Huawei unveiled its new generation P series smartphone in Paris today, replacing last year’s P10 not with a P11, nor with a P12, but with a P20 – a straight 10-place-jump in the numbering of the model. According to Huawei, massive improvements justify the massive jump in the numeration.
Well, all one can say is that the Chinese smartphone giant has got that one bang on target!
Because, what a statement Huawei has made with its 2018 flagship phone!
So, without further ado, let’s just get down to the brass tacks.
To start with, the top-of-the-line P20 and P20 Pro smartphones boast eye-catching new finish with glossy glass backs and ever so subtle curves that make them feel so perfect in the hand, and, not one, not two, but three rear cameras on the Pro version.
The P20 is being made available in a range of colors. One of the options that really stands out is the Twilight Purple, but then the scribe’s choice may not necessarily be yours.
Huawei has kept pace with the new trend of keeping the displays taller and narrower, with a pretty much edge to edge screen, and, believe it or not, there is an iPhone-like notch up there, with just about enough space to accommodate a selfie camera and an earpiece.
However, if the notch is not really your thing, you do have the option of camouflaging it by filling up the space around it with black, giving your P20 a more conventional look.
Down below, some screen space has been compromised to fit in a fingerprint sensor, which for many may be the ideal placement, while others may prefer their fingerprint sensors on the back.
The P20 has a 5.8-inch LCD screen, while the P20 Pro comes with a 6.1-inch OLED display.
The P20 has a 3,400 mAh battery and is splash resistant (IP 53 rating).
The higher-end P20 Pro boasts a 4,000 mAh battery and is water resistant (IP 67), which is always a welcome feature to have when you get caught unawares in the rain.
The Pro’s battery life is in the same league as last year’s Mate 10 Pro, which means you should be good to go for a day and a half on a fully juiced up battery.
Huawei continues to ignore wireless charging, in spite of giving the P20 a glass back, saying that wireless charging speeds have to be fast enough to justify the additional feature. However, the available wired supercharge feature accelerates you from 0 to 58 percent in just 30 minutes.
And, before I forget, both the P20s are without headphone jacks.
Both models come with dual nano-SIM card slots with no dedicated slot for a micro SD card. However, SIM 2 slot can be used, should the need arise. However, for most users, the 128 GB onboard storage should be more than enough.
Now that the basics are behind us, let’s move on to some of the more exciting stuff the flagship phone is offering this year.
Huawei’s partnership with smartphone camera makers Leica has certainly been paying dividends, and this year they have taken camera features to a whole new level.
Huawei seems to have given precedence to creating a camera that has the ability to shoot better in a bad light, changing its approach by increasing the size of its image sensor, rather than putting a faster lens with a higher aperture, as has been the norm.
Not only that, the company has also increased ISO up to 104,200, which is a smartphone record.
One of the dual Leica cameras on the P20 shoots in color, while the other in monochrome.
A 4D predictive focus system allows the camera to focus better using the motion prediction feature, while a color temperature sensor makes for improved and accurate colors.
The P20 Pro makes photography even more exciting with three rear cameras.
One is an 8-megapixel telephoto camera with 3x optical zoom and 5x hyperzoom.
Below this is the second camera with an incredible 40 MP sensor, which is a lot of megapixels indeed.
The third monochrome camera has a 20-megapixel sensor.
Wait. There’s more.
Long exposure shots without a tripod have been a long-time photography dilemma, but Huawei claims it has addressed the handheld shot stabilization issue with its artificial intelligence stabilization or AIS.
Improving on last year’s AI feature that changed its settings according to the objects and scenes it detected, Huawei has this year added 6 more – Group, Natural Colors, Stage, Blue Sky, Macro, and Fireworks.
Another new addition this year is what Huawei refers to as the AI-powered Master Photography feature.
And, the new P20 will be able to shoot in super slowmo at 960 frames per second.
Both the P20s are being equipped with a 24 MP selfie camera.
The P20 has taken over from the Huawei Mate 10 Pro as the best selfie smartphone around.
Both the P20s are brimming with some of the best features one can hope for in a smartphone.
Huawei is certainly looking to blaze an android trail with this one.