Recently, HONOR launched its Honor 20 smartphone in the Indian market at Rs. 32,999. Competing directly against the OnePlus 7, this device comes equipped with a quad-camera setup, latest Kirin chipset and a slew of other features that sets Honor 20 as a worthy contender. We got hold of the device and this is what we think about it.
- HONOR 20 smartphone in Midnight Black color
- 2-pin Huawei SuperCharge fast charger (5V-2A/9V-2A/10V-4A)
- USB Type-C cable
- USB Type-C to 3.5mm converter
- SIM ejector tool
Display and Design
Started with HONOR 8, the HONOR 20 still retains the all-glass body with a shiny mirror finish-like metal frame sandwiched in between. This design creates a smooth and premium feel while handling the phone. Upon using the device, I found the HONOR 20 to be compact, comfortable to hold and easy to reach all the four corners with a single hand. On the other hand, the device is too slippery, attracts fingerprints and smudges like there is no tomorrow.
The HONOR 20 sports a 6.26-inch (2340×1080 pixels) FHD+ All-View display translating into a 412ppi. While there is no information about the Corning Gorilla Glass protection, the company has claimed to have used a protective material of its own to help prevent the display from scratches and damage.
Under the display settings, HONOR 20 has two different modes — Normal for accurate colours and Vivid for punchy colours. Under each mode, the user gets three different temperature presets for its display — Default, Warm and Color. These settings can be tweaked according to the user’s preference. However, the device is shipped with the Vivid mode, default temperature out of the box. Keeping the technicalities out, the display offers excellent viewing angle, good contrast, sharp texts and decent sunlight readability.
Furthermore, HONOR 20 enables the user to manually select the resolution as well — HD+ and FHD+. If you are concerned about battery life, turning on the ‘Smart Resolution’ toggle will solve your problem.
The speaker grill is present on the top edge, which also houses the notification LED.
The phone has minimal bezels, both on the top and the bottom. Even though the phone uses on-screen buttons, there is a small chin, but this is hardly noticeable.
Coming to the button placements, the power button is present on the right side which includes a fingerprint scanner, just below the volume rockers. Dual SIM slot is present on the left side, Infrared sensor is present on the top along with the secondary microphone, primary microphone, USB Type-C port and the loudspeaker grill are present on the bottom. It doesn’t have a microSD slots, and comes only in 128GB (UFS 2.1) storage version in India.
The phone has a reflective 3D curved glass back, which looks and feels premium. It is a bit slippery so it is recommended to use a case. There is a small camera bump, so the phone doesn’t stay flat when you place it on a table.
Moving to the optics, the HONOR 20 has a 48MP rear camera (1/2″ Sony IMX586 sensor, f/1.8 aperture), a 16MP (117-degree Ultra Wide Angle lens), a 2MP (f/2.4 aperture camera for 4cm macro), and 2MP (f/2.4 aperture) camera for depth sensing. It has a 32MP front camera with f/2.0 aperture. The phone doesn’t have OIS, but comes with EIS.
The Camera UI is similar to other HONOR phones that have a HiVision visual search, toggle for flash, moving picture mode, AI toggle and settings option, while the bottom bar houses mini-gallery, shutter button, and on the side there is an option to switch to wide angle camera.
It has Aperture, Night mode, Portrait, Photo, Video, Pro mode, Panorama, AR lens, Light painting, HDR, Time-lapse, Filter and Stickers. The portrait mode has beautify mode and lighting effects. The front camera also offers the same amount of features.
Coming to the image quality, daylight images are good, macro shots are excellent, thanks to 2MP macro camera. The wide-angle shots are good as well, but the sides look a bit curved due to the lens. Portrait shots are good as well. The Night shot mode requires a tripod since the phone needs to be steady. The front camera is pretty good at capturing details, however, the portrait bokeh mode is uneven and looks artificial since it uses software to blur the background.
Check out the full camera samples here.
Software, UI and Apps
The HONOR 20 runs on Android 9.0 (Pie) with Magic UI 2.1.0, which is essentially a version of EMUI and Android security update for May 2019. Regarding the ongoing issue, HUAWEI has confirmed that it will continue to provide security updates and after-sales services to all existing devices, covering those that have been sold and the ones that are still in stock globally. The Magic UI 2.1 brings a lot of new features such as gestures, GPU Turbo 3.0 that offers enhanced optimization for games, Translation, AI Shopping, HiVision visual search, Password Vault, Wireless Sharing (Projecting), Digital Balance dashboard, and more.
Like other smartphones, it also has scheduled power on and off option, Flip to mute, pickup to reduce ring and three-finger screenshot gestures. There is also a ride mode. Once enabled, callers will be notified that the user is currently riding, and cannot answer calls. The feature essentially functions as a Do-Not-Disturb option that sends a message to the caller saying that the user will not be able to attend the call since they are riding. However, the caller will also get an option to call the rider in case of an emergency. App Twin feature that allows users to log-in and uses two different accounts at the same time on the same phone.
Fingerprint Sensor and Face Unlock
The HONOR 20 comes equipped with a fingerprint scanner on the right side, which is comfortable to unlock when you are holding the phone. It unlocks the phone quickly. In this phone, you can add up to 5 fingerprints. And then there is a Fingerprint recognition option, which helps users to find out which fingerprint belongs to which ID. It also has Face unlock the can unlock the phone quickly, but it requires a good amount of lighting to work, and is less secure compared to the fingerprint unlock.
It supports 4G VoLTE as well as support Dual 4G VoLTE that offers 4G in both the SIM cards at a time. Other connectivity options include Wi-Fi 802.11 ac (2.4GHz + 5GHz), Bluetooth 5 LE, GPS and NFC. It also has USB OTG support that lets you connect USB drives and USB Type-C. The phone lacks a 3.5mm audio jack, so you have to use Type-C or Bluetooth headphone or use the bundled converter to connect 3.5mm earphones. Moving on, the call quality is good, and we did not face any call drops and earpiece volume was loud as well.
The HONOR 20 is powered by Kirin 980 processor with 720 MHz ARM Mali-G76MP10 GPU under the hood. On our day to day usage, the device never misses a beat, and we haven’t seen, hang or lag. It processes everything regardless of what you throw at it, thanks to 6GB RAM. During our gaming session, we didn’t witness any frame drop as well. Check out the synthetic benchmark scores below.
The HONOR 20 is powered by a 3750 mAh battery with 22.5W (4.5V-5A) HONOR SuperCharge fast charging technology which takes about 30 minutes to charge the phone to 50% and 80 minutes to charge to 100%. Talking about the real-world usage, I used HONOR 20 as my daily for over a week with moderate to heavy usage. Considering the above scenario, I didn’t get caught short of the HONOR 10, which is a promising sign. In our One Charge Rating, it scored 16 hours and 54 minutes, which is good.
Overall, the HONOR 20 is an impressive all-rounding package and an excellent affordable alternative to Huawei P30 Pro at a price of Rs. 32,999. Nonetheless, no phone is perfect, neither the HONOR 20. Due to the ongoing issues with the U.S government, it has its limitations, but that doesn’t stop us from recommending it since the company has promised Android Q update and security updates for the phone. In a nutshell, HONOR 20 has the great build quality, appealing design, smooth performance and a very good camera. It will be available from Flipkart starting June 25th.