Huawei P30 Pro Review (so far)

March 26, 2019 | Mark Goldstein |
  1. News
  2. First Impressions
  3. Hands On
  4. Preview Images
  5. Introduction
  6. Ease of Use
  7. Image Quality
  8. Sample Images
  9. Product Images
  10. Rating & Conclusion
  11. Specifications
  12. Comment
  13. More…


    The Huawei P30 Pro is a flagship smartphone that aims to rewrite the rules of photography. The P30 Pro is equipped with a new Leica Quad Camera System, including a 40MP main camera with the HUAWEI SuperSpectrum Sensor, a 20MP ultra-wide angle camera, an 8MP telephoto camera, the ToF Camera and a 32MP front camera that takes selfies to a new level.

    The Huawei P30 Pro is available now priced from £899 / 999 Euros.

    Huawei Press Release

    Huawei Rewrites the Rules of Photography with Groundbreaking HUAWEI P30 Series

    Huawei Debuts HUAWEI P30 and HUAWEI P30 Pro at Paris Event; Features Breakthrough Sensor, Lens and Design

    PARIS—March 26, 2019—During an exclusive launch event today at the Paris Convention Centre, Huawei Consumer Business Group (BG) unveiled the HUAWEI P30 and HUAWEI P30 Pro. The HUAWEI P30 Series builds on the HUAWEI P Series DNA in design and photography and is the company’s most advanced series of smartphone cameras. These devices feature the innovative HUAWEI SuperSpectrum Sensor, an optical SuperZoom Lens, a new HUAWEI Time of Flight (ToF) Camera, and enhanced optical and AI image stabilisation technology. With these revolutionary technologies, the HUAWEI P30 and HUAWEI P30 Pro capture incredible photos and videos in every scenario.

    Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei Consumer BG, said, “The HUAWEI P30 Series is a fundamental breakthrough after decades of digital camera technology development; it will rewrite the rules and reshape everyone’s perception of mobile photography. Innovations such as the HUAWEI SuperSpectrum Sensor and SuperZoom Lens allow us to push the envelope of both photography and videography—a frontier long overdue for disruption. The HUAWEI P30 Series will set the pace for the next generation of smartphones by empowering people to capture the true beauty of the world around them through a device that fits in the palm of their hands.” 

    Rewriting the Rules of Photography for Stunning Professional-grade Pictures Every Time

    The HUAWEI P30 Series will change users’ expectations of smartphone photography. The HUAWEI P30 Pro is equipped with a new Leica Quad Camera System, including a 40MP main camera with the HUAWEI SuperSpectrum Sensor, a 20MP ultra-wide angle camera, an 8MP telephoto camera, the HUAWEI ToF Camera and a 32MP front camera that takes selfies to a new level.

    The 1/1.7-inch HUAWEI SuperSpectrum Sensor looks at light in a fundamentally new way. The RYYB HUAWEI SuperSpectrum Sensor deviates from the traditional RGGB Bayer filter by replacing green pixels with yellow pixels, yielding a high maximum ISO rating of 409,600 on the HUAWEI P30 Pro and 204,800 on the HUAWEI P30. This fundamental shift in sensor technology, combined with HUAWEI AIS, OIS and the HUAWEI P30 Pro’s f/1.6 wide aperture, delivers extraordinary photography and videography experiences across a wide range of scenarios and lighting conditions—including extreme low light—producing images with enhanced detail, colour and clarity. 

    The new SuperZoom Lens unlocks a superior level of zoom photography in a slim-line device design. Through a new periscope design, the SuperZoom Lens supports high fidelity magnification of 5 times optical zoom, 10 times hybrid zoom and 50 times digital zoom. A prism element in the telephoto camera bends light at a 90-degree angle to maximize focal length while minimizing camera height, without disrupting device design.

    The HUAWEI ToF Camera unleashes the imagination. Unique to the HUAWEI P30 Pro is a HUAWEI ToF Camera that captures depth-of-field information to deliver accurate image segmentation. Precise distance measurement allows for the simulation of multiple levels of bokeh. The Super Portrait feature captures even the smallest details, such as individual strands of hair. It combines depth information and proprietary algorithms to produce outstanding images with defocused backgrounds and highlights the subject of the image in any scenario.

    Huawei AI helps users bring it all together into the perfect shot. AI HDR+ enables the front and rear cameras to combine multiple photos taken in quick succession to eliminate overexposed and backlit images.

    Redefining Smartphone Videography

    The HUAWEI P30 Series is a smartphone camera with cinematic capabilities. The HUAWEI P30 Series ushers in a new era of studio-grade videography. The HUAWEI SuperSpectrum Sensor enables spectacular low-light video capture so night scenes appear bright and highly detailed. HUAWEI AIS and OIS support stabilization for all video capture settings, resulting in a perfect, steady shot. Additionally, the SuperZoom Lens allows for crisp close-ups, while the AI Video Editor enables users to add background music and special effects to their videos, turning the HUAWEI P30 Series into a mobile production studio. 

