Huawei Mate 30 Pro review: Don’t even think about buying this phone

    The Huawei Mate 30 Pro.
    Ian Knighton/CNET
    It’s been a tough 2019 for Huawei. Due to issues that its gear could possibly be used to spy on the US and different corporations, the Chinese tech big has been banned from utilizing know-how from US corporations. As a end result, it could possibly’t license Google Mobile Services. The Mate 30 Pro, its newest flagship, has no Google Play Store, and no apps like Google Maps, Gmail and YouTube. It has the placing look of a futuristic slab of aluminum and glass, however I knew I used to be in for a tough trip simply moments after booting up the Mate 30 Pro. Entering the AppGallery, Huawei’s model of the Google Play Store, I used to be inspired to obtain a few of its hottest apps: Weibo, WeChat and the China Drama Channel. It rapidly grew to become clear that Huawei does not have a lot to supply its non-Chinese prospects.

    LikeQuad-camera setup takes excellent pictures and astonishing slow-motion videoOriginal, slick and distinct designBattery life is tremendous spectacular

    Don’t LikeAn Android telephone with out full Google help is a catastropheWaterfall show is opulent, however the lack of a quantity button is awkward

    One query has enshrouded the Mate 30 Pro since Huawei’s tech ban: Can Huawei, an enormous, highly effective firm with deep sources, discover a approach to neutralize the lack of Google? The reply, sadly, is not any.

    The Mate 30 Pro is an distinctive piece of {hardware}. Its quad-camera setup shoots excellent pictures, a stunning 6.53-inch waterfall show is the centerpiece of an impressed design, and its 4,500-mAh battery goes and goes and goes. But the fiasco that’s Android with out full Google help makes it not possible to advocate. Even extra galling is the Mate 30 Pro’s worth. The telephone begins at AU$1,599 in Australia, which converts to $1,100 or £830. (No availability has been introduced for both the US or UK.) Yes, it is a premium telephone and premium components ain’t low-cost. But as a proposition to you, the client, that a lot cash for {a partially} functioning telephone is preposterous. What the house display screen appears like once you first boot the Mate 30 Pro up. Filling it up with apps you like takes arduous work. 
    Ian Knighton/CNET
    Huawei tries Android with out all of GoogleSince Android 10 itself is open-source, the Mate 30 Pro nonetheless runs Google’s most up-to-date working system high-quality. But since Google Mobile Services requires a license, Huawei has no entry to the Google Play Store or any of Google’s apps. 

