Notebookcheck

Blackview A20 Smartphone Review

Florian Wimmer, 👁 Florian Schmitt, Felicitas Krohn (translated by Stanislav Kokhanyuk), 07/27/2018

Sooooo cheap. The Blackview A20 is a smartphone for an extremely small budget. With Android Go and a dual-camera set-up, it should offer at least a modicum of comfort. You can learn whether it is the case in our review.

Blackview A20

A fully-featured smartphone for 70 Euros ($81)? Android Go and the Chinese manufacturer Blackview make it possible: The Blackview A20 has a display with an 18:9 aspect ratio and a dual camera system on the back, which takes very low-resolution photos.

Currently, the Blackview A20 is the cheapest Android smartphone that features a display with an 18:9 aspect ratio. The only other sub-100-Euro 5.5-inch device that we have reviewed so far is the Gretel GT6000. The 5-inch display of the Motorola Moto C Plus is significantly smaller. The same applies to the Nokia 1, which has a 4.5-inch screen, and the Xiaomi Redmi 5A, which has a 5-inch display. However, the Blackview A20 has almost the same size as the above-mentioned devices, because they all feature displays with a 16:9 aspect ratio.

Blackview A20 (A Series)
Graphics adapter
Memory
1024 MB 
Display
5.5 inch 18:9, 960 x 480 pixel 195 PPI, capacitive touchscreen, IPS, glossy: yes
Storage
8 GB eMMC Flash, 8 GB 
, 5.8 GB free
Connections
1 USB 2.0, Audio Connections: 3.5-mm audio jack, Card Reader: up to 32 GB, Sensors: proximity sensor, motion sensor , microUSB
Networking
802.11 b/g/n (b/g/n), Bluetooth 4.1, GSM (850/​900/​1800/​1900), UMTS (900/​2100), Dual SIM, GPS
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 9.6 x 146.7 x 70.7 ( = 0.38 x 5.78 x 2.78 in)
Battery
11.4 Wh, 3000 mAh Lithium-Ion, removeable
Operating System
Android 8.0 Oreo
Camera
Primary Camera: 5 MPix Contrast-detection autofocus, LED flash; 0.3 MP, depth sensor (second camera)
Secondary Camera: 2 MPix
Additional features
Speakers: mono-speaker on the back, Keyboard: virtual keyboard, charger, USB cable, protective case, Android Go, Notes, fanless
Weight
170 g ( = 6 oz / 0.37 pounds), Power Supply: 42 g ( = 1.48 oz / 0.09 pounds)
Price
69 Euro
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Case – The A20 has a surprisingly rigid case

These days, the removable batteries are only found in the cheapest of all smartphones or in the truly exotic devices such as the Fairphone 2. As a representative from the first category, the Blackview A20 has a removable back cover, under which you can find a user-replaceable battery. The back cover is made of plastic and has a turquoise color, which is officially called Blue. There are two additional color schemes: Gold and Black. The back is adorned with a shimmering texture. For such a cheap device, the case feels remarkably high-value and rigid. Applying pressuring to the back does not lead to distortions on the screen and the device can only be twisted with a lot of force.

The Blackview A20 has a modest weight and dimensions similar to other smartphones in this price range.

Blackview A20
Blackview A20
Blackview A20
Blackview A20
Blackview A20
Blackview A20

Size Comparison

Connectivity – The Blackview A20 does not offer a lot of storage space

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The Blackview has only 1 GB of RAM and 8 GB of internal memory. The storage space can be expanded by up to 32 GB with the help of a MicroSD card. You can put two SIM cards into the smartphone at the time. However, in that case, you will not be able to utilize an SD card.

There is not a lot of variety when it comes to the sensors. The Blackview A20 has a motion sensor and a proximity sensor, and that is it. The brightness has to be controlled manually.

Software – Blackview smartphone with Android Go

Android 8.1 Go is the trimmed-down version of Google’s operating system: The apps such as Google Maps are significantly cut down and, in most cases, are just simple web versions of the original apps. The standard versions of the apps can also be installed without any problems. The security patches were last updated on April 5th 2018, so they are a little out of date now.

Software Blackview A20
Software Blackview A20
Software Blackview A20

Communication and GPS – No LTE, slow Wi-Fi

The Blackview A20 does not feature support for LTE, but it supports UMTS and GSM. The reception quality is quite good in the urban areas in the D2 network. However, the signal strength is much lower indoors. 

