SThere’s no denying Huawei makes some of the best smartphones in the market that cater to pretty much every consumer segment. From mid-tier phones to top notch flagships, they’ve got it all. But the one thing they really seem to nail is smartphone photography.
Last year we reviewed the P20 Pro. A phone with an unprecedented camera that was way ahead of its league. Huawei set the bar by releasing a phone with the world’s first triple-camera setup. It was no marketing gimmick. It worked and next thing you know it, everyone wanted to release a triple lens camera phone. It wasn’t just about the bokeh effect anymore. People genuinely appreciated wide angle shots.
Fast forward to 2019, Huawei decided to hand us the P30 Pro for our usual intensive testing. As you all know, we don’t just test the phone for a few hours and give our opinion on it. We rigorously use it as our daily drive and push the device to its limits. For a phone that apparently rewrites the rules of photography, this should be quite interesting to test out.
Huawei P30 Pro Specifications
- 6.47 Inches OLED Display (16.7 Million Colors) with Wide Color Gamut
- Android 9.0 Operating System with EMUI
- 8GB RAM + 256GB ROM
- Kirin 980 Octa-core Processor with Dual NPUs
- IP68 Splash, Water and Dust Resistant
- 4200mAh Battery with Huawei SuperCharge (Max 40W) and Wireless Quick Charge (15W)
- Bluetooth 5.0 and USB C Connectivity
- 40MP + 20MP + 8MP Camera with Huawei Time-of-Flight and 50x Zoom
- 32MP Front Camera (Selfie)
- Dolby Atmos Audio
- GPS/AGPS/BeiDou/Galileo/Glonass/QZSS Location Services
What we liked
- Lossless zoom is no joke. Those moonshots really come in handy sometimes
- Reverse Wireless Charging
- In Display Fingerprint sensor has improved compared to the Mate Series
- Colossal Battery Life
- Kirin 980 processor is no slouch
- Ultra-wide-angle shots are dope
- HDR in photos seem well balanced and not oversaturated
- Gorgeous OLED Display
What we didn’t like
- Very much on the pricey end
- Still not impressed with EMUI 9.1 regardless of all the cosmetic changes and performance improvements
- Phone seems a little bulky in hand
- One drop and Assalamu Alaikum Life. The P30 Pro seems incredibly fragile
- nanoSD Card, Huawei’s proprietary Nano Memory format, is still isn’t widely adopted, and because of that they’re expensive
In terms of the design, you’ll notice that the P30 is more of a refinement of the previous generation than a complete overhaul. But that does not mean the changes go un-noticed. For starters, Huawei has reduced the bezels on the screen to a bare minimum to give you maximum screen real estate. Though the glossy back is indeed a fingerprint magnet, it’s beautiful to look at. Every time we’d answer a call, you’d just find someone staring at the phone trying to figure out what non-iPhone device it is. There’s Gorilla Glass for protection so that should give you some peace of mind. Huawei managed to attain an IP68 rating for the device but like every OEM doesn’t cover liquid damage, so we wouldn’t really recommend taking underwater selfies unless you get a waterproof case specifically meant for that.
Or you know, you could just get a GoPro. Every device has its true purpose.
1080 x 2340 pixels, 19:5:9 Ration and 398 ppi density
With an 88.6% screen to body ratio and stellar viewing angles, it is fair to say we were impressed with Huawei’s OLED Panel. Though on paper it might have lower specs compared to the likes of other flagships like the Samsung S10, they’ve still done a pretty good job.
The wide color gamut and HDR10 compliance really makes a big difference while watching various content on the device particularly movies. The whole idea of a wide color gamut is for movie makers to show you their content exactly the way they want you to.
Colors look vivid and certainly not oversaturated. Right amount of highs and lows. Sunlight seems to do no harm in viewing the screen in bright conditions. However, we did notice the phone to get a little extra hot while using it in outdoor environments.
The P30 Pro packs its in-house custom silicon, The Kirin 980 chipset. First seen on the Mate 20 series, the Kirin 980 was the World’s First 7nm Mobile AI Chipset. It gave companies like Qualcomm and Mediatek a run for its money.
With AI built right into the core of the chipset, the P30 Pro packs a lot of functionality that is meant to make your life easier. No lags or app crashes during our testing period.
Of course, no performance analysis is complete without a few benchmarking tests. Geekbench gave us a multi-core score of 9817 and single score 3317. Now we’ve always made it clear that these benchmarking tests don’t translate to real life use as it is very rare that we would push our smartphones to this kind of pressure just through regular day to day use. But it’s always a good thing to know where the phone lies in the benchmarking charts.
The P30 Pro stays right below the Samsung 10+ at fourth place on the performance chart but far ahead of the Google Pixel 3 who only managed to score a mere 7986 points on the benchmarking scale.
