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Huawei P30 Pro Vs Huawei P20 Pro - The Battle Of The Android Flagships

The Huawei P30 Pro is a flagship smartphone in every sense of the word but have Huawei done enough to take the crown away from the Huawei P20 Pro? Let's find out as we put them head-to-head.

|  Huawei P30 Pro in Camera Phones
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P20Pro P30Pro | 1/80 sec | f/5.6 | 28.0 mm | ISO 100
Huawei P20 Pro (left) & Huawei P30 Pro (right)

 

The Huawei P30 Pro and Huawei P20 Pro are two top flagship smartphones but with the P20 Pro being a year older than the P30 Pro, can it still hold its own or are you better off spending your money on the newer P30 Pro? This is the question we'll be asking as we put both smartphones to the test, against each other, in a Huawei flagship smartphone shoot out. 

We'll be comparing how both smartphones handle as well as, more importantly for photographers, how good they are at capturing photos in various situations. 

If you want to delve a bit deeper into the specs/features of each smartphone, head over to our review section where you'll find full reviews of both the Huawei P20 Pro and the Huawei P30 Pro. We also have our 'best camera phone' countdown that's worth a peruse should you be unsure if a Huawei smartphone us for you. 

You can use the below to navigate more sections of this feature: 

 

 

In The Hand

P20Pro P30Pro Back | 1/60 sec | f/5.0 | 28.0 mm | ISO 100

Huawei P20 Pro (left) & Huawei P30 Pro (right)

 

As soon as you pick both smartphones up, the Huawei P30 Pro feels more comfortable to hold and just fits that bit better than the wider Huawei P20 Pro. The P30 Pro is also slimmer (but longer) and just looks more modern than the P20 Pro. This is partly down to the almost bezel-less design, no chin and small dewdrop front-facing camera that gives the P30 Pro an almost edge-to-edge design. The front-facing camera doesn't take up too much room on the P20 Pro, it's just the camera built into the P30 Pro looks a little neater. 

It's surprising how quickly design changes as at one point, the Huawei P20 Pro seemed ultra-modern and that's not to say it's still not a good looking smartphone, it's just not quite as slick as the P30 Pro. 

Both smartphones are fingerprint magnets so you probably want to put, whichever smartphone you purchase, in a case. They both, also, have a glass back/front which makes them incredibly slippy so do be careful if you're using them without a case. 

Neither smartphone has a headphone socket (some will dislike this, others won't care) and both have power/volume buttons in the same place as well as a USB-C port. 

Overall, both smartphones handle well and there are no complaints in terms of construction but the P30 Pro just looks smarter and more modern making it our 'in the hand' winner. 

Winner:  Huawei P30 Pro

 

The Screen

P20Pro P30Pro Front | 1/50 sec | f/4.5 | 27.0 mm | ISO 100

Huawei P20 Pro (left) & Huawei P30 Pro (right)

 

There's a 6.47-inch display with an in-screen fingerprint sensor for unlocking the smartphone built into the P30 Pro which is .37-inch bigger than the P20 Pro's display which measures 6.1inch. It has a fingerprint sensor below the screen, and when sat side-by-side with the P30 Pro, the display does look a lot smaller. 

Both screens are bright and viewing outdoors in bright light was no problem. 

 

Winner: Huawei P30 Pro 

 

The Camera 

P30 Pro
Huawei P30 Pro

 

There are quite a few details for this section to get through so make sure you're sat comfortably as the camera built into a smartphone is definitely a key feature for Huawei who want to 're-write the rules of photography' with the smartphones they have created/will create. 

Right, let's start with the Huawei P30 Pro which has a Lecia Quad Camera System built-in, consisting of:

  • 40MP f/1.6, 27mm (equivalent) lens
  • 20MP f/2.2 16mm (equivalent) lens
  • 8MP f/3.4, 125mm (equivalent) lens 
  • Touch of Flight sensor (for depth sensing) 

The 8MP f/3.4 periscope lens comes equipped with 5x optical zoom and you also get access to 10x hybrid zoom as well as 50x digital zoom. The sensor is slightly different on the Huawei P30 Pro, too, as instead of featuring the typical RGGB sensor, Huawei has put an RYYB sensor in which the company says allows more light to be absorbed by the sensor, improving low light performance. 

Phase Detection Auto Focus can be found on the wide, ultra-wide and telephoto lens while Optical Image Stabilisation can be found on the 40MP and 8MP shooters. ISO reaches 409,600 and the smartphone has a close-focus distance of 2.5cm. 

On the front, you find a 32MP f/2.0 selfie camera.

