Huawei has not been having a very good month, and the past week has especially been difficult—amid US government-imposed trade restrictions with China, Google yanked support for Android from Huawei, and several semiconductor companies severed ties as well, including Intel, Broadcom, and Qualcomm. Things might be turning around, however, and just in time for Huawei's new Honor 20 and Honor 20 Pro smartphone launch.
Honor is a sub-brand of Huawei, so any restrictions that apply to the latter also affect the former. Nevertheless, Huawei forged ahead with its new Honor 20 and Honor 20 Pro smartphones, both of which sport four rear cameras. We'll have to wait and see how they perform, but given Huawei's track record in smartphone photography, these new handsets could give Google's latest generation Pixel phones a run for their money.
Before we get to the specs, there is an important thing to note. Both of these new phones are running Android without any restrictions—they do not appear to be missing core apps like Gmail, YouTube, and Google's Play Store. Incidentally, CNBC reported today that the US Commerce Department announced it had granted a 90-day license for companies to continue working with Huawei. This exemption paves the way for Google to reverse course and continue supporting Huawei through at least August 19.
"Keeping phones up to date and secure is in everyone’s best interests and this temporary license allows us to continue to provide software updates and security patches to existing models for the next 90 days," a Google spokesperson told the news outlet.
Things might be looking up for Huawei after all, though it's too early to tell. A for the phones, the Honor 20 and Honor 20 Pro are very similar. To start with, both have a 6.26-inch "All-view" IPS display with a 4.5mm punch-hole in the upper left corner. This lends itself to a 91.6 percent screen-to-body ratio.
As for the camera arrangements, they are similar too, but not exactly the same. Both phones have a main 48-megapixel sensor, 16-megapixel super wide angle sensor, and a 2-megapixel macro lens. However, the Honor 20 has a 2-megapixel depth assist camera, while the Honor 20 Pro kicks things up a notch with an 8-megapixel sensor. Both also have a 32-megapixel front camera for taking selfies.
One of the things Huawei touts as it pertains to photography is the return of its AIS Super Night Mode. This is sort of akin to Google's Night Sight feature, and it will be interesting to see how the Honor 20 phones compare to the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3XL, and Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL.
Both devices also sport a 7nm octa-core HiSilicon Kirin 980 SoC with Mali-G76MP10 graphics, up to 8GB of RAM, and up to 256GB of onboard storage. The Pro variant separates itself with a more capacious battery, though—4,000mAh compared to 3,750mAh.
Pricing for the Honor 20 is set at 499 Euros for the model with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, while the Honor 20 Pro costs 599 Euros for 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. It's not yet clear if and when these phones will find their way to US soil.