The Honor View 20 is the great bet of the Asian company for the first half of 2019. A flagship terminal with several important attractions, although with the occasional shadow. In its favor we have its design with a really nice V-shaped gradient or the fact that it is one of the first mobiles to hit the market with a camera inserted inside the screen itself. And it is not just any camera, since this lens has a resolution of nothing more and nothing less than 25 megapixels to take selfies.
In addition, it also wants to stand out for the resolution of its main objective, which goes up to 48 megapixels and with which we can zoom in two increases without losing quality. And all this with an excellent battery that in my tests has allowed me to use the smartphone without problems for a day and a half or even two days (depending on whether I had a more or less intense day).
On the negative side, the commitment to the gradient of the back has made it neglect an important section such as protection against dust and water. It is not a fundamental point, but it is appreciated in a premium device the peace of mind that you will not run out of mobile if you fall into the water by mistake. We must also bear in mind that this is not a particularly cheap mobile. The input configuration has a cost of 550 euros , but if we want to do with the advanced configuration with 128 GB of internal memory and 8 GB of RAM we will have to go up to 700 euros. A significant outlay that will keep you out of many pockets.
I have been able to use the Honor View 20 as a bedside mobile for three weeks. This has been my experience.
Honor View 20 data sheet
|screen||6.4 inches, 19.25; 9 format, Full HD + resolution of 2,310 x 1,080 pixels|
|Main chamber||48 megapixels, 1/2-inch Sony CMOS sensor, 3D camera|
|Camera for selfies||25 megapixels, perforated on the screen|
|Internal memory||128GB / 256GB|
|Processor and RAM||Kirin 980 7 nanometer with 6 GB or 8 GB of RAM|
|Battery||4,000 mAh, fast charge|
|Operating system||To confirm|
|Connections||BT 4.2, GPS, USB Type-C, NFC, WiFi|
|Design||Color gradient: black, blue, red, phantom red|
|Dimensions||8.1 millimeters thick|
|Featured Features||Perforated camera on the screen, 3D camera,|
|Price||550 euros / 700 euros|
Honor is one of the brands that has tried the most to differentiate itself from the competition in terms of design. The Asian company debuted with the Honor 8 a very attractive gloss effect on the back through the use of several overlapping layers of glass. A trend that continued with the Honor 9 and that today inherits the Honor View 20.
Of course, with an evolution of the concept. And it is that the terminal flag of Honor bets on a nanotexture on the back. On a practical level, it means that it is so thin that it is invisible to the naked eye. And what it has allowed them is to create a color gradient that is shown every time we move the device . This gradient does not have a classic striped shape, but a V-shaped reflection that appears in different parts of the back depending on the position in which we have the equipment.
It is clear that not everyone will like this solution, especially those looking for a more discreet and classic equipment. However, it seems to me a very interesting addition that does make a difference compared to what you can find in the market . After a few days, it is a terminal with which I would like to stay for its appearance — apart from other reasons. And that is not easy to achieve today with the number of similar proposals that fill the counters of the stores.
In my case, I have been able to test the version in phantom blue, which is a slightly lighter blue. We also have it in sapphire blue, black and red. The black option can be an excellent option for users who are looking for a more elegant device with a more discreet touch, but who still want a differentiating touch. The truth is that, at least in my case, Honor already fell in love with the blue color of the Honor 8 and I enjoy this hue.
Of course, it suffers from the same problem that it shares with mobiles that opt for a glass back or another reflective surface. They are very beautiful in the photos and when you take them for the first time, but after a few minutes they are filled with traces that spoil the final result . The Honor View 20 is not spared, although it is true that being a darker color it is more concealed. At the design level, the day that a finish is achieved that is truly protected against fingerprints will gain a lot of ground.
Curves on the back, not on the screen
In addition to the gradient on the back, the Honor View 20 stands out for its shapes. The company has rounded the bezels on the back to make it more attractive and more comfortable to grip. In addition, the phantom blue color (it happens the same with the other tones) is also found on the sides with a more matte tone. This gives a very good uniform feeling.
Another problem that I see with this design is that it is very comfortable to grip, but it also slides in the hand too easily . That can be a problem if we leave the smartphone on a surface that has a drop.
The full measurements of the Honor View 20 are 156.9 x 75.4 x 8.1 millimeters.
No trace of resistance to dust and water
This is where I get the impression that Honor has been able to sacrifice more to obtain a differentiated design. This mobile does not have an IP certificate, something that had almost become an obligation for high-end mobiles in recent times. It is not a fundamental point when it comes to buying or not a smartphone, but that extra security is sincerely appreciated in the event that we suffer a home accident or when going to the pool or the beach.
The on-screen camera is here to stay
We enter fully into what is one of the most interesting claims of the Honor View 20. It is one of the first phones to hit the market with the selfie camera inserted into the screen itself. And I put my hand in the fire where he will not be alone for long. In addition to mobile phones with a flexible panel, 2019 promises to be the year in which this type of on-screen sensors become popular.
