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Huawei P30 Smartphone Review

The Huawei P30 sits sandwiched between the P30 Pro and P30 Lite but what can it offer photographers? Let's find out.

| Huawei P30 in Camera Phones

Huawei P30 Smartphone Review: Huawei P30

Quick Verdict

The Huawei P30 is a smart-looking device that, on the surface, looks like any other mid-range smartphone but under the surface, it has plenty of technology that makes taking good photos a doddle. Colours are accurate, images are sharp and selfies are great. Yes, there are some areas that can still be improved, when's there not? But, this doesn't stop us liking the P30. 

If you don't want to spend quite as much money as a flagship will cost you, the Huawei P30 is an excellent photography tool that just so happens to make phone calls and can help you purchase things from Amazon on-the-move. 

+ Pros

  • Good selfies 
  • Decent storage/RAM
  • Good AI features
  • Smart design
  • Decent display 
  • Price 
  • 3x & 5x zoom
  • 3650mAh battery 

- Cons

  • Better results from the 10MP option than the 40MP sensor 
  • It slides off everything (without a case)
  • 30x zoom isn't great 
  • No wireless charging
  • Low light images can still be improved 


Huawei P30 Smartphone Review: Huawei P30 Breathing Crystal (1)

The Huawei P30 smartphone is the middle-priced smartphone in the P30 range, sitting in between the more expensive P30 Pro and the less expensive P30 Lite


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For its price-point, and specs that are on offer, the P30 could be a happy compromise for those who want a decent set of data in a specifications table without having to spend almost £1000 to get it. But in reality, is the P30's performance really worth spending double the cost of the P30 Lite for? And, at the opposite end of the scale, does what it lacks in comparison to the P30 Pro means that, in reality, you'd be better off biting the bullet and just parting with the extra cash for the top model? These are some of the questions we'll be answering in our review. 


Huawei P30 Features

Huawei P30 Smartphone Review: Huawei P30

Camera-wise, you find a 40MP (Wide Angle Lens, f/1.8 aperture), 16MP (Ultra Wide Angle Lens, f/2.2 aperture) and an 8MP (Telephoto, f/2.4 aperture, OIS) set-up on the rear of the P30 and on the front is a 32MP f/2.0 lens. The rear camera supports various autofocus modes, along with AI image stabilisation (optical on the 8MP lens), but these aren't built into the selfie camera. The 8MP f/2.4 lens comes equipped with a 3x optical zoom and you can also access a 5x hybrid zoom as well as 30x digital zoom

As with the P30 Pro, there's an RYYB (red, yellow, yellow, blue) sensor built-in instead of the normal RGB (red, green, blue) which Huawei says allows for better low-light photography and richer colours in photos. Plus, to help low light performance even further, the ISO range on the Huawei P30 reaches ISO65535!

Touch Of Flight sensor is missing from the Huawei P30, making it stand out from the Huawei P30 Pro which has this built-in along with 50x digital zoom and slightly better camera specs. 

The P30 wouldn't be a Huawei smartphone without various modes and AI options built in which includes HDR, panorama, monochrome, and a cool super macro mode which focuses down to 2cm. Portrait mode gives you access to bokeh modes as well as beauty options and there's an aperture mode should you want to control the level of bokeh in your shots. For those who want even more control, select the Pro mode. 

On the front, the 32MP f/2.0 selfie camera uses the same bokeh effects as the rear camera and you can also add beauty effects so you're Instagram-ready. 

Huawei P30 Smartphone Review: Huawei P30

The screen measures 6.1inches (2340 x 1080), with an in-screen fingerprint sensor for unlocking the smartphone, and its rounded corners, combined with thin bezels, and the dewdrop front-facing camera gives the P30 smartphone improved screen real estate. 

A 3650mAH battery powers the P30, along with a HUAWEI Kirin 980 Octa-core Processor, and Type-C USB is supported. A rare headphone jack is built-in along with 6GB of RAM/128GB of ROM and the P30 has a splash, water, dust-resistant rating of IP53. 

Video fans can capture footage in 4K as well as Full HD with the rear camera and FullHD with the selfie camera.

As for colours, there are some amazing choices on offer including the Breathing Crystal (on test) which photos don't do it justice for. If you want something less eye-catching, there's Aurora which is blue and a black version. 

