Honor has put a lot of effort into the camera department and the handset has the chance to be the best cameraphone from Honor so far. That's at least what the specs sheet reads.
The main sensor is quite big - 1/2" with 0.8Ám pixels and offers 48MP resolution. However, the Quad-Bayer Array technology used with Sony's brand new IMX586 sensor is what makes this phone stand out. The Quad-Bayer tech isn't exactly new, though - the Huawei P20 Pro uses it and the Mate 20 Pro too but this is the first time we see it in such an affordable package.
Quad Bayer sensors promise exceptional nighttime stills as they raise the sensitivity by adding four adjacent pixels to reproduce one color and the quality is comparable to that of a 12MP sensor with large 1.6Ám pixels. This method brings down the noise significantly while images still appear bright.
But, of course, there is a setting in the menu that allows you to choose between 48MP and 12MP resolution, which is pretty nice.
And as for the selfie camera, there's no fancy tech in there, but the 25MP would have to produce sharp enough images while the lens features f/2.0 opening.
Here are a few samples taken with the View 20. Our unit doesn't have final software yet, so these are preliminary samples.
It's true that the 48MP camera uses pixel binning to produce a 12MP image. However, if you wanted to go all out, you could shoot photos in the camera's full resolution as well. Shooting this way produces softer looking photos but it could be due to the early firmware. We'll be testing this again for the full review.
The View 20 can do 2X zoom, but since the second sensor is only used for depth sensing, you should know this is not one of the camera's native resolutions.
Finally, there's portrait mode, out first impressions of the feature are good but it's the small details like hair and glasses that still stump these software-generated bokeh effects.
The Honor View 20 is a whole lotta phone in a more affordable package than the Huawei Mate 20 Pro. Of course, we don't know how much that phone will cost outside of China, but Honor will be announcing the View 20's pricing and availability on a dedicated event, which is to be held in Paris on January 22.
The View 20 is a huge step up in design over the View 10. The gorgeous rear glass alone is stunning and will certainly turn heads. As for the hole-punch camera, we find that it's a more practical and less obtrusive method of maximizing display area. As far as we can tell, we anticipate the hole-punch to be the new notch. We wonder if Apple will follow suit after the entire industry followed in Apple's questionable design choice.
The 48MP camera is certainly a new benchmark for phones of this category. We will definitely compare how this phone shoots next to the Mate 20 Pro. Performance-wise, the Kirin 980 packs a huge punch so no worries for gaming or heavy multitasking.
The View 20 will be Honor's top-of-the-line flagship. We predict it will be priced either identically to or just shy of the OnePlus 6T. While this is a phone we'd love to see make it to the US, the current political tension between Huawei and the US Government (among others) isn't a positive indicator.