Honor’s new flagship challenger, the Honor View 20, is the £500 smartphone that’s here to challenge the big boys to their hefty price tags and try and knock them off the throne. Honor has been taking the UK market by storm lately, releasing affordable phones for the masses.
So where should we start? Well, let’s take a look at styling first of all.
The View 20 is probably one of, if not the best looking mid-range smartphone that is available on the market right now. It’s bright and bold colour options with that amazing holographic light reflecting rear cover makes the phone have such a premium feel for the price.
The Honor View 20 was released just a few months ago on January 22nd of 2019, so of course, being so new, we’ve got the addition of a hole punch camera, and large screen size which seems to be a trend across Honors latest line up. We unfortunately still don’t get stereo speakers with the View 20, but it’s only a mild inconvenience for the price point.
Some would arguably state that View 20 actually also has one of the best camera set up’s for the money, with a 48MP rear camera and 24mp front facing camera. Comparing this to a phone like Samsung’s Galaxy S9+ with its 12-MP SuperSpeed Dual Pixel telephoto lens. The advantage the View20 has is a higher level of image data in the pictures it takes, but the Galaxy S9+ has the better mechanical zoom lens (no quality loss on zooming in). It also has better post-processing and image sensor which, when using a professional image editor, gives you way more detail and data to play with.
The View 20’s camera can shoot in a few different resolutions: 4K, UHD or HD so your pictures are always going to look great! Honors AI camera assistant also helps with turning any shot you take into a visually great looking image which means less work for you. My main criticism of the Honor 10 Lite was that the camera was lacking in terms of manual control for exposure, white balance and ISO. Fortunately, this seems to be fixed on the View 20 with plenty of control being given to the user.
The design of the View 20 feels much more premium than its price tag would suggest. It’s metal bezel and reflective rear cover certainly attract the eye. Not to mention its bold, rich blue colour.
One thing I must admit is the decision of putting the volume button on the right side of the phone above the lock button instead of on the left as seen traditionally, does take a fair bit of getting used to on the View 20, but is only a mild inconvenience. I also noticed a nice small detail on the lock button where it’s slightly textured to give that sensory confirmation of what it’s purpose is to our brains.
Something I’m very pleased with is the inclusion of a headphone jack for plugging in headphones or earpieces. It’s nice to see that both Honor still feel the 3.5mm is an important feature on a modern smartphone. Yes, I’m looking at you Apple.
Somewhat of a useless observation, but I found it interesting so I’m going to tell you. Honor has opted to notification light inside the speaker mesh so isn’t exactly obvious, but then again, I suppose in today’s world, we check our phones fairly often anyway. I just personally found it an odd place to put it.
It’s powered and charged by a USB-C port which is nice to see. My main complaint about the Honor 10 Lite was that it was still using a micro USB port and cable, so the View 20 having the USB-C is a welcome upgrade.
When it comes to UI, I’m going to straight up say that I much prefer Googles Android 9.0 compared to Honors new UI software, Magic. The main reason being is that out of the box, Android Pie looks considerably more modern and slick than Honors current Magic update with simplistic and minimalist icons and designs. On the flipside, Magic isn’t exactly an ugly UI to use, but just feels a little dated in terms of icon design and usability. For performance, both platforms feel responsive and quick to use and I’ve noticed no real issues with app crashes and freezes.
For gaming, the View 20’s “GPU Turbo 2.0” certainly helps with frame rate and smoothness in games with no visible lag. The View 20 also shares similar tech to the S9 in terms of cooling, with a copper liquid cooling chamber included distributing heat effectively.
I’ve been using the View20 for just over two weeks now and for durability, it’s not too bad. The blemishes on this particular model were already included with this particular review device, but does highlight the key areas to watch out for. The camera lens metal lips are a clear culprit here, with paint wear certainly being an area to keep an eye on. The issue being is that the lenses aren’t flush with the rear covert so when resting on surfaces, the lens surrounds will be where the phone rests on the most.
However, the rear cover has remained intact with no visible scratching despite being thrown around in a carry bag and daily, regular use.
Battery life is very respectable from the 4000mAh battery with a full charge lasting an entire day on the View 20. You’ll easily get around 55% charge within 30 minutes which is helpful if you’re constantly on the move.
To quickly run over the specs, the view 20 has a Kirin 980 processor and 6GB of ram so can completely cope with anything you through at it in day to day use. Storage wise, you’ve got a couple of options. Mainly being 256GB storage with 8GB of RAM or 128GB with 6/8GB of RAM. It’s also got a fingerprint scanner on the back which is pretty much standard these days
Overall, I’m very impressed by the Honor View 20 and would consider it a genuine alternative to buying a flagship phone from the likes of Samsung, Apple or Huawei. Is it worth the £500 asking price? Absolutely. The value for money with the View 20 is incredible and it’s really taken me by surprise.
So as a final note, would I personally go out of my way to buy the Honor View 20? Possibly, I still think the camera needs work, but as a device to use daily? It’s beyond brilliant.
The Honor View 20 is a real flagship slayer, offering very competitive specs and a great camera at an affordable price point. Hats off to Honor for making a great value for money smartphone, showing off just what you can really get if don’t want to spend £1000 on a new phone.