Price (RRP): $1599
The Huawei P30 Pro and P30 are top-drawer camera phones with everything you could want in flagship smartphones.
This is an in-depth review of Huawei P30 Pro although we will try to point out some specification differences between its P30 sibling. This review is not for the standard P30 version which lacks things like Qi charging, lower IP rating, Periscope Zoom camera etc.
Huawei has recently knocked Apple from its number two spot (by handset volume – not profitability). It has the Android king Samsung in its sights, firing a volley by stating it will be number one by the end of 2019. It may do that courtesy of its huge Chinese market, the quality and innovation of the P30 series and its value Nova series.
It is time to remind you that any Android smartphone performs basic duties like making phone calls, mail, calendar, contacts, web surfing and playing audio/video content pretty well. There are some amazing smartphones under $500.
How we rate smartphones
We develop paradigms to slot them into market segments. Over the past few months, those segments have seen Apple’s XS/Max set new sky-high price ceilings, foldables, 5G, and even higher specified entrants like the Samsung Galaxy S10-series (review here) and now the Huawei P30 series.
Our original four categories have grown to seven, and we review against different paradigms for each category.
- Foldable $2500+
- Premium Flagship $1600-2499 (usually a flagship with more memory/storage, additional camera lens and now 5G)
- Flagship $1000-1599 (this was our highest segment and globally phones $1000+ account for about 10% of sales)
- Premium mid-market $800-999 (a new category not seeing much action – 10% at best, offering flagship specifications often for a run-out price)
- Mid-market $500-799 (about 25% of the market)
- Mass-market $200-499 (about 25% of the market)
- Value pre-paid <A$199 (about 30% of the market – good for pre-paid and children)
The P30 is $1099, and the P30 Pro is $1599. As such this review pits them squarely in the flagship category against the Samsung Galaxy S10 and S10+.
Buy here – or you will regret it
We issue the standard warning that you must buy the genuine model with Australian firmware as it works on all Australian Telco carrier LTE bands and can make a 000-emergency call (not 911) without a SIM. These also have software that works with Australian PayWave readers.
Huawei makes many variant for different markets
The main difference is in LTE bands (the modem supports 20 out of a possible 50 bands), and the second difference is usually RAM/Storage. Australia only has Breathing Crystal and Aurora colours – so if the phone is Amber Sunrise, Pearl White or Black these are grey/parallel imports.
We know that P30 Pro (a.k.a. Huawei Vogue) has
- VOG-L29 (single and dual sim – a variant of this is for Australia – do not buy an ‘International version’)
- VOG-TL00 (China)
P30 has (also called Huawei Elle in some countries)
- ELE-L29 (ditto to VOG-L29)
- ELE-TL00 (China)
Also, watch out for variants like the P30 Lite (called Marie Claire MAR-LXX) that do not work on all Australian LTE bands.
A dead giveaway for grey/parallel imports is the lack of an Australian power plug dual flat angled pin charger (most supply an adaptor for dual round pin charger). Also, don’t fall for the term Australian warranty. Huawei only warrants Australian model phones for two years sold by official retailers. All other warranties rely on the merchant to honour them – suspect at best as most are not Australian businesses. We checked several online stores, and all were offering grey/parallel imports (mainly the L09) meant for elsewhere.
Review: Huawei P30 Pro Model VOG-L29, 8/256GB, Dual SIM
Any differences between the P30 Pro and P30 are in (brackets).