Honor 20 Pro, first impressions: maximum versatility can also go in small jars

The release of the new Honor was rumored and nothing has stopped the presentation, not even what happened with Huawei and Google due to the measures imposed by the United States Government. We do not know the sale, but at least we have been able to test one of them and we bring you the first impressions of the Honor 20 Pro.

A mobile with a certain heritage of the Honor View 20 but that is an update with respect to it, especially at the camera level. The proposal: focus on improving night photography and bringing a breeze of fresh air to the fashion mix, with a fourth rear camera for macro images.

A "small" holographic in the meantime "giant"

We were told in the presentation that the Honor 20 and Honor 20 Pro have integrated a 6.26-inch screen in the space where a 5.3-inch one usually fits. And the sensation when seeing the terminal and holding it effectively was that of a compact mobile, especially seeing that in the high-end we are seeing an average diagonal of between 6.4 and 6.6 inches (which usually means higher volumes although it takes advantage of very well the front).

It is very comfortable and light, and indeed the curvature of the edges makes the grip pleasant. A curve that we only see on this surface and not on the back itself or the screen, as we have seen in the Huawei P30 Pro or the OnePlus 7 Pro, and the truth is that it is something that is appreciated because the grip can be much firmer without disturbing the angle, also helped by those dimensions and weight that we have already discussed.

Without an audio jack, the only thing we see in its base is the USB Type-C connector. Next to it is the speaker, which was not just aligned with the port, but a little higher (closer to the front).

As for the design of the front camera, for this terminal and the Honor 20 they have opted for its insertion in the screen, unlike the Honor 20 Lite that presents a notch U-shaped. It is well integrated, without protrusions or edges that are noticeable to the touch, unlike the module for the rear camera that does protrude a lot and has three of the cameras, leaving aside the macro one.

We haven't been able to test the side fingerprint sensor, which also doubles as a start button, power button, and to call the virtual assistant directly, but it does appear to be at least well-placed. In general it gives the feeling of being well built, quite reminiscent of the Honor View 20 and made of plastic.

And the holographic finish? In the end it is about obtaining an effect similar to what we saw in the back of the OnePlus 7 Pro and that reflects a color on a dark background. Although the lighting in the demo area was totally counterproductive both to take photos and videos and to deduce the true color of the phones, what we have seen is that there is quite a difference with the official renders and that the Phantom Black is quite a purple more discreet and that the Phantom Blue is a much more discreet blue than that green that we saw in the official images.

Above all we are left with that: compaction and weight are well achieved, with a front that is dominated by the panel and taking advantage of the non-thinning of the edges to integrate the fingerprint reader on the side, such as the Samsung Galaxy A7 (2018) . Of course, although it does not slip it is true that it gets dirty easily (and it is difficult to clean).

A discreet hole, a side effect that not so much

We have been able to prove little of the new software taking into account that the environment is not conducive (to see how about those audio improvements) and that the devices were not connected to the network. Our joy in the well when we could not play 'Fortnite' or put some YouTube videos, but at least we have seen how smooth they are, how is the screen and if there were changes in the interface of Magic 2.1.0 regarding to its adaptation to the hole.

We have seen that in the screen settings we found some tools to calibrate the screen, which seemed to come from the factory somewhat cold (although that was difficult to assess given the lighting). The resolution is acceptable since it is a tighter price range cap and we have seen the content adequately, but it may fall short for those who demand something more in this regard.

What we have also verified is that the hole can be hidden in the same way that it is offered when it exists notch: with a black bar that covers the entire surface. But here we have been invaded by deja vu and it seemed to us again that, whether or not the almost 92% of use is met, in the end in practice the space is much less because the toolbar is very wide.

All terminals were configured so that navigation through the system was carried out by gestures, seeing that the most common scheme (and the one we have seen in other Huawei and Honor smartphones) is repeated: back gesture sliding to the side, gesture of minimize by swiping from below and multitasking the same but keeping. They were fine and both the closings and the multitasking load happened smoothly, but it is quite easy for the mobile to understand as a call to the assistant (swipe from the corner) a closure or multitasking, despite the fact that the screen has a good sensitivity tactile.