The Blackview A20 supports IEEE standards 802.11 b, g and n. It does not support the fast AC standard and cannot operate in the 5 GHz networks. With a fast DSL connection, the Blackview A20 performs reasonably well. However, it takes last place in our Wi-Fi benchmarks with our reference-grade router Linksys EA8500. Here, it cannot even achieve a speed of 50 Mbit/s. 

Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Average of class Smartphone
  (5.9 - 939, n=311)
212 MBit/s ∼100% +377%
Gretel GT6000
Mali-T720, MT6737, 16 GB eMMC Flash
99.5 MBit/s ∼47% +124%
LG K4 2017
Adreno 304, 210 MSM8909, 8 GB eMMC Flash
54.9 MBit/s ∼26% +24%
Nokia 1
Mali-T720 MP2, MT6737, 8 GB eMMC Flash
49.1 MBit/s ∼23% +11%
Xiaomi Redmi 5A
Adreno 308, 425, 16 GB eMMC Flash
47.1 MBit/s ∼22% +6%
Blackview A20
Mali-400 MP2, MT6580M, 8 GB eMMC Flash
44.4 MBit/s ∼21%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Average of class Smartphone
  (9.4 - 703, n=311)
206 MBit/s ∼100% +348%
Gretel GT6000
Mali-T720, MT6737, 16 GB eMMC Flash
94.9 MBit/s ∼46% +106%
Nokia 1
Mali-T720 MP2, MT6737, 8 GB eMMC Flash
51.2 MBit/s ∼25% +11%
Xiaomi Redmi 5A
Adreno 308, 425, 16 GB eMMC Flash
49 MBit/s ∼24% +7%
LG K4 2017
Adreno 304, 210 MSM8909, 8 GB eMMC Flash
48.9 MBit/s ∼24% +6%
Blackview A20
Mali-400 MP2, MT6580M, 8 GB eMMC Flash
46 MBit/s ∼22%
GPS test indoors
GPS test indoors
GPS test outdoors
GPS test outdoors

The Blackview A20 cannot use geo-location indoors. Outdoors, it takes the smartphone a long time to acquire the user’s location. Here, the Blackview A20 has a margin of error of 5 meters (~16 ft).

The GPS of the Blackview A20 is not particularly accurate in practice. Our bike ride with the Garmin Edge 520 confirms this impression. If you look closely at the path tracking results of the Blackview A20 and the Garmin Edge 520, you will see that the Chinese smartphone often produces very inaccurate results. The Blackview A20 is suitable as an occasional navigator. Those who often rely on geo-location should get a high-value device.

Garmin Edge 520 – overview
Garmin Edge 520 – overview
Garmin Edge 520 – grove
Garmin Edge 520 – grove
Garmin Edge 520 – bridge
Garmin Edge 520 – bridge
Blackview A20 – overview
Blackview A20 – overview
Blackview A20 – grove
Blackview A20 – grove
Blackview A20 – bridge
Blackview A20 – bridge

Telephony and Call Quality – The Blackview A20 offers mediocre call quality.

The Blackview A20 has the standard Android phone app with all the usual features and functions.

The call quality is passable: The call partner is easy to understand. However, they sound somewhat tinny and there is a lot of background noise at high volume. The caller’s voice is also easy to understand. That being said, it is plagued by noise. Things are similar in speaker mode: You have to speak loudly to be understood.

Cameras – To be used in an emergency

Shot with the front camera
Shot with the front camera

The Blackview A20 has a 2 MP camera on the front. The resolution is too low for print-outs, but high enough for social media. Nothing is recognizable in images shot in dark environments. The bright areas also become overblown very fast. Under normal lighting conditions, some of the detail is persevered and the color accuracy is not too bad.

There is a dual camera system on the back. The first image sensor is 5 MP and the second is only 0.3 MP. The second sensor is used for depth detection. In the photos taken with the main camera, bright areas are overblown, objects look muddy, details are lost and the sharpness leaves a lot to be desired. Shots taken in dark environments look passable. However, they are very noisy.

The Blackview A20 can record HD video. However, the video quality is not very good, especially when it comes to fine details. Having said that, the exposure is quite balanced.

Image Comparison

Choose a scene and navigate within the first image. One click changes the position on touchscreens. One click on the zoomed-in image opens the original in a new window. The first image shows the scaled photograph of the test device.

