Huawei gave a bombshell last year with its flagship P20 Pro, which not only surprised with a design with bright colors but also with a triple camera that, over time, has proven to be one of the best of the year ( or the best for some). The Huawei P30 Pro arrives with a 6.47 ″ Full HD + OLED screen, Kirin 980 processor, 8GB of RAM, 128/256 / 512GB of storage, 40MP + 20MP + 8MP + ToF quad rear camera, 32MP front camera and 4,200 mAh battery with direct and reverse wireless charging.
The Huawei P30 Pro is on sale for an official price of € 949 (128GB), € 1,099 (256GB) and € 1,249 (512GB), and we can purchase it online at sites like Amazon. After having used it for several weeks and the odd trip, then I present my in-depth analysis.
Design and Construction of Huawei P30 Pro
While the Huawei Mate series is characterized by a rather sober look, the P series has always been more avant-garde in terms of design and, especially, colors and materials.
Last year, Huawei introduced several color gradient options for the P20 Pro’s glass back cover and, for the first time, a color other than black – the Twilight turquoise gradient – was the best selling for that model.
This year, Huawei has not disappointed as the P30 Pro is available in striking finishes in addition to the discreet and elegant Black color.
As with any glass finish, the prints are easily marked on its surface, although it gives me the feeling that in this case, they are not as visible as in other devices that I have tried.
In the upper left corner of the back, we find a vertical module where three cameras are located. This module extrudes slightly from the surface of the phone, so the phone “dances” when typing on the screen when it is resting on a table.
Right next to the triple camera module is the flash and the ToF depth sensor to enhance the bokeh effect. Below, we find the usual LEICA inscription that reminds us that this camera has been co-developed with the German firm.
The sides of the glass at the back are curved at the edges, which gives it a touch of sophistication and also helps to make the phone look thinner than it is because the thickness of the metal is reduced by the sides.
If you look at the front, the Huawei P30 Pro comes with a well-used front, with narrow frames surrounding the screen. As in the back, the screen glass is slightly curved at the sides, which increases the feeling of the full screen by making the frames less visible.
In the upper part of the screen, we find a water drop type notch, which only houses the front chamber. This means that the Huawei P30 Pro does not have an advanced facial recognition system, as we saw in the Mate 20 Pro, but instead opts for a fingerprint reader under the screen.
If the notch is not to your liking, you’ll be glad to know that Huawei offers software functionality that allows you to hide the notch by covering the upper area of the screen to create a “stick” top frame. However, I do not see utility to hide the notch.
The upper frame and the side frames surrounding the screen are quite narrow and all three are approximately the same thickness. However, the lower frame of the screen is considerably wider and, as a result, the front of the Huawei P30 Pro is not completely symmetrical.
I would have liked to see a thinner lower frame, such as that of the iPhone XS or other recent smartphones, but according to recent statements, Huawei believes that removing the lower frame can produce phantom pulsations and hinder the use of gestures.
A unique aspect of the front of the Huawei P30 Pro is that it does not have an earphone. Huawei has made use of a technology that uses the screen itself as a headset when you stick your ear to the glass. In practice, it works well, so it would not be strange if we see other manufacturers implement it to achieve smartphones.
The large size of the screen together with the elongated ratio makes it practically impossible to handle it with one hand comfortably. Although it is possible to type by holding it with one hand, it is very difficult to drag the notification bar down without balancing the phone.
Luckily, Huawei has incorporated a one-hand mode that is activated by dragging your finger from left to right (or vice versa) above the virtual button bar.
Next, we will review the elements found on the sides of the phone.
On the right side, we find the power button and above this button, the volume control, in one piece and elongated. Both buttons have a good touch feeling.
On the left side, we did not find any elements.
The top of the phone has infrared emitter.
The bottom of the phone has a USB-C connector in the center. On one side, we find the slot to house two nano-SIM cards or a nano-SIM card and NM memory card that we will talk about later.
On the other side, the Huawei P30 Pro has a conventional speaker. In this regard, it is striking that the Huawei has abandoned the speaker built into the USB Type-C port itself that was present in the Mate 20, although it is true that when the phone was charging, the sound intensity was reduced.
The Huawei P30 Pro has dimensions of 158 x 73.4 x 8.4 mm and weighs 192 grams. Despite these measures, the Huawei P30 Pro is not a phone that feels excessively heavy in the hand.
As I have already mentioned, the fact that the thickness of the terminal is reduced at the edges thanks to the curvature of the screen and the rear glass helps to make the terminal appear thinner. On the other hand, the weight of the terminal is well balanced and, in the hand, it does not feel too heavy.
The Huawei P30 Pro has IP68 certification, so you should not worry if there is a dip. Like any smartphone, it is not indicated to be submerged in water, so you should not use it for underwater photography.
