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Huawei P30 Pro Unboxing and First Impressions

Huawei's first flagship phone of 2019 is the direct successor of the P20 Pro, the P30 Pro. Compared with its predecessor, it brought a lot of improvements in terms of design, specs, and cameras on paper.
Huawei P30 Pro Unboxing and First Impressions
Meet P30 Pro!

Just a quick recap, P20 Pro is the first phone with a Leica triple-camera system with a massive 40MP primary shooter that changed the mobile photography game last year.

This year, Huawei flexed its R&D muscles even harder to duplicate P20 Pro's success with P30 Pro's new quad-camera setup.

Aside from the cameras, Huawei also improved nearly every aspect of its specs versus last year.

From the looks of it, this handset is a true top contender this year.

Here's our P30 Pro review part 1: Unboxing/Accessories, Build/Design, and First Impressions!


Everything inside
Everything inside

The unit that we got arrived with the familiar white box with Huawei and Leica logos. It clearly states that this phone has a Leica quad camera setup.

After opening the box, users will find the safe TÜV Rheinland 40W SuperCharge USB wall charger, USB-A to USB-C cable, earphones with mic, TPU jelly case, and SIM ejector tool.

It's a near complete package. However, it doesn't have a pre-installed screen protector and a male USB-C to 3.5mm female headphone slot dongle.

Build Quality/Design

Beautiful design
Beautiful design

For me, P30 Pro is the most refined Huawei phone in terms of construction yet. Coming from the P20 Pro, it still goes with sandwiched metal and glass materials, but like the Mate 20 Pro it now has IP68 of water and dust resistance instead of just IP67.

It simply means that it can withstand water and dust better than its predecessor. To be exact, this phone is resistant to water submersion up to 1.5 meters for 30 minutes.

P30 Pro still has a scratch resistant glass, but Huawei failed to mention the exact type of Glass protection it has.

It would still be the best if you can put a film for extra protection on the screen and a case. Remember, glass is glass.

The glass we are talking about is also the main design upgrade of this phone over its predecessor. I like how Huawei made its 3D curved glass design smoother with neat tapered edges.

Stunning gradient color schemes, smoother curves!

Behind, most P30 Pro phones comes with stunning gradient color schemes with 9 layer of nano optical finish. There is also minimalist black variant that looks gorgeous. The unit that I have breathing crystal edition with a unicorn-like gradient color palette.

You will also find the quad-camera system with the dual-tone LED flash and the color temperature sensor at the back.

There is a camera hump due to its big camera sensors for a small phone. Fortunately, it doesn't have sharp edges on the camera bump unlike some devices we tested in the past.
Huge screen-to-body ratio
Huge screen-to-body ratio

In front, the P30 Pro has a massive 6.47-inch 3D curved OLD screen with a tiny dewdrop notch. Since the notch is small, this phone has a tall 19:5:9 screen aspect ratio. It also has a bigger screen-to-body ratio versus 87.9 percent of the Mate 20 Pro last year.

The result? You will enjoy more screen real estate than ever. Huawei also made its dewdrop notch even smaller than other similar looking notches from competing brands.

How? Huawei removed the earspeaker and 3D face detection sensor. To make doing calls still possible, Huawei replaced the earspeaker with an In-Display speaker.

They dubbed it as the Acoustic Display Technology which uses electromagnetic sound levitation to project sound from the vibrations in the display to your ear. Quite cool and it works just like a regular earpeaker.

The downside is it doesn't have the more secured 3D face sensor anymore. Luckily, the 32MP selfie camera is still more than good enough to make the face unlock tech speedy. Surprisingly, it works even in low light and it is fast.

It doesn't have stereo audio anymore as well. BUT, the loudspeaker that Huawei added below is one of the best I tried in a phone yet. Yes, its single speaker is louder and fuller than the two speakers of my Mate 20 Pro.

Anyway, the massive screen with tiny notch also resulted in to a smaller form factor for the screen size. It is only slightly bigger than the Mate 20 Pro with smaller screen. It measures at just 
158 x 73.4 x 8.41 mm. P30 Pro is just as big as 2017 phones with 16:9 screens and 5.5-inch panels.

On the top, you will find the IR blaster remote and a microphone hole. Below, you will see the dual SIM hybrid tray hole, another mic, USB-C female port, and the single LOUD speaker.

Oh by the way, the USB-C port now supports external microphones. Even without the external mic, we noticed that its recordings are now clearer compared with previous generation Huawei devices.

There's nothing at left and you will find the usual power button/volume rocker on the right side of the phone. The power button has a red indicator to remind you that it is the main switch of the handset.

In general, the device is quite comfortable to hold. We also like that the In-Display fingerprint scanner is easy to reach. Like other glass back phones, it is prone to fingerprint smudges.

