Huawei P30 review

GSMArena team, 12 April 2019.

The 6.1-inch OLED can be bright and color-accurate

Huawei appears to have made the switch to OLED for all its top-tier smartphones, following three generations of Pro Mates, and a P20 Pro last year. Well, now, even the non-Pro P30 has an OLED display and we only need the upcoming fall's vanilla Mate to confirm the full transition.

Huawei P30 review

The P30's panel measures 6.1 inches in diagonal and has a 1080x2340px resolution in a 19.5:9 aspect ratio - that would be a density of 422ppi. It's got a relatively small notch in the muddle of the top edge and rounded corners all around.

In our testing, we measured a maximum brightness of 449nits when in manual mode - noticeably lower than the Pro's result, but well in line with other OLEDs. The P30 can boost its brightness higher than the P30 Pro when in auto and under direct light and posts a rather respectable 635nits. The Mate 20 Pro and the LG G8 ThinQ can go that extra few nits higher, while the Galaxy S10 is far from anyone's reach at the top. As it should be, there was no measurable illumination of the blacks - a phenomenon we've observed with some OLEDs in the past.

Minimum brightness on the Huawei P30 is 1.7nits, which is great for using the phone in complete darkness. Just make sure you don't leave it like that as may not be able to see anything in the morning.

We had zero issues with using the phone outdoors - even framing photos out in the sun was a doable task.

Display test 100% brightness
Black, cd/m2 White, cd/m2 Contrast ratio
Huawei P30 0 449
Huawei P30 (Max Auto) 0 635
Huawei P30 Pro 0 571
Huawei P30 Pro (Max Auto) 0 605
Huawei P20 Pro 0 412
Huawei P20 Pro (Max Auto) 0 582
Huawei P20 0.328 477 1454
Huawei P20 (Max Auto) 0.481 695 1445
Huawei Mate 20 Pro 0.002 508 254000
Huawei Mate 20 Pro (Max Auto) 0.003 657 219000
Samsung Galaxy S10 0 396
Samsung Galaxy S10 (Max Auto) 0 820
Xiaomi Mi 9 0 428
Xiaomi Mi 9 (Max Auto) 0 620
LG G8 ThinQ 0 391
LG G8 ThinQ (Max Auto) 0 655
Nokia 9 PureView 0 531
Google Pixel 3 0 426
OnePlus 6T 0 453
OnePlus 6T (Max Auto) 0 455

As is common with recent Huaweis, the P30 has two color modes - Normal and Vivid. Each of those also has three sub-modes - Default, Warm, and Cold. The out-of-the-box state is Vivid/Default and we measured an average deltaE of 5.0 when displaying sRGB target swatches. This mode has somewhat bluish whites, but not the worst deviation we've seen (deltaE of 7.0).

If you opt for the Normal/Default combo you'll get an overall more truthful sRGB rendition with an average deltaE of 1.8 and a maximum of 3.8. However, whites have a slight greenish tint. You can improve things and get nearly perfect whites with the custom setting below (average deltaE of 1.5, maximum 3.0, grayscale within 1.5 too).

Display color settings - Huawei P30 review
Display color settings

Huawei P30 battery life

The Huawei P30 is powered by a 3,650mAh battery, some 13% less than what the P30 Pro has at its disposal. Competitors typically have a little less juice, with the Galaxy S10's battery rated at 3,400mAh, and the LG G8 ThinQ having a 3,500mAh power pack.

The P30 puts its battery to good use too, almost making it to 14 hours in our web browsing test and the 16+ hours of video playback is also a great result. The 22:38h figure in voice calls is less impressive, though still perfectly acceptable. The overall Endurance rating works out to 83 hours - not quite the Pro's 100h.

The P30 Pro does outlast the P30 in all disciplines, but the vanilla model's results look pretty great against competitors. The P30 can do 5 hours more in video and 4:30h more on the web when compared against the G8 ThinQ, while the Galaxy S10 calls it quite 3:30h earlier than the P30 in either of these disciplines. The G8 does have a couple of extra hours in the talk time box, while the S10 falls an hour short of the P30. The iPhone XR gets the closest to the P30 in the screen-on tests, but it's still not quite there with its 13h of web browsing and 15h of looping videos.

Huawei P30

Our battery tests were automated thanks to SmartViser, using its viSer App. The endurance rating above denotes how long a single battery charge will last you if you use the Huawei P30 for an hour each of telephony, web browsing, and video playback daily. We've established this usage pattern so that our battery results are comparable across devices in the most common day-to-day tasks. The battery testing procedure is described in detail in case you're interested in the nitty-gritty. You can check out our complete battery test table, where you can see how all of the smartphones we've tested will compare under your own typical use.

