Hello Folks! Today I’m going to take a look at the Honor View 20 Review. Huawei sub-branded company Honor has just released their final flagship device of 2018 in China and 1st of 2019 globally, possibly setting a new standard for budget smartphones of the New Year.
This phone doesn’t cut corners in any real way and manages to keep the costs as low as 430 to 510 dollars for the 6GB of RAM and 8GB RAM variant respectively.
Regardless of which you pick up you are treated to 128 gigs of storage but unfortunately no expandable storage though nothing has been said as to whether it will accept a Huawei Nano SD card or not. So let’s started-
The main talking of this phone is its innovative and bold design language, and there is a hole punched notch housing a selfie camera in the front which seems a lot more practical then other notches are there giving you the most immersive experience yet without the need of a slider of the pop-up mechanism.
There is also an earpiece grow at the top which doubles up as a second speaker and houses the notification LED light.
Continuing this innovative train setting is the glass back on I have managed to embed light reflective V symbols in the back giving its signature for its V Series phones and it looks incredible, to say the least at the back wheel also treated to a crazy 48-megapixel shooter paired with a time-of-flight 3D camera but more on that later.
The cameras are set in a horizontal setup much like older Dual lens smartphones with the flash to the right-hand side. We also have cutouts for the fingerprint sensor as well as on and logo which is a bit too big and bold for my liking. Nevertheless, the back still clean and beautiful.
Taking a look at the side bezels of the phone, we have a Dual SIM tray on the left. The light sensor, the IR blaster, and 3.5mm headphone jack at the top. On the right, you find a volume rocker and textured power button and at the downside a single firing speaker and USB 3.1 type-C port.
The Display is 6.4-inches in size and uses IPS technology instead of AMOLED in a world of LED panels. This seems like a bit of step back, but this was done to punch a hole in the screen for the front-facing camp which is a step in the right direction.
The reason this could not house an LED panel is that this LCD screen is made of 18 layers and the bottom two layers have been drilled through for the camera. LED panels typically fewer layers of screen and drilling into an AMOLED panel is not only tricky but pricey.
That being said this is one of the most striking IPS displays I have ever seen in a smartphone. It may not be an AMOLED display, but it’s as close to one as it gets, and the colours are displayed more accurately.
To see what this incredible screen has to offer, you’ll need to unlock the phone first, and this is done in the fastest manner I have ever seen.
It can even be triggered when you raise to wake the device for even more convenience. When you are in the device, you are previewed with Honor Magic 2.0 Skin over Android 9.O Pi. This is the same skin as Huawei EMUI 9 with a different name. It is no Stock Android but is very clean, and EMUI has come a long way to give one of the best software experiences to date.
There are a couple of unnecessary features found in the settings but some useful ones too. Such as one-handed mode which shrinks the screens display area digital balance which tracks the phone’s usage and high-touch which allows you to translate the entire contents of the screen.
There is also an app drawer option should that tickle your fancy but the ugly icon has me switching back, and this is the only style there is, and you download a third-party launcher, but even then you are out of luck since Huawei blocks the use of one well for the Chinese model anyways.
Though I am welcomed by the new Hole-punch notch star, there is an option in settings to hide it should you prefer a more standard look or features found on other recent Huawei and Honor phones are the same and while not all useful they are there should you need them.
Flicking around Magic 2.O can be done using full-screen Gestures which is the same as previous Huawei offerings. You swipe in from the left or the right of the screen to go back, swipe up from the centre to go home and swipe up and hold to open recent apps. This isn’t as great as what OnePlus offers but is more than on par with other smartphone gestures. Should you be a bit more old school? There is still three key navigation which can change your liking.
The Camera UI is neatly stacked up with tons of features that you would usually find on any phone running EMUI which includes any feature you could think of.
The back cameras are set in a horizontal array which includes a 48-megapixel main sensor and aperture of f/1.8 and the second sensor is 8-megapixel TOF (time-of-flight) 3D stereo camera much like the one found on the Oppo R17 which measures distance in the form of light signal between the lens and the subject in order to get the best possible depth effect. There is no form of stabilisation here other than AI which works brilliantly nowadays.
