There’s a huge amount of choice when it comes to smartphones which are well suited to photographers. Huawei has been extremely vocal about its desire to appeal to camera lovers, while its sister brand, Honor, has also been targeting a similar audience.
For those not in the know, the Honor brand generally offers budget smartphones, utilising some of the same technology as Huawei phones – sometimes slightly older tech that we might have already seen in previous Huawei devices. What this means is that you can often get fantastic camera tech in a device which is available at a fraction of the price of the high-end Huawei offerings.
The two flagships of Huawei and Honor for the moment are the P30 Pro and the Honor View 20. Both are great options for photographers, but the price difference is significant. In the UK the Huawei P30 Pro is priced £899 at retailers such as Currys PC World and Amazon, and in the US it’s priced $988 at Amazon. Meanwhile the Honor View 20 is priced £399 at Currys PC World and Amazon, and $539.99 at Amazon.
It’s enough to make us wonder whether you need to splash the cash, or whether sticking to the budget option makes more sense.
In this piece, we’ll look at some of the key differences to find out exactly what you’re sacrificing if you choose to go for the lower priced model.
Huawei P30 Pro vs Honor View 20: Screen
Both the phones are roughly the same size, with the P30 Pro measuring in with a 6.47-inch screen, and the View 20 opting for a 6.4-inch device. Both also have a very similar resolution – at 2340 x 1080 vs 2310 vs 1080 pixels, respectively. However, the big difference lies in the type of screen used – the Honor View 20 opts for a much cheaper LCD screen, compared with the P30 Pro’s OLED offering.
This means that the View 20 doesn’t have an inbuilt fingerprint reader (you’ll find it on the rear of the phone instead). OLED screens are better for a number of reasons, they usually offer better contrast, for example. Looking at the same image on both screens side by side reveals that the P30 Pro is better – but used in isolation, the View 20 is still a good display.
It’s also worth commenting on the “notches” of both phones. Both have tried to make maximum use of the available screen, with the Honor View 20 using a “hole punch notch” for its selfie camera, and the P30 Pro using a “dewdrop notch”. Both are great ways of maximising space, but the dewdrop notch is arguably more elegant.
Huawei P30 Pro vs Honor View 20: Sensors and Resolutions
The P30 Pro has a triple camera set up on the back, plus a fourth “TOF” sensor which is used for measuring the distance between the camera and a subject to help better render depth and so on. The main sensor has a 40 megapixel resolution, and it is joined by a 20 megapixel sensor for the super wide-angle camera, and an 8 megapixel camera for the telephoto optic. On the front there’s a 32 megapixel selfie camera.
By contrast, the Honor View 20’s offering is a lot simpler. The main sensor is 48 megapixels and it is joined by a “3d camera” which is used for such functions as creating shallow depth of field effects. With the Honor View 20 you can shoot in “48 megapixel ultra clarity”, as well as in standard 48MP mode or an arguably more sensible 12 megapixel mode.
Huawei P30 Pro vs Honor View 20: Lenses
With the P30 Pro you get three different focal lengths to choose from. The main sensor is accompanied by a 27mm (equivalent) lens, while the super wide angle lens offers a 16mm equivalent view. The periscope zoom lens is a 5x optical zoom which gives you an equivalent of 125mm.
Effectively that means that you don’t have anything between 27mm and 125mm in terms of optical focal lengths, but you can use focal lengths in between by pinching in and out on the screen – the phone will use artificial intelligence to help create images at “in-between” focal lengths.
It’s a little simpler on the Honor View 20 – you just have one lens, which gives you a 27mm equivalent. The second lens is used as a 3D camera so there’s no optical zooming available here – digital zooming is available, and with 48 megapixels to work with from the main sensor, you could also rely on cropping in to your image to get closer to the subject, too.
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Huawei P30 Pro vs Honor View 20: Native camera app
Although using different brand names, the native camera app on both phones is almost identical in many ways. We are big fans of the Huawei / Honor native camera apps as they offer a huge amount of flexibility with several different shooting modes.
You’ll find the same standard Photo and Video modes, as well as access to a Pro mode that lets you adjust a number of key parameters as well as shoot in raw format. Also present in both native apps is Night mode and Portrait mode.
Huawei P30 Pro vs Honor View 20: Image and Video Quality
It should be said that both of the phones offer fantastic image quality, and are very impressive in their own right for different reasons. However, in a head to head comparison, the P30 Pro definitely edges it in terms of flexibility.
Colours are bright and punchy from both models, but the P30 Pro appears to be a touch warmer. When using the “aperture” mode to create shallow depth of field effects, the P30 Pro puts in a much more realistic performance than the Honor View 20 – which is probably down to the TOF camera helping to create a more accurate depth map.
However, of course the big difference is in terms of focal lengths. With the P30 Pro, you get a super wide angle, as well as a telephoto option – both of which produce excellent results. There’s also a pretty good digital “hybrid” zoom that gives you up to 50x zoom – and it’s better than it sounds like it should be. Meanwhile, the Honor View 20 offers just one optical focal length – but special mention should go to the 48 megapixel AI Ultra Clarity mode which creates very detailed images.
In terms of video – both of the phones offer shooting at up to 4K. Again the P30 Pro appears to produce footage which is a little warmer in tone than the Honor View 20 – you can see our side by side comparison below to judge for yourself.
Huawei P30 Pro vs Honor View 20: Battery Life
Both of the phones are rated pretty similarly for battery life. The Honor View 20 has a 4000mAH battery, while the P30 Pro packs a 4200mAH battery. Of course it will depend on what you’re doing with the phone – but you should expect at least a full day’s charge from either phone in most circumstances. You might even be able to push it to a second day, too.
Huawei P30 Pro vs Honor View 20: Capacity
In terms of inbuilt storage, the P30 Pro comes in two variants in the UK – 128GB or 512GB. Some other markets also have a 256GB version. If you find you run out of space, you can insert a NM (nano memory) card for additional space.
Meanwhile, the Honor View 20 either has 128GB or 256GB depending on which version you go to – but there’s no option to expand the memory.
Huawei P30 Pro vs Honor View 20: Price
Here’s the most important factor for many, and it all becomes very interesting when you consider the price of the two devices.
The P30 Pro is the more expensive of the two, coming in at £899 or £1200 depending on which size option you decide to plump for. That makes it cheaper than phones such as the iPhone XS, but is still not exactly spare change.
By contrast, the Honor View 20 is much more budget friendly. You can pick it up for between £399 and £579.99, again depending on which variant you go for.
The smartphone camera market is extremely robust at the moment – and one of the best things about it is that there is something to suit every budget.
While the P30 Pro is undoubtedly the better phone (and better camera) in many ways, that’s only to be expected for the price difference. The great news for those on a budget is that the much cheaper Honor View 20 also puts in a great performance for half the price or less.
When picking between the two – you need to ask yourself whether you need the extras that the P30 offers – the biggest difference being the choice in focal lengths.
Which will you choose?