Honor View 20 review

GSMArena team, 23 January 2019.

All-View Display with a punch hole front camera design

There's a big, bright display on the Honor View 20 and it's one of the first smartphones to adopt the "hole-punch" style selfie camera. The camera is placed beneath a round cutout below the LCD panel as a way to maximize the display area of the phone.

The "hole-punch" camera is the evolution of the dreaded "notch" - a larger cut-out of the top edge of the screen reserved for the front camera, sensors, and the earpiece. Despite such a small bezel around the top of the display, Honor managed to cram an earpiece speaker, a proximity sensor, and an ambient light sensor into this razor-thin bezel.

Honor View 20 review

You might notice some slight discoloration or shadow of pixels in the area immediately surrounding the camera hole. Honor said that this is completely normal and is a special technique used to prevent any light from leaking into the 25MP selfie camera. It isn't blatantly noticeable in person but if you really want to tickle your OCD bone, just stare at it for a while.

Honor View 20 review

The display itself is a 6.4-inch IPS LCD panel. Honor has always opted to use LCD panels in its devices and really reserves AMOLED panels for its higher-end devices like the Honor Magic 2 and the Honor Note series. In any case, the lower bezel is not as thin as the top and side bezels, but we're seeing this lower bezel get thinner and thinner with every new phone that comes out.

The display's brightness is about average in terms of sunlight legibility - you may find yourself squinting to see what's on the screen on a bright summer day. The panel maxed out at 479 nits regardless of whether auto-brightness is enabled or not. You'll also be able to dim this display very low down to only 1.1 nits.

Display test 100% brightness
Black, cd/m2 White, cd/m2 Contrast ratio
Huawei P20 (Max Auto) 0.481 695 1445
Samsung Galaxy S9 (Max Auto) 0 658
Xiaomi Mi 8 (Max Auto) 0.002 624 312000
Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018) (Max Auto) 0 606
Huawei Honor View 20 0.365 479 1313
Huawei P20 0.328 477 1454
Xiaomi Mi 8 0 458
Huawei Honor View 10 0.278 453 1629
OnePlus 6T 0 453
Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018) 0 399
Samsung Galaxy S9 0 370

Nevertheless, the sunlight contrast ratio score is pretty good and even beats the Huawei Mate 20 by a huge margin. We can even go further and say it enters the OLED territory.

