C 2018
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Huawei P20 Smartphone Review

Manuel Masiero, 👁 Daniel Schmidt, Felicitas Krohn (translated by Andreas Osthoff), 05/16/2018

Insider tip? The Huawei P20 is 250 Euros cheaper than its sibling Huawei P20 Pro, but its Leica dual-camera is basically on par and the hardware is just as powerful. How does the 5.8-inch device compete with other high-end rivals?

The successors to Huawei’s P10 series are about to launch and include many new features. Especially the camera modules are supposed to raise the bar and mark a new era for mobile photography. We did not see that during the review of the Huawei P20 Pro, but that the top model of the P20-series is equipped with a very good Leica triple camera, which is currently among the best in the smartphone segment. The low-light performance in particular creates wow-effects.

The small sibling of the Huawei 20 Pro is called Huawei P20 and is about 250 Euros less expensive. You still get a lot, despite the big price difference: a 5.8-inch high-end smartphone with HiSilicon SoC Kirin 970, the GPU ARM Mali-G72 MP12 and 4 GB RAM. The storage capacity is 128 GB and there is either one or two Nano-SIM slots depending on the model. The camera equipment of the Huawei P20 is not quite as extreme compared to the Huawei P20 Pro, but it is a Leica dual-camera consisting of a 12 MP RGB sensor and a 20 MP black/white sensor.

We want to see how the P20 fares against modern rivals, so we selected he following comparison devices with similar specs: Apple iPhone 8Google Pixel 2Huawei P10Huawei P20 ProLG V30, and Samsung Galaxy S9. We also include the Huawei P20 Lite, the third and smallest model within Huaweis’s P20-series.

Huawei P20 (P Series)
Graphics adapter
Memory
4096 MB 
Display
5.8 inch 18.7:9, 2240 x 1080 pixel 429 PPI, capacitive, LTPS, RGBW, glossy: yes
Storage
128 GB UFS 2.1 Flash, 128 GB 
, 116 GB free
Connections
1 USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen1, 1 HDMI, 1 DisplayPort, Audio Connections: USB-C, 1 Fingerprint Reader, NFC, Brightness Sensor, Sensors: accelerometer, gyroscope, proximity sensor, compass, fingerprint scanner, brightness sensor, USB-C, USB-OTG, aptX, Miracast, WiFi Direct, VoWiFi, VoLTE
Networking
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.2, GSM, UMTS (Band 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 8, 19), LTE Cat. 18 (Band 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 12, 17, 18, 19, 20, 26, 28, 32, 34, 38, 39, 40), Downloads up to 1.2 Gbps, dual-Nano SIM, head SAR 0.76 W/kg, body SAR 1.26 W/kg, Dual SIM, LTE, GPS
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 7.65 x 149.1 x 70.8 ( = 0.3 x 5.87 x 2.79 in)
Battery
3400 mAh, Talk time 3G (according to manufacturer): 19 h, Standby 3G (according to manufacturer): 350 h
Operating System
Android 8.1 Oreo
Camera
Primary Camera: 20 MPix Dual-camera 20 MP (f/1.6) + 12 MP (f/1.8), hybrid zoom, AIS, two-tone LED
Secondary Camera: 24 MPix f/​2.0, Videos @2160p/​30fps, Videos @720p/​960fps
Additional features
Speakers: 1 speaker at the bottom edge, Keyboard: virtual, USB-C cable, modulare PSU, SIM tool, USB to 3.5 mm headphones adapter, headset, quick-start guide, warranty card, EMUI 8.1, 24 Months Warranty, fanless
Weight
165 g ( = 5.82 oz / 0.36 pounds), Power Supply: 40 g ( = 1.41 oz / 0.09 pounds)
Price
649 Euro
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Case - Aluminum and Glass

The only visual difference between the Huawei P20 and the Huawei P20 Pro is the form factor. Similar to the high-end smartphone, the test model features a well-built chassis that combines aluminum and glass elements for a very solid unit. Even a lot of pressure is no problem. The tactile feeling of the Huawei P20 is great thanks to its smooth front and back as well as the rounded corners and edges. However, there is still some resistance, so it never feels like it is slipping out of your hands. The slightly protruding dual-camera module at the back, because it will always wobble a bit when you use it while it is lying on a surface.

The color choices of the Huawei P20 are once again similar to the Huawei P20 Pro. Besides the subtle “Black”, you also get the smartphone in the more striking colors “Midnight Blue” and “Pink Gold”. The latter is only available for the dual-SIM model. The Huawei P20 does not have the IP certification of the P20 Pro (IP67), but is only certified according to IP52.

Size Comparison

Connectivity - USB-C 3.1 Gen.1, Desktop Mode

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Huawei does not make compromises for the USB port: It does not only use a Type-C connector, but also supports USB 3.1 Gen.1, which means data can be transferred at up to 5 Gbps (in theory). The additional features are much more interesting though. You can connect the smartphone to a corresponding external display in the Desktop Mode via corresponding USB adapter for DisplayPort, Mini-DisplayPort or HDMI. You can, for instance, display different apps on the P20 and the external screen to extend the screen estate or use the smartphone as touchpad and replace the mouse and keyboard.

The Huawei P20 smartphone also supports wireless picture transfers via Miracast. Other wireless standards are WiFi-Direct, NFC, Bluetooth 4.2 with aptX-HD as well as WLAN 802.11 ac. The microSD slot, which is usually common on smartphones, is not available on the Huawei P20, but this should not be a huge deal considering the generous amount of internal storage. This leaves one slot at the left side of the chassis for either one or two Nano-SIM cards.

Left side: Dual-SIM slot (Nano-SIM)
Left side: Dual-SIM slot (Nano-SIM)
Right side: Power button, volume rocker
Right side: Power button, volume rocker
Top: Microphone
Top: Microphone
Bottom: Microphone, USB-C (USB 3.1 Gen.1), speaker
Bottom: Microphone, USB-C (USB 3.1 Gen.1), speaker

Software - Huawei P20 with the latest Android (8.1 Oreo)

Huawei equips the P20 with Android 8.1, the latest version of Google’s operating system. The manufacturer installs its familiar EMUI user interface, also in version 8.1. The security patch level was from March 1st 2018 as of the writing (beginning of May) and therefore still pretty up to date. There are some additional preinstalled apps besides the default Google stuff, but most of them can be deleted. This includes the apps in the folder “Top Apps” like eBay, Booking.com, and Netflix. You can use 116 GB of the 128 GB internal storage ex-works.

Communication and GPS - Downloads at up to 1.2 Gbps, fast Wi-Fi

The Huawei P20 covers a wide range of frequencies with 21 LTE bands and should get a signal in most parts of the world. It is a Cat. 18 LTE modem and supports downloads at up to 1.2 Gbps.

Short-range connections on the Huawei P20 can be established via Bluetooth 4.2, NFC, as well as the Wi-Fi standards 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac including MIMO technology. We checked the WLAN performance with our reference router Linksys EA8500. It receives data at up to 637 Mbps at a distance of one meter, which is basically identical to the Huawei P20 Pro. However, the performance is a bit lower when the smartphone sends data; the transfer rate drops to 397 Mbps and fluctuates quite a bit with values between 145 and 584 Mbps. We noticed a similar behavior when we reviewed the Huawei P20 Pro, but the fluctuations were lower and the transfer rate a bit higher.

Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Apple iPhone 8
A11 Bionic GPU, A11 Bionic, Apple 256 GB (iPhone 8 / Plus)
915 MBit/s ∼100% +44%
LG V30
Adreno 540, 835, 64 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
657 MBit/s ∼72% +3%
Samsung Galaxy S9
Mali-G72 MP18, 9810, 64 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
652 MBit/s ∼71% +2%
Huawei P20
Mali-G72 MP12, Kirin 970, 128 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
637 MBit/s ∼70%
Huawei P20 Pro
Mali-G72 MP12, Kirin 970, 128 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
635 MBit/s ∼69% 0%
Huawei P10
Mali-G71 MP8, Kirin 960, 64 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
308 (min: 48.8) MBit/s ∼34% -52%
Google Pixel 2
Adreno 540, 835, 64 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
287 MBit/s ∼31% -55%
Average of class Smartphone
  (5.9 - 939, n=279)
199 MBit/s ∼22% -69%
Huawei P20 Lite
Mali-T830 MP2, Kirin 659, 64 GB eMMC Flash
198 MBit/s ∼22% -69%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
LG V30
Adreno 540, 835, 64 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
703 MBit/s ∼100% +77%
Samsung Galaxy S9
Mali-G72 MP18, 9810, 64 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
519 MBit/s ∼74% +31%
Huawei P20 Pro
Mali-G72 MP12, Kirin 970, 128 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
437 MBit/s ∼62% +10%
Huawei P20
Mali-G72 MP12, Kirin 970, 128 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
397 MBit/s ∼56%
Apple iPhone 8
A11 Bionic GPU, A11 Bionic, Apple 256 GB (iPhone 8 / Plus)
354 MBit/s ∼50% -11%
Huawei P10
Mali-G71 MP8, Kirin 960, 64 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
343 (min: 154) MBit/s ∼49% -14%
Google Pixel 2
Adreno 540, 835, 64 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
240 MBit/s ∼34% -40%
Huawei P20 Lite
Mali-T830 MP2, Kirin 659, 64 GB eMMC Flash
233 MBit/s ∼33% -41%
Average of class Smartphone
  (9.4 - 703, n=279)
195 MBit/s ∼28% -51%
GPS signal outdoors
GPS signal outdoors
GPS signal indoors
GPS signal indoors

The GPS module of the Huawei P20 works quickly and reliably. The location is accurate down to 6 meters indoors, and even down to 4 meters outdoors.

We check the performance of the GPS module in practical scenarios with a bicycle ride (9 km), and we compare the results with our professional navigation device Garmin Edge 500. All in all, the Huawei P20 is a bit less accurate than the Garmin Edge 500 and shows our location next to the actual track a couple of times. The deviations are pretty small though (within a couple of meters), so they do not matter for standard navigation purposes.

Huawei P20: Overview
Huawei P20: Overview
Huawei P20: Lake
Huawei P20: Lake
Huawei P20: Turning Point
Huawei P20: Turning Point
Garmin Edge 500: Overview
Garmin Edge 500: Overview
Garmin Edge 500: Lake
Garmin Edge 500: Lake
Garmin Edge 500: Turning Point
Garmin Edge 500: Turning Point

Telephone Functions and Voice Quality

The voice quality is good when you make calls with the Huawei P20. We tested calls both to landlines and mobile networks, and the voices of us and the called person were easy to understand at all times.

The dual-SIM version supports VoLTE and VoWiFi besides LTE for both SIM cards, so uses can make calls and use data services (4G for VoLTE, WLAN for VoWiFi) simultaneously.

Cameras - the "Huawei Leica" takes high-quality pictures

Picture with the main camera (12 MP, 4:3)
Picture with the main camera (12 MP, 4:3)
Picture with the webcam (24 MP, 4:3)
Picture with the webcam (24 MP, 4:3)

Huawei uses the notch we know from the Apple iPhone X for the front camera of the P20. It takes pictures at up to 24 MP and offers all the selfie modes you want starting from portrait mode with Bokeh and beauty effects all the way up to a Pro mode, where you can adjust all the important aspects by yourself. Overall, you get a total of 17 different modes.

However, the interesting camera is located at the back, a Leica dual-camera, which combines a 12 MP RGB sensor (f/1.8) and a 20 MP monochrome sensor (f/1.6). The latter is also fitted to the Huawei P20 Pro and can also be used to improve the shots of the color sensor by feeding additional brightness information. Especially low-light pictures benefit from that, for example our test scene number 3. Even fine details are still visible here and there is much less picture noise compared to the Apple iPhone X or the Google Pixel 2, for example. The Huawei camera also features a night mode which supports up to 6 seconds long exposures via AIS stabilization without a tripod. The smartphone also includes a 2x hybrid zoom, while the Huawei P20 Pro features a 5x hybrid zoom.

You can setup the picture size up to 20 MB in the settings of the Huawei P20. However, we preferred the default setting of 12 MP – the resolution of the RGB sensor. You can increase the picture size in good lighting conditions without any quality drops. Test scenes 1 and 2 show that the Leica dual-camera offers excellent picture quality in daylight, which is a result of AI algorithms. They automatically try to get the best picture quality in the background. The selected motif is analyzed in real-time, for example, so the camera settings can be adjusted. The front camera records videos at up to 30 FPS in 4K, and up to 60 FPS in 1080p. The video quality is decent in both cases, but cannot match the quality of the pictures.

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

Colors look pretty natural on the Huawei P20 pictures, although they tend to be a bit too saturated. The smartphone performs really well when we take a picture of our test chart, which is very clean even up into the corners. Edges and color transitions are no problem for the camera sensor, only fonts are slightly frayed.

ColorChecker Passport: The original color is displayed in the lower half of each patch.
ColorChecker Passport: The original color is displayed in the lower half of each patch.
Crop from the test chart
Crop from the test chart
Test chart (click for original)
Test chart (click for original)

Accessories and Warranty

Huawei ships the P20 with the modular quick-charge power adapter (5V, 2A), a USB-C adapter for the 3.5 mm stereo jack, a headset, a USB cable (type C to type A), a protective case, a SIM tool, a quick-start guide, and a warranty card. Huawei does not offer any dedicated accessories on its website.

The warranty period for the P20 smartphone is 24 months.

Input Devices & Handling

The 5.8-inch IPS display of the Huawei P20 recognizes up to 10 finger inputs simultaneously and even executes inputs in the corners very reliably. You can hide the notch at the upper display edge in the settings. It will pull down the upper edge and make it black, so the notch is not visibly anymore, but symmetrical.

Swiftkey is the default keyboard, but you can also use any other layout available in the app store. Huawei placed the fingerprint scanner at the front underneath the display, and it always worked reliably during the review period. You can also configure the fingerprint scanner in the settings and let it replace the other Android buttons, so you can operate the smartphone with one hand.

There are more comfort features like a glove mode as well as movement control. This includes knuckle gestures for taking screenshots or share the display, for example. You can also activate functions like “holding to ear” to accept calls when you lift the smartphone. All the apps are visible on the launch screen by default, but you can activate the regular app drawer in the settings.

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

Display - Bright IPS panel with excellent colors

Subpixel array
Subpixel array

Contrary to the 6.1-inch Huawei P20 Pro, the Huawei P20 only gets a 5.8-inch screen. Both displays still feature the same resolution (2240 x 1080 pixels), so the pixel density is higher compared to the high-end model (429 vs. 408 PPI). This means even crisper images, but you cannot see a difference between the two with the naked eye. The differences in terms of colors on the other hand are very easy to see.

While the Huawei P20 Pro is equipped with a brilliant OLED screen, the "small" P20 only gets an IPS panel (more precisely: an RGBW-LTPS display, which was first introduced on the Huawei P9), which provides slightly paler colors due to its design. However, the measurements like the black value of 0.37 cd/m² and the contrast ratio of 2035:1 are excellent for an IPS screen, just like the very even brightness distribution of 96 percent.

We measure an average luminance of 748.3 nits on a pure white background, so the Huawei P20 is one of the best comparison devices for outdoor purposes. Only the Apple iPhone 8 is similarly bright. The brightness is even increased up to 752 nits with an even distribution of bright and dark contents (APL50). We still measure good 498 nits when the brightness sensor is turned off. The smartphone is also flexible in the other direction with a minimum luminance of 1.99 nits, so it is very comfortable to use in complete darkness.