 

Huawei P20 Pro (7)
Huawei P20 Pro 

 

Over to the older P20 Pro and you get a triple camera rear set-up consisting of the following: 

  • 40mp f/1.8 - 27mm equivalent "Quad Bayer" sensor, with optical image stabilisation
  • 8mp f/2.4 - 80mm equivalent colour telephoto camera
  • 20mp f/1.6 - 27mm equivalent black and white

The selfie camera on the front of the smartphone features a 24mp f/2.0 camera and a rear 5x Huawei Hybrid Zoom (uses 3x telephoto lens) is built-in. 

The smartphone also uses Artificial Intelligence Stabilisation. It's ISO range goes from ISO50 up to ISO6400.

Both the Huawei P30 Pro and P20 Pro have various camera features, including aperture, portrait and night mode. They are both, also, supported by AI but the Huawei P30 Pro sees improvements over the P20 Pro in this area with improved AI stabilisation and a new HDR+ mode. Both smartphones can recognise scenes, though, and adjust colour, contrast, brightness, exposure, noise reduction and image sharpening to suit. 

 

Quick Summary:

Huawei P30 Pro 

  • 40MP, f/1.6, 27mm, 20MP, f/2.2, 16mm & 8MP, f/3.4, 125mm. Plus, TOF 3D camera. 
  • 32MP f/2.0 (dewdrop front-facing camera)
  • OIS, PDAF, AI, HDR+
  • 5x optical zoom, 10x hybrid zoom, 50x digital zoom 
  • Aperture Mode
  • Pro Mode
  • Night Mode
  • Beauty/Bokeh effects
  • Portrait Mode 
  • ISO409,600 (max)

 

Huawei P20 Pro 

  • 40mp f/1.8 27mm, 8mp f/2.4 80mm, 20mp f/1.6 27mm (black & white)
  • 24mp f/2.0 selfie camera 
  • Laser and Phase Detection Focus
  • 5x Huawei Hybrid Zoom
  • OIS (telephoto lens), AIS
  • Pro Mode
  • Night Mode
  • Beauty/Bokeh effects
  • Portrait Mode 
  • ISO6400 (max)

 

Winner:  On specs alone, the Huawei P30 Pro wins - just. (Note: we're not taking image quality into consideration at this point.)

 

Photo Quality 

 

Church Door | 1/239 sec | f/1.6 | 5.6 mm | ISO 50
Huawei P30 Pro 

Church Door | 1/100 sec | f/1.8 | 4.0 mm | ISO 64
Huawei P20 Pro

 

The image captured with the Huawei P30 Pro has better dynamic range as the Huawei P20 Pro has blown out the highlights. It's also oversharpened the whole image, introducing noise but the Huawei P30 Pro has smoothed out the shadow areas. 

Winner: Huawei P30 Pro 

 

1x | f/1.6 | 5.6 mm | ISO 50
Huawei P30 Pro 

1X | 1/170 sec | f/1.8 | 4.0 mm | ISO 50
Huawei P20 Pro

 

The colours are boarding on garish in the image captured with the Huawei P20 Pro with greens looking oversaturated and, once again, everything appears a little too sharp. Colours are more balanced in the image captured with the Huawei P30 Pro but it could do with having slightly more sharpness. 

Winner: Huawei P30 Pro 

 

5x | f/3.4 | 14.5 mm | ISO 100
Huawei P30 Pro 

5X | 1/100 sec | f/2.4 | 2.4 mm | ISO 64
Huawei P20 Pro

 

Colour accuracy is good in both images but sharpness is just that bit better in the image captured with the Huawei P30 Pro. However. this is no surprise as the 5x zoom built into the P20 Pro is hybrid rather than optical. 

Winner: Huawei P30 Pro 

5x | f/3.4 | 14.5 mm | ISO 80
Huawei P30 Pro 
5X | f/2.4 | 2.4 mm | ISO 100
Huawei P20 Pro 

 

True-to-life colour accuracy is better in the image captured with the Huawei P30 Pro. That's not to say the image captured with the P20 Pro is bad, as it's not, it's just that the quality is better in the P30 Pro's shot.  

Winner:  Huawei P30 Pro 

 

Church | 1/531 sec | f/1.6 | 5.6 mm | ISO 50
Huawei P30 Pro 
Church | 1/402 sec | f/1.8 | 4.0 mm | ISO 50
Huawei P20 Pro 

 

The sky is rather poor in the image captured with the Huawei P20 Pro with blown out highlights and inaccurate colours but branch detail is pretty good and the church isn't too bad but there's much more detail in the image captured with the Huawei P30 Pro and colour accuracy is better. Although, exposure levels are lower. 

