Huawei P30 Pro - Ringing pro camera

The Huawei P30 series consists of two smartphones: the Huawei P30 and this super deluxe P30 Pro. The headline may already give it away, but it is mainly the quad camera that leaves a deep impression. But is that enough to run to the store to buy a Huawei P30 Pro?

Huawei P30 Pro

Price from € 999,-

Colors Black, teal, white/purple, red

OS Android 9.0 (Emui 9)

Screen 6.5 inch OLED (2340 x 1080)

Processor 2.6GHz octa-core (Kirin 980)

RAM 8GB

Storage 128 or 256GB

Battery 4,200 mAh

Camera 40, 20.8 megapixel (rear), 32 megapixel (front)

Connectivity 4G (LTE), Bluetooth 5.0, Wi-Fi, GPS, NFC

Format 15.8 x 7.3 x 0.8 cm

Weight 192 grams

Other fingerprint scanner behind screen, usb-c headset, IP68

Website www.huawei.com 8 Score 80

  • Pros
  • Screen
  • Design and colors
  • Specifications
  • Camera
  • Negatives
  • EMUI
  • No headphone port
  • NM memory card

The recipe for a Huawei top smartphone is known. The most beautiful OLED panels, the most powerful specifications and the most versatile cameras on the one hand. But exorbitant prices, broken software with advertising apps and unnecessary irritations such as NM memory cards and the removal of a headphone port on the other hand. This recipe also applies to the latest Huawei P30 Pro, but this review is certainly not a copy-paste story. That's because Huawei takes smartphone photography to a new level with this P30 Pro.

Leica camera in the Huawei P30 Pro

A few years ago, Huawei entered into a partnership with Leica, after which the company made great strides in the field of smartphone cameras. With last year's Huawei P20 Pro, there was finally a connection with other manufacturers, the Huawei P30 Pro leaves the competition behind in terms of photos and possibilities.

First the technical details: on the back of the smartphone there are four lenses, three of which are incorporated in an oval-shaped part: the main sensor of 40 megapixels, a wide-angle camera of 20 megapixels and at the bottom of the oval is a striking telephoto lens that sits deep in the lens. housing seems processed. This is because it makes a bend in the device like a periscope, so that zooming is made possible via built-in lenses. There is a TOF sensor (Time Of Flight) and a laser autofocus to measure depth and distance. That is a welcome addition for both zooming in and portrait mode.

It is striking that the camera has an extremely high light sensitivity (ISO value) and the main lens has a low aperture. In theory, this means that the camera can still see a lot in low-light conditions. The P30 Pro is also equipped with automatic object and scene recognition, just like the P20. This means that the camera is able to apply the correct settings and software operations itself, because the smartphone recognizes what is in the picture. All nice and nice, but how does the camera perform in practice?

Especially when you shoot at night or in dark environments, the photos are stunning

Photography with the Huawei P30 Pro

Never before have I been so impressed by a smartphone camera as that of the Huawei P30 Pro. It is the best and most versatile smartphone camera you can get right now. Especially when you photograph at night or in dark environments, the photos are stunning: even in automatic mode (and therefore not in night mode), the camera sees everything down to the smallest details, while your own eyes only underestimate contours. Even the stars in the sky are captured. That is unprecedented. When you do use the night mode, you have even more detail. But you have to be patient before the photo is processed. Thanks to the image stabilization, your night photo is never moved.

In low light, the camera of the Huawei P30 Pro sees more than the eye, even stars remain visible.

Optical zoom was another reason for the Huawei P30 Pro to buy a compact camera. Due to the physical limitations of a smartphone, this was always difficult to build in. Manufacturers such as LG, Apple and Samsung were able to partly solve this with multiple camera lenses such as a wide-angle lens and macro lens. By switching lenses, you can shift the focus without losing the quality that digital zoom offers. The P30 Pro has a wide-angle lens, a regular lens and the zoom lens. This zoom lens can optically zoom in 5x and 10x, zooming in further is also possible. But then you have to deal with digital zoom, which zooms in up to 50x(!). Of course you notice quite a bit of loss of quality, but the results are still quite impressive. And also amazing that Huawei has made this possible in a thin smartphone.

Even in conditions with sufficient light, the P30 Pro shoots very good photos and beautiful portraits with a depth-of-field effect. A striking number of objects and scenes are also accurately automatically recognized, which Huawei calls AI (artificial intelligence). only the filters that are applied are sometimes a bit exaggerated, making colors look too exaggerated or landscapes seem like plastic. That does not matter, however, with a small tap you can take the photo without object and scene recognition.

Five different zoom levels of the Huawei P30 Pro: Wide Angle - 1x - 5x - 10x and 50x

Build quality

It's the camera and its capabilities where the chin hits the ground in amazement. How the device performs as a smartphone is as I expected beforehand. First of all, the construction, which is very similar to the P20 Pro from 2018 and is also waterproof (IP-68). The difference can of course be seen in the cameras on the back, but the screen notch on the front is also a bit smaller. Still, the construction remains somewhat generic, despite the fact that you can get the P30 Pro in beautiful colors. Don't let that distract you too much, because a case is really necessary. A glass housing is fragile and prone to greasy fingerprints.

