A few weeks ago when I started my journey into the Android world, I was not sure if I could take the leap, but boy oh boy have I been converted!
As you know, a few days ago the official launch of Huawei’s P20 series happened in Paris at the iconic Grand Palais and as one of the lucky few to get my hands on the P20 Pro before it’s officially release date this week I have to say, it has won my heart. The Huawei P20 Pro features the world’s first Leica triple camera.
Ahead of the launch, I got to attend an exclusive Lifestyle Media Preview event where we got insights from Global Senior Product Marketing Manager Peter Gauden and a small masterclass from Leica photographer Alex Lambrechts. We also got to see a display of photos taken by the amazing Helena Christensen.
Since Mobile World Congress the world wondered, will Huawei deliver at the launch or will they fall short?. It was pretty obvious that they didn’t just deliver, they wowed each and every person in the audience.
One of the biggest impacts for me, was the way Richard Yu delivered the presentation. Having attended launches before, you see a basic presentation, a new product and then you get to see the product demo. But this time it was different.
First of all, all the extra features, it was not just 1 or 2 or 3, it looked like a Mary Poppins bag! The features kept on coming! And you could see how much fun Richard Yu was having on stage, you could feel how proud he was of these new devices and how they were miles away from their competitors when it came to the Master AI and the photo quality.
And you don’t have to take my word for it!
Look at any review since the launch and the independent DxOMark tests, they have beaten their competitors by a landslide. According to the DxOMark, “Huawei P20 Pro beats the competition in virtually every category, taking the number one spots in both our Photo and Video Ranking. If you are looking for the current best camera in a smartphone, look no further.”
The one thing I learned in Barcelona at MWC, was that Huawei likes competition, it’s what will always make brands want to be better and keep innovating, but this was just one of those moments were you thought… “Are they for real?! No way! Wow!”
Richard Yu even commented on the question many people have asked him… Why P20 and not P11 or P12?, and his answer was quite simple. They are so far ahead that they also jumped on the numbers! Calling it P11 would have not been enough, it would have not made it justice. This is the best looking and best built phone Huawei has made to date. Talk about boldness and confidence!
I have to say that although spokesperson Gal Gadot was around, not even the beautiful actress could take away the focus from these beautiful devices and where the main stream media’s focus was on.
So how about we start with the official video presentation?
Isn’t that beautiful? As per Huawei’s press release , both devices include unprecedented AI advances, combining technology and art to bring to life a groundbreaking smartphone experience.
With the debut of the Huawei P20 Series, Huawei makes capturing professional quality images a truly effortless experience for everyone.
“We look for inspiration from artists to continuously evolve our approach to design and innovation,” said Richard Yu, Chief Executive Officer, Huawei Consumer Business Group. “The Huawei P20 Series builds on the legacy of our collaboration with Leica. With a breakthrough triple camera on the Huawei P20 Pro, an advanced dual camera on the Huawei P20, and powerful artificial intelligence on both, today’s most vibrant consumers can capture and share the brilliance of the world around them.”
Achieving DxOMark’s highest overall scores, the Huawei P20 Series includes advanced, intelligent camera systems that bring consumers features that ultimately enhance every part of the smartphone photography experience.
We cannot forget the first ever front facing 24MP camera for all the selfie lovers. It has never been easier to take high end photos, and print rea quality from a smartphone. You get vibrant, sharp and dazzling images.
A highlight during the launch was the presentation by Richard Yu and Dr Jan Becker, CEO of Porsche Design when they announced the collaboration for the Porsche Design Huawei Mate RS smartphone which combines Porsche Design’s signature brand aesthetic with Huawei’s mobile engineering expertise setting a new standard in luxury smartphones.
