Huawei Mate 30 Pro review

GSMArena team, 02 Oct 2019.

Introduction

Now, here's a Pro phone - it has a curved 'waterfall' display, a super-powerful chipset, the biggest camera sensor since the Lumia 1020, insane slow-mo capture, ToF modules front and back, a ton of battery with all sorts of charging options, and an IR blaster. This is the Huawei Mate 30 Pro.

A 6.53" OLED display wraps around the sides, one-upping Samsung's own recent efforts in the field. A cutout up top houses a 3D ToF camera for bokeh effects and advanced face recognition, and there's another ToF module on the back as well.

That's not the star of the show on the back; however - that role is shared by two 40MP shooters. One of them is the brand new ultra wide angle Cine Camera - even if it's not the widest around with a focal length of 18mm, it's its huge 1/1.54" sensor, its autofocusing capability, and the 7860fps slow-mo capture that make it stand out.

Huawei Mate 30 Pro review

The other camera is familiar from the P30 Pro - the SuperSensing 40MP RYYB 27mm primary module.

A 3x telephoto is also present, and Huawei found no room on the Mate for the 5x periscope from the P30 Pro.

A new generation Kirin 990 does the number crunching, a 7nm SoC with an octa-core CPU, a 16-core GPU and a dedicated dual-core NPU for AI-related operations. Storage is the fastest available UFS 3.0 in your choice of 128GB or 256GB with the option for expansion via Nano Memory - a suboptimal proprietary standard, but there nonetheless.

Huawei Mate 30 Pro review

Powering all this is a 4,500mAh battery, the largest yet on a Mate, with 40W wired charging and 27W wireless power transfer going both in and out.

Huawei Mate 30 Pro specs

  • Body: Gorilla Glass 6 front and back, aluminum frame; 158.1x73.1x8.8mm, 198g; IP68-rated for dust and water resistance; Black, Space Silver, Cosmic Purple, Emerald Green color options.
  • Screen: 6.53" dual-curved OLED, 1,176x2,400px resolution (409ppi); HDR10; gesture and M-Pen support.
  • Chipset: Kirin 990, octa-core processor (2xA76 @2.86GHz + 2xA76 @2.09GHz +4xA55 @1.86GHz), Mali-G76 MP16 GPU, dual-core NPU.
  • Memory: 8GB RAM, 128/256GB UFS3.0 storage (expandable via Nano Memory - hybrid slot).
  • OS/Software: Android 10, EMUI 10.
  • Rear camera: Primary: 40MP (RYYB filter), 1/1.7" sensor size, 27mm equivalent lens, f/1.6 aperture, OIS, PDAF; Telephoto: 8MP, 1/4", 80mm (3x optical zoom), f/2.4, OIS, PDAF; Ultra wide angle: 40MP (RGGB filter), 1/1.54", 18mm, f/1.8, PDAF; ToF camera; 4K@60fps video capture, 720@7680fps slow-mo; Leica co-developed.
  • Front camera: 32MP, f/2.0; ToF camera.
  • Battery: 4,500mAh; Super Charge 40W; 27W wireless charging; 27W reverse wireless charging.
  • Security: Fingerprint reader (under display, optical), 3D face recognition.
  • Connectivity: 5G (5G model only)/4G/3G/GSM; Dual SIM, Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac, Dual-band GPS, Bluetooth 5.1 + LE, NFC, USB Type-C.
  • Misc: IR blaster, acoustic display acts as earpiece, bottom-firing loudspeaker.

Other neat bits include the optical under-display fingerprint sensor, a vibrating display instead of an earpiece, and the progressively harder to find IR blaster.

There's the elephant in the room, so let's not pretend it doesn't exist. The US-China trade conflict has had some severe consequences for Huawei and the Mate 30 series in particular. The Mate 30 Pro we have here comes with no Google apps or services pre-installed. This isn't an issue in China, where the phone is only available now but is more than just a hiccup to the average user outside of the Mate's home country.

For a few days after the phone's release there was a one-step solution to get a fully functional Google suite up and running, but it was deemed unsafe (sure looked shady to begin with) and has since been made unavailable. You could try workarounds and sideload your favorite apps or use Huawei's app store, but that's not how it should be. We're kicking off this review with heavy hearts hoping things get better for the Mate's software future.

Huawei Mate 30 Pro unboxing

The Mate 30 Pro comes in a black box with the phone's name printed in gold and a red Leica dot to remind you of the collab with the German optics specialists. It's the same presentation as the one of the Mate 20 and P30 generations, a departure from the white boxes from before that.

Huawei Mate 30 Pro review

Inside, you'll find the 40W charger and USB-A-to-C cable, both proprietary solutions, so you better hold on to them if you care about your fast charging.

A relatively basic set of earbuds is also bundled, and it connects to the phone via USB-C. There is no USB-C to 3.5mm jack adapter bundled, so connecting standard headphones isn't possible out of the box.

Reader comments

  • 123

I believe apple samsung and other smaller competition now doing their best to support us-huawei ban, because if (as speculations say) it is near it's end, huawei will eat the bananas with some big *ss sales with the 5g model with 28 antenas, 5 5g ban...

  • Pajson89

Ahhahah than buy iphone . Mate is better than 11pro . Iphone 11pro max is around 1700euros in south east europe. So pls

  • Anonymous

Lg cause lg is the owner of OLED display