In Daylight: –
When taking snaps in good lighting conditions, photos come out incredibly clear and full of detail. You could even go as far as to say they come out on par with the likes of the Pixel 3 and Mate 20 Pro. The level of detail is in full force with Sony’s IMX 586 sensor, and it does a great job at handling a lot of light too.
Though there is no form of stabilisation, there is what Honor call AI 4D Prediction focus which shows points of moving objects on the screen and prevents blur when taking a snap which I found to work surprisingly well, I couldn’t make a blurry photo.
There is no optical lossless zoom here, but the Electronic zoom does a superb job due to its assistance from AI like Google have stated it’s becoming all about the software.
When you whip your phone out at night or in low-light situations, you’re treated to Huawei night-mode which takes four seconds to use and has its benefits for sure. It doesn’t necessarily make things brighter than normal camera mode, but it retains all the detail that would have otherwise been lost. And trust me, this is a big deal since the difference is huge.
Without night mode on things are just as bright but with less detail and more noise. That being said even without the mode enabled photos to come out extremely bright.
Portrait Mode: –
Portrait mode works better than I have ever experienced thanks to the 3D sensor. It uses a mix of hardware and software to get the best possible depth effect, and the results are impressive. The subject is perfectly clear, and the blur is done in such a smooth and so real way.
On the video front, you’re welcome to 4K, but it is limited to 30 fps just like on other Huawei flagships as well as 1080p at 60fps. 4K comes out clear and full of detail but lack stabilisation due to its 30fps cap. 1080p comes up with brilliant quality and stabilisation even though only AI is taking care of the latter.
Rest assured you can get some great video recordings on the Honor View 20 and the AI does a superb job of stabilisation. Another incredible thing you can do with the phone’s video is video background blur, it is limited to 1080p, but it comes out incredibly well giving it a movie kind of feel, this is where the TOF lens truly shines.
Slow-motion is also included and now includes 960fps a first for Honor smartphones. It is damn slow but just doesn’t live up to the same standard as what I’ve seen on the Mate 20 Pro or Galaxy Note 9. it is not bad by any means and it nice to have but it is tough to use, and the quality is not very good due to it being limited to 720p.
Selfie Camera: –
Switching over to the front camera, you are presented to a single lens embedded in the screen itself through a punch hole design, and it sports 25-megapixels with an aperture of f/2.0. Taking a usual snap in decent lighting conditions makes for some pleasing results in the form of subject and background detail.
The pictures come out clear and don’t feel washed out like may other budget phones in selfie cameras. Though the depth effect found in portrait mode is purely software based it comes out looking just as good as phones with secondary depth sensor in the front if not better. The background is blurred superbly, and the subject does not take a hit in detail at all.
Recording the video using the front camera is limited to 1080p at 30 fps which is pretty standard, and things come out clear and stable.
Where this device excels when it comes to performance, you get a 7nm Kirin 980 chipset which is currently the fastest Android chipset on the market until the new Snapdragon releases early this year. The Honor View 20 comes paired with a dedicated performance mode which utilises the CPU and GPU for the fastest possible experience.
The great thing about this feature is that it can be enabled permanently, the downside of allowing the performance mode is that it chomps away at battery life and if the mode is not enabled the benchmarks scores I got were closer to the Snapdragon 845 chip which is slightly disappointing considering this is Huawei next-generation ship and will only be replaced at the end of 2019.
But even when this mode is on the phone does not reach a high temperature. Thanks to the included liquid cooling pipe which Honor refers to as the Nine, due to its nine heat dissipation layers.
Cooling Pipe: –
This is the same cooling pipe found within the Honor Mate 10 and in a much smaller build not only have they improved the heat management by running the pipe from the camera to the chipset to the battery charging units.
But they have also allowed AI to take control of the pipe by predicting where the heat will be generated from next to start the cooling process before the heat build-up giving the phone the best possible performance and temperature.
Flicking through social media apps and multitasking is fleur and Snappy and wins playing games. There is no sign of lag. The quality of performance while gaming is impeccable where the performance mode is enabled or not all games allow for the screen to end before or after the selfie lens. So if you like the full view experience as I do, then you’ll be happy to hear that all apps and games comply with it.
If the crazy amount of RAM and CPU performance of this device is overdoing it for simple smartphone tasks and gaming needs, you will be happy to know that you can connect the phone to an external display using an HDMI to type-C cable or simply just using wireless costing which transforms your phone into a desktop-like experience.
