HUAWEI P30 Pro Review – The Smartphone with the most Versatile Cameras

HUAWEI launched the P30 Pro in India and it sets a new standard in mobile photography, as we know the heart of the P series is the camera co-engineered with Leica. The P30 Pro packs a whopping four cameras in the backside powered by Leica and a selfie camera that’s as big as 32 MP. Apart from the cameras, you will see a gorgeous glass body, curved OLED screen, reverse wireless charging, in-display fingerprint scanner, IP68 design, and top-notch performance. Here’s what we have to say in our HUAWEI P30 Pro review below.

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What’s in the Box

  • HUAWEI P30 Pro with built-in battery
  • USB Cable (Type-C)
  • 40W Fast Charger (10V, 4A)
  • Type-C Earphones
  • Flexible Silicon Clear Case
  • SIM Tray Ejector Pin
  • User Manuals and Warranty Card

HUAWEI P30 Pro Specifications

  • Display: 6.47-inch OLED display, Quad HD+ resolution (2340 x 1080 pixels, 398 ppi), DCI-P3, 19.5:9 aspect ratio, 2.5D curved glass
  • Software: EMUI 9.1 based on Android 9.0 Pie
  • Fingerprint Scanner | Face Unlock: Yes, under the display | Yes
  • Protection: IP68 certified, dust & water-resistant
  • CPU: Up to 2.6 GHz octa-core (4x Cortex-A76 + 4x Cortex-A55) processor, 7nm Kirin 980 octa-core SoC, dual NPUs, 64-bit
  • GPU: Mali-G76 MP10
  • Memory: 8 GB RAM, LPDDR4X
  • Storage: 256 GB internal, UFS 2.1, nanoSD card up to 256 GB (SIM2 slot)
  • Main Camera: Leica Quad cameras 40 MP (Wide Angle Lens, f/1.6 aperture) + 20 MP (Ultra Wide Angle Lens, f/2.2 aperture) + 8 MP (Telephoto, f/3.4 aperture) + ToF Camera
    Autofocus (laser focus, phase focus, contrast focus), AIS (Huawei AI Image Stabilization), AI-powered, dual-tone LED
  • Selfie Camera: 32 MP f/2.0, 3D Depth Sensing Camera
  • Connectivity: USB Type-C (ver 3.1), 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4 GHz & 5 GHz), Bluetooth 5.0, 3.5 mm jack (via Type-C adaptor)
  • Sensors: Ambient Light Sensor, In-Screen Fingerprint Sensor, Gyroscope, Compass, Proximity Sensor, Gravity Sensor, Hall Sensor, Infrared Sensor, Colour Temperature Sensor
  • Cellular: 4G LTE, single nano SIM (GSM), VoLTE-enabled, nanoSD
  • Battery: 4,200 mAh, HUAWEI SuperCharge technology
  • Colors: Breathing Crystal, Aurora
  • Dimensions: 158 mm x 73.4 mm x 8.41 mm
  • Weight: 192 grams
  • Price: Rs 71,990
  • Availability: 15th April 2019

Design, Build, & Ergonomics

The HUAWEI P30 Pro looks stunning right at the first look, the design has glass similar to the predecessor and the Mate 20 Pro. In terms of design, the P30 Pro looks uses a glass design with a curved screen and tapered edges while the frames are metallic.

Also on the design part, the front side has a tiny notch on its display that holds a 32 MP selfie camera, you can hide the notch if you don’t want. Furthermore, the design has an IP68 certification meaning it’s dust and water resistant.

The P30 Pro is a tad bulky, it weighs around 192 grams, however, the build is solid and feels great in the hands. Since it’s glass, HUAWEI has added the wireless Qi charging support and a reverse wireless charging feature that charges other wireless devices by putting them on the back of the phone, plus one for that.

Aside from this, the P30 hooks up an in-screen fingerprint scanner or the in-display fingerprint scanner that works by placing your thumb or finger on the screen where the area glows for scanning. The physical fingerprint scanner on the back is eventually eliminated.

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Moving to the sides of the phone, the bottom comes with a SIM tray with 2x nano SIM slots with a nanoSD card combo slot on the SIM2 slot. Also on the bottom are a loudspeaker, a USB Type-C port, and a microphone (another one at the top).

It comes with stereo speakers, one at the bottom and another on the earpiece. The right side has a power button in Red, volume keys, the top has an IR Blaster.

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Display

The HUAWEI P30 Pro sports a 6.47-inch curved OLED display with a resolution of Quad HD+ (3120 x 1440 pixels) and an aspect ratio of 19.5:9. The display is surprisingly bright, crisp and offers better viewing angles as compared to the predecessor.

The EMUI offers some display enhancements as seen on the previous HUAWEI devices with EMUI 9 software. You have the Ambient display that can be handy, there are certain customizations for the display as well, color adjustment, night mode, and a few more.

Since it has a curved display, there’s no edge features or nothing like you see on the Samsung phones with a curved display. Samsung smartphones offer an edge screen interface with quick shortcuts to get things  done faster.

