What you need to know
- The Huawei Mate 30 Pro 5G has upended its LTE variant, as well as the Xiaomi Mi Note 10 Pro, as the best smartphone camera.
- The phone earned a score of 123 on DXOMARK's rankings, up two points from the regular Mate 30 Pro.
- The publication credits the change to software optimizations made by Huawei since the latter phone's release.
DXOMARK's review of the 5G variant of the Mate 30 Pro has termed it the best smartphone camera around, a title that was previously occupied by the 'regular' Mate 30 Pro. The former was able to beat the latter's score of 121 — tied with the Xiaomi Mi Note 10 Pro — by two points, for a total score of 123. The photo and video scores were 134 and 102, respectively.
Of course, the camera hardware found on both the Mate 30 Pro and its 5G sibling is the same, comprising of a 40MP RYYB primary sensor, a 3:2, 40MP ultrawide "cinema" camera, an 8MP telephoto lens, and a 3D ToF module. Those are some of the best in the business, and it shows in DXOMARK's rankings.
Why the difference in the phones' scores, then? As the review rightly points out, it's largely owing to the software optimizations Huawei has made in the nearly three months between the two reviews. DXOMARK credits these tweaks as resulting in the following:
The most important improvements are slightly better detail and noise management as well as a more stable autofocus when using the zoom; generally slightly better results when shooting in very low light, and a wider dynamic range when using bokeh mode. Autofocus, detail, and noise all have been slightly improved in video mode, too. On the downside, the effective focal length of the ultra-wide camera, which in comparison to the competition wasn't too wide on the Mate 30 Pro to begin with, has now been reduced even slightly more by a new anti-distortion algorithm.
Because these are software tweaks, it also means that if you own a Mate 30 Pro, you can still claim to own the best camera in the business since Huawei will likely push its new and improved imaging algorithms to the regular Mate 30 Pro — if it hasn't done so already. Though if you're planning to buy one right now, you might be well served by reading our review of the phone, which we termed 'the best phone you shouldn't buy', thanks to Huawei's ongoing situation with Google services.
A fatal flaw
The best smartphone camera around, minus Google's software.
This is one of the best phones you can buy right now, with amazing battery life, a stunning display, and 3D facial recognition. Its cameras are considered the best in the business, but it lacks the one thing that can make or break a phone in Western markets: the Play Store, and all of Google's apps and services that come with it. The lack of these makes this phone a tough one to recommend, despite its stellar credentials.
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