Screen of Huawei P30 Pro
The Huawei P30 Pro has a 6.47 ″ OLED screen with a 19.5: 9 ratio and Full HD + resolution (2,340 x 1,080 pixels), which implies a pixel density of 398 dpi.
Other high-end smartphones, including the Huawei Mate 20 Pro (6.4 ″), have a panel with higher resolution QHD + (3,120 x 1,440 pixels), so Huawei’s decision to incorporate a Full HD + panel can be surprising.
The reality is that the sharpness offered by the panel is more than enough, at least for my eyes.
After all, smartphones that have QHD + panels display a Full HD + resolution instead of QHD + by default to reduce battery consumption and only switch to QHD + when displaying certain contents.
Being an OLED panel, the sub-pixel matrix is the Pentile type. While Samsung OLED panels use a diamond-shaped sub-pixel layout, the Huawei P30 Pro shows a triangular pattern known as RGB-Delta, in which the green sub-pixel is divided into two.
We saw this same pattern last year on the Huawei Mate 20 Pro BOE panel, so it seems quite likely that this year Huawei has repeated with BOE.
In addition to having a good resolution, Huawei ensures that the Huawei P30 Pro screen offers a wide range of colors, being able to cover 100% of the DCI-P3 range.
If you are not familiar with color spaces, all high-end smartphones cover the standard Android color space in excess: Rec. 709 / sRGB.
The most advanced try to comply with the DCI-P3 space used in the film industry, and a few points to the even wider color space Rec. 2020, which covers 76 percent of the visible spectrum
No current panel is capable of displaying the full-color space Rec. 2020, but many panels cover the DCI-P3 range.
On the other hand, HDR technology increases the dynamic range of color tones shown on the screen. The Huawei P30 Pro panel is compatible with HDR, so we can enjoy compatible content from YouTube and other sources.
To analyze the quality of the screen, several tests have been performed with the professional software CalMAN Ultimate and an X-Rite i1Display Pro colorimeter.
The Huawei P30 Pro offers two color playback modes: normal and vivid. As the name implies, the vivid mode offers more vivid colors but, at the same time, less true to reality, while the normal mode is the one that aims to show colors closer to reality.
With normal mode active, the color fidelity turns out to be spectacular since the average error is 1.9 dE (a value below 4 dE is considered excellent and above 9 is considered unacceptable) and the maximum error is 5.50.
In this color mode, the screen covers 98% of the sRGB space, as expected, and the color temperature turns out to be 6541ºK, a value that is very close to the optimum temperature of 6,500ºK. The value of gamma, 2.3, is good.
If we go into the vivid mode, which is the one that is active by default, the color fidelity worsens to an average error of 5.1 dE and a maximum error of 8.7 dE. This is because the colors are more saturated than they are.
The vivid color mode covers 100% of the sRGB space (due to excessive color saturation), 95% of the wider DCI-P3 color space and 69% of the Rec. 2020 range.
The color temperature turns out to be 7,647 ºK, a high value that gives the screen a fairly marked bluish color. The screen offers a color temperature setting and, if we choose the warm mode, the color temperature decreases to values much closer to the optimum. The gamma value is excellent, 2.2.
The Huawei P30 Pro does not have the natural tone functionality that was present in the Huawei Mate 20 Pro and that adjusts the color temperature to ambient light to achieve experience similar to that of paper reading. We do not know why Huawei has eliminated it as it seemed very useful functionality.
According to measurements, the maximum brightness of the Huawei P30 Pro is around 446 nits with the maximum brightness in manual mode, but it increases to 592 nits if we set the automatic mode and we are under a very bright environment. These tests have been performed, as usual, with the screen completely blank.
If instead of showing the entire blank screen, we reduce the illuminated surface to a rectangle that occupies 25% of the surface (the rest of the black pixels, that is, turned off), the brightness of the illuminated square is triggered and reaches 740 nits (the maximum brightness of an OLED screen depends on the number of pixels on).
This maximum brightness value with the 100% illuminated display is very high, although it is slightly below other Samsung and Apple smartphones with OLED display such as the Samsung Galaxy S10 + or the iPhone XS. OLED panels do not stand out in brightness compared to LCDs when the screen is completely white, but they do in mixed environments with white, black and other color pixels.
OLED screens have a peculiar behavior when viewed from an angle. On the one hand, the light emitters are closer to the surface, and this makes the contrast and brightness vary less when we move from the center, but on the other hand, the Pentile matrix causes the colors to distort.
In the case of the Huawei P30 Pro, the viewing angles are wide and the colors are hardly changed when viewing the screen from an angle. Now, since the screen is curved on the sides, when you look at the phone in front, you can see a darker color on the sides.
