After the successful launch event in London in May, Honor has launched its 2nd flagship device of year 2019 as part of Honor 20 Series, mainly the Honor 20 Pro and Honor 20 along with an affordable Honor 20 lite or Honor 20i on June 11 in India at a launch event in Delhi.
Here are full specifications of the device for quick overview of the feature in case anyone missed it earlier.
Please check this link as full specification is quiet a big and will take up entire page here.
Now let’s start the Honor 20 review. This is my detailed personal review about the Honor 20 unit which I received from Honor as a review unit.
Design- Many may feel that Honor 20 design is nothing new, in fact we are seeing this since Honor 8 era but Honor has not stopped its innovation and HONOR 20 takes that trend to the next level with a mirror glass back that creates subtle patterns and highlights that shine and move alongside different lights and is famous for Dynamic Holographic design which really looks incredible and eye catching. With nearly side bezel-less design, very minimal lower bezel and the punch hole camera set up, Honor was able to give us 91.7% screen to body ratio which gives nearly full screen view and best possible viewing experience. Phone really looks premium and can beat up any flagship design even in half price.
Another impressive design of Honor 20 includes a Side-Mounted Fingerprint Sensor. Initially, I was not fan for front mounted FP sensor as I was used to rear FP sensor mainly for unlocking and clicking photos but then gradually started liking the front FP sensor as it is easy to unlock without even lifting the device, found other of clicking pictures. With Honor 20 side-mounted FP scanner, I am getting used to it but gradually started liking it as response is very fast and accurate. I can unlock my phone even before I start counting to get that milli-second feel.
Display- Honor 20 is packed with fairly large but in trend screen size of 6.26 inch and offers a full view display, thanks to the Punch hole camera design which enables the nearly full screen display. A FHD+ IPS LCD screen with 2340X1080 resolutions gives a brighter and better display with equally good viewing experience. Display supports the 16.7 M colors and equipped with 412 PPI. Overall, the looks way better than my preview phones majorly due to full view display and accurate positioning of front camera which doesn’t hampers the display or any viewing experience while gaming, watching videos or live streaming etc. Display is bright enough to have a better readability under sunlight at full brightness. If you have automatic brightness enabled or have kept it on half way, you may feel some discomfort only under the direct sunlight and not under the bright condition, but this is same with every IPS panel.
Performance- Well, there is no second thought about the performance that you can get from this device. With Latest flagship Kirin 980 Processor. There is no deny that performance will be optimal for end user but sometimes few things are good on paper but not in real life, but Honor 20 is truly optimized with Magic 2.1 (for some they may refer as EMUI 9.1) and doesn’t lag at all. I have played Asphalt 8 and Fortnite and did not feel any lag or frame drop and games were launching quickly and were able to perform as per the expectation. Yet to test the same with PUBG but don’t think that will have any issue as well as Fortnite game size is huge compared to PUBG. I was able to get constant 30 FPS for Fortnite and waiting for update to support the 60 FPS and similar constant 30 FPS in Asphalt 8 with highest visual quality. So, from gaming perspective, I do not see any challenge and games runs smooth on this device without a problem. From Application launch point of view, apps launches very fast and user do not notice much delay or lag if they have selected the right settings in developer mode and disabled the screen animations. I personally did not face much delay while launching or switching across applications. Also, I noticed one improved in Magic UI 2.1 and Honor 20 that apps remain in memory for longer time but yes, the social media apps refresh immediately they are switched to, from any other app after some time. This was the behavior in default mode and I did not even enable the performance mode. No changes were made to the battery setting for app launch and they all were by default (system selected) except WhatsApp, Tapatalk , XDA and Telegram. So, if you are looking for a device which will give you the optimal performance without hurting your pocket, look no further and can go for Honor 20.
7nm Kirin 980 AI Chipset with Dual-NPU couple with 6 GB of RAM is doing the wonders here and device is one of the best I have used in terms of performance and fluidity.
Battery - Honor 20 comes with 3750 mAh battery with which, I was able to get around easilve over 30 hours of regular usage with multiple social media apps, dual Facebook, messenger, WeChat and WhatsApp and exchange applications which always runs in background and among the top battery consumer for all along with some time on gaming, YouTube, Gmail, Chrome, Skype For Business, Hotstar live streaming etc. still I was able to pass my entire with phone without suffering for battery issue by end of my day and only connect charger the next day (my regular routine as I connect to charge my phone only around at 07.00 AM in the morning and then leave for office). If I don’t play games or live streams, I was able to get around 30+ hours of usage with still around 18-25% left.
On an average I was able to get around 8-9 hours of SOT with my usage pattern.
Honor claims for 50% charging in 30 minutes and in my test this just works fine as I was able to charge 49% in 30 minutes and in random usages, I was still able to charge around 40-43% with Mobile data/Wi-Fi on.