Scene 1Scene 2Scene 3
click to load images

Even under controlled lighting conditions, the sharpness is very poor. Moreover, the sharpness is even worse at the edges. The text in front of the colored background appears blurry. The colors appear somewhat dim, but they are surprisingly close to the reference colors.

ColorChecker: The reference colors are located in the lower half of each square
ColorChecker: The reference colors are located in the lower half of each square
Shot of the test chart
Shot of the test chart
Test chart - details
Test chart - details

Accessories and Warranty – The Blackview smartphone has no accessories

You do not get a lot of accessories with a smartphone that has an MSRP of 69 Euros ($80). The Blackview A20 can be had for even less on the Internet. The box includes a charger, USB cable and a protective cover.  

Because the device can be bought from European retailers, you can get a vendor’s warranty rather than a manufacturer’s warranty. However, because Blackview has no subsidiaries in Europe, the warranty situation is not entirely clear.

Input Devices and Handling – No gesture controls

Google’s GBoard, which comes with most Android smartphones, serves as the default keyboard. Therefore, typing messages and emails is very easy. However, the keyboard is somewhat laggy in very demanding applications. There are no other problems with the keyboard. The touchscreen reacts reliably and promptly to inputs, even in the corners and at the edges.

The soft keys can be found at the bottom of the screen. The hardware keys are located on the right side of the device. They are used to adjust volume and power on and off the device. They are comfortable to use.

The Blackview A20 does not feature any gesture controls.

Keyboard in portrait mode
Keyboard in portrait mode
Keyboard in landscape mode
Keyboard in landscape mode

Display – The Blackview A20 has a low-res display

Pixel arrangement
Pixel arrangement

The 18:9, 5.5-inch screen has a native resolution of 960x480. With 375 cd/m², the brightness is below average, but is acceptable. The brightness distribution of 90% is quite good. This is why solid colors seem relatively uniform.

387
cd/m²
365
cd/m²
361
cd/m²
393
cd/m²
364
cd/m²
395
cd/m²
361
cd/m²
355
cd/m²
391
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 395 cd/m² Average: 374.7 cd/m² Minimum: 15.02 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 90 %
Contrast: 513:1 (Black: 0.71 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 10.12 | 0.4-29.43 Ø6.2
ΔE Greyscale 11.1 | 0.64-98 Ø6.5
90.6% sRGB (Calman 2D)
Gamma: 2.722
Blackview A20
IPS, 960x480, 5.5
Xiaomi Redmi 5A
IPS, 1280x720, 5
Nokia 1
IPS, 854x480, 4.5
Gretel GT6000
IPS, 1280x720, 5.5
LG K4 2017
854x480, 5
Screen
29%
60%
77%
36%
Brightness middle
364
503
38%
256
-30%
669
84%
385
6%
Brightness
375
499
33%
251
-33%
644
72%
372
-1%
Brightness Distribution
90
84
-7%
89
-1%
92
2%
92
2%
Black Level *
0.71
0.73
-3%
0.12
83%
0.36
49%
0.35
51%
Contrast
513
689
34%
2133
316%
1858
262%
1100
114%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
10.12
5.44
46%
4.82
52%
4.4
57%
6.2
39%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
19.63
10.01
49%
11.75
40%
9
54%
12.6
36%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
11.1
6.8
39%
5.2
53%
6.9
38%
7
37%
Gamma
2.722 81%
2.451 90%
2.3 96%
2.34 94%
2.08 106%
CCT
10121 64%
6590 99%
7107 91%
6675 97%
8257 79%

* ... smaller is better

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM not detected

In comparison: 53 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 8929 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

The black value of 0.71 cd/m² is very high. This is why black hues appear grayish. The contrast ratio of 513:1 is also low. Nevertheless, the colors still look rich and saturated.

Our spectrophotometer reveals that the device suffers from an extreme bluish cast. Moreover, there are also wide deviations from the sRGB color space.

CalMAN: Color accuracy
CalMAN: Color accuracy
CalMAN: Color space coverage
CalMAN: Color space coverage
CalMAN: Grayscale
CalMAN: Grayscale
CalMAN: Saturation
CalMAN: Saturation

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
22 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 13 ms rise
↘ 9 ms fall
The screen shows good response rates in our tests, but may be too slow for competitive gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 23 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (25.6 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
46 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 25 ms rise
↘ 21 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 72 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (41 ms).

