Honor 20 and Honor 20 Pro deliver a budget flagship that might not have the Google Play Store soon

Honor (and by extension, Huawei) has announced their latest Android device at a fairly inopportune time thanks to that US trade ban from just a few days ago. We’ll dig into that in just a bit, but it’s hard to not think about the situation overshadowing what’s otherwise a great phone in a fantastic price range.

The Honor 20 and Honor 20 Pro are fighting in the same trenches as the OnePlus 7, Asus Zenfone 6, and other “budget flagships.” You’re still getting all of the typically high-end hardware that you’d expect from something like a Galaxy S10, but at a fraction of the cost.

Both devices sport Huawei’s in-house Kirin 980 CPU with up to 8GB of storage, which is more than competitive enough with phones way above this phone’s price range.

There’s also a hole punch in the display to reduce bezel size, giving you most out of each phone’s identical 6.26-inch IPS display.

Typically we see Pro phones as more, you know, Pro. But Honor seems to really only differentiate these two phones by putting more complex cameras on the Pro model, so if you’re not as interested in the cameras, you can pretty safely ignore the higher end device and save some cash.

But if you do want a better camera, Honor is putting some of their best work into this device. Both phones have quad-camera systems, but the Pro delivers slightly more optical zoom, better focusing abilities in macro shots, and higher megapixel counts for depth shots. It’s really not a significant difference, but should impress nonetheless.

The front camera is the same 32MP shooter on both phones.

Neither phone has an in-display fingerprint scanner, as Honor has opted for a side mounted scanner in the power button on both phone. It’s probably a cost-saving measure, but I’m sure that LCD screen didn’t make it easy, either.

Other differences include a slightly larger 4000mAh batter in the Honor 20 Pro as opposed to the 3750mAh batter in the regular Honor 20. Neither phone has a headphone jack, but they both support fast charging over USB C.

The Honor 20 starts at 499 euros for the 6GB/128GB model, while the Honor 20 Pro will be 599 euros for the 8GB/256Gb model. It’s definitely competitive with the rest of the budget flagships announced recently.

But these phones, unlike the OnePlus 7, Zenfone 6, or literally any other popular Android smartphone, can’t guarantee updates or future compatibility. Huawei has been restricted from working with Google on software in the future, which includes Google Play, Play Services, and by extension, Android updates. Honor is one of Huawei’s sub brands, and it isn’t perfectly clear at this time if they’ll be affected the same way, but I think that’s a big risk to take.

The current state of things has an August 19th deadline for Huawei to continue buying parts and components from US companies, but past that date, it’s anyone’s guess. This phone could immediately stop receiving updates and the Play Store could become inoperable not long after.

It looks like a great phone, but buyer beware.

Born in southern Alabama, Jared spends his working time selling phones and his spare time writing about them. The Android enthusiasm started with the original Motorola Droid, but the tech enthusiasm currently covers just about everything. He likes PC gaming, Lenovo’s Moto Z line, and a good productivity app.

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