CES 2019 Featured honor Honor View 20 News Review Tech XDA Feature XDA Full Review

Android phone with Kirin 980 and 48MP camera

Android phone with Kirin 980 and 48MP camera

In 2018, almost three,100 Android units have been licensed by Google. With so many new Android smartphones out there, it’s grow to be more and more troublesome for gadget makers to distinguish their merchandise from the competitors. We’ve watched because the business has moved in the direction of bezel-less shows by incorporating show cutouts (notches), however close to the top of 2018, we’ve seen corporations experiment with slider mechanisms and in-display cameras. For instance, Honor, Huawei’s sub-brand that sells merchandise on-line, unveiled the Magic 2 in late October and View 20 in late December. The Honor Magic 2 is the corporate’s newest experimental, almost bezel-less smartphone with a slider camera mechanism, whereas the Honor View 20 has a punch gap in-display camera. In contrast to the Magic 2, the Honor View 20 can be bought outdoors of China. We had the chance to take a look at the View 20 at CES 2019 forward of its international launch. Right here’s what we consider Honor’s View 20 flagship Android smartphone.

Honor View 20

Honor View 20 Specs, Pricing, and Availability

Class Specification
Design In-screen camera (show gap), V form shade edge, Nano texture with aurora impact
Show 6.Four-inch 19.25:9 IPS LCD manufactured by AUO, BOE, CTC, or LG*; 2310×1080 (398ppi), Four.5mm show gap
91.82% screen-to-body ratio
Rear Cameras 48MP Sony IMX586, f/1.eight lens, half″ CMOS measurement, zero.8µm, Quad-Bayer pixel binning, 78-degree angle
Sony IMX316* 3D Time-of-Flight (TOF) sensor
LED flash
Video Recording: [email protected], [email protected]Sluggish Movement: [email protected]
Entrance Camera 25MP Sony IMX576*, f/2.zero, 27mm
Video Recording: [email protected]
Cellular Platform CPU: 7nm HiSilicon Kirin 980 (2x ARM Cortex-A76 @ 2.6GHz, 2x ARM Cortex-A76 @ 1.92 GHz, 4x ARM Cortex-A55 @1.eight GHz)
GPU: Mali-G76 MP10
RAM 6/8GB LPDDR4X @ 2133MHz
Storage 128/256GB, expandable by way of proprietary Nano Reminiscence (NM) card
Ports USB Sort-C (three.1), three.5mm headphone jack
Connectivity Twin SIM, Twin 4G VoLTE, 1.4Gbps Cat. 21 LTE, Bluetooth 5.zero, Twin-band Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, A-GPS/GLONASS, NFC
Hyperlink Turbo, IR blaster
Safety Rear-mounted fingerprint-scanner
Battery Four,000mAh, Four.5V/5A quick charging (22W Tremendous Cost 1.zero)
Software program Honor Magic UI 2.zero.1 (Android 9 Pie)
Pricing 6GB RAM + 128GB storage: CNY 2,999 (~$443, ~€387, ~INR 31,209)
8GB RAM + 256GB storage: CNY three,499 (~$517 ,~€451 ,~INR 34,426)
Colours 6GB RAM + 128GB storage: Midnight Black or Sapphire Blue
8GB RAM + 256GB storage: Phantom Purple or Phantom Blue
Availability China: Introduced December 26th, 2018. On sale.
Europe: Launching January 22nd, 2019.
India: Launching January 29th, 2019.

*Info obtained from analyzing the Honor View 20’s kernel supply code.

Honor View 20 Design

There are two areas the place the View 20 actually stands out from the competitors: its show cutout and its glass again. The View 20 is the primary smartphone from Honor with a show gap, so there’s rather a lot for us to speak about there. Having a glass again doesn’t make the View 20 distinctive, however the end they’ve utilized has resulted in a tool that I’ll be hesitant to slap a case on prime of.

