In 2018 Huawei overtook Apple to become the world’s second-largest smartphone brand. The brand’s success formula includes smartphones across price points. At the top of the tree sit some of Huawei’s flagships that are driven by one key feature – a stellar rear camera. Over the last 12 months we put the P20 Pro and the Mate 20 Pro, Huawei’s pricier phones under the scanner. Each time we were blown away by the camera results. The P30 Pro is the newest chapter and Huawei would like us to believe that this is the smartphone cam to beat in 2019.
Huawei’s confidence stems from the brand’s successful partnership with Leica. The quad rear cam is easily the P30 Pro’s most striking design element. The P30 is a thoughtfully designed smartphone. We dig the curved display – great viewing angles and it also feels solid in your hands. Colours are vivid on the 6.47-inch display (1080 x 1920 pixels / 398 PPI / 19.5:9 Aspect Ratio) but it isn’t quite as vibrant as the Samsung Galaxy S10+ that packs more pixels per inch. Each brand has followed a different design approach to minimise the bezels in the quest for an immersive display. The P30 Pro features a tiny dewdrop notch that manages to cram a 32MP selfie camera. Results were great on this front camera. Selfie fiends will probably appreciate beautification options that allow you to set face slimming and skin smoothening levels.
It’s the rear camera that has our attention. This quad camera is probably the most feature-packed smartphone cam out there. There’s a 40MP primary lens with an f/1.7 aperture, a 20MP ultra-wide lens, a TOF 3D camera and our favourite 8MP periscope lens that offers 10X near lossless zoom capabilities. It’s not just the hardware package that is formidable, the results are quite impressive. I spent over two weeks testing this device in multiple scenarios – from shooting flamingos from a distance near Chennai with the 10X zoom to lowlight photographs at a dimly lit nightclub in Tel Aviv. The P30 Pro addresses two key problem areas for smartphone cams – lowlight photography and lossless zoom.
In low light scenarios, you can opt to stick to the regular photo mode where it cranks up the ISO or Night mode. It takes about five seconds to capture images on night mode where it stitches together multiple images in lower exposure. The lossless zoom feature allows you to capture objects or subjects at a distance with the night mode. The camera also shoots crisp videos.
The P30 Pro’s hardware spec sheet befits a flagship device. It’s propelled by the Kirin HiSilicon 980 processor that we first saw on the Mate 20 Pro. This robust processor combines with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of Internal Memory. It blazed through our intensive gaming and multi-tasking challenges. The device features a hybrid dual-SIM slot that can also accommodate a Nano SIM card that Huawei has not yet made available in India. The other highlight of this device is the solid 4200 mAh battery that should comfortably last 24 hours for most users. Huawei’s fast charging option can power up your device from 0 to 70% in thirty minutes flat. And then there’s reverse charging that Huawei first pioneered with the Mate 20 Pro. The P30 Pro can double up as a wireless charger that can share battery juice with compatible smartphones and other gadgets.
The device features Huawei’s latest custom UI – EMUI 9.1 that is slightly easier on the eye compared to its previous versions. The App icons are slightly larger, improving the overall visual experience. It’s still not likely to find favour with users who prefer a more minimalist, true-blue Android Pie experience. It’s a minor crib in a device that will ultimately sell on it’s biggest USP – its rear camera. The Huawei P30 Pro is the smartphone camera to beat right now.
The Huawei P30 costs Rs 71,990/- and is available in two colour options – Breathing Crystal and Aurora.