The Huawei P30 series will be announced in Paris on March 26, 2019. The new flagship smartphones, which will succeed the Huawei P20 and P20 Pro, are expected to be the first handsets that Huawei unveils this year.
Ahead of the release date, we've pulled together all the rumours and speculation we've seen appear so far...
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Huawei P30 and P30 Pro: release date and price
Huawei has mailed out invitations to its P30 series launch event, which will be held on March 29, 2019 in Paris. The launch date, which was leaked in a hiring document from inside Huawei, is exactly one year after the P20 and P20 Pro announcement.
Ahead of the media event, Huawei has shared a number of teasers on its social media accounts all centred around the social hashtag #REWRITETHERULES. Most of the accompanying images focus on the long-rumoured super-zoom feature purportedly coming to the handset, with shots of the Eiffel Tower from a distance – with a small cut-out zoomed in close enough to see the individual joints.
What about the Huawei P30 and P30 Pro price? Well, the P30 Pro model will be more expensive, that much is clear. Last year's phones started at £599 (about $765) for the P20 and £799 (about $1,020) for the P20 Pro – don't expect this year's flagship Huawei phones to be any cheaper, and they might even be a touch more expensive.
Huawei P30 and P30 Pro: design
To truly understand the future, you must first understand the past... that's not a wise old Chinese proverb, but our way of saying that you only have to look to the Huawei Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro, which launched late last year, to find clues about the Huawei P30 and P30 Pro. With that in mind, we'd expect the new P30 Series to opt for a small, teardrop notch on the front of the phone – seemingly confirmed by the latest leaked renders – as well as an in-display fingerprint sensor. We really like this concept video from Concept Creator that pulls a lot of these rumours together.
This would free-up some space on the back, which is key for the elaborate camera set-up we're expecting to see on the Huawei P30 Pro. Serial tipster @OnLeaks, who has a solid track record when it comes to as-yet unannounced hardware, has teamed-up with 91Mobiles to purportedly unveil the finished design of the P30.
The collaboration is based on three-dimensional CAD models used in the manufacturing process so, in theory at least, should be pretty accurate about the new handset. According to these renders, Huawei will place its dual-tone LED flash beneath the rear-mounted camera, which now includes all three lenses in a single enclosure – unlike the Huawei P20 Pro. Moreover, there is no fingerprint scanner on the back of the handset, which strongly suggests the Huawei P30 will benefit from the same in-display fingerprint scanner that made its debut on the Mate 20 Pro.
Flip over the Huawei P30 and the front of the handset will purportedly be dominated by an expansive six-inch display. According to these renders, Huawei has managed to shave some width from the bezels around the display to ensure the handset is still usable one-handed, despite its palm-stretching screen.
Other recent photo leaks of the P30 show a two-tone gradient on the rear case. Huawei looks sent to find room to include a 3.5mm headphone port – a feature that wasn't included on the P20 or P20 Pro, but was present on the Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro launched in October 2018.
Other recent rumours back up the theory that the P30 and P30 Pro will keep the notch and ignore the 2019 trend for hole-punch cut-outs that house the front-facing camera in one of the corners of the screen. The display size is rumoured to be in the region of 6 inches for the P30 phone, and slightly larger for the P30 Pro.
Huawei P30 and P30 Pro: specs and features
Now we're getting to the nitty gritty. Huawei CEO of the Consumer Business Group Richard Yu has confirmed the P30 and P30 Pro will be "even better" than their predecessors, but we could have probably worked that out for ourselves – improved internals are a must, and will most likely involve the latest Huawei Kirin 980 processor (the same one that powers the Huawei Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro).
According to official device certification documents from Indonesia and Taiwan obtained by GSMArena, the Huawei P30 will ship with either 6GB or 8GB RAM and 128GB of built-in storage. That's a pretty solid step-up in RAM from the Huawei P20, which only had 4GB of RAM. There's no change in the amount of built-in storage. It's also worth noting that last year's P20 did not support expandable storage via microSD, opting for dual SIM support instead.
Meanwhile, the more powerful Huawei P30 Pro will have 8GB of RAM and either 128GB or 256GB of built-in non-expandable storage. That's a jump-up from its predecessor, the Huawei P20 Pro, which sported 6GB of RAM and 128GB memory.
Of course, those who upgrade from an older Huawei P series device are likely to notice the faster performance associated with a bump up in RAM. However, the leaked specifications suggest that Huawei will not match the latest flagship range from arch-rival Samsung.
The maxed-out Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus, which launched worldwide on March 8, boasts a staggering 12GB of RAM and 1TB on built-in storage. Not only that, Samsung allows S10 Plus owners to expand the storage via microSD. As such, the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus can sport as much as 1.5TB of storage – more than most high-performance laptops.
It sounds like Huawei wants to keep pace with Apple in the animated emoji stakes too, with a more advanced version of its 3D pictures heading to Huawei's version of Android, EMUI. The P30 and P30 Pro should come rocking a version of EMUI based on the latest Android 9 Pie, we would've thought.
We also know for sure that Huawei is very keen on 5G. The company confirmed exclusively to T3 that Huawei 5G phones would appear in 2019 – so the tech is going to appear in either the P30 and P30 Pro handsets, or the Mate 30 and Mate 30 Pro devices that should launch later in the year (if that's what they end up being called).
Huawei P30 and P30 Pro: what we want to see
After all the rumours and speculation we've mentioned, there's not much left to add about the Huawei P30 and the Huawei P30 Pro phones. All the indications are that these handsets are set to arrive with top-end specs and stunning looks sometime during February or March 2019.
With internal upgrades and camera improvements, they'll be able to challenge the best phones of 2019. If we could make some requests direct to Huawei, we'd make them the usual ones: better battery life and an Android skin that's a little easier to get around. OnePlus is leading the way when it comes to manufacturer variations on stock Android, so Huawei has some catching up to do.
Otherwise we're pretty impressed with what Huawei has got coming down the line and how the leaks are looking – if the P30 phones are as well designed as the Mate 20 ones, Huawei will be on to a winner. Knowing Huawei, there will probably be a few more surprises at launch as well.