Announced at the worst possible time.

Huawei’s sub-brand, Honor, took the stage today during an event in London where it unveiled the new Honor 20 series of smartphones. The devices offer high-end specifications for lower prices than an average flagship, therefore falling in line with Honor’s mantra of offering more for less.

With the Honor 20 and Honor 20 Pro, you get very similar designs with glass on the front and back and slick colorways. Both include 6.26-inch Full HD+ LCD displays. There’s a side-mounted fingerprint scanner embedded in the power button, a USB-C port on the bottom, and a hole-punch cutout in the top left of the screen to fit a 32MP f/2.0 camera.

Under the hood, you’ll find a Kirin 980 chipset (the same as in the Huawei P30 Pro), 6 or 8GB of RAM, 128 or 256GB of storage, and either a 3,750mAh or a 4,000mAh battery. These specs are pretty sweet, but it’s what’s on the back of the phones that’s the most notable.

With both the Honor 20 and 20 Pro, you’ll find four rear camera sensors. The former ships with a main 48MP f/1.4 OIS lens, an 8MP f/2.4 telephoto lens, a 16MP f/2.2 wide-angle lens, and a 2MP f/2.4 depth-sensing lens. Meanwhile, the latter opts for the same array but ditches the 2MP depth sensor for a more useful 2MP macro shooter. Results from all four lenses should be pretty decent since they’re coming from a company owned by Huawei, but only real-world testing will determine that once and for all.

Unfortunately, there’s one major downside to both the Honor 20 and Honor 20 Pro that usually isn’t a big deal, but at the current moment, it is. They each run Android 9 Pie with Honor’s Magic UI on top which is totally fine, but what isn’t is lack of Google support.

If you aren’t familiar, Huawei was recently revoked of its license to use Google’s proprietary services, including the Play Store, Gmail, and other core Android functions. This means that later this year, these features may disappear from all of Huawei’s smartphones and tablets. That could also spell trouble for the Honor sub-brand. It isn’t clear if the same rules apply to Honor phones, but presumably, they do, and since the new Honor 20 series won’t be launching until summer rolls in, it may be too late to save them from the Google purge.

So yeah, Honor couldn’t have picked a worse time to announce these things.

Regardless, if you want to buy either of them, Honor will be selling the 20 and 20 Pro for €499 and €599, respectively. They’ll both launch “soon” which probably means this June or July. They won’t be coming to the US (obviously) but they will launch in the UK among other markets.

Advertisements