The problem with modern smartphones is that on an elemental level they are all the same. They look mostly the same, they have similar camera capabilities, battery life is also similar and well they perform brilliantly at the start and then have a gradual curve which goes downwards spiral. But when last year Huawei launched the P20 Pro it showed signs that it had raised the bar for what one should expect in a flagship phone — a pants down camera system, powerful performance that lasts and a phone that looks the part. This year it seems like with the P30 Pro they have doubled down on that mantra. They have well and truly raised the bar for what one should expect from a flagship smartphone in 2019 pulling ahead of the likes of Apple and Samsung. Let me explain on the basis of the two days I’ve been using the P30 Pro.
- The phone has a near edge to edge OLED screen that focusses on display quality than resolution. It also has a very tiny camera hole, smaller than the pill shaped one on the Samsung Galaxy S10+ and infinitely more compact that the notch on the iPhone XS. Resolution aside, the display is a very very good one, which will not impact the day to day user experience. It also offers great sunlight legibility.
- This has also resulted in a unique design for the phone which boasts a Samsung like curved screen tapering into the frame in the most subtle way. As this phone is narrower than the Galaxy S10+, it is a more ergonomic phone to hold which shows that Huawei hasn’t only focused on the glamour but usability. There is also IP68 certification for good measure.
- But glamour is a big part of the P30 Pro. It has unique colours. A gradient aurora which is a snazzy blue, a breathing crystal gradient which looks much nicer take on white, an amber hue which is somewhere between orange and crimson and the very slick glossy jet black. These colours are unique and gorgeous. They aren’t boring like Samsung’s and Apple’s of this world and certainly more ambitious than Google’s Pixel line of phones. The P30 Pro is currently the most beautiful smartphone in the world, at least that’s my personal opinion.
- A laser focus on battery life in a 360-degree way. There is a huge 4,200mAh battery that gets charged the fastest way possible using a 40watt super charger that comes in the package. More so, it supports wireless charging and reverse charging which isn’t there on the iPhone XS. This is a Huawei innovation that came first on the Mate 20 Pro last year. I I will share more on the battery life soon, but right now I can say things are looking very promising.
- Powerful core hardware is an area where most flagship smartphones are usually good. The P30 Pro is no different with the latest Kirin 980 processor, but Huawei has beefed it up with 8GB RAM this time around and 256 GB storage. Software optimisation is better with a new file system in the backend of EMUI 9.1 and also GPU Turbo 3.0 which is optimised for more than 70 of the most popular Android games. This all coverts to one of the most fluid Android experiences — it wouldn’t be a stretch calling this the fastest Android smartphone around.
- Last but not least, is the innovative 4-camera system on the back which boasts hardware that will shame some of the other phones in the market. It has a 40 — megapixel super spectrum RYYB camera that’s optically stabilised and has an f/1.6 aperture, supported with a time of flight (ToF) sensor, a periscope telephoto camera with an 8-megapixel resolution, optical stabilisation and up to 5x optical zoom, 10x lossless zoom and 50x digital zoom. There is also a 20-megapixel wide angle camera. These are just hardware specs coupled with Leica tuning which convert to impressive image quality and some great theoretical video capabilities. The camera isn’t just a beat on paper but some pictures we’ve shot already show this camera to be a low light beast.