Huawei defends camera throne with P30 Pro: Hands-on

Joel Guinto, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 30 2019 07:08 AM

Huawei's P30 Pro smartphone. ABS-CBN News

PARIS -- Huawei's P30 Pro is the world's highest rated smartphone camera by review website DXOMARK, dislodging it's own P20 Pro and Mate 20 Pro from 2018 and chief rival Samsung's Galaxy S10+. 

With Leica co-branding for the fourth straight year and with four lenses on its back, Huawei is aiming squarely at those who want the best cameras on their smartphone.

The expectations are great, and the P30 Pro delivers in our initial hands-on around the streets of Paris, one of the world's most photographed cities.

CAMERAS

The P30 Pro has a 40-megapixel wide angle lens with f/1.6 aperture and optical image stabilization, a 20MP telephoto lens with f/2.2, an 8MP telephoto with f/3.4 and a time of flight or TOF sensor below the flash for focus and contrast.

The "super spectrum" 40-megapixel sensor swaps green for yellow, adopting a red-yellow-blue setup for brighter images. The square-shaped lens at the bottom of the camera setup is the "periscope" that gives the P30 Pro its zoom capabilities.

Here are photos of the Eiffel tower at night and the Moulin Rouge taken at wide, standard, 5 times and 10 times zoom. The P30 Pro can zoom digitally up to 50 times, according to Huawei. 

The Eiffel Tower in Paris is shown in this photo taken with the Huawei P30 Pro. ABS-CBN News 
The Eiffel Tower in Paris is shown in this photo taken with the Huawei P30 Pro at 5 times zoom. ABS-CBN News 
The Eiffel Tower in Paris is shown in this photo taken with the Huawei P30 Pro. at 10 times zoom ABS-CBN News 
The Moulin Rouge in Paris is shown in this photo taken with the Huawei P30 Pro with wide angle. ABS-CBN News 
The Moulin Rouge in Paris is shown in this photo taken with the Huawei P30 Pro. ABS-CBN News
The Moulin Rouge in Paris is shown in this photo taken with the Huawei P30 Pro at 5 times zoom. ABS-CBN News 
The Moulin Rouge in Paris is shown in this photo taken with the Huawei P30 Pro at 10 times zoom. ABS-CBN News 

Huawei also swapped the monochrome from the P20 Pro for a wide angle lens on the P30 Pro, similar to the Mate 20 series from late 2018.

Colors are rich and images are sharp even in low light. Here are more sample shots.

An overhead shot using the wide angle mode of the Montmarte district in Paris, taken with the Huawei P30 Pro. ABS-CBN News
A plate of mozzarella cheese and tomatoes taken with the Huawei P30 Pro. ABS-CBN News 
Flowers begin to bloom in Paris at the start of spring, in this photo taken using the Huawei P30 Pro. ABS-CBN News 

HARDWARE 

Huawei super-sized the screen to 6.47 inches on the P30 Pro, with the P30 coming in at 6.1 inches, around the same size as the P20 Pro. The P30 Pro has an OLED Full HD panel with a resolution of 2340 X 1080. 

The panel is bright and colors are rich, but the difference is evident when you place it beside Quad HD screens like those on the Apple iPhone XS Max and the Galaxy S10+. Still, Huawei’s choice will conserve battery. While 2K-capable is, the S10 line has the option scale down the resolution to save power. 

The P30 Pro has curved sides, similar to the S10+ which makes it look slimmer and easier to hold. Flat instead of curved top and bottom frames make for a sturdier build.

The new gradient colors are gorgeous, especially the "Breathing Crystal White" which very subtly shifts to purple, blue and gold depending on the light and the angle. 

The "Amber Sunrise" hue is bold and shifts from red to orange. Huawei started the gradient finish with the P20 Pro, which has been adopted by other manufacturers.

SOFTWARE AND PERFORMANCE 

Powered by Huawei's own Kirin 980 processor and with a 4,200 mAh battery, the P30 Pro was speedy and had more that enough power for an entire day of taking pictures and browsing social media feeds. 

The 40-watt super charge from the Mate 20 Pro was carried over to the P30 Pro as well as reverse wireless charging. It charges wirelessly at up to 15 watts. 

Our review unit had 8 gigabytes of RAM and a generous 256 gigabytes of storage. Gesture navigation was smoother compared to the Mate 20 Pro. Aesthetically, there is not much difference with EMUI 9 over Android Pie on the P30 Pro compared to the Mate 20 series.

The P30 Pro costs 999 euros for the 128 gigabyte model. Huawei has not announced local pricing, but its flagships have in the past undercut Samsung. The Galaxy S10+ with equal on board storage costs P55,990. 

We will be coming out with a full review of the P30 Pro in the coming weeks. 

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