Punch Gap Show

Now, the Honor View 20 is hardly the one smartphone with a punch gap show. The primary smartphone available on the market with this show know-how is the Samsung Galaxy A8s with Samsung’s Infinity-O show. The Huawei Nova Four is the second smartphone with a punch gap show. Even HiSense is getting in on the in-display camera motion with the U30. But from what we’ve seen thus far of the Galaxy A8s and the U30, the shows on the View 20 and Nova Four appear to be superior. HiSense nonetheless wants to unravel mild bleeding points on the U30, whereas Samsung’s punch gap is sort of giant. Honor claims the View 20’s show gap is Four.5mm in diameter; as compared, Honor states that the Galaxy A8s’ gap is above 6mm in diameter. (Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy S10 is rumored to function a smaller in-display camera gap than the Galaxy A8s.)

When smartphones with show notches began showing, it took a number of iterations for me to actually be snug with them. The OnePlus 6 was the primary smartphone whose notch I grew tolerated; the OnePlus 6T was the primary smartphone whose notch I truly appreciated. The show gap on the Honor View 20 is concerning the measurement of the smaller waterdrop notches I’ve seen on the OnePlus 6T and Huawei Mate 20 X, besides its place has been shifted to the left. When in comparison with a waterdrop notch, there are two essential advantages: The standing bar is steady so a higher variety of notification icons must be seen, and they’re much less intrusive when enjoying video games or watching movies. The off-center show gap might look awkward at first, however you’ll respect the way it doesn’t get in as a lot of the best way as a centered notch.

Honor View 20

Watching a YouTube video on the Honor View 20.

Nevertheless, there’s one disadvantage to the View 20’s show gap strategy: the shortage of area for extra sensors. The Honor View 2 has a single front-facing 25MP Sony IMX576. The very slim prime bezel homes an earpiece speaker and an LED for notifications (a welcome addition!) There’s no room on the highest bezel for an additional speaker or secondary front-facing camera. (The gargantuan Huawei Mate 20 X manages to put each a speaker and a three.5mm headphone jack on the highest, however that system is in its personal measurement class.) In consequence, there isn’t any wide-angle camera lens like on the Pixel three, and the only bottom-firing speaker can’t produce audio that’s very loud, in response to TK Bay from our XDA YouTube channel.

We reward Honor’s determination to maintain the three.5mm headphone jack. Whereas the corporate eliminated the jack on the Honor Magic 2, they’ve determined to maintain the jack on the View 10’s successor. The Honor View 20 can also be one of many few smartphones with an IR blaster. Sometimes solely Huawei and Honor flagships have an IR blaster nowadays, so we’re not stunned to see one on the View 20, however we’re joyful it’s nonetheless there. Lastly, the presence of an LED flash for notifications was a pleasant shock for me, since I’ve managed with out one on the OnePlus 6T.


Though a number of the advertising photographs might make it appear as if the View 20 has a non-existent bezel, there’s, actually, a very slim backside bezel. It’s actually slim, although. I think that Honor is utilizing the identical chip-on-film know-how they employed when manufacturing the Honor 8X, although I don’t have any affirmation. No matter they did, the result’s a 91.82% screen-to-body ratio. Whenever you’re watching movies, virtually the whole show is used to point out the content material. It’s not as immersive as watching movies on the Honor Magic 2, nevertheless it’s rattling shut.

Glass Again

Lastly, let’s speak about that tumbler again. Earlier than the View 20’s launch, a supply advised me that the smartphone would have a “really cool new glass design” with “shimmery colors.” Lo and behold, the View 20 was introduced in China with renders displaying an fascinating V-shaped sample that seems when mild is shined on the again at an angle. Once I first heard this info from my supply and noticed the official renders, I underestimated how “shimmery” the colours would actually be in-person. I anticipated one thing just like the OnePlus 6 and OnePlus 6T’s S-shaped shimmer line. What I received was much more hanging.

In accordance with Honor, the View 20’s again design was made potential by the “fourth generation of nano-vacuum coating and invisible aurora texture process creat[ing] a vivid and dynamic V-shape color gradient with a gleaming effect.”

