p30 pro

A few years ago, Huawei started making some pretty decent smartphones. Martin has said before that he references the P8 as the point where he realised they were onto something. To be fair it’s hard to disagree. At an event I attended in Paris the other day, Huawei announced the long-awaited P30 Series, including the P30 Pro. Strap yourself in becuase here’s because here’s what they announced.

First Thing: Is Huawei Bigger Than Ever?

Well that’s a loaded question. Answering it quite easily, yes. Yes they are. Take a look at the Google search trends for both “S9” and “P20” last year, the flagships of Samsung and Huawei respectively.

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While Samsung’s launch went well, Huawei had an incredible year competing with Samsung for the public’s interest. It’s no wonder the Chinese manufacturer took second spot away from Apple for the top-selling smartphone maker.

In our opinion we’re no longer looking at the Huawei that made a couple of decent phones a few years ago, we’re looking at the Huawei that creates best in market phones today. Over the past year or so, Martin has been using both the Huawei P20 Pro and Mate 20 Pro, and he’s been blown away by both. That pretty much sums up where Huawei are now and we can’t wait to test out the P30 Pro in detail. You’ll have to wait for the hands-on review, but for the time being, here are the specs on paper.

What Phones Did Huawei Announce?

We expected to see Huawei announce their P30 Series and with that expected to see a P30, P30 Pro and P30 Lite. We nearly got the lot except for the P30 Lite, a prepay favourite, which will come at a later date.

Let’s focus on what did get announced in the P30 and P30 Pro. First up…

The Huawei P30 Pro

While Huawei’s phones have been improving over the past few years, it was 2018 that I dubbed the year of Huawei. That started with the P20 Pro which totally changed smartphone photography. Naturally, this has left me with high hopes for the P30 Pro and it looks like Huawei delivered again. As now seems to be the Huawei focus, this year it was all about the camera and if initial tests are anything to go by then we could well be looking at an early contender for the phone of the year 2019. So let’s look at the camera.

P30 Pro Camera

Holy moley. What is Huawei at. Seriously, at the event in Paris there was a contingent of approx 30 people from Ireland who got to see the new P30 up close and personal. Every single one of us was blown away. When it comes the Huawei P30 Pro, the spec are completely ridiculous. The first thing you will notice is how Huawei have jammed in five cameras in total on the P30 Pro. One on the front and four on the back.

Huawei P30 Pro with Quad Leica Lens setup

And they’re not just lenses. These are the ever-stunning Leica lenses that really upped the quality of photography that Huawei was able to achieve.

The quad lens setup on the P30 Pro makes this Huawei shooter is incredibly versatile. If you’re a photography nerd, here are some stats for you. The P30 Pro has an ISO rating of 409,600. The quad camera setup on the rear comprises of 40 MP (Wide Angle Lens, f/1.6 aperture) + 20 MP (Ultra Wide Angle Lens, f/2.2 aperture) + 8 MP (Telephoto, f/3.4 aperture) and a HUAWEI Time-of-Flight(TOF) Camera. The TOF Camera is designed to detect depth of field and increase the quality of your shots without you having to do anything at all.

The nuts and bolts of the Huawei P30 Pro camera

If you are an advanced photographer, like those extremely talented people over on Huawei Creatives, then you might just prefer to leave the camera in Pro Mode where you can edit settings yourself.

The most impressive feature I have seen so far is the zoom. Not even lying but on hearing about the 10x zoom and the 50x digital zoom, my first reaction was “Yeah right, in a smartphone, suuuure” and then I got to play with it myself. Seriously the below pic is only the 10x with no filtering or editing and just look at that detail. It’s black magic pure and simple. Wait for the full review to see what this is truly capable off.

The Camera for Everyone

Now, if all that went over your head, don’t worry. Huawei has included built-in AI which means if you’re anything like myself you will still end up with great shots every time. Here’s one I considered, would I be tempted to get out for a walk just to try to capture some decent shots? Yes, yes I would. Just look at this quick shot of the Eiffel Tower that was taken about a few short hours after getting the P30. Imagine what you can do with a little bit of practise.

Finally, if looking into all those numbers you feel like you still have no idea if this camera will be any good or not, I have one more little bit of news that’ll make it much clearer.

DXO Mark, independent lens reviewers and smartphone photography review specialists, also announced that today they gave the Huawei P30 Pro an overall rating of 112. This means the P30 Pro overtakes both the P20 Pro and Mate 20 Pro which sat atop the same chart in joint position.

Nice Night Shots

There’s one more feature which has grown in popularity since last year. Night mode. While Huawei went big with this on the P20 Pro, it actually became best known for featuring on the Google Pixel 3, turning light into dark almost magically. As you might have noticed most of the early test shots have been taken at night and that’s because, with the P30 Pro, Huawei have gone big. Again as we’ve mentioned already, we will need to test this camera in full detail before we go and make any claims. But on paper and early testing, it’s mighty impressive indeed.

