Huawei P20 Pro: tips and tricks to get the most out of your smartphone

Huawei’s new top of the range smartphone packs an impressive array of high-end features, we show you some tips and hidden features to get more from it.

Huawei’s flagship P20 Pro is an incredibly exciting phone packed with cutting-edge technology including, biometrics, artificial intelligence (AI) and an advanced triple camera system developed with camera maestro Leica.

If you’ve got this powerful Android phone or you are thinking of buying it, we’ve some tips to help you get the most from it.

Ditch the password and unlock with your face

One of the most important things to do when you get a new phone is to make it secure using a PIN, pattern or password. The Huawei P20 Pro also includes biometric technology so you can unlock it using a fingerprint or even through facial recognition.

To set up facial recognition, go to Settings – Security & privacy – Face unlock. After you’ve entered your PIN or password, the camera will take a photo of your face. Huawei does warn you that Face unlock isn’t as secure as using a pattern, password or PIN.

Huawei P20 Pro Face Unlock

If you choose Face unlock, there are two unlocking options: Direct unlock where you unlock the phone simply by looking at the camera, and Slide to unlock where you swipe to unlock the phone after you’ve passed through the facial recognition stage.

Don’t squint! Try bigger text

Instantly make web pages and menus easier to read by adjusting the size of the text.  Go to Settings – Display – Text size and use the slider to select the size.

Huawei P20 Pro text size

Be kind to your eyes

You can customise the colours on the phone to a shade that’s comfortable for your eyes. Go to Settings – Display – Colour & eye comfort.

Turn on Natural tone and the colour temperature adjusts automatically depending on the light.  If you read at night, turn on Eye comfort, which filters out the blue light that can make your eyes tired.

The Colour mode & temperature setting lets you fine-tune the colour temperature, although most people probably won’t need this level of control.

Huawei P20 pro colour temperature

Hate clutter? Hide your apps

By default your apps are shown across a series of horizontally scrolling home screens, but you can change this so they are consigned to a single, vertically scrolling ‘App drawer’. Go to Settings – Display – Home screen style and select Drawer, a new icon will appear at the bottom of the home screen – click this to see all your apps in one place.

Huawei P20 Pro display settings

Snap life in mono

One of the most exciting features of the P20 Pro is its camera, which includes the world’s first Leica triple camera, comprising of a 40MP RGB unit for low-light conditions and a 8MP camera with 5x Hybrid Zoom for taking detailed shots from a distance.  If you are a fan of black and white pictures, the third 20MP Monochrome camera can capture some great photos.

Huawei P20 Pro black and white example

Launch the camera app, scroll along to More – Monochrome and choose between four modes: Normal, Aperture (which blurs the background), Portrait and Pro (offering manual control over features such as ISO and shutter speed.)

Use AI to take better photos

A notable feature of the phone’s camera is its use of AI to help you get the best shot. It works by detecting the subject of your photo, such as food, a portrait or foliage, then automatically selecting the optimal camera settings for each type of subject.

To illustrate this, the picture on the left was taken with AI mode on. You can see the leaves are much more vivid than in the one on the right, where AI mode has been turned off.­ Try taking a few photos with and without AI to see which one you prefer.

To turn AI off for individual photos, tap the ‘X’ (bottom left) that appears when the camera detects a subject. To turn it off permanently, within the camera app go to Settings – Master AI and switch the toggle to off.

Huawei P20 Pro AI example


Huawei P20 Pro example of AI setting

Set up a secret space 

Whether it’s personal photos or work documents, your phone probably contains things you want to keep private. Fortunately you can set up a separate area on the P20 Pro called ‘PrivateSpace’ to store these important files, which are then accessible via a separate pin.

To set it up, head to Settings – Security & Privacy – PrivateSpace – Enable, follow the instructions to set up a unique PIN (or pattern, depending what you use to unlock the phone) and a new fingerprint.

Huawei P20 Pro private space

You can access PrivateSpace from the lock screen by entering your PrivateSpace PIN and fingerprint.

In PrivateSpace mode you can move photos and other files between the two sections of your phone. Head to the menu and look for File Transfer and select either MainSpace to PrivateSpace or PrivateSpace to MainSpace.

Make a recording

The P20 Pro lets you make a recording of your screen - useful if you want to show someone how to perform a task or find something online.

Huwaei P20 Pro screen recording

Activate screen recording by tapping twice on the screen. Tapping twice more or holding the power and volume up buttons simultaneously displays a countdown on the screen, and your recording will begin when this reaches zero. The recording is saved in your video files, from where you can share it with family and friends.

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