Sunlight contrast ratio

  • Apple iPhone XS
    5.171
  • Apple iPhone X
    5.013
  • Huawei Mate 20 Pro
    4.965
  • OnePlus 5T
    4.789
  • Samsung Galaxy S8
    4.768
  • Asus ROG Phone
    4.765
  • Samsung Galaxy S8+
    4.658
  • Samsung Galaxy S9
    4.63
  • Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+
    4.615
  • Samsung Galaxy S9+
    4.537
  • Samsung Galaxy Note9
    4.531
  • Apple iPhone XS Max
    4.516
  • Sony Xperia XZ3
    4.502
  • Motorola Moto Z2 Play
    4.459
  • Oppo R11
    4.454
  • Samsung Galaxy S7 edge
    4.439
  • Oppo RX17 Pro
    4.434
  • OnePlus 3
    4.424
  • Samsung Galaxy S7
    4.376
  • Google Pixel 3
    4.35
  • Samsung Galaxy A7 (2018)
    4.324
  • OnePlus 6
    4.321
  • Xiaomi Mi Mix 3
    4.291
  • vivo NEX Dual Display (second display)
    4.289
  • HTC One A9
    4.274
  • LG V40 ThinQ
    4.256
  • Oppo R15 Pro
    4.251
  • Samsung Galaxy Note7
    4.247
  • Samsung Galaxy A3
    4.241
  • Nokia 8
    4.239
  • Google Pixel 2 XL (pre-update)
    4.234
  • OnePlus 3T
    4.232
  • Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018)
    4.22
  • Google Pixel XL
    4.164
  • ZTE Axon 7
    4.154
  • Samsung Galaxy Note8
    4.148
  • Meizu Pro 7 Plus
    4.147
  • OnePlus 6T
    4.138
  • Samsung Galaxy S6 edge
    4.124
  • Samsung Galaxy A7 (2017)
    4.124
  • vivo V11
    4.113
  • vivo NEX Dual Display
    4.108
  • Huawei Mate 10 Pro (normal)
    4.096
  • Samsung Galaxy Note5
    4.09
  • Huawei P20 Pro
    4.087
  • Xiaomi Mi 8
    4.086
  • Meizu 15
    4.082
  • Nokia 6 (2018)
    4.052
  • Google Pixel 2 (pre-update)
    4.023
  • LG V30
    4.022
  • Huawei Nexus 6P
    4.019
  • vivo NEX S
    4.012
  • Honor Magic 2
    4.01
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 Pro
    3.998
  • OnePlus X
    3.983
  • Vivo Xplay5 Elite
    3.983
  • LG G7 ThinQ (outdoor)
    3.978
  • Oppo R7s
    3.964
  • Apple iPhone 7
    3.964
  • Apple iPhone 8 (True Tone)
    3.957
  • Huawei P9 Plus
    3.956
  • Oppo Find X
    3.954
  • Meizu Pro 6 Plus
    3.935
  • Lenovo Moto Z
    3.931
  • Samsung Galaxy A7 (2016)
    3.918
  • OnePlus 5
    3.914
  • Samsung Galaxy C5
    3.911
  • Xiaomi Mi 8 SE
    3.901
  • Samsung Galaxy C7
    3.896
  • Samsung Galaxy A5
    3.895
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 outdoor
    3.879
  • Samsung Galaxy J2 outdoor
    3.873
  • Motorola Moto G6 Plus
    3.865
  • Samsung Galaxy A8
    3.859
  • Samsung Galaxy A8 (2018)
    3.842
  • Apple iPhone 6
    3.838
  • Microsoft Lumia 950XL
    3.837
  • Samsung Galaxy A6+ (2018)
    3.834
  • Sony Xperia XZs
    3.818
  • Samsung Galaxy A9 (2016)
    3.817
  • Motorola Moto X (2014)
    3.816
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 (2017)
    3.812
  • Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017)
    3.804
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016) outdoor mode
    3.802
  • Xiaomi Redmi Pro
    3.798
  • LG V20 Max auto
    3.798
  • Sony Xperia XZ
    3.795
  • Samsung Galaxy A5 (2016)
    3.789
  • Apple iPhone 6s
    3.783
  • Meizu Pro 5
    3.781
  • Microsoft Lumia 650
    3.772
  • Xiaomi Mi 6
    3.767
  • Sony Xperia XZ1
    3.765
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016)
    3.756
  • Nokia 8 Sirocco
    3.745
  • Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact
    3.729
  • Apple iPhone 8 Plus (True Tone)
    3.725
  • Oppo F1 Plus
    3.709
  • Vivo X5Pro
    3.706
  • Samsung Galaxy A3 (2017)
    3.688
  • Huawei P20
    3.683
  • Apple iPhone SE
    3.681
  • Huawei Mate 9
    3.68
  • Samsung Galaxy A7
    3.679
  • Sony Xperia XZ2 Compact
    3.675
  • Meizu PRO 6
    3.659
  • BlackBerry Priv
    3.645
  • Sony Xperia XA1 Ultra
    3.597
  • Huawei Honor View 20
    3.597
  • Apple iPhone 7 Plus
    3.588
  • Sony Xperia XZ2
    3.58
  • LG G6
    3.556
  • Apple iPhone 6s Plus
    3.53
  • Motorola Moto Z Play
    3.526
  • Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016)
    3.523
  • Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016) outdoor mode
    3.523
  • Acer Jade Primo
    3.521
  • Microsoft Lumia 950
    3.512
  • Oppo R7 Plus
    3.499
  • Nokia 7 plus
    3.479
  • nubia Z11
    3.466
  • Huawei P10 Plus
    3.456
  • HTC U Ultra
    3.453