    Instead, you will use Huawei’s AppGallery, which the corporate says has over 45,000 apps. That seems like lots, however I may depend the helpful apps within the AppGallery on one hand.There’s no Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Netflix, Disney Plus or Reddit. You will not discover Google apps, like Gmail, Maps or YouTube. (You can log into Gmail via Huawei’s native electronic mail app, although.) Even in case you do set up Google apps by downloading their APKs — the Android equal of Windows’ .exe information — they will not work with out authentication from Google Mobile Services. Uber does not work both, because the ride-sharing app runs Google Maps. Losing Google’s suite of apps is devastating; dropping virtually each helpful app within the Google Play Store is debilitating. Huawei’s AppGallery has over 45,000 apps. You’ll discover few of them helpful.
    Ian Knighton/CNET
    Of all of the apps I obtain onto each new telephone, just one was accessible: Spotify. When I attempted to search out Spotify within the AppGallery every week later, nonetheless, it appeared to have been pulled. TikTookay (which is owned by Chinese firm Bytedance) was accessible at first, then disappeared after which appeared once more. To get across the software program obstructions I downloaded APKs from assorted web sites. It was a dodgy course of, and labored inconsistently. Some apps ran high-quality, others crashed after just a few moments and others nonetheless did not work in any respect.It was a complete mess.Huawei Mate 30 Pro’s digicam credentialsIf Huawei telephones have been identified for one factor, it is cameras. Huawei beat rivals to the punch with dual-lens cameras (P9), a devoted Night Mode (P20 Pro) and 5x optical zoom (P30 Pro). Photography is undoubtedly the Mate 30 Pro’s best energy.The telephone has a incredible quad-camera setup. The principal shooter has 40 megapixels. Then there’s an 8-megapixel telephoto lens, which has a 3x optical zoom and 30x digital zoom; a 40-megapixel ultrawide-angle lens; and there is a 3D “time-of-flight” sensor that helps with depth notion.The Mate 30 Pro has much less zoom functionality than Huawei’s present flagship the P30 Pro ($699 at Amazon), which has 5x optical and 50x digital. But it has an even bigger, higher ultrawide-angle sensor over the P30 Pro. This is a worthwhile commerce, as a result of I discover ultrawide-angle functionality far more helpful than higher zoom performance. Some Portrait photographs give the topic brushed, lightened pores and skin.
    Daniel Van Boom/CNET
    Others work higher.
    Daniel Van Boom/CNET
    The Mate 30 Pro’s quad-camera setup typically captures crisp, vibrant photographs. 
    Daniel Van Boom/CNET
    See that fountain all the way in which within the again? 
    Daniel Van Boom/CNET
    Here it’s, shot with 30x zoom. 
    Daniel Van Boom/CNET
    Photography is not excellent. Thanks to heavy software program processing, pores and skin can look artificially brushed in Portrait photographs. This processing additionally makes Night Mode superfluous: Low-light photographs seize a powerful quantity of sunshine, and toggling on Night Mode typically ends in overkill. I did not have the choice to shoot a darkish photograph even once I needed to as a result of the scene is brightened with software program by default. But regardless of these points, the Mate 30 Pro has among the best digicam setups on any Android telephone. Photos typically look spectacular, with wealthy colour and crisp element. And Huawei packed in one other progressive trick, however this time for the video digicam. The Mate 30 Pro options stupefying slow-motion capabilities. There are 4 choices: 4x, 8x, 32x, 64x and an astonishing 256x. That 256x possibility makes use of AI software program to gradual issues right down to 7,680 frames per second. Slow-motion cameras want extra mild, so you will want a fairly vibrant atmosphere to benefit from ultra-slow-mo. And since 256x gradual movement makes 25 seconds out of one-tenth of a second, you will want good timing to shoot the break up second you need in slow-mo. But I discovered the characteristic tremendous enjoyable to mess around with. It makes one thing as little as a water splash look spectacular. 

    Good components, unhealthy telephoneIn regards to {hardware}, the Mate 30 Pro is opulent in each side.Its 6.53-inch, 2,400×1,176x-pixel display screen is gorgeous, vibrant and crisp. Its OLED display screen is a waterfall show, that means it wraps across the facet of the telephone all the way in which to the aluminum again. Videos and looking had been a pleasure, and the glass physique felt extra luxe to carry than aluminum. The draw back is that there aren’t any quantity buttons, so I needed to faucet the facet of the show to activate an on-screen quantity slider as a substitute. This typically works OK, however makes fast quantity adjustments extra cumbersome than they want be.Powered by Huawei’s personal Kirin 990 processor and 8GB of RAM, the Android heavyweight felt silky easy to make use of. But the place the Mate 30 Pro actually shines is battery life. Running it via CNET’s battery check — turning the telephone on Airplane mode and looping an HD video — it lasted 24 hours, 12 minutes. That’s loopy. The greatest telephone you should not purchase.
    Ian Knighton/CNET
    I want I may say that the Kirin 990 CPU additionally scored properly on Geekbench 5, a benchmark we run to check a processor’s effectivity. Saying it carried out properly can be a protected wager however, after downloading the APK for Geekbench 5 from 4 completely different websites, the app by no means labored. I may strive looking for extra Geekbench APKs, however I feel this anecdote is an apt encapsulation of the Huawei Mate 30 Pro.It’s a phenomenal system with highly effective components and a elegant digicam. But its software program state of affairs is a catastrophe. Don’t purchase this telephone. Huawei Mate 30 Pro

