Huawei releases the Honor V20 with a 48MP camera and a ToF sensor

It looks like 2019 will bring the megapixel war back on stage. More and more companies started to release smartphones with a 48MP camera on board for what seems to be the best image quality to date for a smartphone. The latest manufacturer to include the Sony IMX586 48MP smartphone camera is the Huawei Honor V20, but in order to differentiate themselves from other companies, they paired it with a ToF (time-of-flight) secondary sensor. More on that later. First, let’s talk about the specs.

Huawei Honor V20 comes with the Kirin 980 CPU, one of the best mobile chipset currently on the market, beating the SD845 in most tests. For this device, Huawei paired it with 6GB or 8GB of ram, depending on the model you choose. Both versions come with 128GB for storage space, so only RAM quantity (and price) differentiates them. On the front of the device, we get a 6.4″ FullHD+ screen that has a hole for the front-facing camera. The in-display camera that makes a hole in the screen is another trend that will be very popular next year. The Honor V20 is also a great phone for gaming. Not only that the Kirin 980 chipset comes with GPU Turbo technology, but the device is also cooled using a liquid cooler and copper heat pipe that will guarantee that the phone will stay nice and cool during long gaming sessions. It also comes with a secondary (and bigger) WLAN antenna that will be used during gaming sessions to guarantee a better signal.

The main focus may be the camera of the device. We saw other devices with this main image sensor, but this may be the first commercially available smartphone with a dual ToF camera. This camera measures the distance by measuring the time it takes for light to reach the sensor. This is done for every pixel in the image. Why does it matter? Well, there are multiple reasons why this setup is useful. First, it improves certain effects, like 3D imaging and bokeh. But the main reason is motion capture, in a similar way that Microsoft’s Kinect does. Using Honor’s V20 camera setup you will be able to play 3D games by moving your body. This is great for dancing games like the YOYO dancing game specially tuned for this device. The selfie camera is also quite impressive. It comes with a 25MP sensor and the built-in AI promises to improve selfie quality as well.

Connectivity wise, the Huawei Honor V20 comes with dual 4G SIM slots, as it is expected from Chinese brands. We already mentioned the extra WLAN antenna that sends the signal to the WiFi ac chip. The phone also comes with Bluetooth 5, NFC and GPS. For the GPS Huawei also decided to use something not seen very often for smartphones. The Honor V20 has a dual-frequency GPS (L1 + L5 dual band) that improves accuracy. The battery is also quite big on this phone, having a capacity of 4000mAh that also supports fast charging. On the software side, the phone comes with Android 9 pre-installed and Huawei added their Magic UI 2.0 skin on top.

All those specs do come at a price, but the phone costs less than you might expect. In China, it will be available for 2999 yuan (approx $440) for the 6GB/128GB version and 3499 yuan (approx $510) for the 8GB/128GB version. Pricing in Europe is not yet known, but the phone will be released there on January 22nd as the Honor View 20. Pricing for the Huawei honor V20 at Chinese retailers is a bit more expensive than the mentioned price. I found it at a store that offers worldwide shipping for $592.99 and $686.99. Quite a profit margin I must add, but then again, the phone just launched. I expect the price to drop a bit after the official global release.

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