Huawei P30 Series Preview: Improving On The Best Android Tech Of 2018

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Editor's note: This article will be regularly updated as more information on the Huawei P30 series emerges online. The last revision was made on March 12.

Few believed it could do it so soon after grabbing that coveted third place, but Huawei jumped over Apple as well in 2018, becoming the second-largest smartphone maker in the world by every metric that matters. Then came the P20 and Mate 20 lineups, offering arguably the best mobile tech of the year and achieving significant commercial success on a global stage (bar the U.S.). What's left now is to take direct aim at Samsung, with Huawei's number-one rival debuting its latest Android flagships just several days back.

The bizarre: C-suite trying to hop onto the leaks bandwagon

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Huawei itself has been hard at work preparing the P30 series for about a year now and while it's unlikely the firm changed any significant aspect of the device following last month's unveiling of the Galaxy S10 series, it now certainly knows exactly what it's coming up against and somehow seems more confident than ever. No, not the marketing people but the executives who are giving low-key interviews wherein they're casually leaking specs and the actual product in its entirety while having a laugh, and generally having the appearance of the most relaxed C-suite staff in the world.

Naturally, that's not the case but Huawei's many issues aside, this strange state of affairs certainly implies the Galaxy P30 line will be something really special. In fact, it basically demands so.

Luckily for every tech enthusiast out there, the easy-going attitude of Huawei's executive team in regards to keeping the lid on the P30 series info is also present in many other parts of the Shenzen-based firm, meaning the keenest industry watchers out there already know everything there is to know about the firm's upcoming Android flagships. That's why you're here as well, so let's get you up to date as quickly as possible:

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The unsurprising

Following in the well-established footsteps of its many predecessors, the P30 range will consist of close to a handful of basic models, most of which will be available in a wide variety of colors and with at least several choices when it comes to storage options. Huawei already confirmed it's returning to Paris on March 26 and continuing where it left off a year ago. The main event should hence be used for the introduction of P30 and P30 Pro, as well as the successor to the Mate RS Porsche. Separately, the company should also confirm the incoming arrival of the P30 Lite on the same day.

Despite sharing the majority of its name with the rest of the series, the P30 Lite will unsurprisingly debut as a pure mid-ranger interested in ensuring its owners get the absolute best value for their money. In other words, the existence of the P30 Lite isn't in doubt but it's of no consequence for the rest of the Android-powered lineup.

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The crazy

The P30 should use a triple-camera setup of similar to the P20 Pro one, whereas the P30 Plus is now expected to launch with no fewer than four cameras on the back. German optics company Leica Camera AG once again closely collaborated with Huawei on one of its high-end Android device ranges, though the start of the show should still come down to a careful balance ofboth hardware and software.

Regarding the latter, Huawei's artificial intelligence is still part of the package and has been refined to the point of handling every aspect of taking an image on a smartphone for you. The hardware side of the equation is slightly more mysterious but with one Huawei executive just casually confirming a "Periscope" camera will be on board, it appears previous rumors about a superzoom lens weren't as far-fetched as first thought.

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The P30 Pro was capable of delivering 3x optical zoom, so while it remains to be seen whether insiders who previously pointed in the direction of 10x lossless magnification on the P30 Pro are right, the new Android phablet will certainly improve upon this aspect of the 2018 handset and mark yet another first for the industry in the process of doing so. The P20 family consisted of the first consumer-grade triple-camera system for modern smartphones ever finalized and caught most of Huawei's rivals Samsung included — by surprise.

This year, the P30 Pro will be debuting with four rear cameras in total and finally provide a significant upgrade over the year-old system, something even the Mate 20 somehow failed to do last year.

 

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A previously spotted certificate issued to the P30 Pro also confirmed support for 40W fast charging, which is yet another incredible technological achievement on Huawei's part that's unlikely to be matched in the immediate future and probably won't be exceeded anytime soon. Not that doing so is impossible but it certainly isn't feasible; don't forget Huawei is investing all of those tens of millions of dollars into individual R&D projects before still selling their results at a profit. Cynics and opponents would say this isn't possible based on legitimate research and development alone and Huawei's track record with third-party intellectual property around the world is certainly the stuff of nightmares for any corporate attorney but that isn't to say there's any indication of the P30 using unlicensed technologies; just that the staggering consistency whereat Huawei delivers incredible devices is now attracting some regulatory scrutiny, and not just within the United States.

The direct sequel to the 5.8-inch P20 is rumored to be offering a 6.1-inch screen this year, same as the P20 Pro. The P30 Pro should hence also be receiving a real-estate boost in the screen department, possibly to a 6.4-inch diagonal so as to catch up with the Samsung Galaxy S10+. The insane 6.7-inch diagonal of the Galaxy S10 5G isn't being targeted by Huawei or any other non-foldable handset vendor this year. Back to the P30, it will retain the 19:9 (2:1) aspect ratio and a small display notch of last year's variant, as well as its FHD+ resolution (1,080 x 2,240).

Take all the GBs!

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The P30 Pro hopefully won't be succeeding the very same pixel count this year as Huawei needs all the goodwill it can get right now as it continues to attract controversies and investigations in the west, and angering its most loyal customers paying well over the equivalent of $1,000 for a single device by making them pay such a sum for yet another mid-range panel, certainly wouldn't be the smartest choice for Huawei to make right now, though there's no doubt it would be the most lucrative one in the short term.

In terms of memory configurations, plenty are certainly coming, as was the case with virtually every other generation from this flagship family but arguably the biggest difference compared to last year is the fact that both the P30 and P30 Pro will start at 128GB of storage space instead of 64GB. The improvement shouldn't affect the base price of the lineup or at least be the reason behind any potential differences, insiders previously said.

6GB of RAM should also be a given and that figure could easily double when looking at the very best versions of theP30 Pro. Fancy codenames aside, the P30 series has a solid chance at launching as the most complete smartphone lineup ever. The Kirin 980 already proved its worth inside the Mate 20 range, so no surprises are expected on that front, and battery capacities should remain close or identical to the P20 range.

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Update [March 12]: About a dozen seemingly official press renders of the series leaked online and can be viewed below, with all of them corroborating previous rumors about Huawei's incoming Android-powered phablets.

Huawei P30 Pro Gallery

Huawei P30 Gallery