Last year, Huawei’s P20 Pro shot to the top of our best smartphones listing thanks to its brilliant triple-camera setup and overall premium allure. It’s since been replaced by… well, the Huawei Mate 20 Pro.
Will Huawei make it three straight sensational flagships with the P30 Pro? Rumours and leaks are swirling around the company’s next premium handset, which has a couple of tough acts to follow. Even so, it could again be the flagship to beat in early 2019, although Samsung’s Galaxy S10 and other handsets may give it a run for its money.
Here’s everything we’ve heard about the Huawei P30 Pro and standard P30 so far.
(Leaked render above via Evan Blass)
When will the Huawei P30 Pro be out?
It’s official: while we’d hoped to see the Huawei P30 and P30 Pro debut at Mobile World Congress at the end of February, we’ll actually be waiting a full extra month.
Huawei announced on Twitter that the P30 Series will launch on 26 March in Paris, essentially matching its launch plan for last year’s P20 line. Huawei’s tagline is that "Rules were made to be rewritten," and the first teaser clip suggests another big focus on camera tech (keep reading).
Fact or fiction?
Late March gives Huawei a chance to stand apart from the MWC flood, not to mention Samsung's Galaxy S10 debut. It's happening.
How much will the Huawei P30 Pro cost?
It’s sure to be expensive. The P20 Pro shipped for £799 and the Mate 20 Pro raised the stakes with an £899 asking price.
The P30 Pro should be pretty close in price to the Mate 20 Pro. WinFuture reports a €999 price for the P30 Pro, which translates to about £865 – but if we had to guess, £899 would make more sense. A version of the P30 Pro with 256GB storage is pegged at €1,099.
Meanwhile, the base Huawei P30 is expected to sell for €749 (nearly £650), while a P30 Lite is listed at €369 (£319).
(Leaked image via Evan Blass)
Fact or fiction?
Expect pricing similar to the Mate 20 Pro.
What will the Huawei P30 Pro look like?
We’ve seen a few different leaks and speculative renders for the P30 Pro, and they suggest that Huawei plans to push even harder on its camera dominance this time around – which means more visible hardware on the back.
Leaks point to four cameras on the back this time, and while we’ve seen various concept renders with different types of arrangements, the above leaked render from reliable leaker WinFuture looks to be the real deal. As seen, it has three vertically-arranged main sensors, but there’s a fourth beneath the dual-LED flash. It’s said to be a time-of-flight camera, which can measure distance based on how light bounces off of the environment.
On the front, we’ll get a teardrop notch, a curvy panel, and very minimal bezel. It looks a bit like the Mate 20 Pro in overall shape, albeit with the wide, iPhone X-like notch (and sensors) scrapped for a teardrop and a single selfie-cam. There’s a super-slick new "Amber Sunrise" orange/red version, too, as seen in a leaked render further down the page.
Fact or fiction?
These are the real deal, and we'll see them in action in a matter of days.
What about the Huawei P30 Pro’s screen?
The P20 and P20 Pro stuck with 1080p displays last year, but the Mate 20 Pro’s Quad HD panel was such an improvement – and we were hoping to see the same from the P30 Pro.
Unfortunately, that may not be the case. MySmartPrice spotted purported user agent files for both upcoming P30 models, and both suggest screen resolution of 1080×2340. It’s a little taller than last year’s phone due to the teardrop notch design, but it sounds like the pixels-per-inch count will ultimately be about the same.
WinFuture has since confirmed the 1080p spec for both devices, with an enlarged 6.47in OLED panel on the P30 Pro and a 6.1in OLED on the standard P30.
What you’re seeing above are WinFuture’s leaked renders of the standard Huawei P30, which largely looks the same as the Pro but seems to pack in larger bezels around the screen. That may be because the standard P30 doesn’t have a curved display, so it looks a bit different in renders.
According to a Weibo post out of China (via GSM Arena), the P30 line may be using Samsung’s AMOLED panels. While our review sample looked great, some of the LG-made Mate 20 Pro displays had issues. Besides, nobody makes better smartphone screens than Samsung.
Fact or fiction?
We would've liked a higher-res panel, but 1080p's fine if true – and it should help keep the price a bit lower than the Mate 20 Pro.
How much power will the Huawei P30 Pro pack?
The Mate 20 Pro’s Kirin 980 chip is Huawei’s current top-dog, flagship powerhouse, and it’s the processor that we’ll see running the show in the P30 Pro.
It’s immensely powerful, with the 7nm production process cramming loads more transistors into the same tiny space. It was Android’s most powerful chip as of the end of 2018, although Samsung’s Exynos 9820 and Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855 are now putting up a fight.