Initial findings

Bright and vibrant screen
Bright and vibrant screen

1. Best design and build on a Huawei phone yet. It looks and feels as premium if not more premium than the Galaxy S10+. The screen resolution at FHD+ is lower than the QHD+ of Mate 20 Pro, but when you put them side by side, the difference in sharpness is hardly noticeable on naked eye. I even like the color accuracy of the P30 Pro better. it is not as warm as the screen of Mate 20 Pro.
AnTuTu and Geekbench scores
AnTuTu and Geekbench scores

2. The internals reminds us of the Mate 20 Pro with Kirin 980, Mali-G76 MP10 GPU (GPU Turbo 2.0, Dual-NPU (AI), 4,200mAh battery (40W SuperCharge/15W wireless charge/5W reverse wireless charge), and 4G LTE Cat 21. BUT, the the PH version of P30 Pro comes with larger 8GB RAM and 256GB internal storage.

It is still a beast according to AnTuTu with over 307K score and Geekbench with over 9.9K multi-core score.

3. Huawei added the slightly improved EMUI 9.1 skin based on Android 9.0 Pie OS. It improved the gesture based mode and new themes.

It still has the no app drawer or with app drawer option. It is still have few bloats and great AI assisted optimizations. EMUI is one of the speediest skins we ever tested. Performance-wise, the skin is great. Design-wise, it looks a bit dated versus the new One UI skin of Samsung and ColorOS 6 skin of Realme.
The camera phone to beat
The camera phone to beat

4. The cameras are unreal! It is easily the best for stills. It uses a new 40MP f/1.6 RYYB OIS sensor with 1/1.7-inch which is an improvement over the old 40MP f/1.8 RGB sensor. 

Insane camera tech!

It is paired with an improved 20MP f/2.2 ultra wide angle lens and an 8MP f/3.4 OIS 5x periscope zoom sensor. The 8MP square periscope lens combined with the main camera is the one responsible for making the 10x lossless zoom and 50x digital zoom technologies possible.

For our 50x zoom demo, you may click this link.

The 20MP f/2.2 ultra-angle can help you take breathtaking 2.5cm macro shots. The last lens is the ToF sensor with PDAF. Combined with the 40MP main cam, the ToF helps in making clean looking bokeh phone shots possible. It can also be used for 3D AR apps.

The four Leica cameras behind are aided by Huawei's 4D predictive focus, AIS, color temperature sensor, and dual-tone LED flash.

As expected, AI-assisted handheld Super Night Mode shots even on wide or zoom.  Huawei also added the handheld silky water feature feature using the Super Night Mode. Speaking of AI, it can detect and optimize a lot of scenes.

Huawei also improved its selfie camera to 32MP. It is a brand new sensor with f/2.0 aperture size. Huawei promises that it can shoot selfies with better colors, details, and HDR versus the 24MP sensor found on their other devices.

For videos, it now has better stabilization than ever. 

To check a sample 4K video (uploaded on Facebook, so downscaled to 720p), click here.

Related: Huawei P30 Pro: First Camera Samples

5. This phone is loaded with features. It is equipped with one of the fastest In-Display fingerprint scanner around. It still goes with the IR blaster remote and a lot of connectivity options. It is also packed with most of the sensors found on other flagship devices.

Huawei P30 Pro Specs

Display: 6.47-inch 3D curved OLED screen w/ FHD+ 2340 x 1080 resolution at 398 ppi
CPU: 2.6GHz 64-bit Kirin 980 octa-core processor w/ Dual-NPU
GPU: Mali-G76 MP10 w/ GPU Turbo 2.0
ROM: 256GB expandable via NM card slot up to 256GB
Back Camera: 40MP f/1.6 RYYB OIS sensor + 20MP f/2.2 ultra wide-angle sensor + 8MP f/3.4 OIS 5x periscope zoom sensor + ToF PDAF sensor paired w/ 4D predictive focus, AIS, color temperature sensor, and dual-tone LED flash
Selfie Camera: 32MP f/2.0 w/ AI HDR
Battery: 4,200mAh w/ 40W SuperCharge and 15W wireless charging w/ reverse wireless charging
OS: Android 9.0 Pie w/ EMUI 9.1
Connectivity: WiFi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac (2.4/5GHz), 4G LTE Cat 21, Bluetooth 5 BLE, aptX HD, OTG, NFC, GPS (L1 + L5 dual-band), A-GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou, Galileo (E1 + E5a dual-band), QZZS (L1 + L5 dual-band), dual SIM (hybrid)
Sensors: Accelerometer, light, orientation, proximity, gyroscope, sound, magnetic, pressure
Others: In-Display fingerprint sensor, IR Blaster, IP68 water and dust resistance, 384K/32-bit HiFi DAC, USB Type-C, in-display speaker + loudspeaker, Colors: amber sunrise, breathing crystal, aurora, black
Dimensions: 158 x 73.4 x 8.41 mm
Weight: 192 g
Price: PHP 50,990

As of the moment

Huawei clearly improved upon the successes they had the P20 Pro and Mate 20 Pro. The result is the P30 Pro, a revolutionary camera phone that is very hard to beat today.

Bonus: It comes with their most refined design yet, powerful overall specs, and an attractive price tag of PHP 50,990.

We'll reserve our final take in our full review soon, but right off the bat, I'm very impressed so far!

By the way, those who will pre-order this phone or the regular P30 from April 5 to 12 will get a FREE Huawei Watch GT worth PHP 12,990.

What do you guys think? 
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