Obsessed with technology?
Subscribe to the latest tech news as well as exciting promotions from us and our partners!
By subscribing, you indicate that you have read & understood the SPH's Privacy Policy and PDPA Statement.
Product Listing

Huawei P30 Pro review: The camera alone is reason enough

By James Lu - 21 Apr 2019
Prices:

Benchmark Performance, Battery life, and Conclusion

Benchmark Performance

The P30 Pro is powered by Huawei's Hi-Silicon Kirin 980 processor, the same processor found inside the Mate 20 Pro. The Kirin 980 is 7nm octa-core processor with a unique setup: four low-power cores, two medium, and two high-power cores. In theory, this setup gives the phone more configurations compared to a standard big.LITTLE approach, which should give it better efficiency overall.

For more information on the Kirin 980, check out this article.

  Huawei P30 Pro Huawei P20 Pro Huawei Mate 20 Pro Samsung Galaxy S10+ (512GB) Samsung Galaxy Note9 (128GB) Apple iPhone XS Max (256GB) Google Pixel 3 XL (64GB) Oppo Find X (128GB) OnePlus 6T (8GB/128GB)
  Huawei P30 Pro Huawei P20 Pro Huawei Mate 20 Pro Samsung Galaxy S10+ (512GB) Samsung Galaxy Note9 (128GB) Apple iPhone XS Max (256GB) Google Pixel 3 XL (64GB) Oppo Find X (128GB) OnePlus 6T (8GB/128GB)
Launch SRP
  • From S$1398
  • From S$1148
  • From S$1348
  • From S$1798
  • From S$1398
  • From S$2039
  • From S$1399
  • From S$1199
  • From S$988
Latest Price
  • From S$788
  • From S$400
  • From S$398
  • From S$1060
  • From S$600
  • From S$1480
  • From S$650
  • From S$790
  • From S$528
Operating system
  • Android 9.0 with EMUI 9.1
  • Android 8.1 with EMUI 8.1
  • Android 9.0 with EMUI 9.0
  • Android 9.0 Pie with Samsung One UI
  • Android 8.1 Oreo with Samsung Experience
  • iOS 12
  • Android 9.0 Pie
  • Android 8.1 Oreo
  • Android 9.0 with Oxygen OS
Processor
  • Hisilicon Kirin 980 octa-core (2 x 2.6GHz Cortex-A76 & 2 x 1.92GHz Cortex-A76 & 4 x 1.8GHz Cortex-A55)
  • Hisilicon Kirin 970 octa-core (4x2.4 GHz Cortex-A73 & 4x1.8 GHz Cortex-A53)
  • Hisilicon Kirin 980 octa-core (2 x 2.6GHz Cortex-A76 & 2 x 1.92GHz Cortex-A76 & 4 x 1.8GHz Cortex-A55)
  • Samsung Exynos 9820 8nm octa-core (2x2.7 GHz Mongoose M4 & 2x2.3 GHz Cortex-A75 & 4x1.9 GHz Cortex-A55)
  • Samsung Exynos 9810 octa-core (4x2.8 GHz Mongoose M3 & 4x1.7 GHz Cortex-A55)
  • Apple A12 Bionic hexa-core
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 845
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 octa-core (4x2.8 GHz Kryo 385 Gold & 4x1.7 GHz Kryo 385 Silver)
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 Octa-core (4 x 2.8GHz Kryo 385 Gold & 4 x 1.7GHz Kryo 385 Silver)