Besides a blue light filter, which filters long wavelengths out of the picture and protects the eyes, you will also find an option called “Natural Colors” in the settings. This feature reminds us of Apple’s True Tone, and the smartphone automatically adjusts the color temperature to the ambient light, which improves the viewing experience.

734
cd/m²
740
cd/m²
750
cd/m²
739
cd/m²
753
cd/m²
762
cd/m²
744
cd/m²
752
cd/m²
761
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 762 cd/m² Average: 748.3 cd/m² Minimum: 1.99 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 96 %
Center on Battery: 753 cd/m²
Contrast: 2035:1 (Black: 0.37 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 1.3 | 0.4-29.43 Ø6.3
ΔE Greyscale 1.7 | 0.64-98 Ø6.5
99.7% sRGB (Calman 2D)
Gamma: 2.18
Huawei P20
LTPS, 2240x1080, 5.8
Apple iPhone 8
IPS True Tone, 1334x750, 4.7
Google Pixel 2
AMOLED, 1920x1080, 5
Huawei P10
LTPS, 1920x1080, 5.1
Huawei P20 Lite
IPS, 2280x1080, 5.84
Huawei P20 Pro
OLED, 2240x1080, 6.1
LG V30
OLED, 2880x1440, 6
Samsung Galaxy S9
Super AMOLED, 2960x1440, 5.8
Screen
-11%
-30%
-104%
-122%
-6%
-133%
-23%
Brightness middle
753
604
-20%
396
-47%
547
-27%
528
-30%
569
-24%
432
-43%
529
-30%
Brightness
748
580
-22%
404
-46%
556
-26%
525
-30%
578
-23%
428
-43%
527
-30%
Brightness Distribution
96
91
-5%
91
-5%
86
-10%
89
-7%
95
-1%
87
-9%
96
0%
Black Level *
0.37
0.44
-19%
0.43
-16%
0.51
-38%
Contrast
2035
1373
-33%
1272
-37%
1035
-49%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
1.3
1.2
8%
1.7
-31%
4.8
-269%
4.7
-262%
1.3
-0%
4.18
-222%
1.4
-8%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
2.3
2.3
-0%
4
-74%
8.8
-283%
8.9
-287%
2.1
9%
8.53
-271%
4
-74%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
1.7
1.6
6%
1.3
24%
4.5
-165%
6.4
-276%
1.6
6%
5.3
-212%
1.6
6%
Gamma
2.18 101%
2.25 98%
2.3 96%
2.39 92%
2.22 99%
2.31 95%
2.33 94%
2.16 102%
CCT
66.76 9736%
6688 97%
6483 100%
7194 90%
7987 81%
6401 102%
7487 87%
6358 102%

* ... smaller is better

The default color mode of the Huawei P20 is Vivid with the color temperature setting Standard. The color mode can be switched to Normal and the color temperature either to Warm or Cold, so there are six possible combinations. We had a closer look at three of them – Normal/Standard, Normal/Warm, as well as the default setting Vivid/Standard.

We recommend the setting Normal/Standard for accurate colors, where the Huawei P20 manages very low DeltaE values of 2.3 (colors) and 1.3 (grayscale) – so you cannot see any deviations compared to the ideal colors. Both the color temperature (6676 K) as well as the gamma value (2.18) are close to perfect as well. Not many smartphones manage such accurate pictures; laudable exceptions are the Huawei P20 Pro and the Apple iPhone 8, for example.

ColorChecker (color mode Normal, color temperature Standard, target color space sRGB)
ColorChecker (color mode Normal, color temperature Standard, target color space sRGB)
Colorspace (color mode Normal, color temperature Standard, target color space sRGB)
Colorspace (color mode Normal, color temperature Standard, target color space sRGB)
Grayscale (color mode Normal, color temperature Standard, target color space sRGB)
Grayscale (color mode Normal, color temperature Standard, target color space sRGB)
Saturation Sweeps (color mode Normal, color temperature Standard, target color space sRGB)
Saturation Sweeps (color mode Normal, color temperature Standard, target color space sRGB)
ColorChecker (color mode Normal, color temperature Warm, target color space sRGB)
ColorChecker (color mode Normal, color temperature Warm, target color space sRGB)
Colorspace (color mode Normal, color temperature Warm, target color space sRGB)
Colorspace (color mode Normal, color temperature Warm, target color space sRGB)
Grayscale (color mode Normal, color temperature Warm, target color space sRGB)
Grayscale (color mode Normal, color temperature Warm, target color space sRGB)
Saturation Sweeps (color mode Normal, color temperature Warm, target color space sRGB)
Saturation Sweeps (color mode Normal, color temperature Warm, target color space sRGB)
ColorChecker (color mode Vivid, color temperature Standard, target color space P3)
ColorChecker (color mode Vivid, color temperature Standard, target color space P3)
Colorspace (color mode Vivid, color temperature Standard, target color space P3)
Colorspace (color mode Vivid, color temperature Standard, target color space P3)
Grayscale (color mode Vivid, color temperature Standard, target color space P3)
Grayscale (color mode Vivid, color temperature Standard, target color space P3)
Saturation Sweeps (color mode Vivid, color temperature Standard, target color space P3)
Saturation Sweeps (color mode Vivid, color temperature Standard, target color space P3)
ColorChecker (color mode Vivid, color temperature Warm, target color space P3)
ColorChecker (color mode Vivid, color temperature Warm, target color space P3)
Colorspace (color mode Vivid, color temperature Warm, target color space P3)
Colorspace (color mode Vivid, color temperature Warm, target color space P3)
Grayscale (color mode Vivid, color temperature Warm, target color space P3)
Grayscale (color mode Vivid, color temperature Warm, target color space P3)
Saturation Sweeps (color mode Vivid, color temperature Warm, target color space P3)
Saturation Sweeps (color mode Vivid, color temperature Warm, target color space P3)

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
21.6 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 8.4 ms rise
↘ 13.2 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. » 22 % 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
43.2 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 21.2 ms rise
↘ 22 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. » 62 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (41.1 ms).

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 8677 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

Thanks to its bright screen and the IPS display with wide viewing angles, the Huawei P20 works great outdoors. The only problem is direct sunlight, otherwise the visibility is very good. This also applies when you look at the display from the side. Content is still very easy to read and there is only a minor discoloration from very flat angles, but it is not distracting.

Outdoor use
Outdoor use
Viewing angles
Viewing angles

Performance - Just as fast as the top model Huawei P20 Pro

The Huawei P20 gets the same high-end hardware Huawei uses for the Huawei P20 Pro. Both smartphones use the HiSilicon Kirin 970, a high-end octa-core SoC released mid last year. The graphics adapter ARM Mali-G72 MP12 is in the same performance class. The only difference in the specs is the amount of memory: 6 GB on the P20 Pro, 4 GB on the Huawei P20. However, you will not notice any difference in practice or the synthetic benchmarks.

The Huawei P20 not only manages a very good system performance, but is also basically on par with the Huawei P20 Pro in every synthetic benchmark. There are still faster devices like the Apple iPhone 8 with the Apple A11 Bionic and the Samsung Galaxy S9 with Samsung’s own Exynos 9810 SoC. The much less powerful Huawei P20 Lite with mainstream hardware is far behind.

