Huawei P30 Review: this or the P30 Pro?

If you had a map and in the map, each road was an Android phone, you would probably spend a lot of time deciding which road to take. There are a lot of roads (phones) to choose and a lot of stuff to expect. Some roads could speed up your travel while others would just be at a normal speed or really slow.

If you’re traveling at night, those roads without a “Night Mode” would be hard to travel on. The Pixel 3 road would be fairly easy to navigate at night (thanks to Google’s Night Sight). But how about those sunny days?

If you don’t see too well under direct sunlight on a “road” you’d always need to look for shady areas or just wait until the sun goes down before carrying on with your travel.

I could go on with so many examples, but I’m sure you get the point. You need a sub-map of a road for you to know if that road is suitable for your journey.

This brings me to today’s phone, Huawei’s P30. No, not the P30 Pro, we’ve already talked about that device. The P30 is like a more compact version that doesn’t come with some of the features the P30 Pro has.

But the question is “is it a better road to choose compared to the P30 Pro?”

Well, technically, it shouldn’t be. But, well, let’s break it down a little more and see what you’re getting on the P30. This is not going to be a comparison review but I may specify some differences here and there. It’s only fair to describe every “road” based on its uniqueness, not based on another road.

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

This review is based on research. With your support, my reviews will not be entirely based on that but on my overall experience using each device. So please share, like and comment to support me.

With that being said, let’s get to it.

Key Features

  • Android 9.0 (Pie), EMUI 9.1
  • 6.1 inch 1080 x 2340 AMOLED touchscreen
  • Octa-core (2x 2.6 GHz Cortex-A76, 2x 1.92 GHz Cortex-A76 and 4x 1.8 GHz Cortex-A55) CPU
  • Mali-G76 MP10 GPU
  • 6GB / 8GB RAM
  • 64GB / 128GB / 256GB Internal Storage
  • 32MP Front Camera
  • 40MP / 16MP / 8MP Rear Camera
  • 3650mAh non-removable battery
  • Dual Nano SIM

Design

I went a little philosophical with the “road” thing so let’s keep that aside for a while. The P30 has a design you will find on most flagship devices, it’s made from Gorilla Glass. Not really certain about the version here so I’m just going to go with my gut and say Gorilla Glass 5.

Being Gorilla Glass, you know you get that protection from dust and scratches. It also makes the phone durable, short occasional drops would not leave you with a broken phone.

The phone comes in really nice colors such as Aurora, Black, Breathing Crystal, Amber Sunrise and Pearl White. Lately, Huawei has been dishing out phones with really attractive colors. The P30 and P30 Pro are no exceptions.

With an IP53 rating, you don’t get that full water resistance. The P30 can only handle dust and some water splash. So no, you can’t take this phone for a swim, but on those drizzling days, you should be able to use the phone without any problem.

No need to worry though, the P30 can handle short drops in water. We are human and accidents do happen.

Aside not being fully waterproof, you also get that wobbling. Because of the protruding camera setup at the back, you wouldn’t be able to use this phone on flat surfaces. To fix this issue, you’ll just have to get a case for the phone.

Technically, you should get a case for the phone regardless. These phones really need all the protection they can get. There’s still that “case” of phones being slippery, especially those made out of glass.

Anyway, so the Huawei P30 does have that comfortable feeling when held, the sides on the back are curved.

Turning over to the front, you are presented with a Waterdrop Notch, this is where you also find the Selfie camera.

What you might notice here is that unlike the P30 Pro, the sides on the front of the P30 are not curved but flat. Most people like this design compared to the curved ones because of accidental activations.

Now to talk about placements, at the back, you get a vertically placed camera setup with an LED flash right under it. On the front, the P30 comes with a traditional earpiece and right below it is the Selfie camera.

You don’t get an IR blaster on the P30, so all that remote control feature isn’t supported here.

The right side of the phone has the Volume Rockers and a Power Button, on the left, you get the SIM and NanoSD card tray.

Finally, at the bottom you get Speaker Grilles, a USB Type-C port and a 3.5mm Headphone Jack. Yes, the P30 comes with a Headphone Jack so yay!

For a flagship device, the overall design is nice, what you’re not getting that I personally think is important is that full water resistance capability. Besides that, everything else is probably something you’d want but not need.

Display

When it comes to displays, phone manufacturers do a lot to give their users an awesome experience. We have seen phones with really slim bezels, without notches… and then there was the Nokia 9 with some thick bezels but eh.

The P30 has an impressive display, it comes with a 6.1 inch AMOLED panel. AMOLED panels are currently one of the best panels. Content comes out really crisp on this panel, colors are also very accurate.

You also get those deep blacks here. To take advantage of that, the phone has the “Always On Display” feature. When activated, you get to see time, date, battery percentage and your notifications without having to wake the phone up.