The P30 ships with a Huawei SuperCharge adaptor capable of outputting up to 22.5W of power. We clocked 1:12h for a full charge from flat, with the battery indicator showing 65% at the 30-minute mark - great numbers that none of the above phones can match. Well, excluding the P30 Pro, obviously - its higher-tier 40W SuperCharge power brick does a full charge in an hour flat, and you're looking at 70% 30 minutes into it.

Loudspeaker

You'd think that the P30 with its conventional earpiece would sport the stereo setup of previous Huaweis where the earpiece would double as a second channel in a stereo pair. We get that it's not quite possible on the P30 Pro with its acoustic screen piezo speaker, but why not the vanilla P30? We gather it's just Huawei not wanting to make the P30 Pro look bad by missing a feature that the lesser model has, but the end result is that the P30 has a single, bottom-firing speaker.

Huawei P30 review

It may be single, but it's also very loud - the P30 test results placed it into the 'Excellent' bracket, where all current top-end phones are. The P30 also sounds nice and full-bodied, and doesn't distort at max volume. Now, if only there was one more speaker.

Speakerphone testVoice, dB Pink noise/ Music, dB Ringing phone, dB Overall score
Nokia 9 PureView 68.9 71.8 81.1 Very Good
OnePlus 6T 67.2 72.5 84.5 Very Good
Xiaomi Mi 9 70.1 74.2 81.6 Very Good
Huawei P20 66.6 69.8 90.0 Very Good
Huawei Mate 20 74.3 70.2 82.6 Very Good
Huawei Mate 20 Pro 70.3 73.4 83.8 Very Good
Google Pixel 3 77.5 71.7 81.1 Excellent
Apple iPhone XR 76.9 74.8 79.3 Excellent
Huawei P20 Pro 71.8 69.2 91.0 Excellent
LG G8 ThinQ 68.0 74.5 92.0 Excellent
Huawei P30 Pro 70.9 73.8 90.9 Excellent
Huawei P30 83.2 75.6 83.5 Excellent
Samsung Galaxy S10 82.2 74.9 85.5 Excellent

Audio quality

The Huawei P30 clearly has the same audio signal processing as its Pro sibling as the output of the two is very similar. The vanilla version still managed to slightly outscore its more premium sibling in the active amplifier test, though at this point of excellency it will make little difference in real life.

Unfortunately the volume levels were just as uninspiring on the P30 as on the P30 Pro. It’s only just above average, which is hardly a welcome sight on a flagship these days.

On the upside headphones did less damage to the stereo quality on the P30 than they did on the USB-C-outputting P30 Pro. The smaller Huawei flagship still had more crosstalk than many of its rivals, but it wins the battle against its sibling.

TestFrequency responseNoise levelDynamic rangeTHDIMD + NoiseStereo crosstalk
Huawei P30 +0.02, -0.02-96.296.10.00170.0088-97.5
Huawei P30 (headphones)+0.21, -0.12-95.195.00.00460.203-59.9
Huawei P30 Pro +0.04, -0.02-90.590.40.00140.013-93.0
Huawei P30 Pro (headphones)+0.14, -0.23-90.490.30.00460.211-47.0
LG G8 ThinQ +0.01, -0.03-94.193.50.00130.0069-87.6
LG G8 ThinQ (headphones)+0.05, -0.05-93.893.10.00410.063-61.8
LG G8 ThinQ (headphones, QuadDAC)+0.03, -0.02-93.793.10.00140.030-67.4
Nokia 9 PureView +0.01, -0.02-94.094.00.00130.0064-93.2
Nokia 9 PureView (headphones)+0.06, -0.04-93.693.50.0450.097-54.8
Samsung Galaxy S10+0.03, -0.04-92.292.00.00150.0079-92.7
Samsung Galaxy S10 (headphones)+0.06, -0.03-91.991.70.00200.037-77.0
Xiaomi Mi 9+0.02, -0.01-93.993.10.00150.0066-91.9
Xiaomi Mi 9 (headphones)+0.05, -0.04-92.693.50.00260.072-58.7

”Huawei
Huawei P30 frequency response

You can learn more about the tested parameters and the whole testing process here.

Reader comments

  • Anonymous

Agree. Where can you find the doggone things, and do you have to have the memory card in the phone to back it up or dump it? As nice as this thing looks and despite the excellent review, my first instinct is that a proprietary memory card from C...

  • susan

can i play fortnite on 60fps on p30?

Awesome!