Huawei P30 Pro Review

All of the above, however, doesn't exactly define the Huawei P30 Pro. All things considered, these are traits that are also shared by its biggest rivals, the Samsung Galaxy S10+ and Apple iPhone Xs Max. What really sets the P30 Pro apart is its four cameras, really three and a half, each with their special talent.

The one you will use the most will be the 40 megapixel main sensor. Don't be deceived by that large number as you will rarely set the camera app to that. In fact, the camera's default mode is 10 megapixel, where four pixels are combined to produce a higher-quality picture. Its special feature, however, is what Huawei calls "SuperSpectrum" sensor. Instead of the usual RGB sensor, it uses RYYB, replacing green with two yellows based on the theory that visible light has more yellow than green and that green is dragged in by the yellow anyway.

That's the theory and, in practice, it actually works very well. Huawei has really outdone itself and deserves to retain its crown as the top smartphone camera in the market. That SuperSpectrum sensor pays off really well in low-light where even the standard mode can produce astonishing output without any special tricks. Turn on Night Mode and you can do magic and turn night into day. Admittedly, the Pixel 3's Night Sight is more magic with its single, lower resolution camera but the P30 Pro isn't that far behind.

And then there's the new kid on the block, the 8 megapixel telephoto lens. Again, don't be swayed or disappointed by the number. This is the much-rumored camera with a 5x optical zoom unheard of in smartphone cameras. That's thanks to the periscope design of the lenses that let Huawei cram more in less space. Because it uses optical zooming, it doesn't degrade the quality of the resulting image, though with an 8 megapixel f/3.4 camera you might feel you're not getting that much detail in the first place.

Compared to these two, the 20 megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera almost seems boring. But more than just letting you take panoramic shots without needing to go into panorama mode, all three of those cameras work to deliver a 10x hybrid zoom that is, again, unheard of on smartphones. Naturally, it won't be as crisp as an optical zoom but it is still by far better than what other smartphones can achieve at that level with digital zoom alone. The P30 Pro does have a 50x digital zoom but, to be honest, you probably won't want to use that anyway.

That "and a half" is the 3D time-of-flight sensor, the fourth camera on the Huawei P30 Pro's back. Often linked with augmented reality applications, Huawei also uses the ToF sensor to improve its portrait mode, a.k.a. bokeh simulation, beyond what even dual cameras with depth sensors can do. It can accurately separate the subject from both foreground and background and can even distinguish the complicated edges surrounding the subject. The result is a more accurate and more pleasing blur.

The Huawei P30 Pro also has a front camera with a whopping 32 megapixels and one of the few in the market that supports HDR, at least for videos only. By going with a small waterdrop notch, Huawei sacrificed additional sensors that could have given the camera an edge in face recognition or bokeh simulation. It does fine when it comes to exposure, color accuracy, and detail preservation but selfie addicts might be left a bit wanting from the limited depth of field and slightly poorer low-light performance. Of course, there's always the AI-driven beauty mode to perk things up a bit.

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