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Honor 20i review: Impressive design, performance make it no-nonsense phone

The Honor 20i is a complete package in the budget smartphone segment, thanks to an impressive design, potent cameras, sleek performance, optimised operating system and capable battery

Khalid Anzar  |  New Delhi 

Honor 20i

Huawei’s sub-brand recently launched in India the 20-series, which has the 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, impressive design, a triple-camera module on the back and a fast-charge support. Based on specifications and features, the phone seems value for money in its segment. But is it? Let’s find out:

Design (3/5)

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 on 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.

Honor 20i

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 abuses without any damage to the screen.

Display (3/5)

The Honor 20i has a 6.21-inch screen of a fullHD+ resolution stretched in a tall 19.5:9 aspect ratio. It has on top a tiny waterdrop-shaped notch accommodating 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, too. 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.

Camera (4/5)

The Honor 20i has a triple-camera module on the back, featuring a 24-megapixel primary lens, an 8MP ultra-wide lens and a 2MP depth sensor. On 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 lowlight shots, the phone has a dedicated night mode that brightens the scene and captures sufficient detail.

Honor 20i review: Impressive design, performance make it no-nonsense phone

The selfie camera, also a capable one, captures good details and has an option to adjust beauty levels. Though the phone processes captured images heavily, most of the photos turn out to be good.

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.

The phone’s performance is sleek. It 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, 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 is good 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.

Verdict (3.5/5)

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 and the US administration.

First Published: Fri, June 14 2019. 18:56 IST
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