Compare Huawei P30 vs Huawei P20 Pro: which is the best smartphone?
By Adeline Belluz 2019-06-10 2676 0
From its release, the Huawei P20 Pro impressed with innovative but above all convincing arguments. Triple sensor, OLED slab, top performance and excellent range: it had everything it needed to win over its audience. One year later, the Chinese manufacturer brings to the market a successor worthy of its heritage. The Huawei P30 offers basically the same features as its predecessor, but does it really offer that extra something that would make you completely forget the old model?
A question arises: what is the best smartphone between a Huawei P30 and a Huawei P20 Pro? Design, performance, photo, autonomy... Discover our detailed comparison between the two smartphones!
Design: make (beautiful) new with old
Released shortly after the iPhone X, the Huawei P20 Pro did not hesitate to take up the "borderless + notch" look introduced by the brand at the end of 2017. The design is successful, with beautiful finishes, rounded edges and a well distributed weight for a pleasant (although a little slippery) grip. Unfortunately, his chin is very present despite his desire to be borderless, even if his thickness is justified by the fingerprint sensor on the front. When you turn the phone over, you notice a glass back with an elegant effect, but you regret (a little bit) that the photo module protrudes slightly from the shell.
With the Huawei P30, the Chinese manufacturer has significantly improved the design of the old models, even if the final result is somewhat similar. The notion of borderless is much more respected here with very thin borders around the screen - including a particularly thin chin thanks to the removal of the fingerprint sensor on the front - and a much more discreet notch than before with its water drop shape. On the back of the phone, there is a beautiful glass surface - even if the smartphone is not compatible with wireless charging -, the triple sensor module arranged vertically and the mention Leica (partner working on the camera).
Without reinventing the wheel, Huawei simply perfected the design of the old model for its P30 and it must be said that it is a successful bet. Even if we would have liked the Chinese manufacturer to take a little more risk, if only to counter the attractive design of the Galaxy S10.
Screen: the difference game no longer exists
When the old flagships were released last year, only the P20 Pro had a 6.1-inch OLED slab with a Full HD+ resolution of 2240 x 1080 pixels (while the P20 was equipped with an IPS LCD screen). Perfectly balanced, it attracts the eye of its user on a daily basis with beautiful colours, good contrasts and strong luminosity. If you are allergic to the notch, note that it never comes to cut any content and is quickly forgotten thanks to the deep blacks of OLED technology.
On the other hand, the Huawei P30 - which is not a Pro version - also includes an OLED slab this year. The same screen width is found on the P20 Pro (6.1 inches) while the P30 Pro has enlarged its format with a diagonal of 6.4 inches. If the maximum resolution of 2340 x 1080 pixels is higher here, the quality of the screen is almost identical to that of its predecessor. OLED, infinite contrasts, deep blacks and very bright: these can only be convincing arguments.
Apart from the highest definition of the Huawei P30 which improves very (very) slightly the pixel density, there is a screen with the same characteristics, whether in terms of size, technology used or simply quality. For the moment, it's a draw.
Software: EMUI or EMUI? I'd say... EMUI!
While the P20 Pro only offered Android 8.1 Oreo with EMUI 8.1 when it was released, it has recently updated itself with the new version of the EMUI 9 interface based on Android 9.0 Pie. Not surprisingly, this new version brings a breath of fresh air to Huawei's phone(s) thanks to all the new features of Google's OS, including gesture-based navigation for example.
Finally, what can I say except that the Huawei P30 also includes Android 9.0 Pie with the Chinese manufacturer's EMUI 9 interface? It does not benefit from new options that the Huawei P20 Pro does not have, it is the same interface - sometimes considered a little outdated - with the same functionalities, especially with the presence of the dark theme to save energy.
Today, the two smartphones offer a similar experience, but the point is still to the advantage of the P30 which, released later, should benefit from longer support for updates in the future.
Performance: the new generation is needed
As part of the previous generation, the P20 Pro is equipped with the Kirin 970 SoC, with 6 GB of RAM. However, the user experience is still as smooth as it was in the first hour and it is a pleasure to see that Huawei's smartphone has not aged a bit to offer very good performance on a daily basis. Likewise for the games, it will be a pleasure to make the most greedy of them run.
