Huawei certainly knows how to make a statement as the launch of their latest generation of smartphones was done at what is considered one of the most culturally significant spots on the planet – the Grand Palais des Champs-Élysées in Paris, France. Under the weight of decades of history and a glass sheathed ceiling overhead, Huawei took the wraps off the Huawei P20 and the impressively specced P20 Pro.
As far as design and hardware go for the new P20 and P20 Pro, they’ve pulled out all the stops. The P20 and P20 Pro bear the fruit of Huawei’s collaboration with Leica and sport some impressive imaging tech under the hood as well as some seriously good looks.
Externally, the Huawei P20 and P20 Pro have ditched last year’s obsession with Pantone colours. This time around, both phones come with a unique Non-Conductive Vacuum Metallising multi-laminated coating that sheathes the phones in an iridescent, metallic finish that gradually refracts light in interesting ways with your choice of either Pink Gold or a more stoic shade of Twilight. If that doesn’t float your boat, you can still opt for a more conventional blue or black finish for a total of four colours; no word on which or if all colours will be available in Malaysia.
The mainstream P20 comes with a notched 5.8-inch, 2,244 x 1080 pixel LCD display that hosts a 24-MP selfie cam within the confines of the notch itself. If the notch vexes you, you can tweak the settings so that the entire top bar is blacked out to ensure a notch-free display. The base of the phone retains the usual home button cum fingerprint sensor. Unfortunately, the P20 and P20 Pro both nix the 3.5mm headphone jack.
In terms of hardware, the P20 runs Android Oreo 8.1 overlaid with their latest EMUI 8.1 user interface on a Kirin 970 processor paired with 4GB RAM and 128GB of non-expandable storage.
The rear of the P20 comes with a dual-camera array that consists of a 12-MP colour snapper with an f/1.8 aperture and large 1.55 μm pixels while a 20-MP mono camera with an f/1.6 aperture rides shotgun. Both these dual cameras use artificial intelligence stabilisation (AIS), Huawei’s own take on tech that ensures judder free snaps whilst a host of additional technologies – laser, phase, contrast and deep focus among them – further ensures that snaps remain crisp.
The P20 Pro builds on what the P20 has to offer and makes it bigger and better. In terms of hardware, it has a similar processor, a bit more RAM at 6GB and equivalent 128GB of storage, a larger notched 6.1-inch 2,240 x 1080 pixel OLED display along with a similar 24-MP selfie camera.
Where the P20 Pro dials things to 11 is that it has not just two but three whopping cameras crammed onto the rear. The third camera sports an 8-MP sensor with an f/2.4 aperture and 3x optical zoom and 5x hybrid zoom. The colour sensor on the dual camera array itself has been upgunned to a whopping 40-MP whilst the already substantial 20-MP mono sensor remains unaltered.
If you have particularly deep pockets, Huawei is also releasing a classier version of the P20 Pro dubbed the Porsche Design Huawei Mate RS that has similar hardware as the P20 Pro for the most part but upgrades the display to a crisper 6-inch 2K resolution OLED display, a classy monogrammed black finish, an in-screen fingerprint sensor on top of the existing rear one and has up to a staggering 512GB of built-in storage.
The Huawei P20 and P20 Pro is available globally starting from yesterday (27 March) and is slated for a Malaysia launch this coming 3 April. While local prices have not been released yet, the P20 with 4GB RAM/64GB storage will retail for 649 Euros, which works out to RM3,106.
The P20 Pro will retail for 899 Euros, which is about RM4,303. The Porsche Design Mate Race Sport with 6GB RAM/ 256GB storage will retail for 1,695 Euros (about RM 8,113) while the variant with 6GB RAM/ 512GB storage will retail for 2,095 Euros (about RM10,028). Hopefully the prices for their two latest flagships will be agreeable when they launch this 3 April; in any case we won’t have long to wait.