Huawei P30 Pro Review: Is it only about the Camera?

Hey guys, what is up? So the last time I talked about a Huawei phone was when I wrote about the Mate 20 Pro. A lot of people preferred it over the Mate 20 and Mate 20 X.

I for one would pick the Mate 20 X over the other two any given day. I just love how great the screen is. Plus I enjoy games so, yeah.

Well, as Huawei keeps unveiling new phones, we always expect getting something great. Their strongest points have been battery and cameras. They get better each time.

The Huawei P30 Pro offers a lot of really interesting features that I know a lot of tech lovers will love.

For those of you who aren’t that techy, don’t worry, you can just scroll all the way down to the “Conclusion” section of this review so you get to know what the phone offers overall.

For people like me who love knowing about specs, have a great time reading through this.

This is Shaibu from Shu’s Techs, and today, I will be reviewing the Huawei P30 Pro.

 

With that out of the way, let’s get to it.

Key Features

  • EMUI 9.1 with Android 9.0 (Pie)
  • 6.47 inch 1080 x 2340 AMOLED capacitive touchscreen
  • Octa-core (2×2.6 GHz Cortex-A76, 2×1.92 GHz Cortex-A76 and 4×1.8 GHz Cortex-A55) CPU
  • Mali-G76 MP10 GPU
  • 6GB / 8GB RAM
  • 128GB / 256GB / 512GB Internal Storage
  • 32MP Front Camera
  • 40MP + 20MP + 8MP Rear Camera
  • 4200mAh non-removable battery
  • Dual Nano SIM

Design

It’s hard to look at this phone for the first time and not fall in love with it. It looks just stunning.

The front and back are made out of Glass panels, I’m not sure if we’re talking Gorilla Glass or just normal glass, but what I can tell you is that they both collect a lot of fingerprint smudges.

You may find yourself wiping the phone every once in a while to get rid of the smudges. The phone also gets slippery so it’s best to just get a case for it, to help you avoid those accidental drops.

The glass panels are both curved, this makes holding the phone feel very comfortable. Being a comfortable device isn’t the only thing that those curves are for, you also get a beautiful looking phone as well.

The P30 Pro comes in really radiant color models such as the Breathing Crystal, Aurora and Amber Sunrise. If you like something a little simple, you can go for the Black model and Pearl White model.

It probably isn’t surprising that the P30 Pro comes with an IP68 rating. You won’t have to worry about water getting or dust coming in contact with the phone.

Officially, it can go as deep as 2 meters for 30 minutes before you should start getting worried. Unofficially, I don’t think it’s necessary to put the phone through that.

Unless you want to do some cool stuff like shooting videos under water, then by all means, go ahead.

There is a P30 version as well (not a Pro version), but you don’t get water and dust resistance on it.

Now let’s talk about what you get all around the device.

At the top, you get an Infrared Blaster (this gives the phone that remote control capability) and a microphone. I think the microphone is for noise cancellation.

The right side has that Red Power Button and the Volume Rocker. They are reachable, and that’s a good thing concerning how tall the phone is.

At the bottom, you get the SIM Trey, a USB Type-C port and Speaker Grilles.

The back of the phone has the Quad Camera setup, which we’ll get to talk about in a bit.

If you like using your phones on flat surfaces, I don’t think you’ll enjoy doing that with the P30 Pro, because of the camera, you won’t be able to use the phone comfortably.

You can always fix this by getting a case, this should give you an overall balance.

Anyways moving on, turning over to the front, you get to see the Selfie camera in the Waterdrop Notch at the top of the phone.

It is quite tiny, so don’t panic, you still get a really nice display.

Now, what we’re not having on this is a 3.5mm Headphone Jack and I don’t think I mentioned the phone having an earpiece for your phone calls.

Apparently, the P30 Pro doesn’t have an “Earpiece”. For phone calls, you use the phone’s screen instead.

To cover how that works, well, lucky you, I will be talking about the screen next.

Before that, overall design is really good, I still feel like the 3.5mm Headphone Jack not available here is quite sad. But it’s not the first time so we should start getting used to it.

What you’re getting though is a phone that feels really comfortable to hold, has beautiful colors, and that Water and Dust resistance is something really impressive to have these days.

Display

Okay I’m just going to jump right into it, for your phone calls, the P30 Pro has what Huawei is calling the “Acoustic” Display. It is not like your traditional earpiece but it does the job well.

The screen of the phone produces sound by vibrating, the sound comes out clear, doesn’t really matter how the phone is placed on your ear, the screen just does the work.

Only problem you’re going to have is that the Screen doesn’t give you that stereo speaker capability where the earpiece serves as a Secondary speaker when you’re gaming or watching videos.

It’s amazing how a lot of work is being done to maximize the screens on every phone. Now we have parts that are doing things they don’t normally do

So, we have gotten rid of the earpiece, maybe soon we will have the selfie cameras under the display itself, what next?

In my opinion, I think the “earpiece” on this phone is actually a great upgrade, and I know it will get better with time. Some people are still trying to accept this over a traditional earpiece.

For now, I can say yeah, hate it, but as time goes, it will get improved and you will start loving it (you’re still free to get angry over the Headphone Jack going away not sure we’ll fully accept that).

So aside being a speaker, the screen itself is a 6.47 inch AMOLED panel. It has a Resolution of 1080 x 2340 pixels.

As you would expect, the display is quite great. The phone has an 88% Screen to Body ratio as well, so for those gamers out there, get ready for a great gaming experience.

I’m not forgetting about you video watchers too, 88% is great for a lot of display stuff.

For outdoor usage, the phone gets over 600 nits bright, you won’t have a problem using this phone outdoors under direct sunlight.

AMOLED panels are truly awesome, with their deep blacks and overall clarity. To take advantage of that deep black screen, you get the Always On Display.

With Always On Display activated, the phone shows you the Time, Date, Battery Percentage and some Notifications as the phone sleeps.

It doesn’t necessarily use a lot of battery juice, but if you’re like a heavy user or just concerned about battery, you can always turn it off.

Now coming to that Notch, it is quite tiny, you shouldn’t be having a lot of problems with it while you use the phone. But if you’re against Notches for some reason, well, you have the option to hide the Notch with a black bar on the P30 Pro.

Also, the phone has its Fingerprint Scanner here under the screen, it is an Optical Scanner and it is very fast and accurate.

Fingerprint scanners under displays aren’t new anymore so there’s no point needing to explain how they work, but I will this time.

Optical fingerprint scanners, from what I’ve researched, use *insert really impressive technology terms here* to save an image of your fingerprint using the light that emits from your phone.

After saving the image of your fingerprint, when you try to unlock it, it checks the pre-scanned image to see if it matches.

Being fast and accurate has been the problem, not the scanning, but so far, there has always been improvements.

There I’ve explained it, I will again sometime in the future.

If I missed something in my explanation, please let me know and I’ll update it.

Okay, so to end this section, and move to the section where this phone has blown a lot of people away, I’m going to just let you all know that, yeah the P30 Pro has an impressive display.

It is also a curved screen, not sure what kind of Glass is used on it, so it’s safe to just get a protective glass for it. I would still advise you to get a protective glass if it had Gorilla Glass 2000 on it.

Cameras

The cameras on the back of the P30 Pro are four.

You get a Primary camera which is 40 Megapixels, a 20 Megapixel Ultrawide camera, an 8 Megapixel Telephoto camera and a Time Of Flight (TOF) Camera for all that depth sensing and other features.

So with the Primary camera, by default, it uses that 40 Megapixel lens to shoot pictures in 10 Megapixels. The outcome however is quite great.

You can force the phone to take pictures in 40 Megapixels but it doesn’t necessarily make the photos better.

When you shoot 10 Megapixel photos, they come out really good with lively colors. You also get a lot of detail.

For low light shots, the main camera does really well, you can take really good pictures without noise. To make even low light shots better, you can turn on “Night Mode”.

