Huawei P30: what we want to see

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Update: New leaks suggest the Huawei P30 Pro could have three rear cameras, including a 38MP one.

The Huawei P20 is a strong phone and the Huawei P20 Pro is even better, rivalling the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus.

We want to see the Huawei P30 build on that momentum and we’ve come up with a list of things that would help that happen.

But before that here’s what we know and suspect about the phone so far. There aren’t many real rumors yet, but we’ll be sure to add them in as soon as we hear any and in the meantime we can take some educated guesses.

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? The successor to the Huawei P20
  • When is it out? Probably early 2019
  • What will it cost? Likely upwards of £599 (roughly $790, AU$1,070)

Huawei P30 release date and price

The Huawei P30 (or P21) is likely to land in early 2019, given that the Huawei P20 was announced in March 2018 and the Huawei P10 was revealed in February 2017.

The latter was announced at MWC 2017, so it’s possible that the Huawei P30 will be announced at MWC 2019, which takes place from 25-28 February, but given that the P20 skipped MWC we wouldn’t count on it.

Note also that if you’re in the US you might not be able to buy it, as the Huawei P20 and P20 Pro didn’t land in the US.

As for the price, it’s likely to be at least as expensive as the £599 (roughly $790, AU$1,070) Huawei P20, but will likely land alongside an even pricier Huawei P30 Pro.

The P30 may undercut some flagships but it might not launch in the US

The P30 may undercut some flagships but it might not launch in the US

Huawei P30 news and rumors

We don’t know much about the Huawei P30 yet, but according to Huawei's CEO it will be better than the Huawei P20 Pro or the Huawei Mate 20.

That's hardly surprising, but what's more notable is that he referred to the phone as the P30. While that would have been our best guess for the launch name anyway, you can now take it as more or less confirmed.

We've also heard rumors that the Huawei P30 Pro might have a 38MP camera. Specifically, an unannounced Sony one.

And we've seen images of cases supposedly made for both the Huawei P30 and Huawei P30 Pro. From these we can see that there are seemingly three rear cameras on both models, with the Pro model also having a big flash unit.

Image 1 of 3

Credit: Ice Universe

Credit: Ice Universe
Image 2 of 3

Credit: SlashLeaks

Credit: SlashLeaks
Image 3 of 3

Credit: SlashLeaks

Credit: SlashLeaks

The P30 Pro is also shown from the front in one image, with tiny bezels and a teardrop notch, but that's probably just a placeholder image.

Elsewhere, Huawei's European boss Walter Ji has talked about the possibility of four rear cameras on a phone in 2019 in an interview with Android Pit. He also talked about the possibility of 10x zoom, though he didn't specifically say that the Huawei P30 would get either of these features.

That's all the rumors we have so far, but we can also look at the Mate 20 (and Huawei Mate 20 Pro) for an idea of some of the likely specs and features of the Huawei P30.

For one thing, the P30 will probably have the same Kirin 980 chipset as the Mate 20 range. This debuted on the Mate 20 range and Huawei has previously used the same chipset on the Mate range one year and the P range the following year.

That's not necessarily a bad thing, as it will still be fairly new by the time the Huawei P30 launches and it's a good chip. It's the first 7nm Android one and it arguably has any other 2018 Android chip beat. Though of course it will be competing with the likes of the Snapdragon 8150 by the time the P30 lands.

The Huawei P30 is also likely to have an in-screen fingerprint scanner, given that the Huawei Mate 20 Pro does - though that's a feature that might be reserved for the P30 Pro.

Similarly, one or both of the likely P30 models will probably have three (or more) rear cameras, given that Huawei has now launched multiple phones with that many. They could also have the unusual feature Huawei debuted on the Mate 20 Pro which lets you use it as a wireless charger for other devices.

At the very least, you're probably going to be able to wirelessly charge the Huawei P30 (or at least the Huawei P30 Pro) itself, since while the Huawei P20 range lacked wireless charging, the feature was added for the Huawei Mate 20 Pro.

Huawei is also known to be working on both a folding phone and a 5G handset. Of those it's possible that the Huawei P30 will support 5G, but we doubt it will fold.

What we want to see

We expect to learn much more about the Huawei P30 (including whether it will actually be called the Huawei P21) soon, but in the meantime, this is what we want from it.

1. A sharper screen

The Huawei P20's screen isn't quite as sharp as we'd expect a flagship to be

The Huawei P20's screen isn't quite as sharp as we'd expect a flagship to be

Huawei has stuck with a Full HD+ screen on its P20 range, but with Samsung, Sony and others upping the resolution it’s time Huawei did the same.

So for the Huawei P30 we want a QHD resolution. There’s probably no need for more than that, but given the likely large screen size a resolution of around 1440 x 2960 really would make a difference.

2. Bring back the headphone jack

Many phones – including the Huawei P20 range – are now ditching headphone jacks, but we’re still not convinced the tech is at the point where everyone will be happy to go wireless, so we’d like to see this brought back for the Huawei P30.

It’s unlikely to happen as it could be seen as a step backwards, or as admitting that removing it was a mistake, but it would be nice.

3. Wireless charging

All flagships should really support wireless charging

All flagships should really support wireless charging

While the Huawei P20 range has good battery life and fast charging it lacks wireless charging, which is a feature we’d expect to see come as standard on flagship phones.

So hopefully it’s something that the Huawei P30 - or at least the Huawei P30 Pro - will offer. There's reason to suspect it might, since the Huawei Mate 20 Pro does.

4. Three cameras on all models

Huawei has only just moved on to triple-lens cameras with the Huawei P20 Pro so we’re not in any hurry for that to change, but we do want to see three lenses on the standard Huawei P30, rather than the feature being reserved for the P30 Pro.

And while we definitely don’t need more than three lenses on the back we would like to see some improvements to them as well, perhaps for example improvements to the AI scene recognition.

5. An in-screen fingerprint scanner

Building the scanner into the screen would give the P30 a big selling point

Building the scanner into the screen would give the P30 a big selling point

The Huawei Mate 20 Pro and Porsche Design Huawei Mate RS have an in-screen fingerprint scanner, and even the Honor 10 (made by a Huawei sub-brand) has an under-glass scanner, so it wouldn’t be at all surprising if the Huawei P30 had an in-screen scanner of its own.

And it would be a good thing too, since it’s the sort of high-tech feature that would help the phone stand apart from many other handsets, not to mention allowing it to keep the bezels small without resorting to having a scanner on the back.

6. A top-end chipset

The Huawei P20 range uses the Kirin 970 chipset, which is high-end, but it’s older and less powerful than the latest Snapdragon and Exynos chipsets.

For the Huawei P30 and P30 Pro we’d really like Huawei to use a brand-new chipset that makes its debut on those phones and can truly compete with the best around, rather than what it will probably actually do, which is equip them with the slightly older Kirin 980 chip that first appeared in the Huawei Mate 20.

7. No notch or bezels

Like so many of 2018’s phones, the Huawei P20 and P20 Pro each have a notch in the screen, and while you can somewhat hide it with software we’d rather there was no notch at all.

But we don’t want a strip of bezel either, instead we want a truly bezel-free front. If Huawei does build the fingerprint scanner into the screen on the P30 then it could be well on the way to achieving that, so it’s possible, though it will need to hide the likes of the front-facing camera somewhere too.