Another day, another tech launch event. This time, it was Chinese company Huawei showing off its latest wares at a glitzy event in Paris.
We normally know a bit about tech products before they actually launch, thanks to a booming cottage industry of leakers and analysts all looking to rain on the companies launch parades. However, leaks have been so constant with the new Huawei P30 and P30 Pro, that we knew almost everything about the devices before they were officially revealed.
Still, it's nice to get everything confirmed from the horse's mouth. So, here's everything you need to know about the new Huawei P30, P30 Pro, two new sets of headphones, and even a new pair of smart glasses.
- 6.1-inch screen
- 3650 mAh
- IP53 rated
- 32Mp front camera with HDR+
- Starts at €799
The P30 is the replacement for last year's P20. It's a high-end smartphone, and designed to do battle with the iPhone XS, Samsung S10 and Google Pixel 3. However, it undercuts these models slightly, with prices starting at €799.
Huawei focused heavily on the cameras for both the P30 and P30 Pro — highlighting their apparently industry-leading hardware and software. The P30 features three rear cameras: An 8Mp telephoto lens, a 16Mp ultra wide angle lens, and a 40Mp wide angle lens. That sounds impressive but, as we've mentioned elsewhere, more megapixels doesn't necessarily mean better photos. However, the P30 seems set to be one of the best cameraphones on sale.
Huawei went to great pains to show us just how impressive its low-light photography was, and how its smarter AI could lead to better bokeh blurring effects and even long-exposure shots for true drama.
Huawei also briefly debuted its new Android 9 skin, EMUI 9.1. It does away with the 3-button navigation controls familiar to Android users, in favor of very iPhone XS-like gesture controls.
So, how much does all this set you back? Prices start at $901 (€799) for the base version with 6GB of Ram with 128GB storage.
And you can buy the P30 right now.
Huawei P30 Pro
- 6.47-inch screen
- 4200 mAh
- IP68 rated
- 32Mp front camera with HDR+
- Starts at €999
The P30 Pro is like the P30, only more so. You get a bigger, curved screen than the P30, similar to that found on the latest Samsung S10 models. You also get a very large battery, at 4,200 mAh. Better waterproofing is also in order, with the now flagship standard IP68 rating.
However, the biggest changes were reserved, unsurprisingly, for the cameras. You get a 20Mp ultra wide angle lens, a 40Mp wide angle lens, an 8Mp telephoto lens with a 5x optical zoom and a new time-of-flight depth sensing camera.
The latter two are the most interesting, with the 8Mp lens allowing for incredible zoomed images, thanks to its new “Periscope” technology. Essentially, the periscope works by combining multiple mirrors lying flat within the phone with an angled mirror at the end, allowing for greater zoom without any extra heft.
The time-of-flight sensor, on the other hand, allows for better depth perception. This means that HDR and bokeh effects can be greatly improved, as the P30 Pro will be able to actually recognize distance, rather than just guessing. It's not the first phone with one of these sensors, but it is impressive to see it rolling out through the industry.
The prices for the P30 Pro start at around $1,126 (€999) for the 128GB model with 8GB of Ram, rising to about $1,400 (€1,249) for the 512GB model with 8GB of Ram and it's available to buy now.
Huawei Wireless headphones
Huawei surprised us with two new pairs of wireless headphones.
First up was the FreeLace. These headphones have a ‘memory-metal' band connecting the two (whatever that is). They're designed for exercise, with water resistance and promises of improved comfort.
Huawei promised 18 hours of playback on a full charge, and four hours of battery life from just a 5 minute charge — if that charge comes from the P30 or P30 Pro. The FreeLace headphones are available in four colors and cost €99.
Next up were a pair of true wireless headphones, the FreeBuds Lite.
Huawei was scant on details but reckoned you'll get a 12 hour battery life. The
AirPods FreeBuds Lite cost €119.
Huawei Smart Glasses
Another product that took us by surprise was a new pair of smart glasses, produced in collaboration with Korean sunglasses manufacturer Gentle Monster.
Gentle Monster, if you're not familiar, was founded back in 2011 and has stores all over the world from their native Asia to London, New York and LA. According to fashion industry bible Business of Fashion, Gentle Monster's glasses feature:
“coke-bottle-thick frames etched in gold and abstract cat-eye styles made with titanium rims. There’s a strangeness to the designs, which start at a little above $200, with more intricate styles tipping over $500.”
Again, details on these smart glasses were scant. However, the Gentle Monster's CEO was keen to make clear that these were a design-led product, contrasting them with Google Glass and Snapchat Spectacles. However, they'll be able to make phone calls and play videos and music, without disturbing the people around you thanks to semi-open “precision” directed speakers.
— Huawei Mobile (@HuaweiMobile) March 26, 2019
They should hit the shelves in July 2019, in three styles. Unfortunately, there was no word on price.
Read more about the latest phones on Tech.co