AnTuTu v6 - Total Score (sort by value)
Huawei P20
179393 Points ∼82%
Apple iPhone 8
204270 Points ∼94% +14%
Google Pixel 2
166939 Points ∼77% -7%
Huawei P10
140084 Points ∼64% -22%
Huawei P20 Lite
68232 Points ∼31% -62%
Huawei P20 Pro
179709 Points ∼82% 0%
LG V30
173749 Points ∼80% -3%
Samsung Galaxy S9
217950 Points ∼100% +21%
Average HiSilicon Kirin 970 (173653 - 181973, n=8)
177915 Points ∼82% -1%
Average of class Smartphone (23275 - 250848, n=366)
72912 Points ∼33% -59%
AnTuTu v7 - Total Score (sort by value)
Huawei P20
200756 Points ∼82%
Google Pixel 2
207530 Points ∼85% +3%
Huawei P10
170015 Points ∼70% -15%
Huawei P20 Lite
88550 Points ∼36% -56%
Huawei P20 Pro
207959 Points ∼85% +4%
Samsung Galaxy S9
243861 Points ∼100% +21%
Average HiSilicon Kirin 970 (152773 - 212278, n=6)
197811 Points ∼81% -1%
Average of class Smartphone (17073 - 348178, n=145)
111758 Points ∼46% -44%
PCMark for Android
Work 2.0 performance score (sort by value)
Huawei P20
7002 Points ∼97%
Google Pixel 2
7223 Points ∼100% +3%
Huawei P10
6206 Points ∼86% -11%
Huawei P20 Lite
4793 Points ∼66% -32%
Huawei P20 Pro
6982 Points ∼97% 0%
LG V30
5603 Points ∼78% -20%
Samsung Galaxy S9
5291 Points ∼73% -24%
Average HiSilicon Kirin 970 (6293 - 7046, n=8)
6860 Points ∼95% -2%
Average of class Smartphone (6998 - 9868, n=233)
4440 Points ∼61% -37%
Work performance score (sort by value)
Huawei P20
8700 Points ∼100%
Google Pixel 2
8550 Points ∼98% -2%
Huawei P10
7341 Points ∼84% -16%
Huawei P20 Lite
5704 Points ∼66% -34%
Huawei P20 Pro
8115 Points ∼93% -7%
LG V30
6854 Points ∼79% -21%
Samsung Galaxy S9
5736 Points ∼66% -34%
Average HiSilicon Kirin 970 (8115 - 9326, n=8)
8537 Points ∼98% -2%
Average of class Smartphone (4147 - 13211, n=396)
4801 Points ∼55% -45%
BaseMark OS II
Web (sort by value)
Huawei P20
1313 Points ∼100%
Google Pixel 2
1210 Points ∼92% -8%
Huawei P10
1077 Points ∼82% -18%
Huawei P20 Lite
858 Points ∼65% -35%
Huawei P20 Pro
1273 Points ∼97% -3%
LG V30
1009 Points ∼77% -23%
Samsung Galaxy S9
1099 Points ∼84% -16%
Average HiSilicon Kirin 970 (1091 - 1316, n=8)
1245 Points ∼95% -5%
Average of class Smartphone (7 - 1731, n=471)
680 Points ∼52% -48%
Graphics (sort by value)
Huawei P20
3697 Points ∼58%
Google Pixel 2
6052 Points ∼95% +64%
Huawei P10
4115 Points ∼65% +11%
Huawei P20 Lite
848 Points ∼13% -77%
Huawei P20 Pro
3725 Points ∼58% +1%
LG V30
5949 Points ∼93% +61%
Samsung Galaxy S9
6373 Points ∼100% +72%
Average HiSilicon Kirin 970 (2231 - 4397, n=8)
3638 Points ∼57% -2%
Average of class Smartphone (18 - 15875, n=471)
1622 Points ∼25% -56%
Memory (sort by value)
Huawei P20
4154 Points ∼100%
Google Pixel 2
2942 Points ∼71% -29%
Huawei P10
2778 Points ∼67% -33%
Huawei P20 Lite
1930 Points ∼46% -54%
Huawei P20 Pro
4050 Points ∼97% -3%
LG V30
2091 Points ∼50% -50%
Samsung Galaxy S9
2669 Points ∼64% -36%
Average HiSilicon Kirin 970 (2417 - 4578, n=8)
3946 Points ∼95% -5%
Average of class Smartphone (21 - 4798, n=471)
1171 Points ∼28% -72%
System (sort by value)
Huawei P20
5797 Points ∼93%
Google Pixel 2
5918 Points ∼95% +2%
Huawei P10
3830 Points ∼61% -34%
Huawei P20 Lite
3109 Points ∼50% -46%
Huawei P20 Pro
5965 Points ∼96% +3%
LG V30
4238 Points ∼68% -27%
Samsung Galaxy S9
6234 Points ∼100% +8%
Average HiSilicon Kirin 970 (3795 - 5987, n=8)
5387 Points ∼86% -7%
Average of class Smartphone (369 - 12202, n=471)
2367 Points ∼38% -59%
Overall (sort by value)
Huawei P20
3288 Points ∼98%
Google Pixel 2
3360 Points ∼100% +2%
Huawei P10
2621 Points ∼78% -20%
Huawei P20 Lite
1445 Points ∼43% -56%
Huawei P20 Pro
3271 Points ∼97% -1%
LG V30
2702 Points ∼80% -18%
Samsung Galaxy S9
3285 Points ∼98% 0%
Average HiSilicon Kirin 970 (2174 - 3374, n=8)
3125 Points ∼93% -5%
Average of class Smartphone (150 - 6097, n=475)
1185 Points ∼35% -64%
Geekbench 4.1/4.2
Compute RenderScript Score (sort by value)
Google Pixel 2
7462 Points ∼79%
Huawei P10
9492 Points ∼100%
Huawei P20 Lite
3116 Points ∼33%
Huawei P20 Pro
8025 Points ∼85%
LG V30
8016 Points ∼84%
Samsung Galaxy S9
6219 Points ∼66%
Average HiSilicon Kirin 970 (5779 - 9015, n=6)
8080 Points ∼85%
Average of class Smartphone (836 - 14417, n=170)
4186 Points ∼44%
64 Bit Multi-Core Score (sort by value)
Huawei P20
6557 Points ∼63%
Apple iPhone 8
10380 Points ∼100% +58%
Google Pixel 2
6256 Points ∼60% -5%
Huawei P10
6521 Points ∼63% -1%
Huawei P20 Lite
3749 Points ∼36% -43%
Huawei P20 Pro
6756 Points ∼65% +3%
LG V30
6078 Points ∼59% -7%
Samsung Galaxy S9
8786 Points ∼85% +34%
Average HiSilicon Kirin 970 (6557 - 6792, n=8)
6697 Points ∼65% +2%
Average of class Smartphone (1099 - 11598, n=220)
4163 Points ∼40% -37%
64 Bit Single-Core Score (sort by value)
Huawei P20
1886 Points ∼45%
Apple iPhone 8
4162 Points ∼100% +121%
Google Pixel 2
1924 Points ∼46% +2%
Huawei P10
1899 Points ∼46% +1%
Huawei P20 Lite
935 Points ∼22% -50%
Huawei P20 Pro
1922 Points ∼46% +2%
LG V30
1900 Points ∼46% +1%
Samsung Galaxy S9
3688 Points ∼89% +96%
Average HiSilicon Kirin 970 (1883 - 1922, n=8)
1901 Points ∼46% +1%
Average of class Smartphone (394 - 4824, n=221)
1229 Points ∼30% -35%
3DMark
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Physics (sort by value)
Huawei P20
2795 Points ∼91%
Apple iPhone 8
1989 Points ∼65% -29%
Google Pixel 2
3078 Points ∼100% +10%
Huawei P10
1902 Points ∼62% -32%
Huawei P20 Lite
1757 Points ∼57% -37%
Huawei P20 Pro
2926 Points ∼95% +5%
LG V30
2931 Points ∼95% +5%
Samsung Galaxy S9
2486 Points ∼81% -11%
Average HiSilicon Kirin 970 (2582 - 2931, n=8)
2842 Points ∼92% +2%
Average of class Smartphone (549 - 4183, n=325)
1588 Points ∼52% -43%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Graphics (sort by value)
Huawei P20
3040 Points ∼76%
Apple iPhone 8
2581 Points ∼65% -15%
Google Pixel 2
3974 Points ∼100% +31%
Huawei P10
2409 Points ∼61% -21%
Huawei P20 Lite
207 Points ∼5% -93%
Huawei P20 Pro
3017 Points ∼76% -1%
LG V30
3903 Points ∼98% +28%
Samsung Galaxy S9
3553 Points ∼89% +17%
Average HiSilicon Kirin 970 (2844 - 3040, n=8)
2994 Points ∼75% -2%
Average of class Smartphone (69 - 5220, n=325)
1124 Points ∼28% -63%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) (sort by value)
Huawei P20
2982 Points ∼80%
Apple iPhone 8
2421 Points ∼65% -19%
Google Pixel 2
3733 Points ∼100% +25%
Huawei P10
2274 Points ∼61% -24%
Huawei P20 Lite
257 Points ∼7% -91%
Huawei P20 Pro
2996 Points ∼80% 0%
LG V30
3635 Points ∼97% +22%
Samsung Galaxy S9
3244 Points ∼87% +9%
Average HiSilicon Kirin 970 (2850 - 2999, n=8)
