Honor, a sister brand of Huawei, one of the oldest phone manufacturers to reign the smartphone market in India, has managed to make quite a bit of noise since its launch. The company has again entered the market as it launches its Honor-20 series including the Honor 20, Honor 20i, and the Honor 20 Pro. We spent our time with the Honor 20i, a new addition by Honor to the budget segment, priced at INR 14,999. But, did the phone live up to its expectations?
Talking about the design first, the body is made up of plastic with a glossy curved gradient colored back that fades from a purple tone at the bottom to a striking blue at the top, a variant Honor calls ‘Phantom Blue’. However, if you’re not a big fan of the color, you can pick and choose from other colored variants including the Phantom Red and the Magical Midnight Black.
The gradient design adds a good look to the phone, and does stand out from other budget smartphones out there. Honor 20i offers slim bezel-less along with a fairly high 90% body-to-screen ratio with its 6.21-inch touchscreen display and a teardrop notch. Apart from that, Honor 20i feels light weight at around 164 grams. The downside to the design, however, is that the rear panel gets scratched pretty easily, leaving unsightly marks.
Speaking of display, Honor 20i comes with a 6.21-inch Full HD+ 1080×2340 pixels resolution and an aspect ratio of 19.5:9. The color and contrast on the display is pretty vivid while we were indoors and almost adequate, outdoors. Also, the 6.21-inch display offers a fairly large screen size which makes it quite convenient to watch movies, play games, et al. In all, the display is quite decent without any major misses.
Performance-wise, Honor 20i comes powered with a Kirin 710 SoC packed with 4GB of RAM and 128GB expandable storage. The first thing that caught my attention while using the Honor 20i was actually how fast it is. No lag was experienced while launching apps on the phone and navigating through the interface felt quite smooth.
Now, if you’re wondering if you can play PUBG on the phone, yes, you certainly can, thanks to the GPU Turbo 2, a mobile game optimization feature that is offered in many other Honor smartphones as well. However, to get the smoothest PUBG experience, you need to play the game at a ‘medium graphic’ setting, as the phone does show stress under high graphics setting with occasional frame drops. In all, if played on a medium setting, you can easily play PUBG for hours on the Honor 20i without it showing any signs of evident lag.
Speaking of the battery, Honor 20i is powered by a 3,400mAh battery which is quite disappointing as it seems to drain out rather fast. Also, the phone comes with a 10W charger which takes the smartphone, quite a while to charge, The device also lacks support for fast charging. If you’re a light user, the battery can last for more than a day. However, for medium to heavy usage, Honor 20i manages to barely push t till the end of the day. However, there are a few options to save battery under settings, namely, Performance Mode, Power Saving Mode and Ultra-saving Mode that you can use to better optimize it.
Coming to the software, Honor 20i runs on Android 9 Pie based on EMUI 9.0, which allows for speedy movement through the OS. But, it also comes with a hefty bloatware as there are a lot of pre-installed system apps that can make the overall UI look cluttered. Apart from that, it comes with an added ‘Digital balance’ feature which keeps track of the time you spend on your phone. Talking about the audio and phone quality, it is pretty good with nothing much to complain about.
Now, coming down to the camera performance, the Honor 20i comes with an AI triple-camera setup, featuring a 24MP f/1.8 sensor, an 8MP ultra-wide-angle camera and a 2MP depth sensor, which is quite a rarity for a budget phone. Moreover, the phone lets you shoot ultrawide photos, and is also capable of capturing 120-degree shots.
For selfies, Honor 20i features a 32MP AI selfie camera. The triple rear camera is quite tempting and packs on a lot of different modes including aperture, night, and portrait.
There are also other features included such as pro camera, panorama option, AR lens, light painting, and HDR mode among others. Triple rear camera performance is decent as it’s able to click vivid and sharp pictures with the right amount of color and contrast, both indoors and outdoors.
For low light pictures, the camera performs average, but this is where the night mode comes to play. The night mode on the Honor 20i is surprisingly good as it instantly brightens up the entire scene, capturing all the details of the scene quite well. And although it does add unnatural light to the picture, it doesn’t look odd. Speaking of the AI mode, we didn’t notice any major difference in the picture quality except that it added a bit more saturation to the entire scene. Portrait mode works well too, and adds the right amount of blur. There’s also an option to enable/disable bokeh. Coming to the selfie camera, it performs decently and offers options like beauty mode which adds more softness to the overall scene.
In all, Honor 20i is the smartphone for you if your priorities are great performance and a good camera.