“Life is not measured by time. It is measured by moments.”
― Armin Houman
I didn’t intend to start out a smartphone review with a bit of woo woo. But Amin Houman’s summary of the measurement of life is a very apt context with which to look at the new Huawei P30 Pro. The P30 Pro is of course a smartphone, but it is also very serious camera – grounding breaking Leica Quad Camera System and Huawei SuperSpectrum sort of serious. I will get to the technical details in a bit and there are some serious numbers to discuss, but the thing about precious moments is that they tend to not be that technical. There might be that moment when your three year-old pretends to be a Paw Patrol Pup and starts raiding the foodbowl of your real pup. Believe me, there is nothing technical about that. But after you’ve finished cleaning up the floor and your aforementioned toddler’s face, hair and clothing, you’ll see the funny side and you’ll realise that was actually one of those moments that pinpoint the passage of time. And being able to capture it on your P30 Pro means that the moment is captured in super crisp glory and at large enough resolution to be displayed via a projection screen at your child’s 21st birthday party in a few years’ time. Of course, not all moments worth remembering might involve the future humiliation of a loved one. There might be just the way a shadow falls from a tree, a purple sunrise, a formation of birds or maybe all three at once.
With a serious camera-focused smartphone like the P30 Pro at your side, you will be searching for those moments and chances are, they will look amazing.
Huawei have rewritten the digital photography rule book and have done away with conventional RGB configuration in favour of a RYYB sensor to allow for more detailed images, better hybrid zoom, and improved low-light performance.
The P30 Pro is capable of an insane 50x digital zoom and a lossless 5x optical zoom. Taking a few quick snaps from our deck revealed details that I had never seen before.
This incredible zoom capability comes courtesy of quadruple-camera system that combines a 40-megapixel f/1.6 wide-angle camera with Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS), a 20-megapixel ultra-wide sensor, an 8-megapixel telephoto sensor, and a Time Of Flight (ToF) lens with a flood illuminator which helps with a kick arse bokeh-style blur behind portraits.
The end result of all this tech is really versatile camera with incredible moment capturing capability, but of course with smartphones, there are other things that the P30 Pro can do.
At the heart of P30 Pro is Huawei’s flagship Kirin 980 chipset, which was originally unveiled in late 2018 and allows for some lightning fast response time across a number of apps including YouTube, Facebook and a multitude Paw Patrol apps that the toddler has found and downloaded. The really cool thing is that the P30 uses AI and machine-learning in its EMUI software, which learns from the apps you use the most and opens them faster.
Storage of course these days is an important thing and the P30 Pro has a few options ranging from 128GB to 256GB and 512GB. Expandable storage is also an option with Huawei’s proprietary NM (nano-memory) cards.
Of course life’s moments don’t always give you warning of when they are coming and you can’t capture them if you have run out of battery power, so it’s just as well that the P30 Pro comes with a 4200mAh battery plus, 40w USB-C charging will get you from 0-70% in just over 30 minutes; a full charge takes less than an hour.
All in all the P30 Pro is a beautiful package that will allow you to package up life’s beautiful moments in the best way possible.
Huawei P30 (NZD$1099) and P30 Pro (NZD$1499) is available from 12th April in New Zealand.