2958 Points ∼79% -1%
Average of class Smartphone (86 - 4734, n=333)
1075 Points ∼29% -64%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Physics (sort by value)
Huawei P20
2811 Points ∼91%
Apple iPhone 8
1774 Points ∼58% -37%
Google Pixel 2
3080 Points ∼100% +10%
Huawei P10
2193 Points ∼71% -22%
Huawei P20 Lite
1760 Points ∼57% -37%
Huawei P20 Pro
2885 Points ∼94% +3%
LG V30
2808 Points ∼91% 0%
Samsung Galaxy S9
2600 Points ∼84% -8%
Average HiSilicon Kirin 970 (1906 - 2902, n=8)
2732 Points ∼89% -3%
Average of class Smartphone (532 - 4150, n=356)
1484 Points ∼48% -47%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Graphics (sort by value)
Huawei P20
3550 Points ∼59%
Google Pixel 2
6040 Points ∼100% +70%
Huawei P10
2816 Points ∼47% -21%
Huawei P20 Lite
109 Points ∼2% -97%
Huawei P20 Pro
3335 Points ∼55% -6%
LG V30
5895 Points ∼98% +66%
Samsung Galaxy S9
4569 Points ∼76% +29%
Average HiSilicon Kirin 970 (1954 - 3734, n=8)
3305 Points ∼55% -7%
Average of class Smartphone (104 - 8312, n=356)
1527 Points ∼25% -57%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 (sort by value)
Huawei P20
3354 Points ∼67%
Google Pixel 2
4977 Points ∼100% +48%
Huawei P10
2649 Points ∼53% -21%
Huawei P20 Lite
138 Points ∼3% -96%
Huawei P20 Pro
3223 Points ∼65% -4%
LG V30
4738 Points ∼95% +41%
Samsung Galaxy S9
3911 Points ∼79% +17%
Average HiSilicon Kirin 970 (1943 - 3487, n=8)
3155 Points ∼63% -6%
Average of class Smartphone (127 - 6378, n=364)
1304 Points ∼26% -61%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Physics (sort by value)
Huawei P20
23046 Points ∼86%
Apple iPhone 8
24131 Points ∼90% +5%
Google Pixel 2
20482 Points ∼76% -11%
Huawei P10
15341 Points ∼57% -33%
Huawei P20 Lite
13387 Points ∼50% -42%
Huawei P20 Pro
22441 Points ∼84% -3%
LG V30
14601 Points ∼54% -37%
Samsung Galaxy S9
26851 Points ∼100% +17%
Average HiSilicon Kirin 970 (14556 - 23046, n=8)
21027 Points ∼78% -9%
Average of class Smartphone (7095 - 36762, n=511)
12516 Points ∼47% -46%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Graphics Score (sort by value)
Huawei P20
34146 Points ∼30%
Apple iPhone 8
112424 Points ∼100% +229%
Google Pixel 2
55247 Points ∼49% +62%
Huawei P10
35964 Points ∼32% +5%
Huawei P20 Lite
11713 Points ∼10% -66%
Huawei P20 Pro
33472 Points ∼30% -2%
LG V30
55271 Points ∼49% +62%
Samsung Galaxy S9
48433 Points ∼43% +42%
Average HiSilicon Kirin 970 (22429 - 36231, n=8)
32596 Points ∼29% -5%
Average of class Smartphone (2465 - 160199, n=511)
16923 Points ∼15% -50%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Score (sort by value)
Huawei P20
30845 Points ∼50%
Apple iPhone 8
62006 Points ∼100% +101%
Google Pixel 2
40116 Points ∼65% +30%
Huawei P10
27692 Points ∼45% -10%
Huawei P20 Lite
12048 Points ∼19% -61%
Huawei P20 Pro
30176 Points ∼49% -2%
LG V30
34139 Points ∼55% +11%
Samsung Galaxy S9
41093 Points ∼66% +33%
Average HiSilicon Kirin 970 (20022 - 31605, n=8)
29035 Points ∼47% -6%
Average of class Smartphone (2915 - 77599, n=512)
14348 Points ∼23% -53%
GFXBench (DX / GLBenchmark) 2.7
1920x1080 T-Rex HD Offscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
Huawei P20
125 fps ∼77%
Apple iPhone 8
161.3 fps ∼100% +29%
Google Pixel 2
112 fps ∼69% -10%
Huawei P10
69 fps ∼43% -45%
Huawei P20 Lite
19 fps ∼12% -85%
Huawei P20 Pro
121 fps ∼75% -3%
LG V30
113 fps ∼70% -10%
Samsung Galaxy S9
144 fps ∼89% +15%
Average HiSilicon Kirin 970 (45 - 125, n=8)
108 fps ∼67% -14%
Average of class Smartphone (4.1 - 251, n=537)
29.5 fps ∼18% -76%
T-Rex HD Onscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
Huawei P20
59 fps ∼49%
Apple iPhone 8
119.8 fps ∼100% +103%
Google Pixel 2
59 fps ∼49% 0%
Huawei P10
55 fps ∼46% -7%
Huawei P20 Lite
19 fps ∼16% -68%
Huawei P20 Pro
60 fps ∼50% +2%
LG V30
60 fps ∼50% +2%
Samsung Galaxy S9
60 fps ∼50% +2%
Average HiSilicon Kirin 970 (42 - 60, n=8)
57.4 fps ∼48% -3%
Average of class Smartphone (6.9 - 120, n=540)
24.2 fps ∼20% -59%
GFXBench 3.0
off screen Manhattan Offscreen OGL (sort by value)
Huawei P20
59 fps ∼81%
Apple iPhone 8
70.8 fps ∼97% +20%
Google Pixel 2
52 fps ∼71% -12%
Huawei P10
30 fps ∼41% -49%
Huawei P20 Lite
8.7 fps ∼12% -85%
Huawei P20 Pro
61 fps ∼84% +3%
LG V30
59 fps ∼81% 0%
Samsung Galaxy S9
73 fps ∼100% +24%
Average HiSilicon Kirin 970 (23 - 66, n=8)
54.6 fps ∼75% -7%
Average of class Smartphone (2.2 - 115, n=459)
15.8 fps ∼22% -73%
on screen Manhattan Onscreen OGL (sort by value)
Huawei P20
56 fps ∼49%
Apple iPhone 8
114.5 fps ∼100% +104%
Google Pixel 2
54 fps ∼47% -4%
Huawei P10
32 fps ∼28% -43%
Huawei P20 Lite
8.9 fps ∼8% -84%
Huawei P20 Pro
54 fps ∼47% -4%
LG V30
35 fps ∼31% -37%
Samsung Galaxy S9
45 fps ∼39% -20%
Average HiSilicon Kirin 970 (26 - 56, n=8)
50.4 fps ∼44% -10%
Average of class Smartphone (4.1 - 115, n=462)
15.3 fps ∼13% -73%
GFXBench 3.1
off screen Manhattan ES 3.1 Offscreen (sort by value)
Huawei P20
39 fps ∼72%
Apple iPhone 8
54 fps ∼100% +38%
Google Pixel 2
31 fps ∼57% -21%
Huawei P10
24 fps ∼44% -38%
Huawei P20 Lite
5.2 fps ∼10% -87%
Huawei P20 Pro
39 fps ∼72% 0%
LG V30
40 fps ∼74% +3%
Samsung Galaxy S9
46 fps ∼85% +18%
Average HiSilicon Kirin 970 (19 - 39, n=8)
33.9 fps ∼63% -13%
Average of class Smartphone (1.3 - 69.3, n=324)
13.4 fps ∼25% -66%
on screen Manhattan ES 3.1 Onscreen (sort by value)
Huawei P20
39 fps ∼36%
Apple iPhone 8
109.7 fps ∼100% +181%
Google Pixel 2
40 fps ∼36% +3%
Huawei P10
25 fps ∼23% -36%
Huawei P20 Lite
5.6 fps ∼5% -86%
Huawei P20 Pro
36 fps ∼33% -8%
LG V30
19 fps ∼17% -51%
Samsung Galaxy S9
24 fps ∼22% -38%
Average HiSilicon Kirin 970 (18 - 39, n=8)
33.6 fps ∼31% -14%
Average of class Smartphone (2.6 - 110, n=326)
13.3 fps ∼12% -66%
GFXBench
off screen Car Chase Offscreen (sort by value)
Huawei P20
23 fps ∼82%
Google Pixel 2
24 fps ∼86% +4%
Huawei P10
15 fps ∼54% -35%
Huawei P20 Lite
3.1 fps ∼11% -87%
Huawei P20 Pro
23 fps ∼82% 0%
LG V30
24 fps ∼86% +4%
Samsung Galaxy S9
28 fps ∼100% +22%
Average HiSilicon Kirin 970 (11 - 23, n=8)
20.4 fps ∼73% -11%
Average of class Smartphone (0.72 - 40, n=254)
9.31 fps ∼33% -60%
on screen Car Chase Onscreen (sort by value)
Huawei P20
23 fps ∼92%
Google Pixel 2
25 fps ∼100% +9%
Huawei P10
16 fps ∼64% -30%
Huawei P20 Lite
3.3 fps ∼13% -86%
Huawei P20 Pro
22 fps ∼88% -4%
LG V30
13 fps ∼52% -43%
Samsung Galaxy S9
14 fps ∼56% -39%
Average HiSilicon Kirin 970 (10 - 23, n=8)
19.8 fps ∼79% -14%
Average of class Smartphone (1.1 - 50, n=257)
8.44 fps ∼34% -63%

