The sequel to last year’s hugely acclaimed P10 is here. Only it’s less a sequel and more of a trilogy, with three (count ‘em, that’s three) variants of the P20 to choose from.
So what we can tell you? Well, with Leica cameras that put pretty much all top-end smartphones to shame, large, vibrant screens and what’s said to be staggering battery life, Huawei’s new phones are shaping up to be strong frontrunners for the best handsets of 2018.
We take a close look at their key features of the P20, P20 Lite and P20 Pro and outline the key differences below.
1) Three sizes
Not all smartphones are created equal. And in the case of the P20, there are actually three very different iterations available.
First up is the P20 Lite. As the name suggests, it’s the smallest of the three phones. Having said that, it still comes with a crisp 5.84-inch LCD screen, 4GB of RAM and a healthy 64GB of storage. So it’s by no means a poor relation.
Next up is the standard P20. With the same screen size and storage space as the Lite, you could be forgiven for getting the two mixed up. However, the standard model comes with a much bigger battery, impressive Dolby Atmos sound and a Leica dual-lens camera. More on this in a minute.
Bigger and better again is the Huawei P20 Pro. With a 6.1-inch AMOLED screen, 6GB of RAM and a sizeable 128GB of storage, it certainly dwarfs the standard and Lite models. And it excels when it comes to the battery life and camera too.
2) Phenomenal battery life that gets better the longer you use it
One of the biggest bugbears for smartphone users is an all-too-short battery life that gets worse over time.
But the P20 range not only come with very big batteries, but they actually learn from the way you use your phone to give you even more power as you and your P20 get used to each other.
Take the P20 Pro for example. It comes with a whopping 4,000mAh battery that Huawei claims is 25% bigger than those on flagship phones from the likes of Samsung and Apple. So you’ve got a lot more power to start with.
What’s really clever though, is the way it learns your smartphone behaviours to make sure you have battery where you need it without wasting power on apps you don’t use.
So, if you love taking photos on your phone but you aren’t fussed about using the voice assistant, the P20 will learn this over time and divert the bulk of your battery to your camera app while putting your Google Assistant to sleep until you wake it.
3) Amazing cameras
Considering Huawei’s long-standing collaboration with camera experts, Leica, it’s not surprising that the P20 handsets are pretty well picture-perfect.
The P20 Lite comes with a 6-megapixel and 2-megapixel dual-lens camera, which is pretty impressive for the price.
Meanwhile the standard P20 has an even better 20-megapixel and 12-megapixel dual-lens Leica setup on the back.
But once again, the Pro eclipses the others with an incredible triple-lens Leica camera that pairs 40-megapixel and 20-megapixel lenses with an 8-megapixel telephoto lens to give stunning depth to your photos.
This telephoto lens makes the Pro ideal for long-range photography with up to 5x Hybrid Zoom. And its sensitive image sensor captures breathtaking low-light photos, even when it’s too dark to see your screen.
If that wasn’t enough to ensure you get fantastic images every time, the P20 Series can identify over 500 scenarios in 19 categories and automatically selects the photography modes and camera settings for your photos.
So you’ll always get professional-looking results without having to faff around with the settings.
Need more help? Huawei’s AI-Assisted Composition will give you helpful suggestions to help you take even better group shots and landscapes.
Around the front, the selfie-conscious amongst us will be glad to find a super-sharp 24-megapixel selfie camera on both the P20 and P20 Pro with AI Beautification and 3D portrait lighting.
The upshot of this is flawless self-portraits that don’t look over-filtered or fake.
4) iPhone-esque design
Like the iPhone X, the P20 and P20 Pro feature a ‘notch’ at the top of the screen. But winningly, Huawei has found a way to shrink it.
As the image above attests, the notch on Huawei’s new phone doesn’t eat into screen space anything like as much. And is much less obtrusive as a result.
The handsets come in a choice of blue, black, pink-gold. But our favourite is the genuinely glorious tie-dye-style Twilight colourway, with a striking colourmix that changes according to how the light catches your phone.
As is now de-rigeur for high-end phones, both models have super-thin bezels (that’s a fancy word for edges) around the screen. That means Huawei has managed to squeeze in large screens without making the devices any larger.
Similarly familiar are the rounded edges and the metal construction that lend the P20 and P20 Pro a real sheen of luxury.
5) Pricing and availability
The P20 and P20 Pro are available to pre-order now, ahead of their official streetdate of 5th April.
If you fancy buying the P20 SIM-free, you’re looking at £599. Like the look of the P20 Pro? That’s £799. On a budget? The P20 Lite is a very attractive £329.
EE is offering the P20 on a range of plans, starting at £31 per month. But perhaps the pick is the plan priced £34 per month over 24 months with £10 to pay upfront. That gets you 1GB of data, plus unlimited calls and texts and inclusive roaming in 48 destinations.
The P20 Pro is up for grabs on a £39 per month plan, plus £50 upfront, for the same allowances.
Pre-order customers, who get their order between 28th March and 5th April, will qualify for a free pair of Bose QuietComfort 35 wireless headphones 11 (RRP: £329.95).
Pre-order customers who order their phone from Carphone Warehouse also qualify for the same Bose headphones free of charge.
The retail giant is offering the P20 from £39 a month and £79.99 upfront with 16GB data on Vodafone.
The P20 Lite is up for grabs from £19.99 per month with no upfront cost, and 500MB of data per month on iD Mobile.