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Huawei P30 Pro Review

Huawei-P30-Pro-Review-Philippines

Huawei’s future is currently on the rocks due to the US-China trade wars. However, the ban that a lot of American companies and institution posted on the Chinese company is expected to have a minimum effect on their current products.

With that, we still want to show you how the Huawei P30 Pro is considered as one of the best flagship devices around right now. Let’s begin!

Huawei P30 Pro Specs

  • Android 9 Pie, EMUI 9.1
  • Dual SIM, Dual Standby
  • 6.47-inch OLED FHD+ display, 2340 x 1080 pixel resolution, ~398ppi, HDR 10
  • Kirin 980 octa-core processor
  • Mali-G76 MP10 GPU
  • 8GB RAM
  • 256GB internal storage, expandable via NM card up to 256GB
  • 32-megapixel front camera
  • 40-megapixel + 20-megapixel (ultra wide) + 8-megapixel (5x periscope zoom), ToF sensor rear cameras, PDAF, LED flash
  • up to ISO 409,600
  • In-display fingerprint scanner, Face unlock
  • IP68 water and dust resistance
  • HSPA+, 4G LTE
  • WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS, GALILEO, QZSS
  • NFC
  • USB Type-C
  • Colors: Amber Sunrise, Breathing Crystal, Pearl White, Aurora, Black
  • 4,200mAh non-removable battery, 40W SuperCharge, Reverse charge

Design and Build Quality

The Huawei P30 Pro is a flagship smartphone and it’s surely built just like one. Unlike its predecessor, the curves on this one are more pronounced — from the screen back panel and the corners all around it.

It sure is tall at as it comes with a 6.47-inch screen, but it really feels narrow and easy to hold. Plus, its metal frame and thickness of 8.4mm makes the P30 Pro feel relatively sleek and nice in the hands. You can also feel that Huawei didn’t compromise in the specs just to achieve this profile.

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The unit that we have here is the Breathing Crystal color gradient model, which offers a really clean look. You can also get it in a more contrasty Aurora flavor or in plain Black.

While it does look premium and fragile, the Huawei P30 Pro actually comes with IP68 dust and water resistant certification. So it can handle water splashes or a sudden drop in the pool. It also comes with a cheap, but usable clear case for those who have clumsy hands.

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Taking a tour, we have the 6.47-inch OLED screen on the front, with ultra-thin bezels on all sides — disregarding that dewdrop notch on top that’s a home to a 32-megapixel selfie camera. There’s also a fingerprint scanner baked right underneath the display for a cleaner look.

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The left side of the Huawei P30 Pro is clean, while on the right are the volume controls and a lock/power switch with a strip of red paint on it. You might need to add an extra force to push the buttons, but they definitely feel well-made. It also doesn’t provide that clicky sound when pressed, possibly due to the insulation used for water protection.

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On the top, we have two antenna bands, a microphone for noise-cancellation, and the IR blaster. The bottom consists of the USB Type-C port, loudspeakers, microphone, and the SIM tray that can house either two nano SIMs or Huawei’s proprietary NM card for storage expansion.

To sum it up, the Huawei P30 Pro is a premium smartphone, and its exquisite hardware definitely lives up to that.

Display Quality

As stated earlier, the Huawei P30 Pro has a 6.47-inch OLED display, which has a 2340 x 1080 pixel resolution, ~398ppi, and HDR 10 support.

Huawei-P30-Pro-Specs

It goes without saying that the display quality is great. The colors are vibrant with just the right amount of saturation. The contrast is also top-notch, which is amplified with HDR support on streaming apps like Netflix.

The notch is here to stay, but you can opt to hide it by enabling a black bar on top of the screen on the settings menu. I also like how the curves on the edges where bent just right to provide a seamless look, without being too distracting or gathering too much reflection.

Its screen brightness also didn’t pose any problem in environments with different lighting conditions.

Huawei-P30-Pro-notch

Sound Quality

It may sound ironic for a flagship device, but the sound quality felt a little left out on the Huawei P30 Pro.

For a start, it now lacks a headphone jack. But it’s possibly a necessary sacrifice to allow Huawei to cram all those hardware on a device this thin. Another important thing to note is that it lacks stereo speakers — something that almost all of its competitors already have.

