The world took notice of Huawei when they presented the newest addition to the Android-powered Mate smartphone series, the Mate 20 Pro. Now, Huawei is aiming to iterate that success with their newest product in its flagship P series line, the P30 Pro.
The Huawei P30 Pro has a gorgeous 6.47 inch OLED display that really makes vibrant colours pop from its screen. Those who are not fans of the notches housing the front camera that has been featured on several of the popular phone brands will be relieved to know that the less egregious “teardrop” design from the Mate 20 Pro makes a return here as well.
Moving to the back of the phone, you’ll find the much vaunted Leica Quad Camera housed within the phone’s glossy back frame. The cameras protrude out a little from the back, so you can’t set the phone evenly on a flat surface. We had the black version of the phone, and while the glossy back texture was nice aesthetically when first unboxed, we soon realised within minutes that it was a fingerprint magnet.
Sound & Connectivity
There is a single speaker located at the bottom of the phone. Sound quality is decent at maximum volume if you want to play music without an external speaker. The main issue you may encounter with the speakers is accidentally covering the speaker when you are using the phone while laying it down, as it muffles most of the sound coming out. The phone also uses a USB-C connection for charging. Unfortunately, there is no headphone jack for the P30 Pro – you’ll only get it on the P30.
Fingerprint unlocking is available, albeit still using the optical fingerprint sensing technology compared to Samsung’s new ultrasonic fingerprint sensor. With that said, the fingerprint unlocking technology on the Huawei Pro P30 is also a little finicky. Sometimes it unlocks with a light tap, sometimes it doesn’t. If you like to use your phone frequently, the fingerprint unlock might bother you from time to time.
On using the phone, we found navigation to be fast and responsive to whichever gesture we use (swiping, pinching, etc.). However, do note that this really only applies when you are using both hands. Using the phone with one hand can range from mildly annoying to frustrating as the phone misses out your gestures.
There is a one-handed mode available within the UI, but it should only be used to navigate in and out of apps as opposed to long-term browsing. Text and images do not scale to fit the smaller aspect ratio better, and it also greatly detracts from the display.
The Huawei P30 Pro also comes packed with a whopping 4200mAh battery. Even when using the phone on its default brightness and without power-saving mode enabled, the phone still had well above half of its battery capacity after an average day of usage (browsing through social media apps, taking photos, Netflix, checking emails).
When the battery is depleted, users do not have to wait long to use their phone again. The P30 Pro has a “SuperCharge” feature that can charge the phone to 70% capacity in just half an hour, and it takes a little over an hour for a full charge. Take note that this feature is only available when using the included charging adapter head, not from the USB-C cable alone. Reverse wireless charging is also a cool feature for this model, but it is one you’ll likely not use unless for emergencies.
Of course, we can’t talk about the phone without going into its main selling point: its cameras. Using the camera in its default auto mode delivers images that are crisp and sharp, with colours veering more on the realistic side.
Surprisingly, the auto mode does a pretty good job in low light environments without needing to switch to night mode.
Likewise, Portrait mode has the same sharpness and clarity, but we found the bokeh effect to be a little excessive, which resulted in the image to look fake. There are many filters with different bokeh effects available within the camera app, but sadly, we found no way to adjust the effects manually to our liking.
Ultra Wide Angle
Huawei also touts its ”Ultra Wide Angle” lens for its ability to capture images at a wider range as compared to the ones available on the market. That is indeed the case when we took photos using the wide-angle feature; with a vast wide range shown. The caveat that comes with using the wide-angle feature is that the image quality suffers around the sides of the picture, showing distortion. With that said, you’ll only notice it if you go looking for it.
As referenced before, there’s also a night mode for those wanting to shoot in low light conditions. Shooting in night conditions with minimal light from street lamps still produced bright and clear images with almost no image noise; it is as though the image was taken when the sun was still up. For those who love taking night time shots, this phone’s camera is a very viable device to use.
Finally, let’s get into the main highlight of the camera: that 50x zoom. The 50x zoom lives up to its reputation for its ability to zoom and see things previously indiscernible to the naked eye. Thanks to it, we were able to see tiny words clearly even standing about 50m away.
This amazing function does come with its own share of negatives. For one, it’s quite difficult to take a photo at 50x zoom as the camera frame keeps moving despite seemingly keeping your hand steady – this is even with Huawei’s built-in AI image stabilization technology.
You’ll also notice that the image itself isn’t clear and appears grainy; probably due to it incorporating digital zoom as opposed to optical zoom. You’ll more than likely have fun using the 50x zoom function in the early days of using the phone, but the novelty will soon wear off. The hybrid optical and digital 10x zoom will be more than sufficient for your general camera use.
The Huawei P30 Pro is an exceptional smartphone that improves upon its predecessor in every way. The camera and display complement each other so well and users will have no concerns over the battery when using the phone out and about.
Casual photographers will love the camera without a doubt, while professional photographers will likely see some kinks, but it still doesn’t detract from the fact that it is one of the best smartphone cameras on the market right now.
Photos by Soloman Soh of the DANAMIC team
Huawei P30 Pro$1,398
Camera Features & Image Quality9.5/10
- Excellent all-round camera
- Beautiful display
- Fast and responsive interface
- Long-lasting battery life
- One-handed use is not feasible with big display
- 50x zoom had worn out its welcome
- Fingerprint sensor is not consistent