    Huawei Mate 30 Pro

    Google Pixel 4 XL

    Samsung Galaxy Note 10

    OnePlus 7T

    iPhone 11 Pro

    Display dimension, decision

    6.53-inch OLED

    6.3-inch OLED

    6.3-inch AMOLED; 2,280×1,080 pixels

    6.55-inch AMOLED; 2,400×1,080-pixels

    5.8-inch OLED Super Retina XDR; 2,436×1,125 pixels

    Pixel density






    Dimensions (Inches)

    6.22 x 2.88 x 0.35 in

    2.9×6.3×0.3 in

    5.94×2.83×0.31 in

    6.34×2.93×0.32 in

    5.67×2.81×0.32 in

    Dimensions (Millimeters)

    158.1×73.1×8.8 mm

    75.1×160.4×8.2 mm

    151×71.8×7.9 mm

    160.94×74.44×8.13 mm

    144×71.4×8.1 mm

    Weight (Ounces, Grams)

    6.98 oz; 198g

    6.8 oz; 193g

    5.93 oz; 168g

    6.70 oz; 190g

    6.63 oz; 188g

    Mobile software program

    Android 10 with EMUI

    Android 10

    Android 9 Pie

    Android 10 with OxygenOS

    iOS 13


    40 megapixel (customary), 8 megapixel (telephoto), 40 megapixel (ultrawide-angle), 3D ToF sensor

    12.2-megapixel (customary), 16-megapixel (telephoto)

    12-megapixel (wide-angle), 16-megapixel (ultra-wide angle), 12-megapixel (telephoto)

    48-megapixel (customary), 12-megapixel (telephoto), 16-megapixel (extremely wide-angle)

    12-megapixel (huge), 12-megapixel (ultra-wide), 12-megapixel (telephoto)

    Front-facing digicam

    32 megapixel, 3D ToF sensor





    Video seize







    Kirin 990

    2.84GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 855

    Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor, or Samsung Exynos 9825

    2.96GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 855+

    Apple A13 Bionic


    128GB, 256GB

    64GB, 128GB



    64GB, 256GB, 512GB






    Not disclosed

    Expandable storage

    Up to 256GB










    Not disclosed, however Apple claims it’s going to final 4 hours longer than iPhone XS

    Fingerprint sensor












    Headphone jack






    Special options

    Up to 256x gradual movement; wi-fi charging; reverse charging; IP68 resistance; dual-SIM; waterfall show

    Soli movement sensing and touchless gestures; 90Hz show; water-resistant (IP68); dual-SIM capabilities (nano-SIM and e-SIM); wi-fi charging

    S Pen stylus; Wireless PowerShare; gap punch display screen notch; water-resistant (IP68)

    90Hz show; dual-SIM; Warp Charge 30T

    Water resistant (IP68); dual-SIM capabilities (nano-SIM and e-SIM); wi-fi charging

    Price off-contract (USD)

    Converted: About $1,100

    $899 (64GB), $999 (128GB)



    $999 (64GB), $1,149 (256GB), $1,349 (512GB)

    Price (GBP)

    Converted: About £830

    £829 (64GB), £929 (128GB)


    Converted: About £485

    £1,049 (64GB), £1,199 (256GB), £1,399 (512GB)

    Price (AUD)


    AU$1,279 (64GB), AU$1,429 (128GB)


    Converted: About AU$890

    AU$1,749 (64GB), AU$1,999 (256GB), AU$2,349 (512GB)

    Recent Articles

    What to do when you need a new MacBook Pro but you’re not sure it’s the best time to buy

    Needing or desirous about a brand new MacE-book Pro, however you've got heard rumors and are...

    Samsung Galaxy S21 vs iPhone 12: Which should you spend your $800 on?

    January has barely begun and we have already got our first heavyweight smartphone battle of 2021. Samsung has launched its lineup of Galaxy S21...

    Windows 10X leaks: Hands-on with Microsoft’s new, simplified OS

    Microsoft’s Windows 10X has leaked, and it’s boring.Well, it’s designed to be boring. Simple, actually—uncomplicated, easy, with out the fuss and muddle of “traditional”...

    Related Stories

    Stay on op - Ge the daily news in your inbox