Built-in Memory
  • 8GB RAM
  • 6GB RAM
  • 6GB RAM
  • 8GB RAM
  • 6GB RAM
  • 4GB RAM
  • 4GB RAM
  • 8GB RAM
  • 8GB RAM
Display
  • 6.47-inches 2,340 x 1,080 pixels (398 ppi) OLED 19.5:9 ratio
  • Always-On Display
  • 6.1-inches 2,244 x 1,080 pixels (408 ppi) AMOLED 18.7:9 ratio
  • 6.39-inches 3,120 x 1,440 pixels (538 ppi) AMOLED 19.5:9 ratio
  • Always-On Display
  • 6.4-inch / 3,040 x 1,440 pixels (526 ppi) / 19:9 ratio / Dynamic AMOLED Infinity-O Display
  • Always-On Display
  • 6.4-inch / 2,960 x 1,440 pixels (516 ppi) / 18.5:9 ratio / Super AMOLED Infinity Display
  • Always-On Display
  • 6.5-inch Super Retina HD / 2,688 x 1,242 pixels (458ppi) / OLED
  • 6.3-inch / 2,960 x 1,440 pixels (523 ppi) / flexible OLED Display
  • Always-On Display
  • 6.42-inch / 2,340 x 1,080 pixels (401 ppi) / 19.5:9 ratio / AMOLED Display
  • 6.41-inch / 2,340 x 1,080 pixels (402ppi) / 19.5:9 ratio / Optic AMOLED
  • Always-on Display
Camera
  • Rear: Quad: 40-megapixel f/1.6 wide with SuperSpectrum sensor, 20-megapixel f/2.2 ultra wide, 8-megapixel f/3.4 telephoto lens with 5x optical zoom and 10x Hybrid zoom, and Time-of-Flight (ToF) 3D lens
  • Front: 32-megapixel, f/2.0
  • Rear: Triple 40-megapixel f/1.8 OIS + 20-megapixel f/1.6 + 8-megapixel f/2.4, Leica optics, 3x optical zoom, phase detection and laser autofocus, dual-LED dual-tone flash
  • Front: 24-megapixel, f/2.0
  • Rear: Triple 40-megapixel f/1.8 wide + 20-megapixel f/2.2 ultrawide + 8-megapixel f/2.4 telephoto, OIS, Leica optics, 3x optical zoom,5x hybrid zoom, phase detection and laser autofocus, dual-LED dual-tone flash
  • Front: 24-megapixel, f/2.0
  • Rear: Triple 12-megapixel dual f/1.5 and 2.4, 26mm wide + 12-megapixel f/2.4, 52mm telephoto, 2x optical zoom + 16-megapixel, f/2.2, 12mm ultrawide
  • Front: Dual 10-megapixel, f/1.9 + 8-megapixel, f/2.2 depth sensor
  • Rear: Dual 12-megapixel, dual f/1.5 and 2.4, 26mm, Dual Pixel PDAF, OIS, LED flash and 12-megapixel f/2.4, 52mm telephoto, 2x optical zoom
  • Front: 8-megapixel, f/1.7
  • Rear: Dual 12-megapixel, (f/1.8, 28mm & f/2.4, 56mm) with phase detection autofocus, OIS, and quad LED (dual-tone) flash
  • Front: 7-megapixel, f/2.2 FaceTime HD camera
  • Rear: 12.2-megapixel, f/1.8, OIS, phase detection & laser autofocus, dual-LED flash
  • Front: 8-megapixel, f/1.8; 8-megapixel wide-angle, f/2.2
  • Rear: Dual 16-megapixel, f/2.0 + 20-megapixel, f/2.0
  • Front: 25-megapixel, f/2.0
  • Rear: Dual: 16-megapixel (f/1.7, 27mm, 1/2.6", 1.22µm, OIS) + 20-megapixel (f/1.7, 1/2.8", 1.0µm),
  • Front: 16-megapixel (f/2.0, 25mm, 1/3", 1.0µm)
Connectivity
