Honor 30, Honor 30 Pro, and Honor 30 Pro+ hands-on review and differences

Last Update 2020-04-15


Just one day after the OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro were announced, Honor took the wraps off its own new flagships - the Honor 30, Honor 30 Pro, and Honor 30 Pro+. It looks like the company is committed to the Pro+ moniker this year, making it the second such device after Huawei launched the Pro+ model in its P40 series last month. All three new Honor models feature a similar design, which includes an OLED display, a punch-hole camera up front, and a rectangular camera setup at the back. The timing is fitting, as these three phones can be seen as rivals to the OnePlus 8 range. In fact, the Honor range could be seen to be taking the affordable flagship mantle from OnePlus, now that the latter is starting to charge more for its phones. Indeed, Honor - being owed by Huawei - doesn't offer Google apps and services on its devices, making them less appealing rivals than they might otherwise be.

Honor 30 series release date and price

All the three models are up for pre-orders in China and will go on sale for the first time on April 21 at 10:08 AM. As for the price, the Honor 30 starts at 2999 yuan ($425) for the 6GB RAM + 128GB ROM model and goes up to 3199 yuan ($453) and 3499 yuan ($495) for the 8GB RAM + 128GB ROM and 8GB RAM + 256GB ROM models respectively. The Honor 30 Pro starts at 3999 yuan ($566) for the 8GB RAM + 128GB ROM model and goes up to 4399 yuan ($623) for the 8GB RAM + 256GB ROM variant. Finally, the Honor 30 Pro+ starts at 4999 yuan ($708) for the 8GB RAM + 256GB ROM model and goes up to 5499 yuan ($778) for the 12GB RAM + 256GB ROM variant.

Design and display

The Honor 30 series have metal frames and glass backs like so many other phones, with a camera block in the top left corner of the rear. The Honor 30 Pro and Honor 30 Pro Plus are also IP54 certified, providing a small amount of water resistance. Honor 30 weighs just 185 grams and measures 8.1mm in thickness. On the other hand, the Honor 30 Pro and Pro+ models have an 8.38mm body and weigh 186 grams and 190 grams, respectively. So all the three models are pretty lightweight. The company has used a 3D curved back on all three models giving them better ergonomics. The Honor 30 and 30 Pro come in four colors – Neon Purple, Black, Green, and Silver. The Honor 30 Pro+ has just three colors, Black, Silver, and Green. Interestingly, the Honor logo takes up nearly half of the back on all the three models.

As for the screen, the Honor 30 Pro and Pro Plus both have a curved 6.58-inch 1080 x 2340 OLED one with around 392 pixels per inch. There's a dual-lens camera cut-out in the top left corner, but little in the way of bezel and the fingerprint scanner is built into the screen. The standard Honor 30 meanwhile has a flat 6.53-inch 1080 x 2400 display with around 403 pixels per inch and a single-lens punch-hole camera in the top left corner, as well as an in-screen fingerprint scanner. The Honor 30 Pro Plus also has a 90Hz refresh rate for smooth experience. That's higher than the 'standard' 60Hz refresh rates of the rest of the range.

Front and rear cameras

The Honor 30 Pro Plus houses a triple rear camera setup with an impressive-sounding assortment of specs. There's a 50MP f/1.9 main sensor, an 8MP f/3.4 periscope one (offering 5x optical zoom), and a 16MP f/2.2 ultra-wide one. The main and periscope lenses additionally include optical image stabilization (OIS). The company’s high-end phone (Honor P30 Pro Plus) has received the second-highest DxOMark rating by scoring 125 points, which is just slightly below the Huawei P40 Pro.

The Honor 30 Pro, on the other hand, offers a 40MP f/1.8 main sensor, but the other lenses are the same. As for the standard Honor 30, that has a 40MP f/1.8 main sensor, paired with an 8MP f/2.4 ultra-wide one, an 8MP f/3.4 telephoto one and a 2MP f/2.4 macro one. Interestingly, a trio of devices can record 4k and Full HD videos at 30/60fps. Both Pro models record Super Slow-motion videos at 1920fps while the standard Honor 30 records Super Slow-motion videos at 960fps. On the front meanwhile, the Honor 30 Pro and Honor 30 Pro Plus both have a 32MP main sensor (f/2.0) paired with an 8MP secondary one. The standard Honor 30 just has the 32MP (f/2.0) sensor. You can also record 4k videos by using the front camera.

Battery, Software, and Processor

There's a sizeable 4,000mAh battery inside all three Honor 30 models, and they all support 40W fast charging, with the Honor 30 Pro Plus additionally supporting 27W wireless charging. As for the core specs, the Honor 30 comes with the new octa-core Kirin 985 chipset with Mali-G76 GPU. The Kirin 985 is a slightly toned-down version of the Kirin 990 chip, and it received scores over 380,000 points on AnTuTu Benchmark. The Honor 30 Pro and Honor 30 Pro Plus both have an octa-core Kirin 990 chipset (the same as you'll find in the Huawei P40 series). Both the Pro variants have Mali-G77 GPU inside. On the Honor 30 Pro, the chipset is paired with 8GB of RAM and 128GB or 256GB of storage. The Honor 30 Pro Plus arrives with 8GB or 12GB of RAM but only comes in a 256GB configuration, while the standard Honor 30 has 6GB or 8GB of RAM and 128GB or 256GB of storage. The phones additionally have a nano memory card slot, so you can add more storage.

All three Honor 30 models support dual-mode 5G and NFC. The Honor 30 has Wi-Fi 6 while the 30 Pro and Pro+ have Wi-Fi 6+ support. The Pro models also come with VC cooling to ensure better heat dissipation even during long hours of gameplay. The Honor 30 Pro and Honor 30 Pro+ also have stereo speakers with Histen sound effects for an immersive entertainment experience. They run Android 10, but that's skinned with the company's Magic UI 3.1 interface, and comes without the Google Play Store or other Google services and apps.