    Two views are better than one. HUAWEI Dual-View Video[1] can capture two perspectives of the same scene at the same time by using multiple cameras simultaneously. The HUAWEI P30 Series provides a full view of a scene while also capturing a close-up of a subject, unleashing new and exciting possibilities for video.

    A Heritage of Stunning Design

    Deriving inspiration from nature and technology to achieve a stunning design and beautiful colours. The HUAWEI P30 Series design, created with a nine-layer nano optical colour finish, is inspired by the unique colour palette and pristine look of salt flats. The 6.47-inch HUAWEI P30 Pro and 6.1-inch HUAWEI P30 come in Breathing Crystal, Amber Sunrise, Aurora, Pearl White and Black. The FHD+ (2340x1080) Dewdrop Display features a tiny notch, providing maximum display area. The near bezel-less front glass houses an In-Screen Fingerprint sensor for quick and secure identity authentication. The HUAWEI P30 Pro also features HUAWEI Acoustic Display Technology that enables it to deliver high-quality audio through a sound emitting display. 

    Ultimate Innovation

    Innovation is core to Huawei’s DNA. The HUAWEI P30 and HUAWEI P30 Pro are packed with industry-leading features that set them apart in power, performance and efficiency:

    • The HUAWEI P30 Series is powered by the 7nm Kirin 980 processor, which delivers ultimate performance, top-class efficiency and faster image recognition through its Dual-NPU AI processing power.
    • The HUAWEI P30 Series features an Extendable Read-Only File System (EROFS) that improves system responsiveness. The latest EMUI 9.1 also supports HUAWEI Share OneHop for seamless file sharing between Huawei smartphones and Huawei laptops.
    • The HUAWEI P30 Pro features a 4200mAh battery (typical value) and 40W HUAWEI SuperCharge that charges a device from zero to 70 percent in 30 minutes, keeping the device powered for more than a full day of intensive work.
    • The HUAWEI P30 Pro features HUAWEI SuperCool technology to improve thermal performance, keeping the phone cool even during heavy use.
    • The HUAWEI P30 Series is equipped with a suite of advanced wireless communications capabilities supporting Dual SIM and Dual VoLTE connectivity[2].

    Huawei also launched the HUAWEI WATCH GT Active Edition and Elegant Edition, outdoor smart watches featuring ultra-long battery life; HUAWEI FreeLace wireless earphones, which support HUAWEI HiPair for easy pairing and fast charging; and HUAWEI X GENTLEMONSTER EYEWEAR, new smart glasses co-designed with renowned eyewear designer GENTLE MONSTER.

    Pricing and Availability

    The new HUAWEI P30 and HUAWEI P30 Pro are immediately available globally with pricing information as follows:



    Price (Tax Included)

    HUAWEI P30 Pro


    GBP 899


    GBP 1099

    HUAWEI P30


    GBP 699

    The HUAWEI P30 Pro is also available in a Special Edition Gift Box. This premium set includes a Breathing Crystal or Pearl White HUAWEI P30 Pro and a Pearl Pink Glamorous Case encrusted with Swarovski® crystals.

    [1] Feature will be enabled via HOTA update at a later date.

    2 Specific features may vary depending on regional availability.

    First Impressions

    We attended the global launch of the Huawei P30 Pro, the company’s brand new flagship smartphone. Ahead of our full review, here are our detailed first impressions of using the latest Huawei premium device...

    Huawei P30 Pro Colours

    Huawei P30 Pro

    Just like previous Huawei smartphones, the P30 Pro has a very attractive finish. It’ll be available in a range of colours, depending on the territory that you’re in. We got the opportunity to have a look at the Aurora and Breathing Crystal colourways, but there will also be “Amber Sunrise”, and for those who prefer things a little more understated - standard black.

    Huawei P30 Pro Dewdrop Notch

    Huawei P30 Pro

    Compared with last year’s P20 Pro, the P30 Pro is a little bigger - with a 6.47-inch curved OLED 2K screen. This year also sees the introduction of a “dewdrop” notch - this sits in the middle of the top of the screen and is designed to use as little as possible of the screen space. Huawei’s sub-brand Honor debuted the “hole punch” notch in the Honor View 20, but this has an arguably more elegant appearance while using a similarly small area size. Using a much smaller notch potentially means that face detect won’t be as swift as we see with the Mate 20 Pro, but that’s something we’ll test out when full review samples become available.

    Huawei P30 Pro Camera App

    Huawei P30 Pro

    We have only had a limited time with the P30 Pro so far, but Huawei has kept the same native camera app as we’ve seen before in the P20 Pro and the Mate 20 Pro. That means you get something which is extremely well-featured and gives you lots of control without having to use third-party options.

