Prepare for battle, the View 20 is locked and loaded with tech you’ve never seen before and we’re sure you can’t look away this time.
While OnePlus was busy creating marketing plans, Honor sweeped the floor with its best creation - the View 20. It fits an in-display cut-out selfie cam and a psychedelic back to grab paparazzi’s attention.
Keeping its glamourous looks aside, Honor manages to squeeze in flagship-like speed borrowed from the Mate 20 Pro, a horse’s stamina and a killer 48MP rear camera to take down other smartphones thriving under the ₹40k budget.
Can this dethrone the OnePlus 6T? Let’s find out...
Design: A hole lotta love
Smartphones were starting to get a little boring with their iPhone-like notch, until the View 20 dropped its curtains and flaunted its first ever in-display cut-hole camera in India.
Flip the phone around and get bamboozled with its v-shaped-arrow-like highlights and edges that glitter up in every angled it’s titled it in. Sometimes, it looks like its got LEDs fitted into the back of the phone, but it’s not. It really depends on the lighting conditions, to be honest.
Apart from that, the phone doesn’t feel that heavy in the hand despite its mega battery, it’s great for big hands and can feel a bit slippery at times since the back is glossy. The body may not feel as polished or premium as the OnePlus 6T, but doesn’t feel tacky either.
The best part - it fits in an IR blaster on the top so you can control your TV or AC or any other home appliance. There’s also a dual SIM slot and the beloved 3.5mm headphone jack, which the OnePlus 6T misses out on. Not bad, not bad at all.
Screen: Punchy and bright
The 6.4in Full HD+ (1080 x 2310) screen is beautiful to stare at and has a 92% screen-to-body ratio which makes it awesome for landscape gaming, watching movies and work. Only thing, it rocks an LCD screen instead of an AMOLED, which is still looks pretty sharp and crisp. Although, it misses out on the Always On display feature since it isn’t an OLED screen.
The display comes with a default yellow-ish display tone - which is good for your eyes - but you can switch to vivid if you prefer whiter (or brighter) colour pallette.
The cut-hole notch didn't us bother while watching YouTube or playing games. So, after some time you tend to forget about it since it’s at the bottom corner of the screen (unlike the Galaxy S10 which is on the top right corner) and it feels like a full-view display after a while of using it. We think it looks cute and it’s not as annoying like other moustache-like or dew-drop notches.
Cameras: Blow that up!
All hail the 48MP AI rear camera with 3D tricks, first to arrive on a smartphone.
Honor wants you to ditch your professional camera for its massive megapixel rear camera. Using its ‘Ultra-Clarity’ 48MP mode, you can churn out high-resolution pictures, enough to blow up on a full-sized billboard without your designer complaining of blurry or low-res photographs.
Pictures aren’t as detailed as the Pixel 3 or the Galaxy Note 9, but we feel it’s slightly better, brighter and sharper than the OnePlus 6T. Surprisingly, we preferred keeping its AI mode switched on since pictures just turned out to be a little better. The result won’t be as natural, but it’ll be picturesque enough to ramp up your Instagram page.
Did you know? Using AI, the View 20 can recognise multiple objects and scenarios and processes 4500 pictures/minute. Smarty pants, this one!
The selfies from its 25MP front camera are a bit faded and soft, but it’s more than okay since most of us are going to use it for social media apps like Snapchat or Insta. And hey, you can always turn on Portrait mode for all kinds of naughty, but don’t expect anything too fab.
The camera app is filled with every kind of mode you demand - more like camera bloatware - but it’s a boon for extreme shutterbugs. Nevertheless, it’s zippy to get through from modes and offers everything you need to get the best out of a single photo. Yes, even stickers.
Night Mode gives you an option to set ISO and aperture levels before you take your shot. Just make sure you aren’t too shaky or in motion, and you’ll churn out a decent picture with lesser noise and grain compared to a normal photo.
You can shoot decent videos upto 4K (30fps) and 1080p (60fps) with EIS on board, so videos aren’t shaky if you’re in a tum-tum on a mountain.
Using Honor’s TOF 3D sensor (first on a smartphone) you can tone your body into whatever size you dream of. The final output maybe slightly off-putting or cartoonish. You can fool your stalkers on Tinder, but don’t you dare go modelling around social media. The sensor also works for particular 3D games too.
Performance and Battery: Bring it on
With Huawei’s flagship processor - Kirin 980 - running the show, you can throw in any task, game or app you demand and it’ll deliver like a boss. Games like PUBG, Asphalt 9, Clash Royale and Alto’s Odyssey ran buttery smooth without the phone heating up. All credit goes to its liquid cooling system. The phone remains in optimal condition without your hands melting down whilst killing zombies in the battlefield.
Speaking of killing zombies in PUBG - set the graphics to HDR, pump up the frame rate to Ultra and get ready to have a blast. Oh, make sure you’ve switched to ‘performance mode’ (via battery) if you want to squeeze and bring out the best potential from the View 20. We can already smell some Chicken Dinners!
We’ve always praised the Honor’s and Huawei’s for its insane battery life and this one deserves credit. Its 4000mAh battery is more than enough for a day and a half with more than average usage. Once drained, super fast charge it from zero to hundred within an hour or so and you’re back in business. Switch it to Ultra Power Savings Mode before you head out camping and grant yourself a minimum three day battery life (from 100%).
Software: A new path
Since Honor wanted its own way of running the show, it introduced the Magic UI 2.0. This is very similar to Huawei’s EMUI, but it’s got a few tweaks and minor changes inside the user interface.
Nevertheless, it’s still heavily bloated with its own apps (which we eventually dumped it in a folder/or uninstalled it) albeit still very customisable and user friendly. If you like having things in a particular fashion, you’ll appreciate its way of working. Geeks we tell you...
Honor View 20 verdict
The Honor View 20 is the best alternative to the OnePlus 6T you’ll find. Is it actually better? Well, the camera is. So is battery life. And it’s certainly more eye-catching.
It's a beast of a phone and it deserves the first prize at the winners podium. However, it still isn’t as common around folks, it doesn’t feel as ‘premium’ as the OnePlus 6T and however customisable its UI maybe, it's still quite bloated.
Nevertheless, Honor’s jumped a massive leap and treated us with a flagship with amazing potential to gun down other smartphones in the ₹30-40k range. Nicely done, Honor.