Huawei P30 lite review: 48 megapixel smartphone

Following the flagship P30 Pro and the somewhat cheaper, but still expensive P30 model, Huawei released

"light" version.The new product with the lite index, however, looks great and has quite decent characteristics. It is clear that a smartphone for $300 should be very different from its “big brothers” for $800 and $1000. But it must also have some “trick” of its own in order to stand out among its competitors. Huawei P30 lite has a 48-megapixel camera with 2x zoom.

Appearance, design, ergonomics

P30 lite is available in three colors - strictblack, elegant white and with a purple-blue gradient (beautiful, but, frankly, already bored). We got a black copy for the test, and in the “zero picking”, that is, only the smartphone itself, even without a charger. The frame of the case is plastic, the back panel is a black mirror made of a material similar to glass, but very thin. Fingerprint scanner - on the back.


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The case is very thin, stated in the characteristicsThe thickness of 7.4 mm does not take into account the block of three chambers, which protrudes almost 2 mm. The usual silicone case does not protect the camera from contact with the surface, then you need a thicker one.


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All ports (standard audio and USB Type-C)collected on the bottom of the case, there are also a microphone and a multimedia speaker. On the top there is a tray for cards and a second microphone. A hybrid card slot, 2 SIM or SIM + microSD, but 128 (!) GB of internal memory can do without extra if you want to use two SIM cards.


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Display conventional design, without stepping on the sides. The frames around it are thin, the width of the case is comfortable to hold in your hand, but it’s impossible to fully and safely operate the phone with one hand.

An unobtrusive charging and notification indicator perched at the very top of the front panel, under the speaker grille.


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Equipment and functionality

P30 lite (exact model name &#8211;MAR-LX1A) is based on Huawei's own processor - Kirin 710. Four Cortex-A73 cores with an operating frequency of up to 2.2 GHz plus 4 Cortex-A53 cores up to 1.7 GHz and a Mali-G51 video chip with a frequency of 1 GHz, complete with 4 GB of RAM is not top-end, but quite powerful hardware, which is enough for any task. There is also a version with 6 GB RAM.

The cellular transceiver supports all 2/3 / 4G standards and frequency ranges, including Chinese TD-SCDMA (SIM 1 only).

Bluetooth adapter supports "music lovers"aptX and aptX HD codecs, as well as HWA (Hi-res Wireless Audio) is a high-quality Bluetooth transmission technology with a bitrate of up to 900 kb / s, developed by Huawei with the support of Japanese Teac and Tascam companies, but so far it is only supported by Huawei smartphones . (Even Huawei itself has no headphones or other connected devices with HWA.) Of course, the P30 lite has NFC - this technology is no longer a rarity in entry-level smartphones.

A smartphone connected to a Windows-based PC via USB works only in charging mode, in order to see its memory from a computer, you need to install the HiSuite application or search for a separate driver.

The display has FullHD+ resolution (1080×215;2312pixels) and a small teardrop-shaped notch around the front camera. As with other Huawei and Honor models with such a screen, you can either use the entire display, but then the notch will be visible, or hide it by darkening the top of the display. The status bar is in any case displayed at the very top, to the right and left of the camera.


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The film on the display has oleophobic properties. True, they are somehow not very pronounced, but compared to ordinary glass, this coating gets less dirty and easier to wipe. I did not remove this protection, since the company insists that we will use it this way.

The display has two preset colorsmodes are “Normal” and “Vivid”, but I would rather call them “Neutral” and “Cool”. The maximum display brightness in both versions is about 330 cd/m2, the minimum (0.5 cd/m2) is almost the same. In bright sunlight with backlight &#8220;to maximum&#8221; The texts are read more or less normally, but for viewing and taking photos/videos I would like it to be a little brighter. &#8220;Normal&#8221; The mode is closer to the standard based on the measurement results and is simply more pleasing to the eye, we recommend using it:


 

&#8220;Bright&#8221; in all respects it has strong deviations from the norm:


 

Interestingly, in both cases the calibration in the shadows is noticeably worse than in the highlight; we have not seen this unevenness of characteristics for a long time.

Software

The smartphone runs on Android 9 PieEMUI branded wrapper 9.1. Traditionally, Huawei has many pre-installed applications and utilities here, some of them (for example, AppGallery application store) require the use of a Huawei account. Five applications and the camera are available without unlocking, and the swipe down on the unlocked display displays a list of the four most recent applications and a search bar across the entire contents of the smartphone's memory. The interface is fast and stable, there were no failures in three weeks.


