100 days with the Honor View20: it won't let you down
Yes, time passes quickly. One hundred days have already passed since I started packing the Honor View20 as my main smartphone. It's a sufficiently long period of time to really know the qualities and weaknesses of this device. Did the Honor View20 confirm the good first impressions it left on me in my original review? Is the Honor View20 still as good as ever?
What I like about the Honor View20
With its large bezel-free display with a little hole punched in it for the selfie camera and its 48-megapixel main shooter, the star smartphone of the Chinese manufacturer in the first part of the year had plenty of arguments in its favor when it was launched at the beginning of January. However, on a day-to-day basis, there are other elements that have made me enjoy using the smartphone, too.
As surprising as it may seem, the View20 is one of the few smartphones in its class to have only one rear camera sensor. In return, however, the View20 was the first camera on the market to offer Sony's IMX586 sensor capable of taking 48-megapixel photos. It is now found on many smartphones, and it is easy to explain why: it is a very good sensor.
On a daily basis, Honor's smartphone makes it possible to capture excellent shots (especially after a software update), even when lighting conditions deteriorate, thanks in particular to its 1/2-inch sensor. With video, the View20 also does very well. And I must mention one special effect where the subject is filmed in color, with the rest of the scene in black and white. Of course, AI is on board, but Honor even offers an option to disable its effects after the shot is taken. On the other hand, the 3D sensor for augmented reality is nothing more than a cool toy in my opinion.
In recent years, it must be acknowledged that, with few exceptions, the endurance of smartphones has been rather disappointing. Arriving at the end of the day without making a pit stop at the charger was indeed, in many cases, a rather difficult feat. The Honor View20 puts an end to this concern. Its 4,000 mAh battery allows it to last a day without any problem despite more than intensive use. As a general rule, I usually only charge the View20 every other day!
Compared to the Mate 20 Pro, its counterpart over at Huawei, it doesn't benefit from ultra fast charging (only fast) or wireless charging, but we have to accept a few concessions given the more attractive price of the device.
A traditional fingerprint reader
If you have already read my work, you know that I am not necessarily a big fan of cell phones which put the fingerprint reader under the screen, especially because of its rather random efficiency (or lack thereof) but also because of its slowness. The Honor View20 had the good idea not to give in to this new trend and thus avoid the rather disappointing technology of the Mate 20 Pro. Combined with facial recognition, the fingerprint reader makes it easy to unlock your smartphone in the blink of an eye.
In terms of satisfaction, I also greatly appreciated the phone's performance. The Kirin 980 and the 6 or 8 GB of RAM make it possible to meet all needs and use cases. Though without an AMOLED display, the View20's IPS display is also very well balanced. Finally, its mini-jack jack and speaker provide a more than satisfying auditory experience.
What I don't like about the Honor View20
No waterproofing certification or microSD port
It may be a detail for you, but for me, it means a lot. If the lack of IP68 certification for water and dust resistance can be understood because of the smartphone's price, the lack of a microSD port is rather regrettable (and a little petty I even want to say). Honor preferred the Nano Memory Card format that Huawei had presented with the Mate 20, but these memory cards are more expensive... Combine these two points and you can understand my disappointment.
As the years go by, Honor still hasn't changed its strategy on multitasking management. The system ejects open apps from memory too easily. As a result, if you do not use them regularly, they close and you do not receive notifications. Certainly, it is possible in the settings to prevent the closure of some apps, but it is quite tedious and surprising that Honor continues this practice.
What about the US-Huawei fight?
Let us be clear about this, I have absolutely nothing against this brand, quite the contrary. But the recent news surrounding the ban that Trump has imposed on American telecommunications companies to keep them from working with so-called "risky" companies, including Honor (Huawei Group), may be worrying. View20 will continue to receive monthly security updates (app updates via the Google Play Store are not affected either), but the question of what will happen with major Android updates remains unanswered.
My 100 days with the Honor View20 were a real pleasure. Reliable, efficient and long-lasting, it is a smartphone you can count on. Despite some small flaws, Honor's smartphone still remains an excellent value for the money, especially since its price is even more attractive than when it was launched. It remains to be seen what the case between the USA and China still holds for us.
If you have any questions about this smartphone, feel free to ask them in the comments. If you have also purchased an Honor View20, feel free to share your experience with us.
Thank you for the honest review, I actually prefer Honor vs Huawei (I know same Corporate owners, I just have my preferences).
It's got the same camera as the Motorola Z4 (give credit to Honor for having it first), with a larger battery (Motorola's is 3600 mAh) and a better location for the fingerprint scanner (Motorola's is in the screen and tends to malfunction - but has 2D face recognition).
EMUI not your thing? it could be that the Motorola is the preferred device for you (price wise, they are almost the same value), and it also has a MicroSD expansion.
I hope the message Google sent the US government is loud and clear, denying Google the opportunity to continue working with Huawei / Honor is only going to promote a negative experience for consumers.
Thank you, Pierre. :-)
You see, my current Android smartphones are an Honor View 10 and a Mate 20 Pro. (They have twin SIM-cards, so I can have them on LTE one at a time. Currently the Mate.)
For me, the View 10 saved me from continuing in iOS only. Good battery life, in contrast to my Galaxy S6, comparable to my current iPhones. (Battery life really matters when navigating...)
These two smartphones each have 128GB of local storage. For me, that's enough. So I haven't yet felt an urge to insert an SD-card into the View or an NM-card into the Mate. I do have some of these external 3-way card readers though.
(By the way, as I have seen it mentioned nowhere: my View 10 was OTA upgraded to Android 9.0 three days ago.)
Unlocking: I have come to prefer face recognition. However, I like the fingerprint sensor in my View (probably the same as in my Xiaomi Mi Pad 4 Plus tablet). I can also live with the under-screen sensor of my Mate, especially as I prefer a minimum of buttons-and-the-like (even connectors) on a device. Fortunately, face recognition tends to do the job.
I just don't like EMUI. I love stock Android.