Huawei has incorporated the functionality of turning on the screen with a double-tap to see if we have pending notifications, as well as the Always On Display functionality, although it is somewhat hidden in Settings > Main screen and wallpaper > Always show on the screen.
This functionality shows the time/date, battery level and app notification icons on the lock screen. However, it does not show the place where we must place the finger to activate fingerprint recognition, which makes it difficult to hit the finger in the right place at the first.
Finally, Huawei has incorporated a reading mode that filters the light to relieve visual fatigue. It can be activated manually or, if we prefer, program the start and end time.
Hardware of Huawei P30 Pro
The Huawei P30 Pro has a Kirin 980 processor, which offers interesting improvements in performance, efficiency, and AI capabilities compared to its predecessor’s Kirin 970 chip.
The Kirin 980 is manufactured in a 7 nm process, so it consumes less energy and is more powerful than the previous generation of 10 nm processors. At the time, the Kirin 980 was presented as the first 7nm processor but, today, there are already 7 nm processors Apple and Qualcomm.
The Kirin 980 has eight cores: two powerful Cortex-A76 high-performance 2.6 GHz cores, two high-efficiency Cortex-A76 cores at 1.9 GHz and four Cortex-A55 cores with extreme efficiency at 1.8 GHz.
This processor is accompanied by a Mali G76 GPU. This GPU, which debuts with the Kirin 980, offers 46% more graphics processing power with 178% improved energy efficiency compared to the previous generation.
The most outstanding aspect of the Kirin 980 is the presence of a Dual NPU (Neuronal Process Unit), which offers 134% more performance and 88% more efficiency than the Kirin 970 processor when performing Artificial Intelligence tasks.
The new chip allows to recognize more than 4,000 images per minute and improves image analysis capabilities. While with the previous generation, it was possible to recognize objects, it is now possible to recognize elements within the objects (for example, it not only recognizes a face but the parts of the face).
The new NPU also allows you to perform advanced video processing in real-time that until now was only possible with static images. This translates, for example, in being able to apply the bokeh effect in real-time videos, as we will see in the Camera section.
Next to the processor, we find 8 GB of RAM, which are more than enough to be able to have several applications open at the same time. There are indeed some 10 or 12 GB of smartphones on the market but, in my opinion, it is more a matter of marketing than a real improvement for users since, in practice, there is not much difference.
In the storage section, the phone obtains spectacular results in tests of storage read and write speed. This is because Huawei uses the Extendable Read-Only File System (EROFS) to greatly improve the reading speed of storage devices.
The results that the Huawei P30 Pro has obtained in the tests confirm that we are facing a very powerful smartphone, although it does not exceed the most recent star smartphones of 2019.
The 8 GB of RAM of the Huawei P30 Pro is more than enough to keep in memory a good number of apps at once, and I have not suffered app closures when putting them in the background.
In terms of graphic capacity, EMUI 9.0 brings GPU Turbo 2.0. GPU Turbo is a technology that debuted at the Honor Play and promises a graphics performance improvement of up to 60% and a battery savings of up to 30% for compatible titles.
In the graphic performance tests, the GPU has obtained good benchmark results but below other high-end smartphones.
To check the graphic performance daily, three demanding 3D games have been tried- Asphalt 9, Dead Effect 2 and PUBG – and, in all of them, the experience when playing with the Huawei P30 Pro has been very satisfactory. Therefore, the lower power of the GPU compared to other star smartphones is no problem with current games.
Like all high-end phones, it heats up when subjected to a high workload, especially in 3D games. In the Huawei P30 Pro, the measured temperature is 35ºC in certain areas of the back surface after playing some games, which is a pretty restrained value.
To optimize performance, Huawei incorporates an application called Optimizer that analyzes the state of the phone and offers various ways to optimize the operation of the phone.
Among others, this application can propose to close certain applications to reduce energy consumption, delete large files or applications rarely used to free up space or disable Bluetooth if there is no device to link.
This same application also allows you to block calls and messages from certain sources, restrict the use of mobile data / WiFi by apps, reduce data consumption by limiting background connections, control applications that can display floating notifications, search for viruses, and manage battery consumption.
The Huawei P30 Pro comes with options of 128, 256 or 512 GB of storage, so you should not have a problem when choosing the one that best suits your needs. If you plan to record many videos in 4K format and download movies/music, you may want to opt for at least 256 GB.
This storage can be expanded using a type of card called NM Card. This card is a proprietary format of Huawei that reaches capacities up to 256 GB and the size of a nano-SIM card.
In the connectivity aspect, the Huawei P30 Pro supports WiFi 802.11 b / g / n / ac in the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands, Bluetooth 5.0 (compatible with aptX, aptX HD, LDAC, and HWA), 4.5G / LTE, infrared emitter, dual-frequency GPS and NFC. It does not incorporate FM radio.
