Welcome to the latest edition of our ‘Device Advice’ blog series, sharing our thoughts and insights into the most recent device releases from the world of mobile, tablets and beyond.
On Wednesday 27th March, Huawei announced its next flagship phones, the P20 and P20 Pro. Whilst three devices were originally rumoured (there was no sign of the anticipated P20 Lite), the latest releases mark a bold move for Huawei and a big step forward for the series.
We take a look at the latest devices from the technology giant and see what advantages they have over their Android rivals.
Gartner recently revealed that Huawei was one of only two smartphone vendors to achieve a unit sale year-on-year growth in the final quarter of 2017. This is certainly something which would have pleased Huawei’s CEO Richard Yu, who was keen to see the company achieve the much coveted ‘number one vendor’ spot by 2021. The P20 series is set to be one of the devices to take it there.
As is the case with most smartphone launches, the P20 series suffered a long cycle of leaks that preceded the master reveal. Alongside a heavily marketed social media campaign (Huawei used the hashtag ‘#SeeMooore to tease their audience with photography features) Android fans had big hopes and expectations for the functionality of these devices, and the P20 series does not disappoint.
The P20’s rear 20-megapixel cameras, one RGB sensor paired with one monochrome sensor, offer low light, zoom functions and improved picture stability when shooting objects that are moving. The front camera on the smartphone is 24-megapixel, a big upgrade on the Huawei P10, and also features a number of editing modes – perfect for photography on the go.
The Pro takes one step further with a much higher spec and three cameras on the rear – working together to achieve an improved depth and definition of the photograph. The P20 Pro features a 40-megapixel, 20-megapixel and 8-megapixel lens, which allows for up to 5x lossless zoom. This compares favourably to the 2 x zoom of the Galaxy S9+ and iPhone X. Similarly, to the Galaxy S9, the Pro also has a super-slow mode function.
Both phones also support an AI system that automatically changes the camera mode when taking a photograph. The P20 series promise to never miss a shot with the new focusing system that predicts your capture on movement. With such features on show, Huawei could soon become the leading tech giant for smartphone cameras, even over-taking Samsung.
Powering each device is the Kirin 970 chipset. The P20 comes with 4GB of RAM, 128GB of storage whilst the Pro comes packed with an extra 2GB of RAM and is ip67-rated. The battery life of the P20 series is good – a 3400mAh battery features on the P20, whilst the battery supports Huawei Super Charge if you use the power-brick and USB-C cable provided.
From first glance the P20 series has a premium, slightly curved metal back, with a glass front that features a fingerprint scanner, and Huawei has followed the iPhone X-style notch display. The P20 comes with a 5.8-inch 2244 x 1080 LCD screen and will be shipped with Android 8.1 and EMUI 8.1 whilst the P20 Pro is slightly bigger with a 6.1-inch 2240 x 1080 OLED screen.
Other elements of the series seem comparatively limited in terms of upgrades, ensuring the focus is kept on the photography capabilities of the devices, but is it enough to overtake Apple and Samsung to become the world’s best-selling smartphone brand? With stronger multi-tasking and business features available elsewhere this phone is likely to appeal more to photography enthusiasts than those requiring an office on the go.
The devices will be available to buy in the UK from 6th April. In terms of price, the P20 will be the more affordable option, around £541 (ex VAT) and the bigger, more advanced P20 Pro will be about £665 (ex VAT).