Sophisticated cameras and powerful AI allow users to explore new frontiers in mobile photography with the Huawei P20 Pro, P20 and P20 lite
At a Glance
1. Boundary-pushing triple-lens rear camera system (P20 Pro) | 2. 5.8-/6.1-inch Full HD+ “notched” displays with ultra slim bezels | 3. AI assists users by learning their habits | 4. Custom Android OS overlay with improved media and data sharing | 5. Big batteries charged rapidly with Huawei SuperCharge
Huawei, the third-largest smartphone maker in the world, is poised to expand its Canadian presence with the launch of the new P20, the slightly larger P20 Pro and the pared-down but still formidable P20 lite (only available at Rogers and Fido in Canada) – a range of stunning new flagship phones that will be of particular interest to mobile shutterbugs.
Hands-on with the Huawei P20 Pro
First Look at the HUAWEI P20 Pro
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P20 and P20 Pro
The P20 boasts a 24-MP selfie camera plus a dual rear camera design that splits colour and black-and-white duties between separate image sensors. The P20 Pro ups the ante by supercharging the colour side of things with a 40-MP sensor and adding a third sensor dedicated to telephoto shooting, so you can zoom in without losing any detail. Toss in a powerful octa-core processor that multitasks effortlessly, clear and vibrant screens with a trendy “notch” design, plus capacious quick-charging batteries, and Huawei’s new handsets offer a complete package.
More cameras + more pixels = more fun
The P20’s sophisticated camera system is insane. Its 24-MP front-facing camera is the highest-resolution selfie camera available on any phone, and its dual rear-facing camera design – with a 12-MP sensor dedicated to colour and a second, 20-MP sensor to black-and-white – lets users capture stunning RGB and monochrome shots.
But the P20 Pro kicks mobile photography into another gear, boosting the colour pixel count to 40 MP and combining information from both sensors for incredibly detailed composite photos. And that’s not all. It also adds a third sensor for 8-MP telephoto shooting with an hybrid zoom of up to 5 times, letting us reach out to touch distant subjects.
“Notching” up a design win
With the P20 and the P20 Pro’s all-glass back and front, Hauwei’s family of P20 devices goes head-to-head with competitors in terms of style and luxury. Both phones have ultra-thin top and side bezels thanks to Huawei’s adoption of the trendy new front-camera “notch” design. Unlike other phones, though, users have the option to eliminate the notch by filling in the screen area left and right of the camera with a black bar for a more traditional look. And if you want beauty combined with strength, the P20 Pro has you covered with IP67 certification to protect against dust and spills – it’ll even take a dunk up to a metre underwater for up to 30 minutes.
The P20 and P20 Pro both add a little secret sauce to Google’s Android 8.1 operating system via Huawei’s proprietary EMUI 8.1 overlay, a collection of OS upgrades meant to enhance your mobile experience. Features like Share and Phone Clone allow you to more easily access media and data on other devices, such as laptops and tablets. A powerful artificial-intelligence system actively analyzes how you use your phone to provide advantages such as more intuitive photo and video archiving. Cooler still, both phones’ AI is put to work in their cameras, automatically recognizing subjects ranging from people to plants in order to automatically adjust photography settings for the best results. Beyond photography, the AI system uses intelligent machine learning in the background to help manage your open apps and direct battery life to the ones you use often.
Powerful – and in more ways than one
Though not as flashy as some of their other features, the P20 family’s internals mark these phones as powerhouse performers. The P20 Pro features a Kirin 970 octa-core CPU supported by 6 GB of RAM (4 GB on the P20) to provide all the oomph needed for high-end gaming and creative tasks with ease. A generous 128 GB of onboard storage means you shouldn’t have any trouble finding a place to store photos, videos, games and music. And with a couple of big batteries – a 3,400-mAh (milliamp hour) lithium ion pack in the P20, a 4,000-mAh in the P20 Pro – you should have all the power you need to get through even a busy day of work and play.
Don’t need a next-level camera or crazy-smart AI? The P20 lite might be right for you. This mid-priced member of the P20 family forgoes frills like the dedicated black-and-white camera (replaced by a 2 MP depth-sensing camera) and ships with Hauwei’s EMUI 8.0 Android overlay rather than the slightly more advanced 8.1. But it’s no slouch. Its octa-core Kirin processor backed by 4 GB of RAM still packs a punch, and its 5.8-inch Full HD+ screen – sporting that trendy notch also found on the P20 and P20 Pro – is pretty as a picture. And at just 145 grams, it’s the lightest member of its family by a solid 20 grams. The P20 lite is exclusive to Rogers and Fido in Canada.
Rear Camera (P20): Dual camera design, including: 12-MP RGB at f/1.8, 20-MP monochrome at f/1.6
Rear Camera (P20 Pro): Tri-camera design, including: 40-MP RGB at f/1.8; 20-MP monochrome at f/1.6; 8-MP telephoto with five times hybrid zoom
Rear Camera (lite): Dual camera 16 MP (f/2.2, 1.0 µm) + 2 MP, phase detection autofocus
Front Camera: 24 MP shooting at f/2.0 (P20, P20 Pro) / 16 MP at f/2.0 (lite)
Display: 5.8-inch (P20) with 1080-by-2240 resolution / 6.1-inch (P20 Pro) OLED with Full HD+ (1080-by-2240) resolution / 5.84-inch (lite)
Processor: HiSilicon Kirin 970 octa-core CPU, with 6 GB of RAM (P20 Pro) or 4GB of RAM (P20) / HiSilicon Kirin 659 (lite)
Battery: 3,400 mAh (P20) / 4,000 mAh (P20 Pro) with Huawei’s SuperCharge technology / 3,000 mAh (lite)
For more information on the new Huawei P20 series and pre-order information, head to rogers.com.