Huawei P30 Pro, widely rated as the camera with the best camera, is also the flagship powerhouse.
Come on. All you really care about is the camera. Let me get the first things out of the way first.
From perspective form factor, P30 Pro looks and feels very much like Mate 20 Pro I fell in love with earlier this year. It's more slippery than soap, comes in fun when it's too reflective colors, and provides a very high and slim form factor that is a little more friendly with one hand than most modern smartphones.
Of course, there are differences.
For example, the P30 Pro has a small, tear-style notch housing front camera. On the back you will see three rear camera lenses arranged in a vertical column; on the Mate 20 Pro, a total of three lenses are arranged in a square grid along with the flash.
And that's about it.
Internally, of course, the P30 Pro is the entire flagship, all the way. It is powered by Huawei's Kirin 980 Vine-Core Processor with dual neuron-network processor units (NPUs), and is based on the latest Arm Cortex A76 design. Depending on the model you choose, you get 6 GB of RAM and 128 GB of memory or 8 GB of RAM and 128, 256, or 512 GB of storage. The connection is modern – 802.11 ac at 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz, Bluetooth 5.0 and BLE (and SBC, AAC, aptX, aptX HD, LDAC and HWA Audio). And the display is a wonderful, 6.47-inch miracle running at 2340 x 1080 resolution.
And then there's a camera system.
Technically, there are four rear cameras, not three. Three primary cameras – those in the vertical column – include a 40 MP wide-angle lens with an f / 1.6 aperture and optical image stabilization (OIS), a 20 MP wide-angle lens with an f / 2.2 aperture, and a telephoto lens with 8 resolution MP with f / 3.4 and OIS. The fourth camera, the Huawei Time-of-Flight (TOF) lens, supports autofocusing (phase and contrast focusing) and AI image stabilization based on Huawei technology, called AI. The front camera has one lens: it is a 32 MB lens with f / 2.0 aperture.
Oof. I know, right?
And yet there is more. Omitted from this small laundry specification camera list is a feature that is still semi-unique in the smartphone world, but is going to get much more popular: True optical zoom. And not a lazy 2x optical zoom as we were trapped on the iPhone since 2016. But 5x optical zoom and with the help of Huawei software and 10x zoom-based AI software that it has no aspiration.
So I just got the handset. Which is a good timing: On Thursday, I head to Vancouver and then to Seattle for a week of traveling and working hours to try out the new exciting camera system of this smartphone. But of course I had to do some quick cameras if I'm just in my house and outside to see how it compares, both with its predecessor Mate 20 Pro, and with Google Pixel 3 XL, which are my own two top- currently rated smartphones.
If you remember from my review of Mate 20 Pro, Huawei's former flagship excels in what I (and others) call "fauxtography," where hyperrealism, politely colored and contrasting colors replace real realism in the sense that many – I am included – It's pretty nice. It's not just that, actually: Mate 20 Pro has a very localized focus that, combined with color, HDR looks, makes for really Instagram-worthy photos. So far, it's the only best smartphone I've ever used. Sorry, Google.
P30 Pro could change it very well. According to limited tests to date, the P30 Pro, although Master AI enabled, seems to deliver less vivid but more realistic photos than Mate 20 Pro by default. However, they are just as detailed and provide the same localized focus, which in my opinion is excellent.
Interesting is 5x zoom. For near and far objects, the details on the P30 Pro are much sharper, and in most cases better resist detailed zooming. It's strange that if you want to use the zoom at all – optical or software – you need to configure the camera to take pictures at 10 MP (4: 3), default and not 40 MP (4: 3).
I need a lot more time to find out what's going on here and make sure I don't have any configurable settings. However, the P30 Pro delivers impressive results.
Tagged with Huawei, Huawei P30 Pro