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Honor View 20 Review | The first big launch of 2019

The View 20 is the latest flagship from Honor. Which, as with previous flagships from the Chinese firm, is a bit of a head-turner. Here’s our review.

We finally get to review the Honor View 20 today.  We’ve been playing around with the phone for a while now so we’re ready to give our verdict.  We’ve also got a full video review below and you can also find the best deals here.

Across the back they have this unique nano-texture pattern which looks absolutely stunning when the light catches it in the right way. It’s a nice design, with all the physical buttons to the right side, headphone jack on the top, as well as some infrared sensors. On the left side, there are dual SIMs (on compatible versions), but no microSD expansion slot. And then underneath we have the USB type C connector, a small hole for a microphone and the down-firing speaker grill. It has a tall 19.5 x 9 aspect ratio and it feels great in the hand and very comfortable to hold.

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Around the front

But it’s not just a flashy device from the back. Around the front we’ve got a 6.4 inch IPS LCD display, with a hole cut out in the top left corner for the selfie camera. To achieve their hole punch design, Honor have approached it differently than other manufacturers. Rather than punching a hole all the way through the screen, which can compromise the structural integrity of the screen itself and makes it possible for the light from the screen to bleed into the camera lens when taking pictures, Honor’s manufacturing process doesn’t fully penetrate the screen. So none of those issues that I’ve just mentioned are a problem for the View 20.

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Screen time

The screen also extends almost all the way down to the bottom with very minimal bezel on this phone, giving you a great full screen experience. It’s a good quality and very bright LCD panel with a screen resolution of 1080 by 2310, and a pixel density a 398 ppi. In fact, my only problem with the screen is that I wish it could be a little bit bigger. Or at least I wish there was a bigger version of this phone. It’s just a little bit too small for me personally, but obviously some people will find it the perfect size.

So it has an impressive screen and impressive looks across the back. But things get even more impressive when you look at the specs of this thing.

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Impressive specs for your money

Under the hood there is a 4000mAh battery. This particular model has six gigs of RAM, and 128 gigs of internal storage. But there is also an eight gigabyte version with 256 gigabytes of onboard storage available. All versions will be using the powerful seven nanometer Kirin 980 chipset with its dual AI processes and it performs exceptionally well. I’ve had no issues at all. Boot up times and load times of apps and games is very swift, and the GPU is supported by Huawei’s GPU turbo technology, which increases the gaming performance and allows for sustained frame rates whilst also keeping the system call for extended gaming periods.

Clever stuff

In fact, there’s a lot of clever software and hardware for that matter inside this device, which is all there to optimise the user experience, such as the triple WiFi antenna, which improves WiFi reception, which can be compromised when you’re holding the phone in landscape mode with both hands. There’s also a dual GPS system. So for example, if you order an Uber cab, the driver won’t arrive across the street or a few minutes down the road, he’ll know exactly where you are thanks to this device.

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The View 20 is running on Honor’s Magic UI operating system skin over Android 9 Pie. As well as getting all the other intelligent features that come with Android 9 such as the adaptive battery, you also get Honor’s gesture-based navigation which is definitely recommended and makes navigating the phone just more fluid and more enjoyable to use.

This is a very well equipped and very well thought out handset and we haven’t even got to the best part yet; that specialist camera system which consists of a 48 megapixel main sensor and a time of flight 3D sensor.

Strike a pose

The best shots are taken at 12 megapixels where the View 20 will combine four pixels into one from it’s 48 megapixel sensor, to produce a very sharp and detailed 12 megapixel image. But if you require you can shoot at 48 megapixels as well, which also produces incredible images, but the only issues I had with it (shooting at 48 megapixels), is that unless you’re using a tripod, you really do need to keep the camera still. With so much resolution, it means that even the slightest movement will produce some blur. You may not be able to see at first, but if you zoom into the image you can see that some of the 48 megapixel shots are not sharp. But when you get it right, the pictures are beautifully detailed.

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Video

Video is shot at up to 4K and at 30 frames per second. And with excellent AI stabilisation. There’s also an AI video editor which can recognise the highlights in your video such as people’s faces and then cut it down to a watchable video from the highlights of your day. Video can also be shot in short bursts at up to 960 frames per second and it’s 720p resolution. And the camera app is packed with the usual flagship features from other Honor Huawei devices such as the Night Mode and the Aperture and Portrait modes, which benefit from the increased accuracy of that 3D time of flight sensor.

The sensor works by sending out an infrared beam and then measuring the slight differences in the time of the reflected light beam. But there is one camera function that you will only find on this device and that’s the 48 megapixel ultra clarity shot. Select this option and now when you touch the shutter, the Honor View 20 will take multiple 48 megapixel shots for around about four seconds, whilst using it stabilisation to steady the shot. It then combines these images together to give you an amazing, ultra sharp, high resolution image.

As good as the AI is, and it is very good, I find that this does work better when using a tripod and is recommended for landscapes or for product photography.

Selfies are handled by the front facing 25 megapixel sensor with 1080p video recording at up to 30 frames per second and beautifying effects for the video mode as well as for photos.

Verdict

Altogether, it’s a pretty incredible smartphone package and being an Honor a phone, it will be extremely affordable. You’re getting very good looks with cutting edge technology and an incredible camera system. This phone has already won ‘Best in Show’ at CES this year.

And especially when you consider its price, the Honor View 20 definitely comes highly recommended.

Check out the best Honor View 20 deals at Direct Mobiles.

Samsung beater? Let us know what you think of the Honor View 20 in the Comments below and find your next phone at Direct Mobiles.

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