The Huawei Mate 30 Pro is official and something tells us we’re going to be talking about this one for quite some time.
Revealed alongside the regular Mate 30 at an event in Munich, Germany, Huawei’s latest powerhouse flagship packs in more cameras, more processing power and a new and improved waterfall-inspired design.
There’s just one thing it doesn’t have: Google.
With the US trade ban still looming over the Chinese giant, Huawei has essentially been forced to base its new phones on the Google-less, open source version of Android. That means no Google apps will be available natively and, even more crucially, the Google Play Store is MIA.
Here’s everything you need to know about the Huawei Mate 30 and Mate 30 Pro!
Our initial verdict: Huawei Mate 30 Pro hands-on: Bigger, faster, sleeker
New year, new design
Huawei doesn’t do things by halves when it redesigns its flagships and the Mate 30 series once again looks a lot different when compared to its predecessor.
The most obvious change is the circular camera module which replaces the squircle from last year. On stage, Richard Yu described the new design as an “exquisite halo ring” that houses four cameras (more on those later) and is meant to mirror the look of a DSLR.
The curved edges found on recent Huawei phones have also received some attention and now has a more pronounced curvature of 88 degrees. Huawei is calling the new waterfall-inspired design the Huawei Horizon Display. To accomodate the sharper curves, Huawei has installed “invisible” touch capacitive buttons for the volume rocker instead of traditional hardware keys.
On the display front, the Mate 30 Pro has a 6.53-inch OLED panel with a 2,400 x 1,080 resolution, 18.4:9 aspect ratio, and supports DCI-P3 HDR standard. There’s also a new generation blue light filter that’s 25% more efficient than the Mate 20 Pro. The regular Mate 30, meanwhile, sports a 6.62-inch rigid OLED display with a 2,340 x 1,080 resolution.
The Mate 30 and Mate 30 Pro are available in Emerald Green, Space Silver, and Cosmic Purple, as well as two variants made from vegan leather in Forest Green and Orange.
Power to spare
As expected, the Mate 30 series is one of the highest spec’d phones to date. At the heart of it all is the Kirin 990 chipset which Huawei unveiled at IFA 2019. In addition to the usual HiSilicon setup, there’s also a Mate 30 Pro 5G model with a whopping 14 antennas and a 5G dual SIM slot and support for non-standalone and standalone 5G modes.
The Mate 30 Pro and Mate 30 Pro 5G are backed by 8GB of RAM and 256GB of internal storage, while the regular Mate 30 comes with 6GB RAM and 128GB storage. The phones also have larger batteries than the Mate 20 series. The Pro model has a meaty 4,500mAh cell which Huawei was quick to point out is larger than the Galaxy Note 10 Plus. Likewise, the vanilla Mate 30 has a smaller, but still relatively huge 4,200mAh battery.
Speaking of batteries, the Mate 30 series sticks with Huawei’s patented 40W SuperCharge technology and features 27W wireless charging to boot. Reverse wireless charging also makes a comeback and is reportedly three times faster.
Four cameras and ultra slo-mo
The Mate 30 and Mate 30 Pro both use a 40MP RYYB primary shooter and an 8MP 3x telephoto camera (5x hybrid zoom). In fact, Huawei says the primary camera is able to let in 137% more light than the iPhone 11 Pro Max (presumably due to the RYYB color filter).
Otherwise, the Mate 30 also features a 16MP ultra-wide camera, making its rear camera setup virtually identical to the Huawei P30. The Mate 30 Pro delivers a 3D ToF camera for bokeh effects, but it also ups the ante considerably with a 40MP ultra-wide camera.
This ultra-wide camera delivers much-improved low-light performance in theory, offering a slightly bigger sensor than the primary camera sensor (1/1.7 inches for the primary sensor versus 1/1.5 inches for the ultra-wide sensor). Huawei also showed off a variety of low-light shots to demonstrate the ultra-wide camera’s improved capabilities
Otherwise, the Mate 30 Pro also features a 3D ToF camera at the back for help with bokeh effects. In fact, Huawei says the Mate 30 Pro is now capable of taking portrait shots at 3x and 5x zoom as well.
Selfies are handled by a 32MP camera and 3D depth camera on the Mate 30 Pro, while a 24MP shooter delivers selfies on the vanilla Mate 30.
Huawei’s previous phones weren’t exactly known for class-leading video recording performance, but the Mate 30 Pro is stacked with a variety of features. We’ve got real-time video bokeh, 7,680fps video recording, 4K/60fps capabilities for the first time, and 4K HDR timelapses. The company even compared ultra-wide video recording on the Galaxy Note 10 Plus to the Mate 30 Pro (seen above), with the Huawei phone delivering a brighter video — we’ll need to wait for a review unit to see this for ourselves.
EMUI 10 and secure biometrics
The Mate 30 series is powered by Android 10, albeit a Google-free open source version, and has a bunch of fresh software features courtesy of the latest version of Huawei’s custom skin, EMUI 10.
Notable upgrades include an improved Always-On Display and a system-wide Dark Mode. There are also plenty of AI smarts such as gesture control for scrolling and grabbing apps with hands-free gestures, those aforementioned smart side-touch buttons, and AI Auto Rotate which flips the screen to the correct orientation depending on your position.
Huawei also talked up the biometrics and security on its new phones. While many may be unhappy to see a fairly sizable notch on both devices, the cutout enables hardware-assisted 3D Face Unlock. In fact, the facial recognition data and biometrics via the in-display fingerprint sensor are protected by a high security micro-kernel system based on Harmony OS.
Huawei Mate 30 and Mate 30 Pro: Price and availability
The Huawei Mate 30 is priced at €799 (~$883), the Mate 30 Pro leaps up to €1,099 ($1,215), and the Mate 30 Pro 5G adds an extra €100 on top of that. If you’re a massive motoring fan with money to burn, there’s also the Porsche Design Huawei Mate 30 RS for a princely €2,095 ($2,316) that comes with 12GB RAM and 512GB storage.
You’ve probably already guessed by now that the Mate 30 series will not be available in the US. Huawei has been coy on availability so far, but we’ll share all the details as soon as we have them. Keep an eye on our dedicated Huawei Mate 30 and Mate 30 Pro price and availability hub for more!
Huawei Mate 30 and Mate 30 Pro: What we don’t know
Aside from availability, the biggest question mark surrounding the Mate 30 series comes back to “The Google Problem.”
Richard Yu briefly addressed the issue on stage in Munich, noting that Huawei has effectively been forced to abandon Google’s take on Android including Google Play Services, the Google Play Store, and all those Google apps you probably use every day. Instead, the embattled Chinese giant has had to fall back on its own Huawei Mobile Services core which it says it’s spent over $1 billion on to get its developer program up to speed.
The loss of Google Mobile Services is huge.
There are already 45,000 apps available via Huawei’s App Gallery and this won’t impact the Chinese market where Huawei already relies on its own ecosystem, but there’s no doubting that the loss of Google Mobile Services is huge. Will there be a way to sideload Google apps and services? We still don’t know, but the answer could determine the Mate 30 series’ fate on a global scale.
We’ll be diving more into the Mate 30 Pro’s specs and features, camera performance, and Huawei’s solution to its pesky Google problem over the coming days and weeks here at Android Authority.
In the meantime, be sure to let us know your thoughts on the year’s most controversial release in the comments!