WiFi connectivity reaches speeds of up to 1,732 Gbps thanks to the support of the 802.11ac wave standard.
An interesting functionality of the P30 Pro is that it allows you to share a WiFi connection with other smartphones. Any smartphone can share a 3G / 4G connection but not everyone can share a WiFi connection.
The Huawei P30 Pro incorporates a modem LTE Cat. 21 with download speed up to 1.4 Gbps.
In the WiFi test, the Huawei P 30 Pro reached 450 Mbps down and 90 Mbps with a fiber-optic connection. In the 4G test, 33 Mbps down and 7 Mbps up with a Vodafone connection were reached.
Identification Systems of Huawei P30 Pro
The Huawei P30 Pro has a fingerprint reader under the screen itself that allows you to unlock the phone by placing your finger on the screen area where the sensor is located.
If we have the Always On Display screen activated, just put your finger on the screen to unlock the phone without having to touch any buttons – as long as we place the finger in the correct area. Even with the Always On Display screen active, the fingerprint reading area is not marked until we touch the screen with your finger.
The fingerprint recognition is reliable as long as we place the finger in the correct area since the recognition area is quite small. Unlocking is not as fast as a conventional fingerprint reader but, in general, the experience is quite good.
As I mentioned earlier, Huawei has dispensed with the P30 Pro of the 3D facial recognition system that is incorporated into the Mate 20 Pro, possibly to reduce the size of the notch.
Instead, it has introduced a basic 2D facial recognition system, which works correctly but is not as safe and also floats when we try to unlock the phone in low light.
Battery of Huawei P30 Pro
The battery of the Huawei P30 Pro has a generous capacity of 4,200 mAh, which predicts a great autonomy.
In the day to day, the autonomy of the Huawei P30 Pro is excellent. I had no problem getting to the end of the day even though I use the phone quite intensely during the day.
Also, Huawei has incorporated a tool to manage energy savings within the Optimizer application. This tool allows you to choose between a standard and an Ultra energy-saving mode.
The standard mode reduces the activity of background applications, reduces or disables some visual effects and system sounds, and disables the reception of background mail to save energy. The Ultra mode changes the interface to a simpler only offers access to Calls, Messages, and Contacts, although we can add some additional apps.
A functionality called Smart Resolution allows you to automatically or manually reduce the resolution of the screen to save battery although it does not seem advisable to reduce the resolution below Full HD +.
Since the screen of the Huawei P30 Pro is OLED, Huawei has incorporated an option to darken the colors of the interface since, as we know, black pixels do not consume energy.
The Manager app also performs a phone status analysis to increase energy savings by suggesting various actions.
For example, the app indicates which applications are the ones that consume the most energy and what adjustments we can modify to reduce the energy consumption: reduce the waiting time of the screen before turning off, deactivate the vibration when pressing, deactivate the vibration, etc.
One feature that I liked is that it allows you to individually select which apps can start automatically, as well as which ones can continue running once the screen is turned off. Also, the phone indicates which applications consume a lot of energy so that we know where we will get the greatest benefits.
The Huawei P30 Pro has the SuperCharge 40W charging technology that, according to Huawei, is capable of bringing the smartphone from 0 to 70 percent in just 30 minutes.
In tests, the entire charging process has taken a total of 53 minutes with the charger included. In half an hour, I got a 78 percent charge, which is an excellent brand.
Another interesting innovation is that the P30 Pro is compatible with wireless charging at 15W, which is considerably faster than charging at 7.5W offered by other smartphones.
As a unique aspect, the P30 Pro can act as a wireless charger in itself from other devices that have wireless charging support.
This means that, if a friend’s smartphone runs out of battery and his smartphone has wireless charging, you can transfer charge by placing both phones back to back. Now, the charging process is quite slow and gives me the feeling that it is not very efficient since the P30 Pro loses battery faster than what the other smartphone earns.
Software of Huawei P30 Pro
The Huawei P30 Pro runs Android 9 Pie and, above the operating system, Huawei has incorporated its own EMUI 9.1 customization layer.
As we have already mentioned, EMUI is one of the layers of customization with the greatest number of settings and options as it adds a lot of features on Android.
With the arrival of EMUI 9, the company improved the interface speed and simplified the options available on the Settings screen, showing only the most used and hiding the rest under a “More” section.
Focusing on the design, the application icons and folders are square-shaped with rounded corners. Huawei has updated the aesthetics of some icons that urgently needed a facelift, such as the Gallery, and now have a more modern look.
A unique aspect of EMUI is that the lock screen can display different wallpapers that are automatically downloaded and rotated by the phone.
While on the lock screen, in the lower right corner, we have access to the camera. If we swipe from the bottom up, there are quick accesses to the recorder, calculator, flashlight, stopwatch and a QR code recognizer/translator/ product-search for purchases and object recognizer. Unfortunately, these quick actions are not available with the phone unlocked.
