Huawei P30 Launch Event: New Phones, Watches, Headphones and More

Huawei’s P30 Pro is grabbing the headlines from the Chinese company’s launch event in Paris today (March 26). But it’s not the only new hardware from Huawei on display. In addition to this new flagship and its four rear cameras, Huawei also showed off a less expensive version of the P30, a new set of wireless headphones, a smartwatch and other accessories.

The big takeaway? Huawei may be persona non grata in the U.S. where it’s feuding with the government and getting the cold shoulder from carriers. But the Chinese electronics giant still wants to make noise that reverberates around the rest of the globe.

Here’s a closer look at everything Huawei announced.

The Huawei P30 Pro

It’s been a year since we saw the debut of the Huawei P20, and now we have seen the new P30 lineup, the Chinese company’s attempt at reinventing the photography-oriented smartphone. And in many ways, the top-of-the-line Huawei P30 Pro looks like an exciting piece of technology.

The rear camera array now contains four sensors, including a 5x lossless optical zoom lens and a TOF sensor, along with a 20MP ultra-wide lens and a 40MP main camera with a “super spectrum sensor”, which is promised to brighten photos exponentially.

With a Kirin 980 at its heart, a 6.47-inch display, a 32MP selfie camera and a 4,200 mAh battery, the P30 Pro has all the components it needs to put up a strong fight for the affections of dedicated and amateur smartphone photographers.

It comes in three variants, all with 8GB of RAM, but with either 128GB, 256GB or 512GB of storage. Prices are €999, €1,099 euros and €1,249, respectively.

Read our hands-on with the Huawei P30 Pro.

Huawei’s Standard P30 Is Worth Getting Excited About Too

The normal P30 isn’t as fully featured as its Pro sibling, but will fit in well alongside other affordable flagship phones such as Samsung’s Galaxy S10E. The P30 loses out on the TOF sensor, and sees downgrades to the ultra-wide and telephoto lenses the Pro enjoys, and has a smaller display and battery too. The P30 comes in a single 6GB RAM/128GB storage model, and costs around $902, or £602, when converted from the price in Euros.

The P30 still has a lot in common with the P30 Pro, though, including Huawei’s new 40MP sensor and all the AI and photo processing software that helps power the Pro’s abilities. It’s pretty likely that even this more basic version of the phone will still be highly desirable in a smartphone market that’s just getting more and more expensive at the top end.

The Huawei FreeLace Wireless Headphones

While the P30 grabbed the spotlight at Huawei’s event, the company’s new in-ear wireless headphones, the €99 ($112, £85) FreeLaces, look equally packed with unique features.

Huawei designed the FreeLace with a focus on ease of use, by including a USB-C plug for charging and Bluetooth pairing within the body of the headphones themselves. The magnets which attach the two earbuds together possess control functions, able to play and pause your music, or answer and end a phone call. They’re also constructed of silicon for comfort, but with a flexible metal core that will keep them in the shape that you set them.

The promised battery life is considerably lengthy - 18 hours of playback and 12 hours of talk time. Huawei says that a combination of engineering and software will make the FreeLaces sound great even with significant wind noise around you. It might be time to start treating Huawei’s audio ventures as a serious contender to more established headphone makers.

Huawei also has a new variety of true wireless earbuds. The Freebuds Lite come with stereo sound, a 12 hour battery life with the battery case, and are IPX4 rated. They cost €119 ($134, £102).

Read our hands-on with the Huawei FreeLace.

Huawei Watch GT

Huawei announced two new editions of its smartwatch, the Watch GT. The Active edition has a 46mm face like the previous Classic and Sport versions, and is available in a new titanium grey color, has a two-week battery life, and costs €249 ($281, £212)

The new 42mm faced Elegant edition costs €229 ($258, £195) is made of ceramic, available either in Magic Pearl White or Tahitian Magic Black Pearl, and can last for one week on a full charge.

There’s now a new triathlon mode as part of the GT Watch’s fitness features, which lets you record all three parts of an event as a single session . Triathlon mode will be available on the two new models, and will come in a software  update to older versions. Both the new models also feature flouroelastomer straps, which are durable but comfortable to wear.

Huawei SuperCharge Power Bank

To make sure all these new devices are kept topped up when you’re on the move, Huawei have introduced the 12,000 mAh 40W SuperCharge power bank. With it, you can charge your phone and laptop at the full 40W, a Nintendo Switch at 39W (the same as the charger the console ships with) and, of course, other phones.

Huawei’s Consumer Business Group CEO Richard Yu proudly said on stage that this power bank could charge an iPhone X faster than Apple’s own in-box charger. (The SuperCharge powers up the iPhone at 18W instead of 5W). The SuperCharge Power Bank will cost €99 ($112, £84)

Gentle Monster Eyewear

Smartglasses have yet to take off, despite some valiant attempts. Huawei’s decided to try out another partnership, this time with eyewear makers Gentle Monster, to give its effort an edge. The result is some of the most average-looking smartglasses you’ll see, sporting no external buttons or speakers. Instead, the Gentle Monster glasses are controlled by tapping the legs of the spectacles, with the help of a digital assistant to do your bidding and tell you what you need to know.

The Huawei - Gentle Monster Eyewear glasses are expected to be released in July 2019, so keep an eye out for updates as we learn more about Huawei’s new take on smart eyewear and what it will cost.

Image Credits: Tom's Guide

Richard Priday
Assistant Phones Editor

Richard is based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.