According to the press release:
“The Porsche Design Huawei Mate RS (Race Sport) features a Leica triple camera with the highest total pixel count on a smartphone available in the market – the camera configuration is comprised of a 40MP RGB sensor, a 20MP monochrome sensor and an 8MP sensor with telephoto lens. This is the world’s first smartphone equipped with micro capsule PCM – an aerospace cooling technology for maintaining a safe temperature. In addition, the Porsche Design Huawei Mate RS features an innovative in-screen fingerprint sensor which allows consumers to wake up the device by floating their finger above the display, while touching the sensor to unlock the device is lightning fast. The back fingerprint sensor can also be used to unlock the device or to access a second, secure space. The 6-inch OLED 2K curved screen Porsche Design Huawei Mate RS is available in Black, and for the first time, in an eye-catching Red.
The Huawei P20 Series and Porsche Design Huawei Mate RS feature TÜV Safety Certified Huawei SuperCharge. Both the Huawei P20 Pro and Porsche Design Huawei Mate RS have a 4,000 mAh battery – the Huawei P20 features a 3,400 mAh battery – with AI-powered Battery Management. The Porsche Design Huawei Mate RS is the first Huawei smartphone to enable quick wireless charging.”
Here is a video of the new Porsche Design Huawei Mate RS
Key features of the Huawei P20 Series include:
• An advanced camera system to capture more light, more details and more beauty, featuring a revolutionary Leica triple camera and 5x Hybrid Zoom on the Huawei P20 Pro, and a Leica dual camera on the Huawei P20; The 5x Hybrid Zoom allows you to zoom in on your subject and produce outstanding results when you want to capture incredible details at a distance.
• Innovative photography features, including Master AI with AI-driven professional photography and Huawei AIS (AI Image Stabilization), a powerful AI stabilization technology; The AIS allows you to capture amazing handheld shots in low-light using Night Mode. Nigh mode balances high-contrast scenes for amazing snaps. See this photo taken on the plane ride back from Paris to London, if you pay attention you can even see the lit up London Eye!
• The P20 Pro is able to recognize more than 500 scenarios in 19 categories so when taking a photo, professional photography skills like lighting and other settings are then automatically adjusted by AI so your photo is the best it can be.
• The Huawei P20 Pro is also able to recognize the scene you’re framing and cloud balance your photo automatically.
• A timeless design with barely-there bezels and all-new gradient colors;
• Ultimate performance, featuring the NPU on Kirin 970 and EMUI 8.1 based on Android™ 8.1 for a premium and smooth user experience.
• Color temperature sensor to look at the light around you
• You can take a 40MP image and blow it up into a poster/billboard
• A smartphone that 18 months from now will operate at the same capacity
• Incredible Battery Life
• Dual SIM tray
• Dust & water resistance ( IP67 waterproofing)
• The slo mo feature under video, with the click of a button you can create professional quality slow motion videos, something that before you would have to pay someone to do for you or you needed to be a pro to do it. It records 960 frames per second.
• 4D predictive focus that result in sharp, clear action shots and blur free photographs.
• The Ultra Snapshot! Double press the volume down button to capture any moment, eve from a locked screen, in as fast as 0.3 seconds.
Let’s talk about the battery life for a second since Huawei is starting to be known for it. I first saw it with the Mate 10 Pro, when my smartphone would simply just keep on going for up to 40 hours in a single charge (depends on usage of course). The P20 gets a 3400mAh battery and the P20 Pro gets a 4000mAh one. Can we crown Huawei as the king of batteries now?
These devices come with a supercharger that can have your phone at a 100% charge in about an hour, another A+ for Huawei.
It’s hard to choose just one feature about the Huawei P20 series, I asked a few of my fellow Global Key Opinion Leaders who were in Paris what their favorite feature has been so far, and this is what they had to say:
James “Macca” McDonald from UK said:
“Without doubt, the 20mp Leica monochrome camera. It's my new favourite thing ever”
Diana Adams from USA said:
“My fave feature on the P20 Pro is the slow-motion video. It allows you to capture things that in the past would have been very hard to record in a high quality slow-motion video. For example, I took a slow-motion video of our campfire last weekend. It captured the essence of each flame. Totally memorizing!"
Vladimir Vulic from Montenegro said:
"Being a speaker I often get to visit new cities for a day or two. Sometimes, the weather is gloomy, or I only get to go out during the evening. As a result, my photos range from mediocre at best to appalling at worst. The one thing I absolutely love about the P20 Pro is the ability to take stunning photos in low light conditions, and night photos. This has proved to be the 'killer app' for me."
