Honor View20, the Huawei sub-brand’s first big flagship for 2019 in India, boasts of some firsts. When it was launched in China last year, the smartphone had a 48MP rear camera, and a hole in the display for the front camera. This new Honor device will likely compete with OnePlus 6T in India, given its pricing and the fact that the OnePlus phone is dominating the premium segment in the market. So how does the Honor View20 perform? Here’s what we thought after using the device for more than two weeks.
The View20 has an impressive design with a premium look thanks to the V-shaped reflective pattern on the glass chassis. Blue is a colour we have seen on many Honor phones, but with the flagship View20 and its unique reflective pattern, this one does stand out. The placement of the front camera in the Honor View20 is also unique.
The front camera is placed on the top left corner, and unlike the notch, is not so distracting. Users though have the option of turning it off, like they would do with a notch, so that it does not appear when watching videos in the ‘zoomed in’ mode on apps like YouTube. The phone’s front display is edge-to-edge, thanks to the camera placement.
Honor View20 also has a headphone jack at the top, which will make some users really happy. Honor has kept the fingerprint scanner at the back, and Face Unlock as the security options. The Face Unlock and fingerprint scanner work accurately.
Honor View20 is powered by the Kirin 980 processor, which has a 7nm design similar to Apple’s A12 Bionic chipset. It also comes with its own dual-core Neural Processing Unit (NPU) which is crucial for AI-related tasks. Our review unit had 6GB RAM and 128GB storage.
Performance is not really a problem with this device. Regular tasks like opening multiple tabs on Google Chrome, or switching between apps works smoothly.
Games such as Asphalt 9 work without any hiccups or noticeable lag, which is what one would want in a flagship. There’s also liquid cooling for keeping the device cool while playing games at a stretch. Another highlight of the Honor View20 is the battery, which is 4000 mAh. This is good to see on a flagship, and even with a 50% charge it will get you through the day.
The USP of the camera is the 48MP camera with a secondary 3D Time of Flight (TOF) sensor to help with depth-sensing in Portrait mode. The camera has an AI mode as well to recognise certain fixed scenes or objects, and tweak the picture settings accordingly.
Switching between 48MP and 12MP may not really show a drastic difference in photos. Still, the camera delivers well, in outdoor and indoor lighting with photos having plenty of details when you zoom in. The colours are a bit over-saturated, especially when you have AI on, but it’s not something unusual on AI modes.
What’s not good?
Honor has gone for a 3D ToF sensor, which is supposed to be great for Augmented Reality apps. However, the Honor View20 is not compatible with ARCore app from Google. The real use of the 3D sensor is for now a bit unclear, at least for a regular user other than assisting in Portrait mode.
There’s no doubt that Honor View20 ticks all the boxes of an flagship-level phone, without costing too much. The design, performance, battery and camera are all positives.
* Estimated street price: `37,999 (6GB RAM); Rs 45,999 (8GB RAM)