After I got the LG V30 smartphone, for several months I did not write smartphone reviews. But it was just not interesting to me: this unit was so consistent with almost all my ideas about the perfect phone that it seemed there was nothing to strive for. However, there were still things in it that I didn’t really like, especially based on the results of long-term continuous operation.
First of all, I did not like that he had only on-screen control buttons. Yes, they are flexible enough to configure, you can always keep them on (while the usable screen size is reduced) or set them to automatically hide, but still: when using full-screen applications to call the on-screen buttons, you had to make a flicking gesture from the bottom of the screen.
The second point, which was also annoying, was the ill-conceived shooting button in the camera, which simultaneously works with digital zoom when moving up, and when moving down, it switches to the second camera with an extra wide angle. As a result, my camera switched to an over-wide dozens of times when I did not need it at all, and several times I didn’t immediately notice it.
Well, the third point. Fingerprint scanner on the back cover of the smartphone: I don’t actively like this arrangement, it’s much more convenient to use the scanner when it is located on the front panel.
So the smartphone is great, but there were some annoying flaws in it. That is, they have not yet reached perfection.
Recently, Huawei introduced its new flagship Huawei P20 Pro. I could not get to his presentation in Paris, but this smartphone was of great interest to me: the previous model Huawei P10 was extremely successful and I was wondering what the new modification is.
Eighteen months ago, Huawei kindly provided me with this phone for review, I tested it and used it for about a month in fully combat conditions as my main phone. I must say right away that I really liked the smartphone, and now I’m ready to share my impressions.
So, Huawei P20 Pro. 6-inch flagship with uncompromising features.
Well, characteristics. actually top-end. There is also dust and moisture protection (short-term immersion to a depth of 1 meter). There are already three rear cameras. There is no support for a memory card, but with 128 GB, I point blank I don’t understand why it might even be needed.
Yes, there is still no audio output, but this is a common, and quite expected trend: manufacturers with sound from analog go to digital. The kit includes both an adapter and headphones with USB-C. In addition, the aptX HD profile is supported here for wireless communication, and there the quality is quite decent. Well, why do you need an audio output? Personally, I’ll calmly manage without him.
This smartphone also exists in two other versions. P20 and P20 lite. All differences and specifications can be found here in this plate on the GSMArena website (clickable).
Briefly: P20 has less RAM, less display (5.8″) dual camera, 3400 mAh battery; the P20 lite has a 5.84 display”, the Kirin 659 platform, 4 GB RAM, 32/64/128 internal memory, microSD support, a dual camera without Leica optics, a 3000 mAh battery and a fingerprint scanner on the back cover.
Appearance and features
Unfortunately, I got a smartphone without a box and accessories, so I simply list the bundle: smartphone, USB-C headphones, power adapter, USB-C cable, USB-C adapter. 3.5 mm minijack, silicone case, quick start guide, SIM card eject tool, warranty card.
The front panel of the smartphone looks strict and stylish. Very thin bezels around the display, the glass covering the display is slightly rounded at the edges. At the top of the screen is made “monobrow”. a small protrusion at the top of the display where the camera and speaker are located.
Here in this photo you can clearly see how it looks with the display turned on.
We remember that the first such solution was proposed by Apple for its iPhone X. (Well, more precisely, first of all, something similar was in the Essential Phone, but there wasn’t “monobrow”, a “forelock”if you use similar terminology.)
Here at P20, this “monobrow” It looks completely non-irritating, and even more so. there it is purely programmed so that the information in the upper status line is normally placed to the left and to the right of “monobrow”winning the extra line on the display.
In applications that do not use the status bar, differences with a normal screen without “monobrow” not at all. the top line just turns black.
By the way, if suddenly someone this “monobrow” annoying, although in this case I absolutely do not understand what it can annoy, it can be turned off in the settings. and then the top ruler will be all black.
In the lower part on the front side there is a universal button (touch pad with feedback), which is also a fingerprint scanner, and you can also use it to control a smartphone: short press. “return”long. “home”sweeping motion. “running applications”. You get used to this control option instantly (remember, Meizu has been using this option for quite some time) and it is more than convenient. No screen buttons are needed (although again. You can turn them on if you really want to), the controls are very convenient and I just didn’t have such a button on the LG V30.
On the right side. power button and volume rocker. The buttons move clearly and distinctly.
Top end. plastic inserts for antennas, a second microphone for noise reduction, IR transmitter.
Bottom end. speaker, talk microphone, USB-C port. By the way, stereo sound is supported here. paired with the top speaker. (This is also possible in some of the other flagship competitors.)
On the left side there is an insert for sim cards.
Back cover. glass, with a spectacular gradient transition from violet to bluish-greenish. And there are as many as three cameras: one traditional for Huawei dual. a 40 MP color camera and 20 MP black and white, and another camera with a focal length of 80 mm equivalent. with it you get a triple optical zoom. This camera gives interesting effects with blur in the background.
