2019 was a transforming year for Honor, the junior brand of Huawei, with the introduction of the excellent Honor View 20 and Honor 20 Pro. For the first time this budget brand fought for the attention and money of smartphone buyers at the top of the market. But then the United States used Huawei as a proxy to escalate its trade war with China, and Honor thereby became collateral damage. The official situation at the moment is that the US has banned its domestic companies from doing business with Huawei, including Honor, although there has been a 90-day delay that obscures the situation.
Honor's approach to this global trade drama was to just continue with his product plans, hoping things would improve sooner than later. And so we come to the worldwide launch of the Honor 20, which today receives a price and release date for its first markets outside of China. The United Kingdom, France, Germany, Russia and Malaysia will receive the device on Friday, June 21 for a price of £ 399, € 499, RUB 27,990 and RM 1,699 respectively. A free accessory is included in each country, with some receiving the Honor FlyPods and others receiving the Honor Magic Watch. Italy, the Netherlands and India will follow on June 24, with the release of Poland Honor 20 on June 28 and Spain will complete the set at some point in July.
In the home market of China, Honor made a million sales in the first two weeks of the Honor 20 availability, which seems a bit of a random milestone, but it is a record for the company. There are plenty of reasons to really appreciate the Honor 20, which has a decent camera, great design and the true top-tier Kirin 980 processor that powers everything inside. It also has a minimal dot camera (so no notch is needed) and a side-mounted fingerprint sensor that is faster and more reliable than most fingerprint sensors in today's display.
And yet I would recommend nobody, at least in Europe, to spend money with Honor until parent company Huawei has restored its working relationship with Google. Outside of China, Android services are mainly Google services: maps, YouTube, Gmail, Chrome, Keep and, more importantly, the Google Play Store. All of these things require the Android license from Google and although the Honor 20 and 20 Pro have already received Google's approval, their future looks very cloudy without ongoing support for major Android updates.