Huawei's latest style-centric phone series promises exceptional photo quality along with premium performance.
What’s new about the Huawei P20? Dual cameras, notched display, Kirin 970 processor.
How much will the Huawei P20 cost? Pricing around $1050
What is the Huawei P20?
Huawei's strategy for its premium phone lines has run along a repeated pattern of a premium "Mate" device for the professional crowd towards the end of the year, with the earlier half covered by its more style-centric P series phones.
Huawei's 2018 playbook ran the same way, save for the fact that Huawei gave MWC 2018 a miss for new handsets, launching new Mediapad tablets and Matebook laptops instead. Huawei has a launch event set for Paris on 27 March 2018 and it's there that it formally launched the Huawei P20.
The Huawei P20 is actually be a series of phones, comprising the low-cost Huawei P20 Lite, regular Huawei P20 and Huawei P20 Pro, each with slightly different specifications. There's also a premium Porsche Design model, although it's sold as the PORSCHE DESIGN HUAWEI Mate RS, rather than with P20 branding.
The Huawei P20 features a prominent screen "notches" to house its front-facing cameras, giving it a style not dissimilar to that of the Apple iPhone X.
In terms of power, Huawei uses the same Kirin 970 SoC that powers the Mate 10 and Mate 10 Pro, so the P20 series should be very solid performers, although possibly not on the level of the Snapdragon 845-based flagships we're seeing in the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S9 or Sony Xperia XZ2.
Huawei's contention is that its use of a neural co-processor gives its own silicon a processing edge, although to date relatively few apps have tapped that functionality to any appreciable degree.
Does the Huawei P20 have a good camera?
Where the Mate series sells itself as a serious business tool, the P series phones have long been about style and camera improvements. While the Huawei P20 Pro gets the biggest and best camera goodies, the regular P20 is no slouch.
It features a dual camera array at the rear with with a 12MP RGB and 20MP monochrome Leica lenses, assisted by Huawei's AI-driven optimisation routines that can reduce image shudder and automatically identify scenes and apply the optimal image settings depending on what it's looking at.
On the front of the Huawei P20, you'll find a 24MP selfie camera with inbuilt beautification features, driven again by AI to smooth out those unsightly blemishes. As always, your particular appreciation for those features will depend on the type of selfies you like to take.
Is the Huawei P20 water resistant?
The Huawei P20 is only rated for IP53 water resistance, which means that it's essentially "splash" resistant, rather than being able to survive full immersion in water. If you want that kind of ruggedness, you'll have to opt up for the Huawei P20 Pro, which features IP67 water resistance.
When will the Huawei P20 be available in Australia?
Huawei has stated that the Huawei P20 will launch in Australia, but has yet to reveal precise timing. Its Paris launch was followed by what Huawei called "Global availability", so unless it waits significantly, it's feasible you may be able to get one through a direct importer if you really can't wait.
How much will the Huawei P20 cost?
Huawei hasn't announced specific local price points for the Huawei P20 just yet, but based on international pricing, we should see it here for around $1000-$1150.
Huawei P20 specifications
- Product name
- Huawei P20
- Display size
- 5.8 inches
- Kirin 970
- Operating system
- Android 8.1 with EMUI
- Front camera
- Rear camera
- Dual 12MP/20MP (RGB/Monochrome)
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