Opinion | The Huawei Mate 30 Pro may be the ugliest and most inconvenient flagship smartphone of 2019
The Mate 30 Pro looks set to be one of the ugliest, and perhaps most inconvenient, smartphones of 2019. Yes, Huawei is two weeks away from unveiling its next flagship, but leaker OnLeaks has delivered again with a set of Mate 30 Pro renders in collaboration with Pricebaba. Recently, OnLeaks got designs of the Galaxy Note 10 and Galaxy Note 10+ practically spot on save for a few minor details. These Mate 30 Pro renders, which OnLeaks bases typically on leaked schematics or insider information, match the design of the Mate 30 Pro in the recent alleged Mate 30 series launch poster. Hence, these renders, more likely than not, represent what the final Mate 30 Pro will look like.
In short, the Mate 30 Pro looks like a poor imitation of the Mate 20 Pro. Its circular rear-facing camera housing and even larger finish surrounding are obtrusive, while the separate LED flash makes the top of the device look overly busy. Secondly, a gargantuan notch looks outdated in 2019, especially when other OEMs have created uninterrupted displays or ones with small intrusions like Samsung and the Galaxy Note 10 series. While we appreciate that the Mate 30 Pro looks to have a smaller than its predecessor, it remains iPhone-esque wide and adds no additional functionality over a full bezel.
Setting the design aside, recent news about the Mate 30 Pro including the renders posted by OnLeaks and Pricebaba, point to the device being inconvenient too. Firstly, it is currently thought that Huawei will be forced to ship the Mate 30 Pro without Google services, as we reported last week. This should not impact its popularity in China, where Chinese OEMs already release devices without any Google apps or services, but they are ubiquitous for the rest of the Android world. Even if Huawei pushes a day one patch to install the missing services or directs people to its in-house app store, it will make using the Mate 30 Pro a more inconvenient experience than its competitors like the OnePlus 7 Pro or Galaxy Note 10+. Moreover, while curved displays are aesthetically pleasing, they are also impractical. They are more fragile than flat displays and make a device harder to hold without accidentally activating the touchscreen. Additionally, they distort videos, with content flowing over the curves of the display.
Finally, the OnLeaks and Pricebaba renders demonstrate that the Mate 30 Pro has no volume buttons and reinforces a previous leak that claimed the device would have a touch-sensitive volume bar instead. If true, then it will likely be heralded as an innovation, although we have not seen anyone complain about having hardware volume buttons before. Undoubtedly, the Mate 30 Pro will have some of the best cameras of any flagship smartphone and be one the most powerful too, thanks to the Kirin 990 chipset underpinning it. Both will probably turn heads, but the lack of Google services alone may have many peoples looking elsewhere for their next flagship smartphone.
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