Huawei P30 Pro first impressions: more zoom than ever before

By Swapnil Mathur | Published on 27 Mar 2019

The Huawei P30 Pro comes with a brand new RYYB imaging sensor for the primary 40-megapixel camera and a whopping 5x optical zoom on the telephoto lens

Huawei P30 Pro first impressions: more zoom than ever before

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Huawei unveiled the Huawei P30 Pro tonight at an event held in Paris. Huawei’s flagship smartphone boasts of quite a few interesting features, the first one of which is the camera stack. There’s also a new 6.47-inch OLED display with FHD+ resolution, packed into an interestingly shaped body. Huawei let us play around with the P30 Pro for some time during the event and here are our first impressions

Build and Design

The Huawei P30 Pro has a pretty interesting design. While the phone retains the curved screen like that of the Mate 20 Pro, the top and bottom of the frame are actually flat, instead of being rounded. It gives the phone a unique look, but it is definitely not the big feature here. What really struck us about the P30 Pro were the new finishes the phone comes in, that is, Amber Sunrise (orange), Breathing Crystal (whitish with blue hues), Pearl White, Aurora (blue with light streaks) and Black. While the last one has a simple black finish, all the other four are pretty pleasing on the eyes and tend to look different depending on how light hits them. The Huawei P30 Pro carries an IP68 rating, which is in-line with what you’d expect from a flagship device.

The Huawei P30 Pro will come in four unique finishes

Triple camera for the win

The Huawei P30 Pro sports a triple camera unlike any other. On the surface, you still get a 40 megapixel wide, 20MP ultra-wide and an 8MP telephoto lens, but there is a lot going on under the surface here. The primary 40-megapixel camera uses a new pixel arrangement. Instead of the usual RGBG pixel arrangement, the sensor uses an RYBY arrangement instead. The green pixels on the sensor have been replaced by yellow ones, which Huawei claims allows for 30-40 percent better light absorption, without having to increase sensor size or increase the aperture. As it is, the P30 Pro uses a large 1/1.7-inch sensor for the 40-megapixel tricks. The ultra-wide angle camera seems to be straight out of the Mate 20 Pro, so there’s not a lot to write about that here. Lastly, the 8-megapixel telephoto lens now offers 5x optical zoom, but at the cost of the aperture, which now sits at a much smaller f/3.4. What you get instead is 5x optical zoom, 10x hybrid zoom and a whopping 50x digital zoom. Huawei showed off some pretty impressive photos during the launch even and while we haven’t had enough time to test out the company’s claims, rest assured we will do so during the course of our review. This includes the Huawei P30 Pro's ability to shoot in darkness and yet be able to produce well lit and properly saturated images with minimal colour shift.

The Huawei P30 Pro features a new RYBY 40MP sensor and a 5x optical zoom thanks to the new periscope lens

In the brief time using the phone in the demo zone, a few things become apparent. First, the AF system seems to be pretty fast and the shutter response across all three lenses is pretty solid. Using the telephoto lens farther than 30x did produce less than desirable results due to low light, but it's too early to say anything without doing proper testing of the camera. We will be doing a separate story on the P30 Pro’s camera in the next two days, so all those curious should stay tuned to our site.

Bells and Whistles

The Huawei P30 Pro comes with many of the Mate 20 Pro’s features like reverse wireless charging. The phone itself has a 4200mAh battery and given that the display is an FHD+ OLED panel, we di expect to see some impressive battery performance, but we’ll only know for sure in our in-depth review. Sadly, there’s no 3.5mm headphone jack on the P30 Pro, and the phone also lacks a standard microSD card slot and instead uses Huawei’s proprietary Nano Memory Card, which is yet to be made available in India.

First Impressions

The Huawei P30 Pro comes with improvements on the one thing that truly set its predecessor apart, the camera. Telephoto lenses on smartphones are particularly difficult to work with, so the 5x optical zoom lens using the periscope design is a pretty ingenious move. We are also pretty excited to test out the low light capabilities of the P30 Pro, which Huawei says shoudl reveal things you'd have not seen otherwire. We are going to be testing the phone when it comes into our labs to figure out just how much of our expectations and the company’s claims the Huawei P30 Pro lives up to.

Huawei P30 Pro 256GB Key Specs, Price and Launch Date

Release Date: 09 Apr 2019
Variant: 128GB , 256GB , 512GB
Market Status: Launched

Key Specs

  • Screen Size Screen Size
    6.47" (1080 X 2340)
  • Camera Camera
    40 + 20 + 8 + TOF | 32 MP
  • Memory Memory
  • Battery Battery
    4200 mAh
Swapnil Mathur

Digit's resident camera nerd, (un)official product photographer and the Reviews Editor


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