Huawei Mate 30 Pro preview: Should we be worried about Google support?


Here at Stuff, we’re not particularly picky when it comes to the latest flagships — they all tend to be powerful and look good. Luckily, these days they don’t explode all that much anymore (it’s still funny). One thing’s for certain though: Huawei has produced some of our favourite top-of-the-rangers as of late. We absolutely loved the P20 Pro, which was followed by the equally impressive Mate 20 Pro. And then it blew our minds with the camera flex on the P30 Pro

Unfortunately, the Chinese company has been hit with some pesky sanctions from the red, white and blue brigade. We’re hoping the United States restrictions won’t affect the upcoming flagship from Huawei — the Mate 30 Pro. Which looks like it could be a monstrous contender in the Android race. 

We’ll have to wait and see how all of that shakes out, but given Huawei’s recent pedigree, we’re keeping our heads high and fingers crossed that it’ll all work out. And with no further ado: here’s a whole whack of things we’ve heard so far about the incoming Huawei Mate 30 Pro.

A complete 360?

Even though the Mate 20 Pro featured a wide, iPhone-esque notch to house sensors for proper 3D facial scanning, we saw the P30 Pro go for a tiny teardrop notch instead. We’re also pretty sure the world has evolved a dislike of bezels and notches. So we’re expecting a smaller notch on the Mate 30 Pro. And who knows? Maybe no notch at all with some under-display camera and sensors. 

Supposed leaks posted to Chinese social platform, Weibo, and also shared by IceUniverse (above) show what looks to be a super-curvy display that has a very severe curve on the left and right sides, as well as the same kind of wider notch with holes for facial recognition sensors. But we’d take this info with a pinch of salt. 

We definitely have more concrete leaks on the back setup. These suggest that Huawei is likely going for a quad-camera set in a circular mount. A render from Slashleaks shows the rumoured circular camera module design. This one looks a lot more distinctive than Ben Geskin’s rumour-driven concept render at the top, which suggests a more modest-sized notch than the Mate 20 Pro.

Launching in…

The Mate 20 Pro was unveiled on 16 October last year. The Mate 10 Pro? 16 October in 2017. We don’t know if that date will stick, but the target timeline makes sense.

We expect to see the Mate 30 Pro pop up in October sometime, probs after Apple’s big iPhone reveal in September That’s a solid window for Huawei, and it’s very likely that history will repeat itself again. That’s our story and we’re sticking to it. 

Burning holes in more pockets

The Mate 20 Pro landed at R19,000. The P30 Pro? Also R19,000. We’re not hoping for a break in tradition — it’ll probably launch at that price point again. We doubt Huawei will take the Apple (and, ahem, Samsung) route and make its flagships unaffordable. 

We don’t know enough yet about the onboard upgrades to speculate too precisely, but something in that R19,000 window still seems likely. We suppose it’s possible that Huawei could drop the price to try and compensate for the potential lack of Google, but we’re not counting on it at this point. The Mate range is generally the more expensive. 

What about the insides?

The Mate 30 Pro will reportedly debut Huawei’s new Kirin 985 chip, an upgrade over the current-gen Kirin 980. Why not Kirin 990? Perhaps it’s a modest upgrade.

Apparently, the chip will be made using TSMC’s new 7nm extreme ultraviolet lithography (EUV) process. That’s just a bunch of fancy words to say that they make smaller, more precisely-built chips. We’ll see whether it can match up against Apple’s inevitable A13 chip coming later this year.

Give us what we want: Cam specs

Last year, the P20 Pro set a new standard for smartphone cameras – and the Mate 20 Pro lightly improved upon it. This year, the P30 Pro set an even higher standard for smartphone cameras.

Given that trend, we’re expecting something similar on the Mate 30 Pro, albeit with a notable tweak or two in the mix. The P30 Pro’s quad-camera setup enables 10x hybrid zooming skills that are frankly mind-blowing. It’s the best of the best, and it could get even better on the Mate 30 Pro.

We’re also expecting the TOF (time of flight) sensor to make an appearance. And we won’t put it past Huawei to introduce some other crazy new camera tech with the Mate 30 Pro.  

Android vs HongMeng

You’re reading through this thinking to yourself. Yeah, that’s all good and well, but what if it doesn’t run Android? And that’s a reasonable thing to worry about, 

It’s basically gotten to the point that unless the US rescinds its restrictions on the company, the Mate 30 Pro won’t be able to run Google apps or access the Play Store. Either that or the upcoming flagship runs Huawei’s proprietary OS called HongMeng, and we all know how the world feels about that.

But we need to take into account that Huawei has enough clout and influence to convince a lot of app makers to bring their apps and games to a new app marketplace. There will surely be gaping holes in the mix for quite some time if that happens. 

For Huawei’s sake, hopefully the US issues get ironed out ASAP – otherwise, Huawei’s going to have a very bad time.


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  1. Pingback: America to postpone Huawei’s fate for a third time – reports

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