• Full Review
  • Specifications

Full Review

The Huawei P30 is here and while it’s not the top Huawei – that honour goes to the Huawei P30 Pro – it’s still a high-end phone packed full of exciting features.

That includes a triple-lens rear camera, an in-screen fingerprint scanner and an all-screen design, but – even at its relatively low (by flagship standards) price of £699 SIM free - does this phone do enough to stand out from the crowd? A crowd which includes the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S10 and Galaxy S10e? Read on to find out.

Screen

The Huawei P30 has a 6.1-inch 1080 x 2340 OLED screen that comes in at 422 pixels per inch. That puts it at a middling size by the standards of recent high-end handsets and at the lower end of resolution for a high-end phone. But make no mistake, this is still a sharp screen. In fact, you could argue that in a device of this size a sharper screen makes minimal difference.

Huawei has also packed the screen full of tech, including HDR10, meaning it can properly display HDR content.

The screen is bright too, so you’ll have no problem using it in direct sunlight, and it takes up most of the front of the Huawei P30, with just a tiny teardrop notch at the top and a very small bezel at the bottom.

Design

Huawei P30 Colours

Aside from the all-screen look on the front, described above, the design of the Huawei P30 shouldn’t surprise anyone who’s seen the Huawei P20 range or a number of other recent phones from the company, as it’s quite similar.

It includes a glass back which optionally comes in a gradient colour scheme such as ‘Aurora’ or ‘Breathing Crystal’, with shades that shift from one end to the other. Alternatively you can get the P30 in a more restrained black shade.

Whatever colour you opt for it’s a nice design, backed up by tough Gorilla Glass to protect it from falls and an IP53 rating – meaning it’s splash resistant but not properly water proof. That’s better than nothing but not as good as many other phones, including the P30 Pro, which can survive being submerged for up to 30 minutes.

Power

There’s an octa-core Kirin 980 chipset inside the Huawei P30, which is the same chipset as you’ll find in the P30 Pro, but also the slightly older Huawei Mate 20 Pro. The upshot is that this is Huawei’s latest and greatest chip, but it’s not quite as new as the likes of the Snapdragon 855 and Exynos 9820 found in some rival handsets.

Still, it delivers plenty of power, especially as it’s paired with 6GB of RAM. It’s also one of the first and only smartphone chipsets to be as small as 7nm, making it more efficient than some rivals. Its performance on paper might not quite be a match for the likes of the iPhone XS and Samsung Galaxy S10, but in practice you’re unlikely to notice the difference – this is one fast phone.

Camera

Huawei P30 Camera

The cameras are almost certainly the highlight of the Huawei P30. This isn’t such a surprise, since cameras are often one of the highlights of flagship phones – right now they seem to be one of the main areas of competition.

In the P30’s case, you get three on the back, with a 40MP f/1.8 main lens, a 16MP f/2.2 ultra-wide one and an 8MP f/2.4 telephoto one with optical image stabilisation.

Combined they have a lot of powers, including letting you snap the world in three different ways and take great low-light shots.

In fact, whatever the light, this phone will capture more of it than most, at least if you use the main lens, as it’s designed to take in 40% more by seeing the world in RYYB rather than RGB, for richer, more detailed images. The Huawei P30 also has a strong 32MP camera on the front, so your selfies will be served well.

Overall this is one of the best camera phones around, though it’s upstaged slightly by the quad-lens Huawei P30 Pro – but that costs more.

Features

Huawei P30 Fingerprint Scanner

As noted above, the Huawei P30 has a fingerprint scanner built into the screen, which isn’t quite the novelty it once was but is still a feature only found in high-end handsets, and it works well, along with allowing for that stunning all-screen design.

The Huawei P30 also has strong speakers, which combined with that screen make this a great phone for media – and unlike some flagships (including its sibling the P30 Pro) you still get a 3.5mm headphone port here, so you can easily plug in wired earphones.

Battery life, memory and connectivity

Huawei P30 Battery

The Huawei P30 has a 3,650mAh battery, which is an above average but not massive size. If anything its life is slightly better than you might expect though – this probably won’t quite last you two days, but a day and a half of mixed use isn’t unrealistic. It also charges up very fast, but sadly there’s no wireless charging.

Memory meanwhile comes in at a healthy 128GB, and there’s also potential for expansion, but you’ll have to invest in one of Huawei’s nano memory cards rather than being able to use a microSD card.

Connectivity options include 4G, Bluetooth 5.0 and NFC, allowing for contactless payments.

Verdict

The Huawei P30 is a strong phone, especially when you consider the price, which sees it undercutting most other flagships. In that sense it’s more competition for the Samsung Galaxy S10e than the Samsung Galaxy S10. But in terms of specs and features it’s absolutely a rival for the standard S10 – if not quite a match for the far pricier Galaxy S10 Plus and P30 Pro.

This isn’t the best phone you can get, but it strikes a great balance between price and features, making it a great choice if you have lots to spend, but don’t want to stretch to the very priciest phones – just try not to compare it to the P30 Pro, or you might find yourself wishing you’d spent a little more.

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Specifications

Specifications

  • Dimensions (mm): 149.1 x 71.4 x 7.6
  • Weight (g): 165
  • Battery capacity (mAh): 3650
  • Colours: Aurora, Breathing Crystal, Black
  • Screen size (inches): 6.1
  • Resolution: 1080 x 2340
  • Pixels per inch (PPI): 422
  • Processor: Octa-core
  • Processor make: Kirin 980
  • RAM: 6GB
  • Internal storage: 128GB
  • Expandable storage up to: 256GB
  • Camera: 40MP, 16MP and 8MP (32MP front-facing)
  • Operating System: Android 9

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