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8.1/10
Informr score
The Huawei P20 currently has an Informr score of 8.1 out of 10. This score is based on our evaluation of 29 sources including reviews from users and the web's most trusted critics.

The "1-Minute" Review

Verdict

Unless you’re looking at the phone’s bigger sibling -- the P20 Pro -- the P20 has little competition at its price point. A great camera, all-day battery, vivid screen, and plenty of power make it a great choice for anyone looking for a top-tier device at a lower price.

What's good

  • Great camera
  • Blazing performance
  • Solid, eye-catching design
  • Fast charge support
  • All-day battery
  • 128GB of internal storage
  • Bright, punchy display

What's bad

  • No microSD support
  • Clunky camera interface outside of auto
  • No IP67 water-resistance

Offering all the power of their flagship model in a smaller, more affordable package, the Huawei P20 aims to provide a top-shelf experience at a fraction of the price. While it’s unlikely they’ll unseat the big names in smartphones, they’ve presented several compelling options before. Does the P20 keep this trend alive?

The phone looks very much like a mash-up of the Samsung Galaxy S9 and iPhone X it is trying to compete with.

It features a thin, long rectangular design with a metal frame and glass back. Reviewers loved the iridescent color schemes available with their shifting colors and sheen. However, as with all phones with glass back panels, the P20 is a smudge and fingerprint magnet.

There’s also no 3.5mm jack -- a feature common on newer phones. But most newer phones claim it helps to improve water resistance. The P20 is only IP53 water resistant though -- so it won’t stand up to submersion or heavy exposure like much of its competition.

Around front, you’ll find a 5.8-inch 2244-by-1080 TFT LCD panel with a notch at the top and fingerprint scanner at the bottom. Many reviewers who weren’t fans of the notch on the iPhone X grew to like the one on the P20.

If you hate it, Huawei offers an option to hide it in a black bar on the screen.

The screen is a strong point on the phone. It’s plenty bright, has accurate colors, and is great from almost any angle. Reviewers also had no problem with adapting apps to the longer, slimmer aspect ratio of the screen. However, since it’s a TFT LCD, you won’t get quite the contrast in other flagships -- or the P20’s bigger sibling the P20 Pro -- with their AMOLED panels.

Huawei uses their own processors in many of their phones. The P20 sports a Kirin 970 octa-core processor and 4GB of RAM. Reviewers found it capable of keeping up with anything they threw at it. While it might not compete in the benchmarks with Samsung or Apple’s flagship phones, in real-world use no one had any complaints. 

The phone runs Android 8.1 Oreo with EMUI 8.0 on top. While previous iterations of Huawei’s software made significant changes and piled on the bloatware, the latest version is more subdued. Reviewers liked the stock-like interface and found most of the bloatware could be uninstalled.

This is important since the 128GB of storage is all you get. There are no options for microSD expansion. Still, that’s a generous amount of space and will keep most users happy.

On paper, the dual lens rear camera with a 12MP RGB lens and 20MP lens for added detail and depth and 2x optical zoom and a massive 24MP front-facing lens looks like it should keep up with the competition.

Reviewers found that real-world performance was up to expectations. The AI-assisted camera modes made it easy to get great shots -- even in low-light. The analog zoom was great for getting up close shots. The front-facing lens took great selfies with balanced colors and detail that popped.

The only issue mentioned was that the camera app itself was rather cluttered and options were cumbersome to sort through. Fortunately, with the AI modes, they found they rarely needed to change things.

With a 3,400mAh battery and USB Type-C fast charging, you should never need to worry about running out of juice during the day. With the added power saving modes, you can stretch usage as far as 4 days on a single charge. However, for most a charge will last about a day and a half.

TechRadar reviewed the phone and said, “If you want a more affordable flagship that looks good and takes great photos, the P20 might be the phone for you.” Pocket-Lint was equally positive, saying, “It's compact, it's powerful, it has a lot to offer - and it's also looking like one of the highest quality devices that Huawei has built.”