The advantage of this construction is clear. It barely takes up a small circle of the panel, so we almost enjoy a true infinity display. In addition, it serves to end the controversial notch or eyebrow, which splits the upper area of the screen in an unsightly way for many. Personally, it is something that bothered the first day but afterwards it is easy to get used to the point that you do not even give it importance. In the case of the Honor View 20, this previous step is eliminated and I have only been aware of the presence of this perforated camera at specific moments, such as at the beginning of playing a movie or series.
On the other hand, it must be recognized that Honor has wanted to do things well in this premiere and has not settled for a successful goal. Specifically, a camera for selfies with a resolution of 25 megapixels and aperture f / 2.0 is included . It is not a very bright lens but in my tests it has held up quite well in low light environments. Of course, without reaching the level of other leading equipment, such as the Google Pixel 3 XL. The Honor View 10 includes a night mode that captures multiple photos and then overlays them for a more defined photo.
As usual, we have a specific portrait mode to soften the features of our face and look better in photos. I am not a defender of this type of software fixes, since it seems to me that a lot of naturalness is lost in the final result. Even if we go down to zero to beauty mode, it is still sensed that there is a certain fix, since wrinkles disappear in a suspicious way and the skin appears thinner.
View of the camera interface with emoji of the Honor View 20
Nor could an augmented reality mode be missing with the popular animojis that we have already seen in models such as the iPhone X or the Samsung Galaxy Note 9. The results are still not wonderful, but the truth is that there is a lot of progress and they capture a decent face gestures. Among the available characters we find a dog, a rabbit, a penguin or a robot. We can also play with different backgrounds, although most of the compositions have a marked childish character. In these backgrounds we will see different decorations appear (in some cases even with the accompaniment of music). I will talk about them later in the camera app section.
High resolution main camera
The Honor View 20 bets on a single main camera. We are facing a Sony sensor with 48 megapixel resolution that is combined with a depth sensor. We also have a two-point zoom without losing quality, an advantage if we want to photograph objects or buildings that are far away.
Is such a high resolution worth it? For some time we have been sold that the number of megapixels was not key when it comes to measuring the quality of a camera, but it seems that the war for pixels is going to return with force. Last year Huawei included a 40 megapixel camera, and now the View 20 marks 48 megapixels. The truth is that it is not a key element, the sharpness matters more than how large the final photo will be. In the case of the View 20, the results are quite good although it does not seem to me a camera that is going to compete for the podium of the market .
Gallery of photos taken with the Honor View 20
Above all, its seams are noticeable when we face photos in low-light environments. It is there that this Sony sensor falls a step behind. Not that it's a bad camera, but I definitely prefer other proposals such as the Google Pixel 3 XL, the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 or the Huawei Mate 20 Pro.
To improve results, an artificial intelligence mode is included that automatically changes the camera settings to take better photos. Yes it is capable of improving some shots, but it is not a mode that is going to introduce a fundamental change. At this point, it does not appear that any brand has so far managed to approach the artificial intelligence of the Pixel to improve the captures.
Full camera app
The camera application of the Honor View 20 is very complete, although it begins to be somewhat overwhelming due to the number of modes it has and the separation of these modes into two different menus. On the one hand, in a lower bar we have the options AR Lens, Night mode, Portrait, Photo, Video and More. Within More is access to other modes that we could previously open by dragging our finger across the screen.
I miss this option to move to camera modes and settings by just dragging my finger (which is present in previous Honor phones). Sometimes it is also somewhat confusing that we do not always have the option to switch directly between the front camera and the rear camera, that will depend directly on the mode we have selected. For example, in Portrait we can switch between the two, while in Night mode only the front camera can be used.
One of the coolest modes is the AR Lens. Honor also adds to the fever of emojis and allows us to animate characters such as a penguin, a rabbit, a robot or a cat, who will react to the gestures of our face. Here we have two options, create the character with a neutral background or superimpose it with our face. This second option is not very successful, since sometimes it does not even cover the entire face. More interesting is the first.
Gesture recognition is pretty fine - not quite the point yet - and you can create some pretty fun comps to share with your contacts.
We also have other options that will give us play such as the Night mode to improve night photos or the Artistic mode to obtain curious results with filters.
Apart from these modes, we have several functions that can be activated from a top menu (again, only in some modes). The most interesting feature is that of the photos with artificial intelligence. If this mode is active, the camera will recognize the type of photo we are going to shoot and change the camera settings to get the most out of it. It's honestly not something in which I have noticed a fundamental difference. It seems to me that the AI still needs to be refined a lot more, at least on Huawei and Honor phones.
Finally, the Asian company has incorporated a function that we have already seen in Samsung mobiles. A viewer that allows us to recognize different objects to compare them with objects for sale on the web . The operation has been chaotic for me, with proposals that are very far from the device that I am pointing to with the camera (less in some specific cases). You can tell that this role still has a long way to go. The translator has been better for me, which automatically detects the language of a text and translates it into the language of your choice from a wide selection.
