p30 pro review

Well, tech is never boring, is it? I ride my Xiaomi scooter wondering if I’ll be stopped by police. Then I find out it could fall apart at any moment (being overly dramatic there), all the while knowing in the back of my mind, my Huawei P30 Pro is having a rough time in the media because Google might pull support in the next few months. More drama than Maura is bringing to Love Island. Yes, I’m on that bandwagon too.

Leaving all the drama aside, I’ve been using the P30 Pro for the past few months so it’s only fair I tell you what the phone is actually like right?

P30 Pro Design

The Huawei P30 Pro is a gorgeous phone to look at. While I half expected a notch along the lines of the Mate 20 Pro, Huawei instead went for the tear-drop design featured on OnePlus. The result is even more screen for your viewing pleasure.

p30 and p30 pro
The Black P30 Pro alongside the Breathing Crystal P30

There’s one call out I just can’t ignore on the screen though. It’s not Gorilla Glass. This baffles me, with Huawei did opt for aluminosilicate glass, but just not Gorilla Glass. I know I sometimes buy into brand too much, but Gorilla Glass really is excellent, which is why I did add a screen protector to my P30 Pro – but that had its own problems.

Moving on from the screen, we get back into lots of good news. The feel of the phone’s aluminium body is ultra-premium and the plastic back on the phone doesn’t feel cheap in the slightest. It does attract quite a lot of fingerprints though, so a case, as always, is a must.

Despite the tear-drop design, Huawei still managed to ram a 32MP front-facing camera into the screen. They also did something very new hear, removing a physical speaker from above the camera and placing it behind the screen. While unusual, it’s fine and just takes a little getting used to when you start making and taking calls. For playing tunes, it’s slighter louder than the Mate 20 Pro, the only major flaw I could find with that phone. The P30 Pro is louder thanks to the bottom speaker moving out of the charge port.

The P30 Pro Camera

I’ve already said too much without talking about the P30 Pro camera. It’s absolutely stunning. Huawei tends to bring something new to the table every time with their Leica-powered lenses. For example, in the past they brought Ultra-wide angle. Sounds simple, but it genuinely changes the way you shoot photos. This time, they brought out super-zoom, or as I call it “creepy zoom”.

The P30 Pro is capable of 10x optical zoom and upto 50x hybrid zoom. The result is astonishing. Here’s a shot I grabbed down in Dublin’s Docklands.

Obviously, the more you zoom the less quality you get, but it’s still astonishing what this phone is able to capture from far away. The quality of shots using the optical lenses is even more remarkable. The optical lenses include a 0.6 Ultra-wide angle Lens, a regular lens, and then both 5x and 10x zoom.

I’ve said to a few people that the P30 Pro is capable of taking a shot and making it look even better than what your shooting in real life looks like. This is down to Huawei’s AI-powered software that aids you in taking photos. The phone can now recommend over one thousand scenarios and optimise your settings for your subject.

The P30 Pro makes you feel more like a photographer than a smartphone user

There are three members of the Goosed team who now have P30 Pros, and we had a chat about them recently. We all said we found ourselves heading out for a walk or constantly being on the lookout for a great photo. The P30 Pro makes you feel more like a photographer than a smartphone user.

Finally, the DXO Mark score of 112 officially makes this the best smartphone camera on the market. They’ve really dived into the detail over there, so that’s worth a read for sure.

P30 Pro Hardware

Huawei continues to excel here. I’m going to include battery here too, even though the truth is Huawei’s incredible battery is down to software as much as anything. I regularly get two full days out of the P30 Pro. By that I mean, charge overnight, use my phone all day, sleep, use my phone all day and charge at night. Two full days of usage. That’s nothing short of remarkable. Also, if you’re ever caught rapid without power, the fast-charging on this thing is ridiculously fast, bringing you from 0% to 70% in about half an hour.

You do have reverse charging too, which we first saw on the Mate 20 Pro and this year saw on the Samsung S10 and S10+. To be honest, this is still in the land of the gimmicks when it comes to phone power sharing. However, if you have wirelessly chargeable accessories, it’s a fantastic feature to have when you travel.

The display brings a resolution of 1080 x 2340 pixels to the table. This had me worried, but having seen this alongside the likes of Samsung’s 1440 x 3040-pixel S10+ display, the difference is negligible.

If you’re an adventurer, or just in Ireland, there’s more good news. The P30 Pro wraps all the tech onboard in IP68 water and dust resistance. Almost par for the course nowadays in flagships, but important to call it out nonetheless.

The American Sized Elephant in the Room

The P30 Pro landed and everyone was happy. It’s a great phone. The world has been turned upside down in recent years by Trump in the States, but you’d think the phone in your pocket would be safe. Think again. America and China appear to be in a trade war and Huawei has been caught slap bang in the middle of it all. As a result, America temporarily banned U.S. companies from dealing with the Chinese smartphone maker.

It’s all very odd, but it resulted in fears that Google might no longer provide updates or allow Huawei phones to access the Play Store or YouTube. A short stay of all suspensions has been granted until October, but it’s very likely that consumer confidence in Huawei has generally been rocked. It’s an absolute shame considering how much I love the phones Huawei makes and how much I love the P30 Pro.

My honest opinion is that all of this will blow over, but I can totally understand why some people might not be too happy with locking themselves into a two-year contract or forking out €900. There’s quite a bit of uncertainty which only time will clear up. I would point out there was a time when I thought Samsung and their Note 7 had done irreparable damage, but look at them now. The odd joke about the Note 7 is all you hear!

With all of that said, this review focused on the phone as it is today. I just want you to be totally aware of what’s going on.

Is The Huawei P30 Pro a Good Phone? The Verdict

Yes. I’d argue the P30 Pro is the best phone on the market right now. I’ll caveat that with the fact I’ve had very limited time to look at the Samsung S10+, but if it’s the camera that attracts you most to a smartphone, there’s no question. If it’s the battery that matters most, the P30 Pro is the best in the business. All other areas, you could probably take any other phone and compare them to have a debate, but on these two key areas the Huawei P30 Pro reigns supreme

For battery and camera the Huawei P30 Pro reigns supreme

The difficulty here comes with recommending the phone. I have no idea what’s going to happen over in the States. My guy says it’ll all blow over, go buy yourself a Huawei. The most important thing to remember is that any potential impacts appear to be for future Huawei phones, not existing ones. However, you could lose out on getting the latest Android updates on time. It’s a massive unknown.

All I know is that there’s a P30 Pro in my pocket and it’s a cracking piece of kit.

The Goosed Podcast: Huawei and the States

One of the most recent episodes of The Goosed Podcast is all about the U.S. ban on Huawei and what it means for consumers like you.

What did you think of that?