Huawei P30 Pro review: Quad camera crushes the competition

Huawei P30 Pro review: Quad camera crushes the competition

With nice design and color choices, immense battery life, loads of energy, and versatile cameras, the P30 Pro is not only a images phone, it is arguably the perfect flagship phone we noticed launch in 2019. Its attraction could have been marred by US-China political posturing, but that does not detract from what’s an distinctive handset – even in the event you purchase one now (or the Final Version), it’s going to lengthy continue to impress.

One thing happened in 2018 that took lots of people by surprise: Huawei, after its years of tinkering and P-series iterations, launched the perfect phone camera available on the market. The next yr, in 2019, the P30 Pro went about by tearing up the rule guide and going large on images.

but, the Chinese firm has been battling to carry onto its ‘king of the camera telephones’ crown, what with Google introducing the unbelievable Night Sight mode in its Pixel telephones, Samsung pushing a number of cameras in its A9 and nice in-device processing in its Galaxy S10+, and Oppo now displaying very related expertise in its Reno 10x Zoom.

The P30 Pro would not muck about although. By implementing a Leica Quad camera system – which marries ultra-wide, super-high decision and real zoom alongside a Time-of-Flight (ToF) camera – the Chinese firm succeeded in implementing essentially the most versatile camera in any phone earlier than every other maker. The iPhone is simply at three cameras even years after.

After all, there have been US trade battle points which have triggered people to baulk on the thought of Huawei telephones, as a result of its newser handsets – such because the Mate 30 Pro and follow-up to this reviewed handset, the P40 Pro – cannot assist Google Play companies (i.e. no Play Retailer). but as that political pantomime will get sorted out – and we hope it does – we but think the P30 Pro is a superb phone. Whether or not or not it occurs to be a kind-of swan music…

Design: Bigger, bolder

  • 6.47-inch OLED Huawei FullView Show, FHD+ decision (2340 x 1080), 19.5:9 side ratio
  • Finishes: Breathing Crystal, Amber Dawn, Aurora, Pearl White, Black
  • No front-facing speaker, makes use of magnetism vibrations for audio
  • Dimensions: 149.1 x 71.Four x 7.6mm / Weighs: 165g
  • Optical in-screen fingerprint scanner
  • IP68 water- and dust-resistant
  • No 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Teardrop notch

With many saying the hole-punch camera could be the dominant power, Huawei thinks totally different: the P30 Pro has a small ‘dewdrop’ notch entrance and centre. Factor is, the Huawei’s display screen selection, at 6.47-inches, is so Wide that this little black-out space to the highest the place the front-facing camera is housed is barely noticeable. Flip a coin, actually, it is six of 1 half a dozen of the opposite – and we have barely observed the distinction between this and a punch-hole camera such as you’ll discover in, say, the OnePlus 8.

Not less than the Pro is not a slider phone, just like the Xiaomi Mi Mix 3, which might make for a cumbersome, dust-grabbing type issue. but, the P30 Pro is much chunkier than the P20 Pro from earlier than, for the easy proven fact that the newer phone homes a large battery underneath the hood. It is 4,200mAh, which given how properly the Mate 20 Pro proved in Performance phrases with the identical battery capability, is nice. The P30 Pro lasts for an age – but extra on that later.

Finally, the P30 Pro is a bigger, beefier model of the P20 Pro that it replaces. That bigger display screen has a slim side ratio, although, so it is easy to carry and places it on par with the opposite sizeable screens we’re seeing – check out the Samsung Galaxy S20+ as one apparent instance – together with Huawei’s personal curved-edge P40 Pro follow-up.

Regardless of this bodily measurement, Huawei has foregone cramming extra pixels into the Pro’s display screen – which we predict could possibly be seen as a mistake. Think about having the ability to watch crisper streams from Netflix, or zoom into these pictures with further eye-popping element? Samsung presents a 3200 x 1440 decision in its S20+ (even the at-the-time comparability with the S10+ was increased), which it turns off by default for the sake of battery life, and Huawei may simply have supplied an analogous answer for the perfect of each worlds, going high-res solely when actually wanted or requested.

