Honor View 20 Review: “hole-some” challenge to the OnePlus 6T

Honor View 20 Rear Camera

Huawei’s sub-brand – Honor has launched the Honor View 20 here in India. This phone comes with a lot of innovative features and packs quite a punch. I spent time with this first flagship of 2019 from Honor and here are is my detailed review of the Honor View 20

Honor is a brand that is known to launch devices in multiple segments all year round and each one of these devices invariably has a USP that makes it stand out among the competition. They do this consistently for every device they launch. The Honor View 20 is no exception to this rule and they have packed a new solution for the notch in this one. It has a punch hole front camera that sits on the left corner of the screen and does away with the need for a notch. More on that later. Let us continue to look at this device now

Honor View 20 Punch Hole Camera

The design is very impressive and in line with 2019 design trends. There is a glass back with nano coating that gives you a nice v-shape when light hits it at certain angles. This looks impressive and leads to many conversations when the phone is pulled out in public to make calls. It has a rear mounted physical fingerprint scanner. There is a dual camera setup on the back and the design has been cleverly done to split both of them and align one of them with the LED flash so that it looks like it has a triple camera. The SIM tray sits on the left side and the volume rocker and power button are on the right.

The phone has a headphone jack and a bevy of sensors on the top and a speaker grille with the USB Type-C connector in the bottom for charging and data transfers. The design language is classic Honor and the lines and curves are clean. I found it very difficult to put the phone down and stop staring at it. The design department at Honor has done a great job. Ticks everything in my list in the design department.

The phone is very easy to grip and in day-to-day use it is very sturdy and practical. I had absolutely no issues holding and using it with one hand too. The weight is just right and is neither too light nor too heavy to hold.  The absence of the notch also does add to the usability and comfort factor in a big way.

Honor View 20 Display

Honor View 20 is powered by Kirin 980 AI processor. The world’s first 7nm mobile AI chipset with world’s first dual NPU, it improves phone speed by 20%, power efficiency by 40% and AI processing by 120% as compared to the 10nm chipset. Thanks to the Nine Cooling Technology, which prevents overheating and helps CPU run stably at high frequencies. With the world 1st Mali G76 GPU coupled with GPU Turbo 2.0 enhances the phone’s gaming performance to facilitate smooth experience. This phone promises to be a solid performer on paper and delivers in real usage too.

Honor View 20 has the World’s 1st SoC supporting 2133MHz LPDDR4X RAM offering you a lag free experience like never before. It has two variants – 6GB + 128GB and 8GB + 256GB. Very good options if you are looking for a flagship device and are a power user.

What this means is that you get a phone that can take heavy loads, gaming and long bouts of video streaming very effortlessly and show no signs of stutter or lag. The re-branded Magic UI which is a new iteration of the familiar EMUI is also light and nippy. They are making it lighter with every iteration and it gets better with the Honor View 20 too. But then there is a lot more room for improvement in making the UI tighter and lighter.

Honor View 20 Rear View

Honor View 20 is the world’s first smartphone with 48MP rear camera with Sony IMX586 sensor is set to start a new era of smartphone photography with its disruptive features.  The camera is the first to make possible high-definition 48 effective megapixels photography on a smartphone, delivering top quality images with more and better details even when zoomed in. The technology, coupled with the AI computing power which can recognize over 60 categories and 1500 scenarios in real time and graphic processing power enabled by the dual-ISP and dual-NPU of Kirin 980 chipset, provide users with unmatched photo quality and clarity. Looks like camera review of this one will be a very interesting affair.

There are a dizzying number of options that you can use and explore in the camera UI. There is the usual AI enabled plethora that you get with all Honor phones these days and then there are unique new additions like the 3D shaping that are there to make an expert photographer out of you. The front camera is also no slouch and delivers very good selfies very consistently. Here are a few sample pictures that I took with the phone.

Honor has also enabled a whole new level of full-view display experience with the introduction of the Honor All-View Display. This world-first, in-screen front camera design, achieved by an extremely complex 18-layer technology stack that carefully embeds the front camera in the display area of the screen, giving the screen to body ration of 91.8%. The screen has some great viewing angles and very good sunlight legibility. The colors and contrast are good and kind on your eyes. There is also an eye-comfort mode that can cut out blue light and decrease strain on your eyes. The thin bezels also add to the overall experience in a big way.

The innovative Honor All-View Display solution demonstrates HONOR’s consistent endeavor to usher the evolution of the full-view display, all the way from the 18:9 bezel-less screen of the 1.0 era through the notched screen of the 2.0 era, to the revolutionary 3.0 era. This and punched hole camera makes the screen a delight to use.

The phone supports dual SIM and dual VoLTE. I tried my JIO and Airtel SIMs on both the slots and there was absolutely no issues in call quality. The usual bevvy of connectivity options including WiFi, Bluetooth etc are present and work fine.

Honor View 20 Bottom View

The Honor View 20 has a 4000 mAH battery and this enables it to run for well more than a day on a single charge. In all the time I spent trying to review the device, I have never faced any issue with the battery or felt the need to charge the phone frequently. This is a big win for the heavy user and the phone easily outlasts the OnePlus 6T in the battery department.


The Honor View 20 features eight world’s-first technologies namely – 48MP Camera, All-View Display (World’s first in-screen front camera design) Kirin 980 AI chipset with Dual NPU manufactured by 7nm process, A76-cortex based CPU, Mali-G76 GPU, 1.4Gbps cat21. Modem and SoC Supporting 2133MHz LPDDR4X RAM. At a starting price of INR 37,999/- this phone is tough competition for the OnePlus 6T and scores high in my books.

About Shakthi

I am a Tech Blogger, Disability Activist, Keynote Speaker, Startup Mentor and Digital Branding Consultant. Also a McKinsey Executive Panel Member. Also known as @v_shakthi on twitter. Been around Tech for two decades now.

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