Huawei P20 Pro long-term review

19 July 2018
It was an exciting flagship season this spring, yes, but once the dust has settled, there was only a handful of devices that left lasting impressions. On top of that shortlist is the tri-eyed beast that is the Huawei P20 Pro and it was high time we do a long-term review of this one while using it as a daily driver.

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Nick Tagataka, 21 Jul 2018"Others justify it as okay as long as you aren't pixel-peep... moreUhh... Nope. Night-mode photos look like canvas paintings at 100% zoom.

  • AnonD-754421

matt99, 24 Jul 2018So what about the GPU boost?Huawei flooded the web with ads about it but there's still no reliable conclusion about its application. A major reason is Huawei refusing/stalling to push the firmware updating that function beyond Mainland China, result of that, none of the major tech outlets have a review on it.
Some Chinese videos show demonstrations of the tech but because of the opaque advertising policy in China you don't know if those are honest,. Huawei released a proven "fake ad" about GPU Turbo in China just a couple of weeks ago. I'd wait for more credible sources.

  • AnonD-754421

Spudly Mcgudly, 26 Jul 2018I have never seen a comparison that put the XZ2 above the P... moreXZ2*Premium*, the one with the BW second camera. Still on preview firmware with very unstable performance (general tendency to overexpose, also the smearing on some night samples involving both cameras is even worse than P20P, etc.), but I see that in some samples the XZ2P wins out. P20P performance, at least in auto, is generally predictable now. In night mode, (extra) smearing or not, that's still a major question.

Spudly Mcgudly, 26 Jul 2018I have never seen a comparison that put the XZ2 above the P... moreIā€™m no audiophile, but ive heard a Mate 10 Pro, and it was fine

  • Lu

Josh, 20 Jul 2018Debate of No headphone is sooo 2017, wake up dude its a tre... moreNope. It's a wrong trend and it's a total deal-breaker. And I hope that all cheap makers who spare money on the headphone jack pretending that it's a trend, go bankrupt.

Walter C. Dornez, 25 Jul 2018How so? All the comparisons I've seen have made me shift to... moreI have never seen a comparison that put the XZ2 above the P20 Pro in low light.. do you have a link?

On an unrelated note, I have never noticed the issue with the stereo sound this review picks up. In fact, quite the opposite.. I find the stereo separation and the bass effect even at high volume to be one of the best since the good old HTC boom sound days. What does everyone else think?

Manu76, 25 Jul 2018You're sure of that, in low light photography, Sony still w... moreHow so? All the comparisons I've seen have made me shift to the XZ2 Premium, though it was a tough comparison.

Walter C. Dornez, 24 Jul 2018Or maybe because they use a monochrome sensor. Sony has jus... moreYou're sure of that, in low light photography, Sony still worse than p20 pro.

Hi guys, need your help.....kindly help me with site(s) which review phones based on signal reception among other things. It seems most sites overlook this important aspect. Really need a phone with excellent reception to help me in my business. Recommendations are gladly welcome....šŸ‘šŸ¼

  • matt99

So what about the GPU boost?

Zenodroid, 24 Jul 2018Been there, done that. I loved Samsung before, and had them... moreYeah, I hear you. I think Samsung really needs to calm down with this hype for the Foldable Galaxy and the S10. They saved way too many features for those phones, and made phones that are only meant to be incremental up. I'm fine with an incremental upgrade, if only one didn't know that it was possible to have new tech in those devices, but they purposely choose not to put it in. That's the only reason on why I dislike Apple; sure, you don't need more ram or battery, but when I'm paying that much, I expect shit I don't need but want

Walter C. Dornez, 24 Jul 2018I see. Glad to hear that. Now I know this question is going... moreBeen there, done that. I loved Samsung before, and had them since s3. Back when they had most of the "new" features they brag about today. But the edged screen and lack of bigger battery with the high focus on higher resolution, was the end of their quality. S7 was my last Samsung. But the active model is ok. Sadly only for the US. And then there is the 90+ bloatware, which I still haven't seen that high amount of, in any other brand. The bloatware is also the reason why Samsung is so slow on updates.

Zenodroid, 23 Jul 2018Sux with the unnatural fps on the back, but great phone for... moreI see. Glad to hear that. Now I know this question is going to trigger you.


What do you think of Samsung?

Anonymous, 23 Jul 2018With Huawei night mode we see mooore in dark........others ... moreOr maybe because they use a monochrome sensor. Sony has just beaten the P20 Pro with its own monochrome sensor. Not to say the P20 Pro is bad, since it's held is own for awhile

  • Anonymous

With Huawei night mode we see mooore in dark........others will copy this teck because it is pure magic.

  • AnonD-754421

Nick Tagataka, 20 Jul 2018Of course there is no difference in details, it's fairly ob... moreOh, so that's where you're stuck, well you know that that's untrue from phonearena's test already, the 1/1.7" 40MP "quad bayer" by itself is so bad in low light that Pixel2XL's 12MP, interpolated to 40MP, still has a massive advantage compared to P20P's 40MP mode.
Also the quad bayer messes up details because of low color resolution, which needs extra interpolation and results in more artifacts.
In fact the 10MP mode is still more prone to artifacts compared to the regular 1/2.55" 12MP bayer. This site has some samples that illustrate the issue, but it's easier to spot on Anandtech (moire on roof tiles) since they only have two galleries while GSMArena's samples are all over the place and the search system isn't great.

  • AnonD-754421

Anonymous, 20 Jul 2018No true. In cases where iphone, samsung, sony, etc will giv... moreIt is half true. Where you could make do with auto, do not use night mode or it will smudge the entire image, where auto doesn't cut it, it will give you some highly artificial looking smudge which is at least better than nothing.

  • AnonD-754421

Nick Tagataka, 23 Jul 2018It is also not mentioned that sub-3x digital zoom on P20 Pr... moreWait, the sub-3x range has nothing to hybrid, 1x auto already uses both wide angles and the 3x optical doesn't come into the picture before 3x. Also there's the fact that the 40MP mode has very limited improvement itself in detail rendition compared to the 10MP auto, it's clear from both this site's comparison tool(only the map has slightly more detail, if you look really closely, everywhere else where there's supposed to be additional detail there's either smudge or interpolation errors) and Anandtech's review samples, among others.

  • AnonD-754421

Nick Tagataka, 23 Jul 2018I take back "almost no noise reduction" part but it is true... more"pay more attention to what people say"
I fully understood what you meant, I replied under the assumption that portrait mode only adds some blur or other largely useless gimmicks but do not otherwise affect image quality compared to auto, unless the portrait mode also blurs the subject, in which case none of that really matters anymore.
Yeah I really don't care about those modes, I care about pure IQ so I won't even bother.

  • AnonD-754421

Nick Tagataka, 23 Jul 2018It is also not mentioned that sub-3x digital zoom on P20 Pr... more"the 1.1-1.9x zoom on P20 Pro is more detailed than what you can find on devices like U12+/S9+/iPhone X etc."
The 10MP auto already falls behind those models in terms of detail rendition at 1x, just use the site's photo comparison tool for starters. I've yet to see x1.1-x1.9 samples but I'm skeptical about that, the 5x hybrid for example really yields no additional detail compared to 3x optical.
"P20 Pro you can use both hybrid and optical zoom in low light situations"
And you think the optical is still worth it in those situations? I didn't really look into this but I don't think 1/5" is a good match for low light at all, as for what "hybrid" really is it seems nobody ever did a test where they'd block/unblock the wide angle cameras while at 5x to investigate the difference, shame.