The Huawei P20 Pro is Chinese manufacturer Huawei’s latest flagship smartphone. It brings a much-anticipated new feature to the table – a tri-camera – but that isn’t the handset’s only party trick. It’s also equipped with a top-of-the-line processor, 6GB of RAM, 128GB of internal storage to boot and a sizeable battery.
The end result is a great smartphone that’s sure to delight photographers.
The design of the Huawei P20 Pro isn’t too dissimilar to what we’ve seen from other manufacturers of late. There’s a small cut-out – dubbed a ‘notch’ – at the top of the tall 6.1-inch near-edge-to-edge screen that’s used to house vital components, including the 24MP front-facing camera, and there’s a small lip at the bottom.
And it’s here that the Huawei P20 Pro differs from Samsung’s Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus. Huawei decided to house a Home button in the dead space, which also doubles as a fingerprint reader if the handset’s face-recognition feature isn’t your cup of tea – though you do have the choice to the two in unison.
Here’s the issue, though: the Home button is located beneath a set of on-screen navigation keys and that proved to be problematic, as, being someone with somewhat large fingers, I often found myself hitting both the capacitive and virtual Home button at the same time, thus launching Google Assistant.
Flip the Huawei P20 Pro over and you’re greeted by its Leica-engineered tri-camera and an LED flash, as well as some modest Huawei and Leica branding. The shooter itself is mounted vertically on the upper-right side of the unit, instead of horizontally as found on the Huawei P10, for improved depth-sensing.
There’s a set of stereo speakers on the bottom of the Huawei P20 Pro, situated either side of the USB-C slot – and they sound fantastic, delivering clear and rich audio at even the loudest of volumes. Noticeably missing is a 3.5mm headphone port – something to bear in mind if you’re not a fan of Bluetooth or adapters.
You’ll find the volume rocker and power button on the right of the handset’s frame, both of which are constructed from cheap plastic. Pressing either of the keys not only feels tacky – the iPhone X, for comparison, has a set of weighted buttons – but also sends an ear-wrenching sound on a one-way trip to your ear canals.
Build quality is the best I’ve seen on a high-end smartphone to date. The handset is constructed from a mixture of strengthened glass and aluminium, with the former occupying the front and rear of the unit, and the latter the frame that holds everything in place – similar to what Apple did with the iPhone X.
That’s good for two reasons, the first being that it provides a high-end finish, especially when paired with Huawei’s stunning new gradient colours. This device is guaranteed to turn at least a handful of heads. The second is that the metal-and-glass build also ensures protection from the odd knock, bump and scrape.
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