On top of these shortcuts, we have some controls to interact with the lock screen wallpaper. By clicking on the icon on the right, we can access the Covers section where we can subscribe to Huawei themed wallpapers, Leica Photography, Travel, Transportation, Famous people, Style, General, and Sports.
The Huawei P30 Pro with a theme manager that allows you to change the look of the phone. It is even possible to customize each particular theme by altering the style of the lock screen, the lock screen background, the background of the main screen and the style of the icons, but not the font used for the typeface.
These themes also affect the color schemes of the applications included as standard on the phone. The phone arrives with 11 pre-installed themes and it is possible to download new themes.
Dragging the screen down while on the desktop opens the EMUI search that allows you to locate content in applications, contacts, messages, etc. and even suggests some apps.
The Huawei P30 Pro allows you to set the main screen with a simple style, where only a few large buttons are displayed. It is an option indicated for children or the elderly.
As I said, the P30 Pro does not have physical buttons, but it shows a lower navigation bar with the usual virtual buttons – Back, Home and Tasks – which are customizable since the phone allows you to choose between four combinations. It is also possible to hide the navigation buttons so that they appear only by dragging the screen from bottom to top.
Huawei also adds the ability to navigate with gestures on the screen: slide your finger inward from the ends to return, slide your finger up from the lower end to start and slide your finger up from the lower end and stop midway to see recent tasks.
Another possibility is the use of a navigation dock, which is a floating button that allows you to go back by pressing once, go to the main screen with a long press and show all open apps by pressing and dragging to the left.
The notification area presents show 5 shortcuts at the top, which can be expanded up to 15 accesses. Below these accesses, we find the screen brightness control and notifications.
Huawei offers some unique features such as automatically aligning icons when removing an application. We can set different transition effects between the desktop screens, as well as choose the size of the grid: 4 × 6, 5 × 5 or 5 × 6.
Huawei also allows us to choose whether we want the icons to show a symbol (a color point) that indicates whether there is a pending notification or an unread message, or even that no symbol is displayed individually for each app.
In case we do not like having all the icons on the desktop, Huawei offers the possibility to recover the drawer of applications that include other manufacturers.
Dragging the screen to the right shows the Google Feed panel where we can see useful information and news tailored to our interests. If you are not interested in this information, you can deactivate the panel in the settings.
One of the aspects that I like most about EMUI is the possibility it offers to individually manage the permissions of each application for different purposes since it allows:
- Adjust the permissions of each application to show notifications and the location.
- Choose for each application if we want the symbol to be displayed in the upper right corner of the icon when there are notifications or messages.
- Adjust the permissions of each application to continue running once the screen is turned off.
- Adjust the permissions of each application to use the WiFi or mobile data connection in the foreground, in the background, and in roaming, and know the data consumption for each type of connection.
In this way, we can have absolute control over the applications, and adjust their use to our needs. For example, we can decide that Instagram cannot run in the background to save battery power, or that a game cannot make use of the mobile data connection in any case.
For certain apps that work in the background, it is important that you adjust the permissions conveniently or you will find that they do not work properly. As a complaint, there is no place where you can manage all aspects of an app, but you must jump between different sections.
The Huawei P30 Pro also offers a voice recognition feature. If you can’t find the phone and know it’s close, or if your hands are busy and you need to make a call, you can use voice control to find the phone and make calls. It is also possible to answer or reject a call using voice control.
Huawei incorporates gesture control (or, as Huawei calls them, control movements):
- Movements: Turn around to silence, lift to decrease the ring volume or bring the ear closer to answer/make calls.
- Gestures with knuckles: take a screenshot of the screen or part of it when hitting with a knuckle, make a screen recording when hitting with two knuckles, divide the screen into two for multi-task or draw ‘S’ to make a capture with displacement.
Huawei offers an interesting functionality called Twin Application that allows you to log in with two different accounts in the same app at the same time. This is useful for having several accounts set up in apps like WhatsApp, Facebook or Snapchat.
Another related functionality is Private Space, which creates a new desktop where you can keep apps, photographs, videos, music, and any other content away from other people’s eyes. Huawei allows you to associate a PIN and a different fingerprint to this space, so that, if we use them on the lock screen, we directly access this desktop.
In case we want to protect only photographs, videos, music or other files without creating a new desktop, we can do it with Safe. It is possible to add some of these elements to a password-protected or fingerprint safe, and we can even create several safes with different content.
If we only want to restrict access to one or more apps, we can use the Application Lock, which allows you to protect access to an application by password or fingerprint.
Huawei includes the Password Manager functionality that saves usernames and passwords and uses them to automatically complete the information when you log in to an application. This data is stored only on the device.
