Huawei's P30 and P30 Pro top-tier flagship smartphones are now available to buy, but how do they compare to their excellent predecessors?

Here are the confirmed specs for the Huawei P30 and P30 Pro up against 2018's Huawei P20 and P20 Pro.

P30 vs P20 design

  • P20: 149.1 x 70.8 x 7.7mm, 165g
  • P20 Pro: 155 x 73.9 x 7.8mm, 180g
  • P30: 149.1 x 71.36 x 7.57mm, 165g
  • P30 Pro: 158 x 73.4 x 8.41mm, 192g

The Huawei P20 and P20 Pro offer very similar designs to each other, with both handsets offering a notch at the top of their displays and a fingerprint sensor at the bottom. Both also opt for a glass rear with a metal frame, though the P20 Pro offers more colours including the fabulous Twilight option.

The P20 Pro also has a triple camera system on the back and it is IP67 water and dust resistant, while the P20 has a dual camera and is only IP53 rated.

The P30 and P30 Pro follow similar designs to the P20 and P20 Pro, but both opt for optical in-display fingerprint sensors, resulting in larger displays and slimmer bezels, even though the footprints remain very similar to the P20 and P20 Pro.

The P30 and P30 Pro also have waterdrop notches at the top of their displays, like the OnePlus 6T, meaning a significantly reduced notch compared to their predecessors. The P30 Pro comes with an IP68 water and dust resistance, while the P30 opts for the same as the P20 - IP53.

The Huawei P30 has a triple camera system, while the P30 Pro has a quad camera system with a slightly different setup to the P30 and an additional Time of Flight sensor.

P30 vs P20 display

  • P20: 5.8-inch, Full HD+, LCD
  • P20 Pro: 6.1-inch, Full HD+, OLED
  • P30: 6.1-inch, Full HD+, OLED
  • P30 Pro: 6.47-inch, Full HD+, OLED

The Huawei P20 has a 5.8-inch, Full HD+ display, while the P20 Pro has a 6.1-inch, Full HD+ display. Both have an 18.7:9 aspect ratio and both feature a notch at the top, albeit smaller than the iPhone XS.

The P20 opts for an LCD panel while the P20 Pro opts for an OLED panel, meaning the notch is hidden slightly better on the Pro model thanks to the richer blacks of the OLED screen.

Both the P30 and P30 Pro feature OLED panels, though the P30 has a flat screen and the P30 Pro has a curved display. Their displays also both increase in size compared to the P20 and P20 Pro with the P30 offering a 6.1-inch screen and the P30 Pro offering a 6.47-inch screen.

Both have optical in-display fingerprint scanners, both have a waterdrop notch and both offer increased aspect ratios at 19.5:9. Unfortunately, the resolutions stay the same as P20 and P20 Pro, with the P30 and P30 Pro offering a Full HD+ resolution.

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P30 vs P20 cameras

  • P20: Dual rear (12MP/20MP), 24MP front
  • P20 Pro: Triple rear (40MP/20MP+8MP), 24MP front
  • P30: Triple rear (40MP/16MP/8MP), 3x optical zoom
  • P30 Pro: Quad rear (40MP/20MP/8MP/ToF), 5x optical zoom

The Huawei P20 has a dual Leica camera system on the back, made up of a 12-megapixel RGB sensor and a 20-megapixel monochrome sensor. The P20 Pro meanwhile has a triple Leica camera system, comprised of a 40-megapixel RGB sensor, 20-megapixel monochrome sensor and an additional 8-megapixel 3x optical zoom sensor.

Both the P20 and P20 Pro have a 24-megapixel front camera, 960fps super slow motion capture and a Portrait Mode for bokeh images, among other features. They also both offer excellent camera results, though the Pro model is superior overall.

The Huawei P30 and P30 Pro therefore have some big shoes to fill. The P30 has a triple Leica camera system that offers a 40-megapixel main sensor, 16-megapixel ultra-wide sensor and an 8-megapixel zoom sensor, with 3x optical zoom and 30x digital zoom.

The P30 Pro meanwhile, has a 40-megapixel main sensor, a 20-megapixel ultra-wide sensor and an 8-megapixel zoom sensor, along with a Time of Flight sensor for depth. It offers 5x optical zoom and 50x digital zoom.

Hardware and software

  • P20: Kirin 970, 4GB RAM, 128GB storage, 3320mAh
  • P20 Pro: Kirin 970, 6GB RAM, 128GB storage, 4000mAh
  • P30: Kirin 980, 6GB RAM, 128GB storage, 3650mAh
  • P30 Pro: Kirin 980, 8GB RAM, 128/256/512GB storage, 4200mAh

The Huawei P20 and P20 Pro both run on the Kirin 970 chipset and they both have 128GB of storage. Neither can be expanded via microSD. The P20 Pro has a slight bump in RAM compared to the P20, at 6GB over 4GB and it also has a larger battery capacity at 4000mAh, compared to 3320mAh.

Neither the P20 or P20 Pro support wireless charging despite their glass backs, though they do both have fast charging.

The Huawei P30 and P30 Pro launch on the Kirin 980 chipset, offering speed and power improvements over their predecessors. The P30 will come with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, while the P30 Pro will come with 8GB of RAM and up to 512GB storage. Both models offer Huawei's Nano Memory card for storage expansion up to 256GB.

In terms of battery capacities, the P30 offers a 3650mAh capacity and the P30 Pro offers a 4200mAh battery. Both offer fast charging but only the P30 Pro adds wireless charging. Like the Mate 20 Pro though, the P30 Pro also offers reverse wireless charging, meaning it will be able to charge other Qi compatible devices by touch.

The P30 does offer a 3.5mm headphone jack though, something the P20 and P20 Pro removed. The P30 Pro also remains without the headphone jack, and it also removes the front speaker, using the display for vibrations instead.

Conclusion

The Huawei P30 and P30 Pro offer several upgrades to the P20 and P20 Pro, as you would expect.

Camera hardware has been improved, the processor has been updated, RAM has increased, storage capacities have increased for the Pro model, battery capacities have increased and the design has improved - offering larger displays in a similar footprint.

The new models are more expensive, starting at £699 and £899 for the P30 and P30 Pro respectively, while the P20 and P20 Pro will likely see a price reduction now, but the P30 and P30 Pro are a great step up over their predecessors.

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Watch our hands-on with the Huawei P30 Pro: