The Huawei P30 Pro is an impressive piece of kit. It has a gorgeous curved screen, flagship Kirin 980 processor, IP68 water and dust resistance, reverse wireless charging, a faster in-display fingerprint scanner, and more. But let’s be honest, the P30 Pro is really all about the camera. And what a camera it is! The phenomenal 5x optical and 10x hybrid zoom are unlike anything we’ve used before and allow you to capture photos that you simply wouldn’t be able to get with any other smartphone.
Dimensions: 158 x 73.4 x 8.4 mm
Weight: 192 g
Screen: 6.47-inch, 19.5:9, 398 ppi (1,080 x 2,340)
CPU: Kirin 980
Battery: 4,200 mAh
Cameras: 40MP + 20MP + 8MP rear + ToF / 32MP front
OS: Android 9.0 Pie, EMUI 9.1
With the P30 Pro, Huawei has taken the ideas that it introduced with the P20 Pro last year and run with them. The impressive 3x lossless optical zoom that helped the P20 Pro snatch a five-star review from us last year has been increased to 5x optical zoom. Not only that, but there’s also a 10x lossless hybrid zoom feature that uses the AI built-into the Kirin 980 chipset to sharpen up your shots and remove any blur from hand movements. It’s seriously impressive stuff.
Of course, since Huawei has simply increased the amount of zoom that you get out of the latest P series, you could be forgiven for thinking this is an unimaginative, or iterative update to the formula from last year.
But that would be selling the Huawei P30 Pro very short.
Moving to the RYYB sensor also required Huawei to rework how its Kirin 980 Image Signal Processor handles the input from the camera. The company clearly believes all this upheaval will result in more detailed images, better hybrid zoom, and improved low-light performance. And over our full review testing time with the handset it soon became clear that these changes have indeed led to an improved, super versatile camera system.
Photographs are very sharp and burst with vibrant colours. Thankfully, the images aren’t quite as ziggy and over-saturated as the Samsung Galaxy S10 produces. As you’d expect from a modern flagship smartphone, there’s the ability to add bokeh-style blur behind the subject of your photograph. While this isn’t quite as refined and realistic as the iPhone XS, it stands toe-to-toe with the best from the Google Pixel 3XL and Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus. There’s also an ultra-wide lens that can create some thrillingly original shots (it can also be useful when sightseeing to squeeze an entire skyscraper into your family shot).
Huawei’s hybrid 10x zoom, which it also claims is completely lossless, uses AI to detect what is in the photo and enhance and sharpen any details that may have been lost in the digital zoom. It’s seriously impressive stuff. Text works particularly well. For example, we were able to zoom into a small road sign using the 10x hybrid zoom at the other end of a busy London street – only to find the resulting image almost as sharp as if we were stood beside it when we pressed the shutter. Granted, not everything comes out as crystal-clear as pain text. Whatever algorithms are running behind-the-scenes in the hybrid zoom system made some of the people around the sign in our shot look a little over-sharpened and janky.