The Huawei P20 Pro represents the high end of Huawei’s flagship range of smartphones, boasting the biggest screen and an eye-catching, headline-grabbing tri-lens camera module. Like the P20, the P20 Pro comes in an attractive iridescent purple-and-blue gradient that helps it stand out from most other flagships, and a glossy, reinforced glass finish. We got a chance to check it out ahead of its announcement.
Design and Features
On the design front, the Huawei P20 Pro is essentially a bigger version of the P20; it features gentle, rounded corners, with the front and back coated in glossy, reflective glass and bordered by a matte metal edge. As well as the signature Twilight color gradient, you’ll be able to pick up the P20 Pro in Blue, Black, and Pink Gold versions as well.
It feels very classy to the touch, with a nice weight to it. The iridescence of the Twilight version is especially eye-catching; you’ll want to keep turning it over in your hand to marvel at how the colors shift and change, as well as how the reflective finish catches the light and the reflections of your surroundings.
That said, like pretty much anything you wrap in
As with the P20, there’s a fingerprint scanner mounted on the front. As well as letting you lock the phone, a single press will send you to the home screen, while a long press will take you back, though you can use the standard on-screen controls too.
The Huawei P20 Pro’s screen is an OLED panel, boasting high levels of contrast and color fidelity. The 2,240-by-1,080 display comes to 407 pixels per inch (
Like the P20, and, yes, like the iPhone X, the P20 Pro’s screen features a notch, but not one that really takes up a huge amount of screen real estate; it looks as though the front-facing camera and light sensor have been pushed as close together as possible so that the screen’s “wings” are as large as they can be. If notches irk you beyond all reason, Huawei’s taken the liberty of adding a Hide Notch option in the settings.
The P20 Pro’s tri-lens camera packs
Laser-assisted PDAF (phase detection autofocus) is augmented by the onboard AI chip, which means that when the camera detects moving objects, it’ll use a number of prediction models to guess where the subject(s) may be in the frame, projecting a number of possible focal points—great if you’ve recently become a parent or if you’ve got a cute pet that won’t sit still.
Left to right: Huawei P20, P20 Pro
A color temperature sensor with a 1,000 to 10,000K spectrum means you’ll be able to capture images with a greater color fidelity, though you’ll only be able to force this down to 2,400K or up to 7,000K in manual mode.
In terms of sensitivity, the P20 Pro features a maximum ISO setting of 102400, higher than the top 6400 setting of the iPhone X and Galaxy S9, and, Huawei says the onboard AI will help compensate for any slight hand motion when you’re doing things like taking long exposures.
The front camera features a dense 24MP sensor, which, aside from letting you take absurdly high-resolution selfies, allows for fast face unlocking.
As with the P20, the HiSilicon Kirin 970
The P20 Pro features a Cat 18 LTE radio with a 4×4 MIMO configuration—
On the Wi-Fi side, it’s a dual-band phone supporting 802.11a/b/g/n/ac. It also has Bluetooth 4.2.
The P20 Pro’s battery is a 4,000mAh cell, which ought to easily last you a day, possibly two with conservative use. Fast charging via the USB-C port should see you go from zero to 50 percent charged in half an hour, and the onboard machine learning processes mean that your favorite apps will be identified, and RAM prioritized, adding up to more efficient memory use, less processing power, and less of a strain on that battery.
While some manufacturers are turning toward Android One, Huawei’s sticking with EMUI, which has been updated to Android 8.1 Oreo on the P20 range. Aside from a tweaked look, other improvements include faster app launch and running times for any apps that
Automatic detection of blurry pictures and a memory cleaner tool, both useful features of EMUI, return. Aside from this, it looks like business as usual, with a stripped down settings menu that boasts a more practical layout.
Pricing and Availability
The Huawei P20 Pro’s camera is seriously impressive. It feels like something that might have begun life as a high-end point-and-shoot but evolved into a smartphone somewhere along the way. We’re itching to do some side-by-side comparisons of the P20 Pro and the iPhone X and Galaxy S9, just to see how the camera stands up, let alone the rest of the phone.
As with the P20, a drawback for users in the United States is that if you want one of these, chances are you’re going to be restricted to buying one unlocked and