Huawei is currently sailing through troubled waters, but the brand is wading undeterred and hopes to restore natural order to things very soon. The Honor 20-series launch will proceed as scheduled and a total of three new phones will be officially presented in India on June 11. We have had early access to the Honor 20i, that being on the lowest rung of the 20-series ladder should also be the most competitively priced.

The last phone from Honor in the same segment was Honor 10 Lite, and a lot has changed by now. Xiaomi and Realme have replenished their affordable line-up with competent phones, and the Honor 20i will be challenging these options head on. Our Honor 20i review is still under works. Meanwhile, we have gathered our initial impressions below.

But first, the specs

Honor 20i Price and Specs

Specs Honor 20i
Platform Android 9.0 (Pie); EMUI 9
Screen 6.21-inch Full HD+ IPS LCD display with 19.5:9 aspect ratio
Biometrics Rear mounted
Processor Kirin 710 octa-core chipset
Storage 128GB, expandable up to 1 TB (Hybrid slot)
Main Rear Camera 24 MP, f/1.8, PDAF
Secondary Rear Camera 8 MP, f/2.2, 13mm (ultrawide)
Additional Rear Cameras 2 MP, f/2.4, depth sensor
Front Camera 32MP, f/2.0
Battery 3400mAh with 10W fast charging
Other Features Micro-USB 2.0, 3.5mm headphone jack, Bluetooth 4.2
Price About 300 EUR or Rs. 23328 INR

What’s in the box?

Honor 20i comes in regular Honor phone packaging. Inside, you will find:

  • The handset
  • 10W charging adaptor
  • USB cable
  • TPU protective cover
  • SIM ejector tool and documentation

Honor 20i Design and Build

The Honor 20i follows the now conventional design approach and includes familiar elements including a glass-finish polycarbonate back with a gradient pattern. We did notice that the handset is considerably lighter and slimmer than its competitors. Thanks to smooth curves, the 20i feels more premium and less chunky than phones like Redmi Note 7 and Realme 3 Pro.

This svelte and ergonomic profile comes at a price, though. The Honor 20i has a comparatively smaller 3400mAh battery, but then again, the EMUI is quite aggressive with resource management and the difference in practical battery mileage might not be as wide.

The charging port is still micro USB and its located alongside the audio jack and speaker grill at the bottom. The microSD card slot is hybrid, and you may have to decide between using dual SIM cards and expanding storage. The fingerprint sensor on the rear is within easy reach, fast and reliable.

Also Read: Xiaomi details how its 20MP in-display camera works

Honor 20i Display

The Honor 20i is one of many honor phone with a 6.21-inch full HD+ display with a dot notch. This is an IPS LCD panel and EMUI software lists several useful color adjustment options under display settings.

The screen quality and calibration are similar to what we have had on phones like Honor 10 Lite. This is perhaps not a screen that will dazzle you, but for now, it feels perfectly apt for a mid-range phone.

Honor 20i Performance expectations and software

As for chipsets, Huawei follows a two-tier structure. All flagships and mid-range phones launched since late 2018 are powered by Kirin 980, and pretty much everything else gets the 12nm Kirin 710.

The Kirin 710 is a vast improvement over its predecessor, but based on our past experience with the chipset, it can’t quite match up to the likes of Snapdragon 675 and Snapdragon 710 that are now available on affordable phones from Xiaomi and Realme. GPU Turbo 2.0 should ensure that supported titles, PUBG being one of them, have smooth gameplay.

The software is EMUI 9 and it’s based on Android 9 Pie. Huawei has held to its software vision and has over the years polished and refined it. As of today, the EMUI stands as distinct and feature rich. It’s not our personal favorite, but that’s a subjective matter and there isn’t much reason to complain.

As mentioned earlier, the handset has a 3400mAh battery. It doesn’t support fast charging either. Still, considering the power efficient hardware and software, an easy 1-day expected mileage doesn’t sound far fetched.

Honor 20i Camera expectations

The cameras are what distinguish Honor 20i from Honor 10 Lite that it succeeds. There are triple cameras on the rear – a 24MP primary camera with f/1.8 aperture lens, an 8MP wide-angle shooter, and the traditional 2MP depth sensor.

There is also a 32MP selfie camera on the front, housed within a tiny notch. So, the camera hardware sees a healthy upgrade, but it’s still too soon for us to comment on the camera quality. We’d explore this aspect more shortly in our full review.

Also Read: Realme 3 Pro Review – The Real Redmi Note 7 Pro Challenger

Early Verdict

As far as first impressions go, the Honor 20i feels like another great option in its class. It has a design lead and brings in some promising camera improvements. At the same time, a dedicated card slot and a USB TYpe-C port would have been more appropriate at this point in time.

Of course, it’s still too early to formulate any kind of verdict. We are expecting the Honor 20i to be priced somewhere in the Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 15,000 price range. If the pricing is aggressive, the 20i could very well be a hot seller.


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