The US-China trade talk escalation and all the drama surrounding Huawei and its subsidiary, Honor, has created a lot of uncertainty in the industry and the path it is going to take going forward. Still, the Chinese telecom equipment and smartphone maker went ahead and launched the Honor 20-Series in India. (Honor 20 Review हिंदी में पढ़िए)
Under the new 20 series banner, it launched three new phones – Honor 20 Pro, Honor 20 and Honor 20i. Out of the three, we have already reviewed Honor 20i and a couple of weeks back we started using the Honor 20 as our primary device.
The Honor 20 India price positions it right next to the OnePlus 7 and Asus Zenfone 6Z. Does it have enough to take the challengers on? Let’s answer that and more in our Honor 20 review.
Page Contents:
  • Honor 20 Review: Price and Specification
  • Honor 20 Review: Box Contents
  • Honor 20 Review: Design and Build
  • Honor 20 Review: Display
  • Honor 20 Review: Hardware and Software
  • Honor 20 Review: Camera Performance
  • Honor 20 Review: Verdict with Pros and Cons

    Honor 20 price in India and specifications

    Specs Honor 20
    Platform Android 9 Pie; Magic UI 2.1
    Screen 6.26-inch Full HD+ IPS LCD display with 19.5:9 aspect ratio
    Fingerprint sensor Side-mounted (coupled with power button)
    Processor 7nm octa-core Kirin 980
    RAM 6GB
    Storage 128GB
    Main Rear Camera 48 MP, f/1.8, 28mm (wide), 1/2″, 0.8µm, PDAF
    Secondary Rear Camera 16 MP, f/2.2, 13mm (ultrawide), 1/3.1″
    Additional Rear Cameras 2MP dedicated macro camera with f/2.4, 27mm (wide); 2MP depth sensor with f/2.4,
    Front Camera 32MP, f/2.0
    Battery 3750 mAh with 22.5-W fast charging
    Other Features USB-C 2.0, Bluetooth 5.0
    Price Rs. 32,999

    Honor 20 Review: What’s in the box?

    The retail unit has simple packaging, similar to what we usually get with Honor phones. Here’s everything that comes inside the box:

    • Honor 20 phone
    • 22.5W Super fast charger
    • Charging Cable
    • Type-C to 3.5mm audio jack connector
    • SIM ejector tool
    • Regular guidebook

    Surprisingly, Honor hasn’t bundled a protective case in the box. You will need to buy one separately.

    Honor 20 Review: Design and Build

    The first thing that’ll draw you towards the phone is its compact footprint. It’s not particularly petite as say the Galaxy S10e, but with every other phone getting bigger and bulkier, the Honor 20 feels rather handy.

    What helped Honor to trim the forehead is the 4.5mm punch hole – which is currently the fanciest notch style. It already has tough competition from full-view screens that mandate housing the camera in a moving part.

    Anyways, the cut-out and narrow bezels all around help Honor 20 score a 91.7 percent screen-to-body ratio.

    Turn your attention to the Honor 20’s rear side, and you will notice what Honor calls ‘Dynamic Holographic Design‘. What’s that you may ask? Well, it is a triple layer design – one color layer, one standard glass sheet, and one with diamond shape tiny prisms – that together result in a gradient back.

    Honor claims that the entire manufacturing process is so complex that out of every batch only a handful are perfect enough to be used in phones.

    In a surprising move, Honor 20 doubles the power button for fingerprint unlock, which isn’t a bad move as the sensor is snappier than an average in-display sensor and has better accessibility than the rear-mounted sensors. We quite love the implementation.

    The rear glass panel is affixed tightly on the camera module, that sits on the top left corner protruding outwards. There is no case in the box to even out the hump either. Honor 20 is also the latest among a long list of phones that have forsaken the audio jack.

    The phone feels slippery and is prone to fingerprint smudges like every other glass body phone. But that’s the price we have all accepted to pay for the premium feel.

    Honor 20 Review: Display

    The Honor 20 display is a 6.26-inches in size, which we’d say hits the sweet spot for phones in 2019 (size-wise). Honor has sourced an IPS screen featuring 2340×1080 pixels (Full HD+).

    The display looks sharp and vivid from all angles. The default calibration leans a bit towards colder tones. Gladly, there are ample customization options within the display settings to fix that.

    Huawei claims that its display can go up to 480 nits max. While using the phone for this review, I found the brightness levels to be good enough for indoor usage but legibility isn’t great under direct sun. Honor has certified the 20 with Widevine L1 certification and we were able to stream HD content online from Netflix and Prime Video.

    All in all, the display seems to be a decent one, suitable for all sort of usage.

