Huawei P20 Pro review

GSMArena team, 12 April 2018.

A screen that's color accurate, plenty bright, and... it has a notch

The Huawei P20 Pro is equipped with a 6.1-inch AMOLED display. Resolution is 1,080x2,240px which means an even-weirder-than-usual 18.7:9 aspect ratio - apparently, that's needed to accommodate the notch. The pixel density works out to 408ppi. Last year you could have a P10 Plus with a QHD display, but not with the P20 generation.

Huawei P20 Pro review

In our testing, the Huawei P20 Pro pumped out 582nits with brightness set to Auto, a healthy boost on top of the already good 412nits if you disengage Auto. That's a higher brightness than what the P10 and P10 Plus could manage last year, and those had LCDs which should generally be brighter. The AMOLED Mate 10 Pro still has an edge, with an Auto brightness maximum of 623nits, and the S9+ and the iPhone X are ahead as well. Then again, the Pixel 2XL and the LG V30 are nowhere near.

Display test 100% brightness
Black, cd/m2 White, cd/m2 Contrast ratio
Huawei P20 Pro 0 412
Huawei P20 Pro (Max Auto) 0 582
Huawei P10 0.416 592 1423
Huawei P10 Plus 0.335 547 1633
Huawei Mate 10 0.314 433 1379
Huawei Mate 10 (Max Auto) 0.468 667 1425
Huawei Mate 10 Pro 0 440
Huawei Mate 10 Pro (Max Auto) 0 623
Apple iPhone 8 Plus 0.392 530 1352
Apple iPhone 8 Plus (Max Auto) 0.471 621 1318
Apple iPhone X 0 679
Samsung Galaxy S9+ 0 376
Samsung Galaxy S9+ (Max Auto) 0 631
LG V30 0.002 414 207000
LG V30 (Max Auto) 0.032 616 19250
Google Pixel 2 XL 0 420
HTC U11+ 0.176 287 1631
Sony Xperia XZ2 0.431 618 1434

We measured excellent contrast in sunlight, around the same level of the Mate 10 Pro's and the Galaxy Note8. Still, the iPhone X and the Galaxy S9+ are superior in this respect.