With Night Mode on, photos taken in low light come out impressive and you get a lot of detail. It’s almost as if the phone can see in really dark areas.

But we’re not talking Google’s Night sight capability though.

Portrait shots are also taken with the Primary camera as well as the Time Of Flight camera. The results are quite great, subject separation (blurring the background while keeping the subject in focus) is also superb.

With the Ultrawide camera, expect some lively photos as well, you don’t get that barrel distortion on photo edges and overall quality is quite good.

The Telephoto photo lens is the most talked about on this phone, you can take photos with up to 50X Digital Zoom.

You will lose detail as you zoom all the way in but overall, it is an amazing feature. Here’s a picture I stole from Instagram that shows how far you can zoom in with the Telephoto Lens.

For shooting videos, you can shoot up to 4K videos at 30 Frames per Second maximum with any of the cameras. You can also shoot slow motion videos in 720p at 960 Frames per Second.

With the Main Camera, you get Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) as well as Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS).

The outcome however is great, the videos come out with natural colors, sharp and smooth (if you’re moving while recording).

The Ultrawide lens, only gives you EIS, it works okay when it comes to smoothness but not as good as the Main Camera.

The videos taken with the Ultrawide lens come out okay, colors are lively…maybe a little too lively and overall the quality of the videos is okay.

The Telephoto lens also does quite well for shooting videos, you get OIS here. Overall quality however is quite great.

Moving while shooting videos with the Telephoto camera isn’t really all smooth, you will notice some stutters, and as you zoom in, you will lose some tiny detail here and there.

At the front, you get the 32 Megapixel camera for taking selfies. Selfies come out great with really good colors and detail.

For shooting videos, you can shoot 1080p videos at 30 Frames per Second. There is no OIS or EIS here.

You get the Face Recognition feature with the Selfie Camera. It is quite fast and accurate, but since it’s only done with the selfie camera and not with some other advance sensors like a 3D sensor, don’t expect it to be all great.

In terms of cameras, the P30 Pro does have its ups and downs, you don’t get OIS or EIS on the selfie camera, and you can’t shoot up to 4K videos either.

For the ups, the pictures and videos come out great, both in daylight and low light. And that Telephoto camera is something amazing to have on a phone.

Performance and Features

The P30 Pro does well in performance. It comes with a Kirin 980 Chipset, on it you get an Octa-core (2×2.6 GHz Cortex-A76, 2×1.92 GHz Cortex-A76 and 4×1.8 GHz Cortex-A55) CPU and a Mali-G76 MP10 GPU.

When it comes to gaming, well, from what I’ve found out, depending on the game you’re playing, the phone handles them differently.

Some games run really smooth while others have some sort of stutters here and there. Playing games like PUBG isn’t going to be a problem.

PUBG runs smooth at the highest settings without any lags. Frame rates are very stable as well.

Now, the only game I was able to find out that has some stuttering on the P30 Pro is Shadow Gun. Tech Tablets has a video on YouTube that shows how the phone has some issues playing the game.

It isn’t all terrible but still, it’s one of those things heavy gamers will hate to see as they get deep into a game.

Besides gaming, the phone handles most tasks really well, like starting up apps isn’t going to take forever. Most activities you will be carrying out on the phone are going to be fast and stable.

It’s possible that future software updates will fix most of the issues the phone currently has.

The Operating System the P30 Pro comes with is EMUI 9.1 on top Android 9 (Pie).

There are some improvements on EMUI. First, the Operating System doesn’t take a lot of storage space and second, file reading speed has been increased.

What you’re also getting with EMUI is Gesture Navigation. When activated, swipe inwards from either sides of the screen to go “Back”, swipe up to go “Home” and swipe up and hold to see your “Recent Apps”.

Gesture Navigation has been around for a while, one of the top reasons why it’s available is so you can have a great display without buttons on your screen.

Okay, well so far we’ve got a potentially good gaming device, and the latest Operating System. Other minor features include having a really good bottom firing speaker.