Legend

 
Huawei P20 HiSilicon Kirin 970, ARM Mali-G72 MP12, 128 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
 
Apple iPhone 8 Apple A11 Bionic, Apple A11 Bionic GPU, Apple 256 GB (iPhone 8 / Plus)
 
Google Pixel 2 Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 (8998), Qualcomm Adreno 540, 64 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
 
Huawei P10 HiSilicon Kirin 960, ARM Mali-G71 MP8, 64 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
 
Huawei P20 Lite HiSilicon Kirin 659, ARM Mali-T830 MP2, 64 GB eMMC Flash
 
Huawei P20 Pro HiSilicon Kirin 970, ARM Mali-G72 MP12, 128 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
 
LG V30 Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 (8998), Qualcomm Adreno 540, 64 GB UFS 2.1 Flash
 
Samsung Galaxy S9 Samsung Exynos 9810, ARM Mali-G72 MP18, 64 GB UFS 2.1 Flash

The preloaded browser on the Huawei P20 is Chrome – version 66.0.3359.126 at the time of the review – ensures quick web browsing. It is still not enough for the top spot in the browser benchmarks, because the JavaScript performance is just average in JetStream 1.1, Octane 2.0, and Mozilla Kraken 1.1. Both the Google Pixel 2 and the Samsung Galaxy S9 are faster, while the Huawei P20 Pro is once again not faster than the Huawei P20. The Apple iPhone 8 is the fastest browsing smartphone by some margin.

JetStream 1.1 - 1.1 Total Score
Apple iPhone 8
206.7 Points ∼100% +268%
Samsung Galaxy S9 (Samsung Browser 7.0)
67.721 Points ∼33% +21%
Google Pixel 2 (Chrome 62)
64.791 Points ∼31% +15%
Huawei P20 Pro (Chrome 65)
58.255 Points ∼28% +4%
Huawei P10 (Chrome 56)
57.9 Points ∼28% +3%
Huawei P20 (Chrome 66.0.3359.126)
56.188 Points ∼27%
LG V30 (Chrome 62)
52.9 Points ∼26% -6%
Average HiSilicon Kirin 970 (33.1 - 58.6, n=8)
51.4 Points ∼25% -9%
Average of class Smartphone (10.8 - 273, n=394)
35.4 Points ∼17% -37%
Huawei P20 Lite (Chrome 63)
23.424 Points ∼11% -58%
Octane V2 - Total Score
Apple iPhone 8
34163 Points ∼100% +198%
Samsung Galaxy S9 (Samsung Browser 7.0)
15233 Points ∼45% +33%
Huawei P20 Pro (Chrome 65)
11584 Points ∼34% +1%
Huawei P20 (Chrome 66.0.3359.126)
11468 Points ∼34%
Google Pixel 2 (Chrome 62)
11380 Points ∼33% -1%
LG V30 (Chrome 62)
10506 Points ∼31% -8%
Huawei P10 (Chrome 56)
10236 Points ∼30% -11%
Average HiSilicon Kirin 970 (6692 - 11838, n=8)
10111 Points ∼30% -12%
Average of class Smartphone (1506 - 43280, n=530)
5305 Points ∼16% -54%
Huawei P20 Lite
4191 Points ∼12% -63%
Mozilla Kraken 1.1 - Total Score
Average of class Smartphone (603 - 59466, n=549)
11710 ms * ∼100% -194%
Huawei P20 Lite (Chrome 63)
10788.1 ms * ∼92% -171%
Average HiSilicon Kirin 970 (3591 - 6221, n=8)
4378 ms * ∼37% -10%
Huawei P20 (Chrome 66.0.3359.126)
3978.9 ms * ∼34%
Huawei P20 Pro (Chrome 65)
3852.2 ms * ∼33% +3%
LG V30 (Chrome 62)
3630 ms * ∼31% +9%
Google Pixel 2 (Chrome 62)
3414.7 ms * ∼29% +14%
Huawei P10 (Chrome 56)
3128.7 ms * ∼27% +21%
Samsung Galaxy S9 (Samsung Browser 7.0)
2077.8 ms * ∼18% +48%
Apple iPhone 8
730.8 ms * ∼6% +82%
WebXPRT 2015 - Overall Score
Apple iPhone 8
359 Points ∼100% +97%
Google Pixel 2 (Chrome 62)
190 Points ∼53% +4%
Huawei P20 Pro (Chrome 65)
182 Points ∼51% 0%
Huawei P20 (Chrome 66.0.3359.126)
182 Points ∼51%
Average HiSilicon Kirin 970 (119 - 187, n=8)
165 Points ∼46% -9%
Samsung Galaxy S9 (Samsung Browser 7.0)
163 Points ∼45% -10%
LG V30 (Chrome 62)
138 Points ∼38% -24%
Huawei P10 (Chrome 56)
136 Points ∼38% -25%
Average of class Smartphone (27 - 362, n=264)
106 Points ∼30% -42%
Huawei P20 Lite (Chrome 63)
86 Points ∼24% -53%

* ... smaller is better

The read and write performance of the two Huawei smartphones is once again comparable since both the P20 and Huawei P20 Pro use UFS 2.1 storage. The previous model Huawei P10 is almost on par. Google's Pixel 2 and the Samsung Galaxy S9 also manage decent read/write performance figures, but fall behind the three Huaweis in the 4K Random Read test.

