At a late March global launch event in Paris, the tech world was treated to the jaw-dropping photographic capabilities of Huawei’s new P30 and P30 Pro smartphones.
Huawei, now the world’s number two handset manufacturer, unveiled new colours, features and various advances over last year’s P20 series, but it really was the photographic virtuosity of the new phones that had the audience buzzing.
Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei’s consumer business, cheerfully heralded a “breakthrough” in phone camera technology, and he wasn’t exaggerating. On the massive display behind him, Yu went through a series of image comparisons between the latest Apple iPhone and Samsung Galaxy phones and the new P30 and P30 Pro.
The P30, and especially the P30 Pro, captured images that were so much better than the competition that the massive crowd in attendance couldn’t help but cheer each new slide. Particularly in low light conditions (up to 409,600 ISO on the Pro) and using zoom (5X optical, 10X hybrid zoom, 50 X digital), the P30 series have truly, as their new campaign tagline proposes, rewritten the rules of camera photography.
We’ll be back in a week or two with a full walkthrough and review of the camera features on our P30 Pro review unit, but for now here are some key features and specs for the new phones.
See below for a comparison of the key features between the P30 and the premium P30 Pro versions
And that’s not all folks…
While the presentation of the P30’s camera features would have been exciting enough for many a tech observer, there was more to introduce. A few new notable features on the phones were discussed, e.g. open your (Audi) vehicle door or start the ignition using your phone, and wireless charging of other compatible devices using your P30 Pro to mention just two (we’ll cover more in our full phone review).
For your ears
Huawei unveiled two new impressive earbuds, particularly notable for their long battery life. The wrap-around-the-neck Huawei Freelace, is ideal for active lifestyles (hopefully that’s most of us!) and also include noise cancellation, water resistance and an 18 hour battery life. The wireless Freebuds have 10 hours battery life.
We love how fast the latest generation of phones charge up, and the new Huawei 12000 40W SuperCharge Power Bank lets you do that with a portable battery bank. It will charge the P30 to 70% in less than half an hour.
New looks for the Huawei Watch GT lineup were unveiled, with the Active version boasting 14 days battery life, and a slight smaller Elegant version lasting a still impressive 7 days. Both are hardcore scuba diving rated (5ATM) and will work with both Android and iOS devices. Two new band colours, a burnt orange and dark green have been added to the lineup.
A new approach to smart glasses
Huawei announced a partnership with hip Asian eyewear brand Gentle Monster, and had its CEO Hankook Kim introduce “Eyewear”. It seems to be a sensible, pared-down approach to smart eyewear, focusing on delivering quality audio for music and making calls, and interacting with your phone’s virtual assistant. And the frames themselves actually look rather fashionable, although would love to see them in a variety of styles in the future. Nevertheless, if these catch on, it could be the start of a new renaissance in the smart eyewear category. Note: there is no camera in the eyewear, removing a major privacy concern with some previous offerings from other companies.
Comparing the P30 Pro vs the P30
Note: for Canadian market – only the black and, our favourite, “Breathing Crystal” colour (pictured here) are available (Amber Sunrise, Aurora and Pearl White are available in other markets)
P30 Pro – 73.4 x 158.0 x 8.4 mm – Weight 192 g
P30 – 71.4 x 149.1 x 7.6 mm – Weight 165 g
P30 Pro – 6.47 inches
P30 – 6.1 inches
Both have a similar array of sensors, from in-screen fingerprint sensors to gravity sensors to colour temperature sensors.
Both run the latest Kirin 980 processor
As a 2019 device the phone run the latest Android 9
P30 Pro – 8GB RAM and 256 GB ROM storage
P30 – 6GB RAM and 128 GB ROM storage
P30 Pro – 4200mAh
P30 – 3650mAh
P30 Pro – Huawei Supercharge + Huawei Wireless Quick Charge (you can charge your Qi compatible device with this phone)
P30 – Huawei Supercharge
Splash, Water, Dust Resistant
P30 Pro – IP68 (up to 1.5 meters for up to 30 minutes)
P30 – IP53 (up to 10 minutes of lightly splashing water)