On the upside, the single bottom-firing speaker of the Huawei P30 Pro worked really well. It delivers loud, well-balanced, and crisp audio that’s perfect for watching videos or listening to music. The Huawei P30 Pro also has Dolby Atmos baked in, if your audio output supports it.

Related: Huawei P30 vs P30 Pro: What’s the difference?

Hardware and Performance

The Huawei P30 Pro is powered by their in-house Kirin 980 octa-core processor with a Mali-G76 GPU. And unlike most smartphones today, this device only comes with a single RAM and storage configuration — 8GB and 256GB.

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For flagship smartphones such as this, performance should be out of the question. The Huawei P30 Pro blazes through all the tasks you throw at it. It can run all your social media, photo/video editing, and other apps without breaking a sweat.

Its generous 8GB of memory is also great for multitasking, while 256GB of storage is more than enough to store all your apps, pictures, and videos you’d be taking with it. But in case that’s not enough, you can purchase Huawei’s proprietary NM cards, which is accessible in select stores on Shopee or Lazada.

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Of course, gaming performance was also great. PUBG Mobile, a very demanding and unoptimized game, runs smoothly at high settings. So you can only imagine how well it performed in optimized titles like Mobile Legends, NBA 2k19, Asphalt 9, and more.

Huawei P30 Pro Benchmark scores

Huawei-P30-Pro-benchmark-scores

Software and User Interface

The Huawei P30 Pro runs on Android 9 Pie with EMUI 9.1 user-interface. It packs a lot of features that Android’s latest version has, plus other quirks that Huawei’s own UI offers. However, due to the aforementioned tensions between China and the US, future Android updates for this device is a little shaky.

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As usual, EMUI is still one of the busiest, heavily-dressed Android skins around. The native app icons and the buttons on the control center were redesigned. The lock screen is relatively clean, with a step counter placed on the lower left of the screen.

Swiping to the far left of the home screen there’s a search bar that can do local and internet searches, most recent apps, latest news and more. The app drawer was disabled outside the box, which you can enable in the settings menu.

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You can also choose from different navigation styles (Gestures, Three-key, and navigation dock). The Huawei P30 Pro also has tons of AR features, like AR measurements for your next DIY projects.

OneHop lets you easily send files through a Huawei MateBook laptop, one of the ways where the company is trying to promote their ecosystem of products. Huawei Share and wireless projection are also present.

Huawei-P30-Pro-UI

Since Huawei P30 Pro uses an OLED display, you can enable Always-On display, so you can always see the time, date, and battery percentage. Digital Balance is also here and it allows you to monitor your smartphone usage and act upon it.

The camera app is fairly clean, with all the necessary buttons and controls to complement its jam-packed camera features. Lastly, the Huawei P30 Pro uses a modified version of Swiftkey keyboard that is really easy to type on.

Security

The Huawei P30 Pro has an optical in-display fingerprint scanner, which worked really fast and accurate. You can key in five different prints, but registering two of your thumbs should be enough.

Huawei-P30-Pro-fingerprint-scanner

Its face unlock also worked fast. Partnered with its Raise to Wake feature, it can immediately unlock the device the moment you lift it up and try to use the fingerprint scanner.

We also have the usual security and privacy stuff like App lock, Private Space, and File Safe. Emergency SOS and Find My Device are also here.

Camera

Now we head on to the main event, the camera quality of the Huawei P30 Pro. We actually have a dedicated camera review about this device, which you can check out here.

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But to save you a click, here’s the summary: It’s really good. The 40-megapixel primary takes ultra-sharp images with stunning colors and deep contrast. The dynamic range is top notch, too.

The camera also has a wide f/1.6 aperture, which allows you to achieve that authentic blurred background without the need of using the portrait mode.

There’s also Huawei’s famed Night mode feature, which allows you to take a handheld long-exposure shot — improved further by its optical image stabilizer.

As you can see from the samples below,  it does take bright and well-detailed images at night. I also noticed that the dynamic range is greatly improved when using this mode. Which is great if you’re taking pictures of bright signage on a storefront or light displays.

Huawei is also bragging about the P30 Pro’s max ISO of 409,600. It basically lets you see in the dark. The pictures on the left were set at ISO 6,400, which is close to what a normal eye can see, while the one on the left is maxed out at ISO 409,600.

