Mate 30 is the best 30: flat screen, giant battery, excellent camera kit

We know, we know. The question on your mind is 'heck the specs, tell us about Google Maps!" While Huawei has found some workaround for the latter, the former are way more impressive when it comes to the new Mate 30 that sits right smack in the middle specs- and price-wise when compared to its Pro and Lite siblings. 

The ultra premium deluxe Porsche Design model is in a different category altogether anyway. The US ain't getting none of it, but that doesn't make the new flagship phones from the world's second-largest maker any less impressive.

Huawei Mate 30 design and display

The phone is a proud heir of the Mate 20, with a prominent camera set in the middle of the back, not tucked in the corner like on the new iPhones. 

Offered in the two vegan leather and four matte-to-gloss transitional glass finishes that you see above, the 30 design is unique and intriguing. Whether you choose the faux leather, or the glass ones, Huawei promises they won't be slippery, at least at the places where you usually rest your fingers.

Huawei Mate 30 sports a 6.62-inch OLED display with FHD+ resolution (2340 x 1080). It is, thankfully, not a "waterfall" one, or, as Huawei now calls it, Horizon Display, but a good ol' rigid OLED screen.

Huawei Mate 30 specs and battery life

Samsung took the laurels of announcing the first second-gen 7nm processor - Exynos 9825 - before Huawei this year, unlike what happened with Huawei's Kirin 980 last fall. Samsung was also the first to announce an integrated all-in-one 5G chipset - the Exynos 980 - which solders midrange chippery together with a 5G modem for the first time. Until now, all 5G phones came with one extra Qualcomm, Samsung or Huawei 5G modem tacked on separately that puts extra drag on the battery and RAM capacities.

The Kirin 990 that Huawei announced this month, however - the first high-end mobile applications processor combined with an efficient 5G modem in a true system-on-a-chip style - is now in phones like the Mate 30, whereas Samsung has still to tip any handsets where the Exynos 980 will be used. Both the Kirin 990 processor cores and the 5G modem chip are laid out with the most efficient process available at the moment - a second generation 7nm EUV lithography, just like the Exynos 9825.

Since the special emphasis here is that this is as high-end of a chipset as Apple's A13 in the iPhone 11 would be, built on the same N7+ process by TSMC, and yet will feature an integrated 5G modem, something unheard of so far, we want to focus precisely on the 5G abilities.

Sadly, these don't include the high-frequency mmWave bands that Verizon, T-Mobile and the US carrier networks currently use for 5G in general. In 2020, however, all major US carriers will start rolling out their low-band 5G networks en masse. Needless to say, Huawei has a snowball's chance in hell to have phones on US carriers given the White House administration animosity towards its products but it's cool that we are finally getting a true 5G SoC for high-end phones. 

Huawei boasted that the Mate 30 series have 14 antennas, so they should have good reception if they are sold in your region, as the most others do is six. The Mate 30 comes packaged with 8GB RAM and 128GB base storage, not a bad setup. The fast 40W wired and ultrafast 27W wireless charging are on board, and Huawei promises more than 8 hours of screen-on time with very heavy usage. Looking at the 4200 mAh battery pack, we are inclined to believe the hype.

Huawei Mate 30 camera

The most intriguing part of any Huawei flagship of late has been the camera kit. The company pioneered the generous 3-5x telephoto zoom and the night mode before it became cool with Google's Pixels. It wasn't afraid to take a gamble on a brand new and unproven "yellow pixels" sensor technology that proved quite capable in this year's P30 series.

The Mate 30 isn't ploughing ahead with record zoom levels or new sensor shenanigans, yet it does introduce a wildly capable photography kit with some new features taken from its Pro sibling, and made possible by the new Kirin 990 chipset. 

There is a triple rear camera on the back, consisting of a 16MP ultra wide-angle (with f/2.2 aperture), 40MP SuperSensing (f/1.8 aperture), and 8MP telephoto camera (f/2.4 aperture), plus a laser focus sensor to round the circle. For selfies, Huawei offers a capable 24MP shooter with f/2.0 aperture.

The main camera keeps the RYYB pixel arrangement with the "revolutionary" yellow ones from the P30 series that aid low-light photography. Huawei offers 3x optical zoom and plenty more of the hybrid variety. and the huge 40MP sensor promises crazy good night shots. This time around, Huawei paid attention to the video recording abilities, too, and there are plenty of modes and 4K 60fps to choose from.

The camera can shoot 720p Super Slow-Mo at 7680fps, 4K Time-lapse, Ultra high definition Night photography, Ultra wide-angle photography, and there is noise control for clearer quality, supported by Kirin's AI capabilities.

Huawei Mate 30 price and release date

Starting at EUR 799, the Mate 30 sits in the golden middle, given that its Pro version is EUR 1099, and will be available for purchase next month in two vegan leather and four matte-to-gloss transitional glass finishes. These are Space Silver, Cosmic Purple, Black, and Emerald Green for the glass options, while the Vegan Leather versions come in flashy Orange or Forest Green. 

Whether or not the Mate 20 will find willing buyers in places like Europe, depends on how the trade deal with China progresses, and, concurrently, the relationship with Google regarding its Android apps.