The Huawei P30 is available now for around £699, which puts it up against high-scoring smartphones such as the Samsung Galaxy Note 9, Google Pixel 3 and OnePlus 6

Huawei P30 Smartphone Review: Huawei P30 P4170070

Key Features

  • Rear Camera: 40MP (Wide Angle Lens, f/1.8 aperture) + 16MP (Ultra Wide Angle Lens, f/2.2 aperture) + 8MP (Telephoto, f/2.4 aperture,OIS)
  • Front Camera: 32MP, f/2.0 
  • Camera Features: OIS, AF, AI mode, Pro Mode, Aperture Mode, Portrait Mode, Super Macro Mode, 3X & 5X zoom (30x digitial zoom) 
  • Video: 4K, FullHD
  • Display: 6.1-inches, 2340x1080
  • ISO: ISO50 - ISO65535
  • RAM/Storage: 6GB of RAM/128GB of ROM
  • Battery: 3650mAH 
  • Size: 71.36mm x 149.1mm x 7.57mm
  • Weight: 165g


Huawei P30 Handling

Huawei P30 Smartphone Review: Huawei P30

The Huawei P30 looks very similar to the P30 Pro with its dewdrop front-facing camera, curved edges/corners and thin bezels. There's no chin in-sight and no black line taking up space at the top of the smartphone. As there's no chin, the shutter button is built into the camera app, appearing on screen, and you unlock the smartphone with an in-screen fingerprint sensor. The almost edge-to-edge 6.1-inch display is bright, clear and you won't have any viewing issues outdoors when the sun shines. 

On the back, you find the three main cameras stacked on the left side and the do protrude slightly so the smartphone doesn't sit flush when on a surface (unless you pop it in a case, of course). While we're talking about the back, it's worth mentioning that it's constructed from glass which does mean it has a tendency to slide off things so be careful with it! A clear case is supplied but for better protection, you might want to invest in something a little stronger. As with all modern smartphones, the P30 is a fingerprint magnet so a case will stop you having to wipe the back with a cloth all of the time, too. 

While we're discussing the back of the P30, let's talk colours as Huawei is brilliant at making smartphones that stand out from the crowd. The Breathing Crystal won't be to everyone's taste but it really does have to be seen in the flesh to really appreciate how cool the design is. Even the more basic blue is a lovely colour and, of course, there's black if you prefer something a little more discreet in shade. 

To the bottom are a USB-C connector and a headphone jack (something that was missing on the P20). On the side is the power/volume controls. 

The only slight design feature that suggests the P30 isn't quite as premium as the P30 Pro is the flat bottom/top which doesn't look quite as smart as the fully curved frame you see on more premium smartphones. 


Huawei P30 Smartphone Review: Huawei P30 Breathing Crystal (4)

In the hand, the Huawei P30 fits comfortably and is easy to navigate with just one hand but when taking photos, we do recommend you use two hands to reduce shake. Plus, as it's slippy without a case, it's just safer to use it with two hands. The Huawei P30 is actually a very similar size to the Samsung Galaxy S10, albeit a bit heavier. 

Open up the camera app and it's very similar to the camera app found on other Huawei smartphones, including the P30 pro and P30 Lite. You can scroll through the shooting modes at the bottom of the screen (above the shutter release button) and there is plenty to keep you busy. Plus, you can switch between playback, photo and selfie modes, and the middle button is the shutter release button. In "Pro" mode, you can manually change camera settings should you need more control over how your final image will look. 

At the top of the screen, there are different shortcuts depending on what photo mode you're in and to the right is the zoom scale which you click to alter between wide, 1X, 3X and 5X. To access the 30X zoom, you 'pinch zoom' on the screen. You can also use the screen to set the focus position, as well as adjust exposure, and if you hold the shutter button down, continuous shooting kicks in. 

The phone has an AnTuTu performance rating of 290939 and a Geekbench score of 3318 single-core and 9796 multi-core. 

Huawei P30 Smartphone Review: Huawei P30 P4170069

Battery life - The battery is rated at 3650mAh which is plenty big enough for a days' moderate to heavy use. Wireless charging isn't supported, though. 


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