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Hands on with the Huawei P30: sometimes less really is more

huawei p30 back 5ght
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In the modern smartphone market, any self-respecting manufacturer feels obligated to no longer present a single device, but rather an entire product series. So it's not surprising that Huawei's P30 comes as a pair: the standard model and the Pro version. We've already managed to get our hands on the Huawei P30, and these are our impressions so far.

Huawei P30
Huawei P30: All deals

Huawei P30 release date and price

The Huawei P30 will be available in a single hardware configuration (6 GB RAM, 128 GB storage) from April 2019 for 749 Euros. The flagship comes in three colors: Black, Breathing Crystal and Aurora. Dual and single SIM models should be available, depending on the supplier supplier.

Huawei P30 design and build quality

With its 6.1 inch size, the Huawei P30 handles more easily than the Pro model. One could almost think that Huawei used parts of the predecessor for the housing of the P30. Even so, that's no bad thing, because the build quality of the P20 Pro case was very high.

IMG 20190326 165708
The P30 in the new red color. / © NextPit

On the back, the differences are hardly visible to the layman, but if you place the P30 next to the P30 Pro, there are small differences due to the different camera setup. After all, the P30 has all three cameras integrated into a common frame.

Huawei P30 display

Like the P20 Pro, Huawei is once again using an OLED panel for the P30 display, with a Full HD+ resolution. But there are no curved display edges like on the P30 Pro. The notch has become narrower, while the speaker is recessed between the housing frame and the display edge, similar to the Galaxy S10. With the pre-release device we tested, colors and contrast look rich and the display has great viewing angles too.

IMG 20190326 165816
A display that looks great from any angle. / © NextPit

The optical in-display fingerprint sensor is also available on the P30 and, according to Huawei, is an improved model of what we found on the Mate 20 Pro.

Huawei P30 software

While the P30 differs from the P30 Pro in terms of appearance and numerous features, they are united when it comes to software. Both models are delivered from the factory with EMUI 9.1,  based on Android 9 Pie.

Huawei P30 performance

In terms of internal hardware there is no significant difference between P30 and the Pro model. The  Kirin 980 SoC and the Mali G76 graphics unit with Dual NPU forms the central computing unit. With 6 GB of RAM and 128 GB of internal storage, there's only one memory configuration to choose from, but the performance of the Huawei P30 should still be close to that of the Mate 20 Pro or its sister model.

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The P30 has good enough specs for powerful performance. / © NextPit

Huawei P30 camera

Besides the battery capacity and the display, the biggest differences between the Pro and non-Pro version are in the camera.

Camera comparison: Huawei P30 vs. Huawei P30 Pro

  Huawei P30 Huawei P30 Pro
Main sensor 40 Megapixel SuperSpectrum Sensor / iris f1.6 / focal length 27 mm / optical image stabilizer
Wide-angle sensor 16 MP / f2.2 / focal length 16 mm 20 MP / f.2.2 / focal length 16 mm
Telephoto 8 MP / f3.4 / Focal length XXX / OIS 8 MP / f3.4 / Focal length 125 mm / 5x optical / 10x hybrid / 50x digital zoom / OIS
Time-of-flight No Yes

Huawei is giving the cheaper P30 the new 40 MP SuperSpectrum Sensor, just like the P30 Pro . With the P20 and P20 Pro last year, they went a different way. At that time only the P20 Pro was equipped with the 40 MP sensor, while the P20 "only" got a 12 MP sensor for the RGB camera.

IMG 20190326 165836
Triple camera with a 40MP main sensor. / © NextPit

There is no difference between P30 and P30 Pro for the main sensor, but for the remaining cameras, there is a distinction. In the case of the ultra-wide angle camera, this concerns the sensor with "only" 16 megapixels on the P30. Bringing distant objects closer with an optical zoom is not as easy with the P30 as with a P30 Pro, because the conventionally constructed lens without a prism allows for a maximum 3x zoom.

Whether you will miss the Time of Flight sensor or possibly have worse depth of field effects in portraits, we'll have to examine in our tests for the final review.

Huawei P30 battery

In the 6.1 inch Huawei P30 there is of course less room for a battery with the capacity of a Huawei Mate 20 Pro or P30 Pro. The energy cell of the P30 has a capacity of 3,630 mAh and can only be charged with 22 Watt fast charging technology. At least Huawei managed to include wireless charging with 15 watts on the P30.

Huawei P30 technical specifications

Early Verdict

If the P30 Pro is too big, too expensive and packs too much zoom for you, the Huawei P30 is an attractive alternative. Compared to last year's P20 series, the two P30 models share the same main camera sensor, so that the photos taken with it are identical. With the quality of the ultra wide angle and telephoto cameras, the P30 probably has to accept a few losses, such as the depth blur effects, as the Time of Flight camera is missing in the P30. Anyone who can live with these "limitations" will certainly be well served by the P30.

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Shu On Kwok

Shu On Kwok
Senior Editor

Since 1999, Shu has written about the colorful world of IT and telecommunications. His career started as a presenter at the five-hour TV show NBC GIGA, which led him through several career stages until he finally joined the AndroidPIT team in May of 2015. His passion for mobile devices and gadgets knows no boundaries. Whether Android, iOS or Windows, Shu feels at home with any OS.

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  • 28
    itprolonden Mar 28, 2019 Link to comment

    And sometimes less is deceiving.