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Huawei Mate 30 Unboxing and First Impressions

No question, a lot raved about the performance of the Huawei Mate 30 Pro. However, while it is a great device for the price, not everyone has the capacity to spare PHP 50,990 for a phone.
Meet Mate 30

Huawei's answer to that "problem" is the vanilla Mate 30. At PHP 34,990, it has the same chip found on the Mate 30 Pro and some of the best specs and cameras for the price.

Here's part 1 of our review. Unboxing and first impressions.



The unit that we have is the global version of the Mate 30. Unlike our Mate 30 Pro (pre-production, Chinese unit), it has a more complete packaging.

We got the phone itself, SIM ejector tool, TPU flexible clear case, paper documents (warranty card, user guide), 40W SuperCharge power brick, USB-A to USB-C data/charging cable, and earphones with microphone.

In our unit, we noticed that it even has a pre-installed screen protector and that's nice!

Build Quality/Design

Premium-looking 3D curved glass back in Black

Like the flagship Mate 30 Pro, the Mate 30 Pro highlights a premium 3D curved glass back in Black and Space Silver colorways. It is dubbed as the "Halo Ring" design due to circular camera placement. The frame is also made out of solid stainless metal that feels really good in the hands.
Mate 30 side by side with Mate 30 Pro
Mate 30 side by side with Mate 30 Pro

The circular camera has a slight hump. You will also find the Xenon-like dual-LED flash and color temperature sensor on the upper left side.

The 3D curved glass back is simply beautiful!

There are listings stating that it sports Gorilla Glass 6 for extra protection, but it is unverified. The exact screen protection that Huawei used was not mentioned.

It doesn't have the IP68 water and dust resistance like the Mate 30 Pro as well. Instead, it has IP53 water resistance which means that it has protection against accidental water splashes.
A "flatter" curved screen with super slim bezels and a more "traditional" notch
A "flatter" curved screen with super slim bezels and a more "traditional" notch

Also, Mate 30 has a bigger and flatter 2.5D curved 6.62-inch RIGID OLED screen instead of the smaller yet curvier 6.47-inch Horizon OLED (waterfall) screen of the Mate 30 Pro.

The screen-to-body ratio wasn't mentioned, but since bezels are super slim, we suspect that it is at over 90 percent.
Mate 30 Pro and Mate 30 notch comparison
Mate 30 Pro and Mate 30 notch comparison

On the notch, you'll see the selfie camera and the earspeaker. Since it is using AMOLED, Huawei managed to place an In-Display fingerprint reader.

It resulted in a not that big and thick body at 160 x 76.1 x 8.4 mm despite its large screen and big 4,200mAh battery.

On top, it has the first mic and an IR Blaster remote control. Below, you'll see a 3.5mm headphone slot, another mic, USB-C port, and a loud down-firing single speaker.

The reason why it only has an IP53 rating is the inclusion of a 3.5mm headphone jack slot and I am not complaining. Having the 3.5mm headphone jack is still better than relying on just the USB-C dongle.

At left, you'll see the hole to open its hybrid dual nano-SIM slots with NM card slot. At right, you'll find the power key with red marking and the volume keys.

Overall, even if its glass back is a fingerprint magnet, the Mate 30 has one of the nicest build, design, and ergonomics despite its large size. It is just a bit hefty at 196 grams.

Initial findings

1. We find it weird that it didn't use a dewdrop notch. Instead, it settled for a more traditional notch found on the P20 Pro a year ago. BUT, the screen that Huawei used is simply great with vibrant colors and good contrast.

The viewing experience is immersive and I like the fact that it has one of the slimmest bezels around. Typing and swiping is much easier on a flatter type of screen compared to waterfall curved screens like the Mate 30 Pro and Vivo NEX 3.
Impressive benchmark scores
Impressive benchmark scores

2. Powering this device is the 4G version of the Kirin 990. Kirin 990 is a processor based on the 7nm process with 8.0 billion transistors. It has up to 2.86GHz clock speed, Dual NPU (1 Big-Core and 1 Tiny-Core), and Mali-G76 MP16 with the new-gen GPU Turbo.

Monster speed!

It is one of the most powerful chip around in terms of raw performance and AI. It is coupled with 8GB LPDD4X RAM and 128GB expandable storage via NM card.

