Huawei P30 Pro Review: 2019 Camera King!

by birtanpublished on October 5, 2020

when you can buy a great phone for $600 or less one of the few things that might actually tempt you towards a four figure flagship is this the camera even as other areas of smartphone tech of plateaued having the best camera in your pocket remains a big deal some phone cameras have superhuman night vision others impress us with ultra wide and telephoto options or beautiful computational portraits with the p30 Pro Huawei is aiming for all of the above and if you are about to drop close to a thousand euros on this phone chances are these cameras are no small part of the

Reason why but before we dig into what makes the p30 Pro special as a camera let's talk about how it fares as a phone if you see Dom 820 Pro coverage you'll have a good grounding of what to expect here nevertheless the p30 Pro is a lot more than just a tweaked version of the handset with a six point four seven inch screen diagonal this is a big chunk of a phone even accounting for its slim proportions and minimal bezels something to call out straight away is that why is absolutely nailed the color options this year unless you're that one guy with the boring black model where you're getting

A distinctly beautiful phone here I've spent most of my time with the eye catching amber sunrise version of the p30 pro but my favorite color has to be the breathing crystal model you see here it's got a gorgeous sky blue gradient with an iridescent shift to a fiery yellow orange and it looks stunning the outer frame has this flattened top and bottom too it's a neat design touch that I suspect also makes it less slippery in the hand but there's still no 3.5 millimeter headphone jack for whatever that's worth around the front it's pretty much all screen safe for a tiny

Bit of a chin down below and a dewdrop notch up top the display is only a 1080p panel which is below the quad HD standard for most flagship phones I can't say I can tell the difference though particularly unless I really go looking for it in every other way that matters this is a great-looking screen with daylight visibility close to Samsung's best and if you look up top you'll notice there's no earpiece speaker to be found that's because the display itself now vibrates to generate sound for phone calls I was skeptical at first about how well this would work but

In reality I found it was perfectly usable though course did sound a little bit tinny devices with a traditional ap speaker like the may 20 pro the p30 pros fingerprint scanner lives in the display but it's an updated component and works a lot better than the older model it's faster more accurate and less fiddly than last year's in screen fingerprint tech and for me it's been more reliable to use even on the Galaxy S tens altra a sonic fingerprint scanner there's also face unlock but because of the need for a small notch in this phone

It's a less secure version using just the front camera I found it works just fine though even in reasonably dark conditions on the inside Huawei's new flagship is a modest upgrade from the mate 20 series of last year using the company's seven nanometer Karen 980 chipset a proven speedy performer and it's backed by eight gigs of RAM and 128 256 or 512 gigabytes of storage other staples of May 20 Pro have made it across the p30 pro as well IP 68 water resistance superfast 40 watt charging and wireless charging plus reverse wireless charging the battery

Spec has also remained unchanged at 4200 milliamp hours and that number isn't just impressive on paper it's also liberated me from battery anxiety from the past couple of weeks of this phone almost entirely the only way I could reliably get into the danger zone before the end of the evening was with constant camera use on busy travel days that's true of most phones but the different seem more pronounced on the p30 Pro at least when you do run low on juice the 40 watt charger can get you back past the 50% mark faster than almost anything else all that makes the p30 Pro a pretty

Good phone but what really differentiates it is its uniquely capable quad camera setup let's quickly recap the specs to begin with Huawei has a 40 megapixel main sensor with a new AR yyb sub pixel setup that's red yellow yellow blue replacing the standard RGB set up to capture more lights let's bind an F 1.6 lens with optical stabilization there's the ultra wide camera we know from the mate 20 and most impressive of all an 8 megapixel 5 x telephoto camera using a new internal periscope to fit in all the optics the fourth camera hiding around the back there is a time of

Flight sensor for more accurate depth detection in portrait and bokeh shots so this whole setup gives you a ton of versatility in the photos you can take in fact the telephoto can zoom all the way up to 10x without losing detail using a hybrid new mode that combines the 5x zoom with the 40 megapixel main sensor in everyday general photography you'll mostly be using the main sensor which is by far the best of the three in terms of dynamic range and low-light performance it's safe to say it's up there with the pixel 3 in both of those areas in fact

Full auto on the p30 Pro is so good in low-light that I haven't felt the need to use the dedicated low light mode anywhere near as much as I did on the p20 on May 20 last year but when you do use it prepare to be impressed seriously impressed the p30 probes in night mode leapfrogs the pixel threes nitesite to capture more color and more detail than your eye can see this phone without a doubt is the new king of low-light photography an order of magnitude better than most other flagship cameras but even when you're not shooting in the dark the improved optics and processing