Yes, you’re not getting that stereo effect like most phones with an earpiece do, but if you don’t find that as a deal breaker, well you’ll be glad to know that the sound from the speaker at the bottom is quite loud and accurate.

If you want to use a pair of headphones however, you will have to use the Type-C kind of headphones. Sound also comes out really nice and loud enough.

You get an IR blaster that turns the phone into a remote control. There is a “Smart Remote” app that handles all that remote control feature. It is quite easy to use as well.

The performance aspect of this phone is quite good. It isn’t going to blow you away if you’ve used a phone with like the latest Snapdragon Chipset. There’s not a lot to complain about it anyway.

RAM and Internal Storage

For your multitasking and running background apps, the P30 Pro comes in two models, a 6GB of RAM model and an 8GB of RAM model. These are currently good enough to run on any phone that has a lot of apps running at once.

On phones with less amount of RAM, apps will get terminated as soon as you exit them, if not immediately, they will get terminated after a while.

Now if it’s an app that doesn’t need to work in the background (say like the camera app), that’s normal, it will get terminated as soon as you exit.

But if you’re on WhatsApp or Facebook Messager and you exit the app, messages will still be coming in. On phones with low RAM, in most cases, as soon as you exit the app, the messages will stop coming in.

You won’t have to worry about something like that happening on the P30 Pro, it’s got all the RAM a standard phone should currently have.

For internal storage, the P30 Pro has some really interesting options. There’s a 128GB model, a 256GB and finally a 512GB model.

All three models are available on the 8GB of RAM variant of the phone, the 6GB of RAM only supports the 128GB of internal storage model.

The bigger the better, but even with 128GB of internal storage, you should have enough room for all your pictures, videos, music, games etc.

You can expand with a Nano SD card of up to 256GB, but you will have to use the slot for your second SIM card to do that. That’s not the only problem, Nano SD cards are currently still hard to find.

So even though expanding is possible, you still have to wait for a while until those special SD cards are available.

Overall, you don’t have a lot to worry about when it comes to RAM and Storage space, the P30 Pro currently has enough room to handle most of your files.

Battery

This is another aspect of the phone that is really good. The P30 Pro comes with a 4,200mAh battery. For heavy users, we’re talking more than a day of usage.

For light users, you won’t be charging the phone a lot (unless you want to). You can go for up to 3 days before needing to charge the phone.

The charging process is also fascinating, you can charge the phone to 70% in about 30 minutes. This is possible because of the 40W charger the phone comes with.

There’s also support for wireless charging on the phone, it’s not as fast as charging with the 40W charger though.

You also get reverse wireless charging, this enables you to use the P30 Pro for charging other devices that support wireless charging.

The battery life on this phone is something you will be happy with if battery is one of your major concerns.

Connectivity

For internet, you get 4G, 3G, 2G and WiFi.

You also get an Infrared Port, NFC, Bluetooth V5, GPS, USB 3.1 Type-C etc.

Price

This phone is quite expensive, it is currently around $1,200 on Amazon.

Click here to get current Amazon Price.

*Please note that prices vary from time to time.

Conclusion

So who is this phone for? Well, this is a Flagship device so it does come with a lot of premium features hence a really high price.

The phone is quite fast and it comes with a really good battery that can last for days on light to moderate use. Heavy users should be able to use it for more than a day but not fully two days.

Now the camera, specifically the Telephoto camera, if you like sports and like seeing them live, this camera should be of good use. You can zoom all the way in, this should give you a better view of what’s happening.

For gamers, well, I can’t say this is the best phone for you. Some games have those occasional stutters and some run smoothly. Technically this phone comes with a pre-installed game… Russian roulette.

So download the game and play it, if it works well, great! If it doesn’t eh.

I think the gaming issue should get fixed as the phone gets software updates. Let me know in the comments if you’re experiencing something like this or if you haven’t at all.

Okay guys, that’s it for now, make sure you share, comment and like if you enjoyed the review.

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Until next time, stay awesome.

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