The announcement of the Huawei P20 got me excited over something seemingly trivial when it comes to smartphones: color. The phones that were launched in the heart of Paris looked stunning and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on them.
Of course, I’ve been repping the Pink Gold gradient P20 for the past few weeks and here are my thoughts on Huawei’s newest flagship device.
Look and feel
Obviously, I adore this phone’s color. A quick look at my everyday stuff will show just how well this phone fits into my life and matches everything I own.
It’s not the easiest phone to photograph and depending on the light it may look less pink than I’d like. But, I love how subdued the color is and I’m continually amazed at how nice it is. I have, on more than one occasion, stopped mid-task to shoot flat lays with it just because I feel compelled to capture how pretty it is in photos.
I would go as far as saying that this, to me, is the prettiest phone out there right now. Sure, the popular Twilight gradient is pretty too, but this subtle blush is just so perfect.
I always say that if you’re going to hold on to something for the most part of your day, it might as well be something that’s in a color you love — and I love pink. I sincerely, from the bottom of my heart, thank Huawei for releasing a flagship in this hue and I hope more brands would follow suit.
The gradient back is made of glass — so you still have to be careful — and the phone’s edges are made of aluminum. The handset feels as premium as it looks, but it’s a little slippery to hold. For butterfingers like me, make sure you get a case for this beaut.
Unlike the Pro version, this device has only two cameras on its back. There’s also no audio port, unfortunately, but the phone comes bundled with an adapter for its USB-C port, so problem solved.
Notch my cup of tea
Like most 2018 flagships, one thing that it does have is a notch.
Well, unless you don’t want it there (which I totally didn’t). In a feat of tech genius, there is now a switch to hide the distracting notch. One tap in the settings menu and it goes away.
What I do love, however, is even when I turn that blasted notch off, the area beside the notch is still used for notification icons. It’s a great use of space, to be honest.
Unfortunately, while the notch does go away, there are still a few screen optimizations that could be done. Instagram Stories, for example, get cut out up top on the P20’s 5.8-inch display. But, this is nothing an update can’t cure; I just hope it comes soon.
Speaking of displays, the P20’s LCD display is bright and crisp, even if it isn’t OLED (which is what most flagships like the P20 Pro have). Oh, and this phone has a built-in “Eye comfort” setting which blocks out the blues on your screen so your eyes are less strained, which isn’t a new feature but is one I really appreciate nonetheless.
The P20 also has a fingerprint sensor in front, which is totally a Huawei thing — only they put fingerprint scanners below the display on near-bezel-less devices nowadays. Some people complain that the sensor is too low on the phone for a comfortable thumb scan, but I certainly don’t mind. At the end of the day, I still enjoy this placement more than when the scanner is on the phone’s rear — that, or I just have very agile thumbs. Either way, the P20 has face scanning for the non-believers, so that should solve all the thumb problems. It also works pretty well; I’ve honestly forgotten I have a lock code on my phone on most days.
This phone runs on Huawei’s most powerful processor (Kirin 970) and this means all app run smoothly on this phone — from Instagram to Snapchat, Google Maps, and even The Sims Mobile.
Battery time lasts me almost a day, which is a feat for most phones I touch as my day involves heavy social media use, photo- and selfie-taking sessions, plus video calling on a daily basis. Despite having a glass back, there is still no wireless charging on this thing but that’s something I can forgive as the device has fast charging. It takes around an hour and a half from zero to 100 percent on Huawei’s SuperCharge, which is fairly quick.
Unfortunately, this handset is only splash proof so yes, you shouldn’t be going swimming or showering with the phone which is a shame, because pool selfies are definitely a thing.
The phone runs on EMUI 8.1 on Android 8.1 Oreo which is the latest Android operating system out since the phone was announced. Everything is quick, snappy, and smooth — just the way I like it.
Now, on to the phone’s highlight: the cameras!
There are two rear shooters on this device: 12- and 20-megapixel cameras, one of which is a monochrome sensor. The third lens is reserved only for the P20 Pro.
The real magic happens with artificial intelligence. Literally, you can just point and shoot on this thing and the camera does everything. E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G.
Point it at a person and it automatically turns on portrait mode. Point it at food and food mode is activated. It even identifies documents and automatically converts into a document scanner!
Now, I know what you’re thinking: What if I don’t want the phone deciding for me? Well, that’s so 2017, and also, tapping “x” at the bottom of the screen as the phone identifies the subject reverts back to normal mode on the camera.