Winner: Huawei P30 Pro 

 

P30 F2 | 1/1006 sec | f/2.0 | 5.6 mm | ISO 50
Huawei P30 Pro 
F2 | 1/519 sec | f/2.0 | 4.0 mm | ISO 50
Huawei P20 Pro 

 

The Aperture mode built into both smartphones is good with lovely bokeh and sharp foreground detail. Clipping can be an issue with both smartphones but in these two particular shots, unless you look really close, both devices did a good job of separating subject/background. Colours 'pop' a bit more in the Huawei P20 Pro image but overall, both phones did a good job. 

Winner: Draw

 

Portrait Mode Selfie All Effects | 1/100 sec | f/2.0 | 3.4 mm | ISO 50
Huawei P30 Pro 
Selfie | 1/194 sec | f/2.0 | 3.4 mm | ISO 50
Huawei P20 Pro 

 

Even if you don't view the above images at full scale it's easy to see that the exposure levels, colours and overall proportions are better in the selfie captured with the Huawei P30 Pro. The bokeh in both is lovely but there are a few clipping issues on the jacket edges. 

Winner: Huawei P30 Pro 

 

 

P30 Pro Panorama |
Huawei P30 Pro Panorama

 

P20 Pro Panorama
Huawei P20 Pro Panorama

 

Both smartphones stitch panoramas together well but the Huawei P20 Pro has oversaturated the greens, blues and yellows. The colours in the panorama captured with the P30 Pro are much more natural. 

 

Winner: Huawei P30 Pro 

 

1/799 sec | f/2.2 | 2.4 mm | ISO 50

Above: Huawei P30 Pro Zoom Range 

Above: Huawei P20 Pro Zoom Range 

 

1/799 sec | f/2.2 | 2.4 mm | ISO 50
Above: Huawei P30 Pro Zoom Range 

 

Above: Huawei P20 Pro Zoom Range 

 

You get more zoom options with the Huawei P30 Pro and, unlike the P20 Pro which has a hybrid 5x zoom, the 5x zoom on the P30 pro is optical, producing better images as a result. Plus, you can even use the 10x hybrid zoom in most situations and detail levels are still fine whereas the 10x zoom on the P20 Pro does suffer from a loss of detail. The P20 Pro doesn't go beyond 10x but we'd not really recommend you doing this with the P30 Pro, even if it is available, as you will see a significant loss in detail (and issues with purple fringing in some situations). 

Winner: Huawei P30 Pro 

 

More Sample Photos: 

 

Huawei P30 Pro Sample Photos

 

Huawei P20 Pro Sample Photos

 

 

Huawei P30 Pro Lens test images

 

Huawei P20 Pro Lens test images

 

ISO Comparison

 

Huawei P30 Pro: The ISO range goes from 50 to a whopping 409,600, with select ISO levels only accessible in really low light situations (for obvious reasons). ISO800 is where detail loss starts to creep in (marginally) with ISO6400 and beyond showing more falloff. Having said that, the really high ISOs, used in almost darkness, have done a good job at keeping noise to a minimum. 

 

Huawei P20 Pro: If you shoot at the 40mp image size, then the highest ISO speed you'll want to use is ISO400, as noise starts to become strong. Above this speed, images become softer, although ISO800 may still provide usable images. At 10mp, results are good up to ISO800 / ISO1600. At ISO3200 and above, colour saturation drops off. Shooting with the 20mp black and white camera, results are quite good even at the highest ISO speeds of ISO1600 and ISO3200 / ISO6400, making it a good option in low-light conditions.

Winner: Huawei P30 Pro 

 

ISO 100

Huawei P30 Pro | ISO 100

ISO100 10mp IMG 20180426 132335 | 1/81 sec | f/1.8 | 4.0 mm | ISO 100

Huawei P20 Pro | ISO 100

 

ISO 400

Huawei P30 Pro | ISO 400 

ISO400 10mp IMG 20180426 132358 | 1/309 sec | f/1.8 | 4.0 mm | ISO 400

Huawei P20 Pro ISO 400

 

 

White Balance Comparison

Auto White Balance (AWB) performs well under a variety of shooting conditions, whether tungsten, fluorescent or mixed lighting and for most situations, you shouldn't need to use any of the presets on either of the smartphones. Exposure levels are slightly better on the Huawei P30 Pro. 