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Software & User Interface

Software side, the HUAWEI P30 Pro has been backed with the latest EMUI 9.1 interface based on the current Android 9.0 version. This version of EMUI is a bit different from the previous iterations, but also Android itself has a number of innovations such as the Digital Wellbeing.

The interface is fast, smooth, lag-free, the user experience on the is great so far. Although some users may hate the EMUI, there’s so much you can do with the software as far as I think, running the Dual Apps, taking three finger screenshots, built-in photo editor with Splash effects, and more, the HiTouch and HiVIsion apps, and so much more. You may check out our previous reviews of the HUAWEI/Honor phones to know more about the EMUI interface.

Apart from these, the security features such as the face unlock as well as the fingerprint scanner worked well and it seems reliable. The in-display fingerprint scanner is fast but not as fast as the physical scanners. The face unlock a.k.a the 3D Face ID is the unlocks the phone in a blink of an eye and it works very well in many lighting conditions.

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Digital Balance

 

Hardware, Performance, & Gaming

There’s a new 7nm Kirin 980 octa-core SoC inside with dual NPUs that’s supposed to be the most powerful Kirin SoC right now, and it’s as much as powerful as the flagship chip Qualcomm Snapdragon 845. The HUAWEI P30 Pro is powered by the same Kirin 980 chip we saw on the Mate 20 Pro last year.

As per HUAWEI, the Kirin 980 offers 75% improved CPU performance, 46% better GPU performance and 226% better NPU performance compared to the Kirin 970 found on the predecessor P20 Pro. Moreover, the phone packs as much as 8 GB LPDDR4 RAM and 256 GB UFS 2.1 storage with support for a nanoSD card.

HUAWEI P30 Pro Key Specifications

  • Display: 6.47-inch OLED display, Quad HD+ resolution (2340 x 1080 pixels, 398 ppi), DCI-P3, 19.5:9 aspect ratio, 2.5D curved glass
  • Software: EMUI 9.1 based on Android 9.0 Pie
  • CPU: Up to 2.6 GHz octa-core (4x Cortex-A76 + 4x Cortex-A55) processor, 7nm Kirin 980 octa-core SoC, dual NPUs, 64-bit
  • GPU: Mali-G76 MP10
  • Memory: 8 GB RAM, LPDDR4X
  • Storage: 256 GB internal, UFS 2.1, nanoSD card up to 256 GB (SIM2 slot)
  • Battery: 4,200 mAh, HUAWEI SuperCharge technology

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The Kirin 980 is as fast as the Snapdragon 845, the benchmarks below shows that the performance is top-notch and enters the top 10 fastest smartphones in the world. The Mate 20 Pro also shares the same CPU, hence you will see identical numbers here. The Samsung Galaxy S10+ (with either Exynos 9820 or Snapdragon 855) is a tad faster in terms of overall performance.

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For gaming, you get the Mali-G76 MP10 (10-core) GPU and it has the power to run most games on full settings. However, as per the competition, it’s slightly below the Adreno 630 (found on the Snapdragon 845) since it’s ahead in the processing.

The P30 Pro is also aided by some great features like Dual Turbo (CPU + GPU Turbo) to give performance boost while playing games. In addition, you can play games using its 3D Gaming feature that involves motion-controlled gaming using the 3D ToF sensor on the back of the phone.

Note: The 3D Gaming requires a dedicated screen to enable motion gaming, similar to the consoles like Nintendo Wii, Sony PlayStation, and Microsoft Xbox.

Games Tested on HUAWEI P30 Pro

  • PUBG MOBILE
  • Asphalt 9: Legends

Cameras

One of the primary reasons why the P30 Pro exist is its camera, the P30 Pro sets a new standard in the mobile photography and if you are a photography enthusiast, this is the phone made for you. It comes with Leica’s quad camera system, there’s a SuperSensing 40 MP wide-angle camera at the rear side whereas the other three cameras include an 8 MP telephoto lens, a 20 MP ultra-wide lens, and a ToF (Time of Flight) camera used for depth-sensing in the photos and motion sensing applications.

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The main feature on the camera is it’s massive zooming capabilities. The P30 Pro offers optical zooming capabilities with 5X optical zoom and has a SuperZoom lens featuring a hybrid zoom of 10X and a maximum 50X zoom to zoom into things you don’t see your naked eye. It’s the World’s first smartphone with a 5X optical zoom achieved by using a periscope zoom mechanism.

Aside from the zooming, the HUAWEI P30 Pro has the 20 MP camera that employs ultra-wide angle lens. The 20 MP camera uses an f/2.2 aperture and captures 0.6X zoom photos covering more things in the frame.

The ToF (Time of Flight) camera is a depth-sensing camera used for depth measuring capabilities. While it does help in taking Portraits with bokeh effects in the background, it also enables you to track a person’s movements by using the motion sensing technology.

The ToF camera can be used in Augmented Reality applications like playing games with a virtual character that can be controlled by your movements similar to the consoles.

