Huawei’s Honor brand has launched its latest phone series, the Honor 20, with high spec for a lower price, flying in the face of the current US blockade.
The Chinese phone giant’s key branding message was ‘Capture the Wonder’ with emphasis on its photo abilities.
During the keynote presentation at it’s global launch in London, George Zhao, President at Honor, was keen to showcase the phone’s superior performance against higher priced rivals Apple and Samsung.
The flagship quad camera has advanced AI features to clarify and stabilise images with wide angle, low light and macro features, which it demonstrated to the audience as its launch event in London.
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Camera rating firm DxOMark gave the Honor 20 Pro a score of 111, placing it one point behind the current leader, the Huawei P30 Pro.
A fingerprint sensor is integrated into the power button on the right side of the phone, there’s a USB-C port in the bottom and no headphone socket to be found.
As well as launching the new 20 Series, the phone brand has also announced a partnership with England and Tottenham Hotspur football star Dele Alli, who joins Honor as its UK Brand Ambassador.
The £400 Honor 20 and £600 20 Pro are practically identical, with the same glass front and back design and the flagship Huawei Kirin 980 processor last seen in the Huawei P30 Pro.
The Honor 20 has 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, while the Honor 20 Pro has 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage.
Both phones run Huawei’s modified version of Android 9 Pie called Magic UI 2.1, and will have Google’s services included in western markets such as the UK.
The new rang of phones may also be the last Huawei smartphones launched in the west with Google services on board, following the firm’s blacklisting by the US.
Google is planning to pull the Chinese company’s access to many of its core Android apps and services, including the Google Play Store, Gmail, Search and Chrome – although this was followed a few hours later by the US Commerce Department temporarily lifting the trade ban with Huawei.
At the core of the issue are ongoing accusations by the US of Huawei spying and collusion with the Chinese central government. Tensions have been simmering over the last 12 months before the Trump administration struck hard – and Huawei has been developing its own OS in case of an Android ban.
Huawei has released a full statement which was also passed out by representatives from Honor, in full reading as follows:
“Huawei has made substantial contributions to the development and growth of Android around the world. As one of Android’s key global partners, we have worked closely with their open-source platform to develop an ecosystem that has benefitted both users and the industry.
“Huawei will continue to provide security updates and after-sales services to all existing Huawei and Honor smartphone and tablet products, covering those that have been sold and that are still in stock globally.
“We will continue to build a safe and sustainable software ecosystem, in order to provide the best experience for all users globally.”
Google has also chimed in with a similar sentiment: “For users of our services, Google Play and the security protections from Google Play Protect will continue to function on existing Huawei devices.”
Current Honor smartphones have gone through Google Play’s certification process already, so this specific announcement shouldn’t affect them at all, for now. Users will still be able to access the Google Play store and all the Google-owned apps.
This also applies to devices that are scheduled for imminent release including the Honor 20 series.
View the full launch event here: