Honor View20 48MP Smartphone – Specs, Release Date & First Look
48-Megapixels In Smartphones
Huawei offshoot Honor unveiled its much-anticipated 48-megapixel smartphone, the Honor View20, to a select audience in London, including ePHOTOzine, ahead of its official launch in Paris on 22 January, where the retail price of this handset will be divulged.
Described by its UK Marketing Manager Ali Qureshi as “our flagship for the first half of 2019”, the intention is that we should imagine the View20 as “the Ferrari of the Honor range.”
It inherits some of the technologies first released with its Honor View10 predecessor.
“We’ve introduced a lot of world firsts, as a brand, via the View series,” Ali reasoned, explaining that the audience for the View20 would be someone wanting a ‘powerhouse’ device.”
Big Screen, Small Bezels & No Top Notch
The new model, which boasts dimensions of 156.9×75.4×8.1mm, is all about the user getting more screen ‘real estate’ and therefore reducing the surrounding bezels as much as possible. As you’ll note from the above, at just 8.1mm ‘thick’ it’s also conveniently and portably slim. Outwardly it also features the world’s first Aurora ‘nano’ texture. This has given rise to a subtle bit of external visual ‘flair’ – tilt or angle the screen in a certain way and coloured chevron-like shapes appear on the phone’s rear panel.
One Handset, Many Flavours
Speaking of colours, in the UK the Honor View20 handset comes in a choice of three: Phantom Blue, Midnight Black or Sapphire Blue. In terms of capacity and performance, there are two further variants for the UK market – choose from either 6GB RAM and 128GB of storage or 8GB RAM and 256GB of storage.
The big news, however, for most of us, remains the fact that the Honor View20 is the first smartphone with a 48-megapixel camera at the rear, plus a 25-megapixel camera at the front. A presentation slide revealed that the handset utilises the Sony IMX586 1/2-inch 48MP sensor, announced by Sony back in July 2018. The company told us that this will enable users to print their images or use them as posters.
Since arguably a six-megapixel image will blow up to poster size, if a decent lens has been used in its capture, this does appear to go above and beyond, however. It appears as much – possibly more – of a statement of Honor’s capability and intent, than a practical solution.
AI, Video & Other Key Features
As with the recently announced Honor 10 Lite smartphone, the View20 offers an ‘AI’ Photography feature for optimal results. The manufacturer told us that the phone can identify 60 scenarios across 1500 categories – a greater number than ever before. It also offers an AI Super Night Shot mode utilising what it terms ‘4-in-1 superpixels’ to produce a resultant image.
You can also shoot RAW files as well as JPEGs with the smartphone. It is set to JPEG by default, but there’s a slider switch in the Pro mode that lets you ‘enable’ RAW shooting.
Those looking to shoot video and play it back in slow motion are also gifted a 960fps slow motion option with the latest flagship handset. This “unprecedented performance” is, we were told, down to the inclusion of a Kirin 980 processor, which is also found in leading products from parent company Huawei.
Other key features include a 4000mAh battery and a ‘supercharge’ capability, whereby the handset is 55% charged in just the first 30 minutes.
For those who use their phone a lot for video games, there is the further advantage of a Nine Cooling System, featuring, as the name suggests, nine layers of heat dispensing materials, which in combination can make a difference of 3°C, Honor told us.
Powered by an Android 9.0 operating system with Magic UI, the Honor View20 also features Triple Antenna Wi-Fi, which, as it sounds, refers to the handset hosting three different antennae in order to achieve the best possible reception for the user.
Also aiding performance is AI Dual Frequency GPS, which aims to provide a more accurate representation of where you are located – even down to showing which side of a street you might be on – which may come in handy if you’ve just called a taxi. Bringing its ‘smart’ features fully up to snuff, the phone also features a Voice Assistant that can unlock the handset, as well as make or reject calls.
Price & Release Date?
With Honor telling us that its View20 will appeal to ‘those who want the very highest level of specification and performance from their phone’, the company admitted at the London launch that it is not intended as a direct replacement for a professional dedicated digital camera. That’s despite it now offering that whopping image resolution – once the preserve of medium format digital cameras costing tens of thousands. As regards the Honor View20’s eventual cost, for now, we await news of the handset’s UK pricing on 22 January 2019.
While you wait, have a look at more hands-on photos with the View20.