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, 4G+ LTE-A (3CA) Cat 21 (up to 1400Mbps), dual-band, hotspot, DLNA, Bluetooth v5, A2DP, LE, GPS, GLONASS, USB 3.1 Type-C
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, 4G+ LTE-A (3CA) Cat 18 (up to 1200Mbps), dual-band, hotspot, Bluetooth v4.2, A2DP, LE, GPS, GLONASS, USB 3.1 Type-C
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, 4G+ LTE-A (3CA) Cat 21 (up to 1400Mbps), dual-band, hotspot, DLNA, Bluetooth v5, A2DP, LE, GPS, GLONASS, USB 3.1 Type-C
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax (2.4 + 5GHz), 4G+ LTE Cat 20 (up to 2000Mbps), Bluetooth 5.0, VHT80, MIMO (2x2), GPS, GLONASS, NFC, Screen Mirroring
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4 + 5GHz), 4G+ LTE Cat 18 (up to 1200Mbps), Bluetooth 5.0, VHT80, MIMO (2x2), GPS, GLONASS, NFC, Screen Mirroring
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, 4G+ LTE Cat 16 (up to 1024Mbps), dual-band, hotspot, Bluetooth v5.0, A2DP, LE, GPS, GLONASS, Lightning connector
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4 + 5GHz), 4G+ LTE Cat 15 (up to 800Mbps), Bluetooth 5.0, GPS, GLONASS, NFC
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4 + 5GHz), 4G+ LTE Cat 16 (up to 1024Mbps), Bluetooth 5.0, VHT80, MIMO (2x2), GPS, GLONASS, NFC, Screen Mirroring
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, DLNA, WiFi Direct, Bluetooth v5, NFC, 4G LTE Cat 16 (up to 1024Mbps)
Storage Type
  • 256GB internal storage
  • Huawei Nano Memory expansion (up to 256GB)
  • 128GB internal storage
  • 128GB internal storage
  • Huawei Nano Memory expansion (up to 256GB)
  • 512GB internal storage
  • 512GB (MicroSD)
  • 128GB internal storage
  • 512GB (MicroSD)
  • 256GB internal storage
  • 64GB internal storage
  • 128GB internal storage
  • 128GB
Battery
  • 4,200mAh
  • 40W Huawei SuperCharge
  • 15W Huawei Wireless Quick Charge (Qi wireless charging)
  • Reverse wireless charging
  • 4,000mAh
  • 4,200mAh
  • 40W Huawei SuperCharge
  • 15W Huawei Wireless Quick Charge (Qi wireless charging)
  • Reverse wireless charging
  • 4,100mAh
  • 15W Samsung Adaptive Fast Charging
  • 15W Fast Wireless charging
  • 9W Reverse Wireless charging
  • 4,000mAh
  • Samsung Adaptive Fast Charging
  • Wireless charging
  • 3,174mAh
  • 3,430mAh
  • Fast Charging
  • 3,730mAh
  • VOOC Flash Charge
  • 3,700mAh
  • Dash Charge
Dimensions
  • 158 x 73.4 x 8.4 mm
  • 155 x 73.9 x 7.8 mm
  • 157.8 x 72.3 x 8.6 mm
  • 157.6 x 74.1 x 7.8 mm
  • 161.9 x 76.4 x 8.8 mm
  • 157.5 x 77.4 x 7.7 mm
  • 158 x 76.7 x 7.9 mm
  • 156.7 x 74.2 x 9.4 mm
  • 157.5 x 74.8 x 8.2 mm
Weight
  • 192g
  • 180g
  • 189g
  • 175g / 198g (ceramic)
  • 201g
  • 208g
  • 184g
  • 186g
  • 185g

