Short History Of Huawei
Huawei is one of those companies that is familiar to many consumers only superficially. Before the advent of the sale of smartphones about this brand knew only specialists. This is explained by the fact that the main business of the Chinese enterprise is the production of cell towers and other communication equipment. This is well illustrated by the history of the company.
So much excitement around a single smartphone has not been on the market for a long time. Three cameras that see almost in the dark, and artificial intelligence that knows what you’re shooting – is this enough to consider the Huawei P20 Pro an event in the smartphone industry?
A year ago I took Huawei P10 with me on vacation and was just delighted with the camera. The smartphone itself was good, and the price did not bite. But it was the dual camera that made the P10 an excellent offer on the market. The creation of Huawei filmed better than the Apple iPhone 7 and no worse than the Samsung Galaxy S8. And this was cheaper than both competitors.
In the fall appeared Huawei Mate 10 Pro. And he shot even better. And in addition had truly flagship characteristics, among which there was not enough that wireless charging. And still, there were rudiments of artificial intelligence, for example, a technology that helps the camera to understand what is in the frame.
And now on the agends of Huawei P20 Pro.
With a triple camera (the first such serial smartphone!), Optical zoom and advanced night shooting. And, of course, with artificial intelligence. But also – with two “chips”, migrated from the iPhone X – face recognition and “monobloc”.
So, here are the first impressions of the practical use of Huawei P20 Pro as the main smartphone. Later we will publish the results of a long test, as well as a comparison with the main competitor – Samsung Galaxy S9 +.
Design and usability
According to Huawei P9 and, especially, P10, it was evident how the company tries to single out its smartphones against the background of competitors due to the variety of not only the colors but also the textures of the case. Creating Huawei P20 Pro, on the contrary, decided to go on a more familiar and understandable path – they created a glass flagship with a metal frame of the case.
Fortunately, experiments were not without results, and due to the unique iridescent coloring, the Twilight (violet) device stands out against the background of similar models – previously no one did exactly that. In Ukraine, the smartphone will be sold in two colors – purple and black. The latter also looks interesting and has a matte border. In general, the entire color palette turned out to be successful this time, because both the blue and pink versions look beautiful.
Otherwise, the P20 Pro is perceived neutrally. The edges are rounded, the transition between the glass and the metal has tried to make it as smooth as possible. The keys for turning on and adjusting the volume are on the right, the slot for two NanoSIM is on the left, and the Type-C connector is on the bottom. Also note that the “back” got not only logos and camera optics parameters, but also service information with certification marks. Without the latter, everything would look a little more accurate.
In terms of ease of use, the Huawei P20 Pro does not stand out as something special. The case of medium size, with control, can be handled with one hand. Like all glass smartphones, it often feels slippery, and “back” perfectly collects fingerprints. Especially neat is worth it, if you are used to talking, pressing the phone with your shoulder to your cheek – in this case, it can accidentally slip out.
All three cameras protrude above the surface of the case, especially strongly – the main and the TV module, covered with a common glass. Strangely enough, but this does not lead to a noticeable rocking of the smartphone lying on the table.
Taking into account the glass case and protruding chambers, many will probably want to get a case, although on a test device for two and a half weeks relatively accurate use there was only a pair of micro-scratches from below.
Also, note the presence of protection from dust and moisture according to the IP67 standard – the smartphone can be “bathed” in fresh water, which became a standard feature for most flagships.
Unlock by face, scanner, and gestures
Huawei P20 Pro received the function of unlocking the face, for this use the front camera. In use, this method of unlocking was quick and convenient, the camera recognizes the owner well even at dusk or with glasses, and glitches happen only with bright backlight or in the dark. In the latter case, after a few seconds, to brighten the face, the brightness of the screen increases.
The smartphone was also saved by the usual fingerprint scanner located under the screen. It seems that he began to work even faster than in previous smartphones Huawei. The location of the sensor is chosen as well as possible – it is convenient to unlock the device and holding it in your hands, and when it lies on the table.
