Huawei P30 and P30 Pro are now available on pre-order. These devices will set tongues wagging as they feature the latest tech from the Chinese telecommunications giant.

What we can tell you from embargo pre-briefings is that the Huawei P30 and P30 Pro represent another leap forward in camera technology and that is the battleground Huawei expects to win on. If the camera is your prime buying criteria, then you know the answer. More on that later.

Let’s segue slightly. Huawei is on a roll!

Huawei only started labelling its phones with the Huawei name a few years ago. Before that, it was a huge ‘white-label’ supplier to Telcos worldwide.

Fast forward, and Huawei has quickly knocked Apple off its perch as the number two smartphone maker (by handset volume – not profitability). Last year it sold 206 million handsets (up 35% over 2017) in its P, Mate, Nova and location-specific models. And that excludes the huge US market that does not have access because Telcos bow to government wishes.

The P20 and Mate20 series have sold exceptionally well in Australia recording a 580/450% increase in sales year-on-year – although we do not know the 2017 base figures. GadgetGuy’s take – these were the exceptional handsets of 2018, and that spurs the competition on!

What is the difference between the P and Mate series?

P does not stand for professional or perfection, but it should. Huawei launches the P-series in March each year to show off its design sense, thinnest body, and photography prowess.

The Mate-series comes in October, and it takes P-series advancements, wraps them in a bigger body (although not by much) and adds a phablet and limited-edition Porsche Design RS. Here the extra few months development and bigger body allow it to add more memory, latest processor advancements (perhaps the Kirin 990 that is more a match for the Qualcomm SD855) and more.

Perhaps that is why I rated the P20 Pro at 4.1-out-of-5 and the Mate 20 Pro at 5-out-of-5. The latter has more time to get things right as well as use the latest version of Android. The former lost points because it’s EMUI 8.1 (over Android 8.1) was not as polished as it could have been, it had no expandable storage, and at that time the AI camera tended to dominate making colours unnatural. Thankfully Huawei took notice, and the Mate 20 Pro was close to perfection. To be fair, the P20 Pro would have received considerably more points had I later done a later review with Android Pie.

Then the cycle starts over.

Huawei P30 and P30 Pro – the boring, tech details

Huawei’s tagline is “Rewrite the Rules of Photography.”

GadgetGuy Thomas Bartlett went to a confidential pre-brief at Uluru NT for a ‘Night Under the Stars” to test the P30 Pro camera. He was impressed.

“This is a quad camera phone, with three conventional lenses on the back, plus a special ‘Time-of-Flight’ 3D camera. This captures depth information which for the processing engine to create special effects in portraits and for e-commerce applications.”

Perhaps the key features are a new ultra-low light sensor that uses RYB (red, yellow, blue) instead of RGB (red, green, blue); larger optical, hybrid and digital zoom; and improved AI post-processing of images. Whatever its secret sauce, it is impressive.

Thomas’s hands-on camera test is here and he is doing a detailed camera review in a week or so.

Channel Seven Sunrise GadgetGuy Val Quinn is over in Paris for the launch

He will report as the first to officially get hands-on with the devices. BTW Paris is 3-13° today and 61% humidity. Expect some ultra-zoom shots of the Eiffel Tower and macro shots of buttery croissants. Val’s first look is here.

Huawei P30 and P30 Pro

We also did a comparison of the Kirin 980 SoC and Samsung’s Exynos 9820 here. Both are amazing chips but Huawei has the edge in AI photo-processing.

Huawei P30 and P30 Pro base specifications

Spec P30 P30 Pro
Screen 6.1-inch, 2340 x 1080, OLED
in-screen fingerprint sensor
6.47-inch – same
same
Processor Kirin 980 same
RAM/Storage 6/128GB
Huawei proprietary nano-memory card to 256GB
8/256GB
Same
Comms Wi-Fi 5 (AC)
BT 5.0, SBC, aptX/HD, LDAC. HWA
Dual 4G sim (** select resellers)
Same
Same
same
Battery 3650mAh
USB-C 3.1 gen 1 Fast charger 0-100% in 1.35 hr
N/A
N/A
4200mAh
USB-C 3.1 gen 1 40W supercharge 2.0,
 0-100% in 1.1hr
Qi 15W quick charge
Reverse charge
Camera 1
Leica lenses and AI Power
40 MP HUAWEI Super Spectrum (Wide angle, f/1.8), single flash. OIS, EIS, Night mode, 4K record

3x Optical/5x Hybrid/30x Digital Zoom
40 MP Super Spectrum (Wide angle, f/1.6), single flash, Dual OIS, EIS, 2.5cm macro, night mode, 4K record
5x Optical/10X Hybrid/50x digital zoom
Periscope camera
Camera 2 16 MP Ultra-wide-angle (f/2.2) 20 MP Ultra-wide-angle (f/2.2)
Camera 3 8 MP Tele lens (3x Telephoto, f/2.4) 8 MP Tele lens (f/3.4)
Camera 4 N/A Time-of-Flight (TOF) 3D Camera
Selfie 32MP (f/2.0)
Live measuring of length, height, area and volume of objects using augmented reality
Face unlock
Same
Same


Same
Sound Earpiece speaker
3.5mm combo jack
Acoustic Display (vibrating under-glass actuator)
USB-C headphone
Other Desktop Android mode

same IR Blaster
IP68
Bumper cover
Android Android 9.1 and EMUI 9.1
Google Assistant and Lens
Same
Same
Size 149.1 x 71.36 x 7.57 x 165g
Breathing Crystal and Aurora
58 x 73.4 x 8.41 x 192g
same
Price $1099
Pre-order from 27 March and delivery approx. 16 April. Bonus Sonos One speaker $299
$1599
same

URL https://consumer.huawei.com/au/phones/p30/ https://consumer.huawei.com/au/phones/p30-pro/
Resellers ** Optus, JB Hi-Fi, Harvey Norman, Kogan and Mobileciti
Vodafone (single sim)
** Optus, JB Hi-Fi, Harvey Norman, Kogan and Mobileciti
Telstra and Vodafone (single sim)
Huawei P30 and P30 Pro

GadgetGuy’s take – specifications don’t maketh the phone

There is an old saying, “The whole is greater than the sum of the parts.” On paper, the P30 Pro looks amazing with everything you could want. The P30 looks good, but lack of IP68 and slower charging may dull sales a little – the P30 Pro is the one to get.

If the camera performs as well as Huawei says this will take out the DxoMark crown again. And while that is all-important, we know consumers can’t tell the difference between any flagship camera rating over 100 DxoMark.

As for the competitors, there are Qualcomm SD 855 based flagships (LG V50+, G8) and the Samsung Galaxy S10-series that favourably compete on all other fronts. I suspect 2019 will be the year of marketing prowess, not camera prowess.