The Honor 20 is a great phone, but it lives in the shadow of its siblings

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The Honor 20 is a great little phone. It’s lightweight, has a decent camera, comes in a shiny color, and isn’t all that expensive. Despite this, not only is it difficult to recommend, but I also question why it needs to exist at all. I have no doubt there are many justifiable business reasons behind it, but when the Honor 20 Pro and Honor 20 Lite seem to give us all we need, the standard Honor 20 feels redundant.

DESIGN
The Honor 20 is similar to the Honor 20 Pro in many ways. It has the same size 6.26-inch LCD screen with a hole-punch selfie camera in the top left, as well as the Kirin 980 processor powering the Android 9.0-based Magic UI 2.0 operating system. There’s a little less RAM at 6GB (which is still plenty), you only get up to 128GB of storage, and the battery has a smaller 3,750mAh capacity. It’s a smaller cell, but battery life is still strong; it lasts without a problem from early in the morning to late at night, even with heavy use.

Alterations come in all the places where we don’t want compromises to be made: the design and camera. Appearance-wise, the Honor 20 is closer to the Honor 20 Lite than the 20 Pro. It has a flat rear panel, unlike the wonderful curve of the Pro model, which lessens the visual impact of the so-called Dynamic Holographic Design. This refers to the reflective effect on the back, where ripples of color appear to sit deep below the surface of the phone. It’s effective on the 20 Pro, but not as eye-catching on the flat Honor 20. Just to be clear, it’s not an ugly design. The Honor 20 is pretty enough for a mid-range 2019 phone, it just doesn’t stand out.

CAMERA
Honor has dropped the telephoto zoom feature on the Pro model for the Honor 20, replacing it with a 2-megapixel depth sensing sensor. This makes the camera less versatile than with the 8-megapixel telephoto lens, and unable to match the impressive zoom capabilities. But it can still take some really excellent photos. Blue skies and green fields pop with the excitement we’re used to seeing on Huawei and Honor phones, due to the artificial intelligence often boosting contrast and saturation in these scenarios. There’s no doubt they look shareable straight off the camera.

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