You don’t have to stare on the View 20 all day to see the shimmer impact—it’s very easy to see. I used to be capable of see the V-shaped shimmer from a number of ft away within the lodge suite the place the pre-briefing was held. The impact isn’t in any respect delicate, and that’s nice as a result of it’s lovely. This is likely one of the few smartphones I’ll hesitate to place a case on prime of—the OnePlus 6T Thunder Purple is one other such system. In hindsight, I shouldn’t have underestimated Huawei and Honor’s design capabilities after seeing what they did with the Huawei P20‘s gradient colors and the Huawei Mate 20 Pro/Mate 20 X’s “Hyper Optical Pattern” glass texture.

Honor View 20 Camera

The Honor View 20 is a considerable enchancment over the Honor View 10 when it comes to picture-taking. Honor has packed a 48MP Sony IMX586 sensor—the primary system to take action—in addition to a Sony IMX316 3D Time-of-Flight camera, on the rear of the system. The only front-facing camera is a 25MP Sony IMX576, the identical one used on the Huawei P20, P20 Professional, Mate 20, and Mate 20 X. Whereas the front-facing camera isn’t too particular (solely as a result of Huawei and Honor have already set such a excessive commonplace), the rear camera setup lets the View 20 stand out even when in comparison with the Huawei P20 Professional and Huawei Mate 20 Professional.

48MP Camera with “AI Ultra Clarity”

A excessive megapixel rely is nothing new for Huawei, Honor’s mum or dad model. In any case, the Huawei P20 Professional, Huawei Mate 20 Professional, and Huawei Mate 20 X all have a 40MP Sony IMX600 main rear camera sensor. (I verified the IMX600 info by wanting on the kernel supply code for the P20 Professional, Mate 20 Professional, and Mate 20 X.) These smartphones produce lovely high-resolution footage if you allow the 40MP mode, so how a lot enchancment would the View 20’s 48MP camera supply? We haven’t had the chance to do a full comparability but, however one factor we did need to try is Honor’s “AI Ultra Clarity” mode. This function has no equal on the P20 Professional, Mate 20 Professional, or Mate 20 X. When 48MP AI Extremely Readability mode is enabled, the View 20 takes a number of 48MP footage in 5 seconds, processes the pictures, collates the photographs, and lastly, creates one, actually sharp 48MP photograph. Thus, you’ve gotten the choice on the Honor View 20 to both take a single 48MP shot principally no lag or a a lot higher-quality 48MP shot utilizing the AI Extremely Readability mode.

Preview pictures of the pattern 48MP photographs with and with out AI Extremely Readability we took on the Honor View 20. Left: 48MP with out AI Extremely Readability. Proper: 48MP with AI Extremely Readability. The uncompressed photographs might be seen right here.

If you wish to see a 48MP camera pattern with and with out AI Extremely Readability mode, you’ll be able to examine them out on this Google Drive folder. These photographs have been taken by TK Bay on his evaluate unit. For instance of the standard of the AI Extremely Readability mode, there’s a speck of mud subsequent to the “AI Vision” phrase within the pattern photograph you can solely see should you zoom in. We selected to not embed the unique decision pictures on this article as a result of they’re big and would dramatically improve the article’s load time, so we advocate you view the uncompressed pictures within the Drive folder.

Earlier than we transfer on, there’s one factor we have now to notice concerning the View 20’s 48MP camera. Lately, Xiaomi introduced the Redmi Observe 7 with the ISOCELL Vibrant Samsung GM1 sensor. The Redmi Observe 7’s Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 is incapable of truly processing 48MP with zero shutter lag, or ZSL. Quite, in daylight, the phone makes use of super-resolution to output 48MP pictures with zero.8μm pixels. This isn’t the case with the Honor View 20. The View 20 is powered by the flagship HiSilicon Kirin 980 cellular platform, in contrast to the Redmi Word 7 and its mid-range Snapdragon 660. (The upcoming Redmi Notice 7 Professional will use the Sony IMX586 just like the View 20, however for now, 48MP footage taken by the View 20 ought to be superior to the photographs taken by the Redmi Word 7.)

