Huawei P20 - Performance and Camera

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Huawei P20 – Performance

Here’s something you may find hard to believe: during our synthetic benchmarks, the Huawei P20 was just as fast as the Huawei P20 Pro, even though it’s missing a third of the RAM. The former comes with 4GB, while the latter has only 6GB. They both feature a Kirin 970 CPU and 128GB of non-expandable internal storage.

Just as I’d experienced with the P20 Pro, the P20 was smooth, switching between applications while streaming a song over 4G from Spotify without stopping to take so much as a breath. It also remained composed while cycling between Asphalt 8: Airborne and Need For Speed: No Limits, two of the most intensive 3D games around.

That said, I did experience one minor issue: the P20, unlike the P20 Pro, struggled to run Google Maps, taking around a minute to fire up the application, then an additional minute to prepare the keyboard for input. The issue persisted after a software reset, so it’s likely an issue with the application itself, rather than the handset.

Other than that minor blip, which I was able to circumvent by switching to Waze, the P20 didn’t disappoint. In fact, far from it. The handset was fast, operating with no lag whatsoever, even though the sub-par benchmark results – 1884 in the single- and 6702 in the multi-core test – would have you believe something else.

Device Single-Core Multi-Core
Huawei P20 1884 6702
Huawei P20 Pro 1921 6837
Samsung Galaxy S9 3690 8757

Huawei P20 – Camera

Chances are you’ve heard nothing but good things about the tri-camera on the P20 Pro, but this doesn’t mean the shooter on the P20 is worthy of turning your nose up at.

Sure, it doesn’t have the three sensors of the P20 Pro, but the dual cameras it does have ­– a 12-megapixel telephoto sensor (f/1.8) and a 20-megapixel monochrome sensor (f/1.6) for depth and texture – are fantastic for those looking to shoot impressive images, and who don’t require the dedicated 3x optical zoom the Pro offers.

The P20 also comes with the AI image-processing engine that debuted on the Huawei P10, although it’s been treated to a couple of new features. The main one is frame-by-frame optimisation – in the default Auto shooting mode, that is – for a host of different scenarios, including close-ups, portraits and night shots.

Just like the P20 Pro, shots taken on the P20 in both daylight and low light are crisp and brimming with detail. The same can also be said about the 24-megapixel selfie shooter, which is identical to the one on the P20 Pro. Once again, the super-slo-mo feature fell short of expectations, repeatedly distorting the subject.

My only qualm with the camera on the P20 Pro was that the handset tended to oversaturate images, and that’s even more the case on the P20. It’s almost like Huawei is trying to compensate for the missing camera sensor with unrealistic colour optimisation – something that drives me up the wall.

Best Huawei P20 Deals

  Huawei P20 – 20GB, £31.33, no upfront cost on EE

Loads of data and nothing to pay upfront make this a great choice. EE also gives you 6 months Apple Music and 3 months BT Sport, too.

  Huawei P20 (Pink) – 20GB, £31.33, no upfront cost on EE

Same deal as above but with a Huawei P20 in an eye-catching pink finish.

Huawei P20 – 15GB of data, £32pm, £89.99 cost on EE

Plenty of data and a low upfront cost make this a stellar deal.

I decided to opt out of the auto-manipulation tool, which is powered by the aforementioned AI engine, after experimenting with it for three days. I was a lot happier with the images the handset churned out as a result. The colours were far more accurate, making the shot more representative of what was in front of me.