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Huawei P20 Pro first impressions: The Galaxy S9 has some serious competition

by Brandon Russell | April 10, 2018

The most exciting Android phone isn’t the Pixel 2, or even Samsung’s Galaxy S9. If you’re a fan of technology, you should pay attention to Huawei’s new P20 Pro—and the P20 series in general. If the triple camera system doesn’t win you over, the gorgeous design will.

The first thing you should know is the P20 Pro features a display notch, similar to the iPhone X, which you can hide by toggling a switch in Settings.

When you check out the P20 Pro, the notch won’t be the first thing you notice. Flip the device over and you’ll find by a gorgeous color scheme that beautifully blends different colors together. We got a P20 Pro in a mesmerizing purple gradient, and it looks positively divine, shimmering confidently like a rare gemstone.

What’s cool is the color will look different depending on how the light catches it. Unfortunately, the rear shell attracts fingerprints like no other. There’s simply no way to avoid it, unless you use gloves with the device at all times.

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Although the P20 Pro falls victim to the notch trend, the handset stands out thanks to its triple camera system, which includes an 8-megapixel telephoto lens. Here’s how it breaks down:

There’s a 40-megapixel RGB sensor, 20-megapixel monochrome sensor, and 8-megapixel telephoto sensor. Sandwiched between the telephoto and main lenses is a laser transmitter and laser receiver for focusing. Below the triple camera system is a flash and color sensor.

The purpose of this system is to “see” more light. Huawei promises incredible low light performance through a combination of hardware and software, including enhanced AI capabilities and ISO sensitivity up to 102400. Meanwhile, all three rear sensors feature some form of stabilization.

Huawei claims the P20 Pro’s software can also identify 500 scenarios in 19 categories, automatically selecting modes and settings depending on the scene. The software can also make suggestions for framing shots, turning ordinary consumers into professional photographers.

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Other notable P20 Pro specs include a 6.1-inch Full HD+ OLED display, Kirin 970 processor, Android 8.1 with EMUI 8.1, 6GB of RAM, 128GB of storage, and a 4,000mAh battery. And although there’s a home button and fingerprint sensor combo on the front of the device, the P20 Pro also supports a face unlock feature, which utilizes the front-facing 24-megapixel camera.

The only real issue we have with the P20 Pro is Huawei’s EMUI, which isn’t the prettiest Android skin on the market. Huawei has made drastic improvements to its software over the past few years, but it still feels like a ripoff of iOS, which distracts from the depth of Android’s features.

Clearly, Huawei pulled out all the stops with the P20 Pro. Except, weirdly, there’s no wireless charging, which has become a common feature among today’s top flagships. Even still, it’ll provide some serious competition to Samsung’s Galaxy S9 and any other Android device on the horizon.

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Brandon Russell

Brandon Russell enjoys writing about technology and entertainment. When he's not watching Back to the Future, you can find him on a hike or watching...Brandon Russell enjoys writing about technology and entertainment. When he's not watching Back to the Future, you can find him on a hike or watching...


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