Visually, nevertheless, the P30 Pro is a stunner. Proven right here in its ‘Breathing Crystal’ end – we all know, advertising and marketing names need to be a bit foolish, proper? – it is a gradient end with a pearlescent sheen. It is a fingerprint magnet, although, as is to be anticipated nowadays, but maintain it clear and that floor certain does sing. There’s are extra standard black possibility, or in the event you’re trying to go the alternative method then the orange Amber Dawn is a scorching look (properly, possibly, it isn’t as lary because it appears in press pictures – as we found when first seeing some samples on the P30 Pro launch occasion in Paris).

An much more up-to-date possibility, the P30 Pro Final Version, appeared in 2020 as Huawei’s sort-of protest phone. This will get across the Google Companies subject, because it’s “previous” {hardware} at this Point, but does function the fingerprint-resistant end of the P40 Pro, referred to as Silver Frost, which is a favorite.

The P30 Pro’s design embodied some new concepts when it was launched. Lookup by that dewdrop notch and you will not see a speaker crammed into the sting subsequent to it, as a result of the P30 Pro would not have one. As a substitute, through the use of magnets to create vibrations within the display screen, you may hear audio projected into your ear. We have seen and examined this function within the Vivo Apex 2019 idea phone – and it is spectacular to say the least. It really works, too, as we have present in long-winded calls with our bank card firm (shopping for these expensive telephones brings inevitable monetary woes, eh?).

It does imply, nevertheless, that the P30 Pro’s bottom-edge-only speaker sees the phone lag behind a few of its competition in relation to audio. We weren’t anticipating gaming-quality stereo output as per the Razer phone 2, but the Google Pixel Four XL is notably higher with its stereo setup and output than this Huawei.

The P30 Pro additionally up to date Huawei’s in-screen fingerprint scanner, by providing with an optical answer. It is simple to register, fast and correct to log-in – but not a patch on how extremely quick that aforementioned Vivo phone is (actually, you’ll want to have a look at our video to get an thought of that velocity). Not less than in-screen scanners at the moment are of fine high quality, although, which exhibits how far Huawei has are available in a brief time period – for the reason that Porsche Design Huawei Mate RS and its so-so scanner just some years in the past.

Cameras crush the competition – with some caveats

  • Leica Quad camera system, SuperSensing main sensor
  • Optical stabilisation (OIS) for main and zoom lenses
  • Primary: 40MP, 27mm, f/1.6
  • Wide: 20MP, 16mm, f/2.2
  • Zoom: 8MP, 5x periscope zoom, 125mm, f/3.4
  • 10x hybrid zoom, not optical
  • Time-of-Flight (ToF) for depth
  • Entrance-facing selfie camera: 32MP

Now, on to the principle occasion. The P30 Pro is de facto pitched as a camera phone. And it has a complete heap of attention-grabbing issues to supply on this division. On the time of launch there was nothing higher – but since then the competition has rallied exhausting to play catch-up.

SuperSensing sensor with high sensitivity

Principal to those is the so-called SuperSensing sensor, which capabilities completely totally different to most standard sensors. That is going to get a bit of bit deep, so maintain onto your brains for a second.

Most camera sensors have what’s referred to as a Bayer array – a 4 piece grid that delivers crimson, inexperienced, blue and inexperienced (RGBG) mild frequency adsorption to the pixel websites beneath, with the camera then capable of decipher full color data from these readings. Huawei has carried out away with this rather than a crimson, yellow, blue, yellow (RYBY) array. Why? As a result of yellow mild frequency is extra delicate, thus can seize extra data for a extra detailed outcome.

Now that is the idea, but it surely’s the outcomes which can be actually attention-grabbing. Because the P30 Pro can accomplish that a lot, we have damaged this camera review part into sub-sections.

Wide and standard lenses

For many, it’s going to be the quad camera system setup that is most attention-grabbing, as a result of it is this number of lenses that enable for better versatility in seize.

There’s the 16mm wide-angle lens, as per the Mate 20 Pro, which squeezes heaps into the body. We love this wide-angle for the dramatism it could add to a scene – though the sides are softer than the centre by a great distance and there is some color shifting in direction of these peripheries too.

Then there’s an ultra-high decision main sensor – it solely captures 40MP while you inform it; 10MP is the default as it could super-sample for higher outcomes – which delivers actually detailed pictures. Huawei is glutton for over-sharpening photos, but within the P30 Pro the vast majority of the time the outcomes are spot on.