As before, the sensor can be used to control instead of the on-screen keys. Well, and still Huawei implemented an additional control method when the buttons are replaced with an oblong strip on the screen – it works the same gestures as with the scanner. The latter option is reminiscent of the control scheme for the iPhone X and the common features do not end there.
Screen Of Huawei P20 Pro
In Huawei, P20 Pro installed OLED screen with a diagonal of 6.1 inches at a resolution of 2240 by 1080 pixels. Because of the cutout, the display is slightly stretched to the height, it has proportions of 18.7 to 9. The screen is covered with glass with an oleophobic coating and rounded edges, and a protective film is pasted onto it from the box.
According to our measurements, the maximum brightness of the screen when pouring white is 409 cd / m², and the minimum – 3.7 cd / m², but do not forget that OLED matrices brightness changes dynamically and depends on the output image, so when using the display “shines” brighter, especially on a sunny day outside.
Calibration is performed at the usual good level, all parameters are normal, and the color coverage depends on the selected color profile. In normal mode, the color rendering is close to IPS matrices, and the coverage is slightly wider than the sRGB space.
In bright mode, the coverage is extended and colors become more saturated – in this mode, the screen is comparable with other OLED and some IPS displays. It is also possible to manually adjust the color temperature, the function of automatic temperature adjustment depending on the lighting, the mode of protection of vision and the ability to increase the sensitivity for glove control.
On subjective impressions, the screen was like. Full HD + permissions are sufficient to make the image smooth, individual pixels can be viewed only by the sharpest ones. The presence of a variety of settings allows you to configure everything for yourself, although in my case the default settings turned out to be quite suitable. In general, the screen familiar to flagships, to which there are no comments.
Huawei P20 Pro is ahead of the rest of the world. Here and the front camera is not simple. But the main camera is an engineering masterpiece.
A powerful PR-machine Huawei makes enormous efforts to convince the world that the P20 Pro is the best camera in the world. And the top managers of the company are not afraid of loud statements, for example, that the camera is able to take down what the human eye does not see.
Well, how things look in practice.
First, let’s talk about the front camera. It’s 24-megapixel (f / 2.0) here. And she shoots well, that’s right very good, like for the front camera. Not that I would use it much (I do not really like SELFI, so I’ll leave it for more detailed testing in the next article), but I tried to shoot in different light conditions.
And I can say my preliminary judgment. The front camera Huawei P20 Pro shoots better than the main camera of many mid-range smartphones.
Those. even though there is no revolution in it, this camera is also a “chip” of Huawei P20 Pro, making it almost the most interesting smartphone on the market.
Well, now about the revolutions. When I first heard that the Huawei P20 Pro main camera will be equipped with three modules, I, like most, decided that this would be a conventional, wide-angle and long-focus lenses.
But in Huawei acted differently.
So, here there is a 40-megapixel module, which simply gives out the picture of the maximum resolution (7296х5472 points, f / 1.8).
And also a 20-megapixel module (f / 1.6), which is used for black-and-white photography, expanding the dynamic range of the image and accurately transferring colors in halftones.
And one more, 8-megapixel module (f / 2.4), which has a threefold optical zoom. This is a record for smartphones (there are no devices with more than twice the zoom on the market). True, this optical zoom only works in good light. If the camera finds that there is not enough light, the third camera module is turned off and the picture is taken first by using the digital zoom.
The pixel size in the main camera of Huawei P20 Pro is 2 microns. This is also a record among modern smartphones.
And, by the way, not the last record for this camera.
There is also an ISO value. While most smartphones (even top-end ones) on the market can boast a range from 100 to 6400, the camera operates in the range from 100 to 51 200!
The ISO parameter determines the light sensitivity of the matrix, in other words, the amount of light necessary to create a picture. The higher this parameter, the more able to “see” the camera. In other words, at very high ISO values the camera is theoretically able to shoot when there is very little light.
