Huawei P20 Pro

IF A GREAT CAM­ERA IS YOUR PRI­OR­ITY THEN MAKE NO MIS­TAKE: THIS IS THE PHONE YOU SHOULD BUY

PC & Tech Authority - - CONTENTS - ALAN MAR­TIN

The P20 Pro has no room for ex­pand­able stor­age, no wire­less charg­ing and no 3.5mm head­phone jack. In the Pro’s de­fence, it comes with a hefty 128GB of in­ter­nal stor­age and bene ts from full IP67 dust and wa­ter­proo ng.

In terms of de­sign, ev­ery­thing else is pos­i­tive: this is one of the most beau­ti­ful phones I’ve seen. The plain black and blue op­tions are nice enough, but the mul­ti­colour shim­mer­ing Twi­light nish is sim­ply gor­geous.

Whichever colour you opt for, the P20 Pro is slim and stylish, with next to no bezel at all. While it does have an iPhone X-style notch, it’s sub­stan­tially smaller than Ap­ple’s and can be switched off in the set­tings, black­ing out to be­come part of the bezel. When you do this, you can still use it to dis­play bat­tery life and noti cations.

Thanks to the now pop­u­lar 18.7:9 as­pect ra­tio, phones are in­creas­ingly tall rather than wide. So while a 6.1in screen may make the P20 Pro sound like a ph­ablet, it doesn’t feel like one. The only prob­lem is hous­ing it in shal­low pock­ets.

The P20 Pro has an 1,080 x 2,240 res­o­lu­tion, but don’t worry about it ap­pear­ing less sharp: with a pixel den­sity of 408ppi, this isn’t some­thing you’ll no­tice with­out a mi­cro­scope. It’s an OLED dis­play. That means you’re look­ing at inky blacks and per­fect con­trast, with the bonus that it’s gen­er­ally kinder to bat­tery life. Im­age qual­ity is bril­liant, too.

The triple cam­era on the back means you can cap­ture su­perb mono and zoom pho­tos It cov­ers 99.9% of the sRGB colour gamut when set to “nor­mal” dis­play mode (the de­fault is the more gar­ish “vi­brant” set­ting), and its Delta E score is 1.11, mean­ing su­perb colour re­pro­duc­tion across the spec­trum.

The Huawei P20 Pro has a HiSil­i­con Kirin 970 CPU clocked at 2.4GHz and 128GB of built-in stor­age to make up for the miss­ing mi­croSD card op­tion.

What the P20 Pro does of­fer is ex­cel­lent bat­tery life. Huawei squeezes in 4,000mAh. In our stan­dard bat­tery test with a video play­ing on loop and bright­ness locked to a bright­ness of 170cd/m2, the P20 Pro lasted 14hrs 35mins.

We were dis­ap­pointed by the P20’s cam­era, per­haps be­cause of the high ex­pec­ta­tions set by its sec­ond-place rank­ing in DxOMark’s pho­tog­ra­phy chart: a score of 102 is four more than the Google Pixel 2. The Huawei P20 Pro scored 109 points in the same tests, but this time around the plau­dits are fully de­served. For static im­ages, the P20 Pro is the best smart­phone cam­era around.

Im­age qual­ity is ex­cep­tional. Re­gard­less of the light­ing con­di­tions, the Pro’s cam­era ar­ray cap­tured ev­ery­thing from wispy lay­ers of clouds to far-off brick­work and re ec­tions in pud­dles.

It’s not per­fect, though. In a bid to re­duce noise it has a ten­dency to over­pro­cess im­ages, lead­ing to a loss of de­tail. The au­to­matic cam­era tools are a mixed bag, too: while it’s nice that the P20 Pro soft­ware can near-in­stantly iden­tify whether you’re look­ing at food or, let’s say, a cat, and adapt set­tings ac­cord­ingly, its choices aren’t al­ways ideal and it can some­times un­der­ex­pose im­ages as a re­sult. For­tu­nately, the phone’s man­ual op­tions are ver­sa­tile enough that you can eas­ily get spot-on pho­tos with a bit of pa­tience.

Where it falls be­hind the Galaxy S9 is video shoot­ing. For ex­am­ple, while the P20 Pro can shoot su­per slow-mo­tion video at 960fps and 720p, it doesn’t have an au­to­matic mo­tion sen­sor like the Galaxy’s

– this makes it more dif cult to cap­ture in­ter­est­ing shots. But, as with the P20, the real is­sues are with reg­u­lar video cap­ture. On pa­per, the fea­tures sound good: the P20 Pro is ca­pa­ble of shoot­ing 4K, 60fps and sta­bilised video. Un­for­tu­nately, it can’t do all of these things at the same time.

It’s a shame to end this re­view of the Huawei P20 Pro on a mis­step be­cause the phone makes so few of them. Video cap­ture aside, the only se­ri­ous quib­bles I have are the lack of 3.5mm head­phone jack and mi­croSD card slot.

Else­where, the Huawei P20

Pro oozes qual­ity in ev­ery way. It looks great, the screen is terri c, the cam­era is su­perb and it’s nippy enough not to let you down over a stan­dard 24-month con­tract. At $1,099, it’s cer­tainly ex­pen­sive, but if past form is any­thing to go by then the Huawei P20 Pro will soon be not only one of the best phones you can buy, but also one of the big­gest bar­gains avail­able on con­tract.

KEY SPECS

Octa-core 2.4GHz/1.8GHz Hisil­i­con Kirin 970 pro­ces­sor • 6GB RAM • Mali-G72 MP12 graph­ics • 6.1in OLED screen, 1,080 x 2,244 res­o­lu­tion • 128GB stor­age • triple 40MP/20MP/8MP colour/mono/zoom rear cam­era • 24MP front cam­era • 802.11ac WiFi • Blue­tooth 4.2 • NFC • USB-C con­nec­tor • 4,000mAh bat­tery • An­droid 8.1 • 73.9 x 7.8 x 155mm (WDH) • 180g • 2yr war­ranty $1,099 • www.huawei.com/au

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