The edges of the glass on the back cover are also rounded, so it is not so difficult to take a smartphone without a case with one hand from the table. The cameras are slightly protruding forward, so when the smartphone lies on the table with the back cover, when you click on the screen, it sways slightly, but this is not too critical.
The back cover, by the way, is smeared with fingers pretty quickly.
Well, our hero is next to the LG V30.
The kit includes a silicone case, which is very useful: with it, the smartphone becomes noticeably more bumbling, and the appearance of the case almost does not spoil.
6.1 OLED display” and somewhat non-standard resolution of 2240 × 1080 pixels: the aspect ratio here is 18.7: 9.
There is an anti-glare filter and an effective oleophobic coating. The brightness margin is large: in direct sunlight, the image is clearly distinguishable.
Excellent viewing angles: with strong deviations, the image practically does not change, white does not become gray.
Automatic brightness adjustment works very well, there is also a useful option “Natural tone”. it adjusts the color temperature depending on the lighting and I liked how it works.
Also here you can adjust the brightness of colors and color temperature to personal preferences.
There is also a customizable always-on screen. I always use this opportunity.
The display is wonderful, really liked.
EMUI proprietary shell, quite flexible customizable.
Customizable area of quick switches.
Lock window. In addition to standard unlock methods, it can be unlocked by fingerprint and face. What an imprint, that facial recognition works very quickly, but there can be problems with face recognition when using chameleon glasses (it didn’t work in the street in the bright sun, because the glasses were darkened) and in insufficiently bright light.
Incoming call. Sound quality. excellent, noise reduction works very well.
Wi-Fi and mobile Internet speeds were higher than expected.
As an access point for distributing mobile Internet, the smartphone works fine. I had the opportunity to properly test this mode on a trip.
The built-in speaker demonstrates very good quality for its size: the sound is quite loud, without wheezing and distortion, and how they got so high. it’s hard for me to say. In addition, if you expand the smartphone in landscape orientation, then the phone speaker is connected and the sound becomes stereo, and it sounds very decent. In this version, even movies can be watched by a small company.
Sennheiser CX 2.00G in-ear headphones via adapter: not impressed. The sound is flat, there is no bass at all, the highs are also harsh and flat.
With the LZ-A4 earplugs, the sound is better, but not by much: it’s still flat, the bass is half-hinted, but at least some volume appears.
Full-size Audio-Technica ATH-M50x headphones. it’s already decent: there is some volume, there are basses, the middle ones are quite confident, but the high ones are very so-so.
In general, with wired headphones here quite mediocre. With LG V30 can not be compared.
Dolby Atmos mode offers different types of settings, they improve the sound, but not dramatically.
Well, of course, I checked the sound wirelessly using the aptX profile (I don’t have aptX HD now).
Checked on my favorite QCY QY19, which cost two pennies and at the same time. really cool headphones, I’m not overjoyed for a year now. Here it was interesting: the sound is quite voluminous, high-quality, good high, confident average. With the bottom of the problem, but it was expected. But in any case, you can listen to music wirelessly on aptX-enabled headset, and the quality in this case is even better than over the wire.
It is also interesting that the smartphone itself determines the use of the aptX profile and displays this information when connected.
The conclusions are as follows. The sound of the speakers. great sound in wired headphones. very so-so sound in aptX wireless headphones. quite decent. With aptX HD, the sound will be even better.
The platform is powerful, games go at maximum quality settings without any brakes. “Asphalt Extreme” set everything to the maximum, in FPS tanks kept 60fps and did not fall.
The start is almost instantaneous, it sees almost all the satellites, it holds the coordinates very tenaciously. I went on several trips with this smartphone. There are no problems with navigation, everything is very comfortable.
We will not analyze the settings in detail, I will indicate only the most characteristic points.
This model. just like the Mate 10 Pro. can connect to a monitor via a USB-C cable. HDMI (DVI / VGA) and there displays a special desktop version. I checked the work of this system and wrote about it, but I still do not understand how it can really be used. (I still have to carry a laptop that will not replace anything.)
Cloning applications for different messenger accounts. very useful thing.
Setting the status bar.
Screen resolution. it can be customized. I have FHD and autonomy is quite satisfied, so I do not change this setting.
Customize your home screen style. all applications on desktops, applications on a separate screen.
Here you can remove “monobrow”if she is suddenly annoying.
Option to clear memory. useful opportunity.
Management settings. Able to hone under the control of one hand and work in gloves.
Customize navigation buttons.
First a little about “iron”. about what is installed here. The main camera. 40 MP with aperture f / 1.8 and focal length 27 mm. equivalent. The physical size of the matrix. 1 / 1,7″ (I wonder how they shoved it there: for example, the Samsung S9 has a matrix. 1 / 2.55″) The second, black and white camera. 20 MP, f / 1.6 27 mm. equivalent, matrix size 1 / 2.78″. The second camera serves primarily to increase the dynamic range: during shooting, two frames are taken with two cameras, which are then glued together using software methods.
