In what is possibly the most unfortunately timed phone launches I can think of, the Honor 20 Pro should be one of the best phones of the year in terms of value for money but at the moment it is eclipsed by a political trade war.
Two days after Donald Trump put a block on Huawei access to US companies, Honor went ahead with their launch, perhaps too late to cancel, or confident that the issues will be resolved. The US is already back peddling and have given a temporary 90-day reprieve.
Honor issued a statement yesterday to reassure customers that the new phones announced today will be unaffected (as they are already Google certified, meaning access to the Play Store and Google’s services, like Maps, YouTube and Gmail will be protected both now and in the future).
However, at the launch, there were limited samples, and no one walked away with a review sample loan or otherwise. The Honor 20 is due to launch soon with a price of €499/£399.99 with 6GB RAM/128GB storage (and for early customers a free Honor Watch Magic worth £179.99)
The Honor 20 Pro, however, only had its price announced (€599/£549.99), and no mention of a release date. Which is a shame, as I think it could be one of the best phones of the year based on its cost vs performance.
If the Huawei P30 Pro ticked your fancy, and so it should, but you can’t afford it, you could opt of the Honor 20 Pro which is around £350 cheaper or 38% less. It doesn’t feature the fancy 5x periscope zoom with 10x hybrid, and there are a few other notable absences such as an IP rating and wireless charging, but for many, the cost saving will be worth it.
It has the same Kirin 980 chipset of the P30 Pro, 8GB of RAM, up to 256GB of UFS 2.1 storage.
Rather than an OLED display, the Honor 20 Pro has a 6.26-inch FullHD+ LCD display which allows them to use the same hole-punch camera design as the View 20 fitting in a 32-megapixel selfie camera. That display doesn’t hide the fingerprint sensor. Instead it is located on the side, for me, I think I prefer this as it is more accurate, but I would need more time with the phone to confirm.
On the rear are where things get really interesting, Honor has a quad camera system with a Sony-made IMX586 48-megapixel camera (the same as the View 20, the OnePlus 7 Pro and many more). The aperture is a class leading f/1.4, so will still allow in plenty of light to offer a good low-light experience.
This is accompanied by a 117-degree, 16-megapixel super wide-angle lens (f/2.2) and an 8-megapixel 3x telephoto lens with OIS.
Added to the fray is a 3x zoom 8MP telephoto module. This unit seems to be derived from what we’ve seen on the P30 and Mate 20 Pro.
Lastly, there is a 2MP F/2.4 macro module which I think is a first on a phone, and will allow the Honor 20 to achieve some of the best up close shots on the market.
These four cameras have led the phone to achieve a DxOMark score of 111, putting it the same as the more expensive OnePlus 7 Pro, and only 1 point being both the S10 5G and the P30 Pro.
You get an impressive 4000mAh battery which is paired with 22.5W SuperCharge support, getting from 0 to 50% charge in 30 minutes. The fast charger is also included in the box at no extra cost.
Honor are likely holding back the launch of the phone while this issue plays out, however the timing will no doubt knock peoples confidence in buying the phone, which is a shame, as it should be one of the best selling phones of the year.