The Huawei Mate 30 series will be unveiled this week — so read our guide to make sure you’re all clued up before the big day.
Huawei will have a tough job matching its success this year due to the ongoing fallout from the Huawei-Android controversy, not to mention that fact that the Mate 30 launch is sandwiched between the iPhone 11 and Google Pixel 4 launches. But here’s everything we know so far about the Huawei Mate 30 series.
Huawei Mate 30 release date – When is the Huawei Mate 30 out?
Huawei has announced that the new Mate 30 series will launch on Thursday, September 19, at an event in Munich.
The Mate series has traditionally been released in October or November, so the shift to an earlier release date puts the Huawei Mate 30 in direct competition with Apple’s hotly anticipated iPhone 11, which starts shipping the very next day.
How much will the Huawei Mate 30 cost?
As the second of Huawei’s two major flagship launches of the year (the other one being the Huawei P30 series), you can expect the Mate 30 series to command a high price – especially the ‘Pro’ model.
The Mate series is the second of Huawei’s flagship lines, the other being the P-series, and there are flagship prices to match. Last year’s Mate 20 Pro sold for £899, and the standard Mate 20 was priced at £499.
There are several reasons that we expect the prices to rise even higher this year:
- Competition: Apple has raised the price of the iPhone significantly, and Samsung raised the price of the Galaxy Note 10 as well. It wouldn’t be surprising to see Huawei match the competition.
- Previous Patterns: The Mate 20 Pro saw a steep £100 increase on the Mate 10 Pro, so it’s likely that this pattern will continue.
- 5G Integration: The Mate 30 series will likely introduce 5G connectivity, which will probably necessitate a price rise to cover the cost.
Huawei Mate 30 – Performance
Huawei smartphones proudly run the company’s own chips rather than Qualcomm’s industry-dominating hardware — and there’s a reason for that: the Kirin 980, which powered both Mate 20 phones, beat the Snapdragon 845 in many performance metrics.
Huawei has announced that the Mate 30 series will run on the new Kirin 990 chip.
Most importantly, this chip has an in-built 5G modem, which promises greater efficiency than other 5G phones on the market. It can theoretically offer a top download speed of 2.3Gbps, and a top upload speed of 1.25Gbps. A 4G version is also available and likely to be present on the standard Mate 30 and Mate 30 Lite devices.
This chip is still built on 7nm architecture, with the leap to 5nm not expected until next year.
Huawei Mate 30 — Software
Back in May, the US government issued an executive order preventing Huawei from procuring “hardware, software and technical services, except those publicly available via open source licensing” from any US-affiliated companies.
Commonly referred to as the ‘Huawei Android Ban‘, one of its most grievous effects was to prevent the Chinese tech giant from using the Google Play Services-laden build of Android on its smartphones. This could be hugely damaging, not only for the Mate 30 and Mate 30 Pro, but for Huawei as a whole.
In other words, this means the Mate 30 and Mate 30 Pro might not be allowed to run the full version of Android.
Instead, they’ll either have to run a completely new operating system or Android Open Source Project (AOSP), a restricted version of Android that doesn’t offer access to many of the apps Android users rely on on a daily basis.
Which route Huawei chooses remains to be seen, but the company recently said that it doesn’t plan to use anything other than Android on its phones until the end of 2019. That means it’s likely that the Mate 30 series will run Android AOSP.
Here’s the list of Google apps that AOSP doesn’t include:
- Google Play Store
- Google Assistant
- Google Photos
- Google Maps
- Google Drive
- Google Duo
Some of them, like YouTube, are accessible via a web browser, but that’s clearly far less convenient than an app. If this turns out to be the case, the Mate 30 series will be a far less tempting proposition than it was.
Huawei has developed its own new operating system, called Harmony OS, and reports have claimed that a Chinese variant of the Mate 30, called the Mate 30 Lite, will be the first smartphone to run the software.
Huawei Mate 30 – Design and display
We haven’t had many concrete looks at the design of the Huawei Mate 30 with many expecting it to be an incremental upgrade on the Mate 20.
One of the biggest differences is expected to be the camera. The Mate 30 looks set to have a whopping seven cameras – four of the cameras will be housed in a unique circular camera module of the rear of the phone.
Just days ahead of the launch, we’ve got our best look yet at the Huawei Mate 30, Mate 30 Pro, Mate 30 Lite and a very special Mate 30 Pro RS Porsche Design. Let’s take a look:
You can see with the Mate 30 Pro that the display stretches almost to the top of the phone and curves around the sides. Huawei has utilised this design multiple times, so we wouldn’t be surprised if it was used again here.
The Huawei Mate 30 range is particularly interesting this year for the variety of the designs. The Mate 30 Pro is the only device to have a curved display while each phone has a different style of notch.
A collaboration with Porsche is something Huawei has done before but the Mate 30 variant has the most striking appearance yet. The rear of the phone stands out because of its solution to that dreaded camera bump.
The Porsche Edition instead has a long vertical stripe on the back which houses the camera module at the top. The rear of the phone also appears to be covered in leather to emphasise the premium nature of the device.
Huawei Mate 30 – Camera
Both the Huawei Mate 20 and the Huawei Mate 20 Pro were notable for their sophisticated triple-camera setups, which were provided as part of a special partnership with esteemed photography brand Leica.
Naturally, we’re expecting an even more advanced camera effort for the Huawei Mate 30 family, possibly with even more lenses, such as a Time-of-Flight sensor.
GSMArena has published images that show a large central circular camera module. It closely resembles the design of Motorola’s G-series and E-series, and if true would mark a significant design departure from previous models in the series.
In July, Phone Arena spotted an apparently leaked image of the Mate 30 on Chinese social network Weibo, once again showing a circular camera housing, complete with four unspecified sensors and an LED flash.
The report didn’t include which exact sensors are in the housing, but the design is markedly different from previous Mate 30 leaks, which generally feature square camera designs.
Huawei Mate 30 — Battery
According to a leak spread on Chinese social network Weibo, the Mate 30 will have a battery capacity of 4200mAh, and the Mate 30 Pro will have a capacity of 4500mAh. These are impressive capacities that should last you a long time, although they’re just modest improvements on last year’s series (4000mAh and 4200mAh for the Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro respectively).
On top of this capacity improvement, GizmoChina reports that the charging speed is also set for an upgrade. Supposedly the Mate 30 could be capable of 25W wireless fast-charging.