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Huawei P30 Pro Review

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By Sumit Narula - 
1st Jul 2019
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Huawei P30 Pro
Review Summary
PROS
CONS
Key Specs
Battery Capacity
Battery Capacity
4200 mAh
OS
OS
Android 9.0 (Pie) EMUI 9.1
Screen Size
Screen Size
6.47 inches
SIM
SIM
Single SIM (Nano-SIM) or Hybrid Dual SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by)
Highlights:
  • Single SIM (Nano-SIM) or Hybrid Dual SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by)
  • NM (Nano Memory), up to 256GB (uses shared SIM slot)
  • 4200 mAh
  • Android 9.0 (Pie) EMUI 9.1
Introduction

Huawei has been targeting the budget and mid-range segment for a long time now and the smartphone maker has recently shifted its focus towards the big league. Last year, we’ve seen two flagship smartphones, the P20 Pro and the Mate 20 Pro, from the brand. With Mate 20 Pro, the Chinese smartphone maker showed the competitors that it is desperate to be in a league of big players.

 

In 2019, Huawei decided to launch yet another flagship smartphone dubbed Huawei P30 Pro. As the name suggests, the device is a successor to the P20 Pro. Not only that, the all-new P30 Pro is built on the foundation of the company’s previous two flagship smartphone. Since the unveiling in Paris, Huawei P30 Pro has made a lot of buzz and grabbed the attention of many mainly because of the brand-new 5x “periscope” zoom camera.

 

Well, we have spent the last couple of weeks with the device and here is what we think of the all-new Huawei P30 Pro.

Price in India, Variants, and Availability

Huawei P30 Pro comes in a single storage variant boasting a massive 8GB of RAM and 256GB of internal storage. Speaking of colors, the smartphone comes in various options namely Breathing Crystal, Aurora, Amber Sunrise, Pearl White, and Black. Well, we’ll talk about the design in a minute. Moving on, the smartphone is priced at an expensive INR 71,990. 

 

Huawei P30 Pro Variants

 

The device is available for purchase exclusively via Amazon India. At the time of writing this review, Citibank is offering 5% cashback to up to INR 1,500 on the credit card EMI transaction. There is a no-cost EMI option as well on almost all the major debit and credit cards including Bajaj Finserv and Amazon Pay EMI. Additionally, Huawei has partnered with Reliance Jio in order to offer benefits worth INR 10,000 and double mobile data on 5 recharges.

Box Contents

As expected, the smartphone comes with a premium packaging sitting nicely inside the white box. On the front of the box, you can see the device name in the middle, company’s branding on top and the smartphone’s USP, i.e. quad cameras written on the bottom.

 

The first that you’ll see after opening the box is going to be the device itself. Other than that, there is a section that consists of SIM ejector pin, a basic silicone case, and some documentation that you’re probably not going to read. Underneath all this, you would see a 40W compatible super fast charger, a USB Type-C cable, and compatible Type-C earphones. 

 

Huawei P30 Pro box contents

 

Here is a quick overview of what you’ll be getting inside the box: 

 

  • Huawei P30 Pro – the device itself 
  • 40W super fast charger 
  • USB Type-C cable 
  • Type-C in-ear headphones 
  • Basic silicone back case 
  • SIM ejector tool 
  • Reading manuals
Specs at a Glance

Before we jump right into our comprehensive review of Huawei P30 Pro, let’s have a quick glance on the specifications first.

 

– Display: 6.47-inch Full HD+ OLED

– Processor: Kirin 980

– RAM & ROM: 8GB and 256GB

– Rear cameras: 40MP+20MP+8MP

– Selfie camera: 32MP 

– Battery: 4,200mAh 

– Software: Android 9 Pie-based EMUI 9.1

– Price: INR 71,990

Design and Build Quality

As good as the name of the color sounds, Huawei P30 Pro is even more stunning looking smartphone. Well, the smartphone follows the design ideology of the previously launched Mate 20 Pro.

 

The P30 Pro is one of those smartphones with glass-and-metal sandwich design and still it manages to stand out in terms of looks. When all the other smartphones tend to look similar, the P30 Pro decided to stand out all thanks to the gorgeous gradient color scheme. 

 

Another interesting fact about the device is that the glass panel on the back is made up of natural elements. The device feels extremely premium in the hand and we can say it’s one of the best-looking devices right now.

 

There are two colors, i.e. Breathing Crystal and Aurora available in the Indian market. Both the color options look brilliant but we loved the first one. The way the glass back reflects on the Breathing Crystal is literally breathtaking. 

