The Huawei Mate 30 series is here, and instead of last year’s plethora of Mate 20 smartphones, Huawei is making it simpler this year with only two main devices: the standard Mate 30, and the Mate 30 Pro. Despite the Chinese company’s ongoing debacle with the US government – blocking its access to Google’s suite of services – these phones are still shipping with EMUI 10 based on Android 10.
But make no mistake: even if the Mate 30 smartphones are still running on Android, they do not come with Google’s software and services. These include Google Chrome, Maps, YouTube, Gmail, and even the all-important Google Play Store. It’s unfortunate, really, given just how impressive the Mate 30 series is.
Yes, as expected of Huawei, the Mate 30 smartphones are high-end flagship devices through and through. Both of them ship with the latest Kirin 990 chipset, which is Huawei’s first processor with a built-in 5G modem. Compared to the Kirin 980, the Kirin 990 should bring noticeable performance gain.
Processing power aside, the Mate 30 Pro also features an impressive quad camera system capable of recording 7680fps slow-motion videos. Of course, this incredibly high frame rate is only limited to 720p video recording. If you want to do 4K video recording instead, it can do so at 60fps.
Naturally, out of the two phones, the Mate 30 Pro has a more sophisticated quad camera configuration. It’s made up of a 40MP primary shooter, a 40MP wide angle “Cine Camera” sensor, an 8MP telephoto lens, and a 3D depth camera. It also has a very high ISO of up to 409,600.
The regular Mate 30, on the other hand, swaps out the 40MP Cine Camera and 3D depth sensors for 16MP wide angle and “laser focus” modules instead. Its ISO is also lowered to 204,800; half that of the Pro model’s camera system, but still a remarkable figure.
Interestingly, the Mate 30’s 24MP (32MP on the Pro model) front-facing camera can also recognise gestures, allowing users to perform certain actions to control the phone without actually touching it. Sounds familiar? Well, that’s exactly what the LG G8 ThinQ can do with its Z Camera. Even the upcoming Google Pixel 4 will feature the same thing with Project Soli.
Another interesting feature – that’s only available on the Mate 30 Pro – are the touch-sensitive sides, which replace the physical volume buttons on the phone. What you need to do is just double tap on either sides of the phone to summon the volume controls, and just slide along the sides to do your adjustment.
So why is Huawei ditching the physical volume keys on the Mate 30 Pro? Well, that’s because the phone’s 6.53-inch 2400 x 1176 OLED notched display now wraps around the edges of the phone; even more so than the dual curved screens of the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 and S10 smartphones. As for the Mate 30, it makes do with a more conventional 6.62-inch 1080p OLED flat display with a smaller notch.
Battery capacities of Mate smartphones have always been pretty generous, and it’s no different with the new Mate 30 devices. The standard Mate 30 features a 4,200mAh battery, while the Mate 30 Pro comes with a bigger 4,500mAh cell. Both phones also support 40W wired fast charging, and they can do 27W fast wireless charging too.
Rounding out the specifications of the Mate 30 and Mate 30 Pro include 8GB of RAM, 128GB (Mate 30) or 256GB (Mate 30 Pro) of internal storage – only expandable with Huawei’s proprietary NM memory card – in-screen fingerprint sensors, as well as a 3.5mm headphone jack…on the regular Mate 30. The Pro variant, unfortunately, does not have this port.
Not surprisingly, there’s also the Porsche Design Mate 30 RS, which has similar hardware as the Mate 30 Pro, but with more RAM and storage at 12GB and 512GB respectively. On top of that, it also has a different design on the back of the phone; it’s even finished in leather for that extra bit of premium touch.
In terms of pricing, the Huawei Mate 30 retails at 799 euro – that comes up to about RM3,700. As for the Mate 30 Pro, it goes for 1,099 euro (approximately RM5,090) and 1,199 euro (around RM5,555) for the 4G and 5G models respectively. And then there’s the luxurious Porsche Design Mate 30 RS that can be yours for a cool 2,095 euro (about RM9,705).
Do note that these prices include VAT for the European market, so expect them to be more affordable in other countries. At the moment, Malaysian availability of the Mate 30 smartphones are not known yet either, but given Huawei’s strong presence here, we reckon it’s only a matter of time before they’re launched locally.
However, considering that the Mate 30 smartphones do not have Google’s software and services, how attractive will these smartphones be? We’ll just have to wait to find out.