Written by Violet

Expert review: the Huawei P20

The Huawei P20 is shadowed by its big brother, the Huawei P20 Pro. If you want a more expensive, good phone, you quickly choose the P20 Pro. If you want a cheap but reliable phone, we recommend the P20 Lite. But what does the Huawei P20 offer? I test the device.

The Huawei P20 in short

  • 128GB storage capacity
  • 5.8-inch Full HD screen
  • Android 8.1 Oreo
temporarily sold out
  • The 5.8-inch LCD screen is clear and sharp and is packed in a compact device.
  • The dual camera of 12 and 8 megapixels and the selfie camera of 24 megapixels make sharp pictures.
  • The phone comes with 128GB of storage memory, giving you plenty of room to store your files.
  • The fingerprint scanner is under the screen, which I like.
  • The device doesn't have a headphone jack.
  • Although it's a decent device, the Huawei P20 has no specifications that stand out.

First impression

I am pleasantly surprised when I take the P20 out of the box. I'm not a big fan of large devices and I want to have the possibility to put a phone in my pocket. This is possible with this relatively compact device. The back is made of glass and has a luxurious look. Yet my first instinct is to put a cover around it: the phone feels fragile and is stained by fingerprints quickly. The P20 lies comfortably in my hand because of the curved edges.


Huawei P20 display

The P20 has a 5.8-inch Full HD LCD screen. The screen is slightly smaller than that of the P20 Pro, which is 6.1 inches. Nevertheless, the size of the screen is perfect for my use. I don't watch many movies on my phone and don't play games, so I don't need an extremely large screen. In addition, the screen is clear. The brightness can be set extremely high and low, so that you can read all information comfortably in every situation.

Unlock methods

Huawei P20 fingerprint sensor

Apart from the Huawei P20 Lite, where the scanner is on the back of the device, Huawei has chosen to place the fingerprint scanner in front of the device with the P20 series. This gives the back of the device a sleek appearance. I find the placement in front of the device very nice, because my thumb is always in the right place. The fingerprint scanner is actually not necessary on this device, because the smartphone unlocks my face at lightning speed with the face recognition.

Highlighted: the camera

Huawei P20 dual camera

The Huawei P20 series has taken a big step with its cameras. The P20 Lite is the first in the Lite series to have a dual camera. With the P20 and the P20 Pro, you take pictures with Artificial Intelligence, which adjusts your settings so that you can take the best picture in every situation. The P20 Pro is the first smartphone to have 3 cameras at the back. Is the camera of the P20 distinctive? I test a few functions.

Portrait photos

Huawei P20 portrait photo bokeh effect

One of the most important camera functions of this moment is making portrait photos, where you can focus the subject and the background fades: also known as the bokeh effect. The portrait mode on the P20 quickly recognizes people, but doesn't always recognize objects. However, if you use the aperture function on the device, you also get a good bokeh effect. I'm more impressed by the results of the P20 than by the bokeh effect of the Samsung Galaxy S9.

Artificial intelligence

I test Artificial Intelligence on the P20 by taking 2 photos: one without and one with Artificial Intelligence. With this function, the camera recognizes certain situations, such as a landscape, and adjusts the settings accordingly. The result is as if you're delivering unnatural, edited photos. The colors stand out because of the high contrast. I wonder if you could get the same result when you take a normal photo and give it a filter afterward. It's a nice feature, but not distinctive.


To give an immediate answer to the question whether the Huawei P20 is distinctive: no. Still, it's a phone that I would put on my wish list. It's a durable and reliable smartphone that does its job. If you take a lot of photos and want to spend more money on that, the P20 Pro is a better choice. If photos aren't the main reason you buy a phone, the Huawei P20 is a good (and cheaper) alternative.

Article by:
Violet Phone Expert.

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