Huawei P30 Pro vs Honor View 20: Which is best?

These half-siblings are battling for your wallet's affection

At a glance, these phones could be seen as rivals – but Honor is owned by Huawei, so really they're more half-siblings than anything. But one costs twice as much as the other.

The newly-released Huawei P30 Pro aims to be the top dog of the industry, as the £899 handset packs in premium features. The most notable among them is a quad-camera array that provides a stunning 10x lossless zoom feature. Meanwhile, the Honor View 20 trims down on a couple of specs, but is darn close for a phone that costs just £499.

Which should you be throwing your hard-earned cash at this spring? Here's what we think, now that we've reviewed both handsets.

Design: They make a splash

If you love a flashy phone, then you've got two of the flashiest around right here. The P30 Pro offers a fresh slate of gradient colours like those seen on the back of the P20 Pro, with the new Amber Sunrise the early standout here.

Meanwhile, the Honor View 20 packs more of a punch than phones at the £500 level, with an angular pattern that our reviewer described as a "sequin-shirt-leather-trousers-jazz-hands affair." It's neat.

From the front, it really comes down to preference. The Honor View 20 opts for a Galaxy S10-like punch-hole screen, poking a little hole in the upper left corner for the selfie camera, while the P30 Pro has a teardrop notch at the center-top. Both are pretty unobtrusive in the grand scheme of things. Both phones also have a bottom "chin" of bezel, as well.

We're giving the P30 Pro a very slight edge as the design packs in a bit more premium polish, but the View 20's a looker too.

Verdict: Huawei P30 Pro

Screen: AMOLED vs LCD

You might be surprised at how close these phones are in this category, given the price points. The Huawei P30 Pro has a slight advantage with its 6.47in 1080p display because it's an AMOLED panel, which means deeper black levels and improved contrast.

The Honor View 20 looks about the same at 6.4in and 1080p resolution, but the decision to use the cheaper LCD tech there means it doesn't look quite as punchy. But it's still a great-looking screen, in our experience. And maybe even a bit more immersive with the punch-hole design.

Verdict: Huawei P30 Pro

Camera: Four to one

Here's where that extra £400 manifests itself the most. The Honor View 20 actually has a really great camera – shockingly so for the price – with a single 48-megapixel sensor on the back. It captures a huge amount of detail, the dynamic range tweaking impresses, and even nighttime shots are pretty nice. It's better than anything else at the price.

Meanwhile, the P30 Pro packs four cameras on the back, with a new time-of-flight sensor added alongside the kind of triple-camera setup seen on last autumn's Mate 20 Pro. And its biggest trick is the ability to pull off 10x lossless zoom.

That might sound like an exaggerated marketing claim, but it's totally legit. The P30 Pro really can capture serious detail from afar. And if you're a smartphone-snapping guru who needs the best mobile tech, then that might convince you to splurge on the P30 Pro. But the View 20 does just fine for far less cash.

Verdict: Huawei P30 Pro

Performance: Equally equipped

Amazingly, both phones actually feature the same high-end processor: Huawei's own Kirin 980 chip, previously seen in the Mate 20 Pro. It's pretty close to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 and Samsung Exynos 9820 seen in other top handsets, in terms of Android processing prowess.

The P30 Pro comes with 8GB RAM standard, while the Honor View 20 comes in 6GB and 8GB options. Honestly, it shouldn't make much of a difference: 6GB is a lot of RAM for a smartphone. Both of these phones can run top-end games and plenty else with ease.

Verdict: Draw

Battery and perks: The Pro difference

Again, you might be surprised at how comparable these phones are in terms of battery capacity: the P30 Pro has a huge 4,200mAh cell, but the Honor View 20 comes in right behind at 4,000mAh – the same as last year's P20 Pro.

Granted, the P30 Pro has wireless perks: both wireless charging and reverse wireless charging, which lets you pop someone else's phone on the back of yours and give it a top-up. The Honor View 20 has neither of those.

The P30 Pro also has an advantage with expandable storage. You can get that handset in 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB varieties, with the ability to add more to your tally via Nano Memory Cards. However, the Honor View 20 has 128GB and 256GB options with no slot to add more.

Note that the Honor View 20 has one big advantage here: a 3.5mm headphone port, which the P30 Pro lacks. Also, it has a fingerprint sensor on the back, while the P30 Pro's is inside the screen. Up to you on whether either is better than the other.

Verdict: Huawei P30 Pro

Verdict: A matter of perspective

Look only at the category verdicts and this seems like an awfully one-sided battle. Yes, the Huawei P30 Pro is the better overall device, with a bit more premium polish and perks, most notably the quad-camera array with its incredible 10x zoom. It's £899, so of course it's better-equipped than Honor's much cheaper-alternative.

But the Honor View 20 is shockingly close overall, with the same processor, a nearly-as-large battery pack, a nearly-as-large screen, and a nice bit of design flash on the back. With a £400 difference between them, it makes the Honor View 20 seem like a hell of a deal.

If you're not concerned about having the most versatile and impressive camera setup around, then we imagine that you'll do just fine with the Honor View 20. It's that 10x zoom that really sells the P30 Pro, so if that's not something you expect to use regularly, then why drop all of that extra cash? The Huawei P30 Pro is the better overall device and experience, but for the average buyer, the Honor View 20 is probably the smarter pick.

Winner: Huawei P30 Pro