Huawei Mate 30 Pro – Almost a great Smartphone20. January 2020
I’ve tested the Mate 30 in the past and it really impressed me, but it had one huge flaw and that is the missing Google Play Store and Google Play Services. This problem still persists till today and it also applies to the Mate 20 Pro. But before we take a closer look at the software situation, let’s find out what the Mate 30 Pro has to offer.
The Design is the screen
The design is very similar to the Mate 30 and for an untrained eye these two can easily be mistaken for one another. Though the Mate 30 is a little taller and wider due to the 6.62 inch screen in comparison to the 6.53 inch screen on the Mate 30 Pro. And the Mate 30 Pro bringst curved sides, which make the phone smaller too.
The OLED in the Mate 30 Pro has a resolution of 2.400 x 1.176 pixel which sounds a little strange. But the extra pixels in the width a due to the curved sides. At the end it is more or less a FullHD+ resolution like the one on the Mate 30. I must say I was a little surprised that Huawei didn’t use a QHD panel for their flagship model.
The curves of the display are very pronounced and the sharpest I have seen. The Mate 30 Pro comes with a special function, since there are no volume buttons, you can use the side part of the screens itself to change the volume. And because the side part of the screen takes up half of the side the only button left, the very slim power button, had to move the back half of the side. That is a little strange placement, but you get used to it pretty fast.
Compared to the Mate 30 that is a more flashy design, but I still prefer the flat screen of the Mate 30 and the physical volume buttons.
The build quality is great as one has come to expect from Huawei. The device just feels great in the hand and despite its size it still fits in one Hand quite well.
That huge notch
The Mate 30 Pro has a huge notch with a lot of sensors built in. Huawei made their own version of Apples Face Unlock and for that 3D face recognition all these sensors are needed. The Mate 30 only offers 2D Face Unlock but the notch is less than half the size.
In contrast to Apples iPhone, the Huawei Mate 30 Pro also offers a fingerprint reader. The optical fingerprint sensor is located under the glas.
Both the face recognition and the fingerprint reader worked fine, but I could have lived with the fingerprint sensor alone. It just gives me more control, when I want the phone to unlock.
On the plus side the forehead and chin are small and there are no side bezels because of the curved display.
The Mate 30 Pro offers great hardware with the Kirin 990, 8 GB of RAM and fast UFS 3.0 memory. There are two options available with 128 or 256 GB of memory. This memory can be expanded with Huawei’s own format of the nano-memory card. Or you can up to two SIM cards in.
The Huawei Mate 30 Pro runs all apps and games just fine and I didn’t have any issues with it. Well besides the software situation, I’ll talk about this a little later.
On the rest of the hardware specs the Mate 30 Pro has an IR-Blaster, NFC and an IP-68 Rating. And it got fast charging with 40 Watt and fast wireless charging with 27 Watt. If you like to, you can even reverse wireless charge other devices.
The huge 4500 mAh battery lasts easily even through a heavy day and that includes the occasional gaming session.
Of course there is no headphone jack, would anyone have suspected otherwise? And unfortunately there is only a mono speaker, which sounds okay, but still is only a mono speaker.
Let’s get back to the volume buttons that are missing on the Mate 30 Pro. Even after using the phone for a while I didn’t get used to the way volume is changed here. You have to double tap the left or right upper side of the phone and then you can get the volume rocker like on other Android smartphones.. This is an awful way to change the volume and it usually took me at least two tries to change the volume.
The Huawei Mate 30 Pro got 3 cameras plus a depth sensor on the back. Here we got a 40 MP standard camera, a 40 MP ultra wide camera and an 8 MP telephoto camera with three times optical zoom.
I am really happy with the pictures the cameras produce. The images are sharp, have great dynamic range and just look really good, without being over saturated.
Colors do shift between these cameras and it seems to be the whitebalance that is the main cause for that.
The main cameras can shoot 4K video with up to 60 fps and the stabilization is really good, even in 4K. The dynamic range is still really good and the image overall is pleasing. Something that is really nice is that you can switch between cameras while recording. There is a little jump when the camera app switches between cameras but still it is great that this is possible. Many other phones don’t support this at all.
The picture looks good, but I am just missing the 4K video with the front camera.
When it comes to selfie pictures you better turn off the beauty mode, which makes me look really strange. Besides that the images are great too. They have good colors and a lot of dynamic range.
The cameras are for sure one of the best parts of this phone. The ultra wide angle enables pictures that would otherwise not have been possible and overall the photos just look great.
Well let’s talk about the software situation. It is still a struggle and it will continue. There are no Google Services available and that means there is no Google Play Store and no Google Play Apps.
I wished there was an easy workaround but there is no. At least right now. The Huawei app gallery is no real alternative to the Google Play store.
It is possible to sideload apps via Apkmirror, but Google Apps still wont work.
A hint that I got from the community is to install the Amazon App Store. That works, but is still just sideloading apps with a nicer interface. And there are many apps missing. So still no good solution.
When it comes to plain Android, there is Android 10 running on the Mate 30 Pro with EMUI 10.
If you don’t need the Google Play Store then you are just fine. But for most people the software situation is not going to work.
If there would not be the ban of Huawei in the US, the Mate 30 Pro could be one of the best phones that are out right now. But with the missing Google Play services this phone is no option for me.
But even if the ban gets resolved I would still opt for the Mate 30. I like the flat screen better, the cameras are great too and the price is so much better. For the variant with 128 GB internal memory you paid 784 € on TradingShenzhen and the Mate 30 costs 527 €. That is still way too much for a phone without Google Play services, but if this changes it would be a good phone for that money. I’ll link my video to the Mate 30 in the info cards and the description.