Huawei’s P20 – a worthy rival to the big names?

Huawei P20 Pro

China’s Huawei may not quite be up there with Apple and Samsung, but as things stand right now, the company is the largest telecomms equipment manufacturer in the world.

That’s more than enough reason to sit up and take notice of the new P20 and the P20 Pro – Huawei’s latest high-end Android smartphones. But are they any good? We’ve taken a look at some of the first reviews to find out.

It was a comprehensive yes from AndroidAuthority.com, which labelled the P20 Pro a “Galaxy S9 killer”.

Their review noted how the upper-end Pro comes with the world’s first triple camera, capable of taking 40MP shots. The site pointed out that a 40MP smartphone isn’t new – Nokia’s 808 PureView managed it in 2012 – but it was significant because the P20 Pro is the first Android phone to offer 40MP photos.

“The best phone Huawei has made in ages”

TechAdvisor focused on the standard P20, awarding it four and a half stars out of five, as well as its “Recommended” label.

In the past, TechAdvisor felt Huawei’s flagship P series phones weren’t quite at the top level. However, there was no shortfall this time as it praised the P20 as “the best phone Huawei has made in ages” and “one of the best Android phones you can buy in 2018”.

TechAdvisor singled out the P20’s “excellent design, outstanding cameras” and good price point as qualities that make it a genuine challenger to the Galaxy S9.

It liked how the sandblasted aluminium case of the P20’s predecessor had given way to glossy colourful glass, available in five colours including champagne gold, pink gold and midnight blue.

Like the iPhone X, the headphone jack has been given the chop. Instead, the P20 comes with USB-C audio, USB-C headphones and a 3.5mm headphone jack adapter in the box. While some may roll their eyes at yet another flagship phone ditching the convenient headphone jack, that does make it water resistant, allowing it to survive up to one metre of water for 30 minutes.

Holding the P20, TechAdvisor said the phone possesses a great in-hand feel and a premium air that wasn’t present with the P10. Part of this is down to the “lovely” glass which barely showed any fingerprint smudges due to its lighter hue.

In terms of display, the regular P20 boasts a 2244×1080 18.7:9 LCD, with the OLED display reserved for the more expensive P20 Pro, which wasn’t an issue for TechAdvisor. The screen’s dimensions meant the phone is easy to hold in one hand, while viewing angles were considered “excellent – really excellent”.

“Beats the best”

Even more impressed was the Guardian, which awarded the P20 Pro top marks and all five stars.

“[It] beats the best of Samsung and Apple in quality and camera, proving three cameras can be better than one,” it wrote.

The newspaper described the screen as “bright and colourful” but didn’t think the display was as sharp as that of Samsung and Apple’s flagships.

Huawei’s oval fingerprint scanner was deemed class-leading and you’ll only need to charge it every other day, lasting more than 39 hours on a single charge during the Guardian’s evaluation. However, it’s worth mentioning here that there’s no wireless charging, nor is there an SD card slot or Bluetooth 5 support.