With the Cubot P20, the manufacturer presents a new edition of the popular Cubot X18 Plus. Compared to its predecessor, the display is even larger with 6.18 inches and has a notch in the upper part of the display to extend the bezels to the edge. The rest of the hardware is the same as that of Cubot X18 Plus. The well-known MT6750 Octa-Core, a 20 megapixel camera, a large 4000mAh battery and a current Android 8 system are used. At least judged by the data sheet the equipment offers no special features. Whether Cubot has nevertheless succeeded with the P20, you will find out in the following review.

Cubot P20 2

Design and build quality

Having a 6.18inch display, the Cubot P20 is a very large mobile phone. So if you are looking for a mobile phone that fits into your pocket, you can stop reading at this point. However, it must also be said that the Cubot P20, due to its narrow bezels and the good use of space, does not appear to be as large as the inch size suggests. With a bezel of only 3mm on the left, right and on the upper side, the manufacturer worked very space-saving and even a one-handed operation with slightly larger hands is still possible. Overall, the smartphone is 75 mm wide and 156 mm long and has a thickness of 8.8 mm. The weight of 175g is very light, considering the large display and battery.

Cubot P20 3

As far as build quality is concerned, the Cubot P20 leaves nothing to be desired. Nothing creaks or appears uncleanly built. However, the manufacturer has to put up with criticism: The glossy plastic rear looks really nice, but is very susceptible to scratches due to its surface. If you do not want to find traces of use on your new smartphone within a few days, you should therefore use the protective cover included in the scope of delivery. After all, the glass on the front is scratch-resistant and passes a load test with a key and screwdriver without damage.

Cubot P20 5Cubot P20 4

Cubot P20 8

Due to the large display no soft-touch buttons were used. Instead, on-screen buttons are displayed in the system. There is a micro-USB connector on the bottom of the phone and a 3.5mm headphone connector on the top. On the rear there is a fingerprint sensor that reliably wakes the smartphone from standby in about half a second. A power button and the volume controls can be found on the right side. The buttons are made of plastic and have a comfortable pressure point and sit firmly in the metal frame of the smartphone. The rear of the Cubot P20 cannot be removed. SIM cards are inserted into a slot on the left side instead. It can accommodate either two nano SIMs or a SIM and a micro-SD for memory expansion. However, due to the 64GB system memory, only very few users will have to resort to this option.

Overall, the Cubot P20 is a neatly built smartphone that captivates with its thin bezels and large display. The the scratch-prone rear side is a negative point, which makes the use of the protective cover supplied virtually obligatory.

Display

Cubot P20 1

The Cubot P20 has a 6.18-inch display with a resolution of 2246 x 1080 pixels. The panel is of very good quality and offers brilliant colour reproduction and brightness. The sharpness of 403 ppi is also far above the retinal value, so that individual pixels are no longer visible. During the test phase I enjoyed the bright and beautiful panel, which is perfect for any kind of content. The contrast and brightness even surpass the Cubot X18 Plus, which already had a good display itself. As far as outdoor readability is concerned, it is still possible to read the display well even in sunlight and good viewing angle stability is provided from any angle.

Cubot P20 6

You can now love or hate the notch in the upper part of the phone. On the positive side, Cubot at least did not artificially emphasize the notch by an excessive width, as for example is the case with the Xiaomi Mi8. A width of 2.7cm is a rather discreet notch. However, in terms of the software, the smartphone was not adapted particularly well to the cropped display. Actually, there is enough space to display WiFi, network reception, battery, battery percentage and Bluetooth on the right side. However, the space remains largely unused and besides the iconic display of the battery status, WiFi and mains signal, neither the battery percentages nor Bluetooth connections can be displayed on the right. After all, you can get the information you want if you keep your phone in landscape mode. Also otherwise there are few extra options for the display in terms of software. For example, a tool for adjusting the colour representation or double-tap-to-wake is missing. Most users should not be bothered by the lack of these options, but it would still be “nice-to-have”.

Cubot P20 System Benchmarks15 Cubot P20 System Benchmarks16

The touch screen does a good job and registers up to 5 touch points simultaneously, working very quickly and precisely. A notification LED (monochrome, red) and a brightness and proximity sensor have also been considered.

Despite the lack of software options and the somewhat neglected notch, the display of the Cubot P20 is convincing. The reason for this is the high brightness, the good contrast and the bright colours – it is simply fun to look at contents on the large display.

Performance

The Cubot P20 is powered by one of the most widely used MediaTek chipsets – the MT6750T. The processor is manufactured using the 28nm process and integrates an octa-core CPU with eight Cortex A53 cores. The 8 cores are divided into a 1.5 GHz power cluster and a 1 GHz power saving cluster. A Mali-T860 GPU clocked at 650MHz is available for graphical computing processes. A 4GB LPDDR3 module is used for the RAM. The memory measures 64GB and can be expanded via micro-SD.

Cubot P20 antutuCubot P20 System Benchmarks5 Cubot P20 Geekbench

Since the Mediatek MT6750 has already been installed in numerous test models, our editorial team is actually already yawning when a new smartphone with this chip arrives. However, I have to say that the performance of the Cubot P20 surprised me very positively. The manufacturer has simply managed to heat up the old thing so that the P20 runs much faster than you would expect – especially with a 1080p panel. The good performance is not least reflected in the benchmark tests, but is particularly evident in day-to-day use. Apps and websites open with short loading times and the smartphone feels as fast as mobile phones with better processors. My immediate reference device is the Ulefone X with Helio P23 CPU, which has no noticeable difference to the Cubot P20 despite better hardware.

