It's been a busy year for phone launches already, and after the arrival of the Samsung Galaxy S10 phones, the Sony Xperia 1, the folding Huawei Mate X and others, we've got two more flagship handsets to tell you about: the Huawei P30 and the Huawei P30 Pro.
Huawei always likes to push the boundaries of what's possible with smartphone photography – it was one of the first manufacturers to introduce dual-lens and triple-lens cameras – and this year is no different.
The Huawei P30 goes with an 8 MP F2.4, 3x telephoto lens, a 16 MP F2.2 ultra-wide angle lens, and a 40 MP F1.8 wide angle lens for its rear camera array. The Huawei P30 Pro adds an extra camera – it has a 20 MP F2.2 ultra-wide angle lens, a 40 MP F1.6 wide angle lens, an 8 MP F3.4, 5x telephoto lens, and a separate depth sensing camera.
With that 5x optical zoom, Huawei is raising the bar again for smartphone photography, though of course we'll have to wait and see if these cameras are as good in use as they are on paper. Huawei says a combination of optical stabilization, sensor upgrades, and image processing algorithms means images are better than ever, especially in low light.
The low light photos Huawei showed off in its on-stage demo were certainly impressive, and looked on a par with the sort of excellent night shots the Google Pixel phones can take with a little AI processing help. Let's hope they're that good in the real world.
Design-wise, there's a small teardrop notch and ultra-narrow bezels, making these handsets as compact as they can be for the screen sizes – 6.1 inches for the Huawei P30 (at a 2,340 x 1,080 pixel resolution) and 6.47 inches for the Huawei P30 Pro (at the same 2,340 x 1,080 pixel resolution).
Under the hood these phones have the latest Huawei Kirin 980 processor, up to 8 GB of RAM, and up to 128 GB (P30) or 512 GB (P30 Pro) of internal storage, which can be expanded via memory card if needed. In other words, they'll be as fast as the best handsets around this year.
There's an in-screen fingerprint sensor on both handsets that Huawei is promising is faster than ever. The P30 Pro is fully waterproof and dustproof with an IP68 rating, while the P30 settles for a less airtight IP53. On top of that there's fast charging, wireless charging, and reverse wireless charging – so you can use these phones to charge up smaller gadgets without the need for wires.
Both the P30 and P30 Pro are available from today in Black, Pearl White, Amber Sunrise (red), Aurora (a sort of turquoise and blue), and Breathing Crystal (a blend of blue and white). The P30 starts at €799 (about US$900) and P30 Pro starts at €999 (about $1,130).
If Huawei follows the schedule of previous years, we should see bigger and more powerful Mate versions of these phones later in the year. In the meantime, the Huawei P30 and Huawei P30 Pro are ready to take on the best smartphones of 2019.
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