Huawei Mate 30 Pro, hands on: Superb hardware, but Google services are sorely missed Review

Matthew N. Henry

Huawei’s lock-out from Google Cell Expert services is now embedded into its existing and future range of handsets. For a company that is grow to be a smartphone leader in Europe and the US in current periods, the absence of Google apps like Gmail, YouTube, Google Maps and the Perform Store on its phones is a major drawback. Nevertheless, Huawei remains undaunted, and is launching handsets in the British isles equipped as an alternative with Huawei Cell Expert services. We will soon have an evaluation of the new flagship Huawei P40 Pro, but for now, how does the £899.ninety nine (inc. VAT) Mate thirty Pro stand up?

It’s worthy of mentioning the software program at the get started of this review, mainly because if the existing arrangement does not charm to you you can find minor level in examining even more, even so fantastic the hardware.


No Google applications or products and services below.

Image: Sandra Vogel/ZDNet

The Mate thirty Pro runs the open-source version of Android 10 with Huawei’s EMUI 10 overlay on top. When you open the box and fireplace up the cellphone it in the beginning seems very familiar: there is a options application icon, and tapping it normally takes you into a series of options tweaks.

Start off on the lookout for Google applications nevertheless, and you are going to be disappointed. Maps, YouTube, Chrome, the Perform Store are noteworthy absentees. Huawei has its have alternatives to some applications, but you can find no YouTube variant on board out of the box, and no maps application both. 

Huawei’s crew, briefing me about the P40 Pro, have been very eager to worry how tricky they are performing on evolving the company’s AppGallery. However, tens of thousands of applications pale into insignificance in comparison to Google Perform Store’s total of virtually 3 million.

The a lot more technically minded could be ready to obtain favourite application APKs and put in them manually I have accomplished this and it functions, but it really is not an suitable alternative for the day to day consumer. Owning proved I could in truth ‘sideload’ applications, I reset the handset and ongoing with the out-of-the-box practical experience. This was not an edifying practical experience: I located the AppGallery lacked most of the applications I use each individual day, and had to switch to my regular handset far way too commonly to execute common responsibilities. 

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Huawei proceeds to evolve EMUI 10 — primarily, but not often, to fantastic result. A alternative on the lookout for a challenge, and creating a person of its have, is the software program quantity controller that replaces a bodily rocker button. A double-faucet on the handset’s edge phone calls up the quantity slider, which you can established to be on the remaining edge, the proper edge, or equally. 

Without having a quantity rocker, the bodily design and style is streamlined, but the software program alternative is far from suitable. I often named the slider up unintentionally, and you are going to want to get the handset from a pocket to adjust quantity, which is a problem. And if you like having screenshots, you are going to want to use a double knuckle-faucet relatively than the traditional system. At least that worked perfectly for me.  

On the other hand, I located the darkish mode — a black relatively than white track record to applications — relatively handy at periods, and gamers will like the way the curved sides of the display screen can be utilized as remaining and proper controllers. I’m no handset gamer, but I located this compelling. If you dislike the way the display screen impression drops into the handset’s very long edges, you can disable this, just as you can even out the entrance camera notch.


If you can stay with what Huawei Cell Expert services has to give, the Mate thirty is a beautifully-engineered smartphone.

Image: Sandra Vogel/ZDNet

The Gorilla Glass 6-guarded 6.53-inch display screen is named the Horizon Show thanks to those curved very long edges. It is a sharp and vivid OLED panel with 2,four hundred by 1,176 resolution (409ppi, eighteen.five:nine). I was happy examining internet web pages through the offered browser, and working with the browser to dip into YouTube (an evident workaround). HDR10 assist is a real moreover level. I was not ready to examine ebook financial loans from my public library as the demanded application is a person of many that is absent from Huawei’s AppGallery. 

There is a fingerprint sensor in the display screen, and you can also use encounter unlock. Both have been rapidly, and I was notably amazed with encounter unlock, which was so speedy that I felt I was working with the handset unlocked relatively than waiting around for it to authenticate me.

Audio output from YouTube through the speaker on the bottom edge of the handset was impressively bassy. You will find no 3.5mm headset jack, but Huawei does supply USB-C earbuds for those who don’t have them currently or who don’t like wireless buds.

