Huawei Mate 30 Pro hands-on
The Huawei Mate 30 Pro is the most important smartphone of the trio and that’s why we are starting with it. The new Mate 30 Pro has so many new features and we can’t wait to get it for a proper review.
For starters, the Mate 30 Pro has a completely new 6.53″ AMOLED screen with extremely curved edges at 88-degrees. We know what you are thinking – that would be a nightmare to hold, but Huawei promises some very smart edge detection and palm rejection – and we are beyond happy from our handling of the Mate. Indeed, the phone did not get fooled even once by our palms and always registered our fingers instead.
The screen is quite wide – 19.5:9 aspect – and has a resolution of 1176 x 2400 pixels or 409ppi. It supports hovering gestures – something that Samsung had years ago on its Galaxies known as Air View. But the more important thing about this curved screen is that it doesn’t leave any space for the volume keys on the frame and they had to go.
And with the volume rocker gone, Huawei has implemented a new gesture system for adjusting the volume. There is this semi-transparent line across the edge, very similar to Samsung’s edge panels, and you slide on it up or down. It works just as advertised, and while it is not ideal at first, once you get the gist of it – you should have no issues with it.
Unlike the Vivo NEX 3, which utilizes a similar screen, here there is a physical power key. It barely fits on the frame on the right side, but it is there, and it clicks nicely.
The fingerprint scanner is under the screen, and it’s of the optical kind. The display also supports Huawei’s M-Pen with 4,096 levels of pressure, but that’s sold separately.
The screen has a notch, a rather big one at that. It houses the 32MP f/2.0 selfie camera – same as on the Mate 20 Pro – and a 3D TOF snapper. The two work for secure Face Unlock, but it is also a great combo for quality portrait shots. There is no earpiece in this notch, just a couple more sensors are hidden inside.
Just like on the P30 Pro, the Mate 30 Pro has an acoustic display – meaning the whole upper part of the screen vibrates to create sound when you are in a call. It works just like on the P30 Pro and we can’t really complain of it. But we’d still prefer a stereo-speaker system rather than this, though that’s just us.
The Huawei Mate 30 Pro is an exceptional looker. It is water-proofed smartphone with dual-Gorilla Glass 6 design and a metal frame. There are four color options – Black, Space Silver, Cosmic Purple (ours), Emerald Green. Those are massive fingerprint magnets, not that we expected otherwise. Smudges stick in seconds and regular cleaning is unavoidable if you’d like to keep the phone’s back attractive.
There will also be a special edition with the so-called Vegan Leather back that will be available in orange and forest green colors. We played with this edition for a few minutes, and while it sure looks like leather, it feels more like plastic.
The quad-camera setup is arguably the most important feature on the Mate 30 Pro and it has been improved since the P30 Pro. The setup has moved back to the center of the phone and it sits within a round glass camera bump. The Mate 30 Pro’s main camera is the same 40MP RYYB main camera with OIS as on the P30 Pro, but the telephoto shooter is like the one on the Mate 20 Pro – a 3x 8MP telephoto camera with OIS. The ToF camera is here, too.
What’s new is the so-called Cine camera – another 40MP unit (RGGB filter) behind an f/1.8 18mm ultrawide lens with autofocus. This camera still outputs 10MP shots, and it’s probably the best ultra-wide camera ever put into the phone.
However, according to Huawei, its prowess is actually in video. First off, the native aspect ratio of this sensor is 3:2, which is wider than the 4:3 main camera.
Not only you can shoot 4K at 60fps, but you can also capture 720p video at up to 7680 fps and some exceptional 4K HDR+ timelapse videos. Meanwhile, thanks to the TOF snapper – bokeh videos are available, too.
Everything that was available on the P30 Pro as camera modes – such as Night Mode, Light Painting, Variable Aperture, among others – is available on the Mate 30 Pro, too.
And while we are still looking at the back of the Mate 30 Pro, let’s talk about the battery. The Mate 30 Pro has a large 4,500 mAh battery that supports 40W Super Charge and you will find this charger within the retail box. The phone supports reverse wired charging, so you can use it as a powerbank, too. Huawei also offers a 40W car charger, in case you need one.
The Mate 30 Pro also supports fast wireless charging at 27W and you can use 27W reverse wireless charging, too. How about that, Apple?
The Mate 30 Pro will be available in 4G and 5G variants. The 4G model runs on Kirin 990 chip and octa-core processor – 2xA76 @2.86GHz + 2xA76 @2.09GHz +4xA55 @1.86GHz, Mali-G76 MP16 GPU with GPU Turbo, and a 2-core NPU.
The 5G model has Kirin 990 5G with a slightly faster octa-core processor – 2xA76 @2.86GHz + 2xA76 @2.36GHz +4xA55 @1.95GHz, same Mali-G76 MP16 GPU, and a 3-core NPU.
Now, let’s talk about the OS. The Mate 30 Pro runs on EMUI 10 that’s based on Android 10. The phone lacks Google’s Services Framework and instead comes with Huawei Mobile Services and its own AppGallery. Huawei’s own store has 390 million monthly active users and served 180 billion downloads last year. Plus, the company has invested more than 1 billion to stimulate more developers to publish their apps on the AppGallery. It has also promised that Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp are coming shortly.
Finally, Huawei’s CEO said that the moment when China and the US become friends again, it will distribute the Google services to all Mates in 24 hours. If that ever happens, of course. We guess Mr. Trump’s Twitter account is the best place to get answers on the subject.
Anyway, the Mate 30 Pro looks spectacular as is. It has so many new features and possibilities, that we still can’t wrap our heads around yet. Hopefully, we will be able to explore everything in detail once our review unit arrives.
The Mate 30 Pro is coming in China today, while the global market will allegedly get it in October. We are yet to see the chosen markets outside Asia, but Huawei will sell the Mate 30 Pro for €1100 when and if it launches in Europe. The plans about the European launch are not yet clear.