Huawei did an outstanding job when they first launched the Mate 20 series, from hyping the product by handing over power banks in-front of an apple store, to properly addressing spy rumors on their products. End users were still left impressed by it due to its amazing features such as reverse charging, and excellent triple camera setup by Leica which catapulted its way to the top of DXO Mark rankings. It was also the time when opposing smartphone brands felt the urge of innovating their camera technology just to catch up in the race, The Mate 20 Pro set comfortably at the top before the P30 Pro came in. Since not all consumers can afford to buy the Pro variant, Huawei made a bit of a jump in their newest P30, take a look at our full review below and see why we recommend this phone as a legitimate flagship alternative:
The 6.1-inch smartphone is made up of mixed plastic and glass with metal frames on the side. We got the breathing crystal variant which is truly eye-catching but you can also have it in Aurora and Black color (which I strongly prefer). It doesn’t get smudges easily and is comfortable to hold due to its curved edges. One thing I notice though are the sides, which are prone to scratches if used in a long run, thankfully it comes with free transparent jelly case or might get yourself a good phone case to maintain its design quality.
Overall, it has the Mate 20 design concept with its 3 cameras, focusing sensors and a LED flash placed vertically on the top left side. At the bottom is where you can locate its USB Type-C port with Super Charge feature, 3.5mm audio jack and a speaker grille. Volume rockers and power button are installed on the right side while on the left is the dual NANO Sim card tray that both supports LTE connectivity.
The absence of a fingerprint scanner is noticeable since Huawei opted to install an in-screen fingerprint reader which works surprisingly fast and accurate. The product is rated IP53 unlike the Pro variant that has an IP68 rating.
I literally had no complains in the design department but if there is one thing that I think Huawei should have done is, abandon the dew drop notch because it is getting too common nowadays with entry-level phones having the same notch design.
Huawei is responsible for bringing up the 3 camera setup to flagship devices. The Leica designed cameras has a 40-megapixel main shooter with f1.8 aperture, a 16-megapixel wide angle sensor f2.2 aperture and an 8-megapixel zoom sensor paired with an f2.4 aperture. Images taken by the Huawei P30 were obviously good and well-detailed. I noticed that they improved their software in terms of post processed images because the output were not too saturated or overly exposed. The Master AI feature is a great help on providing necessary tweaks and adjustments when taking pictures especially outdoors. Take a look on some of the sample shots taken by the Huawei P30:
For aspiring smartphone photographers, I suggest for you guys to play around with its monochrome mode to take dramatic pictures and wide angle mode for taking pictures of your summer getaways and group pictures. Focusing on a subject is made easier but you have to be in a well lit area for it be more precise and accurate.
Binge watchers are in for a treat as the P30 now packs a 2340 x 1080 FHD+ OLED screen display with weirdly aspect ratio of 19.5:9, nevertheless it enables you to enjoy dark mode and HDR10 support for watching movies on Netflix. You can also set it to 1560 x 720 HD+ to save power if you think your batteries won’t make it.
Under the hood is the same Kirin 980 chipset and Mali-G76 MP10 graphics found in the Mate 20 series, although it won’t rival the latest Snapdragon 855 or Exynos 9820, the performance is somewhat decent enough to balance your everyday productivity and battery life. I can play smoothly with maxed settings on Mobile Legends but for games such as PUBG and Fortnite you may need to tweak it down a little bit to run it seamlessly.
In terms of overall software performance, I’m astonished on how responsive the new EMUI 9.1.0 is. Launching of apps are quite faster compared to the Mate 20 and no matter how many apps are running, I can easily switch in-between without worrying about crashes nor lags thanks to its massive 8GB of RAM and 128GB if internal storage. However, the icons, themes and user interface design are quite lagging to Samsung’s One UI, it feels like I’m still using my old phone with the same animations and styles but faster. I hope they would come up with a refreshed version of the EMUI soon because personally, it is only thing left for them to work on to secure the top spot in flagship smartphones.
Battery is also a bright spot for the Huawei P30, It can really last up to 2 days if just used it for texting, social media, taking photos and internet browsing, but if you put Netflix and gaming into the mix, it can still last a full day with about 10 percent left. I strongly advise to use the supercharge adapter that came in with the device because it enables you to fill in from 0 to 70 percent in just roughly 42 minutes as per testing.
The Huawei P30 is definitely the best flagship alternative today with top-notch Leica powered cameras and the latest hardware that Huawei can offer, you can definitely enjoy most of the features of a high-end smartphone without breaking the bank at just Php36,990.
- Excellent camera and multiple shot modes
- Great battery life
- Fast charging capability
- Display quality is better than expected
- No wireless charging
- GUI is too simple