Sunlight contrast ratio

  • Apple iPhone X
    5.013
  • OnePlus 5T
    4.789
  • Samsung Galaxy S8
    4.768
  • Samsung Galaxy S8+
    4.658
  • Samsung Galaxy S9
    4.63
  • Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+
    4.615
  • Samsung Galaxy S9+
    4.537
  • Motorola Moto Z2 Play
    4.459
  • Oppo R11
    4.454
  • Samsung Galaxy S7 edge
    4.439
  • OnePlus 3
    4.424
  • Samsung Galaxy S7
    4.376
  • HTC One A9
    4.274
  • 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
  • Google Pixel XL
    4.164
  • ZTE Axon 7
    4.154
  • Samsung Galaxy Note8
    4.148
  • Meizu Pro 7 Plus
    4.147
  • Samsung Galaxy S6 edge
    4.124
  • Samsung Galaxy A7 (2017)
    4.124
  • Huawei Mate 10 Pro (normal)
    4.096
  • Samsung Galaxy Note5
    4.09
  • Huawei P20 Pro
    4.087
  • Google Pixel 2 (pre-update)
    4.023
  • LG V30
    4.022
  • Huawei Nexus 6P
    4.019
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 Pro
    3.998
  • Vivo Xplay5 Elite
    3.983
  • OnePlus X
    3.983
  • Apple iPhone 7
    3.964
  • Oppo R7s
    3.964
  • Apple iPhone 8 (True Tone)
    3.957
  • Huawei P9 Plus
    3.956
  • 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
  • Samsung Galaxy C7
    3.896
  • Samsung Galaxy A5
    3.895
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 outdoor
    3.879
  • Samsung Galaxy J2 outdoor
    3.873
  • Samsung Galaxy A8
    3.859
  • Samsung Galaxy A8 (2018)
    3.842
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • nubia Z11
    3.466
  • Huawei P10 Plus
    3.456
  • HTC U Ultra
    3.453
  • Sony Xperia XA2 Ultra
    3.445
  • Samsung Galaxy J7
    3.422
  • Meizu MX5
    3.416
  • LG V20
    3.402
  • Huawei P10
    3.379
  • Samsung Galaxy J5 (2016)
    3.378
  • Oppo R9s
    3.352
  • Honor 8 Pro
    3.341
  • 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
  • Nokia 6 (Global version)
    3.238
  • Samsung Galaxy J2
    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
  • 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
  • HTC U11 Life
    3.108
  • Motorola Moto X Force
    3.105
  • LG Nexus 5X
    3.092
  • HTC U11
    3.089
  • Huawei Mate S
    3.073
  • Microsoft Lumia 640 XL
    3.065
  • Apple iPhone 6 Plus
    3.023
  • Asus Zenfone 4 ZE554KL
    3.019
  • Motorola Moto X4
    3.012
  • Sony Xperia XA1
    3.012
  • 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 5
    2.951
  • Huawei Mate 8
    2.949
  • Sony Xperia XA2
    2.938
  • 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
    2.877
  • Sony Xperia XZ Premium (sRGB)
    2.877
  • Sony Xperia Z5
    2.876
  • Nokia 3
    2.871
  • Microsoft Lumia 550
    2.851
  • Lenovo Moto M
    2.813
  • Xiaomi Redmi 3 Pro
    2.803
  • Sony Xperia Z5 compact
    2.784
  • 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
  • Sony Xperia M5
    2.69
  • Xiaomi Mi A1
    2.689
  • Xiaomi Redmi 4 Prime
    2.679
  • Huawei P9 Lite
    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
  • Xiaomi Mi 5X (Standard)
    2.616
  • Sony Xperia XA
    2.609
  • Motorola Moto G4 Plus (max auto)
    2.582
  • Motorola Moto G4 Plus
    2.582
  • Meizu M5s
    2.58
  • Xiaomi Mi 4c
    2.574
  • LeEco Le Max 2
    2.567
  • Microsoft Lumia 640
    2.563
  • Huawei P Smart
    2.563
  • Asus Zenfone 3 ZE552KL
    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
  • BlackBerry Motion
    2.494
  • Oppo F1s
    2.481
  • Motorola Moto G
    2.477
  • Lenovo Vibe K5 Plus
    2.473
  • Huawei G8
    2.471
  • Huawei nova
    2.467
  • Sony Xperia Z
    2.462
  • Lenovo Vibe K5
    2.459
  • Meizu m3 max
    2.447
  • Xiaomi Mi 4
    2.424
  • Xiaomi Mi 5X (Auto)
    2.417
  • HTC 10 evo
    2.407
  • Huawei Honor 7
    2.406
  • Vivo V7
    2.404
  • Sony Xperia E5
    2.386
  • ZUK Z1 by Lenovo
    2.382
  • HTC 10
    2.378
  • Oppo F3
    2.376
  • vivo V5 Plus
    2.371
  • Meizu m1 note
    2.362
  • Huawei nova plus
    2.329
  • Razer Phone
    2.328
  • HTC One E9+
    2.305
  • Alcatel One Touch Hero
    2.272
  • Sony Xperia L2
    2.266
  • Lenovo Vibe K4 Note
    2.254
  • Sony Xperia C5 Ultra
    2.253
  • HTC U11+ (EU)
    2.253
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 (MediaTek)
    2.249
  • Sony Xperia C4 Dual
    2.235
  • Xiaomi Mi Note
    2.234
  • Motorola Moto G (2014)
    2.233
  • LG Nexus 5
    2.228
  • Huawei P8
    2.196
  • Meizu M5 Note
    2.189
  • Huawei Honor 6
    2.169
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 2
    2.166
  • OnePlus Two
    2.165
  • HTC One X
    2.158
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 (X20)
    2.145
  • LG Aka
    2.145
  • Archos 50 Diamond
    2.134
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note
    2.119
  • Xiaomi Mi 4S
    2.095
  • Acer Liquid X2
    2.084
  • Huawei P8lite
    2.078
  • vivo V5
    2.059
  • Moto G 3rd gen max manual
    2.026
  • Xiaomi Mi 3
    2.001
  • Xiaomi Mi Max
    1.996
  • Sony Xperia E4g
    1.972
  • OnePlus One
    1.961
  • Sony Xperia Z2
    1.944
  • Meizu m3 note
    1.923
  • BlackBerry Leap
    1.892
  • Meizu m2 note
    1.892
  • HTC Butterfly
    1.873
  • ZTE Nubia Z9 mini
    1.759
  • Sony Xperia U
    1.758
  • Asus Zenfone Selfie
    1.68
  • Motorola Moto E (2nd Gen)
    1.675
  • ZTE Nubia Z9
    1.659
  • Jolla Jolla
    1.605
  • Motorola Moto E
    1.545
  • Sony Xperia M
    1.473
  • Sony Xperia L
    1.351
  • HTC Desire C
    1.3
  • Meizu MX
    1.221
  • Sony Xperia E
    1.215

The P20 Pro has quite the wide selection of color modes. You can choose between Normal and Vivid, and for each of them you can opt for Default, Warm, or Cold, and there's also a color picker for an entirely custom shift. The Normal+Default setting is what will get you a superb 1.7 average DeltaE with a slight hit in brightness (398nits) compared to Vivid+Default. A minor upward nudge of the color picker brought us average DeltaE of 1.6, but is that 0.1 really that important? Vivid+Default, the out of the box mode, isn't as accurate (average DeltaE of 5.1) but is noticeably more vibrant at the expense of bluish whites.

