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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  • 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.

  • AnonD-754421

Nick Tagataka, 20 Jul 2018Because Night Mode is really just there to extend dynamic r... more"especially at night"
No, only at night, reliably.
The iPX is falling behind among flagships because Apple stubbornly clings on to its 1/3" which is too small by any modern measure, but the P20P's smearing NR and ugly oversharpening means in some daylight shots the iPX may still yields higher quality, moreover the iPX has a reliable 2x optical meaning the P20P loses clearly in the 2-2.9x zoom range.
At night the single 1/3"'s weakness in photon collecting is amplified and the 1/1.7"(surprisingly weak on its own, see phonearena's night shot comparison) and 1/2.3“ BW's combined output has the advantage.

AnonD-754421, 23 Jul 2018"almost no noise reduction or sharpening applied" You don'... moreI take back "almost no noise reduction" part but it is true that in PORTRAIT MODE (btw I've never talked about NR/sharpness applied in auto mode, pay more attention to what people say) the software processing is more laid back than other phones with the same feature. Take a look at P20 Pro vs S9+ article on this website to confirm what I'm saying here.

AnonD-754421, 23 Jul 2018One more thing, I should repeat that sub-3x zoom on the P20... moreIt is also not mentioned that sub-3x digital zoom on P20 Pro is called "Hybrid Zoom" (The same name but it's different from 5x zoom) and is still quite a lot better than normal digital zoom which only involves upscaling of the cropped image. And because of this 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. And don't forget on P20 Pro you can use both hybrid and optical zoom in low light situations as well, unlike others which completely disable the secondary lens whenever light is not sufficient.

  • AnonD-754421

J-K, 20 Jul 2018Read just about every review on this phone and I don't thin... moreI'll add about the fake 960fps that this post on xda: "the truth of 960 fps slow mo", by ketman5001(posting links may cause issues so please do a search), contains a lot more information.
It seems to record in 240fps then either interpolates the framerate to 960fps or just plays back 240fps video in 1/4 the normal speed (effectively 7.5fps) depending on the quality of the frames which are in turn determined by lighting condition, very interesting.

Walter C. Dornez, 23 Jul 2018Ah, I see. How is it?Sux with the unnatural fps on the back, but great phone for my usage. Gaming, talking, editing pictures and video from my Canon. And great for the money ;-)

  • AnonD-754421

Nick Tagataka, 21 Jul 2018"Others justify it as okay as long as you aren't pixel-peep... more"almost no noise reduction or sharpening applied"
You don't know what you're talking about, never say that about a phone camera, or anything under 1". And since auto mode doesn't fit your description(much more apparent NR and sharpening compared to the competition) I don't think you've been paying proper attention, or that you're just saying that without valid comparison.

  • AnonD-754421

AnonD-754421, 23 Jul 2018"long-exposure shot" "The Night Mode is one of this camer... moreOne more thing, I should repeat that sub-3x zoom on the P20P is entirely digital and is of notably worse quality than what the 2x opticals could achieve, for some reason the comparison was made on this site yet this is omitted in this article.

  • AnonD-754421

"long-exposure shot"
"The Night Mode is one of this cameras highlights and it works exactly as advertised."
"The results it produces seemed impossible without a tripod until the P20 series arrived"
Is this still the same team that did the review and comparisons with other models?
1. It's *not* long exposure, it's stacking short exposures, and it's been documented to leave severe ghosting in many instances. You also won't be shooting light trails because it's simply *not* long exposure.
2. Night mode smears considerably more than auto mode (I think most on this site have already seen the pastel-like effect of the render) and should not be relied upon unless under conditions where auto mode fails.
3. Compacts have had multi-frame NR(essentially the same as this "night mode" "long exposure") for many years, even the RX100 supports that through Playmemories, it's a simple software trick that only maybe Huawei first ported to a smartphone.
4. A real professional using a smartphone as backup would definitely want a model with proper bayer, S9, Pixel2, HTC U11 etc all render much more predictably and with better compatibility with professional post processing software like LR.

Zenodroid, 22 Jul 2018Op6. The p10 plus is still the same price as the op6, here.... moreAh, I see. How is it?

Walter C. Dornez, 22 Jul 2018Man that sucks. What phone do you have now Op6. The p10 plus is still the same price as the op6, here. So I just went with the newer one.

  • marc

i was able to use this phone yesterday as one of my friend got this phone and i was amazed with the picture quality. very crisp and clear almost a dslr like quality. though im still a fan of LG and will always stay with wide angle lens for now

  • Anonymous

Soccer T, 21 Jul 2018One of most overrated phone till date. Daylight photos ... moreAgree

Zenodroid, 21 Jul 2018Great camera when using pro mode. Great battery life time a... moreMan that sucks. What phone do you have now

  • James

Lu, 20 Jul 2018Yes, it seems that the "long-term" review is written by som... moreAgree to your points and also the use of glass without wireless charging is pointless. All for the looks without added functional benefits.

  • James

Zenodroid, 21 Jul 2018Great camera when using pro mode. Great battery life time a... moreAgree...they over did the AI on the photo

  • James

My sim card tray got stuck twice on the P20 pro. Huawei repair shop said I didn't place the sim in tray. Well as it turns out, I took the sim card out and there no sim card in side. The string inside is defective but Huawei refuses to admit it and wanted to change the motherboard .... thanks but no thanks! Be warned.

I have been using it for 2 months now. I'm just loving it. Great phone from HUAWEI.

  • Anonymous

Samsung and Apple fans are so jealous it's fun to watch....this triple camera setup is only thing that is new on any flagship phone this year.......kudos to Huawei.

One of most overrated phone till date.

Daylight photos aren't spectacular.

AI is pretty bad. It oversaturates the photos, which make them unnatural.

960 slo mo looks bad.

Videos camera is a horrible mess.