The Honor 10 gave the OnePlus 6 a good run for its money last year. With the Honor View 20 which is launching in India Today, Honor is looking to take things up a notch. Without a notch. The Honor View 20 with its 25MP punch-hole selfie and 48MP (Sony IMX586 sensor) rear camera, Kirin 980 processor and massive 4,000mAh battery already sounds like a ‘hole lotta trouble’ for OnePlus’ popular OnePlus 6T, and to an extent, even the upcoming OnePlus 7. Not that buyers will be complaining.
Honor’s V-series phones are known to borrow specs and features from Huawei’s top-tier Mate and P-series phones. But they don’t cost as much as what a certain Mate 20 Pro or P20 Pro will cost you. In simple terms, Honor’s V-series phones are value flagships that bring high-end features at relatively more mainstream prices. In a way, they’re like OnePlus phones. And they’ve started to become interesting over the years.
Picture this. The Honor View 20 belongs to the first wave of smartphones boasting of a punch-hole selfie camera. The goal here is to offer maximum screen real-estate by punching a hole in the display and incorporating an in-screen selfie camera (placed directly below the IPS LCD panel in the case of the Honor View 20) that otherwise would take up a lot of space. Such a design may not necessarily receive a resounding thumbs up from across the board (of buyers and critics) but it’s a step in the right direction. The punch-hole design is most certainly not as obtrusive as a regular notch that, let’s face it, looks like an anomaly no matter how you look at it.
The teardrop notch used by OnePlus in the OnePlus 6T isn’t too bad either, but, the Honor View 20 with its punch-hole design somehow feels like the next step in smartphone evolution. It is a design trend that’s surely going to be the talk of the town in 2019, what with legacy brands like Samsung investing into it. Honor will of course like to believe (and claim) it got their first. Much like how it is touting the diameter and circumference of the punch-hole on-board the Honor View 20. Honor engineers have been able to place the front camera “under an ultra-small 4.5mm transparent hole created by advanced lithography processes,” and the company is also apparently using a special technique to prevent any light from leaking into the selfie camera, which is 25MP by the way.
The Honor View 20 also features an “industry-first 48MP rear camera with Sony IMX586 sensor capable of performing multi-frame image processing to create high-definition images.” The Sony IMX586 uses a Quad-Bayer array for pixel binning so that the resulting image is reduced to a higher-quality 12MP image although it is also possible to shoot native 48MP photos using the Honor View 20. Xiaomi’s Redmi Note 7 Pro is expected to launch with the same sensor sometime in February. The Honor View 20, in addition, also comes with a secondary TOF (Time of Flight) camera for 3D depth mapping and interesting use case scenarios like 3D motion-controlled gaming. It can also make you look slim in videos although Honor is also quick to note that you should hit the gym for desired/actual results.
In terms of design, the Honor View 20 continues Huawei and Honor’s signature gradient glass finish design and will be available in a choice of three colors, the blatantly out there Phantom and Sapphire Blue and the subtler Midnight Black. The Honor View 20 tries to distinguish itself from other Honor and Huawei all-glass phones through distinct V-shaped patterns on the back: Honor is calling it Aurora nanotexture. Long story short, the Honor View 20 is the most beautiful smartphone that you can buy at its price.
It is a beauty, with brains too. At its heart lies Huawei’s top-tier 7nm-based Kirin 980 chipset, that is also found inside the company’s flagship triple rear camera phone, the Huawei Mate 20 Pro. The Kirin 980 uses an octa-core tri-cluster configuration consisting of two high-performance Cortex-A76 cores, two high-efficiency Cortex-A76 cores and two extreme efficiency Cortex-A55 cores. The Kirin 980 also brings a fourth-generation ISP and lots of new AI smarts courtesy its dual NPU -- the Honor View 20 can apparently identify 60 plus categories and over 1,500 scenarios and then accordingly it can tweak the settings to achieve better photos. The Honor View 20 also supports AI mode in video.
The dual-SIM Honor View 20 runs Android Pie-based Magic UI (a simplified version of EMUI that tries to cut down on bloat or unwanted apps), and is backed by a massive 4,000mAh battery with support for fast charging (the Honor View 20 can charge from 0-55 per cent in 30 minutes, claims Honor). It comes with up to 8GB RAM and up to 256GB storage which is non-expandable. The phone also supports advanced GPS for more accurate GPS tracking as well as liquid cooling for extended gaming sessions, in addition to Honor’s GPU Turbo 2.0. There is a headphone jack as well, something that is fast becoming a rarity in smartphones.
Honor has launched the Honor View 20 in India at a starting price of Rs 37,999. This is for the base variant with 6GB RAM and 128GB storage. The Honor View 20 will also be available in 8GB RAM and 256GB storage configuration for Rs 45,999. It will be available for buying from Wednesday, January 30 from Amazon India and Honor’s e-retail website, and offline from Reliance Digital stores from February. Watch this space for our full review of the Honor View 20 in the days to come.