 

Huawei P30 Pro Back

 

Even though the device looks similar to the Mate 20 Pro, it isn’t actually in various ways. For one, the smartphone features a dewdrop notch on the front instead of the ugly traditional notch. If you look closely, you’ll notice that the notch is, in fact, a little thinner that’s because there is no physical earpiece on this device. Like Vivo NEX, the smartphone makes use of vibrations to generate sounds or Acoustic Display as referred by the brand.

 

Huawei P30 Pro Upper End

 

On the front, there is a huge OLED display panel with lots of real estates to play with. The bezels on the side as well as the bottom are very tiny and thin respectively. There is a vertically aligned triple camera set-up at the back which like most of the device protrudes outwards.

 

We liked the vertical branding on the bottom and would love to see the same on other phones as well. At the bottom, there is a USB Type-C port accompanied by a single speaker grille and a SIM tray. The top, on the other hand, features an IR Blaster and noise-canceling mic.

 

IR Blaster is something which all the brands ends up ignoring even though the feature comes in handy especially in Indian households. 

 

Huawei P30 Pro Lower End

 

Overall, you’re going to love the visual appearance of the device but do keep in mind that it is a little slippery so you might want to use the bundled silicone case. Huawei P30 Pro is one of those devices which feels premium in the hand but when it touches the ground, the glass can shatter real quick.

Display

Huawei P30 is equipped with a massive 6.47-inch curved OLED display on the front. With that said, the device is a little big and those who are used to smaller screens might not appreciate it. Moving on the display is curved just like the one in Mate 20 Pro.

 

Huawei P30 Pro Display

 

The decision of dropping the iPhone X like notch turns out to be good since the device now looks more taller and beautiful.

 

The device comes with an aspect ratio of 19.5:9 which nowadays has become a standard. The 2340×1080 pixels and the pixel density of 398 ppi are enough to give you a wonderful experience. The device is HDR 10 compliant meaning consuming media on this screen is going to be a joyful experience.

 

Surely, the Huawei P30 Pro doesn’t have the best display but it still looks beautiful thanks to the punchy colors, excellent brightness, and deep blacks. The blacks on this display look pretty awesome.

Performance

Under the hood, Huawei P30 Pro is powered by the company’s very own in-house Kirin 980 chipset coupled with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. For those who’re unaware, Kirin 980 is manufactured over a 7nm process having eight cores.

 

It consists of 2x Cortex A76 clocked at 2.6Ghz, 2x Cortex A76 clocked at 1.92GHz and 4x Cortex A55 clocked at 1.8GHz. In other words, the Kirin 980 is the company’s best and most powerful chipset to date.

 

When it comes heavy multitasking and graphics-intensive games, the Huawei P30 Pro is a pretty capable phone and you will see lags or stutters rarely. We tried playing Pubg Mobile game on this device at maximum settings and well, the experience was pretty excellent.

 

Thanks to 8GB RAM packed inside, the multi-tasking experience on this device is pretty solid. The apps stay in memory for a longer period and switching between apps is a quick experience.

 

With P30 Pro, Huawei has made sure that every type of user be it moderate or heavy multitasker or a mobile gamer can be happy with a single device. When it comes to performance and gaming, Huawei P30 managed to sit among the top leaders.

Software

Coming to the software, Huawei P30 Pro runs on the latest Android 9.0 Pie out-of-the-box backed with the company’s own custom EMUI 9.1 skin. Software is something which has always brought the Huawei or Honor devices down.

 

Unlike other major software, EMUI is not minimal or refined skin that most of the user likes. In fact, when it comes to software, you’ll find minimum to no difference between a flagship device like P30 Pro or a budget-device like P30 lite.

 

Huawei did minimize the bloatware apps with the P30 Pro smartphone but frankly, that is not enough. The brand has made some tall claims like the addition of Extended Read-Only File System to improve the device’s speed by up to 20 percent. Same goes with the company’s GPU Turbo 3.0 and we really can’t tell if features like these are making any difference or not.

 

When it comes to the software, Huawei still has a very long way to go. We would love to see a UI that focuses more on productivity, minimalism, and giving a refined user experience. Sadly, this is something which the brand is not offering currently.

 

It’s not that the software is completely unusable. It’s just that being a flagship device, the P30 Pro has that spark missing in its software aspect.

Cameras

Huawei P30 Pro features a quad camera setup on the back with the Leica branding. The setup consists of a primary 40MP SuperSpectrum sensor (f/1.6 aperture), a 20MP ultra-wide angle lens(f/2.2 aperture), an 8MP telephoto sensor (f/3.4 aperture) and Time-of-Flight (ToF) camera.

 

huawei p30 rear cameras

 

If you’re wondering what ToF camera is used for, it can improve your low-light and portrait clicks. The ToF camera will also come in very handy in the AR applications. 