The battery capacity is also large at 4,200mAh. Moreover, it is complete with USB-C 40W SuperCharge solution that can fully charge the phone in an hour.

For Qi wireless charging, it has up to 27W support. That's even faster than most wired charging solutions from the other brands. It even has an improved reverse wireless charging tech that is 3x faster than the previous-gen tech.
EMUI 10 is way better than EMUI 9
EMUI 10 is way better than EMUI 9

3. For the OS, it still runs with Android. It uses Android 10 with EMUI 10 skin to be exact. It is one of the best-looking Android skins around. Arguably, it is the smoothest and most feature-rich around as well.

However, due to the restriction from the US government, it didn't ship with GMS (Google Mobile Services) out of the box. Instead, we got the HMS (Huawei Mobile Services) with its own app store, the AppGallery.

As of writing, AppGallery is the world's 3rd biggest app store. AND yes, it has a lot of apps and Huawei is working and spending a lot to make it as good as possible.

But if you can't live without Google, you can always download and install it. You may check our tutorial here.
Flagship-worthy cameras?
Flagship-worthy cameras?

4. For the cameras, Huawei's partner is still Leica, the legendary German camera maker.

It uses a 40MP f/1.8 primary SuperSensing Camera w/ PDAF, CAF paired with 16MP f/2.2 secondary ultra wide-angle sensor w/ 2.5cm macro and an 8MP f/2.4 third 3x Optical Zoom camera with OIS.

The phone also has a dual-tone LED flash and a Color Temperature sensor.

For selfies, it goes with a 24MP f/2.0 sensor.

Let's also remember that it goes with a 5th-generation ISP (image signal processor) that enables new "DSLR-level" noise reduction. Also, it has a lot of camera modes including the Huawei-specialized Light Painting modes.

So, even if it doesn't have the dual 40MP shooter and the 32MP selfie cam of Mate 30 Pro, the camera setup of the Mate 30 is still impressive, especially at this price point.

Note: Camera samples soon!

5. As expected, the Mate 30 is complete with most of the connectivity options we need. It also has a really fast and accurate In-Display fingerprint reader and face unlock tech.

Huawei users will also enjoy that it has a PC mode when connected to a monitor via HDMI. It also has a super-fast file transfer via Huawei Share.

Lastly, it even has a 3.5mm headphone jack slot!

Huawei Mate 30 Specs

Display: 6.62-inch 2.5D curved RIGID OLED screen w/ FHD+ 2340 x 1080 resolution at 389 ppi
CPU: 2.86GHz 64-bit Kirin 990 octa-core processor w/ Dual NPU (Big-Core + Tiny-Core)
GPU: Mali-G76 MP16 w/ GPU Turbo (New-Gen)
ROM: 128GB expandable via NM card slot up to 256GB
Back Camera: 40MP f/1.8 SuperSensing Camera w/ PDAF, CAF + 16MP f/2.2 ultra wide-angle w/ 2.5cm macro + 8MP f/2.4 3x Optical Zoom w/ OIS and dual-tone LED flash w/ Color Temperature sensor
Selfie Camera: 24MP f/2.0
Battery: 4,200mAh w/ 40W SuperCharge + 27W Wireless SuperCharge + Reverse Wireless Charging
OS: Android 10 w/ EMUI 10.0
Connectivity: WiFi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac (2.4GHz/5GHz), 700MHz 4G LTE Cat 21, Bluetooth 5.1 LE, aptX HD, LDAC, 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, IP53 water resistance, 384K/32-bit HiFi DAC, USB-C, In-Display earspeaker + loudspeaker, 3.5mm headphone slot, Colors: black, space silver
Dimensions: 160 x 76.1 x 8.4 mm
Weight: 196 g
Price: PHP 34,990 (PHP 29,990 new SRP)

As of the moment

Without a doubt, based on what we initially saw, the Huawei Mate 30 is one of the most competitive phones around.

The build and design scream premium, it has one of the fastest chips around, it is loaded with tons of features, and it has good camera specs.

AND, for its PHP 34,990 price tag, it is looking to be a steal for those who can afford it.

Three words. Solid so far!

Stay tuned for our full review.

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