Specifications and Design
Huawei has undoubtedly raised the design bar for its future devices with the P30 Pro; it’s decidedly the most premium looking device in Huawei’s catalogue. The bezels on the sides and top are minimal, apart from the notch that houses the front-facing camera. While the notch might feel a remnant of 2018 at a time when manufacturers are innovating unique ways to accommodate the selfie camera, the waterdrop notch on the P30 Pro is negligible, and after a couple of days of use, it almost bleeds into the screen.
The display is curved to the edges and not only does that add to the device’s aesthetic appeal, but it also makes the phone comfortable to hold. The in-display fingerprint scanner is swift and accurate, although with a slight caveat – it takes far longer to set up than the more traditional capacitive scanners. However, it’s almost unerringly accurate; in the one week that I used the device, it failed to read my fingerprint only once.
The primary draw, however, is the design on the rear. Our review unit came in ‘Breathing Crystal,’ a sumptuous, near fluorescent shining, shimmering blend of white, blue and purple that changes colour according to the light falling on it. It’s rather attractive.
The 6.46-inch FHD+ resolution OLED screen is a good panel, the colours are vibrant, and the brightness is excellent. However, when compared to Huawei’s own Mate 20 Pro, the panel is not as crisp. Another slight letdown is the lack of a QHD resolution. At this price point, it’s something that should have been made available. Particularly when you consider that phones that less expensive phones with a QHD resolution such as the OnePlus 7 Pro are readily available in Nepal.
That isn’t to say the display on the P30 Pro is bad, quite the contrary, but given Huawei’s stellar work on the Mate 20 Pro, this is one area where they haven’t quite met expectations.
Other than that gripe, the display works great. Content consumption is a joy on the P30 Pro, as is playing games with a high degree of visual fidelity.
Software, Performance and Battery
Huawei’s custom EMUI 9.1 runs on top of Android 9 on the P30 Pro. While the operating system is serviceable, it isn’t quite at the top of the pile. The design of the icons has an outdated feel to it. Further, the lack of an app drawer, which is a staple of Android handsets, might not be to everyone’s liking. That being said, all the significant functionalities necessary for a flagship operating system in 2019 are present on the phone. It could do with some refinement though.
The device runs on Huawei’s flagship Kirin 980. The chipset, combined with a generous 8 GB of RAM on our review unit, ensures the phone is blazingly fast. The P30 Pro chews through day-to-day tasks with consummate ease.
Graphically demanding games such as PUBG and Asphalt 9 run with buttery smoothness at the highest graphical settings. In terms of power and raw performance, the P30 Pro is a behemoth.
Then there’s the battery. The 4,200-mAh cell on the P30 Pro, to put it bluntly, is a beast; it borders on the obscene. It can handle everything thrown at it – from heavy gaming sessions to binge-watching sessions, and at the end of the day, it will still be hovering around 40 percent. It’s remarkable.
In early 2018, Huawei’s P20 Pro was widely heralded as a camera phone par excellence. The P30 Pro then, had a lot to live up too. And that it does. Headlined by the never-seen-before 50x zoom functionality, the P30 Pro’s camera set-up is excellent, on par with the best in the business. The shots are pleasing, colour accurate and packed with detail.
The ultrawide lens is particularly fun to experiment with as it opens new avenues of framing a shot. Similarly, the telephoto lens works like a charm; there is no loss of detail at 5x zoom. Then there is the 10x hybrid zoom and a remarkable 50x digital zoom. The feature is much fun to play around with, and more importantly, when combined with the ultrawide lens, makes the P30 Pro an all-around camera champion.
Further, the night mode is fantastic and illuminates even the darkest of scenarios.
While the ramifications of Google’s decision to sever ties with Huawei following the executive order issued by US President Donald Trump loom large over P30 Pro, in the here and now, it remains a premium flagship worthy of consideration.
While the less-than-stellar display and the somewhat antiquated OS serve as minor impediments, the P30 Pro more than makes up for them by exceeding expectations in every other criterion. The device is a testament to Huawei’s burgeoning position in the smartphone industry, and whatever the future holds for the company, they have produced a great phone in the P30 Pro.