Operating system
Android
Processor
2.36 GHz
Screen Size
5.8"
Camera
12+ MP


What the Critics Are Saying...


Android Guys

After these first few days, using the Huawei P20 has shown me that it is an excellent phone. Naturally, Huawei focused more on the Pro version, but this standard version can beneficially support many consumers. I can already tell I will be enjoying this phone, especially after I can spend a whole da...

- Keyan Riddick, Android Guys
Coolsmartphone

If you want a great all-rounder phone, still having a very impressive camera, and want to save a bit of cash, then the Huawei P20 is a great choice and one I am sure you will enjoy using on a daily basis.

- Dan Carter, Coolsmartphone
Android Authority

While the Huawei P20 can't beat its bigger brother, it has much to offer. The camera hardware performs very well, while the improved Huawei software manages to take these images from average to outstanding. It is a great camera phone at its price, unless you are a pixel peeper who really needs the b...

- Edgar Cervantes, Android Authority
The Inquirer

The Huawei P20 is a little lacking when it comes to graphics processing, but the camera is amazing, the sound quality is good and you'll have an incredibly handsome phone to boot. It's certainly going to give rival companies something to think about with regards to pricing. Well played, Huawei.

- Isaac Harris-Holt, The Inquirer
Mirror

This isn't Huawei's best phone of the year - that's obviously the P20 Pro. But it does offer a great alternative for those who want a competent Android phone with a great camera and a sensible price. The Huawei P20 doesn't really bring anything new to the smartphone party but it does do all that's r...

- Jeff Parsons, Mirror


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Quick view

Screen Size
5.8"

The Huawei P20's screen size is 5.8 inches with 1080 x 2244 pixels resolution.

Processor
2.36 GHz

There is a HiSilicon Kiri 970 Octa core 2.36 GHz processor (CPU).

OS

The phone runs on the Android 8.1 Oreo operating system (OS).

Camera
12+ MP

You can take photos or capture video with the phone's onboard 12+ megapixel camera.

There is also a secondary front facing camera with 24+ megapixels resolution.

Storage
128 GB

Internal memory is 128 GB. An external, MicroSD, MicroSDHC, microSDXC (up to 256 GB) expansion slot is available for increased storage capacity.

Battery
3400mAh

The phone is powered by a Lithium Polymer (Li-Pol), 3400 mAh battery. Huawei's performance ratings are 1140 minutes, 838 minutes Wi-Fi surfing.

Huawei P20 Specs

Overview
Release date April 6, 2018
Regions available Canada, United Kingdom
Mobile / Cellular Data
4G/LTE
Networks
GSM:
850/900/1800/1900 MHz
UMTS:
850/900/1900/2100 MHz
LTE:
1700/1900/700/2100 /800/850/900/1800/2600 MHz
Data:
GPRS, EDGE, HSUPA, HSPA+, LTE
SIM card size
Nano-SIM
Dual SIM No
Operating System Android 8.1 Oreo

