Huawei P20 Pro long-term review

GSMArena team, 19 July 2018.

Display and its notch

Apple was first to cut a notch into the display and most of the makers followed suit soon after. We are not fans of this blind adoption of controversial trends, but this happens more often than not, so we can't do anything but mention it for the record.

The P20 Pro has a 6.1" AMOLED screen of 1080p resolution and enough pixel density at 401ppi. Last year we could get the P10 Plus with 1440p display, but that's reserved for the next Mate now. We found the pixels more than enough for our taste though as we never saw any pixelization or felt lack of resolution. At some point, we even forgot it's 'only' a 1080p screen. That says a lot.

Huawei P20 Pro long-term review

Huawei has provided lots of options for display color tuning, but it ships the phone set on the Vivid setting by default. This will give you a very vibrant display, which some people still think is the definition of OLED. Anyway, we opted for the Normal saturation - the option offers a very accurate color presentation.

Huawei also offers the so-called Natural Tone option, turned on by default, which is the same thing as Apple's True Tone display - it adjusts the color temperature based on the ambient light. That's different from Eye Comfort - this one filters the blue light at night.

Display options - Huawei P20 Pro long-term review Display options - Huawei P20 Pro long-term review Display options - Huawei P20 Pro long-term review Display options - Huawei P20 Pro long-term review
Display options

Now, about that notch. Coming from an iPhone X it was an easy thing to swallow, but the cutout opposition is as strong. We learned to live with it, but we'd understand those who won't. The two infamous horns aren't as large as on the iPhone X, because Huawei had much less hardware to fit in there, but for the most part, they are equally useless.

At least you can opt to hide them visually. This way no apps will extend their interface on there, the background will always stay black (and that looks great on an OLED), but the status icons and the clock will remain visible.

Huawei P20 Pro long-term reviewTo notch or not to notch?

Another way to make the notch less intrusive is to opt for the dark UI theme and a wallpaper than ends on something black at the top. This way you'll see the buggers only in specific apps and games.

Options for the notch - Huawei P20 Pro long-term review Hide the notch - Huawei P20 Pro long-term review Show the notch - Huawei P20 Pro long-term review Further customizations - Huawei P20 Pro long-term review
Options for the notch • Hide the notch • Show the notch • Further customizations

The screen here is among the class-leading ones. The AMOLED panel, the resolution, contrast, even the sunlight legibility, are among the best we've seen. Thanks to the phone's chin, there weren't any wasted pixels at the bottom of the screen, which was the case for the most part on the iPhone X, its apps and keyboards.

Huawei P20 Pro long-term reviewHuawei P20 Pro and Apple iPhone X

And being an AMOLED panel, it offers great blacks and contrast, and no matter what we were looking at the P20 Pro screen - messages, photos, web pages, or videos - it was a feast for the eyes. So, at the end of the day, we didn't mind the notch or the 1080p resolution, but that's just our two cents.

Huawei P20 Pro long-term review

While we are at it, the notch hides one very tiny multi-color LED notification light, which is beyond helpful if you have opted out from the Always-on screen like us to save some battery.

Reader comments

  • Leeroy

Had my p20pro two half years, even kept it when my upgrade was due, best phone ever had, does all I need and more, can't fault it, exceptional

  • Shadeel

I don't think so cause I have CLT-T29 MODEL which was thrown on ground and got slip while running a bike not even scratch on the screen

  • Qirex

This is the best phone I've ever had. After a long history of Apple phones in my life I decided to get this phone for a change and I don't regret it one single bit. Tough screen, fantastic battery I don't have to charge once/twice a day (looking at y...