    Honor 20 Review: Hardware and Software

    At the heart of the Honor 20, you will find the same 7nm chipset that Huawei uses in its flagship – the P30 Pro (review). The Kirin 980 includes a dual NPU (Neural Processing Unit) that serve a key role in performing all AI work.

    Although the Kirin 980 was introduced at the end of 2018, the chipset is a direct competitor to and in the same ballpark as Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855. The Honor 20 further gets 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage.Honor 20 display settings

    As for the performance, the Honor 20 managed to breeze through everything that we threw at it. We tested games like Marvel’s Future Fight, PUBG Mobile and Call of Duty Mobile on the Honor 20 and it passed with flying colors. For a change, the Honor’s RAM management stance was more neutral and allowed comfortable multitasking despite having about 6 to 8 apps running in the background.

    Coming to the software, an area where Huawei and therefore Honor is facing flak due to the US-China trade issues. Keeping that aside, the Magic UI 2.1 running on Honor 20 isn’t much different from EMUI that you see on Huawei phones. It is based on Android Pie with all sort of customizations and features. Our review unit had a number of pre-installed apps like Vigo, Booking.com Facebook, Netflix, and a few others. Thankfully, Honor lets users uninstall these pre-installed apps.

    The Honor 20 draws power from 3750mAh battery which isn’t the best in class but is manageable considering the power-efficient chipset and software on board. A full charge manages to last a day. What also works in its favor is fast charging and the 22.5W adapter that users will get in the box.

    Honor 20 Review: Cameras

    Honor 20 has a lot riding on its cameras. Following in the footsteps of Huawei flagships, it also gets a quad camera. Both Honor 20 Pro and Honor 20 shares almost the same camera hardware. Just like the Pro variant, it also opts for Sony’s IMX586 48MP as a primary sensor with Quad-Bayer filter.

    It is worth mentioning that the ASUS 6Z (review), Xiaomi Mi 9, OnePlus 7 (review), Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 Pro (review) and OnePlus 7 Pro (review) – all of them are using the same sensor as their primary cameras. Beside the 48-megapixel (f/1.8) sensor, there is a 16-megapixel super wide-angle camera, a 2MP depth sensor, and a 2MP macro lens. Upfront, both the Honor 20 phones get a 32MP selfie camera. It is worth pointing out that the Honor 20 camera module doesn’t support OIS and EIS.

    On paper, the camera hardware makes an impressive read and software isn’t raising any alarms either. It has versatile AI mode, which can recognize various subjects such as greenery, blue sky, and pets to enhance the final image accordingly.

    Honor 20 camera review
    In cloudy conditions, the Honor 20 shows good dynamic range.
    Honor 20 camera review low light sample
    The low light capabilities of the Honor 20 are just superb.
    Honor 20 camera review macro shot
    Honor 20 macro lens. A macro lens isn’t a usual thing that you get to see in smartphones.
    Honor 20 macro lens in action
    Honor 20 macro lens works great when their’s ample light.
    Honor 20 manages to capture ample details in selfies.

    During our review, we enjoyed clicking photos with the Honor 20. It is one of the most versatile cameras in this segment. The primary 48MP sensor manages to capture great details and vibrant colors in daylight. In low light, it takes advantage of the pixel binning technology. As you can see from the above images, the low light photography on Honor 20 is really impressive.

    The ultra-wide-angle manages to capture a wider canvas but the color appears a tad faded. When you look closer, the ultra-wide shot lacks some of the details that were there in the shot taken with the primary sensor. The most unique thing about Honor 20 is its 2MP macro sensor.  Locking focus with it is a little tricky and it requires a good amount of light to take a good shot. In slightly difficult conditions, macro shots turn out to be noisy and soft.

    On the downside, Honor’s aggressive AI work tends to fiddle with colors too much in certain scenes. In our unit, the portrait function for the selfie camera didn’t work. It could be a unit-specific issue.

    Honor 20 Review: Should You Buy It?

    Honor 20 is a phone that has almost all the basics covered. The compact design, snappy performance, and a good set of cameras that can charm you in favorable conditions. In the current situation, we will take side-mounted fingerprint over the in-display sensor any day.

    Despite its issues with the Trump administration, Huawei on record has said that Android Q update will be pushed for Honor 20. If you don’t know, Honor and Flipkart are also offering 90-days, 90-percent buyback guarantee on the phone. The phone goes on sale in India starting June 25.

    Pros

    • Reliable performance
    • Handy design
    • Good battery mileage
    • Good primary camera

    Cons

    • Bloatware in Magic UI
    • Missing OIS and EIS

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