Huawei, with the P20 Pro, has not only proven that it could compete with the likes of Samsung and Apple, but it could beat them in many ways.

Huawei, having established its name in the value smartphones, recently has made inroads into the premium market with the likes of the Mate 10 Pro and the P10 of last year. They were of superior quality and had all the features one would expect from a Samsung Galaxy S or an iPhone. But until now they have not quite captured a similar luxurious feel.

The P20 Pro has got a 6.1 inch full HD+ OLED screen that is bigger than even the Mate 10 Pro but squeezed into a compact body with tiny bezels rivaling the Samsung’s Galaxy S9+ and Apple’s iPhone X. It even has got a notch in the top, which is basically a cutout in the screen that has the earpiece speaker, a 24-megapixel front-facing camera, and different sensors.

The screen is colorful and bright, though not quite as pixel-dense as rivals and the text is not quite as pin-sharp when looked at side-by-side. It is a beautiful display, which is close, but not quite as good as the best from Apple or Samsung.

Unlike the rivals, Huawei has located its best-in-class fingerprint scanner at the front, squeezed into an oval shape at the bottom of the screen. The rear is glass with the curved edges that neatly blend into the polished and rounded metal band around the sides. The camera modules stick out the back similar to iPhone X that implies it does not sit flush on a desk.

At 180g in weight and 7.8mm thick, the P20 Pro feels thin with a luxurious quality to it. It is 9g lighter and 0.7mm thinner than Samsung’s Galaxy S9+, but is 6g heavier and 0.1mm thicker than Apple’s iPhone X. All of that is to say that the Huawei matches up well.

The Huawei P20 Pro is water resistant to IP67 standards, which means that up to 1m of water for up to 30 minutes. The Huawei P20 Pro has got a similar memory configuration and processor as that of the Mate 10 Pro – Huawei’s own Kirin 970 octa-core processor and its neural network processing unit – and as such is as powerful and fast as the earlier handset, keeping pace with the rivals.

The Huawei P20 Pro is the first smartphone to have got three cameras on the back, all working in conjunction in order to provide a multi-layered camera experience. The primary camera is a big, 40-megapixel color camera with an f1.8 lens that is joined by a 20-megapixel monochrome camera with an f1.6 lens and an eight-megapixel telephoto camera with an f2.4 lens.

The system uses automatically a combination of the cameras on the back to produce each shot. The monochrome camera adds extra detail, light, and depth information, while the telephoto camera hikes the zoom magnification. The combination produces an excellent detail, an accurate color capture, and low noise. In a good light, it shoots pictures that are stunning. Even in low light the P20 Pro excels too, routinely producing better pictures than its rivals.