Hands-On, Smartphone

Huawei P30 Pro Hands-On: Breaking New Grounds

Update, 3 April: We now know how much the Huawei P30 Pro cost in Malaysia. The 256GB model with 8GB of RAM, which is available in Breathing Crystal, Aurora, and Black, retails at RM3,799. The higher-end 512GB variant, on the other hand, goes for RM4,399. Oddly enough, only the Aurora colourway is made available for the 512GB variant.

Yes, the P30 Pro is not particularly affordable, but it’s worth noting that even the base model offers 256GB of storage. Normally, most phone makers would offer 128GB of storage instead, which would bring down the price quite a bit.

Huawei’s decision to only bring in the 256GB variant as the base model is quite interesting: it raises the entry price of the phone quite a bit. It remains to be seen if this strategy would work out for the company.

The original article follows.

The Huawei P30 Pro is finally here, and it’s better than ever. Sporting a sleeker, more premium design, better performance, and a far more sophisticated camera system, this is easily one of Huawei’s most thrilling phones yet.

I got to test out the P30 Pro very briefly, and more importantly, I managed to try out the quad camera system’s impressive zooming capability. Suffice to say, I am genuinely excited to get my hands on the P30 Pro again for a more extensive look – there’s no phone quite like it in the market now.

Without a doubt the main highlight of the P30 Pro is its impressive Leica quad camera system, so let’s talk about that first. Made up of a primary 40MP sensor, a 20MP wide-angle shooter, an 8MP telephoto lens with a periscope-style prism, and a time-of-flight (ToF) sensor, it’s a versatile camera configuration. In fact, the combination of these sensors allow the P30 Pro to do up to to 50x zoom.

Granted, it’s really a combination of optical and digital zoom, but the results are pretty darn impressive. Judge for yourself with the sample shots below.

Crazy, isn’t it? The image quality isn’t the greatest, but I was using a pre-release unit of the P30 Pro – the final production model may produce different results. Besides, these are also low light shots; the camera performance should be better in daytime condition.

Of course, Huawei’s signature night mode for the camera is still present on the P30 Pro. Take a look at how this performs in comparison to a regular shot.

Evidently, enabling night mode allows the P30 Pro to capture a brighter, more properly exposed shot. Do note that the night shot above is taken without the use of a tripod – everything is done handheld.

Its predecessor, the Huawei P20 Pro, had one of the best camera systems when it debut last year. At the moment, I’m inclined to say that the P30 Pro could very well retain that title – I’m definitely excited to put the new quad camera system through its paces again in a full review. I’m curious to see how the 32MP selfie camera would perform too.

Beyond its camera performance, the P30 Pro is also well-designed. It has a sleek, minimalist design, and I really like how the phone feels in my hands. It’s a premium device through and through, and I like the heft of the phone. (It weighs 192g.)

Part of the reason why the P30 Pro feels premium can be attributed to its 6.47-inch 1080p dual curved OLED display, which is bright and vibrant. I wouldn’t say the curved screen looks similar to the Samsung Galaxy S10+’s curved display, but it does remind me of the Huawei Mate 20 Pro‘s screen, which also curves at either sides of the phone.

Unfortunately, the P30 Pro’s OLED display has a notch at the top, albeit it’s a minimal one. On a more positive note, the bottom bezel has been shrunk considerably, giving the phone a much more modern-looking design than its predecessor.

Oh, the P30 Pro also has an in-screen fingerprint sensor now. It’s an optical sensor instead of an ultrasonic one, but it does prove to be quite fast and accurate. No, it’s still not on the same level of accuracy or speed as a conventional, capacitive fingerprint sensor, but hey, it’s still a reasonably good sensor.

Powering the P30 Pro is Huawei’s own Kirin 980 chipset, the very same SoC that is found in the Mate 20 series of smartphones. It’s a fast, powerful processor, and it has good gaming performance too. I played a couple rounds of Fortnite on this phone, and it was definitely an enjoyable experience.

Battery life shouldn’t be an issue with the P30 Pro either. Packing a very generous 4,200mAh battery, I’m positive this phone can deliver at the very least a day’s worth of usage. Plus, this phone only has a 1080p display too, which isn’t as power-hungry as, say, a 1440p panel.

Other specifications of the P30 Pro include 8GB of RAM, 256GB or 512GB of internal storage, dual 4G support, as well as an NM card slot. That’s right, if you want more storage, you’ll have to use Huawei’s proprietary Nano Memory card.

The Huawei P30 Pro is an exciting flagship smartphone, mostly because of its groundbreaking, unique Leica quad camera system. Right now, no other smartphone has a similar camera system. Yes, Oppo does have its 10x lossless zoom camera system, but that isn’t shipping on a consumer-ready device yet – Huawei simply beat Oppo to it.

Nonetheless, the P30 Pro is a worthy successor to the P20 Pro. If you’re interested to pick this phone up, you wouldn’t have to wait too long either: it’s set to arrive in Malaysia as early as next week on 2 April 2019.