On the external display while using your phone as a trackpad or independently so that you can use your cellphone similarly to Samsung DEX and while doing so still use your phone for its usual tasks.
Biometrics & Security: –
The fingerprint scanner is a physical one and placed on the phone’s back. It is perfectly round and feels solid, it is situated perfectly and is beyond fast. Probably the most rapid physical sensor I have come across. It would have been cool to have a sensor embedded into the display, but this is costly and isn’t half as fast.
Face unlock things to another level, and it takes a second to set up and less than that to open the device. Seriously, this is the fastest face unlock I have come across.
When it comes to connectivity, on I have included NFC for pairing and cordless payments, Bluetooth 5.0, Dual frequency GPS which uses AI to select the best satellites for the strongest signal and they have added a third Wi-Fi Antenna to maintain a strong signal when using the phone in landscape mode.
When it comes to speaker quality, they get as loud as you would expect from a phone at this price. They have good depth and no distortion at large volumes, but then again they don’t get that loud. I say that because of the earpiece up as a second speaker giving off a dual stereo sound.
However, the earpiece speaker is exceptionally soft and is only there for a more immersive experience when playing a game or watching a movie. Unfortunately, there is no Dolby Atmos built-in, but all deck is available when using headphones.
The Honor View 20’s battery comes in at a surprising 4000 milliamp-hours, the same as the regular Mate 20 so expect similar screen on times of around 7 to 8 hours. During my time with the phone, I started my day with 100% and never went to bed with less than about 50% battery life.
The Honor View 20 does not support wireless charging, but the phone comes with 22.5-watt Huawei supercharger and can charge your phone 0 to 55% in just 30 minutes. Considering this is the same charger paired with the regular Mate 20 you can expect similar charge times between an hour and 30 minutes and an hour and 45 minutes.
The Honor View 20 does not come with an IP certification, but it should be splash proof considering its solid bolt. It does not offer microSD card support but who’s to say you can’t use a Huawei microSD. It does not have an AMOLED screen but its IPS display is one of the best I have seen and even trades blur with most LED panels, but that’s about it for around 500 dollars.
You can get your hands on a phone which has an all View punch hole display housing a brilliant 25-megapixel selfie camera, a stunning back design with a cutouts for an impressive 48-megapixel snapper and TOF 3D lens which takes some of the best pictures I have ever seen, along with a smashingly fast fingerprint reader and face unlock which offers better speeds than anything else out there. You get a 4000 mAh battery paired with Huawei supercharged, a damn headphone jack, dual speaker, an IR blaster and the latest 7nm Kirin 980 chipset.
There is a lot to like here, and if you’re due for an upgrade at this price range, then there is currently no better phone out there.
|Indian Buyers||Buy Now||Price|
|Honor View 20||Coming Soon||28,500|
|Honor View 20||Coming Soon||$450.00|
|Technology||GSM / CDMA / LTE / HSPA|
|SIM||Dual SIM (Nano)|
|BODY||Dimensions||156.9mm x 75.4mm x 8.1 mm|
|DISPLAY||Type||IPS LCD, 1080 x 2310p (398 PPI)|
|CAMERA||Rear||48 MP, f/1.8, PDAF
TOF 3D Stereo Camera
|Front||25 MP, f/2.0|
|Video||2160p@30fps, 1080p@30fps, 720p@960fps, (gyro-EIS)|
|Features||Panorama, HDR, LED flash|
|PROCESSOR||OS||Magic UI 2, Android 9.0 Pie|
|Chip||HiSilicon Kirin 980 (7 nm)|
|CPU||Octa-Core up to 2.6GHz|
|MEMORY||Internal||256 GB, 8 GB RAM or 128 GB, 6/8 GB RAM|
|FEATURES||Sensors||Fingerprint (rear-mounted), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass|
|CONNECTIVITY||WLAN||Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, WiFi Direct, hotspot|
|USB||3.1, Type-C 1.0 reversible connector|
|Others||Bluetooth v5.0, GPS, NFC, Infrared Port|
|SOUND||Speaker||Loudspeaker, 3.5mm headphone jack|
|Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic|
|BATTERY||Li-Po 4000 mAh|