And the p30 pro's cameras make it a joy to use the AI masters scene detection mode is back though now disabled by default I can't say I've missed it all that much though since everything this phone does look so great on photo there's also a new AI HDR feature that helps keep all parts of an image evenly exposed for example backlit portraits or selfies and portraits in general have really impressed me on this phone likely thanks to the new 4th camera that new tof sensor to help out with edge detection selfies too from a 32 megapixel front

Camera have really surprised me with how well they hold up even in darker conditions though unfortunately you can't use night mode with a front camera like you can on the Google pixel 3 the ultra wide camera unchanged on the hardware side from the may 20 pro lets you capture more dramatic looking shots of scenery or everyday scenes and although it's weaker than the main camera in darker conditions it works really well when paired with the handheld night mode at the other end of the spectrum there's of course the new 5 x telephoto camera which i've been

Extremely impressed by with a few caveats first yes this really is 5 times optical zoom and it really does work all the way up to 10x in hybrid mode actually having usable 10x zoom on a phone kind of forces you to rethink the way you can take photos because it opens up so many new possibilities I mean just look at the range of shots you can take here from all the way out in ultra wide mode to a super long shot off in the distance in 5x and 10x modes I've gotten consistently great shots out of the p30 Pro though I did notice autofocus coming a little slow and wonky compared

To the other two cameras also yes in theory you can go all the way up to 50x a digital zoom but just don't it looks bad there are other potential pitfalls too with such a long telephoto camera in a phone firstly for some shots 5x zoom is just too long there's an awkward area of weakness between around 3x and 4.9 X zoom that means you're still looking at a digital crop of the main sensor and that means fine detail and colors suffer until you hit that magic 5x mark and switch over to the dedicated telephoto I'm not really sure what the solution to this might be besides adding yet another

Camera also the telephoto is just not great in general in low-light at night you're gonna get dark soft looking images that are just nowhere near as clear as what the main sensor can deliver in fact in very dark conditions the p30 pro does switch back to a digital crop of the main sensor but that's bad in a different way since you're looking at a pure digital zoom at 5x which even at 40 megapixels looks rough I guess my main criticism with the p30 Pro and still is that you get all this versatility with these 4 cameras but at the same time it's executed in a

Way that is inherently restrictive the main sensor is superlative in low-light which only serves to highlight the weakness of the telephoto and to a lesser extent the wide-angle in much darker conditions the telephoto is phenomenal in good or moderate light but in the dark you have to deal with that nasty digital crop of the main sensor at the same time for moderate zoom at around 3x the p30 Pro is arguably weaker than the standard P 30 which has the same three times optical zoom module from last year's Huawei flagships I want to talk a little bit about video before

We move on because that was one big area of weakness for last year's Huawei phones and this year there's been some serious improvement across the board ai stabilization now works reliably across all three rear cameras there are no framerate dips when shooting with the ultra wide camera and although you do need a steady hand the 5 x telephoto works really well in video mode combining the optical and AI stabilisation Huawei has improved its low-light video processing – works pretty well though shots with a lot of movement will still produce slightly

Juddery images and at the same time a lot of my criticisms with a telephoto in low-light also apply to video when you're shooting in the dark you're gonna want to use the main sensor exclusively since video rapidly becomes grainy on the other two so the p30 pros cameras aren't magic there are limits to what it can do and in what conditions there is a learning curve involved in a way that there isn't we'd say a pixel or an iPhone but if you do put in the time to learn these cameras the results are really rewarding

Let's round off by talking software which has traditionally been not great in Huawei phones and as a fairly minor point release mui 9.1 doesn't change things up dramatically that said there are extra minor bits of polish that do make it more enjoyable or perhaps just less objectionable some animations like the recent apps which you have been improved UI scaling is more consistent everything isn't gigantic by default most Huawei is now doing icon borders properly in its launcher and minor improvements but the mix of circles and squares before was kinda jarring

What this doesn't change is the generally over-engineered feel of emui the many slightly irritating ways it copies iOS like hiding notifications on a lock screen unless they're new since the last time you unlocked the phone in fact lockscreen notifications in general are handled in a bit of a confusing way that said these baby steps of progress are welcome and I've been mostly fine with Huawei software in my time with the p30 I've used to all the Huawei phones over the years though so if you're coming in fresh then maybe prepare for some weirdness as he settle

In none of the p30 pro software quirks are enough to stop me enthusiastically recommending this device though it nails the basics of what makes a great overall phone the way it looks the way it performs the battery life and it justifies the hefty price tag by offering the best and most versatile camera in a smartphone though perhaps warm with a steeper learning curve than most of the competition that's it for now on what might well be the best smartphone camera of 2019 stay tuned and subscribe for more reviews like this one and hit the comments let us know what

You think of the p30 pro thanks for watching and I'll see you next time you

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