Verdict

The P20 Pro is something of a coup from Huawei. After banging on about AI for six months, this phone’s camera proves it’s not all marketing talk. It results in the best handheld ultra low light photos you can get from a phone.

Samsung offers a sharper screen, better brand cred and more power. However, we actually appreciate the Huawei P20 Pro’s slightly better battery life and improved camera flexibility more most of the time.

It's a top-end phone with a price to match, yet has everything needed in a world-class handset, including a very capable camera, plenty of power, great battery life and an impressive build.

To find out how the Huawei P20 Pro fared one month into use, watch the our verdict above.

Who's this for?

This phone is for those who want new and exciting tech but can’t quite stomach the price of the iPhone X or Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus

It’s not cheap, far from it, but is still more affordable than those phones. The Huawei P20 Pro is also more interesting than Samsung’s latest, which is a big win for Huawei.

Should you buy it?

If you want the best handheld low light image quality you can get in a phone matched with near-unbeatable battery life in a phone of this size, the Huawei P20 Pro is absolutely worth a buy. 

You just need to be willing to trade away some brand prestige and a little software gloss here and there.

There are lots of other high-end options, including the following three phones:

Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus

The S9 family was not a high point for Samsung. These phones are fantastic, no doubt about that, but seem a little too similar to those of the year before.

The Galaxy S9 Plus is slightly more expensive than the P20 Pro, has a more powerful chipset and a sharper screen. It can also take better low light photos if you don’t use the P20 Pro’s dedicated night mode. 

Switch that on and the Huawei wins by quite a margin, though. The Huawei also has somewhat better battery life.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus review

iPhone X

At around £200/$200 more than the Huawei P20 Pro, the iPhone X is significantly pricier. What else do you expect from Apple?

The iPhone software feels more polished and the phone’s chipset is a lot more powerful. However, its camera has less powerful optical zoom and its night images aren’t even close to those of the P20 Pro’s night mode.

Read our full iPhone X review

Huawei Mate 10 Pro

The Mate 10 Pro arrived a few months earlier and has the same chipset, similar battery life and similar software. If you’re not fussed about the P20 Pro’s new camera tricks this phone gets you a comparable day-to-day experience for less money.

However, by using a more conventional camera array you also miss out on the most fun and interesting parts of the P20 Pro.

Read our full Huawei Mate 10 Pro review

First reviewed: April 2018