Most of my career background consists of working on technology brands with smartphones forming a large part of it. Most of what I know about smartphones and technology is thanks to that. The last of these brands I had the pleasure of working on is Chinese technology powerhouse, Huawei. So, imagine my joy when I had the opportunity to officially get my hands on its most prized possession currently and the company’s current flagship device, the gorgeous P20 Pro device.
Quite the eye catcher
They say first impressions count and in the case of electronics nowadays, smartphones in particular, the aesthetics count the most. In the case of the P20 Pro, the first thing you will notice is just how gorgeous it is, this is one well made device from a design point of view. Being an avid fan of design elements in general I couldn’t have been more impressed with how excellently put together this device is.
Priced at a recommended R15,499 it isn’t exactly cheap however when you consider its looks and what it offers (more on that later) you can’t help but understand the pricing. In hand it feels very premium and unlike other smartphones today.
The gradient back cover options along with an almost mirrored finish make it stand out from the rest. While the back finish makes the device look stunning, it does present a few challenges, the biggest one is making the device very slippery and very fragile. No matter how careful you are, the chances of the device slipping through your hands are quite high. In addition, the back coating makes it attractive to all kinds of smudges and fingerprints…best be prepared to do wipe downs regularly! This also means that you will definitely need a protective cover for the device.
Something we found a bit strange is the Chinese company’s decision to change the fingerprint function from, usually, the rear end to now, the bottom of the display…a feature synonymous with their main competitors Apple and Samsung. A small change it is but it’s one that made Huawei devices standout from the rest so changing it seems a bit strange. The device also has a bezel-less 6.1″ display (2240×1080), a general trend we’re seeing with most current flagship devices complete with a screen notch at top of the device.
What about the insides
Shifting our focus from the aesthetics and touching briefly on the internal aspects of the device. The P20 Pro includes a blockbuster octa-core HiSilicon Kirin 970 chipset with a 6 GB of RAM and a whopping 128 GB onboard storage. There isn’t a slot for a microSD however with internal storage like that who needs one really?
The device also packs an impressive 4000mAh battery which basically ensures that you will be getting great battery life.
And the UI?
Unlike many who seem fussed and aren’t particular fans of Huawei’s Emotion UI (EMUI) interface, I for one couldn’t be too bothered. Like its fellow Chinese counterpart, Xiaomi also with their own Android skin, I quite like the fact that it’s different from all other Android interfaces. If you can’t standout then what’s the use, right?
The P20 Pro device is powered by the latest version of Android, the Oreo 8.1. And for those who aren’t too familiar with what the differences are between pure Android and Huawei’s custom overlay, EMUI…EMUI is more of a comprehensive set of apps meant to replace many built-in Google apps.
With EMUI, the Chinese company has ensured that it has its own version of apps for general features such as calendar, music, email, video playback as well as the photo gallery. This layout is quite different from stock Android UI and therefore is bound to have its fair share of admirers and haters, I fall under the former as previously mentioned.
Pictures tell a thousand stories
Saving the best for last, one of the most, if not the most impressive feature found on the P20 Pro is the camera…its three Leica-certified cameras to be exact. Packing an out of this world 40 MP snapper, the P20 Pro boasts the best smartphone camera currently, yes you read that correctly, the best! Bold statement but it’s true.
Many will be asking why three and isn’t it a bit overkill? Simple answer is a plain NO. We were originally blown away with the captures displayed at the local launch event of the device last month and experiencing it first hand we were justified. It’s probably not enough to take my word for it though so best checkout this link here and see what kind of images can be captured using the device.
The number of megapixels also ensure that more detail is captured within the actual images themselves. This allows for much clearer and crispier images worthy enough to make any professional photographer happy. For humans like me who like capturing snaps of landscapes or larger scale scenes then this is the perfect device for that. This is of course also great news for Instagrammers and mobile photographers alike.
Selfie addicts will also be happy to know that the P20 Pro includes a crazy 24 MP front (yes, that’s 24!) facing camera complete with an improved mobile artificial intelligence (AI) functionality that helps with object detection.
The Huawei P20 Pro is without a doubt one of the best smartphones in the market at the moment. We purely enjoyed our short spell with it, we wished it was longer! The Chinese tech giant continues to gain momentum with each smartphone it produces, no wonder it reported this last week. In the P20 Pro they have a smartphone that will hit the right cords with many. Its outstanding design, fantastic camera as well as the overall premium feel makes it standout when compared to the likes of the Apple iPhone X and Galaxy S9.
Apart from its apparent fragileness we can’t fault the device. It’s a great piece of tech that stands out from its closest competitors. Could we even go as far as to say that it maybe smartphone of the year contender? Yes, definitely. It is one hell of an attractive proposition.