The 5 things you need to know about the new Huawei P30

Huawei has revealed its latest phone series and it may be impressive enough to topple the competition

01 April 2019 - 14:59 By Sylvia McKeown
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The Huawei P30 Pro.
The Huawei P30 Pro.
Image: Supplied/Huawei

Last Tuesday in Paris, CEO of Huawei Technologies Consumer Business Group, Richard Yu Chengdong, revealed the Chinese company's most advanced smartphone camera system yet. As mighty as the bevel is small, there is a lot this new device has to offer, but here are the highlights.

1. The body

Slick and slim the new phone comes in with a slimmer frame and more screen than its iPhone Xs Max compatriots. The P30 comes in at 6.1 inches (15.5cm) and the P30 Pro at 6.47 inches (16.4cm). Colourwise your choices have expanded to include three new gradient finishes along with the classic black and pearl white — “Amber Sunrise” with its fiery reds, the ice blues of “Breathing Crystal,” and the greener deep hues of “Aurora.” There has been no official word yet on which colours we can expect to land on our shores.

2. The cameras

You will find four cameras on the back of the phone and one on the front. The new Leica Quad camera system sticks to the camera configuration made famous on the P20 series, sticking the cameras in a long oval shape on the top left hand side - this time holding the three main cameras of the series, with a fourth camera thrown in just to the right for P30 Pro users.

The configuration comprises Huawei’s now standard 40MP main camera, a 20MP ultra-wide angle camera, a 8MP telephoto camera and the new Huawei Time-of-Flight (TOF) camera. The front camera packs a whopping 32MP.

3. The photos

Don't be afraid of the dark - the new f/1.6 wide aperture sensor now delivers an ISO four times that of many professional cameras. “Even at night, handheld shots are captured in detail, while the optically stabilised main and telephoto cameras steady the shot,” Huawei promises. And indeed, the result allows you to light up pitch-black scenes, far beyond your eye's capability, in a single snap – no long exposure or flash needed.

The other big innovation that will make waves in the cellphone market is their new epic zoom capabilities. Every other smartphone zoom capability is capped at 10x zoom, with varying degrees of blurriness. However, the new P30 series shoots far beyond this; you can now zoom in on a smart device 50x further, with crisp, stable images, rendered into smarter focus, even at night.

The updated super portrait mode on the front and back of the phone can now not only capture facial detail and simultaneously balance background blur, but has amped up the focus on small features. Now thanks to refined algorithms you can snap photos in the wind and still see individual strands of hair. There is even a mode that allows you to focus on the person’s skin colour while rendering the rest of the scene in monochrome.

4. The video

The video capabilities have also received a boost. You are now able to implement most of the camera innovations in movement too. You can zoom in and light up in the dark in 4K videos running at 60fps. Better yet, shoot close-up and wide video at the same time in a single frame; and then make use of the AI movie editor to automatically identify action highlights, and add background music and special effects.

5. The price

You can buy one of the most impressive smartphones now on the market for these recommended retail prices: R5,999 for the Huawei P30 lite, R13,999 for the Huawei P30 and R18,999 for the Huawei P30 Pro.

This article was paid for by Huawei.