Huawei P20 Pro
The P20 Pro is by far the best phone Huawei has ever produced, with high-end specs to rival the latest flagships from Apple and Samsung. It's got a price tag to match, but its innovative new tri-camera technology puts it a cut above most other phones out there.
- Exceptional, super-versatile triple camera
- Excellent battery life
- Stylish, high-end design
- No headphone jack
- No wireless charging
The Huawei P20 Pro: In more detail
Chinese manufacturer Huawei made its name in the budget smartphone market but has recently expanded into the realm of premium handsets with models like the P10 and Mate 10 Pro. The P20 Pro takes things to the next level with a luxurious design, excellent build quality and solid performance. Its standout feature is the camera, which is the first on a smartphone to offer a triple lens setup. The three sensors work together to make it the most versatile and innovative smartphone camera available. Another plus point is the P20 Pro's sizeable battery, which gives it better battery life than most of its flagship rivals.
The P20 Pro is a good-looking phone, with a glossy glass and aluminium body that comes in black, blue or an eye-catching (though probably opinion-dividing) purple-to-turquoise gradient. The highly reflective surface, while undoubtedly striking, is somewhat prone to fingerprint smudges.
The display is almost edge-to-edge, with tiny bezels and a cutout notch at the top - like the one popularised by the iPhone X - to house a speaker and the front-facing camera. It's compact for a phone with such a large screen and feels light and slim in the hand.
Huawei has followed another trend that Apple started and got rid of the headphone jack, which may frustrate some users. However, unlike Apple's latest offerings, the P20 Pro still has a physical home button underneath the screen, which also doubles as a fingerprint scanner.
The P20 Pro has a 6.1-inch AMOLED display and although its resolution and pixel density aren't as high as some of the other top flagships, it's still excellent quality. Colours are vibrant, blacks are deep and rich, and you can adjust the colour balance to your liking.
It has an 18.7:9 aspect ratio, making it even longer than the 18:9 screens on other recent flagships and offering extra screen space for watching videos and playing games. For those who don't like the notch at the top, it has an option to black out the space either side to create an unbroken black strip.
The P20 Pro is the very first smartphone to have three cameras on the back. Its main camera is a 40MP sensor, which is backed up by a 20MP black and white sensor and an 8MP telephoto sensor.
The three cameras work together, with each one playing a specific role. The main camera captures colours, the black and white sensor adds extra detail, light, texture and depth, and the telephoto lens increases the zoom magnification.
It's a winning combination, producing incredibly crisp, detailed shots with low noise and vibrant colours. It performs excellently in low light and has an impressive night mode, with TechRadar saying 'it can handle the kind of scenes that make other phones curl up and cry'.
Huawei has improved the AI engine it debuted on the P10. It now offers real-time object recognition, which means the camera automatically detects the subject of the photo and switches to the appropriate mode - for example, action shots, close-ups or night shots. Most of the time this works well, although reviewers from The Guardian and Trusted Reviews found it oversaturated the colours in some images.
The front camera is also very high resolution at 24MP, resulting in sharp, detailed selfies and effective face unlocking. Overall, the P20 Pro's camera setup is truly impressive, making it perfect for photography aficionados.
Performance and battery
The P20 Pro is powered by the same Kirin 970 processor as the Mate 10 Pro, which Huawei released in late 2017. The processor has eight cores, four of which are used for everyday tasks and the other four for high-performance tasks, and is coupled with 6GB of RAM.
While this is less powerful than rivals like the Samsung Galaxy S9, it's more than enough power to give a smooth, speedy experience. It should easily handle even the most demanding tasks, with Trusted Reviews calling it 'blazing fast'.
The P20 Pro has a large battery at 4,000mAh and that extra capacity really shows in its stamina. With moderate use it should get through two full days on a single charge. It charges quickly too, going from zero to 100% in around an hour and a half, although it lacks wireless charging.