Huawei P20Google Pixel 2Huawei P10Huawei P20 LiteHuawei P20 ProLG V30Samsung Galaxy S9Average 128 GB UFS 2.1 FlashAverage of class Smartphone
AndroBench 3-5
-20%
-1%
-46%
0%
-40%
-23%
-12%
-75%
Sequential Write 256KB SDCard
32.19 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M401)
69.01 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
47.2
67.18 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
63.9 (51.3 - 72.4, n=4)
44.7 (3.4 - 87.1, n=301)
Sequential Read 256KB SDCard
54.22 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M401)
83.5 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
62.8
79.22 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
79.1 (75.4 - 83.2, n=4)
63 (8.2 - 96.5, n=301)
Random Write 4KB
161.49
18.03
-89%
152.31
-6%
71.07
-56%
160.49
-1%
10.21
-94%
23.07
-86%
97.6 (20 - 164, n=14)
-40%
14.8 (0.14 - 164, n=580)
-91%
Random Read 4KB
147.04
173.13
18%
168.42
15%
48.19
-67%
144.33
-2%
78.17
-47%
131
-11%
141 (132 - 157, n=14)
-4%
36.4 (1.59 - 173, n=580)
-75%
Sequential Write 256KB
193.56
196.22
1%
189.83
-2%
198.3
2%
196.69
2%
193.22
0%
206.94
7%
202 (192 - 212, n=14)
4%
75.8 (2.99 - 242, n=580)
-61%
Sequential Read 256KB
826.76
758.35
-8%
737.65
-11%
293.94
-64%
831.82
1%
669.48
-19%
815.43
-1%
770 (692 - 853, n=14)
-7%
222 (12.1 - 895, n=580)
-73%

Games - Smooth, but the response times are a bit high

The graphics calculations of the Huawei P20 are handled by the ARM GPU Mali-G72 MP12. The high-end GPU is very fast and handles smooth gameplay in all tested games even at maximum settings – and this should not change for upcoming games. All the sensors as well as the speaker at the bottom also work well. The latter provides a spatial sound impression when held in landscape mode. The sound is slightly stronger on the left or right side, respectively, depending on the orientation. It is not distracting when you play games though.

We did not have problems with the long response times, either (21.6 ms black-to-white, 43.2 ms gray-to-gray). Gaming enthusiasts should still test it before they buy the Huawei P20.

Asphalt 8: Airborne
Asphalt 8: Airborne
Dead Trigger 2
Dead Trigger 2
Dead Trigger 2
 SettingsValue
 high59 fps
  Your browser does not support the canvas element!
in comparison
Motorola Moto X Play (min)
 615 MSM8939, Adreno 405
20
   ...
Huawei P smart
 Kirin 659, Mali-T830 MP2
58
Google Pixel 2 XL
 835, Adreno 540
59
Huawei P20
 Kirin 970, Mali-G72 MP12
59
Apple iPhone X
 A11 Bionic, A11 Bionic GPU
59
HTC U11 Plus
 835, Adreno 540
59
   ...
Samsung Galaxy J6 2018 (max)
 7870 Octa, Mali-T830 MP1
60
Asphalt 8: Airborne
 SettingsValue
 high30 fps

Emission - Cool, but throttling under load

Temperature

GFXBench Battery test (T-Rex scenario)
GFXBench Battery test (T-Rex scenario)
GFXBench Battery test (Manhattan scenario)
GFXBench Battery test (Manhattan scenario)

The Huawei P20 only gets lukewarm under load at up to 36.7 °C and can be held in the hands without any discomfort. However, the GFXBench battery test shows that the smartphone has to apply some tricks for the heat dissipation.

Both the T-Rex benchmark as well as the more demanding Manhattan benchmark, which render the same scene thirty times in a row, results in throttling. The Huawei P20 reduces its performance after 20 runs in the T-Rex benchmark, but the drop of the frame rate is very small. This changes a bit in the Manhattan benchmark, where the smartphone throttles much sooner. The frame rate starts to drop after 4 runs and is down to half of the original frame rate after 30 runs.

Max. Load
 36.2 °C
97 F
36.7 °C
98 F
36.1 °C
97 F
 
 36.6 °C
98 F
36.5 °C
98 F
36.1 °C
97 F
 
 35.9 °C
97 F
36.5 °C
98 F
35.8 °C
96 F
 
Maximum: 36.7 °C = 98 F
Average: 36.3 °C = 97 F
31.7 °C
89 F
32.3 °C
90 F
34.5 °C
94 F
32.2 °C
90 F
33.3 °C
92 F
35.9 °C
97 F
32.1 °C
90 F
33.8 °C
93 F
35.6 °C
96 F
Maximum: 35.9 °C = 97 F
Average: 33.5 °C = 92 F
Power Supply (max.)  29.1 °C = 84 F | Room Temperature 20 °C = 68 F | Voltcraft IR-260

Speaker

Speaker charcteristics
Speaker charcteristics

The speaker of the Huawei P20, which is located next to the USB port, creates a pretty balanced sound that does not distort at high volumes. Bass is hardly present, but there is a bit too much emphasis on the high tones.

Similar to the Huawei P20 Pro, there is no 3.5 mm stereo jack at the P20. You can still attach headsets via USB-C thanks to the provided adapter, where you can enjoy Dolby Atmos optimized sound. The Huawei P20 also support aptX-HD for the transmission of HD audio signals via Bluetooth.

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2035.239.32532.941.83137.229.34031.739.95039.640.86328.333.18027.335.410026.93212526.7391602440.220020.949.125020.957.231519.559.740018.553.550017.561.463017.56380015.760.2100015.856.2125016.663.5160015.864.3200015.458.2250015.569.531501670.1400015.873.150001671.5630016.369.7800016.365.21000016.261.81250016.4511600016.435.7SPL28.679.8N1.143.8median 16.4median 60.2Delta2.1735.24232.941.837.230.431.736.639.641.828.331.427.331.526.934.226.731.42429.620.938.320.947.619.546.618.55417.562.817.559.415.758.915.86316.666.415.869.315.471.315.573.41674.815.875.91676.516.371.216.371.616.271.316.467.516.459.628.684.11.153.6median 16.4median 632.111.335.240.532.942.437.233.831.73039.635.128.33127.327.326.930.626.738.62446.820.951.720.955.319.554.218.556.917.561.817.565.315.769.315.872.516.675.215.869.415.471.915.573.91675.315.876.81674.516.370.616.371.316.267.216.459.716.44928.684.91.160.3median 16.4median 67.22.19.9hearing rangehide median Pink NoiseHuawei P20Huawei P20 LiteHuawei P20 Pro
Frequency diagram (checkboxes can be checked and unchecked to compare devices)
Huawei P20 audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (79.8 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(±) | reduced bass - on average 14% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (11.8% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 3% away from median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (10.4% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 8.5% higher than median
(±) | linearity of highs is average (8.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (20% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 11% of all tested devices in this class were better, 7% similar, 82% worse
» The best had a delta of 13%, average was 25%, worst was 44%
Compared to all devices tested
» 41% of all tested devices were better, 8% similar, 51% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Huawei P20 Lite audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (84.1 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 25% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (9.4% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(+) | balanced mids - only 4.4% away from median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (8.7% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 10.5% higher than median
(+) | highs are linear (3.4% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (24.9% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 47% of all tested devices in this class were better, 14% similar, 40% worse
» The best had a delta of 13%, average was 25%, worst was 44%
Compared to all devices tested
» 70% of all tested devices were better, 7% similar, 23% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Huawei P20 Pro audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (84.9 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 21% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (9.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | higher mids - on average 5% higher than median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (7.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 5.6% higher than median
(+) | highs are linear (4.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (19.7% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 10% of all tested devices in this class were better, 5% similar, 85% worse
» The best had a delta of 13%, average was 25%, worst was 44%
Compared to all devices tested
» 40% of all tested devices were better, 6% similar, 54% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Battery Runtime - Lasts 2 days, quick-charger included