  • Motorola Moto G6
    3.448
  • Sony Xperia XA2 Ultra
    3.445
  • Sony Xperia XA2 Plus
    3.445
  • Samsung Galaxy J7
    3.422
  • Motorola Moto G6 Play
    3.419
  • Meizu MX5
    3.416
  • LG V20
    3.402
  • Samsung Galaxy A6 (2018)
    3.397
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 AI Dual Camera
    3.393
  • LG G7 ThinQ
    3.39
  • Huawei P10
    3.379
  • Samsung Galaxy J5 (2016)
    3.378
  • Oppo R9s
    3.352
  • Honor Play
    3.349
  • Honor 8 Pro
    3.341
  • Oppo F7
    3.333
  • Oppo R7
    3.32
  • Lenovo P2
    3.316
  • Archos Diamond Omega
    3.305
  • Honor 9
    3.289
  • Xiaomi Mi 5s
    3.276
  • Nokia 5
    3.261
  • Nokia 6 (Chinese version)
    3.244
  • Xiaomi Mi 5
    3.24
  • Nokia 6 (Global version)
    3.238
  • Samsung Galaxy J2
    3.235
  • Oppo Realme 2 Pro
    3.235
  • Sony Xperia X Performance
    3.234
  • Xiaomi Mi Note 2
    3.228
  • Motorola Moto X Play
    3.222
  • Oppo F3 Plus
    3.218
  • BlackBerry KEY2
    3.212
  • Huawei Mate 9 Pro
    3.206
  • Huawei P9
    3.195
  • Xiaomi Mi Mix 2
    3.19
  • ZTE Nubia Z17
    3.159
  • Oppo R11s
    3.153
  • Lenovo Vibe Shot
    3.113
  • Honor 8X
    3.113
  • HTC U11 Life
    3.108
  • Motorola Moto X Force
    3.105
  • LG Nexus 5X
    3.092
  • HTC U11
    3.089
  • Xiaomi Mi A2 Lite
    3.087
  • HTC U12+
    3.085
  • Xiaomi Redmi S2 (Y2)
    3.077
  • Huawei Mate S
    3.073
  • Oppo F9
    3.069
  • Huawei P Smart 2019
    3.069
  • Microsoft Lumia 640 XL
    3.065
  • Xiaomi Mi Max 3
    3.061
  • Xiaomi Pocophone F1
    3.059
  • Huawei Mate 20
    3.052
  • Huawei Mate 20 Lite
    3.051
  • Motorola One (P30 Play)
    3.026
  • Apple iPhone 6 Plus
    3.023
  • Asus Zenfone 4 ZE554KL
    3.019
  • Sony Xperia XA1
    3.012
  • Motorola Moto X4
    3.012
  • Oppo Realme 2
    3.006
  • Sony Xperia L1
    2.994
  • Sony Xperia X
    2.989
  • LG Q6
    2.987
  • Huawei P10 Lite
    2.974
  • Samsung Galaxy Note
    2.97
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 6 Pro
    2.966
  • Huawei P20 Lite
    2.952
  • Xiaomi Redmi 5
    2.951
  • Huawei Mate 8
    2.949
  • Sony Xperia XA2
    2.938
  • Oppo Realme 1
    2.932
  • Razer Phone 2
    2.932
  • Xiaomi Redmi 4
    2.92
  • Xiaomi Redmi 3S
    2.913
  • Xiaomi Redmi 5 Plus
    2.913
  • Sony Xperia XA Ultra
    2.906
  • LG G5
    2.905
  • Huawei Honor View 10
    2.896
  • Xiaomi Redmi 3s Prime
    2.893
  • Xiaomi Mi 5s Plus
    2.884
  • Sony Xperia XZ Premium (sRGB)
    2.877
  • Sony Xperia XZ Premium
    2.877
  • Sony Xperia Z5
    2.876
  • Nokia 3
    2.871
  • Sony Xperia XZ2 Premium
    2.867
  • Xiaomi Mi 8 Lite
    2.862
  • Microsoft Lumia 550
    2.851
  • Nokia 3.1
    2.837
  • Realme U1
    2.815
  • Lenovo Moto M
    2.813
  • Nokia 7.1
    2.804
  • Xiaomi Redmi 3 Pro
    2.803
  • Sony Xperia Z5 compact
    2.784
  • Honor 10 (Vivid)
    2.757
  • Nokia 2
    2.752
  • Meizu MX6
    2.751
  • LG V10
    2.744
  • Huawei Mate 10 (normal)
    2.742
  • Motorola Moto G5S Plus
    2.737
  • Xiaomi Redmi 3
    2.735
  • Huawei Honor 7X
    2.734
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 (S625)
    2.714
  • Meizu M5
    2.71
  • Xiaomi Mi A2
    2.696
  • Sony Xperia M5
    2.69
  • Xiaomi Mi A1
    2.689
  • Huawei P9 Lite
    2.679
  • Xiaomi Redmi 4 Prime
    2.679
  • vivo V7+
    2.671
  • Vivo V3Max
    2.659
  • Xiaomi Mi Mix
    2.658
  • Huawei Mate 10 Lite
    2.654
  • Oppo F5
    2.653
  • Doogee Mix
    2.642
  • Xiaomi Mi 4i
    2.641
  • Xiaomi Redmi 4a
    2.635
  • Sony Xperia Z3
    2.618
  • Xiaomi Mi 5X (Standard)
    2.616
  • Sony Xperia XA
    2.609
  • Motorola Moto G4 Plus
    2.582
  • Motorola Moto G4 Plus (max auto)
    2.582
  • Meizu M5s
    2.58
  • Xiaomi Mi 4c
    2.574
  • LeEco Le Max 2
    2.567
  • Microsoft Lumia 640
    2.563
  • Asus Zenfone 3 ZE552KL
    2.563
  • Huawei P Smart
    2.563
  • Xiaomi Mi Max 2
    2.561
  • HTC U11+
    2.556
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 5A (Y1)
    2.556
  • Lenovo Moto G4
    2.544
  • Lenovo K6 Note
    2.544
  • Oppo F1
    2.528
  • Sony Xperia Z5 Premium
    2.525
  • Huawei Honor 7 Lite / Honor 5c
    2.506
  • Sony Xperia M4 Aqua
    2.503
  • Huawei Honor 10 Lite
    2.497
  • BlackBerry Motion
    2.494
  • Oppo F1s
    2.481

