Huawei’s P20 Pro is a beautiful phone that merges the sleek design of the Samsung Galaxy series with the Apple front screen notch while not compromising in camera design with a 3 sensor + lens combo that may be the best camera solution on a phone yet. In fact, DPreview has an article on the stills camera performance here. They call it “the most innovative mobile device we have seen in quite some time” which is a tall order considering how good the competition camera’s like in the Pixel 2 XL, Galaxy S9 and the iPhone X have gotten.
What interests us, however, is the slow-motion mode which allows the phone to shoot a 0.25sec burst of 720p video at 960fps which is slightly above the time recorded by the Galaxy S9 and Sony Xperia XZ series of last year but still below the new Xperia XZ2’s 0.4 seconds at 720p this year. We were not impressed with the quality of either phone when it came to overall resolution and artifacts so we were skeptical about the Huawei P20 Pro since the start.
Huawei P20 Pro Main Specs:
|Type||AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors|
|Size||6.1 inches, 93.8 cm2 (~81.9% screen-to-body ratio)|
|Resolution||1080 x 2244 pixels, 18.7:9 ratio (~408 ppi density)|
|Multitouch||Yes – With gestures|
|Operating SYSTEM||OS||Android 8.1 (Oreo)|
|Chipset||Hisilicon Kirin 970|
|CPU||Octa-core (4×2.4 GHz Cortex-A73 & 4×1.8 GHz Cortex-A53)|
|Internal MEMORY||Card slot||No SD Expandable|
|Internal||128 GB, 6 GB RAM|
|CAMERA Specs||Primary||Triple: 40 MP (f/1.8, 1/1.7″, OIS) + 20 MP (f/1.6) + 8 MP (f/2.4), Leica optics, 3x optical zoom, phase detection and laser autofocus, dual-LED dual-tone flash|
|Features||Geo-tagging, touch focus, face detection, HDR, panorama mode.|
|Video||2160p@30fps, 1080p 60fps, 720p@960fps|
|Secondary||24 MP, autofocus, f/2.0, 1080p|
MSRP in the UK:
- P20: £599 About $849 USD
- P20 Pro: £799 About $1,100 USD
Asia and Europe release, no planned release for the USA but will work on GSM carriers if imported or bought as an import model.
HUAWEI P20|P20 Pro: Meet the new Huawei P20 Series by Huawei:
HUAWEI P20 Pro: 3X Optical Zoom by Huawei:
Impressive specs any way you look at it. There is a P20 non-pro variant that has only 2 cameras, a smaller battery at 3400 mAh, 4GB of RAM instead of 6GB and of course a smaller screen at 5.7″ vs 6.1″ on the Pro. Which means if you want to save some $ the standard P20 still retains the 960fps 720p mode for a lot less. We were told the quality on the high-speed mode is identical on both phone variants as the camera module and processing responsible for that spec is the same. No headphone Jack 3.5mm on any of them which is a disturbing trend for fans of this port.
Huawei P20 Pro Slow Motion Samples:
In the samples below it is clear that the quality of this video mode at 960fps is quite good. Of course, you will get the stair stepping aliasing and moire due to the resolution loss created by the phone’s inability to save every line.
If you look at it side by side with Sony and Samsung’s slow-motion mode we see a lot to like here. Maybe this phone has a better overall resolution advantage in slow motion compared to the others but we will have to test side by side to see if there is a real advantage.
HUAWEI P20|P20 Pro: 960fps Super Slow Motion @Kitchen by Huawei Smartphones:
Huawei P20 Pro Slow motion at 960fps SLOW-MO by hxos plus:
Huawei P20 Pro 960Fps Slo-Mo by TechBuzz:
Huawei P20 Pro sample slow motion video by Camera Jabber:
There is no question the color, dynamic range and overall crisp quality of the footage is impressive considering it is a phone. If you inspect the footage closely you do see aliasing but the quality retained is much better than expected here and may make the P20 the best slow motion phone of the year just based on that. We were disappointed by both Samsung’s soft detail and Sony’s excessive jaggies in their recently released handsets.
HUAWEI P20|P20 Pro: 960fps Super Slow Motion @Bedroom by Huawei Smartphones:
The Rec Time Problem:
The P2 and P20 pro suffer from the same recording time constraint which is in this case 0.25 seconds or 1/4 of a second which translates to 8 seconds playback time at 30fps from the 960fps input. Still, this is slightly above the 0.2 seconds of the competition which may not sound by much but that means an increase of 1.6 seconds in playback time from the 6.4 seconds on the Sony and Samsung phones.
Directly from Huawei on the Rec Time Limit:
* 0.25s recorded in 960 fps Super Slow Motion mode equates to approximately 8s of standard video.
So Huawei has an edge in resolution at first view and also an edge in recording time which makes it the one to keep in our sights for slow-motion video phone of the year. We hope to have more samples and comparisons soon to be able to rate the phone accordingly.
Well done Huawei! -HSC
More info at Huawei’s Official Site: https://consumer.huawei.com/en/phones/p20-pro/