At the presentation, the top manager Huawei joked that the Huawei P20 Pro camera can shoot what the human eye does not see. Below I quote a photo, albeit not very artistic (and not even as sharp as possible – the hand of the “fighter” slightly flinched), but from this, no less eloquently proves that this statement was not a joke.
Look at how many details the Huawei P20 Pro camera has captured in the foreground, where cars are parked (the bottom of the picture).
By the way, the camera has a unique night mode, which after clicking the button literally “draws” the details of the picture on the screen. It looks spectacular in the process, but the result is even more impressive.
The main camera can record video in HD-resolution at a speed of 960 frames per second. Fans of slou-mo will be delighted. At lower speeds, the video resolution increases (120 frames per second at 4K, 240 frames per second at Full HD).
The camera settings of the Huawei P20 Pro are similar to other devices of the company. You can move the slider under the viewfinder to switch between modes (there is also a fully manual mode, in which you can select the shutter speed, aperture, exposure compensation, white balance, and determine the mode of autofocus operation.
And it is possible, by the way, to entrust all this to the artificial intellect, which “lives” in a neuromorphic chip, sewn into the Kirin 970 processor (for details, see below).
And yet (hell, but I wanted to write about the camera shortly!). The autofocus Huawei P20 Pro has a predictive mode. Those. The camera can focus on the subject and then track its movement in the frame. For example, you shoot a child who turns his head endlessly. The camera will try to track its movements so that it is always in focus.
Summing up a small result, I will say – on the screen of the smartphone the pictures look just divine. And in social networks and on the screens of other mobile devices after sending photos from Huawei P20 Pro produce a wow effect.
With detailed consideration on the computer screen, of course, you can note some artifacts and distinguish the frames made by the Huawei P20 Pro camera from photos taken, say, by a good SLR.
In photography, everything is still decided by optics. And small “glasses” of mobile camera lenses are not able to deceive the laws of physics. But in the case of Huawei P20 Pro, they are desperate to do it. And sometimes it turns out very well.
On the capabilities of the Huawei P20 Pro camera and comparison with the Samsung Galaxy S9 + camera, we will write a separate material. There will be more photos taken in different conditions, we’ll try to shoot the video.
There is nothing to spread especially about. On hardware stuffing, Huawei P20 Pro is a “tracing paper” with Mate 10 Pro. It uses the 8-core Kirin 970 processor, 6 GB of RAM and 128 GB of internal memory. There is no memory card slot.
I have never had any complaints about the speed of Mate 10 Pro. There are no them and to Huawei P20 Pro. It even seems to me for some reason that the new smartphone works a little faster. Perhaps this is the psychological effect of the novelty.
The smartphone easily copes with any tasks, including heavy games. Questions about the performance are not at all.
The Huawei P20 Pro has water protection according to the IP67 standard. Today this is the norm for the flagships and it’s good that Huawei did not disappoint in this sense.
But the lack of wireless charging frankly disappointing. But more about this below.
The smartphone also can play music in stereo mode, through external speakers. The sound is loud and quite juicy. Fans will use the smartphone as a boombox.
And, of course, the Huawei P20 Pro does not have a 3.5 mm headphone jack. It seems time to get used to the fact that it’s time to say goodbye. I wonder how long enough patience for Samsung, which continues to squeeze the classic connector into their smartphones?
Security Of Huawei P20 Pro
In addition to the traditional pin code and pattern, the Huawei P20 Pro user can use two more verification methods. These are fingerprints and face recognition.
In other words, here Huawei goes along the way of Samsung (Koreans, by the way, have also a retina scanner), i.e. seeks to give the user a great choice.
Apple, I remind you, the situation is different. By purchasing an iPhone X, you can use face recognition, but not fingerprints. And the iPhone 8, on the contrary, is deprived of face recognition, but equipped with a fingerprint scanner.
With the fingerprint scanner in Huawei P20 Pro, everything is clear, this is already a traditional technology. Her work is brought to the ideal – recognition is instantaneous. The scanner itself, as I said above, is located under the screen. It is inscribed in a key that does not perform any other functions. Navigation is carried out using the onscreen keys.
