Mate 30 hands-on: Flagship experience for less

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 13 2019 11:23 AM

MANILA -- The twin phones in the Mate series has always been about paying extra for a flashier design and a few extras versus saving money for an understated version that has the same core.

The Mate 30 series is P16,000 cheaper than the P50,990 Mate 30 Pro. Add P2,000 and you can buy a Nova 5T, by itself a phone that punches above its price point.

It's easy to dismiss the Mate 30 as a budget-friendlier version, but in our initial hands-on, it's shaping up to be a solid flagship on its own, considering the competition.

Huawei's Mate 30 smartphone.ABS-CBN News

Huawei's Mate 30 comes with a fast charger, earphones and a clear case out of the box.ABS-CBN News

The Huawei Mate 30 Pro (left) and Mate 30 (right) have identical circular camera modules.ABS-CBN News

The Huawei Mate 30 Pro (left) and Mate 30 (right).ABS-CBN News

The Huawei Mate 30 Pro (left) and Mate 30 (right).ABS-CBN News

The Huawei Mate 30 Pro (left) has a bigger notch than the Mate 30 (right), because of its face unlock technology.ABS-CBN News

The "horizon" display on the Mate 30 Pro wraps around the sides of the device, compared to the flat panel on the Mate 30.ABS-CBN News

The "horizon" display on the Mate 30 Pro wraps around the sides of the device, compared to the flat panel on the Mate 30.ABS-CBN News

The Mate 30 has a 6.67 inch Full HD 2340 x 1080 display. The screen is flat (which I prefer), unlike the ultra-curved "horizon" panel on the Mate 30 Pro, which is slightly smaller at 6.53 inches. It is bright and sharp, typical of Huawei OLEDs.

The biggest upgrade to the non-pro Mate this year is wireless charging, fast wireless charging at that. Freedom from cords that break is a convenience you wouldn't miss unless you use it everyday.

The Mate 30 has a 4,200 mAh cell, compared to 4,500 on mAh Pro. Both phones had enough juice for a day of heavy use well into the night. It helps that the screens don't max out at quad HD, which will require more power.

Like the Mate 30 Pro, the Mate 30 runs on Huawei's Kirin 990 processor and ships with EMUI 10, the phone-maker's zippiest interface yet.

The Mate 30 has 3 cameras, while the circular "halo ring" design will make it appear like it has 4 Leica shooters. It has a 40MP main camera at f/1.8 aperture, a 16MP ultra wide with f/2.2 and a 8MP telephoto with f/2.4 and OIS. The Mate 30 Pro has a fourth, depth-sensing camera.

The Mate 30 cameras also like the "cine" branding of its more expensive sibling, while both are "super sensing." We will tell the difference between the two in future tests. Here are some test shots:

A test shot using the Huawei Mate 30.ABS-CBN News

A test shot using the Huawei Mate 30.ABS-CBN News

A test shot using the Huawei Mate 30.ABS-CBN News

A test shot using the Huawei Mate 30.ABS-CBN News

A test shot using the Huawei Mate 30.ABS-CBN News

Huawei's Mate 30 runs Android 10 and like the Mate 30 Pro, doesn't come with the Google Play Store out of the box. It retails for P34,990.

Consider late 2019 flagships that are marketed as budget-friendlier versions: The Galaxy Note 10 sells for P53,990 while the iPhone 11 starts at P47,990. The OnePlus 7T is cheaper at P32,990.