Screen

The screen on the front is top notch (pun intended). The OLED panel has a high full HD resolution and clarity, and can display colors beautifully. In short, a welcome addition to the beastly good camera. The screen, and therefore the device, is large: 6.4 inches. Huawei uses a screen ratio of 19.5 by 9 to make the P30 Pro pocket-proof.

The screen edges on the sides are slightly curved, as Samsung does with the Edge screens of Galaxy S smartphones. Huawei does it a little more subtly, so that in practice I never accidentally touched the screen on the side. The screen notch at the top is drop-shaped, and therefore somewhat smaller. An advantage for the eye, for those who like to unlock the smartphone with facial recognition a disadvantage: there is a single camera in the notch. No depth sensor or second camera, so the front camera cannot measure depth, which is safe.

Fortunately, there are other unlock options. Also biometric, such as a fingerprint scanner. Huawei has placed this on the front of the P30 Pro, behind the screen. Until now, my experiences with such a scanner were not very positive: no progress compared to a traditional fingerprint scanner under the screen or on the back of the smartphone. Still, the fingerprint scanner behind the screen of the Huawei P30 is the fastest and most accurate I've tested so far, and it comes close to the regular scanner.

Kirin 980 processor

Also on the inside, everything is fine with the Huawei P30 Pro. Huawei uses its own chipsets, in this case the HiSilicon Kirin 980, which in terms of performance are not inferior to the fastest Snapdragon processors. You will also find 8GB of RAM, at least 128GB of storage (which you can expand with a special Huawei memory card) and a hefty 4,200 mAh battery, which you can refuel very quickly with a 40W fast charger. The Huawei P30 Pro also has an excellent battery life. A day or two is doable.

EMUI 9 with Android 9

During the presentation of the Huawei P30 Pro in Paris, the software was reported as one of the features. In fact. According to the PowerPoint, the smartphone runs on EMUI 9 with Android 9. That shows how Huawei looks at its software skin, while the Android base without Huawei's additions is still much more stable, more beautiful and clearer. Maybe it's a cultural thing, because Huawei is certainly not the only Chinese manufacturer to tweak Android in great detail - and mostly not for the better. Fortunately, there is some improvement to note, many bugs, spelling errors and rules that do not align have been fixed. Still, there's a lot to like about the stability, the outdated (messy) appearance, the unnecessary apps that Huawei installs and the fact that apps are closed in the background without you being able to manage this (including security apps like VPNs).

Of course you get a lot of irremovable Huawei apps, you can't escape that. An Optimization app, which you should not remove and which involves misleading antivirus and memory optimization… That does not belong on a smartphone of 1000 euros. Totally culpable is the "Top Apps" folder, in which apps are recommended. In other words, disguised advertising for woes like Booking.com and TripAdvisor. On a smartphone that costs the same as an iPhone. That is not allowed and you can really charge Huawei.

Despite the fact that Huawei comes with unnecessary warnings, you can make the device a lot better with Nova Launcher. However, if you like to put a different ROM on the device, it is better to choose another smartphone. Huawei has locked its devices. But let's face it, you lose the advanced camera features with another Android version, so why would you want that on this P30 Pro?

Despite the fact that Huawei comes with unnecessary warnings, you can make the device a lot better with Nova Launcher.

Is Huawei reliable?

Huawei has been in the news a lot lately, due to fears of eavesdropping and espionage. That's something you should always keep in mind with smartphones, not just with Huawei. After all, they are devices packed with personal data, cameras, GPS and microphones. However, there is still no evidence that the Chinese government is misusing the devices through Huawei. In fact, the US (where the accusations largely come from) has itself been caught in large-scale espionage and data theft through the NSA's PRISM program, which came to light thanks to whistleblower Edward Snowden.

Alternatives to the Huawei P30 Pro

With Android One, a headphone port and support for standard microSD memory cards, this Huawei P30 Pro would have received a full five stars as a final rating from me. One can dream, right? In the camera area, Huawei sets the bar very high, and to be honest: in terms of possibilities and photos, the cameras from Samsung and Apple are not yet allowed to tie the shoelaces of the Huawei P30 Pro. So if you're looking for the best camera smartphone, you'll have to settle for the drawbacks I just mentioned. The Galaxy S10 Plus therefore has a lesser camera, but is another (pricey) alternative that does not suffer from these drawbacks. Apple's iPhone Xs scores better in terms of performance and software (support). But let's be honest. If you are looking for a smartphone in this price range, the camera is a decisive choice for choosing the P30 Pro.

Conclusion: Buy Huawei P30 Pro?

You know where you stand with a Huawei top smartphone. A great, yet expensive, smartphone with powerful specifications and a beautiful screen. However, it is the camera that makes the Huawei P30 Pro revolutionary, especially photography in the dark and optical zooming makes the P30 Pro the best camera smartphone. However, you have to settle for drawbacks that are so unnecessary: ​​EMUI, the lack of the headphone port and NM memory cards. And yes, the price. Because it's a bit of a swallow.

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