The Honor 20 and Honor 20 Pro are the latest mid-range phones with flagship aspirations to hit the market, unveiled at a press event today. A sub-brand of Huawei, Honor's mission is to find the perfect balance between price and performance – and these two new handsets may just have found it.

In terms of headline features, Honor is very keen to promote the photographic capabilities of these handsets – also a favorite topic of Huawei's of course – and new Sony lenses let more light than ever before into the camera system, Honor says.

That results in pictures as good or better than those from today's flagships, though we'll have to take Honor's word for that for now. On paper though, a 1/2-inch sensor and an F1.4 aperture do sound like impressive camera specs. Both handsets come with quad-lens rear cameras: 48 MP + 16 MP + 2 MP + 2 MP for the Honor 20, and 48 MP + 16 MP + 8 MP + 2 MP for the superior Honor 20 Pro.

As for the other specs, both phones sport a 6.26-inch display with small punch-hole 32-MP selfie cameras on the front, while the fingerprint sensors are moved to the power buttons on the side rather than being placed on the front or back.

In terms of cost-cutting measures, there's no wireless charging on either handset, and no waterproofing. There's also no room for a 3.5 mm headphone jack on the Honor 20 or the Honor 20 Pro.

Like the Huawei P30 phones, both these handsets come with Huawei's latest Kirin 980 processor under the hood, so performance shouldn't be an issue. You can get an Honor 20 with 6 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage for €499 (roughly US$555), while an Honor 20 Pro with 8 GB of RAM and 256 GB of storage will set you back €599 (about $670). We're still waiting to hear when these phones will go on sale.

It's really that extra camera trickery – including 3x optical zoom – on the Pro model that you're paying more money for, with other specs and features largely the same across both the handsets. The Pro does have a larger battery as well though, offering a capacity of 4,000 mAh rather than 3,750 mAh.

There's also the previously announced Honor 20 Lite, which gives you a little less power for a lower price.

However, the future of both Honor and Huawei remains uncertain, especially in Western markets like the US. As part of a trade ban put in place by the US government, Google has this week pulled Android support from Huawei and Honor handsets (which are already difficult to source in the US but more widely available in Europe).

While it looks as though these phones just got under the wire before the ban happened, they're unlikely to get major updates to Android in the future. Any phones launched by Huawei or Honor from this point on won't be able to run Android or access the Google Play Store, if the ban comes into force.

For now there's a lot of uncertainty and a lot of question marks about exactly where this leaves Huawei and Honor outside of China – and that's a shame, because the Honor 20 and Honor 20 Pro look like excellent mid-range handsets.

Product pages: Honor 20, Honor 20 Pro

View gallery - 5 images