Huawei is expanding aggressively in global markets, but the company relies on its subsidiary Honor to drive a bulk of its sales in India. Newer models in the Mate series never made their way to India, which is a shame as the battery-focused models would've been ideal for the subcontinent, where a large battery is a table stakes feature at this point.
There really isn't a whole lot of choice if you're in the market for a high-end phone — you'll either have to go with the Galaxy S9+ or the Pixel 2 XL, but Huawei is looking to change that with its latest flagship. The P20 Pro and P20 Lite will be going on sale in the country early next month, and there's a lot to like with either device. Here's what you need to know about Huawei's latest phones.
Huawei P20 Lite and P20 Pro: Hardware
Let's start off with the P20 Pro, as the device is one of the most exciting phones of the year. The phone has three cameras at the back, totaling 68MP across the sensors. There's a 40MP primary camera, a 20MP monochrome module, and an 8MP camera that offers 3x lossless zoom. This is the third year of Huawei's partnership with Leica, and it's safe to say that the P20 Pro has one of the best cameras on any phone today.
The design is pretty great too — particularly on the Twilight variant, which has a gradient effect at the back that shifts color based on the light reflecting off the surface. However, that particular model won't be making its way to India, but Huawei is making the black and blue options available in the country.
The P20 Pro is powered by the HiSilicon Kirin 970 chipset, which is notable for its Neural Processing Unit. The engine facilitates AI-assisted shooting modes: it automatically picks out the ideal settings based on the object in focus as well as the lighting conditions.
The P20 Pro marries an outstanding camera with a gorgeous chassis.
There's also a 24MP imaging sensor at the front that has an LED light, and you get a face unlock feature that works in the dark. Rounding out the features, the P20 Pro has a 4000mAh battery that's touted for 22 hours of 1080p video playback. The device is also IP67 certified for dust and water resistance.
You get stereo sound, and while there's no 3.5mm jack on the P20 Pro, it offers LDAC and AptX HD for high-fidelity wireless streaming.
The P20 Lite, meanwhile, is targeted at the budget category, and comes with the Kirin 659 along with 4GB of RAM, dual 16MP + 2MP cameras around the back, and a 3000mAh battery. And like the P20 Pro, the Lite variant has Face Unlock as well.
Oh, and both phones have a notch. It's not as noticeable as that on other Android phones we've seen in recent months, but it's there nonetheless.
I understand that the notch is the defining trend for Android phones in 2018, but it's not immediately evident as to why Huawei implemented it on the P20 Pro — considering the bottom bar houses the home button and is fairly chunky.
Huawei P20 Lite and P20 Pro: Specs
|Category||Huawei P20 Lite||Huawei P20 Pro|
|Operating System||EMUI 8.0
Android 8.0 Oreo
|Display||5.84-inch 2280x1080 IPS LCD panel
432ppi pixel density
|6.1-inch 18.7:9 2280x1080 AMOLED panel
408ppi pixel density
|SoC||Octa-core HiSilicon Kirin 659
Four Cortex A53 cores up to 2.36GHz
Four Cortex A53 cores up to 1.70GHz
|Octa-core HiSilicon Kirin 970
Four Cortex A73 cores up to 2.40GHz
Four Cortex A53 cores up to 1.80GHz
|GPU||Mali-T830 MP2||Mali-G72 MP12|
microSD slot up to 256GB
No microSD slot
|Rear camera||16MP (f/2.2) + 2MP
PDAF, LED flash
1080p video recording
|40 MP (f/1.8) + 20MP (f/1.6) + 8MP (f/2.4)
OIS, Leica optics, 3x zoom
4K video recording, 720p@960fps
|Front shooter||16MP with f/2.0 lens
|24MP with f/2.0 len
1080p video recording
|Connectivity||LTE with VoLTE
Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.2, GPS, GLONASS
USB-C, 3.5mm audio jack, FM radio
|LTE with VoLTE
Wi-Fi 802.11 ac, Bluetooth 4.2, GPS, GLONASS
USB-C Gen 3.1, NFC, FM radio
|Fingerprint||Rear fingerprint sensor||Front fingerprint sensor|
|Dimensions||148.6 x 71.2 x 7.4mm||155 x 73.9 x 7.8mm|
|Colors||Midnight Black, Klein Blue||Midnight Blue, Black|
Read our review for more
The P20 Pro offers some of the best hardware available today combined with a gorgeous chassis, but what does it feel like to use the phone on a daily basis? In his extensive review of the P20 and P20 Pro, Alex Dobie called the devices a "milestone" for Huawei:
For me personally, the Huawei P20 Pro will be my daily driver for the foreseeable future. (Or at least until the next big thing I'm reviewing comes along.) That's a little surprising even to me, and it's a result of the additional software polish as much as the epic battery life or impressive camera features.
I think we might eventually look back on the P20 series -- and the P20 Pro in particular -- as a milestone device for Huawei. It's not free from imperfections by any means, but this is one hell of a phone.
Pricing and availability
The Huawei P20 Pro is set to go on sale in India for ₹64,999 ($995), which is the same as that of the Galaxy S9+ in the subcontinent.
Meanwhile, the P20 Lite will be available in the country for ₹19,999 ($305). Both phones will be up for sale starting May 3, and will be exclusive to Amazon India. We'll know more about launch-day offers on May 3.
What are your thoughts on Huawei's latest phones? Will you be picking up a P20 Pro in India? Let me know in the comments below.
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