If you ignore the controversy surrounding Huawei smartphones in the US (which is said to be a fallout of the ongoing trade war between the US and China), it won't be an exaggeration to say that its premium device, the P20 Pro, is already giving the jitters to premium market leaders Apple and Samsung.
An early innovator in smartphone camera technology, Huawei has brought a Leica-designed, tri-camera system to the device, which is its USP.
Let us see if the Rs 64,999 P20 Pro that is now available in India has the guts to take on the iPhone X and Samsung Galaxy S9+.
Since the whole focus is on the camera, let's start there. The Huawei P20 Pro claims to have the world's most advanced camera system with revolutionary Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology that makes every single shot unparalleled.
The rear camera system has a primary 40MP RGB sensor, a 20MP monochrome sensor and an 8MP sensor with telephoto lens. All three lenses use the same optical image stablisation (OIS) technology, thus ensuring clearer shots.
The beauty of the camera is the 5x "Hybrid Zoom" for long-range photography, offering wannabes a chance to learn before they move into the professional circuit.
Another aspect is light-sensitive technology in the camera that helps capture low-light photos with up to ISO 102400 (rating for sharp, grainless images with less noise, especially achieved with DSLR cameras).
The impact was outstanding as the device produced excellent shots in low-light environments.
The smartphone supports six-axis stabilisation and 960 frames per second (fps) super-slow motion, which is 4x higher than the 240fps for capturing details that cannot be seen with the naked eye.
The rear camera uses a "Master AI" system that has features like AI stabilisation and AI-assisted composition.
Even on the front, the 24MP selfie camera equipped with "Ultra Snapshot" mode captured stunning images in a jiffy.
We will give full marks to the camera, enough to send rivals into a huddle with their camera R&D teams to invent something better.
The device features 6.1-inch OLED screen with ultra-thin bezels and impressive screen-to-body ratio. The 6GB RAM and 128GB ROM device houses the latest Kirin 970 processor and EMUI 8.1 based on Android 8.1 for a smooth experience.
When it comes to battery, the device is embedded with a 4,000mAh high-density and large-capacity battery.
The device lasted for more than a day-and-a-half after one full charge and refused to go into either the power-saving mode or ultra power-saving mode -- a massive feat when compared to rival premium devices.
The long-lasting battery is a definite plus at a time when most smartphones die by the end of a busy working day with emails, WhatsApp, Facebook, calls, SMSes and what not.
Like most premium devices, Huawei P20 Pro has also ditched the 3.5mm headphone jack.
The fingerprint sensor is right on the front so you don't need to pick the device up to unlock it. The face unlocking feature also worked well even under low-light conditions.
So what doesn't work?
The charging time can stretch up to two hours and more, so better put the P20 Pro on charge the moment you wake up in the morning. Once charged fully, it is a monster that refuses to die.
There is no wireless charging option.
Conclusion: There is no denying the fact that Huawei has done some amazing R&D on both the software and hardware front for the P20 Pro. If you are looking for an entirely different experience in the premium segment, P20 Pro fits the bill for you.
(Nishant Arora can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)