The one downer is when switching between these lenses and seeing inconsistency between color and publicity. The camera can even ‘leap round’ whereas the optical stabilisation kicks in, which appears a bit odd on display screen.

Zoom: Optical and digital

The main thing lens to the Pro is the one that gives 5x optical zoom, used as a 10x digital zoom when wanted, which pulls on the info from the opposite main camera to help with software program enhancing the zoom outcome.

The 5x optical zoom is mighty spectacular, presenting stage of element contemplating the periscope zoom mechanism used. It isn’t pin-sharp at 100 per cent, but we have seen no different phone produce pictures this crisp at an equal focal vary. Properly, there’s now the Oppo Reno 10x Zoom to think about, but Huawei bought there first.

Past 5x zoom issues from the P30 Pro should be taken inside the context of a phone camera proposition although. The 10x hybrid zoom is okay – it is clearly not ‘lossless’ as Huawei claims, you solely want to take a look at the frames in full measurement to see this – but the stage of element that is decipherable on this mode is spectacular, even when it lacks real chunk and sharpness.

Past this, Huawei presents up-to-50x digital zoom. It is entertaining, but the outcomes aren’t actually worthwhile for a lot, given how delicate issues grow to be on account of the upscaling. It is darn exhausting to carry the factor regular at this type of zoom too. Positive, nothing else available on the market can compete with that, but actually it is the 5x zoom that hits the candy spot.

You would possibly think you have ever actually wished to make use of such a zoom, but the second you start to see the probabilities it brings, it’s going to be exhausting to maneuver on to a phone with a camera any much less refined. It is nice for candid pictures and nice for seeing totally different composition choices.

Point-and-shoot simplicity

The P30 Pro is simple to make use of too. Deciding on between broad, 1x, 3x, 5x and 10x is so simple as tapping the on-screen zoom circle icon (with a immediate as to what the present zoom is). For those who’re extra a pinch-to-zoom operator then that is additionally potential, making these zoom ranges between 1x and 5x simply achievable (although we should admit, we do miss the usual 3x optical zoom of the P20 Pro in that regard).

Huawei being Huawei, although, there are a number of choices out there to toggle on and off. There is a color setting – which selects between standard, vivid and easy colors – and Grasp AI prime and centre which makes use of realized knowledge to auto-recognise scenes and regulate publicity, choose settings and tweak colors because it thinks is greatest acceptable.

Grasp AI positively has its makes use of, but it surely’s not at all times fascinating. It would current the mode it believes is suitable – corresponding to Tremendous Macro, Textual content, Blue Sky, and so forth – which you’ll deactivate on-screen by hitting a bit of cross subsequent to the auto-selected mode. The camera is meant to be taught if its recognition is inaccurate when repeat presses happen. but we have seen loads of errors: our eating desk was a ‘waterfall’, apparently, whereas we have seen fruit mistaken for ‘moon’ and different such comical capers.

Many will just like the simplicity that AI presents with its enhancement of publicity and colors, although, so we will definitely see why it exists.

Close-up macro

In the case of shooting topics up Close, the P30 Pro can get actually Close. With the usual lens, we’re speaking just some centimetres from the topic.

but that is not all: the 5x zoom lens can even focus up Close too. We shot our denims and the outcome was detailed far past what the attention may see, with particular person threads and fibres obvious – it appears like chainmail, when it is simply woven threads. When out in Helsinki, Finland, a drink with the nationwide berry, blueberries, within the glass was captured in high virtually summary close-up glory.

The 5x zoom is not bitingly sharp, as we have mentioned, so have a look at these pictures outdoors of their on-screen confines and there is not as a lot element as you would possibly think, but it surely’s but spectacular sufficient to blow away your mates by taking a number of close-up snaps.

Given the development for telephones to throw in paltry 2MP macro cameras – such because the Moto One Macro – it exhibits there isn’t any want, as a result of it may be carried out with out.

Night Mode

An excellent function of the P30 Pro is its Night Mode. This selection takes a number of frames at totally different exposures and Mixs them right into a single HDR (high dynamic vary) picture. Though it is designed to be used at Night, we use it most within the day the place it is potential to extract further vary from pictures for added dynamism.