Of course, the new generation is making its mark with HiSilicon's latest chip: the Kirin 980. Already used on the Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro at the end of 2018, this SoC - also supported by 6 GB of RAM - still makes a good impression on the Huawei P30. Performance is even higher than in previous iterations to provide perfect fluidity on a daily basis. In 3D games, it does particularly well with HD graphics and high frame rate, although it does not yet have 60 fps mode on Fortnite mobile. Nevertheless, there is no doubt that this mode will soon be activated by Epic Games, as was the case with the Honor View 20, equipped with the same chip.
While the Chinese manufacturer's two smartphones offer high performance on a daily basis, there is no denying the power gap between the Kirin 970 and Kirin 980.
Photo: The versatility of the new triple sensor
Initiator of the triple photo sensor, the observation is almost the same one year after its commercialization: the photo module 8 + 20 + 20 + 40 megapixels of the P20 Pro still makes it an excellent photophone in 2019. It is difficult to take it otherwise as it is as fast as it is easy to use on a daily basis, with pictures that are always successful. Its level of detail is still very impressive and it will undoubtedly delight lovers of the perfect photo to publish on social networks.
With the P30, Huawei is finally satisfied with perfecting an already winning formula. With its 40 + 16 + 8 megapixels module, it provides an important feature that the P20 Pro does not have despite its excellent quality: versatility in its use. With a hybrid x5 zoom, an ultra-wide-angle mode or its improved portrait mode - even if it is not as good as the P30 Pro with its ToF sensor - it manages to satisfy all situations. In automatic mode, with or without AI, the result is of exemplary quality with colours close to reality and dynamic ranges well transcribed. In addition, it also surprises in low light with a tremendous ability to capture a lot of light and detail.
You will have understood that. While the P20 Pro's camera is already excellent, the P30's is even better (and the P30 Pro even better). The versatility provided by this new triple sensor is a delight for all photo lovers, and not just for social networks.
Battery: a small capacity with great potential
The P20 Pro has a 4000 mAh battery on board. The former jewel of Huawei was considered, in its time, as a monster of autonomy and this is still true today. It can easily last a good day and a half (or even more) depending on your use. In the long term, manufacturers' updates often tend to reduce the endurance of the phone, but this is absolutely not the case here. Compatible with the Supercharge, it goes from 27% to 72% in just 30 minutes, or just over an hour to fully recharge.
For its part, the Huawei P30 does not disappoint in terms of its autonomy either. Although it has a battery with a lower capacity than the P20 Pro (3,650 mAh), it is nevertheless more durable than its older brother, the P30 Pro, which has a 4,200 mAh battery. It can easily hold for two consecutive days before falling flat. In our test, it managed to last for 48 hours before dropping below 8% battery power, a good result that is even better than the already excellent Honor View 20. It is also compatible with the 22.5 W Supercharge fast charge, which goes from 7% to 100% in just 1 hour and 14 minutes.
Whether it is the Huawei P20 Pro or the Huawei P30, they both have a comfortable autonomy, coupled with efficient fast charging. Nevertheless, the new flagship of the Chinese manufacturer manages to do better with a smaller battery, thanks in particular to its more economical processor since it is engraved in 7 nm.
Conclusion: which is the best smartphone
If the Huawei P20 did not benefit from the excellence of the P20 Pro when it was released, it must be said that this P30 has very little to envy from this year's Pro version (mainly the ToF sensor). In fact, it should be seen as a "Plus" version of the P20 Pro, with a decidedly more modern design - and more borderless -, a more versatile photo part than before, top performance with the latest HiSilicon chip, but above all a great autonomy preserved for the happiness of users. In conclusion, the P30 clearly outperforms the P20 Pro (even if many similarities persist, especially in terms of software and display), while providing a more attractive price/quality ratio than its older brother. However, the Huawei P20 Pro is not a solution to be thrown out the window if you want to save money. It represents a more affordable alternative that will certainly meet all the needs of its owner.
Prices and availability
The introductory price of the Huawei P30 is set at 799 euros in the 6/128 GB version.
Launched at €899 when it was released last April, the Huawei P20 Pro is now available for around €500, depending on the resellers.
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