Honor has done a fantastic job of designing a phone which looks premium for its price point and I don’t mind saying that it looks better than any smartphone under Rs 20,000. Now, we dig down deeper to find out if there is anything more than meets the ‘20 eye’? Excuse the pun.
Again, I want to stress upon the design of this Phantom Blue colour variant that we were given by Honor. Starting from the back, there’s the Honor logo at the bottom and ‘AI Camera’ written on top left side where it houses the triple camera setup. All of this sits on a beautiful bluish-purple gradient shiny back case which is a fingerprint magnet. But, if you want to maintain that shine and finish on your 20i there is a transparent cover for protection inside the box. Moving on to the front end of the 20i, we get a dewdrop notch pattern that has become a trend in this range of smartphones. It has got a full HD+ 6.21-inch display housing a 32MP front camera inside its dewdrop notch, more on the camera and display later. Above the dewdrop notch, you can find the sim card holder tray with an option to expand its memory up to 512GB if the 128GB variant isn’t sufficient for your daily use. It has got Volume buttons along with a power button on the right side. However, Honor is still stuck with its old hardware by not moving on from the standard USB port to Type C, therefore, you don’t get fast charging option as well. While on the positive note, it gets a 3.5mm audio jack and right opposite to it are the stereo speakers. Also, not forgetting the fingerprint scanner which is located at the back and unlocks the 20i in the blink of an eye.
When you are out to buy a budget smartphone, the camera is one aspect where you don’t want your smartphone to lag behind. The Honor 20i isn’t the best out there but does a decent job as compared to other smartphones in this segment. At the front, the 32MP selfie camera is good, but not that great. As you can see in the below image, the front facing 32MP camera blurs the background a bit and gives it a natural blur which is a good thing. The normal selfie does a pretty good job as well. Since this image was clicked during a sunny afternoon, which explains the reason for its warm effect.
Coming to the rear camera setup, the highlight being the 8MP wide angle lens which is able to capture 120-degree wide angle shots as you can see a comparison between the normal image and image shot in the wide angle lens. The normal image has more details as compared to the image shot in wide angle and the colours produced are more natural. The main camera setup houses a 24MP camera which is an average shooter, certainly not the best in the range but does the job.
Take a look at this 6x zoomed image and the normal image.
The images shot in portrait mode do look unnatural and the blur effect isn’t artificial, also I felt that the images lack a bit of sharpness in them, which is why the level of detail in them isn’t that great.
In the night mode, the regular image captures very less amount of light but isn’t that bad either. The night mode makes the image look sharper and adds up more light to the image.
Overall, the front-facing camera has good video quality and is the clear winner for me over its main camera setup. And the main triple camera setup performs okay, and I would have liked if the output would have been much better with more details in them. The AI camera will soften the image, personally, I prefer keeping the AI mode switched off. Well, talking about the AI camera, it does have AI face recognition which is quick to unlock your phone. Again, I prefer the fingerprint scanner over the AI face recognition.
Mediocre at Best
Gaming and performance go hand-in-hand and to see what the Kirin 710F processor has under its sleeve, we did a long gaming session test and here’s what we came across. First on the list, the game we all love, PUBG Mobile. The first thing which I try on that game is how well does the Gyroscope work on the phone. Well, most phones that I have tested didn’t have accurate Gyroscope calibration on it. And, unfortunately, the Honor 20i couldn’t pass on this feature as well. Apart from that, the game didn’t lag nor did I see any sudden frame drops in night mode or snow. The second game we tested was Asphalt 9, the Honor 20i lagged at some stages and overall the experience was just about average. Talking about the battery and heating, after a long one-hour gaming session, the battery dropped from 100% to 80%, which for a 3,400mAh battery was decent. And the charging time for the Honor 20i from 0% to 100% is approximately 120 minutes. The Honor 20i is definitely not for gamers on a budget, but for casual gamers, it should not make much of a difference. Overall, for daily multitasking, the Honor 20i is pretty much at par with other smartphones in this price range. The 6.21-inch Full HD+ display screen output is crisp, but the viewing angles do not match up to its level. What did amaze me though is the audio output from its speakers which should be enough for your daily commutes.
It was really difficult to narrow down on one feature which makes the Honor 20i worth buying, only if you want your smartphone to look the part, then it is definitely worth buying. However, it is an average budget smartphone with massive inbuilt memory and an expandable memory option. That’s about it!
DISPLAY: 6.21-inch LTPS Full HD+
REAR CAMERA: 24MP Main camera with f/1.8 aperture + 8MP Super Wide Angle lens with f/2.4 aperture + 2MP Depth Assist camera with f/2.4 aperture
FRONT CAMERA: 32MP with f/2.0 aperture
OS: Android 9