12-megapixel colour and 20-megapixel monochrome camera
24-megapixel selfie camera
1.55um pixel size
4GB RAM, 64/128GB storage
What is the Huawei P20?
The Huawei P20 is the staple of the all-new P20 range, sitting beneath the tri-camera-toting P20 Pro and above the budget P20 Lite. But don’t let its middling position deter you; the Huawei P20 is still a fantastic smartphone that’s worth your hard-earned cash, even if it isn’t being marketed as the company’s flagship.
And that’s because it’s almost the same as the P20 Pro, shipping with a 5.8-inch FullView screen, a Kirin 970 processor and 128GB of internal storage. The only downsides are that Huawei has stripped away the extra camera sensor, cut down the RAM, and switched out the OLED for a not-so-impressive LCD.
The Huawei P20 sports a near-identical design to the Huawei P20 Pro, but with one main difference: the former has a dual-camera setup, while the latter is armed with the firm’s all-new tri-camera configuration. Both were co-engineered by German optics titan Leica, however.
The P20 is also smaller, in part because of its 5.8-inch FullView LCD screen. The P20 Pro, for comparison, features a 6.1-inch FullView OLED screen. Don’t get too excited, though: it still features a cut-out – dubbed a ‘notch’ – at the top, used to house vital components such as the 24-megapixel selfie shooter.
Just like the standard P20, there’s a capacitive Home button enclosed in the small lip at the bottom of the screen, which can double as a fingerprint reader if you’re not a fan of face-recognition – although note that the two methods of authentication can be used in unison.
Nevertheless, locating the Home button beneath the screen, where a set of customisable on-screen navigation keys reside, is a bad decision. This is because, as I noted in my review of the P20 Pro, I often found myself hitting the capacitive and Home button at the same time, consequently launching Google Assistant.
There’s a single loudspeaker along the bottom, situated to the left of the USB-C slot. It sounds fantastic, delivering clear and rich audio, even when the volume is cranked to the maximum. I did find myself covering the speaker when holding the unit with one hand, however, thus rendering the otherwise clear audio inaudible.
The volume rocker and power button, which are both constructed from what I can only describe as cheap plastic, can be found on the right side of the handset’s frame. As is the case with the P20 Pro, tapping either of the keys not only feels unsatisfying compared to those on the iPhone X and Galaxy S9, but also sounds substandard.
Otherwise, build quality is on par with the P20 Pro, in the sense that it’s the best I’ve seen on a high-end smartphone to date. It’s constructed from a mixture of Gorilla Glass and aluminium, with the former taking up the front and rear of the unit, and the latter making up the durable frame that holds everything in place.
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A ridiculously low upfront (after using our exclusive £10 code) and low monthly cost combine to make this a great offer with a low total cost of ownership. 4GB of data is going to sufficient for light users. A sensational deal.
The Huawei P20 took a short tumble off a bedside counter onto hardwood flooring around a week in with the device (sorry, Huawei!), but it escaped unscathed. I can certainly say with a degree of confidence that the metal-and-glass build also ensures adequate protection against the odd knock, bump, scrape and drop.