Games runs smoothly so your PUBG or Fortnite sessions should go well. Don’t worry. It’s all been taken care of.
No jokes here but I could genuinely talk about the P30 Pro’s camera for hours. This aspect of the device was designed from the ground up. This was so no small upgrade. The P30 Pro packs what Huawei likes to call “The Quad Camera System” by Leica. Comprising a SuperZoom Lens, The Colossal 40MP Super Sensing Camera, A 20 MP Ultra-Wide Angle Les and finally a Huawei TOF Camera.
You see, Huawei incorporated a periscope telephoto lens which allows you to take zoomed in shots without losing any quality. This is done by combining the capabilities of all the camera modules we mentioned above. The problem with most smartphones today is that when you zoom into something far, the picture becomes grainy with a lot of noise rendering it useless for your ravishing Instagram shots.
Huawei’s P30 Pro seems to support 10x Hybrid Zoom with a impressive focal length of 270mm. It also offers. Low light photography is mind blowing and has always been the case with all the premium Huawei phones we’ve tested. This is done by increasing the ISO in the regular photo mode or by combining several images in a longer exposure.
Daylight photography is vibrant. A cool feature is when the AI kicks adjusting the scene based on what it is you’re photographing. Whether you’re shooting a butterfly in macro mode or the Burj Khalifa from far, the P30 Pro simply does not disappoint.
One thing you do need to keep in mind is that the quality of your super zoom shots clearly depends on how steady and stable your hands are. The slightest movement could blur the entire image. It takes a bit of practice but certainly not a deal breaker.
The Time of Flight sensor (ToF) is mainly used to attain a lot of depth detail for those SLR looking professional portrait shots of yours. You know, the one where the subject is perfectly focused, and the background blurred? Yeah. That. But in a cooler way.
The 32 Megapixel selfie camera is great too. Perfect for Snapchat and your Instagram stories. Unlike the S10 Plus, it isn’t a dual lens camera but still manages to do a fairly good job in terms of detailing.
The P30 Pro runs Android 9.0 out of the box with the EMUI interface. Fun fact. EMUI was once called EmotionUI. Now over the years, Huawei has indeed managed to fine tune the whole thing, but we still wouldn’t call it perfect. It isn’t as minimalistic as stock android, the kind of experience you’d find on the Pixel series or the OnePlus but it’s not a deal breaker either. Just takes a little time getting used to.
Bloatware is an issue. Almost every Huawei phone comes with a ton of built in apps which we guess is part of partnership deals. Now it’s done with good intention of having your device ready just as you take it out of the box but again that’s not for everyone who likes to set up their device from scratch.
You get all the features that come with Android 9.0 and that’s a good thing. It’s just that Huawei wants you to experience the device they intended to. It’s smooth. It’s fluid. And I guess that’s all that matters.
I’ll get straight to the point. 2 Days. Regular usage. No caveats.
Battery life is phenomenal. I mean, given the phone packs a colossal 4200mAH battery, it only makes sense for it to last this long otherwise it would pretty much be criminal. Like I mentioned earlier in the review, when it comes to device testing, we use these phones as our daily driver to give our readers a better understand of how this phone really performs in our day to day lives.
Even if you pushed the phone to its limits by watching movies, playing games and managing your social media the whole time, you’ll still be able to get through an entire day and still be left with a lot of juice.
But a big battery requires a monster charge and Huawei seems to have taken care of that as well. Bundling a free SuperCharge that outputs 40W, damn this thing charges the phone like a Ferrari. 30 minutes got us about 65% which in all fairness is very impressive.
Let’s just put it this way. An episode of roughly one hour on Amazon Prime (Thank You Du) at a decent level of brightness took down the battery by about 5%. “Man in the High Castle” in case you guys are wondering.
Gaming is a little on the higher side. Fortnite took away about 13% per hour, PUBG was about 9%.
Social media took about 7% per hour of usage so might want to take it easy on the whole family group chats.
Pretty straightforward. We’re sold. Chinese OEMs are only getting better by the second.
What might seem like a moderate upgrade from the outside is something on a whole new level from the inside. Stellar build quality, top notch performance and OMG battery performance literally make this one of the best Android devices out there. It’s no surprise that Huawei managed 2nd place in the Global Smartphone Share Rankings. Buying the P30 Pro is a no-brainer as you literally get more than what you paid for.
At the time of writing, The P30 Pro was retailing for AED 3199 inclusive of VAT on the official Huawei UAE Website for the 8GB/256GB model. Now this might be on the pricier
Huawei is also selling their Amber Sunrise variant which comes with 512GB storage through their distributor, Axiom Telecom.
The P30 Pro is available in 4 different colors. Black, Aurora Blue, Breathing Crystal and Amber Sunrise.