Huawei P30 Pro Review

Tsepz_GP

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Apr 20, 2013
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So I have had the P30 Pro for a few days now and I am thoroughly enjoying it, and figured it would be good to post my thoughts on it so far.

Disclaimer: I will be comparing the P30 Pro to the Mate 20 Pro in this review, the P30 Pro has made some leaps from its predecessor P20 Pro, and is now at a point where it is punching in Mate territory.

Pros:
- Camera (incredibly sharp and versatile)
- Battery Life
- 40W Supercharging
- Memory (comes standard with 256GB internal memory with 8GB RAM)
- Display Brightness
- Fast In-screen Optical Fingerprint Scanner
- Small DewDrop Notch which has freed up space
- Always On Display FINALLY Shows 3rd Party Notifications
- IP68 Water + Dust Resistant
- IR Blaster with Remote Control app (Smart Remote)
- Acoustic Display using Bone Conduction technology (Clear and minimal in-call sound leakage)

Cons:
- Display Resolution (lower than Mate 20 Pro and S10+)
- No 3.5mm headphones jack
- No 3D Facial Recognition
- No 4K @ 60FPS Video recording
- A bit on the heavy side and large for some.
- AI in camera can be overbearing
- Single bottom firing loudspeaker
- No Notifications RGB LED

Design:

The P30 Pro has been rather interesting in terms of design, it is Taller, Wider and Heavier than a Mate 20 Pro, while thinner than it.

Overall the device feels very solid in hand and has a nice heft to it, it tips the scale at 192g, so it's definitely not the lightest device out, however it is packing the 8MP Periscope Camera and 4200mAh battery in there so this is understandable.

The one I have is in the lovely Aurora colour, it is absolutely stunning, and I have done some side-by-side shots of it with the Mate 20 Pro in Twilight colour below.

Finally the device is also IP68 Water and Dust Resistant, great to have such in case of any spillage while out and about.

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Huawei have paid a lot of attention to detail, remember the red Power button in the Mate 20 Pro, in the P30 Pro the button has a red line cut into the button, making it look a tad better without disturbing the design of the phone. The P30 Pro is also a lot more "rectangular" and blocky the top and bottom are flattened, which really looks great
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Top and bottom are flattened
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Display:

The P30 Pro has a large 6.47inch HDR AMOLED Display, with 1080x2340 resolution and a 398ppi.

Overall the Display is really bright and crisp, however it is not quite as smooth as the Mate 20 Pro WQHD+ Display, which I found to be amazing. For most people the P30 Pro dus8is more than enough and the benefit is that it is very light on Battery Usage which has been even better than in the Mate 20 Pro.

What I am loving with the P30 Pro display is:
1. The small DewDrop Notch that has freed up A LOT of space for Notifications
2. The new Always On Display that allows 3rd Party app notifications
3. There seems to be more flat space VS. Mate 20 Pro despite the curved edges, watching videos feels better than the Mate 20 Pro.

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Battery Life:

Much like the Mate 20 Pro, the P30 Pro comes with a large 4200mAh battery along with Huawei's Proprietary Supercharger brick in the box. This means you get a long lasting battery that can easily go over a full day's worth of heavy usage, and will probably get you 2 days with moderate usage.

In my experience I got 9h40mins Screen On Time with over 24hours off charge, this put together with the 40W charger that can get the phone to 70% charge in 30 minutes and just over an hour to 100%, means you can happily use the P30 Pro without worrying much about power, and then when you do plug in, you do so for an incredibly short amount of time

Overall I was seriously impressed, the 1080P+ display really sipped the power, and take note I plugged in at 6%, the phone could have gone on a bit longer. This has become typically of Huawei, I just know I will get great battery life with each device, which is great as battery anxiety should be the last thing you worry about when paying this much for a flagship device.
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Audio:
The P30 Pro uses Bone Conduction for in-call audio, so the phone's display acts as an earpiece by making it vibrate. The coil for this technology in the P30 Pro sits just a few cm under the selfie camera, and it provides great audio with some depth to the incoming callers voice.

