Huawei P20 pro review-First ever triple camera smartphone

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Jitters in the smartphone universe are becoming a normal thing after every launch of a new smartphone. Huawei P20 pro is no exception.It has stunned with the first ever  triple camera in a handset.Lets take a deep look at its features.


Huawei P20 pro Design

It has adopted a similar design to iPhone X. This makes  it have a notch at the top of its screen . This notch holds a selfie camera and speaker. Not too intrusive though the screen next to it is used to display notifications . You can turn the space on either sides of the notch black via settings to hide the notch if it bothers you. Regardless content stays underneath and won’t be interrupted unlike iPhone . Huawei P20 pro however doesn’t have the 3.5 mm headphone jack, instead you have to use the USB port or go wireless.

Different from the Huawei P10 it has a glass body with stereo speaker set up, one bottom firing and the other doubles up as the earpiece. Huawei P20 pro speakers can also produce Dolby At-mos multi channel sound which is great with the right content.Generally sound is clear and sounds pretty good.Unlike Huawei P10 splash water proof, Huawei P20 pro has full IP67 dust and water resistance.There is a small Huawei P20 too but that doesn’t have water resistance,don’t buy that.

The back of Huawei P20 pro is clean because of shifting fingerprint scanner to the front.The only noticeable thing at the back is the triple camera and Huawei Brand Info which is actually cool.The phone comes with plenty of themes available to suit different tastes and preferences of users.

Huawei P20 pro Display

Huawei P20 pro has 6.1* inch OLED display which still looks sharp.The UI is EMUI 8.1.0 over Android 8.1 Oreo. Apps can be stored either in home screen or in apps draw. Huawei P20 pro has smart navigation with options to choose from.

  • Off-screen Navigation button
  • Onscreen Navigation key
  • Virtual Navigation bar

4000 mAh Battery

Its battery is 4000 mAh. Charging is pretty fast thanks to Huawei super charge at around 0-45% in 30 mins. Unfortunately there is no wireless charging even though the back is made of glass.

Security Unlock options

 Fingerprint Scanner

Huawei P20 pro has a front mounted fingerprint  scanner at the menu button for convenience.Its super fast to unlock your phone with it.

 Face Unlock option

Huawei P20 offers face unlock option which works well in low lighting conditions.The front camera will brighten up the screen to illuminate your face if necessary.

Perfomance

6GB RAM/ 128 GB ROM

Huawei P20 pro runs on KIRIN 970 with built-in NPU so performance is good as expected.It has 128 GB internal storage.However doesn’t have SD card slot.

Leica Triple Camera

Camera is Huawei’s P20 pro biggest feature by far. As of today Huawei is the only smartphone with triple camera.

  1. 40 MP camera    1/1.73”  RGB Sensor                                                                                                          27 mm , f/1.8                                                                                               This has the RGB sensor for capturing colors accurately.
  2. 20 MP camera    1/2.781″  Monochrome                                                                                                        27 mm , f/1.6                                                                                              This has the black and white sensor
  3. 8 MP camera      1/4.4″  RGB sensor                                                                                                             80 mm , f/2.4                                                                                             This has telephoto camera.

Huawei P20 pro Default camera settings

Huawei uses four different auto-focus  technologies. The default settings for all cameras is 10 MP.  In good light 10 MP shots look great with good detail, pleasing colors and pretty dynamic range. Photos undergo optimization by combining information from at least 2 of the cameras at any time.

Telephoto Camera

The benefits of reducing the 40 MP down to 10 are lower noise(image)  and better sharpness. You can opt for 40 MP via settings but you don’t have the option for any sort of zoom. In addition you don’t get much more detail.

Huawei P20 pro Telephoto camera allows for 3 times optical zoom and 5 times hybrid zoom. The 3 times zoom has almost no loss in quality compared to the main camera. The 5 times hybrid zoom looks good but is not exactly lossless, some (image) noise is visible. This level of magnification is impressive, no other phone can provide such quality at that level of zoom.

20 MP Monochrome camera

Huawei P20 pro 20 MP monochrome snapper does well in daylight. It captures sharp detail and wide dynamic range. However, monochrome is not a high life feature.This camera is mostly used in conjunction with other cameras to improve resolution.

Main Camera

Low light photos produced by the main camera generally look good. They are well exposed although there is some visible noise  and loss of detail. Huawei P20 pro can capture photos at night thanks to the dedicated Night Mode.

Night Mode

Night mode makes a composite of many photos and takes a few seconds to process but the results are incredible. Well some shots do still come out blurry. Night mode captures details even a naked eye cannot see in the dark.

Blurred Background Camera Customization

Huawei P20 pro can also use its cameras to create a blurred background behind the subject in portrait mode. You are able to zoom for this type of shot and you can select various effects like in the iPhone. One downside is that you can’t change the level of blur in portrait mode. Strangely you can change the level of blur if you take portraits in aperture mode. Plus you can change blurred levels after they have been taken.

20 MP Selfie Shooter

Huawei P20 pro 20 MP selfie shooter focus is fixed so you have to be careful about how far away you hold the camera. You can take portrait selfies too which aren’t too bad.

960 fps Slow motion Video Camera

Huawei P20 can shoot super slow motion videos at 960 fps for 720 P resolution. Its decent,  but doesn’t in many ways match up to its competitors by Sony and Samsung. If captured motion is continuous it works out okay. Although processing time after every recording can be annoying.See Huawei P20 pro 960 fps slow motion video demo below.

See also Sony Xperia XZ Premium review -Has the best 960 fps camera in a smartphone.

If you are trying to capture a specific moment its impossible to control what will be slowed down. Clips are short of fixed length with the slow down starting some point in time after you hit the button. Huawei P20 pro takes good videos in 4K, nice and sharp without over processing. You can zoom with telephoto lens too.

Unfortunately 4K videos don’t have stabilization. But in 1080 P  AI stabilization is really good although videos come out a bit softer and less detailed than non-stabilized ones.

Conclusion

Huawei P20 pro is an excellent phone, unmatched in zoom and low light capabilities. However its not perfect especially having dropped the 3.5 mm headphone jack. I think its price is also a bit over priced. The 40 MP is also misleading but at 10 MP does well in good light. If you actually want a phone that can take awesome photos the Huawei P20 pro is worth looking into. Thanks for reading this post, like and subscribe so you don’t miss the next one.Feel free to read more gadget and service reviews in the archives.

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