Huawei has been going through its hard times after the US trade ban and since Honor is the sub-brand of Huawei, it also came under the radar. However, this doesn’t stop the company to launch its latest flagship smartphones — the Honor 20 and Honor 20 Pro last month. Both of these phones also launched in India along with an affordable option called the Honor 20i.
Unlike Honor 20 and Honor 20 Pro, this smartphone doesn’t come with a punch-hole display and quad-rear cameras. Even though, the company ships the smartphones with a good set of specifications for the asking price. However, due to the US trade ban, the credibility of smartphones by Honor has been decreased in the market. And so, it will be harder for the Honor 20i to survive in the market especially while competing with Xiaomi. Will Honor 20i can survive in this tough competition? Is this a Worth Buy? Let’s find out.
Design and Display
Like most of the Honor Phones, Honor 20i also comes with Glossy Back Panel. It has a curved gradient glass-like design on the back. It comes in three different color variants including Phantom Red, Phantom Blue, and Midnight Blue colors.
The body is made mostly of best quality plastic which doesn’t look to be cheap at all. Its lightweight build makes it comfortable to hold and operate for extended hours. The plastic frame and multi-layered polycarbonate cover on the back are frail. Besides attracting fingerprints, the body gets scratched easily. It is also slippery and needs more attention while handling it.
The buttons on the phone appear to be made up of cheap material also they are loosely settled to the phone. But at this price, I don’t think anyone should have any issue with that. Functional buttons on Honor 20i are placed in such a manner that they are easier accessible.
On the right side of the body, there placed the power and volume buttons. At the top, you’ll find the hybrid SIM slot. While at the bottom of the panel, you will find a single speaker grill which is pretty loud, a Micro-USB port for charging, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and a primary microphone. At the back panel, there sits a fingerprint scanner which is quite fast and accurate.
Now coming to the display of Honor 20i, it comes with a 6.21-inch full-HD+ (1080×2340 pixels) display with 19.5:9 aspect ratio. It comes with a waterdrop notch style at the front instead of the punch-hole display as we have seen in Honor 20 and Honor 20 Pro. Despite being an LCD panel, the display is quite vivid and bright, so you get punchy colors and good legibility under direct sunlight.
Specifications and Software
As for the specifications, Honor 20i is powered by an octa-core Kirin 710F SoC which is based on the 12nm fabrication process and is coupled with the Mali G51MP4 GPU. Additionally, it comes with 4GB of RAM and 128GB of inbuilt storage which can’t be expanded further via an external MicroSD card.
As I mentioned above, it comes with a hybrid SIM tray that means you’ll only be able to place two NANO SIM at a time. The phone also comes with good connectivity options as it includes dual 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS/ A-GPS, Infrared (IR) blaster and a 3.5mm headphone jack, also, it carries the standard suite of sensors.
On the software end, Honor 20i runs on the latest Android 9 Pie based EMUI 9.0 interface on the top. It comes with with a couple of pre-installed apps including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. It features a clean and immersive UI which makes it easier for the user to handle this phone. EMUI 9.0 brings some useful features like Digital Balance and navigation gestures.
Performance, Camera, and Battery Life
In comparison to the other two flagship smartphones launched this month, Honor 20i is the most affordable one. In contrast to the price, Honor has powered this phone with HiSilicon Kirin 710 SoC which is a good mid-range performer. Out of all the three phones, Honor 20i is much concentrated towards gaming performance.
Honor 20i comes with GPU Turbo 2.0 which boost the gaming performance. However, in our tests, it doesn’t emerge to be an effective one. While playing PUBG on medium graphics everything went good and the game runs without any frame drops. But as soon as we switched over to the high graphics setting, frame drops started to appear and it went more and more as the gameplay gets more intense. However, if you are a PUBG junkie, there are better options available like Realme 3 Pro and Redmi Note 7 Pro.
Apart from this, the smartphone was able to handle multi-tasking smoothly without any lag. The fingerprint scanner responds very quickly and accurately which was quite promising. In addition to the fingerprint unlocks, the face unlocks performed very well. Even, we found the face unlock easier than that of the fingerprint scanner. Just raise the phone in front of you and it will automatically unlock the phone in a frame of seconds.
Talking about the camera, he Honor 20i sports a triple rear camera setup which includes a 24-megapixel primary shooter with an f/1.8 lens, an 8-megapixel ultra-wide camera with an f/2.4 lens, and a 2-megapixel depth sensor with an f/2.4 lens. While at the front, it houses a 32-megapixel camera with an f/2.0 lens.
Let’s talk first about the rear camera, first and the foremost thing which we like the most is the low-light imaging prowess. Honor 20i captures great pictures at low-light with good contrast and details even at very dim light. Thanks to AIS Super Night Mode which let the Honor 20i have this ability.
In the daylight, Honor 20i also gives an excellent performance. The regular mode was able to capture a good shot with punchy colors and good details. While the AI mode adds a great exposure and sharpness to the same picture. The AI mode in the Honor 20i was quite impressive in performance and captures great photos.
The portrait mode on the camera is also particularly impressive as it was able to detect edges accurately, thanks to the 2MP depth sensor. The background was blurred aesthetically and the subject as sharp in focus. The wide-angle lens too works perfectly. The camera is capable of capturing a lot more in the wide angle mode without compromising on the image quality.
As for selfies, Honor 20i brings up a 32-megapixel sensor with AI mode. It too captures great pictures with sharpness and clarity. Selfie camera supports HDR, portrait mode, and face unlock for authentication. The smartphone was able to consistently produce social media worthy selfies in both normal and portrait mode.
In the video department, the phone allows users to record at the maximum resolution of 1080p at 60fps, which is more than enough for everyday usage. Honor does get a point for including two format options namely H.264 and H.265, where the former is intended for recording smaller files to save space and the latter is for higher visual quality. The camera also offers the ability to record super slow motion videos at 480fps.
At another end, Honor 20i is fuelled by 3,400mAh battery which is capable enough to run this phone through the day. It comes doesn’t come with fast charging support and comes with a normal 10W charger in the box. In our usage, the battery lasted for around 12 hours on continuous usage which includes few hours of Gaming, social media for about an hour, some online videos streaming and YouTube and about an hour of music playback which looks fairly good.
As from our review, Honor 20i is one of the best smartphones by Honor to be available under a price tag of Rs. 15,000. It comes with one of the best camera setup you’ll find in this budget especially when you are concerned with a low-light camera.
However, one thing you must consider before buying this phone is Honor 20i might not receive the Android Q update as the result of the US ban. So, if you are concerned with that, you can choose some other smartphone in this range.
However, Honor 20i is a good performer with an attractive gradient design and good sets of specifications. Lastly, while it might not get the next Android update, the Honor 20i has been certified by Google meaning it will continue getting security patches along with support for Google Play services. So, if you are not concerned with Android Q update, you can go up for this phone.
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