Just launched: Huawei P20 Pro revives the megapixel war with four cameras

huawei p20 pro rear stock

A protracted rumour mill ground to a halt today after Huawei finally unveiled its badly-kept-secret P20 Pro.

It’s the company’s new flagship replacing February 2017’s Huawei P10 series, and features a complete aesthetic rethink. However, it’s one that’ll probably be familiar at this point.

The Huawei P20 Pro now sports a 6.1-inch AMOLED screen with 2244×1080 pixels, and a 18.5:9 aspect ratio. Why 18.5:9, you ask?

It has a notch.

The awkward black bulge at the phone’s crest itself hosts a 24MP f/2.0 selfie camera with autofocus on the right, a clump of sensors in the middle, and a cutesy rounded speaker for calls on the left. This front array powers Huawei’s face unlock system, a first for the company’s P series.

Ultimately, if you don’t want a notch, it can be hidden using a “software” bezel, which blacks out a portion of the screen but still houses important status icons. It’s clever implementation, but solves a “problem” created by Apple.

Although the P20 Pro is all 2018 at the top, it’s decidedly 2017 at the bottom. The phone’s chin features a hardware home button, with a fingerprint unlock system.

At the rear is where the Chinese company is really throwing its R&D effort.

Huawei P20 Pro has 40MP, 20MP, 8MP rear cameras

By now, it’s a given that the Huawei P20 Pro will be packing a triple camera on the back — just when you got used to the idea of dual camera smartphones. Read more…

There are three cameras on the Huawei P20 Pro’s back. All are left-aligned while only two are within the iPhone-like camera housing. The topmost is an 8MP sensor with f/2.4 lens allowing for 3x “optical zoom”. But the other two cameras are the news makers.

A middle 40MP colour sensor with f/1.8 lens and OIS is mated to the bottom 20MP monochrome sensor with a decidedly broad f/1.6 lens. The entire array has phase detection and laser autofocus, and remarkably slow-mo video recording capabilities. In actual numbers, the Huawei P20 Pro can snap 720p video at 960 fps, or 4K at 30fps.

huawei p20 pro front stock

Internally, the P20 Pro features Huawei’s HiSilicon Kirin 970 octa-core CPU, housing four ARM Cortex-A73 cores, and another four thriftier Cortex-A53 cores. It’s backed up by 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage.

Running Android 8.1 Oreo and sporting Huawei’s EMUI 8.1 completes the software experience.

There’s a 4000mAh battery powering the entire package, with Huawei foregoing wireless charging entirely on the device. A strange omission. Another odd choice is employing Bluetooth 4.2 instead of 5.0, especially considering that there’s no headphone jack.

Because of course there isn’t.

Nevertheless, the phone is available in a gorgeous purplish Twilight, your standard shiny Black and an impossible-to-lose Blue sheen.

What about the Huawei P20 and Porsche Design variant?

And yes, there’s a more affordable and smaller version, the standard Huawei P20, sporting an LCD screen, a 3400mAh battery, just two cameras at the rear (sans 8MP snapper) and 4GB of RAM.

And keeping up with the new Porsche Design tradition, there’s a version of the P20 Pro dubbed the Huawei Mate RS, with similar specs to its sibling bar a denser screen (2880×1440) and a beefier storage bank of 256GB.

Local pricing and official availability information has not yet been confirmed by Huawei (but has been confirmed by local retailer Cellucity.)

Images: Huawei

Andy Walker, former editor


Sign up to our newsletter to get the latest in digital insights. sign up

Welcome to Memeburn

Sign up to our newsletter to get the latest in digital insights.