The Honor 20i is a complete package in the budget smartphone segment, says Khalid Anzar.
Huawei's sub-brand Honor recently launched the Honor 20-series in India, which has the Honor 20 Pro, Honor 20 and the Honor 20i.
Of the three, the Honor 20i, with design and features inspired by its premium siblings, is the most affordable.
Priced at Rs 14,999, the phone has a big screen, an impressive design, a triple camera module at the back and fast-charge support.
Based on specifications and features, the phone seems value for money in its segment.
But is it?
Let's find out:
The Honor 20i's body is made mostly of plastic, but it does not look cheap or out of place.
Instead, the phone looks impressive, with a curved gradient glass-like design at the back, a thin chassis made of plastic of the same colour as the back cover and curved glass on the front covering a waterdrop notch on the screen.
Its lightweight build makes it comfortable to hold and operate for extended hours.
The phone's overall design is fresh but not sturdy. The plastic frame and multi-layered polycarbonate cover on the back are frail.
Besides attracting fingerprints, the body gets scratched easily.
The glass covering the screen seems to have some sort of protection; it withstands regular abuse without any damage to the screen.
The Honor 20i has a 6.21-inch screen and full HD+ resolution stretched in a tall 19.5:9 aspect ratio.
At the top, it has a tiny waterdrop-shaped notch that accommodates the front camera.
The screen covers almost the entire front, with negligible bezels on the top and left sides and a fairly moderate one at the bottom.
The screen is bright and colourful and has good sunlight legibility.
It is set to render by default warm colours that can be changed either to cool or vivid from the settings menu.
The display setting also includes an option to enable or disable the notch.
When enabled, the screen shows app notification icons, time, battery status and network details around the notch.
When disabled, a thick black bar appears on the top hiding the notch completely, but also reducing the overall usable screen area.
The Honor 20i has a triple camera module at the back, featuring a 24-megapixel primary lens, an 8MP ultra-wide lens and a 2MP depth sensor.
At the front, it has a 32MP selfie camera.
The rear camera module is a potent one for everyday point and shoot. It locks focus quickly and captures the picture with minimal shutter lag.
The addition of an ultra-wide lens makes it a versatile set-up, allowing users to capture more objects in frame without using the panorama mode.
For night or low light shots, the phone has a dedicated night mode that brightens the scene and captures sufficient detail.
The selfie camera, also a capable one, captures good details and has the option to adjust beauty levels.
Though the phone processes captured images heavily, most of the photos turn out well.
Performance and battery (4/5)
The Honor 20i is powered by a Kirin 710 system-on-chip, mated with 4GB RAM and 128GB storage.
The phone boots the Android Pie operating system-based EMUI 9.0.1 user interface, which is a heavily customised skin with value-added features for ease of use.
Its performance is sleek and handles everyday operations and heavy-duty jobs like graphic intensive games and multimedia-editing apps without any hiccups.
The operating system seems optimised as it works flawlessly.
The OS supports Huawei's gesture-based navigation which, though different from what the Android offers, is one of the best among Android-based smartphones.
Powering the phone is a 3,400 mAh battery, which lasts for more than a day under normal usage.
The battery supports 10W fast-charging through the supplied charger.
It charges the battery from zero to 100 per cent in around two hours, which is decent for a phone in this segment.
The Honor 20i is a complete package in the budget smartphone segment.
It has an impressive design, potent cameras, sleek performance, optimised operating system and capable battery.
Go for the Honor 20i if you are looking for a no-nonsense budget smartphone.
However, be aware that there is a cloud over the phone's OS and security upgrades, both of which are currently in a limbo due to an ongoing tussle between Huawei and the US administration.