Winner: Draw

 

AWB Mixed Lighting

AWB Mixed Lighting | 1/100 sec | f/1.6 | 5.6 mm | ISO 64

Huawei P30 Pro  | AWB Mixed Light 

AWB Mixed Light 10mp | 1/50 sec | f/1.8 | 4.0 mm | ISO 50

Huawei P20 Pro | AWB Mixed Light 


 

Video Quality 

 

  Huawei P30 Pro Huawei P20 Pro
4K Video Yes Yes
Full HD Video  Yes Yes
Optical Image Stabilisation Yes Yes
Slow-Motion Video Yes Yes

 

 

 

Winner: Huawei P30 Pro 

 

Battery

  • Huawei P30 Pro: 4200mAh
  • Huawei P20 Pro: 4000mAh 

 

Processor

  • Huawei P30 Pro: Kirin 980
  • Huawei P20 Pro: Kirin 970

 

Other Features 

  Huawei P30 Pro Huawei P20 Pro
MicroSD Slot No - Nano Memory Slot Yes
Water Resistant  Yes Yes
Headphone Socket No No

 

Size & Weight 

  • Huawei P30 Pro: 73.4mm x 158mm x 8.4mm & 192g
  • Huawei P20 Pro: 73.9mm x 155mm x 7.8mm & 180g

 

Price 

  • Huawei P30 Pro: £899 (at the time of writing)
  • Huawei P20 Pro: £599 (at the time of writing)

Buy The P30 Pro From Amazon UK | Buy The P20 Pro From Amazon UK 

 

Ratings

 

Huawei P30 Pro - 

"The Huawei P30 Pro is an excellent flagship smartphone option and with it coming in at around £800, it definitely puts up a good fight against the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus and Apple's iPhones. In fact, for photography fans, we may even go as far as to say that it could be the photographer's smartphone of choice!"

 

Huawei P20 Pro

"The Huawei P20 Pro offers four different cameras, but doesn't quite deliver a great camera experience from all four of them."

 

Our Pick: Huawei P30 Pro

P30 Pro
 

Huawei has made some significant changes and improvements to the latest smartphone from the P series that are so good, it would be unfair not to crown the P30 Pro the winner of the battle. With improved cameras, a better zoom, better low light performance and improved ISO range (to name a few), it's a great smartphone for those who regularly take photos. 

That's not to say the Huawei P20 Pro isn't a good phone, it is, but it's not quite as good at the P30 Pro. Still, if you want to spend less money on a smartphone, the P20 Pro could be for you but if you're looking for one of the best smartphones currently available, you'll need to part with a few extra hundred quid as the Huawei P30 Pro is the way to go. 

 

To compare the 2 smartphones further, have a look at the specs table below. 

If you're interested in another brand that can still capture good photos, have a look at our 'best gear' section of the site where we list the 'Best Camera Phones For Photography 2019' and the 'Top Budget Camera Phones For Photography'.

 

Comparison Table

Huawei P30 ProHuawei P20 Pro
ManufacturerHuaweiHuawei
Lens
Max Aperturef/1.6 - f/3.4f/1.6 - f/2.4
35mm equivalentNo Data27mm - 80mm
Optical Zoom5x3x
Image Sensor
Pixels40Mp (Megapixels)40Mp (Megapixels)
Pixels (W)No Data7296
Pixels (H)No Data5472
Sensor TypeCMOSBack-lit CMOS (B.S.I.)
Sensor SizeNo Data1/1.7inch
Sensor Size (width)No DataNo Data
Sensor Size (height)No DataNo Data
Aspect Ratio
    • 4:3
    • 16:9
    LCD Monitor
    LCD Monitor6.47in6.1in
    Screen resolution1080x23402240x1080px
    Touch ScreenYesYes
    Focusing
    Focusing modes
    • Autofocus
    • Spot
    • Face Detection
    • AF Tracking
    • Multi
    • Centre
    • Touch AF
    • Autofocus
    • Spot
    • Face Detection
    • AF Tracking
    • Multi
    • Centre
    • Touch AF
    Exposure Control
    Shutter speeds shortestNo DataNo Data
    Shutter speeds longestNo DataNo Data
    ISO sensitivity50 - 40960050 - 6400
    Video
    Movie modeYesYes
    Video Resolution
    • 1920x1080 FullHD
    • 1280x720 HD 720p
    • 4K
    • 4K
    • 1920x1080 FullHD
    Video FPS30,60,12030fps
    Stereo SoundYesYes
    Other Features
    Image StabilisationYesYes
    Interface
    USBUSB-CUSB-C
    Wi-FiYesYes
    Storage
    Internal Memory6000MB6000MB
    Power Source
    Battery Type42004000mAh
    Box Contents
    Box ContentsNo DataNo Data
    Dimensions
    Weight192g180g
    Width73.4mm155mm
    Height158mm73.9mm
    Depth8.4mm7.8mm
    View Full DetailsView Full Details


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