By Ram Superable Agustin
With brand ambassador Pia Wurtzbach in tow, Chinese tech firm Huawei officially launched the P30 series smartphones over the weekend at the SM Megamall Fashion Hall where fans lined up early even before mall hours to get their hands on Huawei’s successor to the P20 smartphone.
Atop from its cameras being co-engineered by Leica, the P30 Pro’s design is not a stranger to today’s phones. The device borrows a few design cues from the P20 Pro, but it is undeniable that a major change was implemented in the camera modules, especially now that it’s toting an 8MP periscope f/3.4 aperture telephoto lens that is equipped with Optical Image Stabilization (OIS).
With this lens alone, the user can achieve 5x lossless optical zoom, a 10x hybrid zoom, and a 50x digital zoom which brings it at the top of zoom game in smartphones.
The main camera, on the other hand, is a 40MP OIS capable SuperSpectrum sensor by Sony, which instead of having a conventional RGGB (Red-Green-Green-Blue) filter like its predecessor and the majority of smartphones released recently, Huawei changed their direction with the goal of rewriting the rules of mobile photography. They abandoned the RGGB filter and replaced it with a RYYB (Red-Yellow-Yellow-Blue), one that is said to let in 40% more light and increasing its maximum ISO to a dumbfounding 409600.
It doesn’t hurt either that the P30 Pro sports a ToF (Time of Flight) camera which brings unparalleled depth of field (bokeh) effects with the portrait photography mode. It is amazing how the device is able to bring multi-level bokeh effects from the multi-layer mapping of the sensor. It is also able to perfectly separate even hair strands from the background.
Lastly, the P30’s Ultra Wide Angle Lens is a 20MP f/2.2 camera with Phase Detection Autofocus (PDAF) and can double as a macro lens that can shoot subjects even if they’re 2.5 cm up close.
The Huawei P30 Pro seems to have surpassed the superb camera quality provided by the famed Pixel 3 to hardcore stock Android fans. Although the EMUI experience from Huawei can be a hit or miss, giving that point to Pixel users, it is undeniable that the quad-camera setup seen in the Huawei P30 Pro has made some great leaps in reinventing photography.
With no ounce of exaggeration, a dark room has been successfully conquered by the P30 Pro. Journalists who covered the event actually had the chance to use the device in a pitch black room and the subject of the photo wasn’t even seen by the naked eye. Yet, with just a snap of a photo that took a few seconds of shutter time, what came out was definitely a marvel to behold.
In comparison with the Pixels 3’s powerful image processing where images from a similar lighting condition, or the lack thereof, creates images that are blurred but with hints of edge detection and less than stellar color reproduction, the P30 Pro emerges as the victor.
Huawei’s device is able to maintain amazing color reproduction, edge detection, minimize the noise, and even at the price of a disabled zoom which is asking for too much anyway, the images seem like they were taken in a lower resolution camera lens but in daylight.
The viewing experience in the phone leaves nothing much to be desired. Curved in its edges like the Samsung S6 Edge and its succeeding kin, the screen is a 6.47″ Amoled panel which is stuck in 1080p resolution, but sacrifices nothing in terms of sharpness and vibrance.
The chin is kept to a minimum and the side-bezels are almost non-existent, thanks to the curved display. The notch is small in size, housing only the front camera. The waterdrop notch is still much better though since it looks less intrusive anyway.
Under the screen is an on-display fingerprint scanner which is fast for today’s standards, but it’s no ultrasonic fingerprint sensor which drastically decreases error rate by incorporating 3D mapping making it hard to fool and ditching the need for illumination. It is also worth noting that the P30 placed the earpiece under the screen, calling it an “Acoustic display” which utilizes bone conduction and thereby improving call quality greatly.
Normally, with these great specs the downside is always the battery. But it’s not the case for this handset. The P30 is supplemented with a beastly 4200 mAh battery which is boasted by Huawei to have their latest version of SuperCharge that reaches 40W. With its higher voltage, the phone does not heat up a lot and the provided charger can actually charge the phone up to 70 percent in just under 30 minutes. Considering the size of its battery, this is an impressive feat. On top of that, the phone is also capable of 15W wireless charging and reverse wireless charging, so you can give juice to your phone’s accessories that support wireless charging.
“We feel very proud to introduce the P30 Series to the Philippines, as these devices represent Huawei’s values of empowering people through technology. As such we believe that Filipinos will appreciate all the innovations we have incorporated into our new products,” said George Li, Huawei’s country head of consumer business group for the Philippines.
The Huawei P30 series adopted the gradient trend in the color options of their devices which include Breathing Crystal, Aurora, and a glossy Black. An 8GB of RAM powers the efficient and very capable Kirin 980 processor equipped with EMUI 9.1 on top of Android 9 (Pie). The P30 Pro also has an IP68-rating for dust and water resistance.
The Huawei P30 Pro is available for P50,990 while the non-pro P30 which has a smaller battery and screen size retails at P36,990 and the P30 Lite is priced at P16,990.