Huawei P20 + P20 Pro: Everything you need to know!

Huawei, like many other big names in mobile, has a predictable cadence to its flagship smartphone launches. The new technology gets showcased first in the Mate series in the fall, usually paired with an updated version of EMUI, running the very latest Android build. That technological base is then further refined for the P series the following spring.

That trend continues in 2018, with the P20: the same guts as the Mate 10, but with a refined design. This is everything you need to know about the Huawei P20 and P20 Pro!

Check out our review!

Before reading anything else, give our full review a read. We've had the phones since their announcement, so we have a good feel of how they perform in day to day usage. We also have plenty of camera samples, and some thoughts on the top-notch display.

More: Huawei P20 and P20 Pro hands-on review: Camera kings

The specs

A phone is not just a pretty design; we need components inside to take all of our lovely photos, make calls and display dog photos on Twitter. Fortunately, both the P20 and P20 Pro come packed to the gills with Huawei's latest processors, and plenty of RAM and storage.

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CategoryHuawei P20Huawei P20 Pro
Operating SystemAndroid 8.1, EMUI 8.1Android 8.1, EMUI 8.1
ProcessorHuawei Kirin 970Huawei Kirin 970
Battery3,400mAh non-removableHuawei SuperCharge4,000mAh non-removableHuawei SuperCharge
Display5.8-inch 2240x1080 RGBW LCD18:9 aspect ratio6.1-inch 2240x1080 OLED18:9 aspect ratio
Front camera24-megapixelf/2.024-megapixelf/2.0
Rear cameras20MP (mono) f/1.6 + 12MP (RGB) f/1.81.55-micron pixels40MP RGB (1/1.7-inch sensor) + 20MP mono8MP f/2.4 OIS 3X telephoto
Headphone jackNoNo
Wireless chargingNoNo
Fingerprint scannerFrontFront
Face recognitionYesYes
Water resistanceIP53 (splash resistant)IP67 (water + dust-resistant)
ColorsTwilight, Black, Midnight Blue, Pink GoldTwilight, Black, Midnight Blue, Pink Gold
Dimensions149.1 mm x 70.8 mm x 7.65 mm155.0 mm x 73.9 mm x 7.8 mm

Yes, there are three rear cameras

Dual cameras are common place these days, but the P20 Pro takes it one step (lens?) further. Huawei has included a 40-megapixel main sensor, 20-megapixel monochrome sensor for unparalleled black-and-white shots, and an 8-megapixel, optically stabilized telephoto lens for getting zoomed-in photos that don't look like a grainy mess. There is also laser, phase-detection, depth and contrast autofocus. In terms of shear hardware, the P20 Pro's camera is completely unmatched in the smartphone world.

But the lenses and autofocus hardware aren't the only pieces of a great camera experience. Fortunately, the P20 also includes Huawei's Neural Processing Unit (NPU) to help focus even more and substitute for optical or electronic image stabilization. The camera can capture a continuous exposure up to four seconds, then the NPU stitches that together for a single, clear image. Huawei is also including a slow-mo capture mode, allowing for 960fps videos — though this is limited to 720P resolution. We'll dig more into the P20 and P20 Pro's cameras when it comes time for our full review, so stay tuned!

More: Android Phone With The Best Camera of 2018

There's also a notch

Love it or hate it, it seems 2018 will be the year of the year of the notch. Both P20's have a notch at the top, containing the earpiece and front facing camera. There are arguments to be made for and against the notch, so whether or not it's a deal breaker will come down to your personal preferences.

More: From the Editor's Desk: Display notches are fine, but companies are doing a horrible job justifying them

Which should you buy?

The P20 and P20 are both excellent options, but if you want to get the most from your money, it's worth considering just which one to get. Both phones use the same processor, though the P20 Pro has more RAM and a larger battery. The standard P20 uses an LCD panel while the P20 Pro opts for an OLED one, but both displays look excellent and have great outdoor visibility. The P20 Pro also has its unique three-camera setup, meaning you can get some stunning shots that just wouldn't be possible on the regular P20.

At the end of the day, both phones will be great choices. But if you can stretch your buying power a bit further, the P20 Pro would be the better option.

You can get the Porsche Design again

Huawei and Porsche Design usually team up for a ridiculously priced smartphone, and the P20 is no exception. The Porsche Design Mate RS features a striking red or black design, an in-display fingerprint sensor (as well as a second fingerprint sensor on the back, because why not), 256GB or 512GB of internal storage and wireless charging. Despite the changes to the external design, the camera setup and internals (except for the increased storage) remain the same. Like the previous special editions, this year's Porsche Design is only for those with a good deal of cash burning a hole in their pockets — it can be yours for a cool €1550/$2000.

More: The Porsche Design Mate RS is a Huawei P20 Pro with an in-display fingerprint sensor and a $2000 price tag

You can still get it in the U.S, but...

Despite the kerfuffle between Huawei and the U.S. government, U.S. consumers can still get their hands on the P20 and P20 Pro, but after jumping through some hoops. Amazon has the standard P20 — albeit without an official warranty — while some eBay members are selling the P20 Pro. Approach both of these sources with a heavy dose of caution.

See Huawei P20 at Amazon

More: Here are the best places to buy the Huawei P20 Pro in the U.S.

More to come!

We're just getting started with the Huawei P20 and P20 Pro! We have our full review coming up, as well as comparisons with the hottest phones of early 2018. Stay tuned for more!

Tom Westrick