Here are a few sample shots from my camera roll:
What’s more amazing is the P20’s low-light capabilities. On night mode, it can take four-second handheld shots that don’t even look like four-second low-light handheld shots. You have to see it to believe it:
You know what a good smartphone camera means, right? Better Instagrammable photos! And that is precisely what I posed for here:
And even here:
For your selfie needs, a 24-megapixel camera can be found in front. There’s the normal photo mode and a dedicated portrait mode that enables the bokeh effect, 3D lighting effects, and a beauty mode with levels zero to ten. I didn’t even bother with the 3D lighting effects (yes, it’s Portrait Lighting all over again) because I didn’t really see much use for this on the iPhone so why bother on this phone. The beauty mode, on the other hand, is a different story.
Although settings past five can sometimes make you look like a wax figure, the secret is knowing when to stop. With the perfect beauty mode level, this phone can make you look fresh no matter the circumstance.
Unfortunately, the rear cameras’ low-light capabilities don’t extend to the front-facing camera as dark selfies aren’t the most detailed and are sometimes pretty hazy. Group selfies also aren’t the best on this camera, especially with the bokeh on. One too many times, a friend’s face was blurred out which is totally not good for the squad. You’re definitely better off getting someone else to take your group photo.
Is the Huawei P20 your GadgetMatch?
If you read up until this point of this particularly long review, you must really like the Huawei P20. And honestly, so do I.
How a phone looks and feels in my hands is something that’s very important to me, and the P20 ticked that particular box and even more. I’ve held on to this phone since the moment I got it and I still enjoy using it. Admittedly, there are still improvements that can be made on this device, but it’s nothing I can’t forgive for what I get: a solid rear camera, capable overall phone that’s pretty and with a premium build, and good beauty mode.
If your priorities are in the same place, you may want to consider getting this phone. In the meantime, I’m going to get a case for mine. I feel like I’ll be using this for a while.
These new Ikea curtains fight indoor pollution by filtering air
Talk about being functional!
Ikea has just announced groundbreaking technology that will not only add to your home decorating or homemaking ventures, as the brand has been apt to do; it will also help keep your living space cleaner by purifying indoor air.
This is Ikea’s Gunrid curtain and it works just like a plant: It breaks down harmful pollutants when it gets in contact with light. The fabric itself has undergone “mineral-based surface treatment” which enables it to destroy common indoor air pollutants like formaldehyde and odor. And since the tech is in the fabric, future products aren’t, in theory, limited to just curtains.
Unknown to most, indoor air pollution is a big deal with some living spaces found to have conditions five times worse than other parts of the world and a higher death toll than outdoor pollution. Mauricio Affonso, Product Developer at Ikea Range & Supply says, “We are creating an affordable and space-saving air purifying solution that also makes the home more beautiful.”
Ikea hopes to put these Gunrid curtains on shelves by 2020.
Samsung announces new generation of wearables
These include a tracker, watch, and wireless buds
Aside from the numerous Samsung flagships announced at Unpacked in San Francisco, there were also a number of wearables announced: The Galaxy Watch Active, Galaxy Fit, Galaxy Fit e, and the Galaxy Buds.
The Galaxy Watch Active is the sporty version of Samsung’s Galaxy Watch but without the iconic spinning bezel. It’s equipped with stress, fitness, and sleep tracking, plus GPS, NFC, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth capabilities. Of course, it also has Bixby built in.
The watch also has wireless charging capabilities which will work well with the PowerShare-capable Galaxy S10. It runs on an Exynos 9110 processor and a 230mAh battery. It’ll come in four pretty colors: rose gold, sea green, black, and silver. It’ll be available on March 8 in the US for US$ 200.
The Galaxy Fit and Fit e are slim fitness wearables that will automatically track your activities. Equipped with a heart rate monitor and a 0.95-inch AMOLED display, this water-resistant baby is perfect for those who want something less obtrusive. They’ll be available in the second quarter of 2019.
Last but not least: The Galaxy Buds. Powered by AKG, you’re ensured a great listening experience. It boasts six hours of battery life for streaming and five hours on calls, with an additional seven hours with its charging case. That same case gives 1.7 hours of power on a 15-minute charge. Of course, it also has wireless charging.
These Buds are available starting March 8 and they’ll retail for US$ 129. It comes in three colors: black, white, and a fun yellow.
Instagram photo challenge with the Samsung Galaxy S10
Hands-on with all three versions!
Samsung’s newest Galaxy S devices have just been announced and we’re blessed with three versions: The Samsung Galaxy S10e (small), the Galaxy S10 (big), and the Galaxy S10+ (big big!).
Each phone is equipped with a number of cameras so you know what that means: IG photo test!
In our Her GadgetMatch video, we check out what’s so cool about the new Samsung phones and test what the cameras can do. Spoiler: They do a lot!
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