The Huawei P20 Pro is one of the best smartphones on the market. I've been using it as my main smartphone since its launch and I'm fully satisfied with it. Or rather, almost fully. There are some aspects of the P20 Pro that should be improved and that in the long run can be annoying but the love for this device remains!
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First up, the worst defects
Display: grappling with scratches and dirt
The P20 Pro features a 6.1-inch OLED display with vivid colors, deep blacks and good brightness. This is a large screen that has proved really convenient especially for watching videos and TV series on the go. The notch, personally, did not bother me and I quickly got used to this new presence.
After 100 days of use, however, the screen on my P20 Pro and my colleague Steffen's already shows several scratches. I made a big mistake when I removed the protective film supplied: holding it would have been better to protect the screen from scratches and fingerprints.
EMUI: still room for improvement
Personally, EMUI has never disappointed me and with its variegated customization options it is able to meet different needs. Do you not like notch? You can hide it. Navigation keys? I prefer not to have them on the display but the alternative is there. Not to mention that the system is updated to the latest version not only of EMUI but also Oreo.
There is one aspect that is boring during use: the presence of some annoying notifications, such as those relating to batteries under 20%, which can not be turned off. Those related to third-party apps, however, sometimes arrive all together and late. In short, although overall the software is well optimized with the hardware, Huawei still has something to do to improve it.
A hot-blooded companion
The Kirin 970, despite being a 2017 processor, has proven its worth in performance. It's only with daily experience, however, that flaws come to the fore. What I consider to be flaws of the P20 Pro are its excessive overheating during long gaming sessions with challenging graphics.
Even when charging and outdoors on hot summer days, the device tends to overheat slightly but not so heavily. My colleague Steffen also had the same problem with his P20 Pro during gaming:
However, that could soon change with the arrival of Turbo GPU, the technology that should optimize the efficiency of the device by increasing the performance of the GPU (the computing efficiency of graphics will improve by 60% with a SoC power saving of 30% and a positive benefit for the battery). We just have to wait for the update in August!
... and its merits
An excellent camera
Beyond the evaluation of DxOMark, the rear camera of the P20 Pro is really amazing. It's in terms of photo quality and ease of use. The camera app is intuitive and suitable for any type of user. The tip and click, the mode I have to admit I use most often, makes center stage with focused subjects, rich details and vivid colors.
The latter, with AI active, are sometimes excessive but the problem can be solved at the base by disabling this feature (I hope that Huawei will implement the ability to choose between the two shots from the Gallery as on Honor 10). Generally speaking, I have to say that this is an advantage because the AI changes those parameters on which a lot of users would get involved in editing after shooting.
The 3x zoom, freehand night shots and portraits are aspects that I appreciated most in the daily use of the camera. And in case you haven't gotten used to it before on other devices of the brand, I suggest you try the editing options for the photos directly from the Gallery: beyond the filters (the choice is more varied than Instagram), the Splash mode is a great tool for lovers of black and white. Not being fascinated by the camera of the P20 Pro is really difficult...
Good battery life and quick recharge just in case
The P20 Pro's non-removable battery provides 4000 mAh. The mAhs themselves say nothing about the real daily performance but the Kirin 970 with software support can allow the battery to stay alive at least a day (about 5 hours with active display). Sometimes until the next morning.
This, at least, in my case using my smartphone to check emails, whatsappare, browse Facebook and Instagram, take photos, play some songs on Spotify and videos on YouTube and Netflix. The way you use your camera and the amount of video you consume will visibly affect your battery life, you'll notice. As always, SuperCharge recharging has proved to be a useful feature: 50% autonomy in about 30 minutes of charging time.
A falling price
The P20 Pro has been launched in three different colors (Black, Midnight Blue and Twilight) at a price of 899 euros, but US fans can get it from Amazon for $799. An important note, however, in addition to being lower than that of other flagships, in recent months has already dropped. Sure, carrier contracts are out of the question, but keep an eye on prices and you could snap up a bargain, even as an import.
These months with the P20 Pro have been positive and, at the moment, my SIM is still in the latest Huawei flagship store. There are good alternatives on the market but, at the moment, I can't find another smartphone for which to set aside the P20 Pro.
Despite the camera protruding over the body and the subdivision of the photographic lenses that could all have been grouped together in a single section, I find the design of the P20 Pro really enjoyable; the phone size is not compact but the device is still handy.
Good performance in everyday use, great camera (one of the components that I use the most), quick unlock with the fingerprint reader and the battery doesn't screw with you. One thing is for sure, if you use wired headphones you'll have to come to terms with it because the P20 Pro lacks a mini jack but that's not my case. It all depends on how much this feature matters to you!
The P20 Pro is not a perfect smartphone: some flaws can however be fixed with updates, others remain but are not so limiting for me and the photographic experience for me is enough to recommend it to you!
Have you tried the Huawei P20 Pro? What do you think of it?