Honor View 20 review: Samsung’s S10 has a cheaper rival
The Honor View 20 is something of a departure for the brand that’s basically aimed at the budget market. At £500 it’s not exactly a budget phone, but it brings with it some features that you’d expect on a phone that costs twice as much.
But the Honor is something of a weird one. There’s no in-display fingerprint scanner – you have to use a reader on the back like some sort of 2018 peasant – but there is a camera hole punch design, rather than a notch.
Perhaps the biggest problem for Honor is the fact that, as a brand, it’s still somewhat unknown. While Samsung, LG, Apple and Sony are all household names this firm is building a reputation from scratch.
While Honor has been around for some time now it’s still a lesser-known name in mobiles. But would I recommend you consider this phone? Yes, you bet, so have a read below and see if it’ll make your shortlist.
Sometimes in the Mirror offices I’m inspired to show new gadgets to people who don’t do tech for a living. The Honor View 20 fell into this category because it’s actually a lovely looking phone.
Everyone who saw it was impressed.
It won’t just appeal to hardcore tech fans, but also to those who like nice design. The back of the device has a series of V shapes etched into it that produce a really nice effect, they glow like holograms with multiple colours.
The front-facing camera is located within the screen area. Honor has punched a hole out of the display to accommodate it. This will be the style of many phones this year, and Honor has neatly trampled over Samsung’s S10 by including it ahead of that launch.
You also get a silicone case in the box, which is handy for keeping this pretty phone scratch-free and preventing drop damage.
Does it have a headphone jack?
Yes, it does indeed. While I’m strongly of the opinion that dongles are fine and that Bluetooth is the future it’s a lot easier to just plug a cable in some times.
Charging happens via USB-C, which means you get the reversible connector and fast charging. There’s no wireless power option here though, you’ll have to charge the old fashioned way.
The rear camera is a 48-megapixel monster. Most companies have opted not to push megapixels these days because high pixel counts can make low light photography less than perfect.
I didn’t really find this a problem with this phone though. In fact I felt like it did a decent job without mashing the detail into a thick paste.
I found that the images from the Honor View 20 were, actually, very nice indeed. I think the camera does underexpose a touch with images sometimes looking darker than you might expect.
In my personal photography though I tend to opt for underexposure, I find it nicer than washed out highlights.
Zooming in reveals some artifacts from picture processing but they’re graceful, there’s no loss to fine detail in shots taken outside in reasonably subdued lighting.
Video is recorded at up to 4K, although it’s only 30 frames per second. That’s absolutely fine for most use, but having 60 fps would be nice for even smoother motion. Even so, the video options on offer here are going to be fine for most users.
The front-facing camera is also a frankly crazy resolution. Offering 25-megapixel snaps of my aging head seems entirely too much, but the pretty young instagrammers would love it.
I don’t tend to bother benchmarking phones for battery life. The amount you use a phone will entirely define how many hours it lasts between charges.
Play a lot of games and you’ll see the power plunge, while light use could see you get through days without a charge.
The 4000mAh battery in the View 20 is big though so most users will easily get a full day out of the phone.
The Honor View 20 has a decent spec. It’s using a processor designed by Huawei (Honor’s parent company) it’s powerful so you shouldn’t struggle to play games or with phone slowdowns.
Things like the fingerprint scanner work at lightning speeds, just a touch and it logs you in quickly and painlessly. While in-display scanners are just slicker, I’ve never had a problem with the rear mounted button.
There’s no shortage of RAM or storage here either. The sample I test has 128GB of storage and 6BG of RAM. It’s the RAM which helps keep your apps snappy and stops the phone taking ages to open anything and the Honor has more than enough for most users.
The View 20 also features a dual-SIM socket, so you can have two numbers or make use of the second SIM when you go on holiday and need cheaper access to data. It’s handy.
Ultimately I like this phone. I like the design, it’s different and the thin screen bezels are very becoming for any phone.
I really like the funky back with its holographic design, it’s unique and a genuinely lovely piece of design.
The cameras both seem solid. Their massive megapixel counts aren’t a reason alone, but the results from the phone are good.
Although £500 isn’t cheap it’s also not expensive for the kind of hardware you’re getting here.
The Honor View 20 is a solid choice.
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