Honor View20 review (hands-on): Flagship pairs notchless design with a 48-megapixel rear camera

It's important to have a well informed opinion about the technology you're buying.

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The Honor View20 couples in-screen selfie camera with 48-megapixel rear shooter in the company’s most exciting phone yet

Honor’s latest flagship phone has just been announced and it’s unlike anything we’ve seen before. Instead of a notch housing the front-facing camera, the camera peeps through a small, circular aperture: this is the world’s first “in-display” selfie camera phone.

It’s an impressive feat from Honor and it beats Korean giant Samsung to the punch by a significant margin. Since the rumours started growing around Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy S10, we’ve seen evidence to suggest it, too, will eliminate the notch in favour of similar in-display camera technology.

Honor View 20 hands-on: UK release date and price

The Honor View20 is set for release in China on 26 December 2018. In Europe (and that includes the UK), we’ll see it announced on 22 January 2019 in Paris, France.

Prices have yet to be announced but given last year’s Honor View10 came in at an affordable £449, we’d hope to see it sit under £500. Given how expensive the big-name phones have become of late, that would make the trend-setting View20 a tempting proposition.

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Honor View 20 hands-on: Cameras

The phone’s biggest, but by no means only, talking point is its in-display camera. The selfie camera sits at the top left-hand side of the phone’s large, 6in-ish display and it measures a mere 4.5mm across. That’s significantly smaller than the normal diameter for a front-facing camera, which would be around 6mm (or more).

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Achieving this was no mean feat, according to Jimmy Xiong, Honor’s General Manager for Products, but he can give himself a firm pat on the back as the result is quite spectacular. There’s no notch to be seen and nothing to interrupt your viewing pleasure. Finally, we can all stop complaining about the positioning and styling of the notch.

The selfie camera itself is no slouch, either. It has a 25-megapixel sensor that captures 5,760 x 4,304 images. Upon first impressions, the results look good.

Around the back, there are improvements, too. The single rear camera sits at a staggering 48-megapixels – that’s 8,000 x 6,000 pixels – the highest we’ve ever seen from any phone, ever.

This has been made possible by Sony’s latest IMX586 camera module, which uses a large 1/3in (8mm) CMOS sensor.

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Honor View 20 hands-on: Performance and design

If the cameras weren’t impressive enough, the internals look great, too. Housed inside the View20 is a Kirin 980. This is the same processor that’s housed inside the Huawei’s Mate 20 Pro and Honor’s Magic 2.

Expect blistering speeds, excellent gaming performance and over 6GB of RAM. We expect to see 64GB-128GB of storage space, too, although these details have yet to be officially confirmed.

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As for design, Honor is sticking with an all-glass rear panel. Much like its predecessors – the View10 and the Honor 10 – the View20 will have 4D glass that refracts light and glimmers as you tilt it back and forth.

Unfortunately, Honor hasn’t yet shared full specifications on the View20, so we don’t know whether the phone is dust- and water-resistance, if it has a 3.5mm jack or not, how big its battery is or the location of its speakers. We’ll be updating this hands-on as soon as we get more information on those points.

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Honor View 20 hands-on: Early verdict

It’s exciting to see how far Honor has come in just four years and the View20 sees the firm finally emerging from the shadow of its parent company, Huawei, which given the latest controversies surrounding the Chinese communications giant, might just be a good thing.

With a hugely interesting camera setup at both front and rear, powerful internals and what’s set to be an attractive design, too, the View20 could well be the most interesting phone we’ve seen for some time.

Source: expertreviews.co.uk