 

SunSpider Javascript

SunSpider JavaScript measures the browsing performance of a device when processing JavaScript. It not only takes into consideration the underlying hardware performance, but also assesses how optimized a particular platform is in delivering a high-speed web browsing experience. 

The P30 Pro performed well in this test and was actually faster than the Mate 20 Pro. Actual browser performance was fast and responsive. In fact, I didn't notice any difference between the P30 Pro and the iPhone XS Max.

Antutu

AnTuTu is an all-in-one benchmark that tests CPU, GPU, memory, and storage. The CPU benchmark evaluates both integer and floating-point performance, the GPU tests assess 2D and 3D performance, the memory test measures available memory bandwidth and latency, and the storage tests gauge the read and write speeds of a device's flash memory. 

This benchmark shows just how far Huawei has come with its silicon in just one year. While the Kirin 970 in the P20 Pro was a little lackluster, the Kirin 980 outperformed everyone except for Samsung's newest Exynos 9820 and Apple's A11 Bionic.

 

Geekbench CPU

Geekbench CPU is a cross-platform processor benchmark that tests both single-core and multi-core performance with workloads that simulate real-world usage. Geekbench 4 scores are calibrated against a baseline score of 4000 (which is the score of an Intel Core i7-6600U CPU processor).

The Kirin 980 once again outperformed the Snapdragon 845 and wasn't too far behind Samsung and Apple's latest processors either.

 

3DMark Sling Shot

3DMark Sling Shot is an advanced 3D graphics benchmark that tests the full range of OpenGL ES 3.1 and ES 3.0 API features including multiple render targets, instanced rendering, uniform buffers and transform feedback. The test also includes impressive volumetric lighting and post-processing effects. We're running this benchmark in Unlimited mode, which ignores screen resolutions.

Despite Huawei's GPU Turbo 2.0 optimizations, gaming performance is one area where Huawei still lags behind. It underperformed compared to the Snapdragon 845 and A11 Bionic, however it still outperformed Samsung's Exynos chips.

 

 

Battery Life

Our standard battery test for mobile phones has the following parameters:

  • Looping a 720p video with screen brightness and volume at 100%
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity turned on
  • Constant data streaming through email and Twitter

The P30 Pro has a huge 4,200mAh battery, the same size as the one found in the Mate 20 Pro.

It lasted a massive 14 hours and 3 minutes in our video looping benchmark, making it our new battery life champion. However, this is partially due to its lower resolution display being more power efficient.

The P30 Pro uses Huawei's SuperCharge standard, which was introduced with the Mate 20 Pro and is capable of charging 10V at 4A for a total of 40W power transfer, far higher than any other fast charging standard available right now.

In my testing, the bundled cable and charger will charge the phone from 0 to 73 percent in just 30 minutes, and to 100 percent in just 48 minutes. This is far faster than anything we've tested. While this is very impressive, the phone does get alarmingly hot while charging.

The P30 Pro also supports 15W fast wireless charging through the Qi wireless charging standard and like the Mate 20 Pro and Samsung Galaxy S10, it can also reverse wireless charge other devices. Just put it back to back with another Qi device and it will start charging it. You can also reverse charge non-Qi devices by connecting the two phones with a standard USB-C cable.

 

Conclusion

Huawei is the most exciting phone manufacturer today. It's been consistently putting out great phones with innovative features and incredible cameras for the past few years now and the P30 is the culmination of those efforts. The quad camera alone is reason enough to buy this phone, but it also has the longest battery life around with the fastest charging battery, a beautiful curved glass design and a huge display with a tiny notch, plus two gorgeous and unique gradient color options (and also Black). 

The P30 isn't faultless however. The screen resolution is lower than you would normally find on a flagship device, and it lacks stereo speakers and a headphone jack. The proprietary Nano SD card is an annoyance too, but these are all minor things that won't spoil your enjoyment of the phone. The display resolution is sharp enough, the downward firing speaker is really loud, and you can always use an adaptor or Bluetooth earphones if you need stereo sound. As for having to buy a proprietary expandable storage format, Huawei often bundles the Mate 20 Pro with a Nano SD card, so look out for promotions online or at the tech shows.

Compared to the Mate 20 Pro, the only real downside is the lack of a 3D face scanner for a more secure Face Unlock. But even this is debatable. Without the 3D face scanner, the notch is much, much smaller, and honestly, I find the in-display fingerprint scanner so much more convenient anyway, since you can unlock your phone without even looking at it.

If you can get over the stigma of using a China brand phone (seriously, it's 2019, China phones are good now) the P30 Pro should be at the top of your list if you're shopping for a new Android flagship. The Mate 20 Pro was the best phone of 2018, and the P30 Pro is even better.

Choose from three exciting colours, i.e., Breathing Crystal, Aurora, and Black at Lazmall now.

9.0
  • Design 9
  • Features 9
  • User-Friendliness 9
  • Performance 8.5
  • Value 8.5
The Good
Versatile quad camera setup with incredible image performance
Up to 50x digital zoom
Longest battery life around
Super fast 40W charging and 15W wireless charging
Reverse wireless charging
Gorgeous curved AMOLED display with tiny notch
Bone conduction "Acoustic Display" speaker
Fast and reliable in-display fingerprint scanner
The Bad
Only Full HD+ resolution
No stereo speakers
No headphone jack
Proprietary memory card
Loading...