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Huawei P20 and P20 Pro: 15 things you need to know

Huawei P20 Top features Malaysia

The Huawei P20 and P20 Pro are finally out of the bag and they have a lot to offer to those who demand more for smartphone photography. If you want to know what’s new and what you can do with its new triple-camera setup, here are 15 things that you need to know about the latest Huawei P20 flagship series.

Larger Displays

The P20 has a 5.8” FullHD+ 2244×1080 display, while the P20 Pro gets a larger 6.1” FullHD+ 2240×1080 display. Both comes in an 18.7:9 display aspect ratio for a wider viewing experience. As a comparison, the Mate 10 display is 18:9 while the Galaxy S9/S9+’s display aspect ratio is 18.5:9. The P20 uses an RGBW LCD panel while the P20 Pro uses OLED.

Both the P20 and P20 Pro has a smaller notch at the top of the display which houses the front camera, earpiece and additional sensors.

Premium glass and metal frame body

Like the recent Huawei Mate 10 series, Huawei is ditching its all-metal unibody design for a mixture of glass and metal. It looks and feels more premium, and both models come in 4 stunning colour options – Twilight, Pink Gold, Midnight Blue and Graphite Black.

Twilight is a unique colour option as it transitions from purple to blue to green.

Top of the line specs

Both P20 and P20 Pro packs the same top of the line Kirin 970 processor with dedicated Neural Processing Unit (NPU) as the Mate 10 series. You also get a generous 128GB of onboard storage for both models, however, you only get 4GB RAM on the P20 while the P20 Pro gets 6GB of RAM.

World’s first triple camera setup with 40MP sensor

Photography has always been the main focus for Huawei’s P-series and this time, they are upping the game with not two but three cameras at the rear in collaboration with LEICA.

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On the P20 Pro, it gets a main 40MP f/1.8 RGB Sensor (1/1.7 inch), an 8MP f/2.4 Telephoto camera and a 20MP f/1.6 Monochrome sensor to capture greater details with better brightness. The P20 Pro can shoot with an ISO of up to 102,400 which is on par with a Canon 5D Mark IV.

Meanwhile, the P20 gets a dual-camera setup consisting of a 12MP f/1.8 RGB main camera (1/2.3 inch sensor) and a secondary 20MP f/1.6 monochrome shooter.

AIS replaces OIS

The Huawei P20 and P20 Pro main RGB and monochrome cameras don’t come with OIS. Instead, it gets AIS which is AI assisted stabilisation. Huawei’s AIS is claimed to be so good that you can even take a clear long exposure shot (up to 6 seconds) by hand without needing a tripod.

However, the 8MP telephoto camera on the P20 Pro does come with OIS for a steadier shot while zooming in.

24MP front selfie camera

Both P20 and P20 Pro gets a 24MP selfie camera, which is one of the highest on a flagship smartphone. For better low-light selfies, it has a pixel binding feature which combines pixels to increase brightness. There’s also 3D facial illumination with AI assist which offers more flexibility compared to Apple’s Portrait Lighting effects. You can even adjust the angle of the lighting and intensity even after the picture is taken.

960fps Super slow mo

The P20 and P20 Pro also come with a super-slow-mo mode. It turns a short 0.2-0.3 second moment into a 960fps slow-mo footage. It only records in HD 720p and the final video is 10 seconds long which consists of a few seconds in normal 30fps and about 6 seconds in actual 960fps slow-mo.

P20 Pro has 5X Hybrid Zoom

With a dedicated Telephoto zoom camera, the P20 Pro can let you get closer with its 5X Hybrid Zoom. The telephoto lens itself has 3X Optical zoom and the closer 5X Hybrid Zoom uses pixel binding with additional details captured from the monochrome sensor. If you want to go all out, it can do 10X Digital Zoom. Do note that you can’t zoom if you set your picture resolution to 40MP on the P20 Pro. It is only enabled if you set to the default 10MP resolution.

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For the standard P20, it supports 2X Hybrid Zoom like the previous Huawei P10 Plus and Mate 10 Pro.

Highest rated on DxOMark Mobile

Both the P20 and P20 Pro have the best smartphone cameras according to DxOMark. The P20 Pro scored 109 while the P20 gets 102 points. As a comparison, the Galaxy S9+ gets 99 points followed by the Pixel 2 at 98 points. The Mi MIX 2s, Mate 10 Pro and iPhone X scored 97 points.

No headphone jack and microSD expansion

Unfortunately, both P20 and P20 Pro does not come with a headphone jack, so audio is pushed via USB Type-C. To plug in your own 3.5mm headphones, you would need to use a USB Type-C to 3.5mm dongle. Out of the box, you’ll get a pair of headphones that uses USB-C connector.

If you need more storage, the only way to expand is via the cloud since both the P20 and P20 Pro doesn’t come with a microSD slot. With 128GB of onboard storage, that should be more than enough for most users.

Up to 4,000mAh battery in slim profile

The latest P20 series packs more battery capacity than its predecessor. The P20 is only 7.62mm thick but it packs a larger 3,400mAh battery. Meanwhile, the P20 Pro is 7.8mm thick but has a 4,000mAh battery. This means the P20 Pro has the same battery capacity as the Huawei Mate series while being thinner than the Galaxy S9+.

IP67 and stereo speakers

Only the Huawei P20 Pro has IP67 rated dust and water resistance and stereo speakers with Dolby Atmos enhancement. The P20 settles for a splash-resistant IP53 while having a single down-firing speaker.

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Faster Face Unlock

If you’re wearing gloves or if your hands are wet, you can unlock the P20 and P20 Pro with your face. According to Huawei, it can unlock in just 0.6 seconds and it is 100% faster than the iPhone X and Galaxy S9+.

Dual 4G with Dual VoLTE

Similar to the Huawei Mate 10 series, the P20 and P20 Pro can support dual-SIMs with dual 4G and dual VoLTE running at the same time. This provides the best dual-SIM experience as both lines are connected to the best network possible. It also supports download speeds of up to 1.2Gbps with 4X4 MIMO over a 4.5G LTE network.

Expect to pay much more for the Huawei P20 Pro

The P20 is officially priced at EUR679 (about RM3,256) while the P20 Pro carries a much higher price tag of EUR899 (about RM4,311). Smartphones in Malaysia are normally priced lower compared to European markets and we expect the P20 to cost around RM2,500 while the P20 Pro to hover around the RM3,300-RM3,500 mark. The Huawei P20 Malaysian launch is taking place on 3 April, so stay tuned to us for the latest Malaysian pricing and availability details. To learn more, check out our Huawei P20 and P20 Pro announcement post.

UPDATE: The Huawei P20 and P20 Pro are officially priced at RM2,599 and RM3,299 respectively in Malaysia. You can learn more about the availability and roadshow offers here.

Alexander Wong