Hole In One

Honor View 20.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel

The Honor View 20 is one of the first flagships of the year, and also one of the first phones you can buy with a hole punch display, which is looking like it will be the hottest trend of 2019. If you don’t know what a hole punch display is, it’s a small circular cutout in the display’s top left corner for the selfie camera. The View 20 is also a lot more aff ordable than most flagship phones, starting at just $699.

The phone has a unique rear design too, with an ultra-refiective glass panel and an underlying chevron pattern. It has a sunburst effect, with the colors around the edge darker than they are in the middle. Honor calls this design “Aurora Nanotexture” and it’s definitely a head-turner, although it might be a little too flashy for some.

Despite last year’s Honor 10 having an in-display fingerprint scanner, the View 20 instead has a regular fingerprint scanner, which is positioned three-quarters of the way up the middle of the rear. The phone also has a Face Unlock option, but as it doesn’t have a 3D front camera, it’s more for convenience than security.

In the top left corner, you’ll find a somewhat unusual looking camera setup, with the primary 48-megapixel f/1.8 Sony IMX586 lens isolated in its own camera module, and the ToF (Time of Flight) 3D stereo camera lens sitting in an elongated module next to it, which also includes the LED flash. The main sensor uses a quadBayer array for pixel binning, which results in higherquality 12-megapixel images.

The ToF lens is used for Portrait photography but is much more than just a depth sensor. It’s also used for augmented reality and includes support for depth measurement, bone recognition, motion capture, 3D body shaping and 3D somatosensory games.

Image quality on the View 20 is excellent, with sharp details, minimal distortion and natural colors. There’s no noticeable processing or graininess, and the autofocus works well in both well-lit and less than ideal conditions. This would be an impressive camera even for a phone costing twice as much.

The View 20 has a 6.4-inch IPS LCD display with a 2,310 x 1,080 pixels resolution. The screen isn’t as nice as the higher resolution OLED displays you’ll find on more expensive phones, but at this price, it doesn’t really matter. The screen is sharp enough, with good brightness and decent viewing angles.

In the top left corner of the display, you’ll see the hole punch cutout, which is just 4.5mm in diameter. Honor has also managed to fit the earpiece, proximity and ambient light sensors into the tiny bezel above the display, giving the View 20 an impressive 91.8 percent screen-to-body ratio!

The phone runs on Android 9.0 Pie out of the box with Honor’s new Magic UI 2.0 on top of it. Magic UI is Honor’s version of Huawei’s EMUI but is essentially the same OS. It’s not the most lightweight experience, but it’s fairly clean and simple to use. The UI has some redesigned menus and icons, a new color scheme, and as usual, some pre-installed apps offering varying levels of extra functionality.

The View 20 uses the same Kirin 980 processor Huawei uses in its flagship Mate 20 Pro. The phone comes with either 6GB RAM and 128GB internal storage or 8GB RAM with 256GB storage. Benchmark performance was quite good, with the Kirin 980 roughly on par with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 845 processor.

The View 20 has a large 4,000mAh battery and did pretty well in our video looping benchmark lasting eleven hours and 42 minutes. The phone supports fast charging and comes bundled with a Huawei SuperCharge adaptor. Unfortunately it doesn’t support wireless charging.

My Reading Room
The View 20’s hole punch display is just 4.5mm in diameter.
My Reading Room
Fantastic value with flagship-level scores, great cameram and a very respectable battery life.
My Reading Room
My Reading Room

The phone has a unique Aurora Nanotexture design.