Here’s one potential advantage, though: reports suggest a potential 12GB chunk of RAM in the P30 Pro, although it’s unclear whether that will be the base model or a pricier edition. WinFuture suggests 8GB RAM for the P30 Pro and 6GB RAM for the standard P30, however.
WinFuture also points to 128GB and 256GB storage options for the P30 Pro.
Leaks suggest a huge 4,200mAh battery pack for the P30 Pro – the same as the Mate 20 Pro – and a 3,650mAh pack for the standard P30. There’s also speculation that the P30 Pro and P30 will add wireless charging, similarly following the lead of the Mate 20 Pro, but leaks have been inconsistent on this front.
Fact or fiction?
The Kirin 980 will deliver one of the speediest Android experiences in early 2019, although we'll have to see whether the new Exynos and Snapdragon chips top it.
What kind of cameras will the Huawei P30 Pro have?
Leaks suggest four back cameras on the P30 Pro and three on the back of the standard P30. The P30 Pro would have one more camera than the P20 Pro and Mate 20 Pro, if true, and the P30 would match the Mate 20 on camera count.
In November, Huawei’s European head Walter Ji told Android Pit on camera count, "Now we have three, imagine four for next year." That’s a pretty clear indication. He also suggested that 10x optical zoom could be coming, which might explain the purpose of a fourth back camera.
The quad-camera setup now seems certain, thanks to a photo posted in mid-February to Chinese social media site Weibo by Huawei’s consumer business group CEO, Richard Yu. The image has a partially-redacted watermark on the bottom that seems to say "Leica Quad Camera" and "Huawei P30 Pro," as spotted by GSM Arena.
Whatever configuration Huawei settles on, the company is clearly pointing towards significant zooming capabilities. The first Twitter teaser shows a view of iconic French architecture, and after the original shot, it zooms in super-close onto a detail. It lends credence to the above tease about 10x optical zoom, which could be much more of a game-changer than last year’s 3x optical and 5x hybrid zoom.
However, the Digital Trends report and images above point to just three back cameras instead of four, despite the momentum building towards the latter. The site says the phone’s back notes "Summitor" lenses, which is very close to branding to Leica’s own "Summitar" 50mm lenses. That could lend credence to the idea of a 10x zoom feature, Digital Trends suggests.
WinFuture’s most recent report and leaks, however, point to four back cameras on the P30 Pro with the 10x hybrid zooming capabilities, as well as three back cameras on the standard P30. The site suggests that the standard P30 won’t have the 10x functionality.
WinFuture also points to a 32MP front-facing camera for both phones.
Here’s an odd twist: YouTube filmmaker Parker Walbeck has posted the above video in which he uses an "unreleased smartphone" to shoot a load of footage. The phone itself is constantly obscured, but based on the details he provides, it matches up well with what we know about the Huawei P30 Pro.
Truth be told, the footage is absolutely stunning. If this is really what the Huawei P30 Pro is capable of, then it could well capture our smartphone crown once more – assuming the rest of the phone experience impresses. On the other hand, Huawei has been caught faking still camera samples in the past, so we need to maintain at least some shred of doubt.
Since the video’s release, many more leaked promotional images have come from MySmartPrice noting the 10x hybrid zoom on the P30 Pro and the familiar 5x hybrid zoom (from the P20 Pro) now on the standard P30.
Fact or fiction?
Get excited: the four-camera setup of the Huawei P30 Pro looks and sounds pretty spectacular.
Is there anything else I should know about the Huawei P30 Pro?
This year’s big flagship trend is the addition of 5G network support. We’re expecting it in handsets from all of the big Android makers, and have already seen some from the likes of Samsung, LG, and yes, Huawei.
Huawei has already shown off the foldable Mate X (shown) and will also release a 5G version of the extra-large Mate 20 X. While there haven’t been solid reports about 5G coming to the P30 Pro, we think it’s likely a foregone conclusion at this point given the other announcements. It’s entirely possible that Huawei will have a separate 5G model from the core LTE lineup, much like Samsung with the Galaxy S10 5G.
Surprisingly, 91Mobiles points to the return of the 3.5mm headphone port on the standard P30. It was missing on both P20 models last year. WinFuture has since confirmed this detail – and sadly, confirmed that the P30 Pro won’t have the headphone port.
According to WinFuture, the P30 Pro lacks an earpiece and instead vibrates the OLED display to send out sound – much like the upcoming LG G8 ThinQ will do, as well. And the P30 Pro will have an in-display fingerprint sensor like the Mate 20 Pro, although it’s not clear whether the standard P30 has the same feature onboard.
Fact or fiction?
5G support seems certain, at least for one model, but we'd be surprised to see the headphone port come back.
Also Read › Huawei Mate X hands-on review