Do not consider this like Google’s Night Sight mode both, as it isn’t. It wants a gradual hand – but you possibly can but shoot handheld utilizing Night Mode, even in very low-light situations, which is nice. If topics are shifting then there will likely be some topic blur because of this, but when it is, say, people strolling by means of a scene or clouds shifting at tempo then it really appears nice.

Whereas Huawei’s nighttime shooting was once the perfect, it is since slipped within the rankings. We labored up an iPhone 11 vs Pixel Three XL vs P30 Pro to point out you all of the variations. Not that it is unhealthy, nevertheless, as you possibly can see beneath from the low-light shooting functionality:

Low-light shooting

Once we first noticed the P30 Pro we have been upset that it had no equal to Google’s Night Sight mode, i.e. the power to shoot pictures in very low-light situations and use processing to render the shot in virtually daylight-esque type. Factor is, we have been mistaken. Though it would not shout about it, the P30 Pro in its automated mode is the perfect low-light camera available on the market.

We did some side-by-side shooting subsequent to the Google Pixel 2 utilizing Night Sight and the P30 Pro hands-down wins. In a close to blackout darkish kitchen we shot our (admittedly scruffy) kitchen utensils draw and, regardless of not having the ability to see what we have been shooting in anyway, the Pixel in Night Sight mode hardly rendered something seen, whereas the P30 Pro introduced the complete contents of the draw as if the lights have been on (imagine us, they have been off). It is staggeringly spectacular – and that is all the way down to the SuperSensing sensor’s construction.

Now, the ends in such high situations aren’t going to be ultra-sharp or essentially the most usable. Nevertheless it spells out a future the place synthetic intelligence and picture processing turns into an entirely totally different side of images. As a result of the P30 Pro is not utilizing ultra-high ISO sensitivity to render these pictures, it is utilizing algorithms and processing the info it has out there to generate photos past what the attention can see.

Total, nevertheless, it must be mentioned that Google’s Night Sight – which you are utilizing when it is activated – is a bit more versatile in its method for another scenes. It could actually’t do what the Huawei can within the instance above, but it surely’s an main mode that, in some ways, set the benchmark.

Pro mode

If you wish to go a bit extra detailed then a swipe to Pro mode provides management over all settings, together with Closeter velocity and ISO sensitivity.

but, the utmost selectable sensitivity in Pro mode is ISO 6400, which appears to render the upper sensitivities (ISO 409,600 being the utmost) as completely out of date. How odd.

Moreover in the event you use a high ISO sensitivity then, properly, all of the magic of that SuperSensing sensor is over-ruled and little processing happens. A shot we took inside historic partitions on the island of Suomenlinna, Finland, exhibits up appreciable color noise, rendered as crimson, inexperienced and blue spots all through the body. A curious outcome, given how ultra-impressive the point-and-shoot mode’s processing is – and that it is inaccessible in Pro mode!

Portrait and Aperture modes

The fourth camera within the quad equation is the Time-of-Flight camera. ToF roughly works like Sonar, outputting a (not seen to the attention) frequency of sunshine that bounces off its topics and returns a time-based depth map of what is in entrance of the lens. That is a greater method of deciphering precisely what’s the place inside a body, for extra refined dealing with of depth knowledge than techniques that merely use a number of cameras (and even single ones).

The P30 Pro’s Portrait mode auto-selects a face and provides fairly good edging round topics, whereas the user-definable Aperture mode (f/22 to f/0.95 on a sliding scale) has given us typically higher edge definition than we have seen earlier than – though it isn’t 100 per cent excellent. but, such modes are a vital to a phone in 2019 and Huawei may be happy with what it is delivered.

Cameras: In conclusion

Total the Huawei P30 Pro had the perfect camera setup at launch. It was untouchable then, but how eager different makers have been to catch-up. We but think it is among the many easiest on the market, although, even when the iPhone, Pixel and different handsets have come gunning for it.

That mentioned, there are some perplexing factors to the P30 Pro’s cameras: the variety of modes out there could grow to be complicated, particularly when the usual point-and-shoot mode is so good; the zoom is nice to 5x but overstates its means thereafter (and 50x is simply foolish); the optical picture stabilisation is helpful but must be higher with these zoom choices; and a few easy points corresponding to color inconsistencies between focal lengths is a letdown.


