Honor View20 review: Flagship design, performance at Rs 37,999

Honor View20 review: Honor View20 is the company’s first big flagship smartphone launching in 2019 and here's what we thought of it after reviewing the device.

Honor View20, the Huawei sub-brand’s first big flagship for 2019 in India, boasts of some firsts. When it launched in China last year, the smartphone had a 48MP rear camera, and a hole in the display for the front camera.

Honor View20 will likely compete with OnePlus 6T in India, given its pricing and the fact that the OnePlus phone is dominating the premium segment in the market. So how does the Honor View20 perform? Here’s what we thought after using the device for more than two weeks

Honor View20: What’s good?

The View20 has an impressive design with a premium look thanks to the V reflective pattern on the glass chassis. Blue is a colour we have seen on many Honor phones, but with the flagship View20 and its unique reflective pattern, this one does stand out.

The placement of the front camera in the Honor View20 is also unique, and there’s no other option like this in the market, at least till Samsung introduces its S10 series.

The front camera is placed on the top left corner, and unlike the notch, is not so distracting. Users though have the option of turning it off, like they would do with a notch, so that it does not appear when watching videos in the ‘zoomed in’ mode on apps like YouTube.

The phone’s front display is edge-to-edge, thanks to the camera placement. The display really stands out, and even the top and bottom bezels are reduced. Honor View20 has a screen-to-body ratio of 91.8 per cent as well, which means more viewing space for the user.

Using the phone with one-hand is not a problem, though Honor View20 is a little bulky, given it sports a 4000 mAh battery. When it comes to the display, Honor View20 has an excellent screen with good viewing angles. Colour reproduction is mostly accurate; be it watching videos or games, the screen does not appear to be washed out.

Honor View20 also has a headphone jack at the top, which will make some users really happy. Honor has kept the fingerprint scanner at the back, and Face Unlock as the security options. The Face Unlock and fingerprint scanner work accurately.

Honor View20 is powered by the Kirin 980 processor, which has a 7nm design similar to Apple’s A12 Bionic chipset. It also comes with its own dual-core Neural Processing Unit (NPU) which is crucial for AI-related tasks. Our review unit had 6GB RAM and 128GB storage. In benchmark scores on Antutu, this is among the top 20, ranking below the Google Pixel 3 XL.

Performance is not really a problem with this device, and while this has the same flagship processor as the Mate 20 Pro, it does not get the same ranking in the Antutu scores. Still, regular tasks like opening multiple tabs on Google Chrome, or switching between apps works smoothly.

Games like Asphalt 9 work without any hiccups or noticeable lag, which is what one would want in a flagship. There’s also liquid cooling for keeping the device cool while gaming for long.

Another highlight of the Honor View20 is the battery, which is 4000 mAh. This is good to see on a flagship, and even with a 50 per cent charge it will get you through the day. Charging the phone takes around two hours, and the good bit is that under an hour, the phone is charged to more than 70 per cent, which is more than enough for a regular day.

The USP of the camera is the 48MP camera with a secondary 3D Time of Flight (TOF) sensor to help with depth-sensing in Portrait mode. The camera has an AI mode as well to recognise certain fixed scenes or objects, and tweak the picture settings accordingly.

This is not new for Huawei or Honor-branded phones. In the camera settings you can choose to shoot at 12MP or 48MP or 9MP or7MP, the default setting is at 12MP.

Honor View20: What’s not good?

Honor has gone for a 3D ToF sensor, which is supposed to be great for Augmented Reality apps. However, the Honor View20 is not compatible with ARCore app from Google. The real use of the 3D sensor is for now a bit unclear, at least for a regular user and other than assisting in Portrait mode.

Honor View20 also has a Night Mode, which requires that you and the object you are clicking stay completely still. The photos can look a little too bright in those shots.