The Huawei P30 Pro also has the Projection function, which allows you to connect the phone to a screen to enjoy a desktop experience with applications running on windows.
To connect, it is no longer necessary to use a cable but it is possible to do it wirelessly if the screen is compatible with the Miracast protocol. With a single press, I managed to connect to my television and show a desktop interface with windows like a computer.
The phone screen becomes a trackpad although we can use an external keyboard and mouse via Bluetooth.
Huawei also offers a functionality called Huawei Share that allows you to print on nearby printers wirelessly, share files between two Huawei devices without using mobile data, as well as with Windows or macOS computers connected to the same WiFi network.
It is still easier to share files such as images, videos, contacts or URLs between two devices with NFC using Huawei Beam. This functionality is activated by bringing the two devices near the back and pressing the screen.
Applications Included in Huawei P30 Pro
Huawei has incorporated an application called Health that, as its name implies, allows us to control our physical activity. The application allows you to set goals for daily steps and weight, record when we are going to exercise, and keep track of the number of steps walked, the distance traveled and the number of floors climbed.
The application can connect to external data sources to better track our physical activity.
Huawei has incorporated an application called Translator that takes advantage of the capabilities of the Kirin 980 processor. The app allows you to translate written text, voice messages, dialogues with another person or posters captured with the phone’s camera. One of its advantages is that it works even without an Internet connection.
We also found an app called Backup, which creates a backup of personal data, applications, and multimedia content and stores them on a computer, on a memory card, on a USB device or on NAS (Network Attached Storage) storage of our local network.
If you want to migrate your data from another phone, you can use the Phone Clone app to transfer data from any other smartphone (Android or iPhone) to the P30 Pro.
This app transfers data such as contacts, call logs, calendar events, WiFi connections, multimedia files, application data, etc. through a Wi-Fi zone.
To make use of the infrared emitter, we have the Smart Controller app, which allows adding appliances to which we can give orders directly from the phone. The app includes a large database of brands.
Huawei also adds its Video app, which offers streaming content of movies, series, and events. It offers content under subscription (4.99 euros/month), free content and content of performances for rent. Huawei has incorporated a few third-party applications such as Facebook, Booking, and Amazon. Luckily all of them can be uninstalled, although we would have preferred that they did not come pre-loaded since they do not contribute anything.
Finally, Huawei has incorporated AppGallery, a Huawei app store that does not seem to add any improvement over the Google Play Store.
The Huawei P30 Pro only has a speaker located at the bottom of the phone, next to the USB Type-C connector.
A drawback that it is easy to cover the speaker by hand when holding the phone horizontally.
During tests, the sound has been heard powerful and clear, although the quality cannot compete with other smartphones that have stereo speakers and offer a greater richness of sound.
Huawei has dispensed with the traditional headphone jack, so we will have to use a USB-C or Bluetooth headset, or use the 3.5 mm adapter that Huawei includes in the box.
The Huawei P30 Pro incorporates a music playback app with a simple and minimalist interface that allows you to view songs by title, album, artist, and folder.
The background color of the music player conforms to the cover of the disc currently being played.
The cover itself shows within a circle, and in case the music file incorporates the lyrics of the song, it is also shown on the player. The player allows you to create playlists and mark songs as favorites.
By placing the phone horizontally, we can see the album covers that we have stored on the phone.
The Huawei P30 Pro supports Dolby Atmos sound and is capable of playing sound encoded with Dolby’s advanced AC-4 audio codec. It allows you to choose between three playback modes: Intelligent (automatically identifies the content and optimizes sound), Movie and Music.
It is possible to play music on an external device but it is not possible to play music stored on other network devices such as a NAS disk.
The Gallery application is used to conveniently view the photos stored on the phone. It has four tabs: Photos, Albums, Memories and Discover.
On the Memories tab, the app groups photos by events, while on the Discover tab, the app shows people and things that you have identified in the photographs, as well as locations where photographs have been taken.
In addition to being able to see the photographs, the app allows you to edit the images using various tools and integrated filters.
In the Videos section of the Gallery, the people that appear in each video are shown and, by clicking on them, we can see the shots in which they appear within the video.
The video playback is excellent and the phone can play smoothly compatible files thanks to its processor.
The Huawei P30 Pro is part of YouTube Signature devices, a group of devices selected by Google for offering the best YouTube experience. In the case of the P30 Pro, we can enjoy HDR videos thanks to its panel compatible with this technology.
The Huawei P30 Pro is Widevine L1 certified, so it can play HD content from streaming services such as Netflix or Amazon Prime Video.
Photo Camera of Huawei P30 Pro
Today, the Huawei P30 Pro with its quad rear camera is the smartphone with better photographic capabilities according to DxOMark, so you can expect a lot from this phone in the photographic section.