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Telephone application is quite standard, withsearch contacts in numbers and letters on the buttons, including Cyrillic. Call recording is not provided. But you can assign to any contact not just a call signal, but a video clip! In principle, it could be done before on any smartphone using third-party applications, but here it is already built into the system.


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Pre-installed applications can be seen in the screenshots below:


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By the way, the function of taking screenshots has additional functions such as editing and creating long screenshots with scrolling.


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How to remove Huawei P30 lite

Well, that’s it, there’s no strength to drag out the intrigue any longer - let’s goLet's deal with the camera. More precisely, with cameras. In general, when you read an advertisement, you just want to check it according to the criteria of the popular Ukrainian site VoxCheck. In the description of almost any product, there is, if not an outright lie, then certainly manipulation. Because when they write “48 MP triple ultra-wide-angle camera with artificial intelligence,” then it’s worth clarifying that 48 MP is one camera, and the ultra-wide-angle is another, with a resolution of “only” 8 MP. So, how many and what cameras does the P30 lite have? There are already four of them:

  1. frontal (24 MP, F2.4) for selfies and video blogs;
  2. the main (48 MP, F1.8) for universal situations;
  3. extra ultra wide angle (8 MP, F2.0);
  4. auxiliary 2-megapixel, which does not take an image, but a depth map for blurring the background in portrait mode.


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Let's start with the most interesting thing - the main camera.Apps like Aida and CPU-Z don't give information about its model, but most likely it is a new development Sony announced last year - IMX586. It has a resolution of 48 megapixels with a diagonal length of 8 mm, a focal length equivalent to 27 mm on a full frame. The pixel size of this matrix is ​​record-breakingly small, really microscopic - 0.8 microns (that is, less than a micron!). The camera can operate in two modes - 48 MP (8000x6000 pixels) and 12 MP (4000x3000 pixels).


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In the second case, as can be seen in the schematicIn the figure, the structure of the matrix in some cunning way (on the Sony website this is explained using the phrase signal processing) is reorganized and single pixels are combined into “superpixels” of 4 pieces each, forming, in fact, an analogue of a regular 12-megapixel matrix with a diagonal of 1 /3&#8243;. Therefore, from the point of view of photo quality, it would be more correct to imagine this matrix “in reverse” - as a 12-megapixel one, in which each pixel can be divided into 4 separate pixels. It is the 12 MP resolution that is set in the default camera settings and is directly recommended for use; in addition, not all shooting modes, effects and functions work in 48 MP:


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Very small pixels of the matrix is ​​a plus only in terms of compactness. As for the quality of the pictures, there are some nuances:

  • The higher the resolution of the matrix at the same size, the more noticeable the diffraction effect &#8211; scattering of light when passing through the lens, which leads to blurring of small details of the image;
  • matrices with small pixels make more noise;
  • smaller pixels are more sensitive to camera shake, making it difficult to get a clear image;
  • The higher resolution of the matrix requires higher-quality optics, which also has such a parameter as resolution. It is unlikely that premium optical glass lenses are installed in the $ 27 photo module.

Therefore, a significant gain in detail maynot to be - we already could see this with the example of Redmi Note 7 Pro. But there the 48 MP mode is a thing in itself, an additional option that you will not even find right away. Here, the matrix with "variable resolution" found additional original application, namely - a two-fold zoom without loss of quality. It works only in the resolution of 12 MP and below. The company compares it with optical, which is true from the point of view of the result, but absolutely does not correctly call it as such, because in reality it is not optical or even zoom, but what is called “crop” in the photo. When you switch the scale in the camera to the 2x position, the matrix switches to the 48-megapixel mode, but only the central part of it is used to capture the image ¼ of the entire area. Thus narrowing the field of view of the camera, creating an effect of approximation. If the camera had a usual 12-megapixel matrix, we would have got a “cropped” 3-megapixel image. But in this case, a quarter of 48 MP are the same 12 million points, only small ones.

There is also a 3x software zoom, whichturns on after 2-fold, as a result, a sixfold increase is obtained. Here, the quality of the image is clearly suffering, since the software zoom simply cuts out a fragment from the frame and counts it for more pixels. Below are the original frame without zoom and fragments of photos of the same scene in 12 and 48 megapixel without zoom, with 2-fold and 6-fold zoom:


 

If you pull the zoom slider in the other direction,The camera switches to super wide-angle mode. In fact, this uses another camera with a resolution of 8 megapixels, switching occurs with a small delay.

