Huawei P20 Pro. First thoughts and unboxing

The glitz and the glamour are done, so now it’s time to get the real work done. The unboxing of the P20 Pro.

So, let’s dive into the video first and then we can analyse the phone further..

Let’s start at the top of the phone and work our way around. Right at the very top of the phone is where we can find the first microphone and an IR emitter.

We can also see the lines for the antennas here in a traditional Huawei fashion. Going down the right-hand side is where we have got most of the buttons, starting with the volume rocker and then the power key. This has a very nice red detailing on it to make it easier to identify.

Onto the base to find the speaker grills, however one is a fake speaker grill and it actually covers the other mic inputs. Very much in the same vein as the iPhone and the Oneplus 5/5T.

In-between these grills is the Type C USB port which will support Displayport 3.1 and will allow you to use the EMUI desktop mode as previously seen on the Mate 10 Pro. Going back up the left-hand side we have an expanse of metal until we get to the SIM card slot.

This will support dual SIMs, as the phone we have here is that version. There isn’t a version of the phone that will support external memory, which is a shame. The dual SIMs will both be capable of working at full 4G speeds which is a nice touch.

Moving around the back we come to the business end of the phone. Here we can find the camera array – three cameras. This image below makes it easier to appreciate which ones are which as there is quite a lot going on here.

As you can see then there is a lot going on here. The individual cameras are 40MP for the main RGB lens, 20MP for the Mono Lens and 8MP for the Telephoto Lens. This equates to a massive 68MP for the back camera array! As we know though, this is not how the array works and I will go into more detail about that in the full review.

We also have the newly redesigned Huawei logo. The difference is the “E”, as it now uses a different font!

Yeah, I didn’t notice it either until someone pointed it out to me.

Going around to the front is where we find the fingerprint reader at the bottom of the phone. Although it looks like it should be a button it is not, however, the area is “gesture aware” should you wish it to be. If not then you can use the on-screen controls.

Up top, we can find the infamous “notch” This houses the 24MP front-facing camera and the earpiece, which also pulls double duty as a speaker.

In between the two ends of the phone, we have got the fabulous 18.7:9″ Fullview FHD OLED display. Wow, that is a mouthful! The display is very bright and clear and has a very good PPI of 408. With a screen-to-body ratio of 82%.

Here is a break down of the key specs for you spec geeks…

  • Body: dual-glass with metal frame, 7.65mm thick
  • Screen: 6.1″ AMOLED, 1080 x 2244 px resolution (408ppi);
  • Chipset: Kirin 970 chipset, octa-core processor (Cortex-A73 2.4GHz + A53 1.8GHz), Mali-G72 MP12 GPU
  • Memory: 6GB RAM, 128GB storage
  • OS: Android 8.1 Oreo with EMUI 8.1;
  • Camera: 40MP f/1.8 color + 8MP f/2.4 color telephoto + 20MP f/1.6 black & white, 4K video capture, 720@960fps slow-mo, Leica branding
  • Camera features: 1/1.7″ 40MP sensor, up to ISO 102,400, 3x optical zoom, 5x hybrid zoom, OIS + EIS, can change focus and lighting in photos after they are taken, Variable Aperture, Portrait Mode, can shoot long-exposure without a tripod
  • Selfie cam: 24MP, f/2.0 Leica lens, Portrait Mode with live bokeh effects; 2D Face Unlock
  • Battery: 4,000mAh; Super Charge
  • Security: Fingerprint reader (front), 0.4 seconds response time
  • Connectivity: Dual SIM, Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.2 + LE, NFC, USB Type-C
  • Misc: IR blaster, stereo speakers

So, now we know what it looks like outside, what about the guts of the phone? Well, as you can see above, it packs some very good hardware, particularly in the camera area. Thankfully it is backed up by a proven stablemate in the form of the Kirin 970 processor with its embedded NPU, helping with a lot of the heavy lifting.

For the most parts, the core of the phone is the same as what we have seen on the Mate 10 Pro at the end of last year. This has proven to be a fantastic phone that has not lacked power at all. It has also been my phone of choice when I need a long-lasting battery when snapping photos. That is why I chose it as my weapon of choice for my trip to Barcelona this year at MWC. I have the distinct feeling that the place the Mate 10 Pro filled will now be taken up by the P20 Pro.

I will be giving the phone a trial by fire when I travel to Scotland next week on my holiday, after which I will be able to come to some conclusions about the phone. In the meantime, I will need to get into the phone and re-acclimate myself to EMUI.

As I mention in the video at the top of this article I will be doing a more in-depth look at the OS soon so if you haven’t already please subscribe to our channel so you don’t miss it