If you’re looking to pick up a gaming smartphone and don’t want to remortgage your house, the Honor View20 is one of your best options.
The phone costs a reasonable £499 and comes with 256GB and 8GB of RAM as standard. While the iPhone XS is more powerful and provides sharper graphics, it’s more than double the price and it will set you back a £150 upgrade to jump from 64GB storage to 256GB.
The Honor View20 was the first Android phone to market that allows you to play Fortnite at 60fps, and the handset boasts many similar features to higher end smartphones.
We’ve tested the 60fps mode in Fortnite and it holds steady, even during busy battles. Because 60fps mobile gaming is relatively new and restricted to a tiny portion of available devices, playing in this smoother mode gives you a clear edge over the competition, making it more likely you’ll bag that Victory Royale.
According to Futuremark – developer of the 3DMark gaming benchmark software – the Honor View20 generally outperforms 97 percent of phones in the demanding Sling Shot Extreme test, and the device scores 5,038 in the Vulkan benchmark. Meanwhile, the Samsung Galaxy S9 sits at around 4,000. The RRP for the S9 is £739, which is considerably more than the View20, though you can get it around the same price as Honor’s device if you shop around.
Because of the price and featureset, the Galaxy S9 is a good point of comparison. In Fortnite, the S9 has two frame rate options: 20fps and 30fps. At 20fps, you can play on the ‘epic’ graphical preset, but it ruins the gameplay experience. Crank it up to 30fps and you’re limited to ‘high’. Meanwhile, the View20 is capable of handling ‘epic’ at 30fps, and can tackle the ‘high’ setting at 60fps. It’s impressive stuff.
The View20 also boasts a connectivity feature in the Triple Wi-Fi Antenna, allowing for faster network times and fewer delays during online gaming sessions. During our Fortnite test, we downloaded the latest patch on the View20 and an iPhone XS, and the View20 also downloads games considerably faster on the same internet connection.
In-game, the iPhone XS outperforms the View20 when it comes to visual fidelity, but this is to be expected for a phone that costs more than double the price. For £499, the View20 is undeniably good value, though Fortnite’s visuals do seem to take a slight hit when you bump the frame rate up to 60fps. The View20 also gets extremely hot fast, so it might be better to invest in a controller peripheral if you’re planning to use it for long sessions. Saying that, the View20 also boasts an impressive battery life, so those long sessions are actually an option with this phone. And when you do run out of juice, the View20’s supercharge feature will get you back to 40% battery in around 30 minutes.
When it comes to the screen, another feature of the View20 makes it stand out from the competition – the no-notch display. The front camera is a tiny hole punch on the left side of the screen, so when you flip the phone horizontally it sits naturally where your left thumb obscures the screen, giving you a fuller view of the game.
The only thing that might put you off the View20 – other than the heat issue – is its distinctive design, featuring light-reflecting chevrons on the back. The phone comes in bright blue or red and seems to have been modelled after gaudy gaming peripherals for the PC. Of course, you can always cover the back up with a decent case if it’s too much of a deal breaker.
Overall, the View20 appears to be the best budget handset if you’re looking to get Fortnite on Android. It punches well above its weight and boasts a wide featureset and impressive specs. You can do a lot worse for a lot more money if you want a phone for Fortnite on the go.
Handset provided by manufacturer for the purposes of this review.