  • Kirin 980 processor, 8GB RAM, 128/256/512GB storage (NM card growth out there)
  • 4200mAh battery, 40W SuperCharge fast-charging
  • Wi-fi charging and reverse wi-fi charging
  • EMUI 9.1 software program pores and skin on Android Pie

When it comes to Performance, the P30 Pro arrived mid-term within the firm’s launch cycle, that means the usage of the Kirin 980 processor. All P30 variants – there are 128GB/256GB/512GB storage choices – include 8GB RAM too.

We have discovered the P30 Pro to be a stable performer and each bit the flagship by way of operation: the software program runs easily, we have not had crashes or apps hanging, whereas video games have carried out freed from stutter or issues. In comparison with, say, a Snapdragon 855 handset, you will not discover any distinction.

Huawei has lengthy pushed its EMUI – that is Emotion Consumer Interface – with the P30 Pro at first adopting a barely up to date model (EMUI 9.1), finally in February 2020 shifting over to EMUI 10 (which is constructed over Google’s Android 10 working system).

Since its launch, nevertheless, there’s been a little bit of a cloud hanging over future assist, as a result of the USA, underneath Trump’s command, put Huawei on a blacklist that disallowed many US-based producers from doing enterprise with the Chinese big. That included Android. There’s but a lingering query mark over the way forward for Huawei in Europe.

Relative to this gadget, nevertheless, we do not think there’s want for alarm, as it has been signed off for Google Companies, so Google Play will stay in tact. The Mate 30 Pro, nevertheless, was affected and unable to launch with such companies, rendering it largely pointless within the Western market – the identical factor goes for the P40 collection, actually, nevertheless good their cameras are.

Anyway, onto the precise expertise. Since EMUI 10 has deployed we have not seen an enormous quantity of distinction. There’s some transition adjustments, darkish mode is now out there, and the icons are less complicated and extra vibrant. Finally, we predict Huawei is in a spot the place its prospects will discover its software program providing and customisations to be acceptable. Not all will agree, although, with fussy pop-up alerts and Gmail breakdowns that Android purists could discover irksome.

No matter you make of the software program – and we deep dive into EMUI right here, for a common overview of suggestions and tips – the P30 Pro’s battery actually impresses for quite a lot of causes. The 4,200mAh cell is very large and lasts for an age: on heavy use days together with some hours of gaming we have hit 45 per cent remaining after 17-and-a-half hours of use. That is mighty spectacular. The P30 Pro may simply be thought-about a two-day phone per cost. We even think the Huawei outlasts the Asus Zenfone 6’s 5,000mAh battery.

If the battery does run low then the 40W SuperCharge fast-charger within the P30 Pro’s field will replenish the battery in double-quick time. Certainly, as much as 70 per cent may be topped up with simply half and hour on the plug.

There’s additionally wi-fi charging and reverse wi-fi charging – the latter so you possibly can top-up mates’ telephones or recharge your wi-fi earphones (though Huawei took its time to launch wi-fi charging headphones, finally launching the Freebuds Three Wi-fi).


With nice design and color choices, immense battery life, loads of energy, and versatile cameras, the P30 Pro is not only a images phone, it is arguably the perfect flagship phone we noticed launch in 2019.

Any points to talk of are minor – the display screen lacks class-leading decision, not everybody will love the software program, the optical stabilisation could possibly be higher, colors are inconsistent between cameras – but we’re nitpicking actually.

The place the P30 Pro actually excels is with its total images prowess. It is launched with essentially the most versatile camera setup – so whereas we referred to as the P20 Pro earlier than it the phone camera king, the P30 Pro was the phone camera god on launch day.

Its attraction could have been considerably marred by US-China political posturing, but that does not detract from what’s an distinctive handset – even in the event you purchase one now, upgraded to Android 10, we predict it’s going to lengthy continue to impress.

Oppo Reno 10x Zoom


It got here later than the Huawei, but Oppo has lastly bought its 10x optical zoom phone out to market. There is no dewdrop notch to fret about, which makes for a display screen dominant expertise, and it is cheaper too. The software program is a little bit of a hurdle, nevertheless, but as a press release of intent this phone exhibits that Oppo has a really sturdy future with its European smartphone needs.