Outdoors, the smartphone’s screen has a lot of trouble coping with the reflections, because of the modest display brightness.

The viewing angles are very stable. The screen content can be read from any position.

Outdoor use
Outdoor use
Viewing angles
Viewing angles

Performance – The minimum amount of power

The MediaTek MT6580M is an old-school SoC that came out three years ago. With four cores and a 1300 MHz clock rate, it was not a fast CPU even back then. In the benchmarks, the Blackview A20 can keep up with most competing devices. However, the Xiaomi Redmi 5A is significantly faster.

The ARM Mali-400 MP2 serves as the graphics solution. It does not support any modern APIs. Users will have to make do with OpenGL 2.0. The GPU performance is quite average.

AnTuTu v6 - Total Score (sort by value)
Blackview A20
24802 Points ∼32%
Xiaomi Redmi 5A
36883 Points ∼48% +49%
Nokia 1
Points ∼0% -100%
Gretel GT6000
24718 Points ∼32% 0%
LG K4 2017
19230 Points ∼25% -22%
Average Mediatek MT6580M (15185 - 25237, n=10)
22450 Points ∼29% -9%
Average of class Smartphone (23275 - 254229, n=394)
76519 Points ∼100% +209%
AnTuTu v7 - Total Score (sort by value)
Blackview A20
19581 Points ∼17%
Xiaomi Redmi 5A
43861 Points ∼37% +124%
Nokia 1
Points ∼0% -100%
Average Mediatek MT6580M (17073 - 21088, n=4)
19302 Points ∼16% -1%
Average of class Smartphone (17073 - 348178, n=171)
117893 Points ∼100% +502%
PCMark for Android - Work performance score (sort by value)
Blackview A20
2696 Points ∼54%
Xiaomi Redmi 5A
4559 Points ∼92% +69%
Nokia 1
3054 Points ∼62% +13%
Gretel GT6000
3207 Points ∼65% +19%
LG K4 2017
3741 Points ∼75% +39%
Average Mediatek MT6580M (2516 - 3041, n=10)
2719 Points ∼55% +1%
Average of class Smartphone (4058 - 13531, n=424)
4956 Points ∼100% +84%
BaseMark OS II
Web (sort by value)
Blackview A20
580 Points ∼80%
Xiaomi Redmi 5A
723 Points ∼100% +25%
Nokia 1
571 Points ∼79% -2%
Gretel GT6000
9 Points ∼1% -98%
LG K4 2017
9 Points ∼1% -98%
Average Mediatek MT6580M (9 - 640, n=10)
404 Points ∼56% -30%
Average of class Smartphone (7 - 1731, n=500)
697 Points ∼96% +20%
Graphics (sort by value)
Blackview A20
145 Points ∼8%
Xiaomi Redmi 5A
444 Points ∼26% +206%
Nokia 1
176 Points ∼10% +21%
Gretel GT6000
209 Points ∼12% +44%
LG K4 2017
144 Points ∼8% -1%
Average Mediatek MT6580M (136 - 145, n=10)
140 Points ∼8% -3%
Average of class Smartphone (18 - 15969, n=500)
1735 Points ∼100% +1097%
Memory (sort by value)
Blackview A20
376 Points ∼30%
Xiaomi Redmi 5A
762 Points ∼61% +103%
Nokia 1
505 Points ∼41% +34%
Gretel GT6000
681 Points ∼55% +81%
LG K4 2017
257 Points ∼21% -32%
Average Mediatek MT6580M (189 - 404, n=10)
332 Points ∼27% -12%
Average of class Smartphone (21 - 6283, n=500)
1243 Points ∼100% +231%
System (sort by value)
Blackview A20
969 Points ∼39%
Xiaomi Redmi 5A
1463 Points ∼58% +51%
Nokia 1
859 Points ∼34% -11%
Gretel GT6000
1124 Points ∼45% +16%
LG K4 2017
586 Points ∼23% -40%
Average Mediatek MT6580M (958 - 1011, n=10)
980 Points ∼39% +1%
Average of class Smartphone (369 - 12202, n=500)
2509 Points ∼100% +159%
Overall (sort by value)
Blackview A20
418 Points ∼33%
Xiaomi Redmi 5A
774 Points ∼62% +85%
Nokia 1
457 Points ∼36% +9%
Gretel GT6000
197 Points ∼16% -53%
LG K4 2017
119 Points ∼9% -72%
Average Mediatek MT6580M (144 - 432, n=10)
323 Points ∼26% -23%
Average of class Smartphone (150 - 6097, n=504)
1253 Points ∼100% +200%
Geekbench 4.1/4.2
Compute RenderScript Score (sort by value)
