Based on materials from androidauthority.com
In recent years Huawei has turned into a very ambitious brand, in the portfolio of which luxury flagships coexist with mid-range smartphones at competitive prices. The company did not hide the fact that it is targeting Apple and Samsung. Despite the setbacks in the US market, Huawei is clearly not satisfied with its third place in the world. She clearly wants to climb the second, or even better – the first step of the podium.
The quality and functionality of the P20 and P20 Pro reaffirms these intentions, and they already claim to be one of the most impressive and interesting smartphones of this year. Moreover, these are not typical phones, they demonstrate the company's desire to change the industry, which will push Huawei up. If you want to surpass Apple, you need to evolve into Apple, and possibly a better version Apple.
And we are not talking about a superficial comparison, although it in itself provides inexhaustible food for thought. The same 'monobrow' begs to discuss it, but we will not do this: whether this decision is good or bad, there is no single answer. Screen notch P20 shows an obvious attempt to clone iPhone.
The main cameras are now inscribed in a vertical black ledge, while the back of the P10 was flat. There is no headphone jack, but the same can be said for a lot of phones nowadays – they are all starting to look alike. Huawei gave us powerful arguments for this comparison.
Just look at FreeBuds (left) and AirPods (right) to get a feel for what this is about. In the P20, the fingerprint scanner may remain in the front, but in Porsche Design Huawei Mate RS the company is one step ahead of Apple, at the same time offering face unlock and an integrated fingerprint scanner under the glass .
A different strategy from the Mate 10?
Compared to the Mate 10 series, which was released less than half a year ago, the strategy Huawei now looks somewhat different. The Mate 10 Pro had a very unusual design, which combined thin bezels, glass, a fingerprint scanner that you could feel, and an eye-pleasing symmetry in the arrangement of the main cameras. There were simply no similar devices, and it seemed that Huawei had found the solution that would make their smartphones stand out from the crowd of others.
Even the P10 looked and felt 'huawey' despite the first attempts at imitation iPhone in the P-series. But the new P20 lineup seems to be ditching literally every trait of that aesthetic in favor of a more familiar solution. For some reason, Huawei clearly didn't want the design of their Mate 10 to go into the P-series. Rather than redesigning the P10, the company has come up with something more banal, safer, and similar Apple (aside from the cool colors).
However, the above is not an unexpected turn for Huawei. Less obvious changes have been noticeable in recent smartphones as well. The 3.5mm jack was removed already in the Mate 10 Pro, aimed at the high-end market, while the more budgetary Mate 10 retained it. It is unlikely that the engineers Huawei really thought that Bluetooth was the top option, but wireless connectivity is considered by all marketers to be the future of the industry. The fingerprint scanner remained on the front of such devices as Mate 10 and View 10. Finally, in Huawei they refused to include a number of successful and well-working functions Android in EMUI and added navigation using swipes, practically as in iPhone X.
And not only P20, but Huawei as a whole moves in the direction specified by Apple. If you thought the starting price of iPhone X at $ 999 was high – well, the Huawei P20 Pro is 899 euros (about $ 1105), 100 euros more than its predecessor. And while Huawei is happy that she's not as greedy as Apple (which is exactly what Richard Yu said in Paris), the user has an ultra-premium alternative – Porsche Design Mate RS with 512 GB, it will cost you some measly 2,095 euros (about $ 2,576). This is not an accident or an attempt Huawei to simply steal someone else's idea. In China, as in the USA, Apple is synonymous with the highest quality. Huawei wants customers to see her products the same, or better yet, a preferred alternative.
Focus on photography
But enough direct comparisons. The point is not that P20 is just a clone iPhone, of course it is not. Huawei added many of its own technological developments and top-end features to it, which are actually ahead of Apple. This includes aptX HD and LDAC in response to the growing popularity of wireless headphones and speakers, super-fast charging out of the box, and artificial intelligence as more than just a marketing ploy. At the same time, the company doesn't waste time on meaningless animoji competition.
And all this is very good, but like Samsung, Google, Apple and others, Huawei has long learned the fact that the most important thing in a smartphone for buyers is the quality of photos. Perhaps the P20 Pro is even an overreaction to these needs, with more sensors than the rest. The comparison with a razor with five blades suggests itself. But a new camera isn't just about more lenses.
Huawei also added a larger sensor than competing smartphones, impressive oversampling for low light, advanced processing for zoom and stabilization. Without a doubt, these features would cost more than 899 euros if they were in another smartphone (Richard Yu even said that if this Apple was released by the P20 pro, it would cost 1,500 euros), but that's exactly how Huawei acts in the desire to attract attention and impose competition.
Huawei had a huge amount of photography and a huge marketing victory to top the DxOMark rankings, no matter how you perceive the DxOMark scores. For most, these numbers confirm that the P20 Pro is in the same weight class as the Galaxy S9, iPhone X and the Google Pixel. These brands, and especially Apple, have largely built their reputations around the photographic capabilities of their devices. If Huawei is able to compete with them, it will have the sympathy of buyers in this area too. That's the point of installing a triple camera – perhaps it just looks like a way to get the attention of journalists and users. But this game revolves around the smartphone's ability to take great pictures. Reception, as if borrowed straight from Cupertino.
Create your own hardware
Perhaps the biggest difference Huawei from other smartphone makers at Android is that it designs the most important hardware components itself. In fact, it brings together the three leaders of the global smartphone market. Apple, Huawei and Samsung create their own processors, each company is focused on its own advantages in this race. Huawei has an AI-powered Kirin 970 with its own dedicated neural processor that can run the company's software, including the new P20 cameras. A11 Bionic is similarly focused on machine learning algorithms. The company also builds modems into its chipsets, which allows its devices to support networks around the world.
Apple and Google have done well with their cameras, as has Samsung with its ISOCELL sensors. The collaboration Huawei with Leica turned out to be not only marketing, but also resulted in the creation of a photographic part capable of competing with the leaders. To summarize, the best features Huawei came from her own design.
A similar approach can be found in other aspects. Smartphones Huawei are trying to compete in a higher weight class when it comes to graphics. Compared to other brands, battery life looks more optimized. Tight control over hardware development and transferring its benefits to software and user experience is very similar to the ideology Apple. Huawei essentially demonstrates the same approach, but somewhat more limited by the nature of the OS Android.
All of the above does not imply the ability Huawei to create innovative or high-end products. The P20 and P20 Pro are too good to be considered just clones iPhone. There is something to praise the company for in a broader sense – for its ambitions in the top segment, which are realized through its own hardware developments.
Huawei adheres to a strategy that, in her opinion, is capable of taking it to a new level in the world – a combination of its own innovations and copying of what is essential for the success of premium devices. As a result, we see a brand aiming at the top end of the market and adopting some more controversial solutions if they serve that ultimate goal. This is what Samsung, for example, is wary of doing.
Are you still in doubt about the headline comparison of this stuff? Let's briefly characterize Huawei and her new P20 Pro again. Top-end camera and performance. External gloss. Over-saturation with marketing chips. High or even too high price. Sounds like a description Apple, doesn't it?