The Huawei P20 Pro is blazing fast. The in-house Kirin 970 at the heart of the handset is coupled with 6GB of RAM (2GB more than the standard P20). It handled every task I threw its way with ease, remaining composed while switching between a handful of applications and streaming a playlist over 4G from Spotify.
I didn’t notice a dip in performance even when cycling between Asphalt 8: Airborne and Need For Speed: No Limits – two intensive 3D mobile games. The frame rate remained consistent as I progressed through different levels, switching between the titles whenever I reached a new milestone in the other (aka game surfing).
In typical Trusted Reviews fashion, I ran the Huawei P20 Pro through a Geekbench 4 simulation – a benchmark test designed to assess a handset’s raw performance. It performed well, scoring 1921 in the single-core and 6837 in the multi-core test, but falling short of the Galaxy S9 – which scored 3690 and 8757, respectively.
Coming from an iPhone X and Galaxy S9 Plus, I’m used to top-of-the-line performance – and the P20 Pro didn’t disappoint. I’d even go as far as to say that it’s far more fluid than Apple’s and Samsung’s flagships, displaying no lag whatsoever, contrary to what the benchmark results would have you to believe.
Huawei P20 Pro – Camera
The Huawei P20 Pro is the first smartphone on the market to offer a tri-camera – a 40MP telephoto sensor (f/1.8), a 20MP monochrome sensor (f/1.6) for depth and texture, and a standard 8MP image sensor (f/2.4). The latter has Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS), while the first two sport Artificial Intelligence Stabilisation (AIS).
The Huawei P20 Pro excels at close-ups
All three sensors, fine-tuned by German optics titan Leica, work together, with each being assigned a specific role. The 40MP sensor captures the colours in the scene, the 20MP monochrome sensor ensnares more detail, as well as texture and depth for a bokeh effect (if required), and the 8MP sensor is used for zooming.
The Monochrome sensor doesn’t skip on detail, either
And we can’t complain about this bokeh
But that’s not the best bit. Huawei has invested a lot of resources into further developing the AI engine that debuted on the Huawei P10, with the feature now offering frame-by-frame optimisation – in the default Auto shooting mode – for a host of different scenarios, including action and night shots, and close-ups.
Pictures taken in daylight are crisp and brimming with detail
You can even zoom in for a closer look at distant subjects
Still shots taken in both daylight and low-light are crisp and full of detail. The same can also be said for the 24MP front-facing shooter. Video, on the other hand, isn’t so great – the super-slo-mo feature, which lets you shoot a 0.2-second burst of slow-motion footage at 960 frames per second, often distorted the subject.
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On the odd occasion – like Max Parker, our resident Phones and Tablets Editor, found with the Galaxy S9 Plus – the images the P20 Pro churned out weren’t exactly representative of what I was in front of me, and that’s because they’d been heavily oversaturated in post-production – something the handset does by default.
The sky is a little more blue than it was in real life
Most of the time, however, the auto-manipulation, which is powered by the aforementioned AI engine, works in the camera’s favour, making colours pop, even in the darkest of settings. Just look at this picture I snapped of the Eiffel Tower at midnight. You wouldn’t believe that was shot on a smartphone, right?
Well… It was.
Having used both the Galaxy S9 Plus and P20 Pro, I’d say the latter comes out on top. It’s a lot more reliable in low-light environments, and the images it produces in well-lit conditions are second to none. And the same, once again, can be said for the front-facing camera – which is clear and crisp for the most part.