That’s what we aim to answer by putting the new Huawei P20 up against its predecessor and comparing their designs, screens, power, cameras and batteries.
You’ll find details on all of that and more below, so you can clearly see what’s new, what’s different and what’s the same.
Huawei P20 vs Huawei P10 design
The Huawei P20 is quite a big visual change from the Huawei P10, as it sports a glass back while the Huawei P10 has a metal unibody.
They also look different from the front, with the P10 sporting sizeable bezels above and below the screen, while the P20’s are smaller and it has a notch.
The Huawei P10 is slightly slimmer than the Huawei P20 though, as it’s 7mm thick, while the P20 is 7.65mm, and the two phones come in different colors.
With the Huawei P10 you can get Mystic Silver, Rose Gold, Graphite Black, Dazzling Gold, Dazzling Blue and Greenery shades, while the Huawei P20 comes in Black, Champagne Gold, Twilight, Pink Gold and Midnight Blue.
If you really want your P20 to stand out then the Twilight or Pink Gold shade is the one to go for, as these sport a rainbow-like effect rather than being a single color – something you can’t get on the Huawei P10.
Huawei P20 vs Huawei P10 display
The Huawei P20 has a 5.8-inch 2240 x 1080 LCD display with a narrow 18.7:9 aspect ratio. The Huawei P10 meanwhile has a 5.1-inch 1080 x 1920 LCD display with a more typical 16:9 aspect ratio.
So the screen on the Huawei P20 is larger, higher resolution and more widescreen, as well as sporting a notch, which the Huawei P10 doesn’t. It’s likely that Huawei will have improved the screen quality since the P10 too, but we’ll let you know how the P20 stacks up when we’ve put it through a full review.
Huawei P20 vs Huawei P10 OS and power
There’s an octa-core Kirin 970 chipset and 4GB of RAM powering the Huawei P20, while the Huawei P10 has an octa-core Kirin 960 chipset and 4GB of RAM. Similar specs then, but the P20 has a newer chipset so is likely to offer slightly better performance.
The Huawei P20 also has a NPU (neural processing unit), which means AI can handle certain tasks, such as organizing photos.
The P20 also has double the storage, with 128GB built-in compared to 64GB in the Huawei P10, though both phones also have a microSD card slot.
As for the operating system, with the Huawei P20 you get Android Oreo overlaid with Huawei’s EMUI 8.1, while the Huawei P10 has Android Nougat and EMUI 5.1.
The P10 is likely to be upgraded to Oreo, but it may not get Android P, which the Huawei P20 probably will.
Huawei P20 vs Huawei P10 camera and battery
Both the Huawei P20 and the Huawei P10 have dual-lens cameras, but they have some differences. The Huawei P20 has a 12MP f/1.8 RGB lens and a 20MP f/1.6 monochrome one. The megapixel count on the P10 is the same, but you’re only getting f/2.2 with the 12MP lens, meaning less light can get in.
Huawei claims the 12MP sensor in the P20 also has 61% larger pixels, and the new phone also has a 24MP front-facing camera, while the Huawei P10’s is just 8MP.
And that’s not the end of the differences, as for example the Huawei P20 can record slow motion footage at up to 960fps, while the P10 is capped at 240fps.
The P20’s camera also has new AI features, allowing it to automatically recognize scenes and optimize the settings for them, and even to assist in the composition of shots, if for example it detects that there’s wasted space.
Whether all of this will make for a noticeably better camera remains to be seen, but the P20’s camera certainly sounds more feature-packed, despite offering superficially similar specs.
The Huawei P20 also has a slightly bigger battery, coming in at 3,400mAh, while the Huawei P10’s battery is 3,200mAh.
That’s good news, as we weren’t overly impressed with the Huawei P10’s battery life in our review, though both phones support fast charging.
The Huawei P20 looks to be about as much of an upgrade as you’d probably expect a phone that’s a year newer to be.
It has a bigger, higher resolution screen, a new design, a larger battery, a theoretically improved camera, more storage, a newer chipset and runs a newer version of Android.
All that said, the Huawei P10 should cost you a lot less to pick up at this point, so if money is a factor then it’s still worth considering – and we’d suggest waiting for our full review of the Huawei P20 before opting for the new phone anyway, as specs don’t always tell the whole story.
- The P20 also has the Samsung Galaxy S9 to compete with
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James is a freelance phones, tablets and wearables writer and sub-editor at TechRadar. He has a love for everything ‘smart’, from watches to lights, and can often be found arguing with AI assistants or drowning in the latest apps. James also contributes to 3G.co.uk, 4G.co.uk and 5G.co.uk and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV.