“With the Honor 20 and 20 Pro, the brand is becoming a member of the rather exclusive quad-camera club”
Launched in January this year, Honor’s View 20 (review) is an impressive smartphone. Not only did it bring several firsts (in India), such as a punch-hole display and 48-megapixel rear camera, but was also priced quite aggressively. Yet, the handset didn’t get as much as the attention it deserved, and with OnePlus launching its latest flagship duo, Honor is now retaliating with a pair of new flagship smartphones. Dubbed the Honor 20 and 20 Pro, the handsets pack in enough to mount a solid challenge to OnePlus and even come out ahead in some departments. Curious as to how? Read on…
Compared against the OnePlus 7 (first impressions) and 7 Pro, the Honor 20 and 20 Pro are same, yet different. Let’s first get the similarities out of the way. Both Honor handsets come powered by Huawei’s in-house top-notch SoC – the Kirin 980, which features a tri-cluster configuration and 3rd-gen NPU. Considering we’ve already been impressed by the Kirin 980’s capabilities, we have no doubts that the Honor 20 and 20 Pro would be able to handle everything thrown at them. To take care of thermals, the devices utilise Graphene sheet cooling technology. The flagship siblings feature 6.26-inch display panels, with the IPS screen bearing a resolution of 1,080 x 2,340 pixels. While the display is quite capable and offers ample brightness levels, it can’t match up to the punchiness of AMOLED screens, or the smoothness offered by the 90Hz refresh rate-toting OnePlus 7 Pro (review).
Honor has always prided itself for its attractive design language, and the Honor 20 siblings continue those in the same vein. The pair boasts a gradient design with some interesting hues such as black and blue. The brand also highlights the fact that the optical effect offered by the duo is difficult to achieve as it combines the colour layer with glass along with a depth layer in a vacuum environment, dubbed Triple 3D Mesh technique. In terms of ergonomics, the handsets offer good grip. As far as ports and buttons are concerned, you wouldn’t find anything out of the ordinary, though it’s interesting to see side-mounted fingerprint scanners in an era of under-display fingerprint readers.
Interestingly, both the Honor 20 and 20 Pro flaunt quad-camera modules on the back, but have different setups altogether. Starting with the pricier of the two, the Honor 20 Pro finds its name in record books, for it offers the widest-ever aperture in a mobile phone with an f/1.4 opening for its primary 48MP Sony IMX 586 sensor. Along with that, the handset gets a 16MP wide-angle camera, an 8MP telephoto lens and a 2MP macro sensor. The telephoto shooter allows the handset to zoom optically at 3x, offer lossless zoom at 5x and a digital zoom of up to 30x – which is quite impressive considering only the Huawei P30 Pro (review) offers a digital zoom which is higher than this. The fourth camera is also intriguing as Honor believes that the audience is looking for macro photography from their phones, as the phone allows you to shoot in close quarters with a distance of up to 4cm. All this has helped the device reach an astounding score of 111 on DxOMark.
While the underlying processor is the same, the Indian variants of the Honor 20 and 20 Pro will differ in terms of RAM and storage. The affordable sibling will be available with 6GB RAM and 128GB storage, while the Honor 20 Pro can be purchased in two configurations – 6GB + 128GB and 8GB + 256GB.
The Honor 20, in comparison, also comes with a primary 48MP sensor from Sony, but has an aperture of f/1.8. The wide-angle camera remains the same at 16-megapixels, but the 8MP telephoto shooter can only offer 2x optical zoom and digital zoom of up to 10x. The macro shooter however, remains the same at 2MP.
Fuelling the Honor 20 is a 3,750mAh cell, while the Honor 20 Pro comes with a 4,000mAh battery. Both the smartphones also offer 20W fast charge functionality, and boot the brand’s custom skin in the form of Magic OS 2.1, running atop Android 9.0 Pie.
While we still have to see how Trump’s decision to blacklist Huawei will affect the brand’s launches, what we do know is that the Honor 20 and 20 Pro’s India launch is scheduled for June 11th. And if the previous offerings from the brand are any indication, the duo can be expected to be competitively priced. In Europe, their pricing is set at €499 (~ Rs 39,000) and €599 (~Rs 46,000), respectively. There’s no doubt that Honor is squarely focused on the camera prowess of its latest offerings, so much so that the brand’s spokesperson told us that the aim of the Honor 20 and 20 Pro is to “let users go from very close to very far“. You can bet that we’ll be putting this claim to test, so keep an eye out for our reviews.