Huawei Mate 30 Pro review: Best Phone You Shouldn’t Buy!

The Huawei Mate 30 Pro is the Chinese manufacturer’s latest flagship smartphone and comes with a 6.53-inch OLED display, a 4,500 mAh battery, and Huawei’s brand-new Kirin 990 chipset.

The rear camera features a total of four modules, including a time-of-flight (ToF) sensor for 3D improved depth-sensing in bokeh mode. On paper, the primary camera’s hardware specs are the same as last year’s P30 Pro model, with a 40Mp Quad-Bayer sensor and a f/1.7-aperture lens. But the Mate 30 Pro doesn’t get the P30 Pro’s 5x tele; instead it uses a 3x tele module very similar to what we saw in the (non-Pro) P30. The ultra-wide camera is brand new, however. At 18mm, it is far from the widest we have seen, but has a very large 1/1.54″ sensor, a fast f/1.8 aperture, and unusually, a 3:2 aspect ratio.

On the software side of things, the new Huawei makes use of the Kirin chipset’s improved processing power and deploys a new AI-RAW algorithm that uses artificial intelligence to optimize demosaicing from the Quad-Bayer sensor pattern to RGB image output, along with noise reduction at a RAW level. When zooming, the system can create a super-resolution model at RAW level for better textures and detail. Read on to find out how the new hardware and software work together in our full camera review.

 

Key camera specifications:

 

  • Quad-camera, including ToF sensor
  • Primary: 40Mp 1/1.7″ sensor, 27mm-equivalent f/1.6-aperture lens, PDAF, OIS
  • Ultra-wide: 40Mp 1/1.54″ sensor, 18mm-equivalent f/1.8-aperture lens, PDAF
  • Tele: 8Mp 1/4″ sensor, 80mm-equivalent f/2.4-aperture lens, PDAF, OIS
  • ToF 3D depth-sensing camera
  • Dual-LED flash
  • 4K video, 2160p/60fps (2160p/30fps default)

Our Mate 30 Pro review unit model number was LIO-AL00. It ran EMUI 10, with build number 10.0.0.122. We used the LZPlay tool to install the Play Store and Google Mobile Services. That tool is no longer available online. Read the software section for more details.

Huawei Mate 30 Pro review: The big picture

Huawei is facing an existential threat. The US ban strangled its supply lines and cut if off from the Google ecosystem. Five months into the ban, Huawei is riding it out surprisingly well, thanks to its strong proprietary technology, deep pockets, and the safe haven of its home market.

Except for the missing Google apps, the ban seems to have had no visible effect on the Mate 30 Pro. In most ways, this phone is on par with competitors like the Galaxy Note 10 Plus and the iPhone 11 Pro. It’s a premium flagship phone made for people who want the very best.

Read: If the US ban lifts, Huawei will push Google apps to Mate 30 “over one night”

What’s in the box

The Mate 30 Pro is bundled with a 40W charger, meaning you won’t need to spend extra to get the best charging speeds available for the phone. You also get a pair of basic, but decent-sounding USB-C earbuds.

Design

  • 158.1 x 73.1 x 8.8 mm, 198 g
  • Glass and aluminum build
  • IP68
  • No headphone jack
  • IR blaster
  • Single speaker
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