While we’re still waiting for the Huawei P30 range, it’s the Huawei Mate 30 Pro, set to land later in 2019, that’s likely to be the company’s biggest, best and most exciting handset.
Not much is known about it yet but a few rumors are starting to roll in, all of which you’ll find below. We’ll also be sure to update this article any time we hear any credible new information.
In the meantime, we’ve also come up with a wish list of things that we want from Huawei’s phablet flagship. Things that it might need if it’s going to compete with the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S10.
Cut to the chase
- What is it? The successor to the Mate 20 Pro
- When is it out? Possibly October 2019
- What will it cost? Likely to rival other top flagships
Huawei Mate 30 Pro release date and price
There aren’t any Huawei Mate 30 Pro release date rumors yet, but we have a pretty good idea of roughly when we’ll see it.
Huawei always announces new entries in its Mate range towards the end of the year, and more specifically it announced both the Huawei Mate 20 range and the Huawei Mate 10 in October of their respective launch years.
So an October announcement is our best guess. There’s no guarantee of that, especially as the Huawei Mate 9 was announced in November 2016, but at the very least the Mate 30 Pro will likely be announced in the last few months of 2019, alongside the standard Huawei Mate 30.
There aren’t any price rumors yet either, but the Huawei Mate 20 Pro cost £899 / AU$1,599 (around $1,150) at launch, so it’s likely that the Mate 30 Pro will cost at least that much.
It’s worth noting also that given Huawei’s ongoing issues in the US, the Mate 30 Pro probably won’t be available there.
Huawei Mate 30 Pro news and rumors
The only real Huawei Mate 30 Pro rumor so far comes from a Huawei patent, which shows a phone case with space on the back for extra camera lenses.
You can see the image below and based on that it looks like there could be room for five rear lenses, up from three on the Huawei Mate 20 Pro.
Of course, patents don’t always become real devices, and even if this does get used it might not make it to the Huawei Mate 30 Pro, but it would make sense for Huawei to increase the number of lenses on its flagship, given that a number of other phones are rumored to be doing the same.
Beyond that, we can be confident that the Mate 30 Pro will have a new generation of the company’s top-end in-house chipset.
The current top version is called the Kirin 980 and made its debut in the Huawei Mate 20 range. Based on previous names we can guess that the next one will be called the Kirin 990.
The Mate 30 Pro might also support 5G. It won’t be the company’s first 5G handset – that’s coming at MWC 2019 in late February and is set to also fold, but by late 2019 a number of 5G networks will be starting to launch, so it could make sense to add 5G to a major flagship.
What we want to see
The Huawei Mate 30 Pro is likely to be a powerful, impressive phone, but for it to really stand out it could do with the following things.
1. An improved camera
The cameras on the Mate 20 Pro are generally very good, but in our review we found that shots taken with the ultra-wide-angle lens would sometimes have warped edges.
We also noted that the phone’s HDR skills weren’t a match for some of its top rivals, such as the Google Pixel 3 and iPhone XS, so these are two things that we’d like to see improved for the Huawei Mate 30 Pro.
2. More lenses
While we’re on the subject of the camera, we’d also like more lenses. The three on the back is a good start, but with the likes of the Nokia 9 thought to be getting five lenses there’s always room for more.
This may well happen too, as early rumors suggest that extra rear lenses could be a feature of the Mate 30 Pro.
Similarly, we’d like to see an extra lens on the front of the phone, especially if it can be used to power Apple-calibre facial recognition.
3. No notch
The Huawei Mate 20 Pro is a good-looking phone, but one element that could start to look dated in 2019 is its notch, since phones are starting to arrive with punch-hole cameras instead.
But ideally we don’t even want that for the Mate 30 Pro, what we’d like to see is a truly all-screen design with the camera and sensors somehow built into the screen. That might not be possible, but Huawei is often among the first to show new technology in handsets, so you never know.
4. A slicker interface
One ongoing issue with all of Huawei’s phones is the heavy EMUI overlay the company sticks on top of Android.
We’d like to see the Huawei Mate 30 Pro stay closer to stock Android. Better yet, ditch EMUI entirely and use Android One – which would also ensure software updates could be offered rapidly.
5. An improved in-screen scanner
The Huawei Mate 20 Pro has an in-screen fingerprint scanner and it was among the first phones to sport one. It’s a cool feature but in the Mate 20 Pro’s case it’s not perfect.
It’s only on a small area of the screen, so can be hard to find without first turning the screen on (which brings up an icon). It also isn’t perfect at recognizing prints.
That’s all forgivable since it’s the first generation of the tech, but by the time the Mate 30 Pro launches, Huawei will have had another year to perfect it, so let’s hope it will use the time wisely.
6. A 3.5mm headphone port
Like many phones, the Mate 20 Pro lacks a 3.5mm headphone port, but we’re still not convinced that it’s time to abandon wired headphones.
There are lots of arguments for the convenience of wireless headphones and the fact that the space used for the port could better be used for other things.
This is all valid, but many of us still have wired cans that we don’t want to bury just yet. Some of us also don’t want to have to charge our headphones, and when it comes to sound quality wired can still have the edge.
7. Something new
Most of the things listed above are focused on perfecting the Mate 20 Pro, but what we really want to see for the Huawei Mate 30 Pro is something completely new and exciting.
Some sort of futuristic feature perhaps or a completely new, completely dazzling design. We’ll leave the specifics to Huawei, but in the face of the Samsung Galaxy S10 and the iPhone 11 it’s likely to take more than impressive basics for the Mate 30 Pro to truly stand out.