There is just something about the Honor View 20 that captures you.
Perhaps because it is a gorgeous device that boasts a beautiful back, or it could be the clean and sleek front that gives an almost uninterrupted view. Maybe it is the impressive 48-megapixel rear shooter that creates print-worthy photographs, or the processor that offers fast, powerful performance.
Let’s just say that the latest flagship from the Chinese smartphone maker has something to please its diehard fans, and perhaps even those new to the brand.
A stunning device
There is no denying that the View 20 is a gorgeous smartphone. If its parent company Huawei made popular the gradient Twilight colour which graced the back of the P20 and Mate 20 Pro flagships, Honor has its vivid chevron patterns on the back of View 20 which “move” in various colours at different angles.
The device feels light at 180g, and offers a good grip that feels comfortable even when you have a full-on conversation on the phone. Speaking of which, you can use the Smart Assistance feature to lets you answer and make calls when you raise the device to your ear. Other smart features include reducing the volume of the ringtone and alarm, and waking up the device.
Honor’s devices usually have fast and responsive fingerprint sensors, and it is no different with the View 20. The sensor is on the back, so if you often have the phone lying face up on a table, the Face Unlock feature will come in handy. However, I prefer to stick to the good ol’ password to protect the phone.
Display and sound
The 6.4in screen almost covers the entire front of the device, leaving only a small chin at the bottom, and a 4.5mm pinhole on the top left of the device where the selfie-camera is housed. If the pinhole bugs you, just “hide” it by adjusting the phone’s display setting, though honestly, it’s dismissible when watching videos.
The View 20 has a 91.8% body-to-screen ratio, which makes binge-watching Netflix or YouTube videos a treat on the 19:5:9 widescreen with 1,080 x 2,310-pixel resolution.
Of course there is the question why Honor decided on an LCD and not an Oled or Amoled display. The obvious answer would be to keep the cost down, but I don’t have any complaints here. The colours are bright and the images crystal clear, so two thumbs up for the LCD from me.
For those wanting to keep it ol’ skool, there’s the 3.5mm audio jack on the top, but if you’re thinking about getting the party started – but don’t have a Bluetooth speaker around – then you could try the Party Mode, which lets you connect your phone with other Honor devices, and play music simultaneously.
Putting it to work
The View 20 runs on Android 9.0 Pie and uses Honor’s Magic UI 2.0 user interface , moving away from Huawei’s EMUI software used in many of its predecessors.
But it can’t distance itself too much from the parent company, as the device is powered by Huawei’s in-house Kirin 980 octa-core processor that is found in the flagship Mate 20 series.
There are two View 20 variants available – 128GB storage with 6GB RAM; or the special edition Moschino edition that has 256GB storage with 8GB RAM.
Either way, you get lots of space to store your apps, photographs and even play games without any lags. Too bad you can’t expand the memory, so it is better to think thoroughly before you decide on a variant. The device, however, has two nano SIM card slots, so that’s a consolation, perhaps?
You can count on the 4,000mAh to sustain your regular smartphone use – provided that you’re not a hardcore gamer.
Sidenote: If you’re a Fortnite enthusiast, Epic Games has collaborated with Honor and the View 20 will be the first Android smartphone to get the 60fps (frames per second) version of the highly popular game.
Okay, back to the battery, which unfortunately doesn’t support wireless charging. The fast charging capability, however, can get a totally-flat battery to up to over 55% in just 30 minutes.
What can you take with a 48-megapixel rear shooter? Some stunning photographs, that’s for sure. The impressive rear camera probably seals the deal for the View 20 with its Sony IMX586 wide-angle f/1.8 sensor. If you can work the Pro mode and adjust the setting to get the best photograph, good on you. But if you’re like most of us who rely on the camera to do the thinking, you won’t be disappointed.
If you choose the 48-megapixel setting, the AI Ultra Clarity mode will be enabled automatically, and what this does is take multiple photographs, collect precise details from each, and “stitch” them together to produce one epic image. This feature works best when you need to shoot scenes or objects with lots of details or textures in daylight.
The Night Mode also works wonders, helping you to capture images with as much detail as possible in low-light conditions, without having to rely on a tripod. The sensor’s AI capability also allows you to “scan” landmarks and paintings, giving you more detail about the object that you’re looking at, and if it is an item, it would also direct you to the relevant e-commerce platform to make a purchase.
You can also use it to translate documents, and scan QR codes. The device also has “3D Qmoji” (or animated emoji) in the camera app’s AR Lens mode, where you can create fun and quirky photos or videos, and share them with family and friends.
So what does the other camera on the rear do? It is a 3D Time-Of-Flight camera which supposedly gives better depth detection, skeletal tracking and real-time motion detection. When can you use this? Well, when you’re playing 3D motion sensing games such as Fancy Skiing and Fancy Darts that are free on Google Play Store.
If you have a docking station, set up your phone and connect it to a screen, otherwise you have to find a way to prop up the device. We tried the Fancy Skiing game, where you have to move your arms in a skiing motion to get the character to move. It read the movements pretty accurately, and you do get a good workout by the end of the game.
For selfie enthusiasts, the 25-megapixel front camera with f/2.0 wide aperture is there to put a huge smile on your face. It also has several lighting modes to jazz up your portrait selfies, and you can use the AR Lens to create funny GIFs.
The Honor View 20 is a beautiful as well as a powerful smartphone with excellent camera setup and display to boot. The standard model is available in Midnight Black and Sapphire Blue with a RM1,999 price tag, while the Moschino special edition comes only in Phantom Blue and is priced at RM2,499.
OPERATING SYSTEM: Android 9.0 Pie
DISPLAY: 6.4in (1,080 x 2,310 pixels)
PROCESSOR: Hisilicon Kirin 980
CAMERA: 48-megapixel + Time-of-Flight 3D rear cameras; 25-megapixel selfie camera
MEMORY: 128GB storage + 6GB RAM; 256GB storage + 8GB RAM
CONNECTIVITY: WiFi 802.11, Bluetooth, NFC
DIMENSIONS (W x D x H): 75.4 x 8.1 x 156.9mm
PRICE: RM1,999 (128GB/6GB); RM2,499 (256GB/8GB)
RATING: 3.5 stars
Review unit courtesy of Huawei Technologies Malaysia, 1800-22-3366
Pros: Good battery life; excellent camera.
Cons: No wireless charging.
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