Compare Android Smartphones

Processor HiSilicon Kiri 970 Octa core 2.36 GHz
Internal Storage 128 GB
RAM 4 GB
ROM No
GPS Type A-GPS
Hearing Aid Compatible No
TTY/TDD No
Noise Cancellation Yes
SAR Head: 0.76 W/kg
Body: 1.26 W/kg
Languages English
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year
Accessories Included USB Power Adapter, Manual, Headphones, Data Cable
Power & battery
Battery Type Lithium Polymer (Li-Pol)
Battery Capacity 3400 mAh
Removable Battery No
Wireless Charging No
Fast Charging Yes
Video Playback Time Up to: 733 minutes
Internet Use (Wi-Fi) Up to: 838 minutes
Internet Use (Celluar) Unknown
Talk Time Up to: 1140 minutes
Standby Time Up to: 16.9 days
Physical Characteristics
Design type Bar
Multi-Use Smart Phone / PDA Yes
Material Aluminium
Colors Black, Midnight Blue, Pink Gold
Dimensions [H x W x D] 14.91 x 7.08 x 0.765 cm (5.9 x 2.8 x 0.3 in)
Weight 165 grams
Water Resistant / Waterproof Water Resistant
Rugged design No
IP Rating IP 53
Display / Screen
Type Color
Technology LCD (IPS)
Colors 16.7 million
Resolution 1080 x 2244 pixels
Pixel density 429 pixels
Size 5.8 inches
Secondary Display No
Sensors Ambient Light, Proximity, Motion / Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Digital Compass
Graphics Yes
Themes Yes
Backlit Illumination Yes
Zoom / Magnification Yes
Screen Orientation Lock Yes
Multi-Touch Yes
Fingerprint-Resistant Coating No
Additional Display Features Capacitive touch screen
Input / Navigation
Sleep / Wake Key Yes
Home Key Yes
Mute Key No
Input Type Touchscreen
Navigation Type Touchscreen
Predictive Text Entry Yes
Physical keyboard No
Voicemail Key No
Any Key Answer No
Voice Commands Yes
Keypad/Screen Lock Yes
External Volume Control Yes
External Media Playback Controls No
Fingerprint Sensor Yes
Call Management
Wi-Fi Calling Yes
Voice over LTE (VoLTE) Yes
Contact List Capacity Depends on system memory
Multiple Numbers Per Contact Email address, Other fields
Contact Groups Yes
Auto Answer No
Voice Activated Dialing Yes
Photo Caller ID Yes
Web / Email / Messaging
Web Browser Yes
Email Client Yes
Email Protocols POP3, IMAP, Microsoft Exchange
Additional Email Features Gmail
Messaging SMS, MMS, IM
Push-to-talk (PTT) No
Connectivity
USB USB Type-C
USB OTG Support Yes
Infrared No
Bluetooth 4.2
Bluetooth Profiles A2DP, AVRCP, OPP/FTP, HID, HFP, HSP, PAN
Bluetooth Audio Codecs SBC, aptX, aptX HD, LDAC
WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n
WiFi Encryption WEP/WPA/WPA2
Mobile Hotspot Yes
WiMAX No
Memory Expansion Slot Yes
Expansion Slot Info MicroSD, MicroSDHC, microSDXC (up to 256 GB)
PC Synchronization Yes
TV Out HDMI
DLNA Support No
NFC Yes
Data Tethering Compatibility Yes
Java Applications No
Brew Applications No
ECML / Digital Wallet No
Camera
Main Camera
Aperture
ƒ/ 1.8
Resolution
12+ megapixels
Multi-camera
Yes
Zoom
Yes
Flash
Yes (Dual LED)
Additional Rear Camera Info
Auto focus, Effects, Face detection, Geotagging, Multi-shot, Night mode, Panorama, Self-timer, Smile detection, Dual camera feature (20 MP 2nd camera, f/1.6), HDR
Video Recording Formats
MPEG-4
Video Recording Parameters
Ultra HD (3840 x 2160 pixels)
Front Camera
Resolution
24+ megapixels
Zoom
Yes
Additional Front Camera Info
Face detection, Self-timer, Aperture f/2.0
Video Recording Parameters
Audio / Video
Audio Playback Yes
Audio Formats AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, MIDI, MP3, MP4, M4A, WMA, WAV
Radio No
Video Playback Yes
Video Playback Formats 3GP / 3GPP, AVI, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4, WMV
Streaming Video Yes
External Speakers Yes
Headset Jack No
Custom Ringtones Yes
Vibration Alert Yes
Downloadable Ringtones Yes
Ringer ID Yes
Haptic Feedback Vibration Yes
Speakerphone Yes
Apps
To-Do / Task List No
Calendar Yes
World Clock Yes
Alarm Yes
Stop Watch Yes
Timer Yes
Calculator Yes
Currency Converter No
Weather Yes
Stocks No
Maps Yes
NotePad Yes
Voice Memos / Recorder Yes
Games Downloadable
Apps Downloadable
Included Software / Apps
More
Additional comments

Also available in dual SIM variant.

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