Wednesday, March 28, 2018

What I learnt from the Huawei P20 Smartphone Announce

Subtitle: Something Meaningfully Different

The backdrop to this article is that Huawei did not launch its premiere 2018 gen Smartphone at Barcelona Mobile World Congress.

Instead they announced their intention to release it on March 27th 2018. And so this is a report on what they announced in context ...

A month of Speculation
In a contest of who could speculate more, drop the journalistic bar lower,  and continue predictions in mindless, pointless, and generally ill informed articles even just 12 hours before launch,  yes the whole tech world Industry really got into the game.

Thanks tech journalists for cluttering up my RSS feeds ad nausea for about a month.  You were not welcome.

The Specifications

Innovation & Highlights (P20 Pro)

= Official Specs

+ There is a Notch

+ Sensible pricing for P20 (649 Euro) and P20 Plus (899 Euro).  By sensible I mean it significantly undercuts the Samsung and Apple pricing models.  Good!

+ 3 rear cameras namely: 40MP f1.8 Colour + 20MP f1.6 Monochrome + 8MP f2.4 Wide Angle with OIS.  DxoMark photo is at 114.

These features set it aside from any competition

+ Front 24MP selfie camera

+ Face unlock using 24MP front camera only

+ 960 fps slow motion

+ 1/1.78" sensor size for the 40MP lens

+ Wifi Supports 4x4MIMO

+ Single and Dual Sim models for sale

+ 6.1 inch, 2240x1010 pixel,   18:8 Format OLED Display  (note the P20 basic model does not have OLED)

+ 6GB RAM and 128GB Storage

+ IP67 Water Resistance

+ 180 grams weight

- Bluetooth 4.x not 5

+ 4000 mAh Battery, fast wired, but NOT wireless charge

+ Android 8.1, no word on Android P support

+ No Headphone Jack,  USB C interface only

Official Launch

From this I learnt that on the live stream it was basically impossible to understand what was being said at parts.

I also learnt that in order to get a fingerprint sensor on the back, i.e. the right place,   I'd have to spend at least 1700 Euros for the Huawei Mate RS (6GB/256GB) instead of 899 Euros for the Huawei P20 Pro (6GB/128GB)

Availability is not before April 12 2018

Marcus Winge Points

- Nobody has ever produced an Electronically Stabilised Image which is anywhere as effective as an OIS (Optically Imaged Stabilisation).    Yet Huawei is saying just that for it's main 40MP lens   (The wide angle 8MP does has OIS)

- Fingerprint sensor on front of Huawei P20 (all models).  Are you shitting me?   This is an even worse position than the sensor of a Samsung S8.

- And with the Physical Home Button/Fingerprint reader on the front, yes you loose that screen real estate.  Again, which idiot thought that up? Only the twice as expensive (no kidding) Mate RS does not suffer this aberration.

- No mention I see yet of the commitment or timeframe to migrate to Android P on this rather ironically named P20 phone.   Huawei?

Some Good News
Huawei has been singled out as untrustworthy by the US Government and this has filtered thru to US retailers.  Result?   These phones will not ship to the USA and therefore there is more of them for Asian Markets and Europe,  and at keener prices.  Hoorah!   Way to go USA.

Overall Then
The camera technology has yet to be shown to work.  But since it was co-developed with Leica, we trust that they (Leica) did validate it to be as good as claimed, before putting their name to it.  (DxOMark is looking good)

The Specs of the phone bar the idiotic location of the fingerprint sensor are superb

Should I Buy or should I Go?
- I'd never advise anybody to buy a phone like this until the detailed reviews, in this case regarding the effectiveness of the camera are in.  That said

- I'd hope that Huawei might clarify the position on Android P support

- Regardless of Android P, if the camera checks out A++  IRL as well as in the lab, then if my principal phone broke, and since I'm camera centric I'd probably would recommend it, and just curse every time I had to unlock the phone with that idiotic front button. And double curse the fact I'm not wealthy enough to afford a Mate RS

Journo Reports
Tech Chap P20 intro
Engadget P20
Recombu P20
XDA Developers P20 Pro
Huawei and DxOMark

Official P20 Pro Website
YouTube Search

PS: Meanwhile Apple just had to choose March 27th as it's Education event too.   I mean another day, oh no! Goto this link since they were not prepared to livestream it.