Below are fragments of frames taken (leftright) in the resolution of 8 MP (ultra-wide-angle camera), 12 MP without zoom, 12 MP with zoom and 48 MP. Photos are reduced (without cropping) to 1000 points in height, the frame in the lower left corner is 1: 1 (they should be viewed in full-screen browser mode).


 

Notice how much “digital garbage” is onthe last two photos along the lines and around the numbers. This is a consequence of handheld shots, small pixels at the slightest camera shake give microscale. Now put the camera on the ground at about the same distance, fix it and again take a photo with a resolution of 12 MP and 48 MP. So much better: pure colors, smooth lines, readable text:

As you can see, there is still the benefit of 48 MP, butphotographing with this resolution is only necessary to fix the camera well, ideally with a delay of a couple of seconds, because even short shutter speeds of the order of 1/500 of a second cannot guarantee perfect picture clarity.

Sony engineers have managed to build in this matrixthere are also phase focus sensors, thanks to which the camera has a tracking function, that is, to keep the focus on the selected object as it moves in the frame. The autofocus visualization on the display - a round frame-sight is always displayed in one color (not the most noticeable - blue), without showing whether it was possible to bring sharpness or not. There is no sound notification about successful focusing either, and the image itself is not always visible, especially outside in sunlight.

Speaking of sunshine. Since the main camera optics belongs to the super-high-power class, and it does not have a diaphragm, there can be dimming in the most sunny weather - the 1/4000 second exposure may not be short enough (this is noticeable in the photos from the Kiev Sea in the examples). In such cases, it is worth checking the result (if it is not visible on the display, then using a histogram in the image information) and, if necessary, use exposure compensation — either the slider near the focus point for each shot, or set it permanently in the Pro mode, leaving the rest options at the discretion of the camera.

Here's how the main camera of the Huawei P30 lite takes pictures:


 

Examples of shooting with an ultra-wide-angle camera:


 

If you need an even wider viewing angle, go to the menuadditional camera functions and shoot a panorama. The resolution of panoramic images is amazing - in portrait orientation it is approximately 13,500 by 3700 pixels (maximum viewing angle is just under 180°), in landscape orientation it is approximately 12,000 by 2800 (angle up to 120°). Approximately, because the sizes of panoramas vary depending on the “straightness” of the hands of the shooter, that is, on the quality of the shooting when shooting. The small arrow and thin line that need to be aligned when rotating the camera are hard to see on the display in bright sunshine, so getting a perfect panorama on a bright sunny day is difficult.


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Photos from the front camera:


 

All photos are reduced to 1000 points in height. Full-size original photos can be viewed in the online gallery.

There is also an interesting mode "3D panorama". It resembles the shooting of a conventional panorama, but the result is not a static “unwrapped” picture, but a piece of virtual reality, where the panorama can be viewed by turning the phone. Using the same function, directing the camera not outward, but inside the circle, you can remove the 3-D presentation of an object by going around the camera with the camera. You can view the result on the phone in the EMUI gallery or on the Fyuse server (the Panorama command uploads the panorama to the server and inserts a link into your post or post. You can also embed a panorama into a website or blog by copying the finished code. Here are examples of such panoramas:

 

 

Night shooting by default works withautomatic settings, but you can also manually set the sensitivity and shutter speed for the best result. And in Pro mode, which is hidden one level deeper in the additional menu, you can optionally choose a metering method, exposure compensation up to ± 4 steps, a focusing method (including manual) and a color temperature. The range of shutter speeds is impressive - from 1/4000 to 32 seconds! This is quite enough to take photos at night that look almost like they were taken in daylight (of course, the subject should be fixed, and the camera should be fixed).


 

Profi mode settings and other types of shooting:


 

Well developed portrait mode. Here you can not just blur the background, but also choose the type of circles of blur, up to the imitation of the “twisted side” of old lenses, as well as simulate different lighting options. In the portraits taken by the main camera, the borders of the foreground and foreground are determined precisely, thanks to the auxiliary 2-megapixel module, and when shooting with a front-facing camera, which has no place to take a scene depth map, there are both successful selfies and not-so:


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Save “digital negatives” in RAW formatthe camera does not know how, but the smartphone, by and large, is not necessary - its camera should produce a ready-made beautiful picture for prompt sending to Tweeter, Instagram, or a personal blog. Here function AI (artificial intelligence) can help. Behind this loud name lies, in fact, the automatic recognition of typical scenes, such as portrait, landscape or sunset, with adjustment of shooting parameters and subsequent processing.

