Paris is abuzz with excitement at the moment with the arrival of Chinese President Xi Jinping. But, somewhere in the French capital – the Paris Convention Centre, to be precise – another Chinese is making its presence felt. We are talking about the latest Huawei P30 Series smartphones.

At an exclusive launch event today, Huawei finally unveiled the much-anticipated P30 and P30 Pro smartphones.

Photo © Alvinology

Photo © Alvinology

Rewriting the rules of photography

In recent years, Huawei has made mobile phone rivals the likes of Samsung and Apple sit up and take notice. The Chinese phone manufacturer has grabbed a large slice of the consumer pie, largely due to its superb camera quality. Now, it seems that the camera brands too might need to sit up and take notice.

Photo © Alvinology

The P30 Series smartphones are the most advanced camera smartphones from Huawei to date. It will give professional camera brands a run for their money — with the innovative HUAWEI SuperSpectrum Sensor, an extreme optical HUAWEI SuperZoom lens, a new Time of Flight (TOF) camera, and better OIS and AIS image stabilization technology.

Now, let’s talk about the P30 Pro. It comes with a new Leica Quad Camera system, including a 40MP main camera with HUAWEI SuperSpectrum Sensor, a 20MP ultra-wide angle camera, an 8MP telephoto camera, a Huawei Time-of-Flight (TOF) Camera, along with a 32MP front camera for those of you who can’t do without your selfies.

Photo taken with P30 Pro, unedited. Photo credit: Katherine Goh

Photo taken with P30 Pro, unedited. Photo credit: Katherine Goh

Photo taken with P30 Pro, unedited.

The 1/1.7-inch SuperSpectrum Sensor is something to take note of in terms of mobile phone photography. The RYYB SuperSpectrum Sensor yields a high maximum ISO rating of 204,800 and 409,600 on the P30 and P30 Pro respectively. While we don’t think Huawei’s P30 series smartphones can replace professional dSLR cameras just yet despite the astonishing high ISO, from what we see from the the photos we’ve taken with the P30 Pro, smartphones – or at least Huawei smartphones – might just very soon catch up dSLR cameras soon in terms of quality.

Photo taken with P30 Pro, unedited.

Photos taken at night are crisp-sharp, with the f1.6 wide aperture sensor which works hand in hand with the large RYYB sensor and Huawei AIS + OIS. We tried taking shots at night – without a tripod, handheld – and the shots were remarkable.

Night mode with P30 Pro. Unedited

Night mode with P30 Pro. Unedited.

Huawei was one of the first, if not the first, mobile phone manufacturers to come up with the bokeh effect in smartphone photos. Huawei elevates their technology this time in their P30 Pro with a Time-of-Flight (TOF) Camera. Precise distance measurement gives rise to the simulation of multiple levels of bokeh. The result is a natural-looking bokeh effect that looks very close to what you would get using a normal camera.

Photo © Alvinology

The SuperZoom Lens is another feature that might make the casual camera user to ditch their camera for the P30 Pro. It renders high fidelity magnification up to five times optical zoom, 10 times hybrid zoom and 50 times digital zoom, achieved through a periscope design. At 50 times digital zoom, the photos are not crystal-clear – something we expect, given the infancy of the technology. But with Huawei, we are pretty sure that is something they are already working on improving.

This was how far we were from the flowers. Photo © Alvinology

This was how close-up we could zoom in on the flower.

How far we were from the Mona Lisa (left) vs how close we could zoom in on the painting (right).

Aesthetics

The P30 series is after all marketed as a lifestyle phone, vis-à-vis the Mate series which is targeted at the business user. The new Breathing Crystal gradient finish caught our eye with its dreamlike hues. The P30 and the P30 Pro also comes in classic Black and two other new gradient finishes — Amber Sunrise and Aurora. The front glass is near bezel-less with a smooth sleek design.

Photo © Alvinology

At a Glance

Here a quick glance of the features:

  • HUAWEI Kirin 980 processor. The 7nm Kirin 980 with a Dual-NPU supports faster image recognition.
  • In-Screen Fingerprint Sensor for quick and secure identity authentication. HUAWEI P30 Pro also features the HUAWEI Acoustic Display Technology, introducing an in-screen maglev speaker for high-quality earpiece audio.
  • EMUI 9.1, which now introduces an Extendable Read-Only File System (EROFS). The latest OS also supports HUAWEI Share OneHop for seamless file sharing between Huawei smartphones and PCs.
  • 40W super charge and long lasting 4,200 mAh battery
  • A graphene film cooling system that manages heat efficiently and effectively.
  • A suite of advanced wireless communications capabilities supporting Dual SIM and Dual VoLTE connectivity; specific features may vary depending on regional availability.

Availability

The HUAWEI P30 Series is available in Singapore from 6 April 2019, Saturday at the recommended retail price of S$998 and S$1,398 respectively. Customers can head down to VivoCity, Central Court Level 1, from 10am to 10pm over the weekend and receive a premium gift set worth up to S$470 with every purchase of the Huawei P30 or P30 Pro, while stocks last.

Pre-orders will be available online to customers from 27 March, Wednesday, 12:00am SGT, through local telecommunication operators and at Huawei Official Store with Lazada. An upsized variant of the HUAWEI P30 Pro with 512GB storage will also be on sale exclusively for shoppers on Lazada. Limited quantities are available.