The folks over at Huawei sent over their latest flagship smartphone, the P20 Pro, with a small challenge. They want to see if I would make the P20 the phone I carry with me. In other words, they think it’s so good that they can get me to give up my iPhone X. It’s been two years since I had an Android – the Google Nexus 6, may it rest in pieces - and since then, I’ve used an iPhone exclusively.
So, challenge accepted.
First, no, I won’t be telling you who won today. We’ll get into a bigger discussion on whether I will actually switch back later, because moving from iOS to Android is definitely worth a blog post on its own. Today is just about giving you an initial look at the P20 Pro. And I like what I see.
The P20 Pro looks a lot like an iPhone X, with the same curved edges. The screen size is very comparable. The P20 Pro’s screen is a few millimeters longer and maybe a millimeter or two wider than the iPhone X, but because the P20 Pro has a bezel on the bottom that houses a fingerprint scanner, the device itself feels a lot longer. It’s also heavier, but that’s because it has a substantially larger battery (4,000mAh) than the iPhone X (2717mAh).
The P20 Pro also has a “notch”, which is a small black clusters of sensors set inside the normal screen area. On the iPhone X, the notch houses the “TrueDepth” camera system. The P20 Pro’s notch has a camera and microphone, but for those of you who truly HATE the notches, you can turn it off. No, the camera and the mic don’t vanish, but the software will mask the notch’s edges by making the screen on both sides black. I like the notch on both phones, but if the notch is harshing your aesthetical vibe, Huawei will be nicer to you than Apple will.
By the way, both notches are used for facial recognition. Frankly, we’re happy to use the fingerprint scanner instead, which is much faster than the one on the iPhone 8. Huawei claims its facial recognition is faster than Apple’s, but frankly, neither works consistently enough for me.
Internally, this phone is a beast, and I mean that in the best possible way. It has eight cores in the CPU and a Mali-G72 MP12, with is one of ARM’s latest graphics processors.
If there is an area where Huawei will really give Apple a run for its money, it is with its camera, which uses three lenses. The first is a 40 megapixels lens with a 102,400 ISO sensor, which means it’s really good in low light. The second is a 20 MP lens, which records in black and white. The third is an 8MP 5x zoom lens. I’m looking forward to putting these to the test. Huawei claims they offer a higher dynamic range, which gives your images a greater range of luminance, and they also claim you can zoom in on a subject without any loss of image quality.
If there is any fault to find with the P20 Pro, it’s in small design features. Both the fingerprint scanner and the screen have some sharp edges. You may not notice them at first, but after heavy use and a lot of swiping, it’s actually a littler hard on your thumb.
Overall, this is a flagship phone that deserves the name. It’s certainly a competitor to the iPhone X and Samsung. With a price tag of about Dh2,799 at most UAE vendors, it’s competitive to other Android phones in the same size range.