Of course, the processor still has its limits – if you are looking for a mobile phone for gaming, for example, it is better to choose a Xiaomi Redmi Note 5, as the GPU is simply no longer up to date. For casual gamers, however, the performance is still sufficient and even demanding titles such as Asphalt 8 still run smoothly on low graphics settings. The heat development is always in the normal range and the smartphone does not get warmer than 39° C.

Antutu Result Geekbench Multi Result 3D Mark Result

System

Cubot P20 Android 8 2Cubot P20 Android 8 1 Cubot P20 Android 8 3 Cubot P20 Android 8 4 Cubot P20 Android 8 5 Cubot P20 Android 8 6

The Cubot P20 is also almost completely convincing in terms of the system. With Android 8.0 it is not quite up to date (8.1), but the system is just as we would like it to be with a budget smartphone: Clean and fast. Fortunately, the manufacturer has not changed the Android user interface. Instead, a clear stock Android welcomes us without bloatware or other ballast. Of course, with heavily modified interfaces such as MIUI, EMUI or OxygenOS numerous additional functions are available, but these interfaces often appear overloaded and confusing. Although the Cubot P20 does not provide many sophisticated extras, it does provide the essentials for operation. All Android Oreo features such as the revised notification and rights management or the split-screen mode are available. The Google Playstore is of course also available by default and work well. There were no crashes during the test phase either, but instead there was a system update that was conveniently installed via WiFi. Great.

Camera

On the rear of the Cubot P20 is a dual camera setup consisting of a 20 megapixel main sensor and another 2 MP sensor. As so often, the second sensor is just a dummy that has no real function. All dual camera functions such as bokeh shots are generated by the software and are actually not usable. As far as the quality of the photos from the main camera is concerned, I was pleasantly surprised by the Cubot P20. Although it is the same camera setup as was used in the Cubot X18 Plus, the manufacturer has visibly optimized the software. Daylight photos have good sharpness and natural colour representation. Occasionally the photos look a bit pale and when zooming in there is a slight noise, but this is completely normal for the price range. All in all, the photos taken by the rear camera are of good quality in daylight. As you know it from almost all budget phones, however, the quality decreases significantly with fewer light. Photos can still be taken, but you don’t get really great results. But you can’t really credit the Cubot P20 for this, because you simply have to choose more expensive models for good night photography.

Videos can be recorded with Full-HD resolution and 30 FPS. The quality of the recordings is fine, but it should be noted that there is no or hardly any image stabilization. So you only get useful shots in a calm position. The front camera can also produce beautiful images in daylight. Here, too, the sharpness and colour reproduction is good. However, the area outside the focus point is blurred relatively strongly.

Connectivity

Cubot P20 7The Cubot P20 is a dual SIM smartphone. Two Nano-SIM cards can be operated simultaneously. All necessary 3G and 4G frequencies are supported. The reception of the smartphone is very strong due to the plastic housing and I never had any problems with the LTE reception during the test phase. During telephone calls you get an average call quality. The voice is clear and easy to understand on both sides and the hands-free function can also be used.

Cubot P20 GPS

WiFi with b/g/n standard is available for connection to wireless networks. Dual band is not supported. Bluetooth with version 4.0 is not quite up to date anymore, but the connection to end devices still works without problems at 10 meters. As with WiFi, you have a very good range. The location is determined by GPS / A-GPS. Usually you get an accuracy of 2-5 meters and a stable signal, so that navigation with Google Maps works without problems. However, the manufacturer has made savings on the sensors. There is no e-compass to support pedestrian navigation and no gyroscope for VR glasses. These two features could have been considered in view of the price of the device.

The internal speaker is typical for the lower price range. It is sufficiently loud, but the sound is a bit tinny and is not much fun when listening to music. But the sound is enough to play a video on the go. You get better sound from the 3.5mm headphone jack.

Battery

Battery lifetime Result Unit: hours

The Cubot Power has a 4000mAh battery. For a 6.18-inch smartphone with 1080p resolution, this capacity is fine. However, the MT6750 processor is not exactly one of the most power-saving CPUs on the market. This results in an average run time that should probably be sufficient for most users. During the test period, I had an on-screen time of an average of 4 hours and got about 1.5 days of run time. Approximately 15% battery power is used to play a one-hour Full-HD YouTube video. Playing intensive 3D games consumes 20-25% per hour. If you do not use your smartphone regularly for more than 4 hours a day, you can get by with these values. Few users may also reach 2 days of run time. Thus, the battery of the Cubot P20 delivers average values.

It takes 2 hours and 20 minutes to charge the battery with the supplied power supply. Charging up to 80% is even faster than the last 20% and takes 1:40h.

Conclusion and alternative

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Joscha Becking:

The Cubot P20 is a very good and well usable smartphone in spite of the little spectacular hardware. The large and beautiful Full-HD display and the good performance of the Android 8.0 system are particularly convincing. The camera and battery life are also OK. However, the smartphone is criticised for the lack of a gyroscope and an e-compass and especially for the scratch-prone plastic rear, which makes the use of the protective cover supplied virtually obligatory. Apart from that, it is a completely successful budget smartphone, which we can recommend without hesitation.

77%
  • Design and build quality 70 %
  • Display 90 %
  • Performance 70 %
  • Camera 70 %
  • Communication and connectivity 80 %
  • Battery 80 %

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*Prices include shipping and toll. Intermediate changes of prices, ranking, delivery time and costs possible. Prices last updated on 13.12.2018

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