Its ultra-wide camera is also great. Thanks to its sharp 20-megapixel sensor, it can take stunning images, which is rare on ultra-wide snappers like this.

In addition, having a wide field of view lets you easily take pictures inside the car, do architectural photography, put a lot of subjects in a single frame, and more.

Huawei P30 Pro’s wide-aperture already lets you take bokehlicious images. But, the dedicated time of flight (ToF) depth sensor lets you take images with a shallower depth-of-field. The effect is really believable, without the cutout look on the edges.

And to complete the Huawei P30 Pro’s quadfecta of cameras, let’s talk about its famous 8-megapixel camera. It has a periscope-style lens that allows you to take 5x of clean optical zoom, and up to 50x hybrid zoom.

Unsurprisingly, the authentic 5x zoom takes sharp images, which gives you flexibility when framing a shot. However, going to 50x results to a really grainy and noisy photo. But, the fact that you can spot really far away objects just by using a smartphone is really cool. It’s like a telescope always ready on your pocket.

Just a tiny tip, though. If you want to go all the way in at 50x, you might want to use a tripod. The built-in stabilizer can only do so much.

Of course, let’s not forget to talk about Huawei P30 Pro’s 32-megapixel front-facing camera. As expected, you can take sharp and well-detailed selfies from it. The colors, contrast, and low-light performance are top notch, too.

The Huawei P30 Pro also has different face beauty modes, AR effects, 3D Qmoji, and portrait mode, which does not only let you capture better selfies but also makes taking them more fun.

Battery

Other than having a reliable processor, the Huawei P30 Pro also has great battery life. This handset comes with a 4,200mAh battery, which can easily last you for an entire day of heavy use.

But if you’re a more casual user who only browse social media apps during break times, or listening to music on your daily commute, then expect to get at least a day and a half from the Huawei P30 Pro.

PCMark’s battery test, where it loops synthetic tasks until the battery reaches 20%, gave it a score of screen-on time of 18 hours and 3 minutes. But when you enable the Performance Mode on the battery optimization settings, that goes down to 12 hours and 38 minutes, which is still one of the best that we’ve seen.

As if that’s not enough, the Huawei P30 Pro also charges really fast thanks to its 40W SuperCharge support. This can easily fill up the battery back to 100% in only around an hour. You can also charge the device via Huawei’s 15W wireless charger.

Meanwhile, the Huawei P30 Pro’s reverse charging allows you to charge any wireless charging-capable device by simply laying it on the back of the P30 Pro. It’s a bit slow, but can be really useful if a friend really needs a top up when there’s no outlet or powerbank accessible.

See also: Samsung Galaxy S10 Review

Verdict

Despite all the problems that Huawei is currently facing, there’s no denying that they’re one of the most innovative smartphone brands in the market today. And the Huawei P30 Pro is a living proof to that.

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The combination of all its camera features makes it a great device for aspiring and professional photographers. Its large display, powerful performance, and really long battery life makes it an all-around smartphone — making it great for productivity, media consumption, gaming, and more.

But it’s still not a perfect device. For one, I still don’t understand why Huawei can’t put stereo speakers in this flagship smartphone. The lack of a headphone jack is also a bit disappointing.

Huawei P30 Pro’s 256GB storage might be enough for some. But for those who want more might have a hard time looking for NM cards, which are also a bit more expensive than the traditional microSD cards.

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Users can also opt to purchase Huawei’s 1TB hard drive that can automatically back-up the device, but don’t expect it to come cheap.

Regardless, Huawei P30 Pro’s great looks, powerful performance, long battery life, and top-notch camera features make it really hard to ignore. Let’s just hope that this US ban fiasco will end well for Huawei.

Huawei P30 Pro pricing and availability in the Philippines

The Huawei P30 Pro is available nationwide through their concept stores, kiosks, and multi-brand shops for a price of Php50,990. It’s also available through Huawei’s official store in Lazada.

In addition, you might want to check out for Huawei’s random promos and bundles, where you can possibly get the device with a free premium accessory, like a Huawei Watch GT or a FreeBuds Lite.

Pros

  • Sleek, ergonomic design
  • Powerful performance
  • Top notch cameras
  • Long battery life

Cons

  • No Stereo speakers
  • No Headphone jack
  • NM cards still feels proprietary, expensive
  • Future Android support is uncertain

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