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(Pocket-lint) - Times were different when the Huawei P30 Pro arrived on the shelves back in 2019. It had the best camera going at the time. And, of course, access to Google Mobile Services and therefore the full array of Google Play Store apps.

Since then, Huawei has fallen on different times due to the US trade ban, resulting in its newer handsets - the P40 Pro and Mate 30 Pro - instead offering App Gallery only.

Cleverly, however, Huawei has a workaround: the Huawei P30 Pro New Edition. Yep, the P30 Pro is back in upgraded 2020 form, Google Play Store and all. Here's how it differs to the original model.

P30 Pro New Edition: What's the same?

  • Screen (6.47-inch OLED, 2340 x 1080 resolution, 19.5:9 aspect ratio)
  • Cameras (Leica Quad Camera system)
    • Main: 40MP, 27mm, f/1.6, SuperSensing RYYB construction
    • Zoom: 8MP, 5x periscope zoom, 125mm, f/3.4
    • Wide: 20MP, 16mm, f/2.2
    • Time-of-Flight (ToF)
  • Processor (Kirin 980 processor)
  • Overall design footprint & form
  • In-screen fingerprint scanner
  • 4200mAh battery capacity
  • 40W SuperCharge

In order to avoid the need to resubmit the P30 Pro New Edition for approval, which would result in Google Mobile Services being withdrawn, the company has, by and large, had to leave the handset almost identical to the original.

That means the same screen, same processor, same quad Leica camera arrangement, same battery capacity, same screen. It's pretty much the same device.

P30 Pro New Edition: Is it the same design?

  • Colours: Silver Frost, Aurora and Black
  • Matte-touch finish

The P30 Pro New Edition does bring things up to date in cosmetic form though. The Silver Frost finish - the only one to be available in the UK - is the same as you'll find on the P40 Pro.

That means it's got a soft-to-touch finish, has an anti-fingerprint coating, and looks very swish indeed. It's one of our favourite and more subtle finishes that does a really good job of looking clean.

Huawei says "a complex process involving nine layers of nano-optical colour finish has been applied to the body of the device" to ensure it's ultra tough too. No scratches are likely here then.

P30 Pro New Edition: Is it more powerful?

  • 8GB RAM
  • 256GB storage
  • Android 10 with EMUI 10.1 re-skin
  • Access to Google Play Store & Huawei App Gallery
  • New voice assistant: 'Celia'

As we said up top, the P30 Pro New Edition features the same Kirin 980 processor as the original model (not the Kirin 990 of the P40 series). However, the model features 8GB RAM as standard this time around - whereas the entry-level P30 Pro came with 6GB.

That doesn't make the new handset more powerful, per se, it's really just Huawei doing away with the 6GB+128GB storage option from before.  but you'll be able to hold a little more in memory which may result in quicker load times when running multiple apps. 

On-board storage is 256GB as standard, again outing the 128GB option from before. There's NM card expansion too (no microSD, since the company lost SD Association approval).

Software is one of the big areas of focus. The New Edition runs Google Android, just as the original model did. However, the new model will launch on Android 10, running Huawei's EMUI 10.1 - something that the older model will also offer via future update. As such the software is likely to be one and the same by the time the New Edition makes it to market.

But what's new in EMUI 10.1? Well, the big thing is the Celia voice assistant. Yes, the how-similar-to-Siri-can-we-make-a-voice-assistant-sound voice assistant. She's here, ready to help you on your way, answering queries and actioning your requests.

There's also Huawei Music and Huawei Video, both of which are free for three months for new subscribers (£/€9.99 per month thereafter). Music is a platform like Google Music, really, or Spotify, opening the door to 1.2 million albums from all the big names. We suspect, however, given Google Play is present and correct here, that you'll stick with any existing subscription access you may possess.

P30 Pro New Edition: Is it cheaper?

  • £699 / €749 / $N/A
  • 3 June availability

The New Edition may offer more than the original base-spec handset, but it costs hundreds less than the original P30 Pro did at launch. You'll even get a free Huawei Watch GT2e redemption if you buy one up to 30 June 2020.

We think the price is rather eye-catching, because this is still an accomplished handset. And in a world full of over-sell when it comes to triple-figure camera resolutions and largely unnecessary longer zoom lenses, this handset sounds like it hits the sweet spot - even in today's market. 

Writing by Mike Lowe.