Honor view 20 review

                     
       HONOR VIEW 20
                     
    

The Honor View 20 is one of the first flagship phones of 2019 and it starts the year off with quite a show. A 48MP camera, 256GB of storage and a punch hole display mean this isn't the kind of phone we normally expect from Honor.
Its phones are often cast as lower-cost alternatives to those of Huawei, which already tends to undercut Samsung and Apple. Sure, the Honor View 20 lacks some of the features of the Huawei Mate 20 Pro, but it looks, feels and behaves like a top-end mobile.
If you can stomach its deliberately attention-grabbing finish, this is one of the most compelling phones of the moment.

Honor View 20 price and availability

  • Announced January 22
  • You can buy it in the UK from January 23
  • Price set to start at £499 in the UK
The Honor View 20 first launched in China, where it's called the V20. It made its debut in the last few days of 2018.

 


                        The rest of the world didn't have to wait too long for it to be reborn as the Honor View 20, though. The phone was  announced on January 22 and by that time, itwasalready listed for sale on Amazon India.
T he Honor View 20's price is now confirmed in the UK to start at £499 (about $650, AU$900) for the 128GB storage and 6GB of RAM. We don't currently know whether the phone will be launching in the US or Australia. If it does come to those two markets we don't yet know the price either.
Typical of Honor, the UK price represents good value for money. Obvious alternatives include the OnePlus 6T and, if you don’t mind missing out on the cutting-edge punch hole design and camera hardware, the Xiaomi Mi 8.

Key features

  • First big-name punch hole phone
  • A vehicle for the return of ultra-high megapixel sensors
  • Blends cutting edge features with the familiar
Honor and Huawei phones are particularly good at two things: being first to new tech and offering very good value compared to brands not based in China.
You might consider the Honor View 20 alongside something like the OnePlus 6T. Both come from Chinese companies. Both get you more for your money than Samsung would offer.
The Honor View 20 is more aggressive and unusual than a OnePlus phone, though. It has a light-reactive chevron finish we've not seen before. And in the UK and US it comes with 256GB of storage as standard. That would be a $150/£150 upgrade (from 64GB to 256GB) if you were buying an iPhone XS.
This is also the first demo of tech we're likely to see over and over again in 2019, Sony's new 48MP sensors. These tell us a lot about how many phones will approach camera processing this year. And, oddly enough, it's very similar to what Nokia did back in 2012-2013 with the 808 PureView and Lumia 1020.
                                                 

Typical of an LCD, there's more brightness reduction at an angle than the OLED OnePlus 6T, and contrast isn't as good either. However, the View 20's screen is easily good enough considering the price. There's no obvious shortfall compared to any phone when used normally.
Of course, it's the punch hole that draws most interest here. The Honor View 20 is the first phone we've reviewed with one. You will see an awful lot more of them in 2019.
Honor seems to have nailed it on its first try. There's just a small 4.5mm circle removed from the screen to fit the single front camera. And, crucially, it sits just where it should.

      The sensors move from the screen to the Honor View 20's frame.
                                        
                                                               You'll find the phone's fingerprint reader on the back. Response time is fast,   and while I have to stretch my finger every time to hit the target, it's reachable. Note that my    hands  fall on the smaller end of the human spectrum. The phone can be slippery at times, especially with that glossy finish (assuming you don't cover it with a case). I fumbled it a couple times and narrowly saved it from certain cracking with a miraculous hot-potato maneuver born of adrenaline and stress and witnessed only by CNET photographer James Martin.
Since this is a midprice phone, you'll find no waterproofing, wireless charging or 3D front-facing camera to securely unlock the device (there is, however, Android's face-unlock software, which isn't secure enough for mobile payments).


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