Although this feature doesn’t use up a lot of battery, if you’re concerned about that, deactivating “Always On Display” should give you some peace of mind.

The P30 has a Screen Resolution of 1080 x 2340 pixels and a screen to body ratio of 85%.

About that Waterdrop Notch, yeah if you don’t have a thing for notches, you have the option of hiding the Notch on this phone with a black bar.

Using this phone outdoors under direct sunlight is impressive, the phone gets as bright as over 600 nits. You don’t have to bother about looking for shady areas before using the phone outdoors.

There is an under-display Fingerprint scanner on the P30, it is fast and accurate. You won’t be having troubles using it on the phone. Just tap the phone to wake it, place the registered finger on the scanner and you are all done.

As earlier stated, you get a flat screen on the P30, unlike the P30 Pro that has a curved screen. I don’t really think this is a deal breaker for the P30, we are more comfortable with phones with a flat screen because that’s what we’re used to.

Curved screens are luxurious but they aren’t really necessary. But hey, when it comes to technology, things change and when done right, those changes stay for a very long time.

Overall, the screen is really good. It is large enough for all your movie watching, gaming and all that. Plus you get really sharp images with accurate colors.

Cameras

Probably the main attraction on Huawei phones is the cameras. We were blown away by the cameras on the P30 Pro, that 50x zoom was what everybody was talking about.

On the P30, you don’t get as high as 50x zoom capability, you only get 3x Optical zoom. You can go above that and zoom up to 30x but, it is a digital zoom, not optical.

Well, let’s talk about all the cameras on the phone.

On the back, you get three vertically placed cameras, an LED flash and some sensors for focusing. The cameras you have here are a 40 Megapixel Primary camera, a 16 Megapixel Ultrawide camera and an 8 Megapixel Telephoto camera.

What you’re missing on the P30 is a Time Of Flight camera for all that depth sensing.

With the primary camera, by default you take pictures in 10 Megapixels, the results however are spectacular. Pictures come out great with enough details and with low noise.

You do have the option to take pictures with the whole 40 Megapixels, but it doesn’t mean the pictures will always turn out better, sometimes they look softer than the 10 Megapixel photos. Sometimes, depending on the scene, shooting in 40 Megapixels actually is better.

It’s left for you to decide if you’ll be taking both 10 Megapixel and 40 Megapixel shots and choosing which one you like better. In most cases though, shooting in 10 Megapixels is better.

Although the P30 doesn’t come with a Time Of Flight camera, you still have the option to take Portrait shots using the Primary camera and the Telephoto camera. The results are also quite impressive.

Subject separation is really accurate and background blur is really good.

In low light, you can activate “Night Mode” (it is available on all three cameras). With Night Mode on, you get bright pictures with accurate colors. Noise is low and detail is impressive.

You don’t necessarily have to shoot pictures using “Night Mode” in low light with the Primary camera. The results however are still impressive, you don’t get a lot of noise, the colors are accurate enough and overall quality is great.

Moving over to the Telephoto camera, with that 3x optical zoom and good light, you get really lively pictures with really nice details. Images are also sharp.

Using Night Mode also improves shots taken with the Telephoto camera.

Now, the Ultrawide lens. With it you get much wider field of view, not as great as the one on the P30 Pro but it is quite good. You don’t get all that barrel distortion (you know, buildings bending on the edges in each shot) on the phone and the overall result is great.

There’s the option to shoot in Super Macro mode with the Ultrawide lens. Here, in good lighting, you can shoot objects that are really close (they also have to be still). The results are great, you can go all photography and shoot some “professional” shots.

Shooting low light pictures with the Ultrawide camera isn’t that impressive, you get noisy photos with some bad colors. However, if you turn on Night Mode here as well, pictures get improved greatly.

Shooting videos is also a great aspect of the phone, you can shoot up to 4K videos at 30 Frames per Second. You can also shoot slow motion videos in 720p at 960 frames per second.

All cameras have Electronic Image Stabilization so expect your videos to come out smooth even if you are moving while recording.

On the front, you get a 32 Megapixel Selfie camera. It does a great job in giving you nice photos with lively colors and a lot of detail.

You can shoot videos with the Selfie camera but not in 4K but 1080p at 30 Frames per Second.

You get Face Recognition using the Selfie camera for unlocking your phone, although it is really fast, making it your only security option isn’t advisable. It’s best to stick to the Fingerprint Scanner to get the best security on the phone.

So overall, the Huawei P30 has really nice cameras. At this point, Huawei is really good with cameras. Unless there’s a new kind of camera that does something we haven’t seen before, I don’t see Huawei screwing up their camera game.