Blackview A20
858 Points ∼19%
Xiaomi Redmi 5A
1333 Points ∼30% +55%
Nokia 1
943 Points ∼21% +10%
Gretel GT6000
1032 Points ∼23% +20%
Average Mediatek MT6580M (773 - 875, n=4)
836 Points ∼19% -3%
Average of class Smartphone (836 - 21070, n=198)
4508 Points ∼100% +425%
64 Bit Multi-Core Score (sort by value)
Blackview A20
1160 Points ∼27%
Xiaomi Redmi 5A
1874 Points ∼44% +62%
Nokia 1
1252 Points ∼29% +8%
Gretel GT6000
1504 Points ∼35% +30%
LG K4 2017
944 Points ∼22% -19%
Average Mediatek MT6580M (1131 - 1237, n=4)
1166 Points ∼27% +1%
Average of class Smartphone (883 - 11598, n=248)
4298 Points ∼100% +271%
64 Bit Single-Core Score (sort by value)
Blackview A20
427 Points ∼34%
Xiaomi Redmi 5A
681 Points ∼54% +59%
Nokia 1
492 Points ∼39% +15%
Gretel GT6000
541 Points ∼43% +27%
LG K4 2017
390 Points ∼31% -9%
Average Mediatek MT6580M (394 - 431, n=4)
419 Points ∼33% -2%
Average of class Smartphone (394 - 4824, n=249)
1267 Points ∼100% +197%
3DMark
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Physics (sort by value)
Blackview A20
8200 Points ∼64%
Xiaomi Redmi 5A
10556 Points ∼82% +29%
Gretel GT6000
8198 Points ∼64% 0%
LG K4 2017
4143 Points ∼32% -49%
Average Mediatek MT6580M (7498 - 8913, n=10)
7999 Points ∼62% -2%
Average of class Smartphone (3958 - 37475, n=540)
12875 Points ∼100% +57%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Graphics Score (sort by value)
Blackview A20
2470 Points ∼14%
Xiaomi Redmi 5A
5532 Points ∼31% +124%
Gretel GT6000
3234 Points ∼18% +31%
LG K4 2017
2359 Points ∼13% -4%
Average Mediatek MT6580M (2396 - 2485, n=10)
2463 Points ∼14% 0%
Average of class Smartphone (2465 - 162695, n=540)
17971 Points ∼100% +628%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Score (sort by value)
Blackview A20
2924 Points ∼19%
Xiaomi Redmi 5A
6186 Points ∼41% +112%
Gretel GT6000
3737 Points ∼25% +28%
LG K4 2017
2609 Points ∼17% -11%
Average Mediatek MT6580M (2841 - 2946, n=10)
2910 Points ∼19% 0%
Average of class Smartphone (2915 - 77599, n=541)
15098 Points ∼100% +416%
GFXBench (DX / GLBenchmark) 2.7
1920x1080 T-Rex HD Offscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
Blackview A20
4.4 fps ∼14%
Xiaomi Redmi 5A
7.7 fps ∼25% +75%
Nokia 1
5.1 fps ∼16% +16%
Gretel GT6000
5.9 fps ∼19% +34%
LG K4 2017
3.4 fps ∼11% -23%
Average Mediatek MT6580M (4.1 - 11, n=10)
5 fps ∼16% +14%
Average of class Smartphone (4.1 - 251, n=565)
31.3 fps ∼100% +611%
T-Rex HD Onscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
Blackview A20
10 fps ∼40%
Xiaomi Redmi 5A
14 fps ∼56% +40%
Nokia 1
14 fps ∼56% +40%
Gretel GT6000
10 fps ∼40% 0%
LG K4 2017
10 fps ∼40% 0%
Average Mediatek MT6580M (4.4 - 12, n=10)
8.57 fps ∼34% -14%
Average of class Smartphone (6.9 - 120, n=568)
24.9 fps ∼100% +149%

Legend

 
Blackview A20 Mediatek MT6580M, ARM Mali-400 MP2, 8 GB eMMC Flash
 
Xiaomi Redmi 5A Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 (MSM8917), Qualcomm Adreno 308, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
Nokia 1 Mediatek MT6737, ARM Mali-T720 MP2, 8 GB eMMC Flash
 
Gretel GT6000 Mediatek MT6737, ARM Mali-T720, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
LG K4 2017 Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 MSM8909, Qualcomm Adreno 304, 8 GB eMMC Flash

In terms of browser benchmarks, the Blackview A20 cannot be considered a fast device, even in this price range. It takes a long time for images to load.

