We're expecting a lot from Huawei and its smartphones this year, not least the Huawei P30 and P30 Pro that are scheduled to be officially unveiled on the 26th of March. If Huawei sticks to form this year though, another flagship will arrive later in the year – the Mate 30.
What surprises and treats does the Huawei Mate 30 have in store? Can we expect support for 5G or a folding screen? Is it going to leave the P30 and P30 Pro in the dust (and should you wait before upgrading)? Here's everything we know about the Huawei Mate 30 so far.
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Huawei Mate 30: release date and price
If you've got a good memory you might remember the Huawei Mate 20 saw the light of day on October 2018, so it's a good bet that Huawei is going to unveil the Mate 30 at around the same time of year – leaving a few months for the P30 and P30 Pro to sell well.
When we refer to the Huawei Mate 30 we're also referring to the Huawei Mate 30 Pro, which should appear at the same time. Last year both the standard model and the Pro model arrived together, and we were very taken with the Huawei Mate 20 Pro. There was also a Huawei Mate 20 Lite, which may or may not get a successor in 2019.
We haven't heard any rumours or leaks about when Huawei is planning the Mate 30 event, and indeed it's a bit early to be expecting them at the moment. What we do know is that the P30 phones look like launching almost exactly a year after the P20 phones, so it looks like Huawei's 2019 schedule will match its 2018 one.
Prices should be in the same sort of area as well. The Huawei Mate 20 went on sale for €799 (about £690 / $900) and upwards, whereas the Huawei Mate 20 Pro cost €1,050 (about £905 / $1,185) at launch – expect something similar this time around.
Huawei Mate 30: design
Is the Huawei Mate 30 going to stick with the teardrop notch of the Huawei Mate 20? Or is it going to do something dramatic like introduce a pop-up selfie camera? Might Huawei even have developed the tech to put the front-facing camera behind the display by the time October 2019 rolls around?
At the moment it's not quite clear. Based on the leaks we've seen around the P30 and P30 Pro, it looks like we'll get a teardrop notch on Huawei's flagships this time, as well as ultra-thin bezels and a polished, streamlined frame. Slightly curved glass could be on the table, but the phone is unlikely to fold like the Huawei Mate X.
That lovely 'Twilight' (purple and turquoise) colour that Huawei debuted last year seems to have done down well, so it'll probably be back again this year, together with the standard black, blue, green and pink gold options.
When it comes to Huawei, there's always the chance of a surprise, but we're not expecting anything too eyebrow-raising when it comes to the design and appearance of the Huawei Mate 30. It'll almost certainly have a bigger screen than the P30 and P30 Pro though, as is normal for the Mate series.
Huawei Mate 30: specs and features
With most of the focus still on the Huawei P30 and the Huawei P30 Pro, it's still early days for leaks and rumours about the Huawei Mate 30 and the Huawei Mate 30 Pro – but if previous years are anything to go by, the Mate phones will be well worth waiting for.
One whisper we have heard is that Huawei is planning a five-camera setup on the back of the phone, just like the Nokia 9 PureView. That would give the Huawei Mate 30 some seriously advanced tech in the camera department, probably involving zooming, wide angles and special bokeh effects.
In terms of internals, the Mate 20 went with the latest Kirin 980 processor: it's likely that the Mate 30 is going to carry a CPU that Huawei hasn't even announced yet (the Kirin 990 perhaps?). That should be paired with at least 4GB of RAM, though it's likely that the Mate 30 series will start at 6GB of RAM and go up from there.
We know Huawei is keen on pushing its NanoMemory memory cards, so expandable storage is probably going to be in the specs sheet, probably alongside 128GB as the minimum amount of included space for your photos, music and other files.
In other words, this will be a seriously capable handset, even if we haven't heard too much from the rumour mill just yet. With the Mate 20 offering so much, including wireless charging and IP68 waterproofing on the Mate 20 Pro model, it's difficult to know exactly where Huawei will make improvements.
Huawei being Huawei though it'll probably find a way. While we think a folding device isn't likely, a 5G model of the Huawei Mate 30 or Mate 30 Pro very much is, so you'll be able to get connected to the very fastest networks – if they've arrived in your part of the world by the time the Mate 30 launches.