It was more interesting to get acquainted with the face recognition function.
It has a lot of settings. In particular, you can make it so that after recognition, you still need to enter a screen password. But you can choose instant to unlock – right after recognition you get an unlocked smartphone.
Another one is just a very useful feature – the ability to configure the camera to automatically turn on when you take the smartphone in your hands. The device itself recognizes the characteristic movement in space when you take the smartphone in your hand and look at it. The camera immediately turns on and, if your face is in the frame, recognition is detected and the smartphone is unlocked.
It’s damn comfortable. You will soon forget that there is a lock in the smartphone. Get out of your pocket and start to use.
In other words, everything happens just like in the iPhone X (yes, I’m sure that the comparison of the work of this function with the Apple gadget is of interest to most users). I did not see much difference in the speed and accuracy of face recognition in most situations, except (quite expected, yes?) Of poor lighting.
For example, in a room with dim side lighting, the iPhone X recognized my face always, while the Huawei P20 Pro – only at a certain angle. In other words, the sensor sensitivity of Huawei P20 Pro is lower and much more.
I will not say that this is critical, especially if you take into account the presence of a fingerprint scanner under the screen. But still, it is necessary to recognize the lag of competitors from the iPhone X in this technology.
Software Of Huawei P20 Pro
Unlike Mate 10 Pro, which still works on Android 8.0, Huawei P20 Pro already has Android 8.1. And, accordingly, a slightly more recent version of the branded EMUI shell. In fact, I did not notice any critical differences from Mate 10 Pro.
Except perhaps a couple of glitches, which sometimes arise with the text at the top of the screen near the monobrovi. Sometimes when you open a menu or flip through the site in the browser, the text of the top line, just in the place where “monobrow” is located, first “mysteriously” “mysteriously”, and then “moves” to the right place.
I hope this will be fixed in the next update.
By the way, about the monobrovi. In Huawei have developed simply a brilliant solution to hide it. If, of course, the user wants it. In the menu, there is a setting that makes the top line of the state (the one with the indicators) black. In this case, the screen appears to be slightly less visually, although the same indicators remain at the corners (they turn white on a black background). And the existence of a “monobrovi” can generally be forgotten. It is simply not visible.
In short, Huawei provides the user with a choice. If you want, you will have an “iPhone”, and if you want, no one will notice that your smartphone has a “monobrow”.
I think this decision is very wise, I hope, other companies that also decided to resort to using the monobrovi will do the same.
The Huawei P20 Pro has a 4000 mAh battery. Using an OLED matrix and an intelligent backlight sensor, as well as the energy efficiency of the Kirin 970 processor (tested on Mate 10 Pro) gives hope for a long and happy life of the Huawei P20 Pro.
In practice, my smartphone never worked longer than one day, but I tend to associate this with the fact that it took quite a bit of time, and these first test days were extremely saturated, I wanted to try the smartphone to the maximum. In normal operation, probably, the operating time will be longer.
We will write about this in detail in the next material about Huawei P20 Pro, which will be released in a few weeks.
Quite accurately I can say that the network about the lack of wireless charging (this function is increasingly appearing in cars that I take on the test, and it’s damn convenient – just dropped the phone and it charges).
But the company’s fast charging Huawei pleases. And it’s not just that the smartphone can be charged from 10% to 100% a little more than an hour. More importantly, you can literally in 10-15 minutes of charging to get about 25-30% of the charge.
Sometimes it’s critical. It is necessary to leave the house and suddenly notice that the smartphone is almost discharged. You stick in the charging while you get dressed and viola – for several hours of use the charge is already there.
Finally, a couple of words about artificial intelligence. He in Huawei P20 Pro is involved in the full program. It helps the smartphone to determine the mode of its use, close unnecessary programs and optimize energy saving.
How effective is all this, I’m still difficult to judge. I belong to the number of users who are accustomed to manually close unnecessary programs and keep the widget on the first working screen to optimize the RAM. It is possible that I just do not give the neuromorphic chip a chance to show myself in a combat situation.
