Huawei’s sub-brand Honor has introduced its Honor 20 at a time when the Chinese company has been banned from accessing parts of Google’s Android mobile operating system after the US government placed the company on a trade blacklist. However, Huawei can provide service and support, including software updates or patches to existing devices, till August 19. It’s not clear what will happen after August, and that is something users who plan to buy a Huawei or Honor phone should keep in mind.
Honor 20 specifications: 6.26-inch Full HD+ IPS LCD|Quad rear camera setup (48MP main, 16MP ultra-wide, 2MP depth, 2MP macro)|Kirin 980 processor|6GB RAM/128GB storage|32MP front hole punch camera|3750mAh battery|MagicUI 2.1 based on Android 9.0 Pie
Honor 20 price in India: Rs 32,999
Honor 20 review: Design, display
The Honor 20’s compact size and curved glass rear makes it easier to hold and navigate with one hand, though it lacks the aesthetic appeal of the Honor 20 Pro. Still, the screen front and classic design makes the phone a superb looking device.
The volume buttons are on the right and a dual-SIM tray is on the left. The phone has a single speaker on the bottom edge next to the USB-C port. Meanwhile, the capacitive fingerprint scanner is built into the power button on the phone’s right-hand side. The fingerprint scanner is well placed – and works accurately.
But it’s not a perfect design. The phone lacks a 3.5mm headphone jack, water-resistance, and wireless charging.
The Honor 20 has a 6.26-inch 1080p LCD screen. The screen has a small circular cutout through which the selfie camera is visible. This is the same type of screen as the Honor 20 Pro, though it lacks an OLED panel. The differences between OLED and LCD are visible, and the 6.41-inch AMOLED screen on the OnePlus 7 is indeed sharp and far more vibrant.
Honor 20 review: Camera
The camera has been the strongest part of Honor phones and still, it continues to be. The Honor 20 has four lenses on the back, the same as the Honor 20 Pro. They are intended to work differently, though.
The standard model has a 48MP main lens with an f/1.8 aperture, 16MP wide-angle lens with an f/2.2 aperture, a 2MP depth-sensing lens and a 2MP macro lens with an aperture of f/2.4 and the ability to capture objects 4cm from the lens.
In good light, the camera produces some really stunning photos, with great detail, colour and fast autofocus. Low light performance is good, too. You can also take richly detailed portrait shots as well. I also found the wide-angle camera very useful as it allowed me to take landscape shots with ease. Though I did not find the 2MP macro lens much useful, as it doesn’t exactly produce great close-up shots
Honor 20’s AI camera system has been improved a lot, but still produces oversaturated pictures. The good thing is that you can turn off AI Camera manually. The 32MP selfie camera is good too. It captures a great amount of detail.
Honor 20 review: Performance, battery
The Honor 20 is powered by the Kirin 980 processor. This is the same processor that also powers the Mate 20 Pro and P30 Pro. With Huawei’s 7nm Kirin 980 chipset coupled with 6GB RAM, the Honor 20 easily matches the performance of any high-profile, existing flagship smartphone. I played Fortnite, Asphalt 9 and Real Racing 3 on the Honor 20 for hours. The phone never lagged or felt warm to touch.
The Honor 20 has a 3750mAh battery, slightly smaller than the 4,000mAh on the Honor 20 Pro. However, battery life on Honor 20 was surprisingly good. The phone would easily last full day on a single charge. In fact, there were times when the battery died on the second day when I reach the office. Let me clarify: I am a heavy user and I spent a lot of time with my phone. Usually, I browse the web on the phone, watch a ton of videos on YouTube, take photographs and listen to music on Spotify.
The phone also comes with fast charging, using the 22.5W SuperCharge standard. It fills up battery from 0 to 50 per cent in roughly 30 minutes.
The software here is exactly the same as other Honor phones. It’s called Magic UI (based on Android 9 Pie), but in reality, the interface is identical to EMUI on Huawei phones. The basics are all pretty much the same. Honestly, I am not a big fan of either Magic UI or EMUI. The core issue with both UIs is that they aren’t as attractive or modern looking as UIs on the OnePlus 7 and Asus 6Z.
Honor 20 review: Verdict
At Rs 32,999, Honor 20 offers super-fast performance, premium finish, and good cameras. However, I do feel that the phone pales against the competition from the likes of OnePlus 7 and Asus 6Z. There’s also a question mark over future Google support – and until that’s clear it would be really hard to recommend the Honor 20.