You possibly can see extra 48MP camera samples taken from an Honor View 20 by visiting this text. Nevertheless, do word that these pictures have been offered by Honor themselves.

AI Tremendous Night time Shot

In our prime smartphones of 2018 article, I praised the Google Pixel three’s Night time Sight mode because it’s one of the best implementation of handheld long-exposure on a smartphone so far. Nevertheless, even when Google’s is probably the most spectacular, Huawei’s implementation was the primary to do it rather well. Launched on the P20 Professional, Huawei’s night time shot mode collects mild for as much as 5 seconds, what Huawei calls Synthetic Picture Stabilization (AIS) to scale back the consequences of your hand shaking, and computational images methods to supply a greater uncovered picture. I wasn’t capable of check the AI Tremendous Night time Shot mode on the View 20, but when it’s something like on the Mate 20 X (and I’m prepared to guess it’s), then it should definitely impress.

Video Recording

We’ve talked extensively concerning the overuse of the phrases “AI” and “NPU” in our numerous interviews with Qualcomm executives, however Huawei’s advertising of the Kirin 970 and Kirin 980‘s NPU(s) has definitely taken hold in the minds of consumers. One advantage that Huawei has over Qualcomm in this regard is their ability to directly put their mobile platform’s AI capabilities to make use of in software program options on smartphones. Whereas Qualcomm has made spectacular strides in AI compute, they’re solely capable of present us the work executed by their companions—options which can or might not find yourself in future Snapdragon 855-powered smartphones. In the meantime, Huawei has truly shipped spectacular software program options like real-time object recognition in movies. For instance, on the Huawei Mate 20 Professional and Mate 20 X, you’ll be able to activate a video mode to blur the background or make it black-and-white in real-time video recordings. (Right here’s an instance of the “AI color” mode on the Mate 20 Professional.) The Honor View 20, in contrast to the Honor Magic 2, helps these video options.

3D ToF Sensor

Time of Flight sensors measure the depth by resolving the space between the ToF sensor and the thing based mostly on how lengthy it takes the sunshine to journey. ToF camera sensors are used to allow 3D mapping at a distance, mostly for facial recognition functions as seen on the Mate 20 Professional, iPhone X, and Xiaomi Mi eight Explorer Version. In contrast to these units, nevertheless, the Honor View 20’s ToF sensor is on the rear of the gadget. Meaning it’s not used for facial recognition—the View 20 makes use of a software-based answer with imaging knowledge offered by the only front-facing camera for that—however there’s a technique to Honor’s insanity. Honor is utilizing the 3D ToF sensor for three options: 3D shaping, 3D motion-controlled gaming, and AI calorie counting. 3D shaping and 3D motion-controlled gaming have been usable on our assessment unit and the models on show at CES, whereas AI calorie counting is claimed to reach in a future replace.

3D Shaping

3D shaping is principally magnificence mode however on your complete physique. It’s obtainable whenever you change to Portrait mode whereas utilizing the rear camera. It may be used to make somebody look thinner. The 3D mapping knowledge offered by the ToF sensor helps the function in retaining the background look regular even whereas altering the proportions of the individual in entrance. (I admittedly didn’t get nice samples of this function since TK was recording a reside stream on the time, however we’ll have higher demonstrations in our full evaluate.)

3D Movement-controlled Gaming

The Honor View 20 can principally act like a Microsoft Kinect in that the ToF camera can be utilized to detect your physique’s movement when enjoying sure video games. If that sounds gimmicky, that’s as a result of it’s. Whereas it’s definitely enjoyable to mess around with, I extremely doubt many video games shall be benefiting from the View 20’s 3D camera.

Honor View 20

To make use of the 3D camera for motion-controlled gaming, you need to join your phone to a monitor utilizing both Miracast, a USB Sort-C to HDMI adapter, or a particular dock made by Honor. I’m glad that Honor didn’t gate this function behind their dock, however once more, I don’t see very many video games profiting from this.