An excellent battery
This is one of the aspects that I liked the most about the Honor View 20. Especially, coming from the Google Pixel 3 XL, a mobile with many attractions but among which the battery is not found. The View 20 more than meets what should be expected from a premium mobile. It has been able to offer me between a day and a half and two days of use without needing to recharge the battery. This is achieved through a battery with a capacity of 4,000 milliamps and good management of resources.
If you tend to give your phone a lot of power on a day-to-day basis, the Honor View 20 will interest you, since you are not in danger of being left lying in the middle of the day.
Power and internal memory
If you're looking for power, the Honor View 20 won't disappoint. This mobile launches the latest Huawei processor, the Kirin 980. Today, one of the most powerful that you are going to find while waiting for the top launches of this first half of the year. And it does so accompanied by a RAM memory that can be 6 GB or 8 GB depending on the configuration you choose.
The performance is really smooth, both in the menus and in the applications and games. There have not been any occasions during these days where I have experienced some kind of lag or stop. Not surprisingly, this is one of the first mobiles that is compatible with the 60 fps version of Fortnite . In other words, a smoother gaming experience that requires an advanced graphics card. In addition to the GPU, the View 20 takes advantage of the GPU Turbo mode that Huawei has developed to improve the graphics performance of its mobiles.
When testing Fortnite on the View 20, I have come to notice this difference in fluidity compared to other smartphones. As usual, I have also pitted the Honor smarpthone against two of the most popular test batteries on the scene, AnTuTu Benchmark and Geekbench 4.
From left to right, Honor View 20 results on AnTuTu Benchmark and Geekbench
Virtually infinite screen
The presence of the perforated camera within the screen itself has a clear advantage: it allows us to speak of a practically infinite screen. The space occupied by the lens circle is really small, and is located in one of the corners of the panel . Thanks to this, Honor has achieved a 91% ratio between the body and the screen. Nothing bad.
The Honor View 20 screen goes up to 6.4 inches, reaching a similar level to many of the top terminals that are hitting the market in recent months. Its format is 19.25; 9, that is, more elongated than usual. When it comes to using it, it must be said that the LCD screen of this model more than meets what is expected of a high-end terminal. The color reproduction is vivid and the brightness level reaches good levels, so I have had no problems using the smartphone outdoors on a sunny day. I would dare to say that there have been few occasions in which I have missed an OLED screen.
In addition, the presence of a practically infinite screen helps to get much more into the action in movies and series. Of course, in some moments when watching video I have noticed a small annoyance with the perforated camera on the screen.
The resolution of the Honor View panel goes up to 2,310 x 1,080 pixels . That is, it is a longer Full HD. Personally, I think a level of detail is more than enough for a panel of this size, although many high-end terminals opt for a higher resolution. From my experience these years with all types of mobiles it does not seem like a fundamental point (the same as the megapixels in a mobile camera once you reach a certain point).
Cool Apps and Features
The Honor View 20 shares an EMUI interface with Huawei phones. This is one of the most complete interfaces that you will find in the Android world, somewhat more invasive than other brands but with several interesting functions. If you are not a pure Android lover, you may find features that are worth your time. As always in these cases, it is a matter of taste.
From EMUI I have always loved the option to perform different functions through the knuckles since I discovered them in the Huawei Mate 8. For example, to take a screenshot, just tap a knuckle twice on the screen. If you want to record the same, you have to use two knuckles at the same time to strike twice. You can also draw a closed circle on the screen to capture only that area. Or activate the multiscreen by making a horizontal line.
If at first you are more lost with your mobile, the View 20 has a Suggestions app to get the most out of your mobile.
Price and conclusions
The Honor View 20 arrives in two configurations. The basic configuration includes 6 GB of RAM and 128 GB of internal memory, and is priced at 550 euros . In case you want a plus in these sections, you can buy the advanced configuration with 256 GB of internal memory and 8 GB of RAM for a price of 700 euros.
In short, we are facing a mobile that wants to occupy a place in its own right among the most interesting mobiles of the year. For price and features, the Honor View 20 is a very interesting alternative if you are looking for a “cucumber” smartphone but do not want to spend the around 1,000 euros in which other proposals are located. Among its strengths we have its power, the attractive design of its case or the excellent battery, which has helped me to forget about having to charge it every night (and honestly, coming from the Pixel 3 XL, it's appreciated).
On the negative side, its design is not resistant to dust and water, something that seems basic to me at this point in a premium mobile. In addition, the case has a somewhat slippery surface that can give you more of a scare if you place it on a table with some fall. The camera is good, but not spectacular. It lacks that groundbreaking section beyond the number of megapixels. For example, the Pixel itself with its excellent portrait mode or the Note 9 with the night photos. All in all, a very mobile to take into account for this first half of 2019.