Related phones

Mate 30 Pro
  • Display 6.5" 1176 x 2400 pixels
  • Camera 40 MP / 32 MP front
  • Processor HiSilicon Kirin 990, Octa-core, 2860 MHz
  • Storage 256 GB + Nano Memory (NM)
  • Battery 4500 mAh



1. raky_b

Posts: 414; Member since: Jul 02, 2014

I am I Norway, and I am buying this one first day when it comes here...don't care for Google and it's Services

5. mel0524

Posts: 81; Member since: Mar 02, 2017

Good luck using your $1000 mate 30 pro that can be use for camera,text,call most of the time. But if your tech-savvy u can get away with it. Not every one can handle without Google apps store.

6. raky_b

Posts: 414; Member since: Jul 02, 2014

Dude, I've been using Xiaomi's devices 6 years ago...didn't need Google than, don't need it now. Actually, on my Samsung device, only Google's app that I use is play store, but if I can get apps on other place, I will.

11. Tizo101

Posts: 566; Member since: Jun 05, 2015

Americans seem to think Google services are the most important... The world doesn't care as much

14. Atrixboyyy

Posts: 607; Member since: Nov 03, 2011

Neither of you are average users as your a member of this site. The average consumer has no idea of how to get around not having access to the store.

29. dimas

Posts: 3382; Member since: Jul 22, 2014

Well, goodluck with your new mate 30's chinese installed govt malware monitoring apps. One of the reasons google is heavily disliked by china is because google don't want to be controlled by their government. They even hacked google because they want to know who among china's freedom fighters are criticizing them.

32. mootu

Posts: 1530; Member since: Mar 16, 2017

Thats odd because Google have been working on Project Dragonfly with the Chinese Government for the last 2 years. Once again you are proved to be spouting a load of crap.

26. Fred3

Posts: 561; Member since: Jan 16, 2018

No security updates also so I want to see how this play out

33. mootu

Posts: 1530; Member since: Mar 16, 2017

Of course there will be security updates. Base Android gets security updates just as much as Google services, they can't update one and not the other.

15. iczer

Posts: 160; Member since: Oct 14, 2015

Me too, but without Google Play Store you will not be able to get Facebook, Facebook messenger, WhatsApp, Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat, Spotify and all the most popular apps and games that most of people like.

21. Be_Mine

Posts: 290; Member since: Dec 29, 2013

Are you sure?

28. Subie

Posts: 2388; Member since: Aug 01, 2015

Facebook and YouTube work over a web browser so you can at least take those off your list.

30. drunkenjay

Posts: 1697; Member since: Feb 11, 2013

web browser to watch youtube...yikes

2. rkoforever90

Posts: 463; Member since: Dec 03, 2011

I have watched the presentation looks like they totally destroyed competition in terms of camera.

3. drunkenjay

Posts: 1697; Member since: Feb 11, 2013

also destroyed the presentation with a heavily accented English presenter which most of us could not understand. watched it for 5 minutes and closed the livestream.

9. Ashoaib

Posts: 3298; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

You need to work on your English bro :)

12. maherk

Posts: 6955; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

His English is fine, he's not the 1st to complain about this. Go check the comments under the videos related to the keynote, his accent and his lack of enthusiasm is killing Huawei's keynote. Obviously their CEO loves to be under the spotlight, or else he would've opened the event then let other people explain the features for the crowd.

36. Ashoaib

Posts: 3298; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

I am just suggesting, (as a fun comment) nothing more. Please don't take as personal. I agree with you that the CEO was not a good presenter. He could easily handed the job to a better communicator. Not everyone is good at public speaking.

24. pimpin83z

Posts: 591; Member since: Feb 08, 2019

As does everyone on this website.

34. mootu

Posts: 1530; Member since: Mar 16, 2017

I bet his English is far better than your Mandarin.

35. Ashoaib

Posts: 3298; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

Ofcourse bro... You will win the bet easily. Because I don't know mandrin at all. Anyone's english will ultimately be better than my mandrin, even if that person know few words of English :) Please keep your anxiety down bro and kindly don't bet on useless stuff.

25. pimpin83z

Posts: 591; Member since: Feb 08, 2019

All just based off of the presentation huh? So you're not even concerned with actual real life results?

27. Fred3

Posts: 561; Member since: Jan 16, 2018

I'm wondering about the vulnerability of viruses and malware. I'm not saying it's going to get hit hard but i do want to see how it's going defend itself and it's users. It's like a test subject to me

4. drunkenjay

Posts: 1697; Member since: Feb 11, 2013

No google play store? No thanks

18. oldskool50 unregistered

That actually is the best thing about the device.

7. Xavier1415

Posts: 207; Member since: Feb 26, 2012

No Google no buy

13. Mikele

Posts: 175; Member since: Nov 19, 2013

Possibly HarmonyOS would make the cut before winter for these sleeky devices. - Huawei with Rethink Possiblities!!

16. Methlab

Posts: 23; Member since: Apr 19, 2019

Time to grab a Mate 20 Pro, waiting for promotions

17. oldskool50 unregistered

Everything about the device is cool, except for the notch. As much as I think the S10+ is a better buy vs the latest Note 10's, I just don't want ANY phone that has any obstruction on the display. But I would love to try out that camera though.

19. ALMBO6

Posts: 196; Member since: May 28, 2018

Time to grab a Mate 20 Pro, waiting for promotions

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