Tips and Tricks for the Huawei P20 and P20 Pro

Besides being an undeniably stunning handset that leverages its AI capabilities to take awesome pictures, Huawei’s P20 Pro, and the regular P20 for that matter, both run the EMUI 8.1 custom overlay running atop of Android 8.1 Oreo. This means that the phones are jam-packed with features and options. While having so many ways to customize a phone isn’t a bad thing, it can be a little daunting at times when digging into the Settings app. Luckily, we’ve spent a few days with both handsets, so why not join us after the break to check out our top tips and tricks for the Huawei P20 and P20 Pro?

Dark Theme (P20 Pro)

With the P20 Pro sporting a 6.1-inch OLED display, one of the first things you’ll likely want to do is to enable the Dark Theme to help the battery last even longer. The setting isn’t quite where you might expect it to be though.

  • Open up the Settings App and select Battery
  • Scroll down to Darken Interface Colors
  • Tap the toggle to enable the dark theme

Always-on-Display (P20 Pro)

One of the benefits of the P20 Pro having an OLED display is that it has Alway-on-Display functionality. Once again though, the option to enable the Always-on-Display isn’t where you might expect to see it because instead of it being in the Display section, it is in the Security and Privacy menu.

  • Open the Settings App and select Security and Privacy
  • Tap on Screen Lock and Passwords
  • Tap on Always Display Information to enable the Always-on-Display to run 24/7 or schedule it to turn on and off at a certain time

App Drawer (P20 & P20 Pro)

If, like many of us, you aren’t keen on seeing all the app icons displayed haphazardly on the home screen, you can bring the app drawer back to make sense of your icons.

  • Open up the Settings App and tap on Display
  • Tap on Home Screen Style
  • Select the Drawer option and press Home

Notch (P20 & P20 Pro)

The notch is a very controversial feature, and while some of us hate it with great passion, many are learning to live with it. Whether it’s right or wrong doesn’t matter, though, because Huawei has generously given you the option to show the notch or hide it in the notifications bar.

  • Open the Settings App and tap on Display
  • Select the Notch option
  • Choose the keep the notch or hide it

Onscreen navigation options (P20 & P20 Pro)

It doesn’t matter if you prefer the stock Android or Samsung setup of the navigation buttons because Huawei has you covered in more ways than one. As with the Dark Theme and the Always-on-Display, the option to change the on-screen navigation buttons around isn’t where you would expect to see it.

  • Open the Settings App, scroll down and select System
  • Tap on System Navigation
  • Select Settings under Virtual Navigation Bar
  • Select which combination of Navigation Button you prefer
  • Toggle the Navigation Bar option if you prefer the onscreen navigation keys to hide when not in use

Face Unlock (P20 & P20 Pro)

Besides being able to unlock the phone with the fingerprint reader and Smart Unlock, of course, you can also set the P20 and P20 Pro to unlock after recognizing your face. It’s an easy enough process because the option to enable Face Unlock is precisely where you might look to find it.

  • Open Settings, scroll down and select Security and Privacy
  • Tap on Face Unlock (input your lock screen password if prompted to do so)
  • Choose whether you want the phone to wake up using the Face Unlock feature
  • Press Continue
  • Read the disclaimer and click Allow
  • Hold the phone, so it can scan your face using the viewfinder
  • Choose whether you want the phone to wake up automatically at the sight of your face or whether you want to slide to unlock it
  • Choose to only show the content of notifications after using Face Unlock

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About the Author: Peter Holden

He's been an Android fan ever since owning an HTC Hero, with the Dell Streak being his first phablet. He currently carries a Pixel 2 XL, Huawei P20 Pro, and a Huawei MediaPad M5 (8.4) in his pockets and thinks nothing of lugging a 17-inch laptop around in his backpack. When not immersed in the world of Android and gadgets, he's an avid sports fan, and like all South Africans, he loves a good Braai (BBQ).