One year after launching the P20, Huawei has announced its new P-series high-end smartphone models: the P30 and P30 Pro. As usual, the Chinese manufacturer is at the forefront of smartphone camera development and the P30 Pro in particular has some real innovation to offer in the camera department.

The top-of-the-line device comes with a triple-camera setup (Huawei calls it a quad-camera, counting the time-of-flight (ToF) sensor), covering a focal length range that has previously been unheard of on a smartphone. The primary camera features a 1/1.7 40MP quad sensor that puts out 10MP images. The optically stabilized lens comes with an 27mm-equivalent focal length and F1.6 aperture. If you want to go wider there is also a 20MP 16mm-equivalent super-wide-angle option but the P30 Pro's real highlight is the stabilized 5x (125mm-equivalent) periscope-style tele-camera with folded optics.

Huawei P30 Pro

The concept is very similar to OPPO's prototype zoom system and allows for a much longer reach than would be possible with a conventional lens in a thin smartphone body. In addition Huawei also uses clever software algorithms to further enhance the P30 Pro's zoom performance. In combination with a super resolution algorithm which merges several RAW frames into one high-resolution image that is then cropped to produce a zoomed image, a maximum zoom factor of 50x can be reached.

During the presentation Huawei CEO Richard Yu also put a lot of emphasis on the the camera´s low light capability, claiming a maximum ISO of 409,600 and the capability to capture well-exposed images in near darkness (1 Lux). This is made possible through the use of an RYYB sensor in the primary camera. According to Huawei the chip is 40 percent more light sensitive than a conventional RGB sensor. Combined with OIS and a fast F1.6 aperture the new Huawei should be one of the best performing smartphone cameras in low light we have seen.

...the new Huawei should be one of the best performing smartphone cameras in low light we have seen

There is also an improved portrait mode that creates a background-blurring bokeh effect. A first depth-map is created using data from the super-wide and primary cameras. It is then refined with the help of the ToF-laser that can precisely measure subject distance in all light conditions. Other imaging innovations include adaptive frame rates in video mode - the camera shoots at 60fps in bright light and with camera motion and reduces to 30fps in lower light or when the camera is held still - and HDR video recording on the front camera.

Other key specs include a Kirin 980 chipset, 8GB RAM, a 6.47-inch display with minimal bezels and FHD+ resolution as well as a 4,200mAh battery with fast charging. The Huawei P30 Pro is available from today but unfortunately isn't quite a bargain. Pricing ranges from 999 ($1130) Euros for the 128GB version. You'll have to invest 1249 Euros ($1410) for the 512GB top-of-the-range model.

Huawei P30 Pro key camera specifications:

  • Triple-camera setup
  • Primary: 40MP, 1/1.7-inch quad sensor; F1.6 aperture, OIS, 27mm-equivalent
  • Tele: 8MP sensor, folded optics with F3.4 aperture, OIS, 125mm-equivalent
  • Super-wide: 20MP, F2.2 aperture, 16mm-equivalent
  • PDAF/Time-of-flight (ToF) autofocus
  • LED flash
  • 32MP front camera, 26mm equivalent, F2 aperture, HDR video
Huawei P30

The P30 is the Pro version's mode affordable cousin. In the camera department it lacks the 5x optical zoom and comes with a similar camera setup to last year's Mate 20 Pro. The primary camera uses the same sensor as the Pro but has to make do without an OIS system. The super-wide comes with a lower 16MP resolution and the conventional tele 'only' offers an 80mm equivalent focal length.

Other differences include a smaller 6.1-inch OLED display and a lower capacity 3650 mAh battery. The Huawei P30 comes with 6>GB of RAM and 128GB of storage and will set you back 799 Euros ($900).

Huawei P30 key camera specifications:

  • Triple-camera setup
  • Primary: 40MP, 1/1.7-inch quad sensor; F1.8 aperture, 27mm-equivalent
  • Tele: 8MP sensor, F2.4 aperture, OIS, 80mm-equivalent
  • Super-wide: 16MP sensor, F2.2-aperture, 16mm-equivalent
  • PDAF/Time-of-flight (ToF) autofocus
  • LED flash