Performance and Features

Under the hood of the P30 lies the Kirin 980 Chipset. It has an Octa-core (2x 2.6 GHz Cortex-A76, 2x 1.92 GHz Cortex-A76 and 4x 1.8 GHz Cortex-A55) CPU and also has a Mali-G76 MP10 GPU.

Performance-wise, this phone is great. There’s support for many games, so expect to get a smooth and lag-free gaming experience. Even at the highest settings in most demanding games like PUBG, the P30 handles all the processing the games need.

Besides gaming, handling tasks in general is also very fast on the P30. The phone is very responsive when apps are launched and the overall usage on the apps is buttery smooth.

The Kirin 980 Chipset is currently a really good chipset you can get on a phone. Though not as great as a Snapdragon chipset but still very okay.

The Operating System you get is EMUI 9.1 with Android 9.0 (Pie).

The latest features you get on EMUI are improved file reading speed and having more storage space (the Operating System doesn’t take up much space on the phone, probably because it doesn’t have a lot of bloatware). The P30 Pro also has these features.

Although you won’t really notice how fast files can be read while using the phone, tests have shown that the phone does have a fast file reading process compared to other devices.

Just like the P30 Pro, you also get “Gesture Navigation” here on the P30. They both work the same. Swiping inwards from both sides of the phone takes you “Back”, swiping up from the bottom takes you “Home”. If you swipe up from the bottom and hold, you’ll see your “Recent Apps”.

Although the P30 has a traditional earpiece, it’s odd to see that it is not used as a secondary speaker. However, the speaker at the bottom is quite good, with rich deep sounds and loudness, it only lacks a bit on the highs.

The earpiece however is really good for all your phone calls.

Overall, you really aren’t missing out on a lot here. The performance on the P30 isn’t going to leave you hanging in a world where speed is so important. It has all the important things you need on a phone.

RAM and Internal Storage

Starting with the RAM, you get 2 options, a 6GB of RAM model and an 8GB of RAM model. Like I always say, 6GB of RAM is currently great for all your apps.

You won’t find apps getting terminated or slowing down with 6GB of RAM on a phone. If you can spend a little more, going for the 8GB of RAM model just raises your chance to use this phone for a long time. Not that 6GB of RAM isn’t good enough for that, but 8GB is better.

There are lots of phones coming out almost every month, and yes, it gets tempting to just switch to a new phone, but just in case you plan to stick to a phone for a while, if you decide to go for the P30, you will be making a wise decision.

It has an up to date Chipset and Operating System. And you will be getting software updates from time to time to keep the phone stable and secure.

6GB or 8GB of RAM is good enough for any kind of app and games currently available, and these RAM sizes will be relevant for some years to come.

For storage options, you get 64GB, 128GB and 256GB models.

Depending on how you use the phone, you could either fill up your storage space quickly or slowly. If you plan on taking a lot of pictures, having a lot of games, movies, music files etc. on the phone, it’s best to go for either the 128GB or 256GB model.

If you still need more space, the P30 gives you the option to expand to up to 256GB more. To do this though, you’ll have to use your SIM 2 slot. That may not be a big deal to some people, but the only problem is, you’ll need Huawei’s special NanoSD card to do that. They are still very hard to come by.

But this won’t be for long so keep an eye out for them.

To sum it up, the Huawei P30 offers really good RAM options and 2 good storage space options. You can use this device as your main phone for a very long time without needing to switch to something else. It’s inevitable though, we always want to have the latest stuff.

Battery

You get a smaller battery here compared to the P30 Pro, it’s a 3650mAh battery. The device performs really well here as well.

For heavy users, you should be able to use this phone for a day before needing to charge. The charging speed is quite impressive as well, you get more than 60% if you charge for 30 minutes from 0%. From 20% to 100% takes about an hour.

What you’re only missing here is wireless charging. I thought the phone would have this feature since it has a glass build, but nope.

Overall, I’d say the battery on the P30 is good, not the best we’ve seen but depending on how you use the phone, it should be good enough as your daily device.

Connectivity

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

You also get Bluetooth V5.0, NFC, GPS, USB 3.1 Type-C etc.

Price

This phone costs around $600.

Click here to get current Amazon Price.

*Please note that prices vary from time to time.

Conclusion

Guys, that’s the Huawei P30. Going back to the “road” thing, well, is this road better than the P30 Pro? Absolutely not. But it’s cheaper and it has all the things you’re going to need to have a nice journey.

On the P30 Pro you get all things you need and some extra stuff just to ease up on the journey, they aren’t stuff you can’t live without but they are nice to have.

So to finally conclude on the Huawei P30, you get a really good device for today’s world and the best part is this is a device you can use for a long time if you plan to.

Okay guys, that’s it for now, thanks for taking time to read the review. Let me know what your thoughts on the P30 are in the comments.

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Until next time, thanks for reading, see you on the next phone.

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