Huawei Mate 30 Pro hands-on: launched with big ‘ifs’ but few ‘buts’

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The Huawei Mate 30 Pro is here, it’s official. After many question marks related to the American ban, Richard Yu announced the new flagships that introduce interesting innovations, from the camera to the display. Here are our first hands-on impressions.

Huawei Mate 30 Pro release date and price

The availability of these new phones is THE big question mark surrounding them. Rumors were circulating before the event that the Mate 30 Pro would not land in Europe at all this year. We did get some prices on stage in Munich, however. The Mate 30 Pro starts at €1,099 with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of internal storage. The Mate 30 Pro 5G version starts at €1,199 with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of internal storage. The Mate 30 Porsche Design Edition with costs a whopping €2,099, with 12GB of RAM and 512GB of internal storage. That’s a lot of money if you aren’t even getting Google apps.

New look, front and back

We have known the
design
of the Huawei Mate 30 Pro for a long time thanks to the many rumors leaked online. The brand’s signature is clear because the new generation takes up the DNA of the previous generation but, at the same time, shows a willingness to differentiate at first glance.

The Mate 30 Pro measures 158.1×73.1×8.8mm and weighs 198 grams. In hand, it is slightly larger than Huawei P30 Pro. The new Huawei smartphone surprises at first glance with its 6.53-inch FHD+ screen in 18.4:9 format and with a 26.6mm notch instead of the 32.8mm one on the Mate 20 Pro. Huawei calls the screen its Horizon Display, and to characterize it we find edges that reach an angle of almost 90 degrees (88 to be precise) that create a cascading effect. It’s really impressive.

The new camera design / © AndroidPIT

Next to the screen is the Side-Touch Interaction function, which is nothing more than a virtual side key that replaces the volume control but can also be used for other tasks such as, for example, shooting a selfie. The tendency to make the physical keys disappear is therefore repeated, even if on the Mate 30 Pro the side power button remains, with its touch of color in red.

huawei mate 30 pro display
The Horizon Display by Huawei on the Mate 30 Pro / © AndroidPIT

On the back, the Mate 30 Pro also introduces new features: the camera sector changes shape, from a square to a circular design. It’s a design choice that other brands also seem to appreciate: have you seen OnePlus 7T? It protrudes over the body but the phone does not dance when resting on a flat surface. The signature of the brand at the bottom and that the Leica branding remains on the bodywork.

Mate 30 Pro
Six different colors for Mate 30 Pro / © AndroidPIT

The Mate 30 Pro fits well in your hand, despite its non-compact size, thanks to its extreme curvatures. The colors are really beautiful: Cosmic Purple, Emerald Green, Space Silver and Black. The Mate 30 Pro also comes in a Vegan Leather Edition, in green and orange, an elegant material that does not renounce the IP68 certification.

A promising photographic sector

The Mate 30 Pro could not do without a new photographic section consisting of four sensors on the back:

  • Ultrawide Cine Camera 40MP, 18mm, f/1.8 (4K video at 60fps, ISO 512000 and ultra-slow motion at 7680fps)
  • 40MP, 27mm, f/1.6, OIS SuperSensing
  • Telephoto 8MP, f/2.4, 80mm, OIS, 3x optical zoom, 5x hybrid zoom, 30x digital zoom
  • 3D depth sensor
AndroidPIT huawei mate 30 pro camera app
A promising camera, indeed / © AndroidPIT

The package of sensors aims to offer excellent shots in different scenarios and situations and to confirm the supremacy of the brand in the field of photography. It’s nice to see how Huawei has also focused on video. Previous models could not shine compared to some of the competitors in the market in terms of shooting video.

The camera app responded quickly during our short test. Night shots, slow-motion video, panorama, monochrome, HDR and time-lapse modes are also available, as well as more recreational features such as AR lenses. There is also a Pro-Bokeh mode.

The front camera, integrated into the notch, consists of a 32-megapixel sensor with f/2.0 aperture that allows you to record video in FHD+ from 2288×1080.

The power of the Kirin 990 and a 4,500 mAh battery

Under the hood hides the new Kirin 990 processor with integrated 5G modem presented to the IFA 2019. The new chip, realized with 7nm+EUV process, promises optimized performance in terms of processing power and energy efficiency compared to the previous generation thanks to the Da Vinci NPU (a double NPU + NPU cores). The chip integrates 14 antennas dedicated to the 4G or 5G connection, which means excellent reception in any situation, even with the use of two SIM cards.

The base model comes with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of internal memory. The Huawei Mate 30 Pro also houses a 4,500 mAh battery with 40W SuperCharge charging and 27W wireless charging. The Mate 20 Pro has distinguished itself in terms of battery life and the new Kirin 990 should give an extra boost in this department.

AndroidPIT huawei mate 30 pro android version
EMUI 10 was running on the test device we tried / © AndroidPIT

Android without Google apps and services

The question that so many are wondering: what’s going on with Mate 30 Pro software? Is this the open-source Android version without the Google’s services and app package? The reason is well known: the US ban that does not allow Huawei to work with Google. Huawei mobile services are available, including the AppGallery, that is proposed theoretically as an alternative to Google mobile services but, in practice, it will be necessary to get our hands on the phone for longer to actually understand all the possibilities that users will have available.

The Huawei Mate 30 Pro was launched with EMUI 10 and Android 10, which we are currently using in beta on Huawei P30 Pro, with a number of new features including Always-On Color Display with more information and dark mode for all apps. With the Huawei Mate 30 Pro, you can also use Smart Gesture Controls and take advantage of the self-rotating display possible thanks to the artificial intelligence, a gem that can be really comfortable in everyday use.

Early Verdict

The Huawei Mate 30 Pro has a lot of promises if you look at the spec sheet and shows that once again the technology in the hands of the brand is cutting edge. Featuring a beautiful design, it tries to optimize the experience from all sides: display, camera and performance.

Huawei dares to eliminate the volume control and propose a touch feature that offers a different type of interaction. It will be interesting to try it in everyday use. Then there is the question of Google services and apps, something users in Europe and the U.S. cannot live without.

The big question, however, is when will it come to the market and if will it come to our regions. For now, the brand says that Mate 30 Pro will arrive in Central Europe by the end of the year, but without specifying the countries. We hope it will come soon because the Mate 30 Pro looks really impressive and keeping it locked down in China would be such a shame.



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