Watch out for the full hands-on review. Coming soon!

P30 Pro Design

The design of the P30 Pro hasn’t massively departed from the P30 Pro. One key change is the smaller notch on the front of the phone. With Samsung opting for an in-screen, hole-punch camera, Huawei opted for a tear-drop notch. It takes up around the same amount of screen as the hole-punch method, give or take.

But the clever design doesn’t stop there with some of the coolest P30 Pro features being things you never see.

The P30 Pro is IP68 water and dust resistant so you don’t need to be afraid of getting it wet or dirty. Next up, is the sound. One slight failing in my beloved Mate 20 Pro is the sound. Huawei has deployed an in-display speaker which should improve call quality and your music listening experience too.

In-screen Fingerprint Sensor

Finally, at least finally for noteworthy features, the P30 Pro will also feature an in-screen fingerprint scanner. This is fast becoming a new standard in smartphone security and you will always feel like you’re living in the future because of it.

Power It Up

Power has become another bragging point for smartphone manufacturers and last year Huawei brought two new things to the table; reverse wireless charging and charging so fast, you could see it.

This tech, introduced for the Mate 20 Pro will now feature on the P30 Pro too. You’ll be able to reverse wireless charge a range of devices or other smartphones, sharing your massive 4200 mAh battery with others. Now at a guess, I would say the charging time of third-party products would be slow and that’s just from what we’ve seen before. Then again we didn’t think that 50x zoom could work so nicely, so let’s wait and see.

Knowing full well I’m a total nerd, I’m probably most impressed with just how fast this phone will charge. Going by the Mate 20 Pro, fast charging will be incredibly important. If you buy a phone like this, use the charger you get with it. It’s capable of getting you from an empty battery, all the way up to 70% from a 30 minute charge.

If you want to get a sneak peek of what’s the come, get on over to the Goosed.ie Instagram and checkout how I got on in Paris, at the Huawei P30 launch day.

The Huawei P30

Samsung and Apple have a different approach to their flagships than Huawei’s approach. Samsung and Apple pack the exact same tech into different sized phones while Huawei does go all in for their Pro model while making the regular model almost as impressive but more affordable. With this in mind, the Huawei P30 packs in lots of the tech you enjoy with the Pro model but does give up a few bits.

For example, instead of the quad camera setup, the P30 opts for a Triple Leica camera. You still gets lots of the features, but lose out on the Huawei TOF sensor. While you won’t have the apparently ridiculous zoom available on the P30 Pro, you will still be able to shoot incredible night shots. In truth, when it comes to the camera, the P30 looks like it’ll be brilliant and the P30 Pro will excel. Again, watch this space.

The P30 will also pack a slightly smaller battery, weighing in with 3650 mAh worth of power on board. The screen is slightly smaller, given it’s 6.1-inches in size versus the 6.4-inch P30 Pro and you will give up a small bit of RAM. All in all, the specs step down a bit for the P30 from the P30 Pro, but to me it looks more like Huawei is creating a two phones for two very different users who are both willing to shop at very different price points.

Speaking of which…

Huawei P30 Pro and P30 Pricing

We’re still waiting to see how much the P30 and P30 Pro will set you back on Vodafone and Three, but eir and Harvey Norman have given us an indicator of what you can expect in terms of price and pre-order goodies.

With eir, the P30 Pro will set you back €349 on their €55 per month plan. The P30 will set you back €149 on the same plan.

If you were to pick this up SIM-free from Harvey Norman instead, you’d be looking at €999 with the P30 coming in at €739.

You can also pick these models up at Carphone Warehouse, selling the phones on eir, Vodafone, Three and SIM-free. The P30 Pro will be available in Black and Breathing Crystal. Yes, it’s called Breathing Crystal. I’m not joking. It’s white.

The P30 will come in Black, Breathing Crystal and Aurora as an exclusive in Carphone Warehouse. Aurora, yeah that’s blue. Notions.

Huawei will also be giving customers who pre-order their new P30 or P30 Pro before 4 April a Sonos (Gen 2) smart speaker worth €229. Even though I’m quite a big fan of Huawei as it is, I’ve got to admit. That’s one of the best pre-order gifts I’ve seen in a long time.

So. It all looks so good so far, right? Well as of now the baby has been handed over to the resident Huawei expert in Martin who will be popping his sim into this phone and giving it a proper run out to check if it matches how good it looks on paper when used in real life. Be sure to give us a follow because if you’re in the market for the new phone, the P30 Series is going to be right up there.

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Junior Editor & Goosed Podcast host Jon is passionate about phones, design and everything tech. Having joined the Goosed.ie team in 2015 he now manages our podcast and is our unofficial random ideas guy when he's not watching Disney movies. Seriously we're not joking. Read more by Jon.