In-camera periscope and practicality: a review of the Huawei P30 Pro

At first glance, the Chinese flagship seems ideal, but its flaws become apparent with prolonged use.

At the end of March 2019, Huawei introduced new flagships – P30 and P30 Pro. Their main differences from the previous models was the camera system, created in collaboration with Leica engineers.

Due to the special layout of cameras, smartphones can shoot with 5x optical zoom and 10x “hybrid”. In addition, thanks to the high-aperture main sensor, the flagships take great pictures in almost complete darkness.

But the cameras are not the only virtue of the P30. Editor TJ spent a month with a top smartphone model and talks in detail about his impressions.

What did you like

Four cameras Huawei P30 Pro: on top of the main sensor at 40 megapixel, below the wide-angle lens, even lower – telephoto lens with a periscope lens system. 
Right – infrared TOF-3D-camera

I’ve already detailed talked , how to construct the camera P30 Pro and it removes in extreme conditions. In short: four sensors are integrated into the smartphone – the main one with 40 megapixel (f / 1.6), ultra wide-angle with 20 megapixel (f / 2.2), 8 megapixel telephoto lens (f / 3.4) and infrared TOF- camera.

On the P30 Pro, you can shoot with a fivefold optical zoom, 10x “hybrid” or 50x digital zoom. Huawei has achieved such indicators by placing a telephoto lens with lenses along the periscope system – this is the only way to avoid using mechanical elements in the camera.

How the periscope system works in P30 Pro Huawei presentation screenshot

The mere fact that such opportunities fit in your pocket is impressive in itself. And under normal conditions, the P30 Pro perfectly captures and without zoom thanks to HDR and improved images using the built-in algorithms.

The fingerprint sensor, which is built into the display, turned out to be very convenient. Unlike many other manufacturers, Huawei made it optical, not ultrasonic – under the screen there is literally a camera that reads data. In theory, this should provide the best level of security, but it is not known whether it helps in practice.

I didn’t come across such sensors before the P30 Pro, so I cannot compare it with similar solutions, for example, Samsung. At the same time, compared to Touch ID, there is a feeling that the sensor in Huawei is a bit slower and less accurate.

Despite this, I liked the technology: no need to reach for the sensors on the back of the case, and there are no extra buttons in the front – this is practical. You quickly get used to the built-in sensor and soon you blindly attach it to the desired area of ​​the screen, although the place of attachment is always highlighted.

In P30, Huawei has built in the screen not only the fingerprint sensor, but also the earpiece. Thus, the need for a grill in the upper part of the front panel has disappeared – this is also practical and rational.

Schematic image of the speaker under the screen P30 Pro Huawei Presentation Screenshot

While talking on the P30 Pro, just lay your ear on the top of the screen – the sound will go straight through the display. For me, this was also a novelty and at first did not fit a bit in my head. I thought that the screen could not transmit sound as well as a speaker, but I was mistaken.

In fact, during conversations, the interlocutors are most often perfectly heard even if there is noise. It turned out that putting the ear to a specific place is also optional: the sound transmits the entire upper part of the smartphone equally well.

Perhaps the most enjoyable in everyday use of the P30 Pro was the fast charge that comes with it. A 40 watt adapter charges so fast that you can see a percentage increase in real time

P30 Pro charges from zero to 90% in just 40 minutes. At the same time, it is quite difficult to discharge the smartphone to zero (it is equipped with a powerful 4200 mAh battery), especially if you are used to putting the phone on charge at any opportunity. I usually even with active use and distribution of the Internet at the end of the day left 30 percent of the charge. At the same time, the last 20% of the smartphone consumes very slowly.

The P30 Pro has a rich kit: fast charging, headphones and silicone case

The P30 also has wireless charging, but with such a charge rate over the wire there is no need for it. I don’t know if this will affect battery life, but the function is incredibly pleasant – especially after iPhones with their very slow charging.

Separately, I want to highlight the design of the device. Although it looks like what the competitors have already done, and Huawei itself, it seems to me, it creates the necessary feeling that it is the flagship in the hands, and not the ordinary device. The back of the case is made of glass and overflows, and also changes color depending on the lighting.

What disappointed

The overall ergonomics of the device leaves much to be desired. Because of the rounded edges, it is not too comfortable to hold in his hands, and the glass case slides off from any surface.

At the same time, in P30 Pro, Huawei did not use Gorilla Glass protection: the screen easily collects micro-scratches from anything. Therefore, it is better to stick a protective glass on the screen of the smartphone immediately after purchase.

The back panel of the P30 Pro looks solid, but it’s the same glass and it will crack if dropped. Because of this, a beautiful case will have to hide behind the cover: even with careful use, the smartphone can easily slip out of pocket.

Partially this problem can be solved with a case that comes in the kit. But he immediately devalues ​​the external high cost of the device: it is a transparent silicone that instantly collects all the dirt and grease. However, people who are ready to buy the P30 Pro should probably have enough money for a separate good case.

Left P30 Pro without a cover, on the right with a cover that was recently washed

The zoom in the P30 Pro is surprising, but over time you realize that there is almost no practical sense in it. In everyday life, there are not many situations where you need to bring something 5 or 10 times closer.

At the same time, the dual zoom of the P30 Pro works poorly because it does not use optics – the telephoto lens is activated only at 5x zoom. It turns out that if the object of shooting needs to be increased only a little, then you will have to put up with artifacts from the digital zoom.

The P30 Pro also upset the display. By itself, the quality of the picture does not cause questions, but the rounded edges distort colors and because of them it is not always convenient to type text. In addition, the smartphone is constantly mistaken with automatic brightness: probably due to the lack of a separate light sensor at the top of the display.

I was also surprised that, despite the fingerprint sensor, Huawei implemented simplified facial recognition in the P30. Without a separate infrared sensor, the safety of this method of unlocking a smartphone is in doubt, and it does not work in the dark with glasses. Perhaps this method was left due to the fact that the fingerprint sensor under the screen does not work as quickly as normal sensors.

But the weakest part of the P30 Pro is the EMUI shell. She is still annoyed with her unnecessary notifications about applications that are discharging a battery, weather, advice and more. All this can not be disabled at once – you have to selectively climb into the settings each time.

EMUI also comes with pre-installed apps and a Huawei store. You seem to include a new smartphone, but inside there are already 20-30 incomprehensible and often unnecessary programs with which you can’t do anything. Trifle, but unpleasant.


In recent years, the “iron” in smartphones faded into the background. Now it is not so important which processor is installed in the next flagship or by how many percent it is “more efficient” than its competitors.

In everyday use, almost all flagships have worked equally well for a long time, and the difference between them has become almost imperceptible. Because of this, in top-end smartphones, manufacturers now compete mainly in two things: design and cameras.

It is on these two aspects that Huawei has focused on the P30 series. The company got an advanced device, not just incorporating all the major trends in the smartphone market, but also trying to set them.

After Huawei, the layout of the lenses on the principle of periscope is likely to be picked up by other manufacturers: although in real life it is rather useless, it obviously works great on marketing. At the same time, the Chinese flagship has enough flaws, and it P30 Pro price in Pakistan starts from Rs. 174,999 – quite expensive, considering not too strong differences from the cheaper Mate 20 Pro .

But even so, the P30 Pro is still a smartphone with one of the best cameras on the market that can compete with Pixel, and Apple now seems to be completely behind.

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