Huawei P20 Pro battery life

The P20 Pro is equipped with a 4,000mAh battery, Huawei likes that number. It's quite the generous treatment in a world where the Galaxy S9+ has a 3,500mAh power pack, and even the Mi Mix 2s' battery is rated at 3,400mAh.

In our testing, the P20 Pro lasted upwards of 13 hours looping videos and fourteen-and-a-half hours running our web browsing script. The 3G voice call test returned a 21h talk time. All three of these numbers are slightly lower than what we got out of the Mate 10 Pro, though within reason, so we figured we wouldn't make a big deal out of it. The overall Endurance rating ended up a respectable 89 hours.

Huawei P20 Pro

Our endurance rating denotes how long a single battery charge will last you if you use the Huawei P20 Pro for an hour each of telephony, web browsing, and video playback daily. We've established this usage pattern so 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-gritties. You can also 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.

The bundled SuperCharger got us from 2% (the phone turns off around that mark) to 100% in 90 minutes flat. Thirty minutes into it, the phone showed 46%, so for some reason we couldn't replicate Huawei's promised 58% in 30 minutes. No worries though, 4000mAh in 90 minutes is still pretty great.

Loudspeaker

The P20 Pro has a similar stereo setup we've been seeing on Huawei phones since at least the Mate 9 - the earpiece is also a second speaker complementing the main bottom-firing one. In landscape, the earpiece takes care of the mids and highs for either the left of right channel depending on orientation, while the main speaker plays the other channel's mids and highs, plus the lows for both. In portrait, both speakers are still active, but there's no channel separation.

Spatial sound aside, the P20 Pro also turned out plenty loud in our testing, securing a spot in the Excellent bracket.

Speakerphone testVoice, dB Pink noise/ Music, dB Ringing phone, dB Overall score
Sony Xperia XZ2 (ClearAudio+) 66.0 71.6 76.4 Good
Google Pixel 2 XL 66.2 70.4 78.2 Good
Sony Xperia XZ2 66.1 71.8 78.1 Good
Huawei P10 Plus 64.8 69.8 82.5 Good
Apple iPhone X 68.9 74.0 76.2 Very Good
Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 67.6 71.0 82.7 Very Good
Huawei P10 67.7 70.0 83.6 Very Good
Samsung Galaxy S9+ 68.4 74.0 80.1 Very Good
LG V30 66.9 72.3 84.5 Very Good
Huawei Mate 10 Pro 70.1 73.8 84.2 Excellent
Huawei P20 Pro 71.8 69.2 91.0 Excellent
Huawei Mate 10 90.6 73.7 84.0 Excellent
HTC U11+ (retail) 91.2 75.4 90.7 Excellent

Audio output of decent quality but low volume

With an active external amplifier the Huawei P20 Pro had the perfectly clear output that befits its flagship standing. However, its below average loudness prevents us from giving it full marks in this part of our test.

Volume dropped further when headphones came into play, which was rather disappointing. On the upside, the quality degradation wasn't major - a moderate hike in stereo crosstalk and a tiny bit of intermodulation distortion was all there was to it. A decent performance by the P20 Pro overall, but a step below the flagship average these days.

TestFrequency responseNoise levelDynamic rangeTHDIMD + NoiseStereo crosstalk
Huawei P20 Pro+0.01, -0.04-92.192.30.00500.012-92.1
Huawei P20 Pro (headphones)+0.25, -0.10-91.992.90.00210.117-65.9
Samsung Galaxy S9++0.01, -0.03-92.692.50.00120.0076-93.4
Samsung Galaxy S9+ (headphones)+0.03, -0.03-92.292.20.00170.042-76.3
HTC U11+0.05, -0.11-94.194.10.00170.0067-94.5
HTC U11 (headphones)+0.05, -0.02-93.793.80.00180.105-53.7
LG V30+0.02, -0.01-93.293.10.00080.0069-94.2
LG V30 (headphones)+0.03, -0.02-92.992.90.00570.051-68.1

Huawei P20 Pro frequency response
Huawei P20 Pro frequency response

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

Reader comments

  • Anonymous

No

  • Viedcht

Spying? 🤔

  • Mine🤗

Huawei 20 pro Has an sd card slot????