The rest of the P30 Pro's 6.47-inch curved OLED panel is bright and vibrant, and the rounded sides make the phone feel classier than its predecessor. The regular P30 has a flat 6.1-inch screen, so it feels a little less elegant than its larger brother. Both the P30 and P30 Pro have a 2,340 x 1,080 resolution, making the bigger handset slightly less pixel dense. I didn't notice a significant difference in image quality, but I do wish they were both a bit brighter -- they were a little tough to see outside, even on a cloudy day.
Under the screen lies another intriguing piece of technology, though I didn't get to test it out as the company only mentioned it briefly. The P30 Pro will also pack a new speaker feature that will deliver audio through the screen, vibrating the sound to the user. But why? Well it should mean no one else can hear your calls, to start with. Plus, it leaves one less thing to clutter up the front of the phone.
Huawei also uses an in-display fingerprint sensor on the P30s, just like it did with the Mate 20. Instead of opting for an ultrasonic fingerprint sensor like Samsung did on the Galaxy S10s, Huawei is continuing to use an optical scanner, which could be less secure since it only scans an image of your fingerprint instead of actually reading the ridges on your skin. I did appreciate Huawei's helpful onscreen indicators though, and the P30 Pro logged me in pretty quickly -- within a second of my touching the screen.
In fact, the new flagships felt remarkably swift during my hands-on. The Kirin 980 chipset with 6GB of RAM is a beefy combination, but Huawei also worked to improve its EMUI 9.1 software overlay on top of Android 9 Pie. The company said it tweaked its software so that launching an app is now 52 percent faster than before, while the response time of a tap is now 69 percent faster.
These upgrades showed when I launched app after app, and jumped from settings to Google Maps to Chrome. The phone didn't feel like it was simply keeping up, it felt like the P30 Pro was almost pre-empting my moves. Buildings even popped up instantly when I zoomed in on cities in Google Maps. Still, the P30 Pro I was using was brand new, and I expect that over time and with other processes and apps running, the performance will be different.
Huawei also offers a couple of rather specific special software features on the P30s. If you own an Audi car, you can use your P30 as a key via the new Audi Connect digital key. For gym rats, you can pull your information directly from a compatible treadmill into the Huawei Health app, and those who own Huawei laptops can seamlessly send files and record their notebook screens with the OneHop service. These all sound somewhat useful, though their appeal is clearly limited.
Powering the P30 Pro is 4,200mAh battery (3,650mAh on the P30), which Huawei says will last over 24 hours even with heavy use. Plus, with the company's new 40W Super Charge technology, you can get the P30 Pro up to 70 percent in just 30 minutes.
The regular P30 doesn't offer the new fast charging standard, though both phones do offer reverse wireless charging like the Galaxy S10 (and the Mate 20 Pro). With this, you can juice up compatible accessories by placing the device on your phone. I didn't get to test this out so I'm not exactly sure how it works yet, and Huawei hasn't shared what wireless charging standard this is compatible with.
Finally, all this is wrapped up in a gorgeous frame. Huawei's P series is known for its unique and attractive finishes, and the P30s come in an array of gradients that I couldn't help but gawk at. There's the signature Aurora finish that's a white-purple gradient, a green-purple option called "Breathing crystal," a white-pink-yellow flavor called "Pearl white," an orange-red version called "Amber sunrise," and a basic black for the less adventurous.
The P30 and P30 Pro seem like they have a lot to offer. They're powerful, attractive flagships with versatile cameras and some unique features. In the UK, at least, the P30 Pro is priced at £899 for 128GB model, or £1099 for the 512GB model, while the P30 will cost £699 at launch.
But chances are, they'll never make their way to the US. So, best to keep your excitement in check.
Mat Smith contributed reporting.