Huawei P20 Pro – Impressions after some use

So after some months of day-to-day use, how has my experience with the phone been? 

Battery life

Has been usually good for more than one day, with a bit less use I could get the phone through 2 days pretty much. So on that front I am absolutely happy with the phone. The high capacity battery definitely shows and if I use the Huawei charger, it’s filled up again pretty quickly, as well. On an average day I have the phone connected to some Bluetooth device most of the time, data is going mostly through WiFi, less through mobile.

The camera

Another important point for me, it has proven the first impressions of it. The pictures come out great usually and the zoom is quite handy. In some situations, the AI causes the colors to be overly saturated, but once I knew when it would happen, turning the AI off helps avoid that issue. In other situations the AI does help, so I don’t keep it off permanently. The Night Mode results in quite decent pictures for such a small sensor, though obviously that’s where the physical limitations are noticeable.

In the time since the original release, the System Updates improved some things with the camera, like adding an AI detection for the slow motion video function.

General performance and daily use

General performance of the phone has been perfectly fine, I am generally not using very demanding apps though, so other users might notice potential shortcomings here (compared to the Samsung S9 for example, which has a newer and faster performing chipset).

I’ve been using split-screen with some apps which generally worked fine and I found out that Twitch has background play support (if you have the app running and switch to something else, the stream video can keep going in an overlay while you use the other app).

Over the months I have used several accessories with the phone, all worked without any problems:
– A BT speaker by Anker (waterproof, for use in the bathroom)
– the Polar M600 smartwatch
– a BT headset by Plantronics
– Android Auto in an Audi A4 (connected via usb cable)
– regular BT connection in an Audi A4
– a BT headset by Huawei (AM61, came with the phone via a bundle by Amazon)
– the Huawei Smartband 2 Pro

The quality of the speakers built into the phone is pretty nice, considering their size. You can turn them up pretty high without the sound distorting and they generally don’t sound tinny, though of course there’s not much in terms of bass.

The interface, while not being “stock” Android, is still pretty good, I didn’t have any trouble transitioning from the Nexus 6P in that regard. The main options menu made a pretty organized impression and didn’t cause me any trouble while searching for the usual settings that I need. I have switched the buttons mode so that all is done with the fingerprint scanner (short touch equals to “back” button, long press returns to the home screen, swiping activates the “Overview”). The Huawei launcher seemed decent, but for me there is currently no alternative to the Nova Launcher in terms of functionality and customization.

Updates for the phone have been pretty regular so far, but given how new the device is (AND it’s the top model at this point, too), that’s not too surprising. Each of the updates also had some specific improvement in it besides the usual security patch update, mostly targeted towards the camera at this point(like the previously mentioned AI mode for slow-motion video recording).

Personal Verdict

Altogether I am still perfectly happy with the phone, not regretting my choice so far. At this point I am not missing the headphone jack anymore, never even used the adapter included with the phone. In contrast to earlier phones, I’m also not really fussed about having to wait for upcoming Android updates longer compared to the Nexus phones I had before, at this point the base feature set has pretty much everything I need and all those things like the Google Assistant that they advertised during Google I/O leave me pretty cold. So if you are willing to pay the price of this phone or find it on a discount, go ahead.

Series Navigation<< First Impressions – Huawei P20 Pro

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