We have divided it into several sections:
Rear camera: Photography
Huawei has included four rear cameras on the Huawei P30 Pro:
- 40MP wide-angle main camera (27mm)
- 20MP Ultra wide-angle camera (16 mm)
- 8MP optical zoom camera (125mm) / 10x hybrid (250mm) 8MP
- ToF (Time-of-Flight) depth camera
Starting with the main camera, Huawei has managed to improve the low light performance of the sensor thanks to the incorporation of a 1 / 1.7 ”SuperSpectrum sensor with larger pixels, a lens with f / 1.6 aperture and optical stabilization.
The novelty of this sensor is that Huawei has replaced the traditional RGBG color filter (Red, 2 x Green and Blue) with a new RYYB filter (Red, 2 x Yellow and Blue).
As Huawei has explained, changing the color filter has not been easy but it has allowed increasing the range of colors captured by the sensor and, especially, the amount of light that reaches the sensor.
In good light conditions, the Huawei P30 Pro can take excellent captures with good color, great sharpness, and high dynamic range.
Even in backlit conditions or scenes with an important mixture of lights and shadows, the Huawei P30 Pro can balance the exposure so that all areas of the image are perfectly visible.
Despite the good overall results, I have occasionally encountered excessive processing by the camera of the Huawei P30 Pro, resulting in artificial colors or an unreal aspect of the image.
Thanks to the improved light collection, the Huawei P30 Pro has increased the maximum ISO sensitivity from 102,400 (P20 Pro) to 409,600 (P30 Pro). Although shooting at such high ISO values produces a lot of noise, the increase suggests that, at more normal values, the noise will have been reduced.
The use of Artificial Intelligence in photography is key for Huawei and, therefore, the P30 Pro includes some improvements such as AI HDR + that adjusts the exposure of a portrait taken in backlight or low light by areas, intelligently identifying for which areas it should increase or reduce the brightness as they are in the foreground or the background, for example.
Another of the improvements brought by AI is the long exposure shooting with the Night mode, which allows you to take night photos without a brighter platform and adds a new shooting mode that makes the water freeze and look silky.
Night mode captures have a higher brightness level than those taken with normal mode, so it is a useful mode for those occasions when we want the scene to be brighter than it is.
As usual in smartphones, flash photography does not offer great results since, unless we are a good distance from the subject, it burns the face and leaves the background almost completely dark.
An interesting innovation is the ability of the P30 Pro camera to take macro photography at a distance of only 2.5 cm.
Macro mode is automatically activated when we get very close to an object and the results are quite good. The depth of field is quite limited, so it is difficult to leave the entire object fully focused.
The ultra-wide-angle camera has a resolution of 20MP and an aperture f / 2.2.
This camera provides great versatility when it comes to capturing landscape or architecture photographs.
I find the ultra-wide-angle camera very useful since it allows you to take much more spectacular photographs than the normal camera, provided there is good light since the aperture is limited.
The telephoto camera is probably the star camera of the Huawei P30 Pro as it offers 5X optical zoom, 10X hybrid zoom, and 50X digital zoom.
Achieving a 5X optical zoom has been possible thanks to the use of periscopic technology. This type of camera is formed by a prism that reflects the light at a 90-degree angle, followed by a set of lenses arranged in parallel with the surface of the phone (instead of transverse) and, finally, the sensor. This camera has a lens with f / 3.4 aperture and optical stabilization and an 8 MP sensor.
Unlike compact cameras with variable zoom, smartphone cameras have a fixed focal length, so any other intermediate focal length (for example, a 2x zoom photo) is achieved by software expanding the image taken by the camera 1x wide-angle, without taking advantage of the camera with 5X zoom.
This can be easily verified if you cover the zoom camera lens with your finger and start to enlarge the image in the viewfinder: 1X… 1.5X… 2X… 3X… 4X… 5X. Just when you reach 5X, the image disappears as it switches to the 5X camera covered by your finger.
Therefore, in the Huawei P30 Pro, any picture you take with a zoom less than 5X (for example, 2X) is a cropping and widening by the software of the wide-angle camera. The image quality, therefore, is lower than that obtained with a smartphone whose 2X zoom camera.
Another important aspect to keep in mind is that, in low light conditions, the Huawei P30 Pro, like other smartphones, dispenses with the zoom camera and chooses to enlarge the image of the main camera.
This is because the zoom camera has a fairly limited aperture concerning the main camera, so in low light, the image looks too grainy. In these cases, it is better to enlarge the image taken with the main camera than to capture with the zoom camera.
The fourth camera is a ToF sensor that allows you to determine the depth thanks to the measurement of the time it takes for the light to be reflected by the lenses. The main utility of this camera is to improve portrait-type photography thanks to a more precise distance measurement.