In terms of Loudspeakers, the P30 Pro has a single speaker at the bottom, it does a good job but unfortunately there is no 2nd loudspeaker for stereo sound.
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Camera:

The camera on this device is incredible, the UI is pretty much the same as the Huawei's of the last year, however the Hardware is simply insane, the 8MP Periscope Camera has seriously impressed me, and the device's Night Mode is kind blowing, simply capturing light in places one cannot see much with the eye.

The Camera is fantastic but I have found that the Master AI can sometimes intrude and be overbearing with aggressive changes to the scene, especially with Greenery, the Master AI can be turned off though.

Here is a multi zoom example

1
Wide
Normal
5x Optical Zoom
10x Hybrid Zoom
50x Digital Zoom
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Night Mode
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On the other side of the spectrum the P30 Pro takes Macro Mode even further than the P20 Pro and Mate 20 Pro, allowing you to take incredibly close shots

Macro Mode
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I still have to try out the video recording, however I have seen some reviews around it, it seems Stability is great but Slow-mo is still not great and is about the same as the Mate 20 Pro's.

I'm terms of Security:

The P30 Pro forgoes the 3D Facial Recognition of the Mate 20 Pro for a more simplistic Facial Unlock that uses the Selfie Camera, however, the P30 Pro does keep the I'm-Screen Optical Fingerprint Scanner, however it sits close to the bottom of the display and has seen a good leap in performance, being a lot faster than the Mate 20 Pro's implementation, making it more reliable and a lot faster, without needing much pressure.
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Overall, I am impressed with the P30 Pro, especially with its Camera, it's versatile and makes you want to keep trying its various modes to get the best picture, I'm glad Huawei has continued to push in this area as Samsung and Apple seem to have become complacent in this area as of late

The incredible battery life, decent screen and Fast EMUI9.1 make it a great package. The 256GB built-in storage will be more than enough for most while also being great for Power Users who want to load their high quality audio, movies etc... Into their phone, especially for when traveling.

The devices size and weight is where I believe some people will be put off, and I guess Huawei thought about this, hence the existence of the standard P30 and P30 Lite which are great in their own ways.

The P30 Pro is a worthwhile upgrade from the Huawei P20 Pro, as stipulated in my first post, it has surpassed being a Pseries and feels like it's more of a Mate series device with its incredible internal hardware.
 

dov1978

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Oct 22, 2012
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Great review and comparisons. Huawei make it so difficult to choose between the P and the Mate series. In fact they even make it difficult to choose between the Pro and non Pro versions of the P and the Mate with Pro's and Cons for each of them. Can't tell you just how excited I am that they've finally added 3rd party support for AOD. I really hope Emui 9.1 for the Mate 20 Pro comes soon
 

RaRa85

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Oct 13, 2014
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I want this phone so bad to take to Disneyworld with me at the end of the year. Considering stashing away $100 a month to get it straight cash before the time comes. The only drawback for me is having to use a third party app for manual controls in video(LG V30 owner currently) but I think Android finally has a very capable Filmic Pro and Moment app to fill in those gaps. Very nice analysis and love the picture samples.
 

neil74

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Thanks, really good review. The lack of proper face unlock feels like a backwards step but then again android does not properly support 3d face unlock.

Wondering if the AOD notification improvement also applies to the non-pro P30?
 

Morty2264

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This sounds like a wonderful phone! Thank you so much for sharing your review with us! I've heard it's a tad big to hold, so I will try it out in the store to see what it's like in the hand!
 

Tsepz_GP

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Apr 20, 2013
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What's the overall SW experience like? Compared to say, One UI?
The SW experience is fast and fluid, Huawei phones simply do not lag, they tend to maintain performance over long periods.

However EMUI is not as refined as Samsung OneUI, there are still deeper Menus and stuff that Huawei have kept hat I think over time they will get rid of.

However, performance wise, it's a beast!
 

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