On the eve of the P30 Pro's 10x zoom, here's how the P20 Pro camera holds up in real life

This article may contain personal views and opinion from the author.
On the eve of the P30 Pro's 10x zoom, here's how the P20 Pro camera holds up in real life
When we got some tips last year that Huawei will be unveiling a flagship P-series phone with a 40MP camera and 3x telephoto zoom, we found it hard to believe at first but the company delivered. 

This year, high-res cameras with pixel-merging technology can be found even on midrange handsets thanks to Sony's 48MP sensor. The exposure-binning night shot option is becoming ubiquitous, too, but the P20 Pro still holds the record-setting 3x "optical" zoom title. It will soon be snatched by the P30 Pro and its periscope zoom system that will eventually allow the breathtaking 8x zoom (10x with Huawei's clever hybrid trickery), but we still found that even the 3x one gave us more flexibility to shoot in real life than other phone cameras. 

Moreover, Huawei kept improving the camera software on the P20 Pro, leaving the scene recognition and adaptation algorithms off by default, shortening the night shot wait option and improving on the already excellent portrait mode whose object-background separation algorithms can rival the iPhone's, as exemplified in our Mate 20 Pro review.

Huawei also brought Pie to the P20 Pro with one of the most comprehensive gesture navigation sets out there, and improved on the battery life management leaving you with a true one or two-day phone with heavy to moderate usage. What we want to demo are some shots made with the P20 Pro that make us salivate for its successor about to be unveiled in Paris in a fortnight. 

While not the best in high dynamic range scenes or in pitch dark shots, the P20 Pro's portrait, night and especially 3-5x zoom modes held up very well, as you can see from the impromptu samples below which have been resized for faster loading. What do you think?

Related phones

P30 Pro
  • Display 6.5" 1080 x 2340 pixels
  • Camera 40 MP / 32 MP front
  • Processor HiSilicon Kirin 980, Octa-core, 2600 MHz
  • Storage 128 GB + Nano Memory (NM)
  • Battery 4200 mAh
P20 Pro
  • Display 6.1" 1080 x 2240 pixels
  • Camera 40 MP / 24 MP front
  • Processor HiSilicon Kirin, Octa-core, 2360 MHz
  • Storage 128 GB
  • Battery 4000 mAh(25h talk time)



1. maherk

Posts: 6876; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

Beats the crap out of my S10+ in low light and indoors photography.

2. User123456789

Posts: 917; Member since: Feb 22, 2019

I choose better texture over strong NR anyday. I see that P20 Pro sometimes gives better shots at 10, but sometimes better at 40 in same situation, day or night.

3. Venom

Posts: 3548; Member since: Dec 14, 2017

I think the Pixel phones still have it beat in the camera department.

4. CellieCell

Posts: 151; Member since: Apr 14, 2010

Do you see what I see? Photo number 40. Lol


Posts: 652; Member since: Jun 28, 2014

It's photo #39, a**hole! Lmao

5. dazed1

Posts: 799; Member since: Jul 28, 2015


7. Xperia14

Posts: 1208; Member since: Sep 01, 2015

Huawei really raised the bar for smartphone photography. I'm really impressed by the P20 pro's camera. Can't wait for the P30 pro!

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