The layer did not seem to have undergone much change at the level of adjustments and benefits since we tested it in the View, but as we have commented we will have to wait to have it to see how the main novelties work and above all to play. At the moment, we have not appreciated a lag Too obvious and it seems that the optimization that they have commented and the 8 GB of RAM are good for Magic 2.1 in this new version in relation to standard use (navigation through the system, without losing playing or playing multimedia hardly).


The photography part is quite attractive when incorporating a fourth possibility to what was already very versatile: the fashionable photographic triplet, the optical zoom + wide angle + high resolution sensor is expanded in this case with a lens dedicated to macro shooting . Something that also has its audience and that offers an interesting option, especially also by offering the largest focal aperture we have seen in a smartphone lens, exceeding the f / 1.5 of Samsung and some other manufacturer.

Unfortunately, a touchdown usually does not give to evaluate the results well, not beyond the tests that can be done in that challenging lighting environment and without being able to see them properly. But still we have experienced what we have been able to do with the cameras, including the front one after the hole, and we tell you what we have observed.

The app, the main helm to get around with the terminal's five lenses and all modes, is the one we have been seeing for years in EMUI and now Magic UI, with a series of fixed tabs and a "More" tab with the modes considered accessories . HDR is still one of these, but here we also find on this occasion the Aperture mode that until now we have seen with its particular tab (which does retain the Night mode).

In that "More" tab we also see the Super macro mode, which is strictly not new, but until now had not been associated with a particular lens. And for the rest, the peculiarities that we have seen in the last Huawei remain, with the button for the AI ​​in the automatic mode, the manual mode and a portrait mode only valid for people.

The app worked apparently well. We have not noticed slowness when moving from one lens to another or when deactivating a mode, although this distribution still seems impractical, especially in order to use the most common or "protagonist" modes, such as that Super macro mode.

Trying to alternate between wide angle, zoom and standard lens we have seen an even fluidity that we noticed in the P30 Pro (very slight differences in fonts and others), but the jump was normal in both photography and video. Good autofocus performance, even when going from 3x to 10x in low-medium light conditions.

The noise was more noticeable with the hybrid zoom, but we did not find it scandalous considering the scene and recalling the behavior of the P30 Pro hybrid zoom in poorly lit interiors. Good impressions in terms of the detail of the 3x, and good behavior of these three lenses also in the video that has proven to be quite stable (and we have tickled it).

It is difficult to speak of the wide angle being such a dark scene, but there was no exaggerated curvature or decompensation of the exposure a priori. As for the macro mode, we will be told that we can get up to 4 centimeters from the photographed item, and in the tests we have done it gave a (logically) natural blur and a good level of detail in the foreground.

Taking advantage of this we have tested the aperture mode taking advantage of the fact that, as in the P30 Pro, we can also shoot at 1x, 2x or 3x, and if we manually adjusted the simulated aperture and tested with the same object (without complicated edges and with good contrast with the background ) the result did not seem to be very far from the macro mode, so this could be speaking well of the Aperture mode.

Portrait mode only for people, as we have said, which seems to make a good cut but which again requires us to choose one of the bokeh pre-established, and that again seem exaggerated and forced. The same with the portrait mode in the front, a little more erratic in the application of the blur (in very difficult conditions) but keeping the detail in the foreground very well. And that we have not seen a great change between the shots without and with AI in this context can be good news, we will attend to the possible future analysis.

There are doubts, but you also win

And it is precisely this very doubtful future that makes us believe that perhaps this terminal is something more elusive to analyze. After what happened with Google, the launch of these new Honor has been postponed, the presentation of which happened a little more than 24 hours after skipping the measures of those of Mountain View and the United States Government, now extended.

That does not mean that it seems to us an interesting bet, especially when it comes to video games and photography. The Honor Play did honor (never better said) to his last name and the experience with ‘PUBG’ and other games was very good, and here we have again GPU Turbo, a leading screen and 8 GB of RAM.

We have not diluted that outbreak of wanting to take the phone out to the street to test all that photographic machinery, with special interest in these new modes and macro shooting. And Magic UI also has plenty to prove, with new optimization options and an apparent bikini operation.

So we hope to be able to analyze it in depth and tell you in detail as usual. Meanwhile we have good feelings after this first contact.

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