Audio- I personally found that Honor 20’s volume is loud enough to be able to hear at full volume and audio is crispy clear. I used the phone with Honor’s Bluetooth headset and could enjoy the music and movies very well without any problem. There is inbuilt Histen sound effect feature as well which works only with a physically connected headset. Though, since Apples started the norm of removing the audio jack and many others are following the trend, Honor 20 lacks a headphone jack but it comes with a type-C to 3.5 mm jack dongle which you can listed to feel the same traditional way of music on headset and can vary the settings via Histen effect to be able to listen the music in your favorite mode.
Also, Honor 20 come up with 9.1 Virtual Surround feature which you can feel while gaming like Fortnite or others or watching a movie and using the Histen sound effect.
Camera- Honor 20 is equipped 4 camera setup which seems to be a norm in 2019 now and comes with 48 MP Sony IMX586 with F/1.8 aperture, 16 MP Super wide-angle camera with F/2,2 aperture, 2 MP Depth camera and 2 MP Macro camera.
48 MP main camera- it is Sony IMX586 lens and supports AI Ultra clarity mode and AIS. It also supports the AIS super night mode which is cool and in my personal experience which clicking few shots with night mode, I was amazed by the level of details I could see in the pictures.
16 MP Wide angle camera- with F/2.2 aperture and 117-degree super wide angle it really does wonders sometime to capture a larger area in smaller frame. I used 1X, 2X zoom and wide angle and really started liking it for few images where it was necessary to click a relatively bigger area. It also supports the Distortion correction.
2MP Depth assist camera – comes up with F/2l,4 aperture and supports h=in providing the bokeh effect.
2 MP Macro camera- with F/2,4 aperture, it supports a macro photography and gives the optimal results at 4cm distance from object. Results may vary person to person and object to object and light conditions. I got different results with different objects and light condition.
32 MP Selfie camera- I am not a selfie lover so did not explore much but I am sure it does well as I have seen the better results with relatively inferior camera from Honor. I clicked few selfies and was surprised to see the results and details in the image, you can turn off the beauty mode to get more details of object. Come up with F/2.0 aperture it does support the AIS and I really liked few images I clicked even with bit moving objects still the results were good. It supports AIS Super night mode, AI Color mode, AIS and AI mode.
Videos- Rear camera supports up to 4K resolution with EIS and front camera supports up to 1080P recording with EIS. You also get slow motion video with up to 960 FPS.
This review is incomplete if I do not touch the camera part or include camera review here. I am using this device for a week now and only got a couple of days to go out to explore the camera. Probably, I will be posting more images next week when I will be out of town to explore another city and click some memories. Yes, I am breaking up with my old phone and carrying this beauty on my next travel to Europe. As Honor 20 series tagline says #YouDeserveBetter yes, This is the one you deserve and you will not regret. BTW, I am not good at photography, still tried some hands on it this time and I was really happy with the image quality and really loving the camera. I tried all the modes available and Night, Super Macro and Super Slow motion with 32X (960 FPS). I was able to capture few night shots, which I personally feel was better than my expectation (did not used any tripod and taken random images) and I am hoping I will be able to share few more quality clicks next week with all the modes. This was my first phone supporting the wide-angle mode and I really liked it and taken few shots. Not a selfie lover so did not bother my front camera much to click myself.
AS I have clicked more than 500 Images and its difficult to upload all here but have selected around 60 images and you can check here. I am not a photographer and doesn't click great pictures.
Software/UI- EMUI is not new to me, have been using it for years now. Honor 20 comes with Magic UI but there is not much difference in terms of UI and looks. This is my first phone with Magic UI but I have hands on Magic phone, so this was not much change for me. UI looks similar and a familiar one but is optimized on top of Android 9 and hardware and works like a charm. No unexpected slowness or lags noticed and scroll, navigation, options are easily accessible and provides all the required features.
Conclusion- Due to the ongoing situation of Huawei/Honor with US ban, things were shaken up initially but every day we are hearing one or the other positive news. Many of them could be rumors but still there are some trusted sources which give some positive information and who know this ban might end up soon and we see Huawei/Honor back in business again. Even though with such uncertainty, if we see the astonishing sell of Honor 20 series since its launch, it shows the trust of user on the brand and Honor/Huawei has not let down the customers and are providing the updates, coming up with trending features. Overall, in my opinion and usage of Honor 20 till date, even though going through a tough time but yet managed to do well across markets, Phone is incredible with mesmerizing eye catching design, ticking all the boxes to be your preferred phone for camera, performance, design and long lasting battery which supports supercharging and gives you entire day of battery juice with just few minutes or charging. 4 cameras set up is really doing well and gives you incredible image quality with details and color saturation. No compromise on the performance or design either and side mounted fingerprint scanner is a welcome move giving you a new yet a comfortable experience.