JetStream 1.1 - 1.1 Total Score
Average of class Smartphone (10.8 - 273, n=423)
36.7 Points ∼100% +223%
Xiaomi Redmi 5A (Chrome 67)
17.927 Points ∼49% +58%
Gretel GT6000 (Chrome Version 51)
15.388 Points ∼42% +36%
Average Mediatek MT6580M (10.8 - 14.5, n=10)
13.2 Points ∼36% +16%
Nokia 1 (Chrome 66)
11.55 Points ∼31% +2%
Blackview A20 (Chrome 67)
11.351 Points ∼31%
LG K4 2017
10 Points ∼27% -12%
Octane V2 - Total Score
Average of class Smartphone (1506 - 43280, n=559)
5558 Points ∼100% +214%
Xiaomi Redmi 5A (Chrome 67)
3224 Points ∼58% +82%
Gretel GT6000 (Chrome Version 51)
2456 Points ∼44% +39%
Average Mediatek MT6580M (1645 - 2280, n=10)
2066 Points ∼37% +17%
Nokia 1 (Chrome 66)
1907 Points ∼34% +8%
Blackview A20 (Chrome 67)
1769 Points ∼32%
LG K4 2017
1506 Points ∼27% -15%
Mozilla Kraken 1.1 - Total Score
Gretel GT6000 (Chrome Version 51)
30113.9 ms * ∼100% -57%
LG K4 2017
19723.2 ms * ∼65% -3%
Blackview A20 (Chrome 67)
19213 ms * ∼64%
Nokia 1 (Chrome 66)
18927 ms * ∼63% +1%
Average Mediatek MT6580M (14579 - 21257, n=10)
16774 ms * ∼56% +13%
Xiaomi Redmi 5A (Chrome 67)
13112.2 ms * ∼44% +32%
Average of class Smartphone (603 - 59466, n=579)
11477 ms * ∼38% +40%

* ... smaller is better

The Blackview A20 cannot use our reference-grade MicroSD card Toshiba Exceria Pro M501, because it only supports MicroSD cards with a capacity of up to 32 GB. This is why we had to use a slower MicroSD card from Kingston. Our review device can only achieve very slow data transfer speeds.

The same applies to the internal memory: It is significantly slower than the internal memory in the competing devices.  

Blackview A20Xiaomi Redmi 5ANokia 1Gretel GT6000LG K4 2017Average 8 GB eMMC FlashAverage of class Smartphone
AndroBench 3-5
328%
244%
144%
281%
94%
364%
Sequential Write 256KB SDCard
11.2 (Kingston 32GB)
62.6 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
459%
8.29 (Toshiba Exceria SD-CX32UHS1)
-26%
44.41 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M401)
297%
27.4 (11.2 - 61.9, n=20)
145%
45.8 (3.4 - 87.1, n=323)
309%
Sequential Read 256KB SDCard
20.6 (Kingston 32GB)
84.9 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
312%
36.76 (Toshiba Exceria SD-CX32UHS1)
78%
75.28 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M401)
265%
41.1 (16.3 - 81.9, n=20)
100%
64 (8.2 - 96.5, n=323)
211%
Random Write 4KB
3.4
9.28
173%
9.1
168%
8.46
149%
5.22 (1.08 - 14, n=50)
54%
16.1 (0.14 - 164, n=608)
374%
Random Read 4KB
11.3
42.32
275%
25.7
127%
19.4
72%
17.5 (8 - 50.5, n=50)
55%
38.3 (1.59 - 173, n=608)
239%
Sequential Write 256KB
8
49.86
523%
51.8
548%
44.16
452%
21.4 (6.22 - 51.8, n=50)
168%
79.8 (2.99 - 246, n=608)
898%
Sequential Read 256KB
90.2
293.76
226%
208.3
131%
214.97
138%
126 (38.1 - 288, n=50)
40%
230 (12.1 - 895, n=608)
155%

Gaming – Simple games are playable

The Blackview A20 cannot run a lot of our gaming benchmarks, because it only supports OpenGL 2.0. Most well-optimized games are playable with a few limitations. For example, music in “Arena of Valor” was disabled to improve performance. Whether or not you can enjoy the fast-paced “MOBA” on this smartphone is questionable, because, in some cases, stutters and lags might mean the difference between defeat and victory.