Talking of gaming, Honor state the View 20 has a “9 liquid cooling system” that ought to end in a 5 levels C enchancment in gadget temperature. We haven’t gamed on the system lengthy sufficient to inform you if these claims are true, although.

Options not enabled on our Honor View 20

In case you’re questioning about Hyperlink Turbo or AI Calorie Counting, we’re sorry to say that neither function was out there on our units. Hyperlink Turbo permits for Wi-Fi and LTE for use concurrently to hurry up connectivity. The software program intelligently decides which connection to make use of for which objective. Calorie counting already exists in HiVision on the Mate 20 collection and Magic 2, nevertheless it’s fairly terrible as is. We’ll have to attend and see the way it fares as soon as the 3D ToF sensor is used. Lastly, there’s no phrase but on whether or not the Mate 20 Professional’s 3D scanning app will probably be made out there for the Honor View 20. We tried putting in it however it wouldn’t work.

Honor View 20 Software program

The Honor View 20 runs Magic UI 2.zero.1 based mostly on Android 9 Pie. As of now, Magic UI 2.zero is just a rebranding of EMUI 9 with few practical modifications. I’ve used EMUI 9 extensively on the Honor Magic 2 and Huawei Mate 20 X, and I feel it’s tolerable. Right here’s a rundown of my ideas on EMUI 9:

  • What I like:
    • The built-in theme engine is surprisingly strong and allows you to even customise framework and SystemUI parts. In fact, you’ll be able to customise fonts, icon packs, wallpapers, and so on.
    • Huawei’s one-handed mode works rather well, and it’s fairly easy to activate. Simply swipe from left-to-right (on the navigation bar) or diagonally from the underside corners (with gestures enabled.)
    • Huawei gives a number of choices instead of the navigation bar. In addition to gestures, you may also allow a navigation dock that may be moved anyplace on the display.
    • Straightforward Projection is nice as a result of you should use any USB three.1 Sort-C to HDMI adapter to allow a desktop-like interface for primary doc modifying, net shopping, and so forth. whereas on-the-go. You’ll be able to even use Straightforward Projection wirelessly by way of Miracast on EMUI 9. Right here’s an indication of wired Straightforward Projection on the Mate 20 X, nevertheless it’ll work the identical on the View 20.
    • You’ll be able to cover the notch utilizing a built-in setting.
      Honor View 20

      Hiding the notch on the Honor View 20.