    If you’re a beginner, or just want to take a simple picture, the Huawei P30 Pro.s Standard photo mode gives you the chance to simply point and shoot. You can elect to leave Artificial Intelligence switched on and let the phone tweak settings or output depending on what it detects in front of it. If you want to get more involved with your photography, there’s a Pro mode which gives you the option to change a wide range of parameters such as shutter speed, white balance and so on (you can’t adjust aperture since that is fixed by the lens).

    As well as these more straightforward modes, there are additional options, such as Night mode, Aperture, and Portrait. All of these are said to have improvements when compared to previous Huawei models, but we’ll need to wait until we’ve got our hands on a full sample before making any final judgements there. A new mode enables a “silky water” effect and works in a similar way to handheld Night mode, combining a series of short exposures together to create the effect of shooting a long exposure.

    Huawei P30 Pro Lenses

    Huawei P30 Pro

    Flipping to the back of the phone and you’ll see the four Leica lenses which are now adorning the back of the camera. Three out of the four are arranged in a row along the left hand side of the device, similar to the P20 Pro. Here there is a standard 40MP sensor and lens, a super-wide angle lens and a 5x optical zoom lens. Gone is the dedicated monochrome sensor camera as found on the P20 Pro, which some people will be sorry to see go - but it was felt that the wide-angle lens was more popular.

    Huawei says that the super wide angle lens is now wider than that found on the Mate 20 Pro and features improved rectilinear correction, so that should see better results - again we’ll need to see how it fares when we’ve had a chance to use it properly. Mechanical optical image stabilisation has been introduced to both the standard lens, and the 5x optical zoom lens - which should be very useful for keeping those longer length shots sharp, as well as keeping 4K video stabilised for the first time.

    Huawei P30 Pro Time of Flight

    Huawei P30 Pro

    The fourth lens is a new “Time of Flight” (TOF) lens. This is used to measure light and therefore create a depth of field map. Huawei says this should help the phone to create “DSLR Super Portraits” which rival the use of conventional cameras - it’ll be interesting to put that to the test.

    Each of the sensors has been redesigned, and now features a RYYB construction (as opposed to the usual RGGB). Huawei says this is because more light is available in the yellow spectrum, and therefore low-light image quality will be improved from previous generation phones. We’ll be putting this particular claim thoroughly through its paces just as soon as we can.

    Huawei P30 Pro Early Verdict

    In recent years, Huawei has become the go-to name for those looking for the very best in smartphone photography. With the P30 Pro, early indications are that it’s looking like it’ll be another fantastic performer at a competitive price and with attractive looks.

    With a 40 megapixel main camera, a 5x optical zoom, and an improved wide-angle lens, the P30 Pro would seem to offer something for everybody. It remains to be seen how the TOF works in practice, but we’re extremely intrigued to find out.

    Watch this space for a full Huawei P30 Pro review as soon as possible...

    Hands On

    Want to see exactly what the new Huawei P30 Pro smartphone looks like in the flesh?

    Check out our hands-on gallery of photos of the Huawei P30 Pro smartphone.

    A gallery of hands-on photos of the new Huawei P30 Pro smartphone.

    Image Gallery

    Click on a thumbnail to see the full version.

    Preview Images

    Ahead of our full review, here are some sample images and movies taken with the new Huawei P30 Pro smartphone. We've included photos taken with the 16mm super-wide-angle lens, 27mm 1x lens, 125mm 5x optical zoom, and 250mm 10x hybrid zoom. We'll be adding some Raw images in the next few days...

    A gallery of sample images taken with the Huawei P30 Pro smartphone.

    Huawei P30 Pro Sample Images

    Sample Movies & Video

    This is a sample movie at the highest quality setting of 3840x2160 pixels at 30 frames per second. Please note that this 20 second movie is 49.3Mb in size.

    This is a sample movie at the highest quality setting of 3840x2160 pixels at 30 frames per second. Please note that this 20 second movie is 51.9Mb in size.

    This is a sample movie at the highest quality setting of 3840x2160 pixels at 30 frames per second. Please note that this 20 second movie is 47.8Mb in size.

    This is a sample movie at the highest quality setting of 3840x2160 pixels at 30 frames per second. Please note that this 19 second movie is 15.3Mb in size.

    This is a sample movie at the highest quality setting of 3840x2160 pixels at 30 frames per second. Please note that this 10 second movie is 29.8Mb in size.

    This is a sample slow-motion movie at the highest quality setting of 1280x720 pixels at 960 frames per second. Please note that this 10 second movie is 9.6Mb in size.

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    1. News
    2. First Impressions
    3. Hands On
    4. Preview Images
    5. Introduction
    6. Ease of Use
    7. Image Quality
    8. Sample Images
    9. Product Images
    10. Conclusion
    11. Specifications
    12. Comment