The touchscreen and the motion sensor work without any problems.

Angry Birds
Angry Birds
Arena of Valor
Arena of Valor

Emissions – The Blackview A20 gets hot

Temperature

Under load, surface temperatures reach 43 °C (109.4 °F). It is pretty hot, but not critical. Only the top of the smartphone gets hot. When idle, the front of the Blackview A20 is the warmest part. However, it is only slightly warm to the touch.

Max. Load
 42.5 °C
109 F
34.4 °C
94 F
37.9 °C
100 F
 
 43 °C
109 F
33.9 °C
93 F
39.9 °C
104 F
 
 40.8 °C
105 F
33.8 °C
93 F
37 °C
99 F
 
Maximum: 43 °C = 109 F
Average: 38.1 °C = 101 F
32.9 °C
91 F
34.9 °C
95 F
42.2 °C
108 F
33.6 °C
92 F
35.7 °C
96 F
41.6 °C
107 F
32.6 °C
91 F
35.2 °C
95 F
40.2 °C
104 F
Maximum: 42.2 °C = 108 F
Average: 36.5 °C = 98 F
Power Supply (max.)  41.1 °C = 106 F | Room Temperature 22 °C = 72 F | Voltcraft IR-260
(-) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 38.1 °C / 101 F, compared to the average of 33.2 °C / 92 F for the devices in the class Smartphone.
(±) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 43 °C / 109 F, compared to the average of 35.7 °C / 96 F, ranging from 22.4 to 51.7 °C for the class Smartphone.
(±) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 42.2 °C / 108 F, compared to the average of 34.2 °C / 94 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 31.5 °C / 89 F, compared to the device average of 33.2 °C / 92 F.
Heat distribution - back
Heat distribution - back
Heat distribution - front
Heat distribution - front

Speakers

Pink Noise
Pink Noise

Because the speaker on the back is not too close to the speaker grill, the Blackview A20 sounds good, even when it is placed on a flat surface such as a table top. Naturally, there are smartphones out there that offer a much better sound quality. However, for a smartphone with this price tag, the Blackview A20 sounds reasonably good with the clear highs and punchy lower mids. 

The sound quality is good enough for watching occasional YouTube videos. If you use headphones via the 3.5-mm headphone jack or external speakers via Bluetooth, you will have a much better listening experience.

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2032.742.22530.140.83130.537.54031.129.45033.732.36326.730.98024.223.310022.92312519.421.416018.125.120017.731.925016.537.231514.244.840013.65550013.759.363012.464.780012.467.210001265.112501263160011.563.5200011.664.2250011.463.8315011.362.5400011.361.6500011.361.4630011.553.8800011.544.31000011.538.81250011.4391600011.334.8SPL70.561.867.452.324.274.6N24.714.119.48.80.631.5median 12median 55Delta1.6133039.631.643.7324234.947.140.355.928.85328.149.82741.522.54021.438.521.232.420.133.618.440.118.146.519.950.416.36116.56615.969.8166915.569.215.370.315.16814.966.915.168.715.164.415.163.915.167.815.265.115.258.915.255.77328.179.428.61.143.1median 15.9median 63.91.911hearing rangehide median Pink NoiseBlackview A20Nokia 1
Frequency diagram (checkboxes can be checked and unchecked to compare devices)
Blackview A20 audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (74.6 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 24.5% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (9.8% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | higher mids - on average 7.7% higher than median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (8.1% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 8.2% higher than median
(±) | linearity of highs is average (8.4% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(-) | overall sound is not linear (30.5% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 82% of all tested devices in this class were better, 7% similar, 11% worse
» The best had a delta of 13%, average was 25%, worst was 44%
Compared to all devices tested
» 89% of all tested devices were better, 4% similar, 7% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Nokia 1 audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (79.4 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 26.2% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (8.7% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | reduced mids - on average 7.4% lower than median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (8.3% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 2.6% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (5% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (22.4% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 28% of all tested devices in this class were better, 11% similar, 61% worse
» The best had a delta of 13%, average was 25%, worst was 44%
Compared to all devices tested
» 56% of all tested devices were better, 8% similar, 35% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Battery Life – Okay battery life plus a replaceable battery

