Huawei is currently sailing through troubled waters, but the brand is wading undeterred and hopes to restore natural order to things very soon. In India, Huawei launched three new Honor 20-series phones that cater to different price segments. (Honor 20i Review हिंदी में पढ़िए)

Of these, the Honor 20i is the most affordable. 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. So, is the phone any good? We will answer that in our review.

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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
RAM 4GB
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 Rs. 14,999

Honor 20i Review: 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 Review: Design and Build

The Honor 20i includes familiar design elements. The polycarbonate back panel has a glass-finish with a gradient pattern. On the front, there is a U-shaped notch at the top center.

We did notice that the handset is considerably lighter and slimmer than its competitors. And being less chunky than rivals like Redmi Note 7 and Realme 3 Pro, the Honor 20i is a lot more comfortable to handle.

This svelte and ergonomic profile comes at a price, though. There is a comparatively smaller 3400mAh battery inside. 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, but with 128GB storage onboard that shouldn’t matter much. The fingerprint sensor on the rear is within easy reach, fast and reliable.

The design of Honor 20i works, and that’s mainly because this is a very comfortable phone to wield. For anyone who’s asking, Honor ships the phone with a pre-installed screen protector and a decent case.

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

Honor 20i Review: Display

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

The display is sharp, outdoor visibility is decent, and the colors are quite punchy. Considering everything else that’s available in the same price bracket (including a few AMOLED options), the Honor 20i has a great display and there isn’t much reason to complain. We prefer using it in the Normal mode, which is also less harsh on the eyes.

Honor doesn’t mention gorilla glass protection, but as stated, 20i ships with a thin film plastic screen protector pre-installed.

Honor 20i Review: Performance 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. Only recently has the brand introduced a new 7nm Kirin 810 in the middle.

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, Snapdragon 712 and Snapdragon 710 that are now available on affordable phones from Xiaomi and Realme.

Having said that, unless you are a hardcore gamer, you’d be perfectly happy with the performance on the Honor 20i. Even heavy games like PUBG and Asphalt 9 are playable on the phone. GPU Turbo 2.0 further ensures that supported titles, PUBG being one of them, have smooth gameplay.

We are glad that Honor is being generous with storage (128GB). This should ensure that the performance remains durable or in other words chances of your phone acting up after 6 months or a year of usage are significantly reduced.

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. The UI is at least flexible and there are options and simple hacks you may use to tune it to your specific taste.

The Honor 20i is missing proper DRM certification and doesn’t support HD streaming on apps like Netflix and Amazon Prime.

Another software concern is the risk of Google withdrawing support for further Android updates. There isn’t much clarity where the current situation will lead, but should the worst happen, users will still get security updates and EMUI updates if not the version update.

Honor 20i Camera Review

The Honor 20i has 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. The camera app has numerous shooting options and you can switch between main and wide-angle shooter easily by tapping the scale dots on the viewfinder.

The main 24MP camera can capture detailed shots outdoors in daylight. We noticed that AI algorithms have been improved and we didn’t end up with unnaturally oversaturated images very often. The option to disable AI enhancements post clicking has been removed this time.

The portrait mode shows some improvements too. Beautify in turned on by default in portrait mode, which is increasingly becoming a common practice across all brands.

Wide-angle view

The wide-angle camera offers correction for edge distortion, but images are soft when clicked indoors.

Long story short, the Honor 20i can shoot well balanced and detailed images with a wide dynamic range in proper lighting.

In low light and at night time, the performance deteriorates steeply. The camera oversharpens images to reduce noise and that leads to significant loss of details.

The 32MP selfie camera should be a great deal for people who frequently shoot selfies. The front camera too outputs best results outdoors.

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

Honor 20i Review: Battery and Audio

Honor 20i has a modest 3400mAh capacity battery and comes with a 10W charger in the box (no fast charging). This does put Honor 20i at a disadvantage compared to other online rivals who have bigger batteries, or fast charging or both. Still, it leverages resource efficient EMUI and Kirin 710 and the actual mileage we are getting is very manageable.

We are getting a screen on time of around 4 hours, which should be good enough for light and moderate users. The battery depletes faster with gaming and other demanding use.

The audio output via speakers is average at best. Audio output via headphones is decent.

Honor 20i Review: Verdict

The Honor 20i has a unique flavor to it and that helps it register among the best few options available for under Rs. 15k. Like all affordable phones, it isn’t perfect, but its individual set of strengths give it a clear edge.

It’s perhaps the only phone that offers 128GB of storage for under Rs. 15k, is more compact and handy than other relevant rivals, runs the latest software, has a fast fingerprint sensor, retains the audio jack, and covers all essentials. At the same time, a USB Type-C port would have been more appropriate at this point in time.

If you are a light or moderate user who don’t switch phone frequently, and if you value more manageable form factor, the Honor 20i is a phone you should definitely consider.

Pros 

  • Looks great, Comfortable to handle
  • Sharp Display
  • Daylight camera performance
  • Ample 128GB storage
  • Dual VoLTE support

Cons

  • No Type-C port
  • No HD streaming support
  • Lowlight camera performance

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