First, let's discuss the Dynamic Holographic design on the Honor 20 Pro and the proper Honor 20. It's quite mesmerizing and the designers at Honor definitely achieved what they were going for. The 3D effect is quite prominent under the right lighting conditions.
Honor is really proud of the holographic design and it achieved it by stacking three layers - one color layer, one regular glass panel and a so-called depth layer. The latter consists of millions of tiny prisms that look like diamonds and when the light hits one of them, it also passes through each prism creating that depth effect.
One of the chief designers say that producing this 3D mesh back design is really hard. Most of the panels produced are discarded and only a few of them make it to the final units. The yield is considerably low.
The company also says it has improved the overall grip of the device with the slightly curved glass panel but we can't really say it's better than any other glass sandwich phone. It's still pretty slippery and also feels heavier in the hand than you'd actually expect from a 6.26-inch device. And no wonder - it weighs approximately 182g. That weight, however, gives the impression of a well put together and sturdy handset.
The front panel, though, is a mixed bag. The LCD itself is pretty good - punchy and vibrant colors, good contrast and minimal reflections. But make no mistake, it's still an IPS LCD panel while almost all of today's flagships have moved over to OLED already.
This is probably the reason why the punch-hole camera is a bit too big to our taste. The OLED panels are more easily shaped and cut to fit a smaller hole on the screen. It measures 4.5mm in diameter - identical to the Honor View 20's. A small detail that we almost missed is the LED notification light hiding beneath the earpiece grille. It's really subtle but kudos for Honor finding a way to include it.
And on contrary to most phones, the Honor 20 Pro and the regular 20 go for the side-mounted fingerprint reader, which in our opinion is excellent. The power button doubles as the fingerprint scanner and sits in its own recess. The best thing about it is the ideal positioning. It's super easy to reach, it's lightning fast and it's accurate.
The funny thing is that both phones aren't all that different from the outside. The Honor 20 and the 20 Pro share the same footprint, glass and metal chassis as well as screens. The market segmentation is rather too subtle. On the other hand, you get the same well-built handset no matter which one of the two you choose.
On the software front - there's nothing we haven't seen before. The phone runs on the company's latest Magic UI 2.0 based on Android 9.0. We saw it first on the Honor View 20 so we know what to expect.
Of course, all is powered by Huawei's latest and greatest Kirin 980 chipset so expect top-notch performance. And to sustain the high performance of the SoC, Honor has incorporated a thin graphene film to help with the heat dissipation. To remind you, the Huawei P30 Pro has the same layer inside.
To make the multimedia experience complete, the Honor 20 and 20 Pro have the virtual 9.1 surround sound only available with headphones.
Battery capacity is slightly different on both devices - the non-Pro settles for a 3,750 mAh while the Pro model accommodates a 4,000 mAh unit. Both support 22.5W fast charging over the USB-C 3.0 connector, though. And it also has more memory - 8GB/256GB available only on the Honor 20 Pro while the vanilla Honor 20 caps at 6GB/256GB.