Huawei P20 Pro Review: The Triple Camera Smartphone!

Nowadays it seems like it's never quite enough to just nail all the pillars of a great smartphone and put it out. It seems like not only do you have to do all of that, but you have to take one of them and push it to the absolute extreme the maximum and so this is what it looks like when you nail all the pillars of a great smartphone and then take one of them and take it to the next level. The Huawei P20 Pro, so this is one of those phones, you've either heard a lot about recently or never heard of definitely two camps with this one.
Huawei P20 Pro

The Huawei P20 Pro is not coming to the US and usually that stops me from even trying a phone in the first place, because I know I can't recommend it for a lot of people, but this caught my attention obviously, like Huawei phones in general have just been getting my attention more and more lately but this one just captured it completely. It's crazy new color triple cameras on the back, 4000 milliamp hour battery, 109 score on dsomark, so I picked it up I used it, here is my thoughts.

On the outside aesthetics wise I do like this phone a lot. It has a couple flaws. It's not perfect, but it's one of the few really unique looking phones out there, of course, mainly because of this back this gradient color. I mean, it's a crazy looking awesome back of the phone it blends from like this Aqua green to blue to purple and in different amounts, depending on where you look at it from it looks different, and everyone's video I'm kind of trying to do my best with the camera I have but there's other colors of the Pro. I wouldn't even consider them. This is definitely the coolest looking one. It's called Twilight.

It's just weird that there's a lot of text on the back of the phone I would think it would look way cleaner. If all that wasn't there, it might even look sick with like a logo top on there but it wouldn't be the end of the world. This just is what it is. It's a super unique colorful and also fingerprint and dust magnet phone.

You got your power button and your volume rocker on the same side. I know that doesn't count as a colored power button Huawei and I have a little bar there but Jeff to have the whole button with some color. Good try, though, put the rest of this body is prime, It's what you'd expect from a high end 2018 flagship which it is so metal rails curved edges its IP 67 water resistant, which is always nice. It's definitely not too thin. You know feel solid and the hand nice weight. It has an IR blaster which not every phone does now, but also no expandable storage and no headphone jack

The camera bump is also mildly annoying to me because it sticks out enough from the phone that it will rock on a table. I just I got to point that out. Not all phones have that problem, but it's not a deal breaker either, but really design wise, my biggest question mark is on the front of this phone so it has a notch. So we're not just what you do in a phone in 2018 when you want to get rid of all the Bezels, but you don't quite have the technology to fully do so, the front facing speaker, the selfie camera, you got to keep them just make a little cutout around them. Fine, I get it. But this one also has a thing for reader on the front and then a huge empty chin bezel with nothing else in it no button, just a bezel like you're either trying to get rid of the bezel, or you're not. It's weird that they would put a notch like they're trying to go totally bezeless, but then also have a chin kind of make up your mind there. I feel like you could have made this look way better with an even top and bottom bezel, there's even an option in the software to do exactly that and it doesn't look that bad.

The fingerprint reader is on the front. It's still super fast I don't mind it being here while way does that maybe better than anyone still and it also acts as a gesture pad. If you want to disable the on screen buttons and get some extra screen real estate back, you can do that to your call. But above it all, Is that pretty nice 6.1 inch OLED display with of course that notch that we talked about. It's a 20 to 40 by 10 at panel so it's 18.7 by nine aspect right slightly taller than the normal tall but the old panel itself is pretty good, it gets bright enough to see outdoors with no problem, there's no shift issues. It's just not quite to the greatness level of like a Samsung phone. It's not quite as bright or as vibrant, but it's right in line with what you'd expect from a flagship.

It also packs in a 4000 milliamp hour battery in a phone that's not that thick so that's pretty great. This has been consistently five plus hours of screen on time, which for my use is excellent. So there's no problem with battery here and I've been preaching like if you want to make a phone make it as thick as you want. No one really wants the phone to be that razor thin adding a couple extra millimeters for a sizable battery is a great choice. I mean, look at that. This phone is definitely not fit at all, bravo to Huawei definitely keep doing that.

For the hardware. Look, it's it's all pretty good the specs inside pretty good. You know, we're looking at six gigs of RAM 128 gigs of storage the chipset is all right. We definitely have better things out here with Qualcomm, but it's still good enough and the experience of using this phone again it'll come down to what you do with Android. I won't talk too long about me. Why, but those of you familiar with Huawei know that this is their skin on top of Android here with this one. It's em ui 8.1 based on top of Android 8.1. So using it every day I gave it a shot again and it, the more I use it, the more it kind of reminds me of what Samsung felt like a couple years ago, or they're just basically throwing as many features as possible at you because really, there are a lot of features in here. Whether you use them all or not, you know, there's Backup and Restore features. There are big screen features, multitasking features, there's multiple power save modes with different intensities, and you can adjust the screen resolution, which is in battery settings for some reason, instead of display settings. There's even a smart screenshot feature that won't stop interrupting me even though I've turned it off, it's still randomly think some of my swipes and knocks are screenshot attempts and starts doing magic animation. Please stop doing that.

Overall, you can fix or not use pretty much any of the things you don't like except for the visual changes I've been using it with Nova Launcher. As you can tell, but yeah, they're still going to have Huawei icons and Huawei quick settings in their multitasking UI and all that. And also, you're going to be waiting for a couple apps like Instagram, for example, to play nice with that notch Android P when it gets released is supposed to help a lot with that. But for now, there are definitely some bugs.

i'm sure you knew when you saw this phone came out with a 40 megapixel main camera you knew it would grab my attention. You knew when you put out a phone with not one, not two, but three cameras on the back that it would turn my head and you knew when this thing got a. So Mark score of 109 that I just couldn't resist picking it up and actually seeing what it's all about. So let's take a deep look at why I was even interested in this phone in the first place, the cameras.

The Huawei P20 Pro has three cameras on the back. The main sensor is a 40 megapixel sensor with optical stabilization and an F 1.8 aperture the secondary is a 20 megapixel monochrome sensor also with optical image stabilization and an F 1.6 aperture and the third is an eight megapixel three x telephoto lens again stabilized this time f 2.4. So that's a lot of numbers. The 40 megapixel sensor is huge and I don't just mean like the megapixel count is huge. I mean the actual physical size of the sensor, it's a one over 1.7 inch sensor diagonally, and that’s about twice the size of the Galaxy S9 and the Pixel 2 and the iPhone 10 sensors that's half an inch diagonally.

There are a lot of potential advantages to a physically larger sensor I use in my main shooting a camera with a massive sensor, you get better low light sensitivity, bigger pixels, better overall performance, less gain, a wider field of view, so I love the concept, I love the idea of putting a big sensor in a smartphone camera.

The photos look pretty good, not only is it a big sensor, it is a good sensors, so you get accurate colors, a nice dynamic range plenty of detail and that's really the main characteristic, you're going to notice about the Pro photos. Lots of detail thanks to the sensor and the sharpening being aggressive as hell and then a shallow depth of field thanks to the sensor size and the fixed wide aperture, but here's some notes for you to consider about these cameras besides just pointing and shooting and auto mode.

So number one, the main camera uses a quad a bear structure when taking photos, which means it's a 40 megapixel sensor, but it's out putting data bend in two by two blocks of pixels, so you're getting an output image of 10 megapixel images still super sharp and detailed but 10 megapixel photos.

Number two, the video mode is really not that great, some might say trash like it can shoot stabilize 1080 p video with decent color and detail, but because of the chip it's using it can't keep up with the stabilization of 4k. The 4k video really looks bad off of this phone sadly I wish it was as complete the video camera as it was a photo camera, but it's not.

Number three, this whole camera is just fast the whole experience of taking photos of it is fast, which I love. It has laser autofocus, its super quick the time to open the camera and actually grab a shot is super snappy, and you can even double press volume down to take a snapshot of what you're pointing at in like point three seconds but then you don't really know like what you're taking a picture of so that's maybe a little extreme, but the point is it's fast. Once you're in the app you hit the telephoto zoom button you get three x or five X with a single touch it all works for me.

The AI, there's a lot of people keep asking about the AI all over this phone but especially in the camera about, you know, why don't people give it enough credit in the videos. It's a big deal and mix better than others. I'll tell you exactly why I've used it, it's pretty straightforward. Basically there's a trigger to turn on AI and the camera so on by default and when it's on if you give it a second in the viewfinder, it tries to identify everything you take a photo of and then automatically enhance some predetermine things it thinks you'll like about that photo and it's right about identifying what you're trying to take a photo of more often than not like you take a photo of the sky. It puts it in blue sky mode. Take a picture of greenery puts it in greenery mode, flower mode, pet mode everything. It just, it knows pretty much instantly. But then it's the improvements that it decides to make once it knows what you're taking a photo of that are pretty basic, like in greenery mode. For example, if you're taking a photo of a plant and it has green in it, it turns on green remote and it just basically blasts the green channel in the plants and makes it look greener, cool. In blue sky mode, it does the same thing if you pointed out like a skyline and there's blue in the sky It knows it's blue sky and it just blast the blue channel makes the sky really blue like I cool that's I'm glad it worked, but maybe I don't even want that to be more blue. I just want a picture of what I'm taking a picture, I don't know, maybe I'm not the normal smartphone photo taker, but I don't want automatic enhancement has never been my thing. I turned it off pretty quick. I usually just want to take a photo straight from the sensor which looks pretty good and maybe use that AI later for like sorting through my photos or making them easier to find.

A lot of P20 Pro photos they don't need any editing or enhancing because they look great straight off the sensor. I mean, I'm talking effortless shallow depth of field. A plus detail, like I said, from all those megapixels. I just wish the processing wasn't so aggressive. Sometimes it looks a little too sharp such a big sensor should also have a great advantage in low light, but when you compare it to smaller sensor cameras like I did the low light photos are cleaner. Yes, but they also have a ton of smoothing and noise reduction because the processing is so aggressive. It almost feels like the software is holding back the hardware.

So what I'm comparing like these two and I'm after the absolute best smartphone camera the pixel is taking often much better photos more consistently because of the software. I mean, there's definitely still things P20 Pro can do that pixel can't especially with that three x telephoto zoom that can be really great. But if what you're after are the best overall smartphone photos? The answer is still pixel 2 and I think anyone who shot with both of these would agree.

So at the end of the day, P20 Pro is my favorite Huawei phone yet obviously no doubt, it's kind of a bummer that it's not coming to the US, it would be cool to see I'm still a fan of a lot of the choices. They've made here design wise, build quality wise, and I got to say even any UI is better than it's ever been, but it's not quite enough to convince me to switch to it full time, if the camera and the software and the build are the biggest draws to this phone, it's definitely going to have the build beat. I mean, this is a one of a kind, like back of a phone for sure, but if the camera and software are both better on another phone. Its remarkable how many times I keep going back to pixel 2, but for now, I'll give P20 Pro like a 45 degree thumbs up pretty good. Not bad. I'm a fan of the decisions and I'm looking forward to P30