 4,000mAh for the P20 Pro.
For cameras, this is where things get interesting. Huawei is using a standard dual Leica sensor system on the P20 with a 12MP main shooter and 20MP monochrome shooter for telephoto and black-and-white photography, while the P20 Pro actually uses three different cameras for more advanced shooting methods.
First off, the main color sensor weighs in at a whopping 40MP which is one of the highest megapixel counts on a smartphone. The secondary shooter directly beneath is a 20MP monochrome shooter like on the P20. But on the Pro, another sensor sits right below that one which weighs in at 8MP and provides 3x optical zoom or 5x hybrid zoom. Apertures sit at f/1.8, f/1.6, and f/2.4 respectively.
With this setup, Huawei attempts to achieve excellent performance in all lighting conditions, including extremely dark situations, on the P20 Pro. Of course, the standard P20 should perform similarly, but the Pro should add a bit more pizzaz to photos and videos what with its extra megapixel count and additional sensor.
Additionally, the devices can shoot videos in up to 960 frames per second much like Samsung’s Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus. The cameras also support what Huawei calls “4D predictive focus” which lets you retain focus on a moving subject like a flower waving in the wind. Of course, it also comes with an AI-powered camera mode that will identify what objects are in frame and adjust its settings to provide the best results, similar to the LG V30S.
Finally, the selfie shooter weighs in at 24MP and includes 3D portrait lighting effects, AI beautification, and advanced processing with object recognition and filter recommendations based on your environment.
The Huawei P20 and P20 Pro also support augmented reality thanks to Google’s ARCore.
According to the company, the P20 will start at €649 while the P20 Pro starts at €899. They’re available starting today.
Things don’t stop here, however. Huawei has also teamed up again with Porsche Design to deliver a special edition of the P20 called the Porsche Design Huawei Mate RS. It doesn’t have a notch at the top, it includes an in-display fingerprint scanner alongside the rear-mounted sensor (as seen on the standard P20 and P20 Pro), and it can be configured with up to 512GB of storage, marking the first smartphone to do so. You probably can’t afford it, however, as it starts at €1,695 and goes all the way up to €2,095. Still, it’s there if you have a ton of money to blow on a new smartphone.