Color accuracy out of the box was quite terrible but it can be tweaked to a far more accurate setting. The default "Vivid" color profile is saturated and bright but the whites are halfway between sky blue and gray, which, frankly, makes us want to keep the blue-light filter enabled at all times. The default color profile yielded an average deltaE of 7.3 and a max deltaE of 12.8.

There's a "Normal" color profile which makes a drastic improvement to the appearance of colors and tones down their intensity as well. This profile had a much lower 3.1 average deltaE and a Max deltaE of 6. When we played with the custom setting, we were able to achieve an even better average deltaE of 1.5 and Max deltaE of 2.3.

Most color-accurate setting - Honor View 20 review
Most color-accurate setting

Battery life

There's a large 4,000 mAh battery in the View 20 and the included Huawei Super Charger is a great touch. The adapter pours 22.5W into the device and charges the phone up from a dead battery to 59% in our 30-minute charge test and reached 94% in one hour.

The View 20 has a larger battery compared to the View 10's 3,750 mAh. Although the battery is bigger and the 7nm Kirin 980 CPU is more efficient, the added screen size might even out any improvements to overall battery life.

Honor View 20 review

Update, Jan 25: New findings lead us to re-test the battery test in standby, which turned out to be a lot better than before, so we've updated the endurance score accordingly from 88h to 96h.