There is an IR blaster on the top of the handset, and Huawei supplies a controller application named Sensible Remote that we have found prior to. I am a sucker for the IR blaster, appreciating the flexibility it supplies from having to look for out the Tv remote.

The Mate P30 Pro gains from an IP68 ranking for dust and water resistance. It weighs 198g and thinking of the measurement of its display screen, it really is comparatively compact at seventy three.1mm large by 158.1mm deep by eight.8mm thick. The minimum-bezel design and style definitely will help to retain the footprint down. 

SEE: IT pro’s guidebook to the evolution and effects of 5G engineering (absolutely free PDF)

The a person button on the cellphone, the electricity switch, is a vibrant pink, contrasting vastly with the black entrance and again of my review sample. Like the display screen, the again is Gorilla Glass 6, making it mirror-reflective, clean and very slippy.

The crucial aspect of the again of the handset is an array of 4 cameras, sitting in a unique round arrangement that is very unique from the rectangular design and style utilized in the new Huawei P40 Pro. The round lens panel protrudes significantly from the again. 


4 rear cameras: 40MP large angle, 40MP extremely-large-angle, 8MP telephoto, and TOF (time-of-flight).

Image: Sandra Vogel/ZDNet

The Leica-branded quad-camera array at the again includes a 40MP f/1.6 large-angle camera with optical impression stabilisation (OIS), a 40MP f/1.eight extremely-large-angle camera, an 8MP f/2.4 telephoto camera with 3x optical zoom and OIS, and a depth sensing time-of-flight (TOF) camera. The display screen notch at the entrance houses a 32MP f/2. large-angle camera and a depth-sensing TOF camera.

In the existing condition, exactly where motion limitations owing to coronavirus make it tough for me to journey very far or very commonly, it really is not been possible to exam the Mate thirty Pro’s cameras as thoroughly as typical. But so far I have been amazed by comprehensive photos with fantastic amounts of distinction. For the report, DXOMARK at the moment ranks the Mate thirty Pro’s camera program 6th with 121 points, ahead of the Iphone 11 Pro Max (eighth, 117 points) but driving the new Huawei P40 Pro (1st, 128 points). 

The Mate P30 Pro supports two SIMs, with the second slot also supporting a proprietary Nano Memory (NM) card if you want to improve the 256GB of interior storage and don’t head foregoing a second SIM.

Huawei’s leading-edge 7nm Kirin 990 chipset obtained its initially outing in the Mate thirty Pro, with 8GB of RAM in assist. For the duration of testing the processor totally flew, launching applications with no discernible waits, and offering video clip faultlessly. This is backed up by Geekbench CPU benchmarks, which exhibit the Mate thirty Pro keeping its have towards a gadget run by Qualcomm’s flagship Snapdragon 865 chipset with considerably a lot more RAM (12GB).


Data: Primate Labs & ZDNet / Chart: ZDNet

The Mate thirty Pro is run by a substantial-potential 4,500mAh battery that routinely obtained me through two times among costs all through the exam interval. Admittedly my use stage was a minor reduce than it could have been with full accessibility to all my typical applications, but this is nonetheless extraordinary. Insert in 40W rapidly charging and Huawei’s electricity-conserving features, and this is a handset that could stretch across 24 hours for most buyers. For the report, the Pc Mark Get the job done 2. battery life exam studies 15h 15m for the Mate thirty Pro. Fast (24W) wireless charging is also supported.


The Huawei Mate thirty Pro is a wonderful piece of smartphone hardware: great general performance, fantastic battery life, beautiful display screen, potent industrial design and style, substantial-good quality cameras, fantastic audio good quality, an IR blaster, dual SIMs, tons of storage. If only it had accessibility to Google applications it would be a positive-fireplace winner. 

But as it stands — and I regret having to write this — it really is tough to suggest the Huawei Mate thirty Pro unless you might be inclined to use workarounds to get Google applications on-board, or are confident that the existing software program troubles will quickly be get over. That’s why, for the moment, we haven’t specified the Mate thirty Pro a formal review ranking.

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