Tamara McCleary from USA said:
"The LEICA lens is like no other. My photography looks professional quality, this new #AI in my pocket is rocking my world!"
For me it has to be the Master AI, the more I play with my P20 Pro the more it gets to know me and the more it predicts my behavior, how I text, what I say next based on previous patterns. A device that becomes more efficient the more you use it is for sure an A+ for me. Although of course the photo quality is beyond this world! If I had to pick on one thing, is that I got used to the fingerprint sensor being at the back like on the Mate 10 Pro, and maybe I would have liked to see it at the back on the P20 series too. Although this is more of a personal preference. It’s so smooth that it’s quite slippery, so I suggest getting a case as soon as possible to protect it.
Here are a couple of examples of photos taken with the P20 Pro. This black and white selfie looks edited right?!…
Well is not! Click of a button under the 3D Portrait lighting mode and you can choose from Classic Lighting ( used for this photo), Stage, Split, Butterfly, Soft or no lighting.
The Huawei P20 Pro uses its AI-driven 3D facial modelling technology to follow the contours of your features, adjusting for the most flattering selfies.
And now look at this photo of the Eiffel Tower on night mode compared to the one shot with my iPhone…. No shade iPhone, no shade thrown…. And I am a big Apple lover! But I am sorry to say, Huawei has kicked your butt with the P20 series. Don’t worry Apple, I’m writing this from my MacBook Air, so I have not left you completely… (yet) haha
So what is powering this beast? It is the Kirin 970 chipset with built-in NPU, octa-core + micro core i7, 4 x Cortex A73 2.36 GHz + 4 x Cortex A53 1.8 GHz, which gives you new premium extras and creative tools such as :
Augmented Reality: The P20 Pro is an ARCore supported device, check this small video I took during the presentation in Paris:
Huawei Share 2.0: It allows you to transfer files and photos in an instant between Huawei phones and your PC or MAC. No cables needed, just need to be connected on the same WI-FI network
Immersive Audio Experience: The P20 Pro incorporates Dolby Atmos sound system that breaks new ground for smartphone audio.
When it comes to connectivity it is the same as the Mate 10 series, it has a standard USB Type C connection
Want more? Huawei has a strong partnership with Google. You can now see 1st Wave Android 8.1 & NNAPI, Deeply customized Google Assistant, First features in Android messages with NPU acceleration and 1st Wave ARCore.
To sum all of it up, the Huawei P20 series came, saw and conquered. With a top end design and all-new, exclusive, fashionable colors like Twilight ( the one I have… mesmerizing!! ), Pink Gold, Black and Midnight Blue, these smartphones are going to be at the top of the rankings for a while. The camera was hands down the star of the show. And the new “gradient” color finishes that shift in the light is very unique! No wonder I can’t stop staring at my P20 Pro.
I asked Business Angel, Investor and Mentor Mike Flache for his opinion on the launch:
“Huawei has definitely shaken up the smartphone market. With the P20 and P20 Pro, the tech company brings a new vision of mobile photography to life. Equipped with artificial intelligence and a triple camera up to 40 megapixels, the P20 series provide a significant added value for potential customers in our visual-driven, digital world. And it’s an excellent example that technology is a means to an end in order to offer a unique product respectively customer experience. I'm sure that this innovation will rearrange the market.”
I hands down agree with Mike here, they have shaken up the market big time and the question is now, who will beat them?
So what is the cost and when can I buy it?
Huawei P20 4GB RAM + 128GB Storage €649 from March 27th
Huawei P20 Pro 6GB RAM + 128GB Storage €899 from April 6th
Porsche Design Huawei Mate RX 6GB RAM + 256GB Storage €1695 & 6GB RAM +512GB Storage €2095
Final note, did you win me over P20 Series?… Yes you did! 1 week is not enough for me to share my full views on some of the other features, so stay tuned and I shall give an update in a few weeks once I get to know my P20 Pro a bit more!
I am Huawei wowed.