Paying this much for a Huawei phone may seem a tough sell. But great battery life, top specs and the most compelling use of computational photography seen in a phone yet make the Huawei P20 Pro one of the most interesting phones available.
The P20 Pro performs so well that it’s given a pretty high spot in our best smartphone ranking. This in-depth review isn’t based on just a week’s use either – we’ve been using this phone for a month and are still seriously impressed.
For the Huawei P20 Pro’s price you could only get a 64GB iPhone 8 Plus, not an iPhone X, although there are some quirks to the Huawei design and software to get used to in return.
However, the remarkable work done on the camera makes this the most versatile phone photo-shooter out there, regardless of price, whether you’re a happy snapper or an amateur enthusiast photographer.
Watch the P20 Pro in action below as we review the phone’s design and screen:
Huawei P20 Pro price and availability
Launch price: £799, AU$1,099 (around $1,110)
Release date: April 2018
The Huawei P20 Pro price at launch was £799, AU$1,099 (around $1,050), and a few months on from launch that’s still pretty much the case.
We have seen the Huawei P20 Pro price drop to around £749 in the UK, so it can pay to shop around, but it’s still very much at a premium price point.
The P20 Pro didn’t arrive in the US immediately, and it’s still not officially available with a local variant. You can still pick up the international variant of the handset though for just over $800 on the likes of Amazon, but you’ll need to check whether it’s compatible with your carrier.
40MP rear camera with 3x optical zoom
Kirin 970 CPU with AI smarts
Big 4,000mAh battery
HUAWEI P20 PRO SPECS
Weight: 180g Dimensions: 155 x 73.9 x 7.8mm OS: Android 8.1 Screen size: 6.1-inch Resolution: 1080 x 2240 CPU: Kirin 970 RAM: 6GB Storage: 128GB Battery: 4,000mAh Rear camera: 40MP + 20MP + 8MP Front camera: 24MP
If you’re interested in the Huawei P20 Pro, there’s a good chance it’s because of the camera array. There are three cameras on the back, one 40MP main sensor, a 20MP black and white one and a 3x zoom 8MP camera.
You can shoot at 3x without digital zoom, and even get good results at 5x. The real star here is low light performance, though. Standard night shooting just about matches the best, but a dedicated night mode lets you take low light shots with dynamic range to rival an APS-C DSLR.
The Huawei P20 Pro also has a very high-resolution 24MP front camera for detailed selfies and reliable face unlocking.
Other parts of the phone are a little more conventional. We get the Kirin 970 CPU used in the Huawei Mate 10, 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage.
Like other recent higher-end Huawei phones, the P20 Pro makes quite an impact with its highly reflective glass finish. And it has a much larger battery than most, 4,000mAh, without any obvious added bulk to the shell.
Huawei has clearly tried very hard with this phone. The result is a mobile more interesting than the Samsung Galaxy S9 or S9 Plus, particularly if you’ll make full use of the camera’s high-end features.
Eye-catching glass and metal design
Manageable size for a 6.1-inch phone
No headphone jack
‘Shiny’ is the word that sums up the Huawei P20 Pro’s design best. Yes, it’s big. Yes, it has a notch. But sheer reflective spangliness makes this phone stand out.
It’s two big plates of rounded-off Gorilla Glass with a filling of metal finishing off its sides. This metal is aluminium, but it has a polished rather than anodized finish, and looks more like steel. Unlike the stainless steel iPhone X though, a month into using the P20 Pro, the frame is scratch free, boding well for the phone’s durability.