The Huawei sub-brand at the end of last year 2018 have distinguished itself from its big brother, Huawei. Well, it is about time in our opinions because despite being born and bred by the bigger than ever Huawei, HONOR has set itself apart as one of the most popular brands, especially in the budget smartphone category, for good reason. The brand has always been known to make very comparable smartphones to Huawei and usually at a fraction of what Huawei is asking for with near identical devices. For example – the Huawei P20 is has nearly the same internals at the HONOR 10 but the P20 commands over MYR2,000 in price while the HONOR 10 manages to stay below the 2K mark.
In that regards, impressive is a little bit of an understatement. It is more mind-boggling than impressive in fact. Well you could argue also that HONOR manages to sell their devices at prices lower than its bigger brother, Huawei because they focus mainly on selling their devices via online means. They do not really have a proper physical presence because of that. But it is more than that; they must sell their devices in that price range – their target market commands that kind of price range. Their target market being the youngsters of today.
With their rebranding efforts they have introduced their brand-new flagship, the HONOR View20. The device is officially introduced to the world at CES 2019 and was launched in China toward the end of 2018, the last week of 2018 in fact. At CES 2019 the online focused smartphone brand’s new flagship won the high praises of many and even won the top honours (no pun intended) at the show. Well, that is thanks to the V-shape colour gradient that looks very pretty. Oh, they partnered with Moschino too to introduce some exclusive colour collaboration making the already pretty smartphone even prettier.
More than that though it is HONOR’s first device with the pin-hole camera that measures in at 4.5mm in diameter. To put that into perspective, that is narrower than a ball point ink stick thing. They call it the All-View Display (IPS LCD) and It measures in at 6.4-inch with the 25-Megapixel front facing camera poking through the top left part of the display. Because it is so small, you might not notice it anyway when you watch Netflix or even play games on it. Thanks to that revolutionary design too the Honor View20 has a screen coverage of 91.8%.
Under the skin is a HiSilicon Kirin 980 7nm SoC that you find in the Huawei Mate20 Pro too. That is paired to 8GB of RAM (up to) for good measure. Storage goes up to 256GB if you opt for it. Those hardware powers Android’s top-of-the-line 9.0 Pie OS overlaid with HONOR’s very own Magic UI, which we think is pretty much a slightly modified version of Huawei’s EMUI.
All the power generates plenty of heat; so HONOR packs a liquid cooling piping that passes through the camera and processors to dissipate more heat than traditional cooling. Thanks to the enhanced cooling and big power of the Kirin 980 too you get dual GPS antenna to ensure that you never get lost. Well, it makes sure that your device tracks you more accurately and quickly; that helps plenty when you navigate in the heart of Kuala Lumpur. You even get triple WiFi antennas for an even more stable internet connection. That is especially beneficial when you start playing games. Well, there is also GPU Turbo 2.0 that accelerates the SoC’s GPU to make sure you have a smooth, high framerate gaming experience. Oh, thanks to Kirin 980 too you can plug it onto a full-sized monitor and turn it into your desktop; yes, like the Samsung Galaxy flagships.
Does not matter though; the HONOR View20 is in a class of its own in other areas. What keeps the Magic UI device running for an extended period is a 4,000mAh built-in battery. Well, it is not as big as the Mate20 Pro’s battery but still it should last you long enough for a whole work day and plenty more.
Then we move on to something even more impressive at the back of the device. Well, yes there is the V-shaped gradient colour glass backing; which is so pretty. But we have pointed that out. There is something else at the back; well, several things. It does not have three cameras to boast like its bigger brother’s flagship, the Huawei Mate20 Pro. Two is enough on the View20 though thanks to Sony’s IMX586 sensor that packs 48-Megapixel in each one sensor on the HONOR View20.
Well, you can find two cameras in the HONOR View20, not because there are two 48-Megapixel sensors on-board. It is more like because the secondary camera works as what HONOR calls the Time Of Flight 3D camera. The TOF 3D camera works with the HONOR View20’s HiSilicon Kirin 980 to map its real-time images in 3D environment in remarkable accuracy, very similar to what we see on the Huawei Mate20 Pro. That allows you to use it like Wii in one case or even create an AR avatar of you in real-time and control the avatar in real-time too, very much like AR emoji’s but a little different because you are just using the back camera. The 3D camera too helps with even more accurate and faster autofocus.
Alongside the HONOR View20, HONOR brings their HONOR Watch Magic. Well, it is technically a Huawei Watch GT with HONOR branding. You get a thin 11mm body with Super AMOLED display and super long battery life (up to 7 days). You get a real-time heart rate monitor that is touted to be more accurate than Garmin’s offering. It packs some GPS hardware too so it will track your running routes and what not, of course the GPS will cut the battery life down. You can swim with it too and it will detect the specific strokes you use in your sessions. Beyond that you get to track your sleep with it, nothing especially new here.
Then there is the new HONOR FlyPod Lite earphones which is another completely wireless earphones with a charging case. Nothing to shout about this because there is nothing that we have never seen before. We were told that the Flypod Lite will come to Malaysia soon. There is no official pricing just yet but we are keeping our ears close to the ground
The HONOR View20 will be available 26th January, 2019 onward in Malaysia. Specifically you can catch its first road show in 1 Utama this coming Saturday (26th January, 2019). It will be available in three colours; Midnight Black, Sapphire Blue, and Phantom Blue (Moschino colour). Price? The 6GB RAM + 128GB storage will set you back MYR1,999 while the range-topping 8GB RAM + 256GB storage version will set you back MYR2,499. The Watch Magic will also be available then at MYR599. You can make your purchases from HONOR’s online store or you can purchase the HONOR View20 at the roadshow for complementary goodies worth up to MYR700 (while stocks last).
Also published on Medium.