Huawei sets the stage for the next evolution in mobile photography, unveiled at a special event in Paris, the Chinese tech firm introduced the new Huawei P20 series of devices. The new handsets are all about imaging together with Leica its partner for the superb imaging features since the days of the Huawei P9.
The new P20 series comes in two major variants, the regular P20 and the feature-rich P20 Pro. Both devices are well equipped with imaging features all the way with a rooted AI technologies at its core for the best Professional grade photos and videos in a smartphone. Who needs a DSLR when you got yourself a P20?
The new P20 series won’t have a Plus version to it unlike its predecessors and instead would follow the route of the Mate series where a “Pro” takes over the “Plus” in naming convention. That doesn’t mean that sizes aren’t different from both of these anymore, in fact, the P20 Pro has a larger 6.1-inch display compared to the regular P20’s 5.8-inch with the former being an AMOLED display while the latter is with an IPS LCD. However they both come with the same design language with a little notch on top that houses important sensors on the front while below the display is where the fingerprint sensor is located.
With both handset are Huawei’s latest flagships, these two are powered by the same chipset and that’s no other than the new HiSilicon Kirin 970, Huawei’s latest silicon with built-in NPU an AI architecture designed to drive the ever demanding features on the P20’s AI driven system especially when handling photography. Both devices are all equipped with huge amount of RAM with the P20 having 4GB of RAM while the P20 Pro comes at 6GB. As for their storage, both of these comes with whopping 128GB but some would be disappointed to know that the new P20 series does not support memory expansion but hey, Huawei doubled that storage this time since the P10’s, so it isn’t that bad per se.
As we go further, we’ll learn more about these devices and how they are different in terms of design, usability and features.
Of the two flagship devices, the regular P20 is the more conservative and basically stays to the tradition of the P series. Like we have said it a while ago, the P20 comes with a 5.8-inch IPS LCD display, that’s with a full and almost edge-to-edge screen with a notch at the top and a bottom bezel with a fingerprint sensor. Another great feature on the P20 which will be absent on the Pro is the inclusion of a 3.5mm audio jack which lately have been excluded from most flagship devices, seeing a dedicated audio port on devices like this will absolutely make the audiophiles have, at least for the time.
With imaging as its focus, the P20 comes equipped with a dual cameras on the back which pairs a 12 Megapixel RGB sensor to a 20 Megapixel monochrome, the setup is familiarly similar to the outgoing P10’s along with its Leica optics, but the larger 1.55um pixel size on the P20’s is a done deal for that matter which takes in more light resulting to brighter and clearer photos even in low light. It also features 2X lossless zoom to take subjects closer without losing the quality of the shots.
In also has AI Image Stabilization, a combination of three stabilization technologies including a hardware OIS, EIS and AI for the most stable and steady shot, thus eliminating unwanted blurs. This feature comes in hand when taking handheld photos, especially with night shots where one needs a steady hand to take the least better picture of the night cityscape, but Huawei takes jumps out of the standard and insist that the P20 need not to have a steady hands or even a trusty tripod for a beautiful night shots.
The Competition brags about super slow-mo videos recently, and Huawei jumps in to join them with support for 960fps slow motion video capture, take video recording to a whole new level with detailed scenarios worth the memory.
While main cameras are the talk of the town, the front camera on the P20 is not just worth mentioning but also not to be taken lightly and it has a whole new upgrade on its sleeves with an all new 24 Megapixel Selfie sensor that supports not just our daily dose of Selfies but also be able to unlock the device on the fly. Take Portraits like we never had before with special lighting effects thanks to AI which can be set on the fly or adjust them later. The P20 really does make mobile photography a lot more prettier.
The new Huawei P20 supports fast Face Unlock and together with AI and Kirin 970’s built-in NPU, the handset can pretty much learn about the user as they use the P20. It’s AI camera system can also identify different objects and scenarios right there and then and have them displayed to the user for added information. It can even translate foreign languages on the fly which should be handy when travelling and for example eating on international restaurants.
The Huawei P20 comes with 4GB of RAM and includes a standard 128GB of storage. It runs EMUI 8.1 a proprietary user interface of Huawei based on Android 8.1. Keeping the handset alive is a 3400mAh embedded battery with fast charging support.
HUAWEI P20 Pro
This is the Huawei P20 Pro, as the name suggests, it takes the best features from the regular P20 and added something more. It is also a bit larger with a 6.1-inch display with an AMOLED screen. It rock a display notch at the top as well that houses all the important sensors on the front and also there’s a noticeable bezel at the bottom that makes for the fingerprint sensor which also second as a navigation button.
With the P20 starting the imaging evolution, the P20 Pro levels up even more with its first in the market triple camera technology with Leica optics. It comes with 40 Megapixel primary imaging sensor on the back, something that has been the territory of the Nokia Lumia 1020 way back a few years ago. Unlike the Nokia Lumia 1020, the Huawei P20 Pro’s are more technologically improved with its larger sensor size. Besides the 40 Megapixel camera which is by the way an RGB sensor, it’s also paired with a 20 Megapixel monochrome sensor and another 8 Megapixel telephoto lens. Overall, the Huawei P20 Pro has a 3x optical zoom and a 5x Hybrid zoom without losing its image quality.
With all its AI assisted capabilities, the P20 Pro can capture every detail on the subject and its surroundings with color accuracy, clearer images with close to no noise shots, it can also identify objects and scenarios on the fly and translate foreign languages in an instant. It comes with an AI Image Stabilization to capture images without the unnecessary blur even at night where it has been a big challenge for mobile cameras to take photos or videos during this time. Because of its AIS technology, Huawei claims that the P20 Pro can take clear and highly detailed photographs at night without the need of a tripod.
Like the P20, the P20 Pro also features a super slow-motion video capture, taking images at 960 frames per second which details every moment as they happened. Instant Focus with its Hybrid Autofocus gets the perfect, blur-free shot every time, it’s like pausing the subject in time as the photo is taken with great details. It also has a 24 Megapixel Selfie camera on the front which doubles as Face Unlock. It also includes an AI 3D modeling face technology which follows every crest and contours of the face for a perfect Selfie shot and a 3D Portrait lighting feature for a studio grade portrait shots.
The Huawei P20 Pro comes with Kirin 970 with built-in NPU and has 6GB of RAM with 128GB of on-board storage. Like the P20, the P20 Pro does not include a microSD card slot which might not favor everyone but with 128GB, that’s plenty of room for anything from photos, videos and apps, unless one would stick with the device for years which rarely happens today. Take note also that the P20 Pro doesn’t come with a dedicated 3.5mm jack but does include a usb-c to 3.5mm adapter which is a little sad considering it is a flagship device.
EMUI 8.1 based on Android 8.1 runs the show with a large 4000mAh battery, enough power to accommodate every photo session needs with Huawei SuperCharge through supported cable and charger.
The latest P20 are available in Black, Pink Gold and Midnight blue while the P20 Pro are available in Black, Twilight and Midnight Blue color options. As for the price, The P20 cost 699 Euros and the P20 Pro will set back for 899 Euros. The P20 is now available for purchase in some European countries, the P20 Pro on the other hand will be launched on April 6 with regional available to be announced on each region or country soon after. As for the Philippines, Huawei Mobile Philippines is said to launch the handset on April 16 with prices for the handset to be announced by then.