 

One thing that has made the P30 Pro a popular device in the tech community is its ability of insane zooming. For instance, the device is capable of 5x optical zoom, 10x hybrid zoom which is almost lossless and the insane 50x zoom capabilities.

 

Huawei was able to achieve such zoom levels with the help of AIS or AI Image Stabilization. Coming to the camera app UI, you’ll not find feeling home that difficult. In fact, the camera app is filled with tons of features and modes. 

 

Huawei P30 Pro Camera

 

Huawei has done an excellent job in creating a camera system so versatile that it can work with perfection in almost any situation. The 5x optical zoom is an insane feature and the brand has implemented it very well. The cameras are able to churn out amazing shots with lots of details and high exposure in all scenarios.

 

With the zoom capability of P30 Pro, you can even take a picture of a flying plane if you have steady hands.

 

There are still some flaws in the camera system, which we like to point out. Sometimes, the primary sensor has an odd yellow taint. In fact, the wide-angle lens needs some improvement. But, the entire camera system as a whole, works exceptionally well churning out some awesome shots.

 

Another impressive thing about this phone is its night mode through which we were able to click some of the best shots in low-light conditions. 

 

On the front, there is a single high-res 32MP sensor for selfies with an aperture of f/2.0. This time, the selfie camera is able to deliver pictures with good details and colors which is something that Mate 20 Pro was missing out on. Even in the HDR mode, sharpness level is good, exposure is perfect and so is the color reproduction. 

 

Overall, the Huawei P30 Pro is a perfect smartphone in terms of its cameras capabilities. It works exceptionally well in all the possible scenarios. Plus, the FoC camera isn’t a gimmick as we were expecting it to be. Huawei is surely killing the automatic night mode with this device. Although it’s not the best device for video recording, it still gets the job done with perfection.

Battery Life

As far as the battery is concerned, Huawei P30 Pro comes with a massive 4,200mAh battery unit. This much battery should be enough for a moderate to a heavy user to last the device for an entire day. With WiFi & Bluetooth always on, 2 or 3 hours of gaming, heavy video playback, your device should be good to go with still a major chunk of battery left unused. 

 

The smartphone supports the 40W super-fast charging which will allow your device to charge quickly. In our testing, the device was able to go up to 70% juice within just 30 minutes. This feature is something which you’ll be appreciating a lot in your daily usage. Although it would take around an hour to charge the device completely from zero to 100%. 

 

Huawei P30 Pro supports the wireless charging as well as the reverse wireless charging tech. You can wirelessly charge your device with 15W wireless charger. The reverse wireless charging is a feature which we are really starting to appreciate it.

Audio, Biometrics, and Connectivity

For audio, the device comes with a mono speaker at the bottom which is pretty decent but not that loud. The speaker could have been equivalent to the likes of other flagship phones but sadly, it isn’t. Also, there is no 3.5-mm headphone jack which could be a deal breaker for many.

 

In response to this step, Huawei decided to offer Type-C earphones with the device but again you would not be able to enjoy the benefit of using earphones while charging your device. 

 

Coming to biometrics, the device makes use of an in-display fingerprint reader. The optical fingerprint sensor is fairly fast, accurate and very reliable. In comparison with the Mate 20 Pro, the sensor is now extremely fast by upto 20%. You can also use the Face Unlock to open your device which is also very quick and fast. Sadly, there is no 3D Unlock in this phone making it not so secure. 

 

Huawei P30 Pro Fingerprint Sensor

 

The smartphone also comes with an IR Blaster which is something that other flagship phone lacks. Although it is not a deal-breaker, having this feature when there is a need of it doesn’t sound that bad.

Pros and Cons

Pros

 

– Super capable cameras 

– Excellent design 

– Top-quality OLED display

– Amazing performance

– 2-day battery life 

 

Cons

 

– Lots of problem in EMUI

– Not so loudspeakers 

– Uncertain future of the company

Verdict
Huawei P30 Pro is a power-packed smartphone which is right for almost everyone. The only thing which is hurting this powerful device is the software. Huawei was able to create an excellent smartphone and showed that it is ready to join the big league. The premiumness that this device offers, the power that it contains and not to forget about those versatile camera modules. Considering the fact that we don’t know the road that the company is going to take in the future. It is hard to recommend a smartphone which comes with Huawei or Honor tag. There is no certainty whether the brand will be able to survive or not. One thing which seems clear is that the company is going to give the support to all the current smartphones. If you’re ready to ignore all the current relation of Huawei and US companies, then this could be an excellent smartphone for you. It’s got the stunning design, snappy performance, super amazing cameras, and amazing battery life. The only thing which particularly bugs me is the software. Despite some drawbacks, the device is a power-packed smartphone.


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