The final battery score is great - 96h where the video playback, standby and 3G talk times are better than expected. However, the web browsing test is just about average, considering the huge 4,000 mAh battery. The Mate 20, which has the same SoC and battery scored better in our web browsing test. Still, the final scores of both phones are quite similar with the Honor View 20 having the edge on the Mate 20.

Our battery tests were automated thanks to SmartViser, using its viSer App. The endurance rating above denotes how long a single battery charge will last you if you use the Honor View 20 for an hour each of telephony, web browsing, and video playback daily. We've established this usage pattern so that our battery results are comparable across devices in the most common day-to-day tasks. The battery testing procedure is described in detail in case you're interested in the nitty-gritty. You can check out our complete battery test table, where you can see how all of the smartphones we've tested will compare under your own typical use.

Honor's Magic UI has come a long way and if you like to control every aspect of power consumption, the battery menu lets you allow and restrict apps from running in the background on a per-app basis. Of course, keep in mind if you limit background activity from, say, Facebook, you won't receive push notifications until you open the app.

Battery tools - Honor View 20 review Battery tools - Honor View 20 review Battery tools - Honor View 20 review
Battery tools

Loudspeaker

The Honor View 20 has a standard bottom-firing single speaker that can get loud enough so you can hear it in a noisy pub or at a show. It's scored Very Good rating in our standard testing procedure which involves playing back three different sound sources.

Speakerphone testVoice, dB Pink noise/ Music, dB Ringing phone, dB Overall score
Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 67.9 71.6 73.7 Good
Huawei Honor View 10 68.6 69.9 77.8 Good
Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018) 69.5 72.4 77.8 Very Good
Samsung Galaxy S9 68.5 74.3 81.1 Very Good
OnePlus 6T 67.2 72.5 84.5 Very Good
Honor View 20 68.0 74.3 82.0 Very Good
Huawei P20 66.6 69.8 90.0 Very Good
Xiaomi Mi 8 SE 70.5 74.1 85.2 Excellent

Audio quality

When paired with an active external amplifier, the Honor View 20's audio jack delivered an output of average loudness and mostly great clarity save for the surprisingly high stereo crosstalk.

In fact, this is arguably the only phone in the last few years that actually has better stereo quality with our standard 32ohm testing headphones than without them. The headphones performance, in general, is great as far as clarity is concerned with the average loudness being the only non-impressive bit here.

TestFrequency responseNoise levelDynamic rangeTHDIMD + NoiseStereo crosstalk
Honor View 20+0.03, -0.02-93.193.20.00130.0083-64.5
Honor View 20 (headphones)+0.05, -0.04-92.892.60.0550.116-74.5
Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018)+0.04, -0.04-90.690.60.00150.191-93.8
Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018) (headphones)+0.25, -0.207-91.991.90.0250.435-51.2
Nokia 7.1+0.02, -0.06-91.088.60.00210.016-94.4
Nokia 7.1 (headphones)+0.05, -0.03-93.889.60.00190.034-54.9
Huawei Mate 20 lite+0.01, -0.02-94.794.70.00130.0086-73.1
Huawei Mate 20 lite (headphones)+0.12, -0.09-93.893.80.00350.115-71.7
Honor Play+0.01, -0.03-93.093.10.00370.0093-92.9
Honor Play (headphones)+0.12, -0.06-92.392.50.00270.088-65.7
Pocophone F1+0.01, -0.02-93.693.60.00100.0069-93.8
Pocophone F1 (headphones)+0.65, -0.08-91.292.50.00820.359-50.3

Honor View 20 frequency response
Honor View 20 frequency response

You can learn more about the tested parameters and the whole testing process here.

Reader comments

  • y.v.

"The display quality isn't flagship-worthy." - actually, IPS screen with single dot + 3,5 jack is why I am going to buy this phone in 2020! It even has 3.1 usb type-C, even despite most newer flagman use 2.0 Sad,they skipped SD card, so I need to hun...

Please someone should please clarify it Honor View 20 is HDR certified

  • Anonymous

Someone should clarify to me if Honor View 20 is HDR certified