Power Consumption

The Huawei P20 is generally an efficient device with an average idle consumption of 2.05 W and 6.15 W under load, but this cannot impress the competition: Only the Huawei P10 consumes even more power, while the rivals like the Huawei P20 Pro and the Samsung Galaxy S9 can be much more efficient. However, high consumption values are not always an indicator for short battery runtimes.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.05 / 0.22 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 0.67 / 2.05 / 2.11 Watt
Load midlight 6.15 / 8.09 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
Huawei P20
3400 mAh
Apple iPhone 8
1821 mAh
Google Pixel 2
2700 mAh
Huawei P10
3200 mAh
Huawei P20 Lite
3000 mAh
Huawei P20 Pro
4000 mAh
LG V30
3300 mAh
Samsung Galaxy S9
3000 mAh
Average HiSilicon Kirin 970
 
Average of class Smartphone
 
Power Consumption
24%
12%
-10%
5%
31%
21%
36%
-10%
11%
Idle Minimum *
0.67
0.54
19%
0.99
-48%
0.83
-24%
0.98
-46%
0.84
-25%
0.72
-7%
0.65
3%
0.978 (0.67 - 1.4, n=8)
-46%
0.884 (0.2 - 3.4, n=613)
-32%
Idle Average *
2.05
1.63
20%
1.35
34%
2.1
-2%
2
2%
1.54
25%
1.37
33%
0.81
60%
2.12 (1.15 - 2.7, n=8)
-3%
1.725 (0.6 - 6.2, n=612)
16%
Idle Maximum *
2.11
1.67
21%
1.37
35%
2.18
-3%
2.11
-0%
1.57
26%
1.41
33%
0.92
56%
2.51 (1.23 - 4.3, n=8)
-19%
1.997 (0.74 - 6.6, n=613)
5%
Load Average *
6.15
2.74
55%
3.25
47%
6.57
-7%
3.9
37%
2.47
60%
3.46
44%
4.76
23%
5.01 (2.47 - 6.5, n=8)
19%
4.03 (0.8 - 10.8, n=607)
34%
Load Maximum *
8.09
7.78
4%
8.56
-6%
9.32
-15%
5.62
31%
2.49
69%
7.83
3%
5.16
36%
8.1 (2.49 - 11.5, n=8)
-0%
5.7 (1.2 - 14.2, n=607)
30%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Runtime

We just saw that the Huawei P20 is not the most efficient smartphone, but the performance in practical situations is more important. The situation changes when it comes to the runtimes, because the P20 manages the longest results in combination with the Huawei P20 Pro and the LG V30. The test device only shuts down after about 13.5 hours both in the WLAN browsing as well as the video test, which should be sufficient for two days. Devices like the Apple iPhone 8, the Google Pixel 2, and the Samsung Galaxy S9 have to be recharged much sooner.

Good: Contrary to some other manufacturers, Huawei does not cut costs in terms of PSU performance. The provided quick-charger (Huawei SuperCharge, 5V/2A, 4.5V/5A, 5V/4.5A) is quite bulky at 9 x 4.5 cm, but charges the P20 very quickly. The battery capacity is back to 75 % after just 40 minutes, and the 100 % mark is reached after about 90 minutes.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
31h 28min
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3
13h 38min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
13h 30min
Load (maximum brightness)
4h 55min
Huawei P20
3400 mAh
Apple iPhone 8
1821 mAh
Google Pixel 2
2700 mAh
Huawei P10
3200 mAh
Huawei P20 Lite
3000 mAh
Huawei P20 Pro
4000 mAh
LG V30
3300 mAh
Samsung Galaxy S9
3000 mAh
Battery Runtime
-22%
-32%
-17%
-37%
-1%
-3%
-37%
Reader / Idle
1888
1629
-14%
1457
-23%
1540
-18%
750
-60%
1727
-9%
1914
1%
1182
-37%
H.264
810
698
-14%
564
-30%
582
-28%
470
-42%
784
-3%
822
1%
609
-25%
WiFi v1.3
818
585
-28%
575
-30%
966
18%
582
-29%
744
-9%
774
-5%
474
-42%
Load
295
202
-32%
161
-45%
176
-40%
247
-16%
345
17%
267
-9%
164
-44%

Pros

+ high-end SoC
+ stylish and very solid case
+ 128 GB storage
+ LTE Cat. 18, VoLTE, VoWiFi
+ USB-C with USB 3.1 Gen. 1
+ WLAN with MIMO technology
+ aptX HD
+ excellent Leica dual-camera
+ bright screen
+ precise color presentation
+ long battery runtimes
+ 10 W quick-charge PSU provided

Cons

- no microSD slot
- no 3.5 mm headset jack
- no IP certification

Verdict

In review: Huawei P20. Test model courtesy of Huawei Germany.
In review: Huawei P20. Test model courtesy of Huawei Germany.

The Huawei P20 is a very good high-end smartphone and ticks a lot of right boxes. Besides the excellent system performance, the 5.8-inch smartphone convinces with good build quality, the latest Android OS, and a bright display. The latter features precise colors and is special thanks to its unusual aspect ratio of 18.7:9 (2240 x 1080 pixels). LTE Cat. 18, the USB-C port with USB 31. Gen. 1 functionality, long battery runtimes, the provided quick-charge PSU, and in our case a dual-SIM module with dual-VoLTE/VoWiFi are other advantages.

The Huawei P20 has one of the best smartphone cameras you can get right now. The Huawei P20 Pro is even (slightly) better, but is 250 Euros more expensive.

We want to mention one particular advantage: Thanks to its Leica dual-camera, the Huawei P20 takes excellent pictures without much effort from the user – just aim and shoot, the camera AI takes care of the rest. The “small” Huawei is definitely a recommendation for camera enthusiasts, even though the Huawei P20 Pro even offers more features with its Leica triple-camera. However, the top model is about 250 Euros more expensive than the P20 and is not any faster since both smartphones are equipped with the identical Kirin SoC.

There are still some drawbacks. We missed an IP certification for the Huawei P20, which is available on the water and dust proof Huawei P20 Pro (IP67). Not every user will like the decision to remove both the microSD slot as well as the 3.5 mm headphone jack.

Huawei P20 - 05/04/2018 v6
Manuel Masiero

Chassis
88%
Keyboard
71 / 75 → 95%
Pointing Device
91%
Connectivity
66 / 60 → 100%
Weight
91%
Battery
95%
Display
93%
Games Performance
64 / 63 → 100%
Application Performance
71 / 70 → 100%
Temperature
92%
Noise
100%
Audio
68 / 91 → 75%
Camera
90%
Average
83%
91%
Smartphone - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Huawei P20 Smartphone Review
Manuel Masiero, 2018-05-16 (Update: 2018-05-16)
Andreas Osthoff
Andreas Osthoff - Senior Editor Business
I grew up with computers and modern consumer electronics. I am interested in the technology since I had my first computer, a Commodore C64, and started building my own PCs after that. My focus here at Notebookcheck is the business segment including mobile workstations, but I also like to test new mobile devices. It is always a great experience to review and compare new products. My free time is filled with a lot of sports, in the summer mainly on my bike.