    • Digital stability, Huawei’s model of Google’s Digital Wellbeing, enables you to handle your smartphone utilization. You can also make it management how typically your child makes use of their phone, which is one thing that Digital Wellbeing doesn’t allow you to specify. You may also set a PIN so the settings can’t be modified. Whereas Google exhibits you a pie chart, Huawei exhibits your display time in a extra friendly-to-view means.
    • EMUI 9 helps bridging your Wi-Fi connection with different units, one thing Google Pixel smartphones solely lately began to help. (Many Xiaomi telephones additionally help this.)
    • Huawei gives a number of helpful gestures like mechanically decreasing the quantity of a name when lifting the phone, answering a phone name when the phone is lifted as much as your ear, or flipping your phone to mute incoming calls/alarms. The one draw back is that you need to practice your self to make use of them. There are additionally knuckle gestures referred to as FingerSense, powered by Qeexo, however I personally discover them annoying to activate so I disable them.
    • For those who’re built-in into the Google ecosystem, then HiBoard within the EMUI 9 launcher will not be your cup of tea. In the event you disable HiBoard by way of ADB, Huawei truly defaults again to utilizing the Google Uncover/Feed. Not even the OnePlus Launcher does that!
  • What I don’t like:
    • The bootloader can’t be unlocked. No less than, not formally.
    • EMUI 9 will kill your apps in the event you don’t disable its aggressive battery optimization providers. I wasn’t receiving any notifications from Slack or Discord on my Mate 20 X till I went into Phone Supervisor and toggled the correct settings. The identical will probably be true for the Honor View 20.
    • The complete-screen gestures want some work. I really like that Huawei considered display pinning and one-handed mode when designing the gestures, whereas different OEMs’ gesture options merely disable options like display pinning. I’m irritated by the truth that there’s no fast change gesture to go to the earlier app—you must swipe up and maintain, let go, then faucet on the earlier app’s card. I’m additionally irritated by the truth that the again button gesture is activated from the 2 sides of the display—this ceaselessly interferes with app sidebars and even Huawei’s personal launcher app drawer!
    • HiVision is ineffective and must be changed by Google Lens.
    • The Emy voice assistant is ineffective and must be absolutely changed by Google Assistant.
    • Huawei’s launcher has some quirks. As I simply talked about, the launcher’s app drawer actually doesn’t work nicely with the gestures. You must keep in mind to swipe up from the underside to exit the app drawer and not swipe from the edges to return. The house display can’t rotate.
    • With many OEM launchers including swipe up gestures to point out the app drawer, it feels archaic for Huawei to solely supply an app drawer button as an choice.
    • App Twin (cloning an app to make use of a second account) is arbitrarily restricted to solely a handful of apps. I do know it’s technically potential for them to clone any app as a result of I’ve executed it on EMUI 5.
    • There’s no darkish theme by default. Truly, there’s, it’s simply arbitrarily disabled on sure Huawei and Honor units. The Huawei Mate 20 Professional and Mate 20 X have it whereas the Honor Magic 2 and Honor View 20 don’t. Luckily, EMUI has a built-in theme engine so you’ll be able to set up third-party darkish themes that means.
    • EMUI 9’s Chinese language model can’t use third-party launchers, so be cautious of that should you determine to import the system from China.
    • Notifications on the lock display are nonetheless a multitude. You possibly can’t broaden them absolutely to decide on an motion to right away carry out after unlocking the gadget.

Honor View 20 Video Palms-on

Take a look at this video by TK Bay over on the XDA YouTube channel. He spent a while with the Honor View 20 in Phantom Blue and Purple.

For those who’re considering one other view (no pun meant) on the View 20, then take a look at the primary impressions of the system from our sister website PocketNow.


General, I’m actually impressed by what the Honor View 20 has to supply and sit up for getting one to do a full evaluate. Relying on its worth, it could possibly be successful in locations like Europe and India, the place it’ll launch on January 22nd and 29th, respectively. The Kirin 980 is a superb chip, EMUI has improved lots because the final time I daily-drivered it (EMUI 5), the design is stellar, and the camera is absolutely promising. EMUI 9 nonetheless has its justifiable share of (fixable) annoyances and I might moderately select the Pixel’s software program or OxygenOS over it, however it’s grown on me recently. I would like the system have an in-display fingerprint scanner and 40W quick wired charging, however compromises need to be made someplace to maintain the costs down.

The Honor View 20 goes to be an awesome selection until the shortage of bootloader unlocking is a deal breaker for you. It’s not simply me that’s saying that, although, because the system gained a number of awards from publications attending CES 2019.

Pictured: Android Central, Tech Advisor, Gear Dairy, Techradar, Mashable, Geek spin, Android Headlines, Ubergizmo, T3.

Honor View 20 Boards, Probability to take a look at the View 20 in-person

In case you’re occupied with getting this system, be sure you subscribe to our Honor View 20 boards with the XDA Labs app. Right here you’ll discover dialogue concerning the gadget centered round information, ideas, guides, apps, themes, and equipment. Sadly, don’t anticipate a lot customized ROM or kernel improvement.

Be a part of the Honor View 20 Boards

For those who reside in Los Angeles, you have got an opportunity to see the system in-person. On Saturday, January 12th from 2:00PM to Four:00PM PST, TK Bay is internet hosting an occasion to let individuals see the system early. Extra particulars may be discovered within the thread linked under.

Take a look at the Honor View 20 in Los Angeles on January 12th

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