Energy Consumption

When the smartphone is powered down or is in standby mode, it draws almost no power at all, which is quite exemplary. However, the power consumption is relatively high when the device is in use. It consumes at least 1.1 watts when idle and up to 6.5 watts under full load.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0 / 0.07 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 1.1 / 1.5 / 2.3 Watt
Load midlight 4.8 / 6.5 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
Blackview A20
3000 mAh
Xiaomi Redmi 5A
3000 mAh
Nokia 1
2150 mAh
Gretel GT6000
6000 mAh
LG K4 2017
2500 mAh
Average Mediatek MT6580M
 
Average of class Smartphone
 
Power Consumption
16%
18%
1%
46%
6%
9%
Idle Minimum *
1.1
1.2
-9%
0.9
18%
0.96
13%
0.64
42%
0.816 (0.56 - 1.1, n=10)
26%
0.879 (0.2 - 3.4, n=642)
20%
Idle Average *
1.5
1.5
-0%
1.5
-0%
1.8
-20%
1.14
24%
1.76 (1.36 - 2.26, n=10)
-17%
1.721 (0.6 - 6.2, n=641)
-15%
Idle Maximum *
2.3
1.8
22%
2
13%
1.89
18%
1.25
46%
2.11 (1.38 - 2.39, n=10)
8%
1.998 (0.74 - 6.6, n=642)
13%
Load Average *
4.8
2.9
40%
3.5
27%
5.3
-10%
2.26
53%
4.85 (3.11 - 6.97, n=10)
-1%
4.04 (0.8 - 10.8, n=636)
16%
Load Maximum *
6.5
4.8
26%
4.3
34%
6.15
5%
2.36
64%
5.69 (3.59 - 7.03, n=10)
12%
5.76 (1.2 - 14.2, n=636)
11%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Life

The relatively high power draw is reflected in the battery runtimes: We could not confirm the manufacturer’s claim of 10 hours of battery life in day-to-day use in our practically oriented Wi-Fi test. However, the Blackview A20 came close to hitting the mark, achieving a battery runtime of 9 h and 16 m. The Blackview A20 takes the next-to-last spot in our comparison chart below, even though it has a 3000-mAh battery. However, the battery of the Blackview A20 can be replaced: If you have a fully charged second battery at your disposal then the battery life will be doubled.

The small charger takes at least 2 hours to fully charge the battery.

Battery Runtime
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3
9h 16min
Blackview A20
3000 mAh
Xiaomi Redmi 5A
3000 mAh
Nokia 1
2150 mAh
Gretel GT6000
6000 mAh
LG K4 2017
2500 mAh
Battery Runtime
81%
-1%
116%
9%
Reader / Idle
2327
WiFi v1.3
556
1009
81%
552
-1%
1201
116%
606
9%
Load
643

Pros

+ rigid case
+ replaceable battery
+ okay speaker

Cons

- slow memory
- severe bluish cast
- image quality of the camera is very poor

Verdict – Very simple, very cheap

In review: Blackview A20
In review: Blackview A20

The Blackview A20 is a smartphone for purists: No 4G, poor performance, a low-resolution display with a severe bluish cast. The camera can only be used in emergency cases and the memory is very slow.

The Blackview A20 is perfectly fit for simple daily tasks. Those who use the Internet very often should think long and hard about spending a little more money to get a faster smartphone.

But still: All the trappings of a smartphone are present. It can run simple games, the battery lasts for a fair amount of time and is actually replaceable. In addition, the case is surprisingly rigid. Those who are ready to make a few comprises will get a bare-bone smartphone that is fit for very simple tasks and that can be used as a secondary device.

Blackview A20 - 07/25/2018 v6
Florian Wimmer

Chassis
75%
Keyboard
65 / 75 → 87%
Pointing Device
77%
Connectivity
28 / 60 → 46%
Weight
91%
Battery
92%
Display
70%
Games Performance
5 / 63 → 7%
Application Performance
21 / 70 → 29%
Temperature
86%
Noise
100%
Audio
51 / 91 → 56%
Camera
36%
Average
61%
71%
Smartphone - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Blackview A20 Smartphone Review
Florian Wimmer, 2018-07-27 (Update: 2018-07-27)