Maximum video quality - 1080p, 60 fps. The sound is stereo, the overall video bitrate is relatively low - about 15 Mbit / s. When shooting with the main camera, electronic image stabilization works, the frontal function does not have such a function.

Video examples:

Camera functions are not limited to photo andvideo filming. There is also a special mode of augmented reality with the functions of recognizing objects and searching them in online stores, as well as a translator who replaces the original text in a photo with a translation. For the successful work of a translator, it is important to choose the optimal distance to the text, and it works only in portrait orientation.


 

Performance, autonomy and user experience

P30 lite copes with everyday life without any problemstasks (social networks, photo-video, navigation and tracking, streaming audio and video from the Internet). At the same time, it lives on one charge for about a day and a half, sometimes reaching the evening of the second day with 6-8 hours of display operation. Unfortunately, I didn’t have an original charger (9 V, 2 A), and the smartphone was charged in about 3 hours from a regular charger (5 V, 2 A). The strict battery saving mode here is actually not that strict &#8211; It does not automatically turn off mobile Internet and Wi-Fi, and you can choose any applications from a limited set, but at the same time the display resolution is lowered, which will reduce the load on the video core.

Here are the test results for those who like accurate performance:


 

In the dry residue

For almost a month of testing, nothing was noticedany problems with stability, compatibility, etc. &#8211; All installed applications worked as expected. A little annoying, as in other phones with full-view displays, is the location of the voice speaker at the very edge of the body &#8211; It's not very convenient to put it to your ear. The protective film received several scratches from contact with other objects. The frame of the camera unit, on which the phone rests when you place it on the table, is slightly worn &#8211; The thin silicone case from my Oukitel U23, which almost fit, could not protect the overly protruding camera unit from contact with the table and other surfaces.

Overall I liked the device.An interesting camera with a really working zoom and a bunch of additional functions; a pleasant, although not the brightest, display, excellent call quality, NFC, as much as 128 MB of internal memory and a guaranteed day of work with a reserve &#8211; Everything is fine, there’s practically nothing to complain about. As for the 48-megapixel camera, it itself, in my opinion, is not particularly needed in a phone, but the idea with (non)optical (non)zoom &#8211; great move.

3 reasons to buy a Huawei P30 lite

  • excellent balance of price and performance in its category;
  • I want to buy a Huawei P30, but I only have enough money for a lite;
  • the desire to shoot in professional camera mode with manual settings, without selling a kidney.

2 reasons not to buy Huawei P30 lite:

  • the budget is only enough for Redmi Note 7;
  • painful sensitivity to Chinese brands.

SpecificationsHuawei P30 lite

Display
IPS LCD 6.15&#8243;, 1080&#215;2312, 415 ppi

Dimensions
153x73x7 mm

CPU
Kirin 710 (8 cores: 4 Cortex A73 2.2 GHz + 4 Cortex A-53 1.7 GHz), ARM Mali-G51 graphics, 1.0 GHz

Memory
RAM 4 GB, ROM 128 GB + microSD up to 256 GB (hybrid tray)

Camera

Basic 48 MP, F1.8, ultra wide 8 MP, auxiliary (for background blur) 2 MP

Front: 24 MP F2.0

Interface
USB Type-C

Wireless technology
Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n (2.4 and 5 GHz), Bluetooth 4.0

Battery
non-removable, lithium polymer, 3340 mAh

operating system
Android 9.0 (Pie) with EMUI 9.0.1 add-on

SIM card
2 x nanoSIM

The fingerprint scanner
on the back panel

Huawei P30 lite

Marketing model of a “budget flagship” with a 48 MP camera

Although with the flagship Huawei P30 this modelcombines only the marketing name, it is able to prove itself from the best side: NFC and USB-C for technology lovers, support for aptX HD and HWA for music lovers. And, of course, a lot of room for photography, offered by a wide-angle and 48-megapixel camera. In practice, all these megapixels can partially replace the capabilities of the super-smartphone P30. Shooting "night as day" is also possible, but only with a tripod.

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