The camera interface offers as many features as seen on the P20 Pro and the Mate 20 Pro, it has the Monochrome, Aperture, Moving Picture, Super Macro, AR Lens, Stickers, Light Painting, Slow-mo, Underwater mode, and others.

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Camera Interface

Not only photos, but the HUAWEI P30 Pro also lets you shoot videos with a blurred background using its Background Blur video mode. This feature was first seen on the Mate 20 Pro camera alongside another feature called AI Color.

The phone is powered by the homegrown Kirin 980 octa-core CPU with Dual NPUs. The dual NPUs processing allows you to shoot videos with a background blur in real-time as well as a colorless background with the object in color using the AI Color mode.

That’s not it, there’s more in the camera, you can shoot underwater videos using the provided mode. In addition to the video capabilities, the P30 Pro shoots super slow motion videos with up to 960 frames per second in HD 720p quality.

In the daylight, the P30 Pro camera is just above the competition, the details are relatively well preserved, while the strength remains in the low light and night shots besides the zooming capabilities. HUAWEI has taken a step forward in terms of low-light performance. The overall performance of the camera is compelling and leaves nothing to be desired.

That said, the HUAWEI P30 Pro has the most versatile smartphone camera you will find in its class. Take a look at the camera samples we took from the HUAWEI P30 Pro cameras.

HUAWEI P30 Pro Camera Samples

Battery Life

The P30 Pro packs a 4,200 mAh battery, slightly grown by 200 mAh as compared to the predecessor P20 Pro whereas it’s the same capacity we saw on the Mate 20 Pro.

Despite the larger screen, the runtimes have significantly improved, the HUAWEI P30 Pro delivers a great battery life overall. The company has done a really successful tuning under the hood. Also, due to the 7nm manufacturing, power consumption is lesser which will help the phone to run longer. The battery life is convincing in our daily usage, the P30 pro runs about 1.5 days on a daily driver use on a single charge.

Take a look at the screenshots that shows the phone is able to run more than a day on above moderate usage. Our usage includes camera, 4G mobile data, hotspot, GPS and Maps, YouTube, surfing, TikTok, music streaming, gaming, and using some social apps like Facebook, Instagram.

Similar to the Mate 20 Pro, the P30 Pro comes with the HUAWEI’s SuperCharge fast charging and wireless Qi charging support. The HUAWEI P30 Pro can be charged fully in about 60 minutes using the stock fast charger in the box which is rated 10V and 4A i.e. 40W charger.

Also available is the reverse wireless technology which sets apart from the others in the segment. You can charge any wireless charging enabled phones and other devices by placing them on the back of the phone.

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1.5 Days On Moderate Use

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HUAWEI P30 Pro Battery Test Results

Apps/GamesBattery usedRuntimeBrightnessWireless
1080p Video2%20 minutesAutoOff (Wi-Fi, GPS, Data)
YouTube (1080p) - Wi-Fi2%20 minutesAutoOn (Wi-Fi)
PUBG MOBILE6%20 minutesAutoOff (Wi-Fi, GPS, Data)
Asphalt 9: Legends5%20 minutesAutoOff (Wi-Fi, GPS, Data)
Music (Offline)1%1 HourScreen OffOff (Wi-Fi, GPS, Data)
Music (Online) - SoundCloud1%30 minutesScreen OffOn (Wi-Fi)
TikTok4%20 minutesAutoOn (Wi-Fi)
Instagram4%20 minutesAutoOn (Wi-Fi)

Verdict

The HUAWEI P30 Pro has grown to be a comprehensive package with all the features needed on a smartphone. It not only pleases you by its elegant glass back and versatile cameras but also offers stunning performance and features like IP68 design, reverse wireless charging, motion sensing ToF camera, super fast charging, and software that’s capable of doing a lot than you think.

There’s probably no significant lack on the phone except the 3.5 mm audio jack and things like 4k video recording at 60 fps. If you are looking for better video recording capabilities, the Samsung Galaxy S10+ is a great alternative at a similar price.

At a price of Rs 71,990, you get what you pay for, the HUAWEI P30 Pro is recommended especially if you are into mobile photography, the overall camera performance is compelling and leaves nothing to be desired.

You can buy it on Amazon.

Rivals

Strength

  • Elegant Design & Premium Looking | Solid Build Quality
  • Bright AMOLED Display | Great Viewing Angles
  • Quad Cameras | Versatile Camera Performance | Packed with features (AI Color, Background Blur, Super Slow-Mo, Monochrome, 3D Live Emojis, etc.)
  • Great Selfies & Portraits
  • Top-Notch Performance
  • In-Display Fingerprint Scanner
  • Good Battery Life
  • Super Fast Charging | Charges Fully in About 60 Minutes
  • Reverse Wireless Charging | Can Charge Other Phones Wirelessly
  • Android 9.0 Pie out-of-the-box | EMUI 9.1 Loaded With Features
  • IP68 Certified – Water & Dust Resistant
  • NanoSD Card Support

Weakness

  • No Dedicated 3.5 mm Headphone Jack