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(Pocket-lint) - The much leaked and barely-concealed Huawei P20 and P20 Pro have been officially unveiled by Huawei in a huge global launch event in Paris.

The grandeur of occasion is as much a statement of intent as the devices themselves, which are easily the most ambitious that Huawei has ever launched. Facing difficulties in cracking the US market, the new P20 and P20 Pro could be the greatest phones that American networks never get. 

At a glance there's more than a passing resemblance to the iPhone X, with Huawei fully embracing the "notch" display design, claiming that customers want as much display as possible. Huawei, however, gives you a software option to hide the notch device-wide if you don't want it. 

The glass sandwich design gives a much more seamless finish than the out-going Huawei P10, while the camera shifts to the corner in a vertically stacked design. It also sits in a pronounced bump, like the iPhone.

Huawei's chairman Richard Yu once proclaimed on stage the benefits of having no camera bump, but that's not the case with the new P20.

The biggest highlight - aside from the luxuriant graduated blue-purple finish of the Twilight model - is the triple Leica camera system of the larger Huawei P20 Pro. This gives you a huge 40-megapixel RGB sensor, a 20-megapixel monochrome sensor and an 8-megapixel 3x optical zoom camera. 

Huawei's aim is to dominate smartphone camera with a system that excels in low light, offers longer stabilised zoom with AI support to ensure you're getting the best photos you can take. 

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Pocket-lintHuawei P20 And P20 Pro image 2

Both devices run on the HiSilicon Kirin 970 chipset and both land with 128GB of storage, but both now lose microSD as an option - an Apple trait that Android customers won't welcome. 

Running on Andorid Oreo with a version of EMUI which offers huge customisation and close battery management, it's likely to battery life that appeals, with a huge 4000mAh capacity in the P20 Pro. 

That larger device gets a larger 6.1-inch display with an OLED panel, compared to the 5.8-inch LCD of the smaller P20 model. Both are Full HD+, with Huawei avoiding the temptation to bump up the resolution.

Prices are still to be confirmed, but rumours have suggested the Huawei is pricing these phones as other flagship devices are. You can expect it to be competitively cheaper than the Samsung Galaxy S9 that it wants to take down, easily cheaper than the iPhone X that it mimics.

Writing by Chris Hall.