Last year, Huawei’s P20 Pro shot to the top of our best smartphone listing thanks to its brilliant triple-camera setup and overall premium allure. It’s since been joined (in the phablet department) by none other than the Huawei Mate 20 Pro. Noticing a trend?
We suspect Huawei might produce the top flagship three times in a row with the upcoming P30 Pro. That’s provided Samsung’s Galaxy S10 doesn’t blow it completely out of the water, of course, which it might well do. But Huawei’s not going to be laying down the crown without a fight. Here’s everything we know about the Huawei P30 Pro and the standard P30 so far.
— Ben Geskin (@BenGeskin) December 14, 2018
We’ve seen a few different leaks and speculative renders of the P30 Pro, and they suggest that Huawei is focused on pushing more camera power – which means more visible hardware on the back.
The leaks suggest the P30 Pro will have four cameras on the back, all vertically arranged in a module like we saw on the P20 Pro. The renders also show a pretty sizeable flash node alongside the lengthy camera setup.
As for its face, renders of the base-P30 device depict a pretty standard Mate 20-like teardrop notch with a small chin at the bottom. Contrary to the P20, it doesn’t seem to have a fingerprint sensor on the front or the back. You know what that means? An in-display fingerprint sensor — like the one the Mate 20 Pro is fitted with.
Displays for days
Leaks can tell us many things — but at this stage, we’re not sure what display Huawei will fit on the P30 Pro. Will they go for 1080p or Quad HD resolution?
The P20 Pro is fitted with a 1080p display, which is fine, and the Mate 20 Pro improved on it with its stunning Quad HD display. The P20 Pro was 6.1in and the Mate 20 Pro a bit larger at 6.39in. The taller aspect ratio on the Mate 20 Pro meant that it didn’t feel too big in-hand, though. Some leaks suggest a standard screen size of 6in for the base P30, which isn’t far from the 5.8in size on the P20.
Underneath the display, we’ll likely see the device powered by the Mate 20 Pro’s Kirin 980 chip. Considering it’s still Huawei’s flagship powerhouse, it’s almost certainly the processor that we’ll see running the show in the P30 Pro.
It’s immensely powerful, with the 7nm production process cramming loads more transistors into the same tiny space. It’s largely comparable to Apple’s A12 Bionic chip in the latest iPhones, even if benchmarks show the A12 coming out ahead in some tests.
Here’s one potential advantage, though: reports suggest a we could see as much as 12GB of RAM in the P30 Pro, although it’s unclear whether that will be the base model or a pricier edition.
Four camera sensors?
As mentioned earlier, the leaked renders suggest four back cameras on the P30 Pro, and we’ll likely see three on the back of the standard P30.
In November 2018, Huawei’s European head Walter Ji told Android Pit, “Now we have three, imagine four for next year.” That’s a pretty clear indication that we’ll see four sensors on the back of the P30 Pro. He also suggested that 10x optical zoom could be coming, which might explain the purpose of a fourth rear camera.
That said, other P30 Pro leaks and purported case designs have suggested three back cameras, anchored by Sony’s 38-megapixel IMX607 1/1.8in sensor with quad-pixel phase detection autofocus. Either rumoured approach is sure to be impressive, since the Mate 20 Pro topped the P20 Pro as the best smartphone camera setup in 2018.
What else you need to know
This year’s big flagship trend is sure to be the addition of 5G network support. We’re expecting it in handsets from all of the big Android makers. We’re less sure about local 5G networks yet though… but at least we’ll be prepared when rollout does eventually commence.
While there’s been some chatter about Huawei’s 5G plans with the P30 Pro, we haven’t seen anything concrete. Huawei plans to be a major 5G tech supplier, that’s for sure, so it’s very likely that the P30 Pro will support it. Plus Samsung’s committed to bringing 5G phones to market this year, so if nothing else there are important bragging rights on the line.
Surprisingly, some rumours even suggest the return of the illusive 3.5mm headphone port on the standard P30. It was missing on both the P20 Pro and Mate 20 Pro last year. There’s no word yet on whether the P30 Pro will also bring back the port, but we live in hope.
When to expect it
There aren’t any solid rumours about the release date just yet, but we can look back at how the P20 Pro was deployed. Both P20 handsets were revealed at the end of March 2018 and were available in April. We’re expecting similar timeframes this year.
How much will it cost, you ask? It’s sure to be expensive. The P20 Pro shipped for R15,000 and the Mate 20 Pro raised the stakes with an R19,000 asking price. Depending on how many features are really packed into the P30 Pro, its price could land somewhere between those handsets – or even higher. The Galaxy S10+ is rumoured to sell for around R16,000 (based on an international conversion), though, so going much higher could backfire.