Another thing – the camera. I really like the ability to simply frame the frame and not think about choosing a shooting mode. It’s damn comfortable.
He pointed at the child and the camera immediately sets the portrait mode with a blur of the background. He pointed at the snow-covered forest, the camera immediately determined that there was a lot of snow in the frame, and literally changed the white balance for a moment so that the frame looked more natural.
It’s not always the definition of what’s in the frame that happens flawlessly. And not for all situations the camera has a pre-defined optimization algorithm. But the existing technology clearly seems to be a step in the right direction.
Specification Of Huawei P20 Pro
|NETWORK||Technology||GSM / HSPA / LTE|
|2G bands||GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 – SIM 1 & SIM 2 (dual-SIM model only)|
|3G bands||HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100|
|Status||Coming soon. Exp. release 2018, April 20th|
|BODY||Dimensions||155 x 73.9 x 7.8 mm (6.10 x 2.91 x 0.31 in)|
|Weight||180 g (6.35 oz)|
|SIM||Single SIM (Nano-SIM) or Dual SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by)|
|– IP67 certified – dust/water resistant (up to 1m for 30 mins)|
|DISPLAY||Type||AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors|
|Size||6.1 inches, 93.9 cm2 (~82.0% screen-to-body ratio)|
|Resolution||1080 x 2240 pixels, 18.7:9 ratio (~408 ppi density)|
|– EMUI 8.1|
|PLATFORM||OS||Android 8.1 (Oreo)|
|Chipset||Hisilicon Kirin 970|
|CPU||Octa-core (4×2.4 GHz Cortex-A73 & 4×1.8 GHz Cortex-A53)|
|Internal||128 GB, 6 GB RAM|
|CAMERA||Primary||Triple: 40 MP (f/1.8, 27mm, 1/1.7″, OIS) + 20 MP B/W (f/1.6, 27mm) + 8 MP (f/2.4, 80mm), Leica optics, 3x optical zoom, phase detection and laser autofocus, LED flash|
|Features||Geo-tagging, touch focus, face detection, HDR, panorama|
|Video||2160p@30fps, 1080p@30/60fps, 720p@960fps|
|Secondary||24 MP, f/2.0, 720p|
|SOUND||Alert types||Vibration; MP3, WAV ringtones|
|– 32-bit/384kHz audio|
– Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic
– 3.5 mm to USB-C headphone adapter incl.
|COMMS||WLAN||Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, WiFi Direct, hotspot|
|Bluetooth||4.2, A2DP, LE, EDR, aptX HD|
|GPS||Yes, with A-GPS, GLONASS|
|USB||3.1, Type-C 1.0 reversible connector|
|FEATURES||Sensors||Fingerprint (front-mounted), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, color spectrum|
|Messaging||SMS(threaded view), MMS, Email, Push Email, IM|
|– Fast battery charging 4.5V/5A (58% in 30 min)|
– XviD/MP4/H.264/WMV player
– MP3/eAAC+/WMA/WAV/Flac player
– Document viewer
– Photo/video editor
|BATTERY||Non-removable Li-Po 4000 mAh battery|
|MISC||Colors||Twilight, Black, Midnight Blue, Pink Gold|
|Price||About 900 EUR|
|TESTS||Performance||Basemark OS II: 3565 / Basemark OS II 2.0: 3252|
Basemark X: 39945
|Display||Contrast ratio: Infinite (nominal), 4.087 (sunlight)|
|Camera||Photo / Video|
|Loudspeaker||Voice 71dB / Noise 69dB / Ring 91dB|
|Audio quality||Noise -92.1dB / Crosstalk -92.1dB|
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Syed Arslan is a senior review and News writer at 1review2day, focusing on upcoming smart devices. He previously worked for Fortune Magazine, and he has 4 years of experience. He loves testing out new gadgets and complaining about them. He is the ghost of all failed Kickstarters. Email at firstname.lastname@example.org