While other smartphones only distinguish between foreground and background, the Huawei P30 Pro will be able to create layers of depth and apply differentiated bokeh effects for each layer of the Aperture and Portrait modes thanks to the ToF sensor.
The opening mode allows re-adjust the lens aperture between f/0.95 and f/16 at any time, even after taking the picture.
In addition to the Opening mode, Huawei offers a Portrait mode specially designed to blur the background when we take a portrait of a person and adjust the color for the skin tone of the face. However, in Portrait mode, we can’t adjust the depth of the field afterward.
What we can do in Portrait mode is modifying the shape of the bokeh (circles, hearts, swirl, discs), applying lighting effects (movie booth, stained glass, shutters, pop, and stage lighting) and adjusting the beauty level of 0 to 10.
The Huawei P30 Pro also uses algorithms based on Artificial Intelligence for real-time recognition of more than 1,500 scenes and 25 categories, being able to segment different objects and scenes into a single photograph. Colors, brightness, and contrast are automatically adjusted for each item.
Depending on the scene detected, the Huawei P30 Pro applies different camera settings to enhance the image. For example, if it detects that you are taking a food photo, switch to Food mode that saturates the colors and raises the contrast.
Luckily, Huawei has listened to users and now the retouching is more subtle and, therefore, less aggressive. In any case, if you do not want to use the shooting mode proposed by the AI, you can easily discard it by simply pressing on an ‘x’.
Rear camera: Video
The rear camera of the Huawei P30 Pro can record video with stereo sound at 4K resolution at 30 FPS or 1080p at 60 FPS. But is not able to record 4K video at 60 FPS at the moment (Huawei claims that this capability will arrive via OTA).
An interesting aspect is that it is possible to select if we want to save the videos in the traditional H.264 format or in the more modern H.265 format, which reduces the size of the videos without decreasing quality but is not as compatible.
The Huawei P30 Pro includes improvements in optical stabilization + AI in both the main lens and the zoom. The fact that the camera can now capture more light makes it possible to record video in low light conditions without seeing everything black.
When it comes to recording video indoors, the camera of the Huawei P30 Pro also performs quite well.
Although you may not use it often, we can record video in slow motion at 960 FPS with 720p resolution, although Sony’s most powerful smartphones can do so in 1080p.
When recording video, the Huawei P30 Pro offers capture modes: Color with AI, Blurred Background, Retro, Thriller, and Cool.
The Blurry Background mode applies the bokeh effect to blur the background in real-time.
Huawei does a pretty good job of separating the person we are recording from the background, and blur the background of the image – all this in real-time during video recording, without any further processing.
The Color with AI mode is quite curious since it leaves the whole scene in black and white except for the person who appears in the video, who looks in color.
It is quite surprising how the Huawei P30 Pro can separate the person from the background in real-time, during the video recording itself (not by subsequent processing), to dye the background of the scene in black and white.
Huawei also offers the possibility of applying color filters during video recording. t.
The front camera of the Huawei P30 Pro has a 32MP sensor with an f / 2.0 aperture lens, but it lacks autofocus, so it only focuses at a fixed distance. As for the video, it allows recording at 1080p.
The front camera, also, offers a Portrait mode that applies the bokeh effect to blur the background of the image.
The Huawei P30 Pro has several microphones with noise cancellation to eliminate background noise and improve sound quality during calls.
In the tests that we have performed the voice quality is correct and we have been able to perfectly hold conversations in moderately noisy environments without difficulties.
The Calls and Contacts application is the same, with separate tabs for the dialer, contact list and favorites.
Price and competitors
If you look at other phones, we have several interesting options in the high range that can compete against the Huawei P30 Pro.
The Samsung Galaxy S10 + ( $857.99 at Amazon) has 6.4 ″ Super AMOLED display, Exynos 9810 processor, 6 / 8GB of RAM, 128 / 512GB of expandable storage via micro-SD, dual 12MP rear camera with 2X zoom, 8MP front camera, 4,000 mAh battery, on-screen fingerprint reader and water resistance.
The Pixel 3 XL ( $598.99 on Amazon) is Google’s flagship smartphone and features a 6.3″ OLED display, Snapdragon 845 processor, 4GB of RAM, 64/128GB of storage, 12MP rear camera, 8MP dual front camera + 8MP, rear fingerprint reader and 3,430 mAh battery.
Finally, we can not stop talking about the iPhone XS Max ( $1,110.00 on Amazon), which has a 6.5 ″ OLED screen that occupies almost the entire front (except the cutout from the top), A12 Bionic processor and a dual-camera 12MP with good performance.
Image credits: Huawei P3 Pro
In conclusion, the Huawei P30 Pro is a highly recommended smartphone if you are looking for a powerful high-end smartphone, with a good camera and excellent autonomy.
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