The Huawei P20 Pro: Five Months Later


It’s been a while since I first got my hands on the Huawei P20 Pro. Since then, a lot has happened. France won the world cup. We moved into a new office in Bambalapitiya. Huawei introduced the latest phones in their Nova series. So how has the P20 Pro held up after all these adventures? Pretty well – as it should since it’s a flagship phone.

The Basics: Hardware + Software

The Huawei P20 Pro packs a Kirin 970 Octa Core processor and 6GB of RAM. For the past three months, this combination has proven to be a powerful one. I could be downloading a bunch of YouTube videos in the background, publish an Instagram story before going back to streaming a podcast and be replying to my emails. The P20 Pro has proven to be able to juggle that load without any lag whatsoever thus far.

Front of the Huawei P20 Pro
The Huawei P20 Pro has proven to be a powerhouse

At the same time, the P20 Pro comes with a 4000mAH and it supports fast charging. Since I got my hands on the P20 Pro, I usually charge it in the morning before I head to the office. This has proven to be enough. The P20 Pro is able to give a full day’s usage on a single charge. However, this is only on days when I’m not covering an event. On those exceptional days when I’m using the camera every 5 minutes, a power bank becomes necessary.

Furthermore, the P20 Pro comes with Android 8.1 Oreo. With the recent release of Android 9 Pie, this is no longer the latest version of Android. The P20 Pro is set to get an official Android 9 update. However, there’s no official deadline for this.

The notch that can hide on the Huawei P20 Pro
The notch that can hide at the tap of a button

Nonetheless, Huawei’s EMUI 9 still holds up pretty well. It doesn’t shove a ton of ads in your face like Xiaomi’s MIUI. And it also has a few interesting things inside the settings. To date, my favorite of these is how the P20 Pro can hide its notable camera notch. Another notable feature of the P20 Pro is the lack of a headphone jack.

At first, this wasn’t a major loss for me. I don’t regularly listen to music unlike my colleague Mahesh. But as I started watching YouTube videos on my commute and while at the gym, the loss has started to affect me. Thus, the possibility of me enjoying my music in private is now dead.

The star of the show: The cameras

Ultimately, the most notable feature of the P20 Pro has always been the three rear cameras. To date, these cameras continue to take great pictures. In fact, we’ve begun using the P20 Pro as a substitute for a DSLR for certain photo shoots. The same also applies to videos. However, this is a camera of compromises.

Huawei P20 Pro Rear
The three cameras of the P20 Pro and its glass back

When you use the camera at 40 MP you can’t zoom while taking photos. Similarly, you’ll shoot the best videos at 4K on the P20 Pro. But if you want to utilize the digital stability features then you’ll have to drop the quality to 1080p. Yet, I found that after three months I was okay with these compromises.

That’s purely due to the quality of the pictures and videos the P20 Pro takes. Nonetheless, life would be a lot easier if these quirks were fixed to take pictures and videos. But that’s the rear camera. The 24MP front camera, on the other hand, isn’t one that I’ve found myself using regularly on purpose.

An example of the P20 Pro rear camera in action
An example of the P20 Pro rear camera in action

The glass back on the Huawei P20 Pro serves as a great mirror. Thus, I’m more inclined to use this mirror along with the more powerful rear cameras for selfies. Of course, this does require a bit of trial and error. So if you’re in a rush or don’t want to go through a hassle, the front camera is the way to go. But I’m more inclined to use it regularly to unlock the phone. A handy feature indeed. But this hasn’t stopped me from entering my password because at times the camera fails to recognize my face.

Closing thoughts

Ultimately, the Huawei P20 Pro is a powerful phone. It does live up to its reputation of being a flagship phone. Nonetheless, this power doesn’t come without a compromise. Priced at Rs. 139,900 the P20 Pro is a powerful contender that you should consider if you’re in the market for a high-end flagship phone. Hopefully, we’ll see an Android 9.0 Pie update in the near future.