Honor 20 Series launched with largest-ever smartphone aperture

Honor unveiled the ‘holographic’ Honor 20 Series smartphone today, with a host of camera and design features. The top of the range model, the Honor 20 Pro, offers a maximum wide aperture of f/1.4, a 48MP main camera, a 16MP Super Wide Angle Camera, 8MP Telephoto Camera and 2MP Macro Camera, as well as IS0 204800 sensitivity,  30X digital zoom, 9.1 surround sound, and AI-driven enhancements such as optical image stabilisation (OIS) and AIS Super Night Mode.

Honor CEO George Zhao launches the Honor 20 Series today in London

Price points

At the launch event in London today, Honor, a sub-brand of Chinese telecoms giant Huawei, made no mention of the controversy surrounding its parent company, but instead focussed on the considerable imaging abilities of the Honor 20 Series. The brand is pitched at a global youth market, with styling and ‘fun’ features to match, as well as price: The Honor 20 can be pre-ordered now for £399.99 at Carphone Warehouse, O2, Three, Amazon and Argos with a free Honor Watch Magic, normally priced at £179.99, and will be available soon.

In addition to a 32MP selfie camera, there’s an amusing AR function

A ‘budget’ model, the Honor 20 Lite is now available in the UK for £249.99 at Carphone Warehouse, Amazon, Argos, John Lewis and Very. Information about availability of the Honor 20 Pro is yet to be announced, but the price at launch was €599 (for comparison, the Honor 20 price was set at €499 and Honor 20 Lite at €299).

Concerning cameras 

The ‘Capture Wonder’ tagline to the campaign and top notch photo features suggests that the Pro version of this smartphone is aimed at anyone keen on high-quality image creation. With a 1/2 inch CMOS sensor, the Honor 20 Pro has achieved a DxOMark score of 111 in benchmark tests – pipping the 109 of the Huawei P20 Pro, the previous high scorer.

Other highlight features are 48MP AI Ultra Clarity Mode, where the 48MP AI Quad Camera will take several pictures at 48MP at once.  The Dual-NPU and the 4th generation Dual-ISP of the 7nm Kirin 980 AI chipset collates the best details from each of these 48MP photos and combines them to create one 48MP picture. A ‘Super 48MP Photo’ is created. Honor claims its quality will surpass normal 48MP pictures, optimising details in dark areas are optimised, and adjusting colours to appear more vivid. A Pro Mode enables users to save in both RAW and standard JPG formats.

Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS) prompts tiny gyro-sensors in the phone to quickly shift pieces of the lens glass to the off-set motion before the image is converted into a digital format, creating a sharper image even with shaky hands, claims the company. 

The Super Night Mode also benefits from ‘four-axis optical image stabilisation’ technology.

Pro photo features on Honor 20 Pro

With the 16MP Super Wide Angle Camera, users have access to a 117° viewing angle.  The 2MP Macro lens allows users to capture details as close as 4cm. Similarly, the ability to zoom in on a subject at 3X lossless optical zoom, 5X hybrid zoom and 30X digital zoom means that users can shoot minute details.

Photo features on the Honor Pro 20

We were able to try out the camera on the Honor 20 Pro at the launch today, with the macro camera, high light sensitivity and telephoto features being particularly impressive.

Dynamic design 

The 6.26in all-view display offers a 91.7% screen-to-body ratio and a 4.5mm in-screen camera. Upping the ante in the style stakes, the Honor 20 Series sports a multi-dimensional, ‘Dynamic Holographic’ glass back, created using Triple 3D Mesh technology. This two-stage process creates a depth layer using nanotechnology to engrave millions of miniature prisms. As light passes through the prisms in the depth layer, light is reflected and refracted in all directions. 

Sapphire Blue model

The coating for the Honor 20 Pro comes in either Phantom Black or Phantom Blue, with Midnight Black or Sapphire Blue for the Honor 20.

Honor 20 Pro Phantom Black model
Honor 20 Pro Phantom Black model

The fingerprint sensor is positioned on the right side of the aluminium frame. Honor says this complements the natural placement of fingers when one picks up a phone. The asymmetrical ‘L-shaped’ positioning of the four camera lenses allows for a 4,000 mAh battery that can support a full-day uninterrupted use. Meanwhile, the Honor 20 Pro adopts a Graphene cooling sheet technology, a new thermal solution that can efficiently dissipate heat and thus maintain optimal performance. 

Game On

In terms of mobile gaming, the Honor 20 Series is equipped with the GPU Turbo 3.0. Honor has teamed up with approximately 25 most sought-after mobile games including PUBG Mobile, Arena of Valor, and Fortnite – the event today also introduced an exclusive Fortnite character ‘Wonder’, only playable by owners of the phone.

‘Wonder’ character from Fortnite makes a stand at the launch today

Apart from the viewing and gaming experiences, users can indulge in an immersive audio experience through the Virtual 9.1 Surround Sound feature powered by Histen 6.0. Honor says it’s the first time that this cutting-edge technology has been applied to smartphones. The Virtual 9.1 surround sound supports all types of wired and wireless earphones and packs an in-built dual microphone with noise reduction.

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