HONOR 20 review - A rear quad-camera budget phone that works wonderfully


Back when I posted the HONOR 20 Lite review, I thought it was a pretty nice budget-friendly smartphone but let's be honest, the price alone is not enough to justify purchasing it. However, when the HONOR 20 series made their debut in London, I took it out for a spin and clearly, this is a much better variant by a mile. Ladies and gents, this is our review of the HONOR 20


Design - Just like the View20 but less pretty

In terms of design, the HONOR 20 doesn't really have that much to shine for except for its Sapphire Blue counterpart. Albeit, the Sapphire Blue model looks nice but shiny backsides have become so common amongst smartphones that it won't really budge an eye, unlike the View20 that has a cool arrow symbol. For some reason, HONOR Malaysia are not planning to bring in the Icelandic White into Malaysia. If only the HONOR 20 could change its colours in between like the HONOR 20 Pro variant, but then, I suppose not everyone shares the same sentiment.


The O-cutout front camera on the front display, and this is how Sapphire Blue looks like


USB Type-C and speaker grill at the bottom, while the right side has the volume buttons and a nice fingerprint scanner/power button


No expandable memory on this one

There is quite a big camera bump for the triple rear camera but that's easily solved with the protective casing that comes within the box. The O-cutout front camera gets a warm welcome back for getting rid of the notch and its side-mounted fingerprint scanner is really nice, as it is designed in such a way to fit your finger or thumb perfectly.


Tech specs and features - Each camera lens has a purpose

Here are the tech specs of the HONOR 20:


  • Kirin 980 chipset (7nm) + Dual NPU
  • 6GB of RAM
  • 128GB UFS 2.1 storage
  • 6.26-inch All-View Display
  • 16MP (Super Wide Angle, F/2.2) + 48MP (Sony IMX 586, F/1.8) + 2MP (Depth Assist, F/2.4) + 2MP (F/2.4)
  • 32MP Front Camera
  • Features Fingerprint Sensor (side-mounted), Face Unlock, GPU Turbo 3.0, Virtual 9.1 Surround Sound, SuperCharge (22.5W)
  • Magic UI 2.1 based on Android 9.0 Pie
  • 3750mAh battery

In view of the tech specs, the HONOR 20 is pretty much similar to the View 20 except for having a bigger battery (and a slightly bigger display) on the latter, while the former has a bigger 32MP front camera and two additional camera sensors - a Super Wide Angle 16MP camera and a tiny 2MP camera just for macro shots.

Having a Super Wide Angle lens on a smartphone is the trend these days, but it's nice to know that the quality doesn't drop that much by having a 16MP sensor. But what's more interesting is that it has a dedicated macro lens which you don't see every day. Usually, smartphone brands would integrate the camera software with a macro mode or none at all, so by having one, you can say that photo quality is quite legit but more on that later.


A closer look at the quad camera module, the 2MP macro lens is in between the wordings


Still the same camera UI, you can access into macro mode by going into Settings


The fingerprint scanner/power button

Another worthy feature to talk about is the side-mounted fingerprint scanner. It works like any fingerprint scanner, but it's super fast. Like, you don't even need to press on the button to log in to the phone at all, it's instantaneous and this alone makes the Face Unlock redundant in a good way. However, it might be too good for its use, as that also means your friends can just grab your designated finger to unlock the phone just as easily.


Performance - Pretty decent, but the camera is the highlight

Even without the use of GPU Turbo 3.0, the HONOR 20 itself can handle most graphics intense games such as Asphalt 9 and PUBG Mobile easily. It's also good to know that the phone does not heat up like wildfire on your fingers, as well as without eating up the battery juice too fast. Great SuperCharge speed too, easily charging up to full power in just an hour and a half.

HONOR was also quick to highlight that the phone has a Virtual 9.1 Surround Sound feature too, so on paper, the sound quality should sound great and thankfully, it does not disappoint. Not only is it good with music, but this applies to movies too and I had a pretty great time with it for my movie marathon during my long flight to London. Speaking of London, the connectivity and network call quality there are the same just as in Malaysia.


AnTuTu score


3DMark score, it's below average actually


GPUBench score


Battery chart between gaming and watching a movie for an hour

Finally, we have reached my favourite part of the phone - photography. In comparison, the photography performance between the HONOR 20 and View20 are very similar but as mentioned earlier, the former has the advantage of capturing Super Wide Angle and Macro shots easily. I'm also glad to report that there's no awkward fish-eye effect on the Super Wide Angle lens but of course, it's not all that perfect. 

As much as I love the photo quality, the AIS Night Mode is not really consistent like other HONOR models like the View20 or the 8X, as the night photos would oddly look better without that mode. The Macro shot can be a hit or miss because it's kinda hard to pinpoint the 4cm distance between your phone and the subject. Anyway, check out some of my photos from London!


Look at the details on the duck!




Panorama shot


Super wide-angle shot!


Another super wide-angle shot from The London's Eye on a gloomy cold day


Using the super wide-angle lens to shoot horizontally


The phone's portrait mode has improved a lot too


Strike a pose


Just some street photography on Borough Market


Portrait mode doesn't disappoint




Macro shot on a bee


Another one, great details


AIS Night Mode, the noise is too evident in the skies


Normal night shot, I prefer this one


Conclusion – Wonder captured

There are plenty of reasons to like this phone, there's the design (Sapphire Blue and Icelandic White!), good tech specs and gaming capability, decent battery longevity, amazing camera performance, and the convenient side-mounted fingerprint scanner. All this just for RM1699.

Honestly, that's a pretty good price as it already beats a few triple camera flagships around from a few Ringgit to a two thousand (for real). But the real competition it faces is the Xiaomi Mi 9 with the exact same price, carrying similar high-end tech specs such as the Snapdragon 855 chipset. This is a pretty tough fight, and we like both phones a lot. So I guess it just comes down to which brand you prefer in that matchup.

So what do you think of our review? Do you agree with us? The HONOR 20 will officially be on sale from 21 June 2019 onwards across the nation. Stay tuned for more smartphone reviews at TechNave.com in the near future!

HONOR 20 Specs & Price >