Well, the third camera with a triple optical zoom. 8 MP, f / 2.4, focal length 80 mm. Matrix size. 1 / 4.4″.
By the way, when the smartphone is turned off, the camera can be activated by double-clicking the volume down button.
Interface. quite comfortable and thoughtful. From above. general settings, bottom. photo,, portrait, night, professional mode and additional modes. I really like the fact that when you choose some special mode. eg, “panorama”. then the name of the mode with a closing cross appears below: that is, you can disable the special mode with one click, it is very comfortable.
Mode “Pros”. any settings.
In mode “Diaphragm” You can blur the background, you can also connect a 80 mm camera. this is 3x optical zoom.
Let’s look at shooting examples. (They weren’t processed at all, a full-size opens on a click.)
Test shooting text.
One of the effects: black and white with blur.
Portrait of the rear camera: the smartphone when it detects the face, automatically turns on the background blur.
Now use the zoom.
Zoom It is clearly seen that the camera with zoom gives out quality much worse than the main dual camera.
Portrait with a zoom.
Selfie front camera.
Twilight shooting in the machine.
Shooting at night. the difference is clearly visible.
Shooting at night. it is 3200 and 4000 ISO. For a smartphone. just great.
With steadicam (this is a separate device for stabilizing, it will soon be a review).
The camera (more precisely, cameras), in my opinion, is absolutely wonderful. So-called “Artificial Intelligence” (it was first shown on the Huawei Mate 10 Pro smartphone) automatically determines the shooting plot. greens, food, the beach and so on. and sets the appropriate settings. over, the algorithms of its action compared to what I saw in the Mate 10 Pro. markedly improved. Excellent detail, very good dynamic range, almost impeccable definition of white balance, instant focus, which almost does not miss. in general, the camera is here. just a bomb. However, like the entire smartphone.
According to the test results, the Dxomark laboratory specialists gave this smartphone as much as 109 points and called its camera the best among all the flagships. He overtakes the same Apple iPhone X by 12 points, and Google Pixel 2. by 11 points.
System data and performance
Antutu test. under 190 thousand parrots. According to this test, the smartphone is not in the first places and not even in the top ten, but this just does not mean much. He is really powerful and smart.
Tests by Geekbench 4.
Well, the general index for PCMark.
The resolution is actually FullHD and a 4000 mAh battery. one could hope for a very good battery life.
The Internet. The brightness is set to a comfortable 50%, wireless networks are turned on, the page is updated in the browser every 30 seconds. 16 hours 15 minutes. Very good.
Video. Wireless modes are disabled, player brightness is set to a comfortable 10th level (total 15), in MX Player the series movie rotates in a cycle. 18 hours 24 minutes. Excellent!
My PCMark synthetic test reached the end, but did not give the final result (this sometimes happens). I spotted the time. it should have been about 9 hours 45 minutes.
But these are all tests. And what is there in practice? So, purely practically in my usual mode of use. no savings, all messengers work, all networks are on. the smartphone lived confidently for two days, and several times it lasted almost three days: after the first day of use, the charge showed 70%, after the second. 35%
So with autonomy, everything is in perfect order here and I was very surprised when I read the phrases in some reviews “one full day he must live”. I think that these were the problems of some first firmwares (the Mate 10 Pro also observed this), because now it is autonomous. just the same.
From a regular adapter, my smartphone was charging at 5V / 2A, that is, from zero to 100% it charged about two and a half hours.
However, the Huawei Super Charge fast charging system is supported here, so when using a proprietary adapter, the smartphone charges up to 30% in just 15 minutes (if necessary, it can live all day if you use the savings), up to 60% in 30 minutes, well 100%. in an hour and a half. It is very fast for a 4000 mAh battery.
Observations at work and conclusions
I liked the smartphone simply extremely. After the first day of use, I realized that the LG V30, with all its merits, will be honorably retired and the Huawei P20 Pro will become my main smartphone. In almost all respects. it’s just a bomb. The only compromise. the sound in wired headphones could have been better, but wirelessly, the playback quality is very good, so I don’t care much.
I use the Nova Launcher shell in this smartphone. The only glitch that occurs with it (and I have seen this before on Huawei smartphones). settings from Nova do not always start when you call them by the icon (they always start under the native shell), but in this case they can be called through the quick settings area and there are no problems there.
No more glitches for a month of continuous use, I did not notice.
Price for a smartphone of this level. 55 thousand rubles. It looks quite adequate. (The LG V30 costs about the same, but it loses to this smartphone in almost all respects except sound.) By the way, how much does the iPhone X cost? 65 thousand for the 64 GB version and 74 thousand for the 256 GB version? Oh, well.
Absolutely gorgeous smartphone, just shine. No, I expected that it would be good, but here he simply exceeded expectations. And for the universal physical button. Thank you so much, I was terribly lacking. But, by the way, I note that here too is complete perfection. no. Wireless charging where to? No wireless charging. That’s it! However, I’ll just survive this.