Huawei Mate 30 Hands on – Can it survive the lack of Google?

First impressions

Huawei Mate 30 is an impressive device that costs a little less than its leading brother, but it shares its main flaw: the lack of access to Google applications and services.

Key specifications

  • 160.8 x 76.1 x 8.4 mm
  • 196g
  • 6.62-inch screen, with a resolution of 1080 x 2340
  • 6/8 GB of RAM; 128 GB of storage
  • Android 10 (open source) OS, with EMUI 10
  • Kirin 990 chip
  • Camera: 40 megapixel width; 8 megapixel telephoto lens; Ultra-fast 12 megapixel camera

The Huawei Mate 30 has been unveiled alongside the high-end Mate 30 Pro. It may have made less headlines because of a slightly more modest spec sheet, but does this device offer better value for money?

We went directly with the Mate 30 to check its references as a slightly more affordable alternative to 799 € (~ 905 £) compared to the devices that crossed the thousand-pound threshold.

Huawei Mate 30 Display – Vivid and detailed

The size of the screen is 6.62 inches instead of 6.53 inches. The resolution of 1080 x 2340 pixels also gives it a very similar pixel density. In addition, the Mate 30 further optimizes the available display, with a smaller notch at the top (26.6mm vs. 32.8mm) and a smaller chin (4mm vs. 4.8mm) at the bottom.

This version also has a flat screen rather than the curved “waterfall” design that crawls to the sides. This means that it does not distort the screen content and does not record the palm contacts against the sides of the input phone. In short, she is more friendly, but a little less crisp to watch.

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When we tried the phone, the display was very clear, with the smallest details very visible. the brightness of the OLED screen was also very powerful, which meant that the content was more than pleasant to watch.

It is safe to say that display quality will not be compromised if you opt for the slightly more affordable version of Huawei’s flagship product.

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Huawei Mate 30

Huawei Mate 30 Design – Brilliant and eye-catching

The Mate 30 has a brilliant back panel, the cameras being housed in a circular module surrounded by a captivating finish. The high-end finish barely stands out from the Pro version, though it is very prone to stains and smears. The front of the device presents a different design, especially with the smallest notch and flat screen rather than the curved screen, two often preferred choices of consumers.

The reason for this small notch at the front is obvious: fewer sensors are integrated, so you will not be able to use the new, orderly gesture control system that debuted on the Mate 30 Pro and allows you to dictate actions without touching the screen. But at this point, the system is still a bit gimmicky, so it does not feel like you’re missing out.

The retention of the 3.5mm headphone jack is another design difference that may well fade, which users often find more convenient than relying on a Bluetooth headset or a dongle. The cost of this decision is less resistance to water (IP58 vs. IP68), but in terms of design, the Mate 30 is arguably the best camera in the series.

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Huawei Mate 30

Huawei Mate 30 Camera – Star of the show

The Mate 30 features three rear camera sensors: a 40 megapixel f / 1.8 main snapper, an 8 megapixel telephoto sensor, and a 16 megapixel ultra-thin lens. This latest specification is inferior to the 40 megapixel version of the Mate 30 Pro (which also houses an additional flight time sensor), but it still remains impressive for a smartphone.

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Taking pictures with the Mate 30 was a pleasure, with the camera offering crisp shots and a good color balance in different lighting conditions. The three different lenses offer great versatility depending on the type of pictures you want to take. Selfies also look great because the 24-megapixel sensor captures detail and a flight-time sensor helps Portrait mode come to life.

Huawei Mate 30 Software – Can it survive without Google?

The Mate 30 runs on an open source version of the latest Android 10 operating system, with Huawei’s EMUI 10 skin overlay. He seems very familiar with previous Huawei devices, but with one essential difference: none of the familiar applications of Google usually pre-installed as standard due to the current ban imposed by the US government.

You also do not have access to the Play Store to install many of your favorite applications, but only the poor Huawei Gallery application takes its place. This could very well be a dealbreaker for many customers, as you are without the best frequently used apps unless you turn to creative workarounds.

Huawei Mate 30 – First verdict

The Huawei Mate 30 is an excellent smartphone that offers arguably a better value than the Pro and has a design that many users might even prefer, but the lack of Google Apps is a blow for its attractiveness.

A “practical test” is our first impression of a product only – it is not a complete test or a verdict. Our editor must have spent some time with the product to quickly describe what he is using. We call these “practical exams” to make them visible in searches. However, they are still not marked and do not give recommendations.
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