Huawei P30 Lite Camera Review, Test and Samples
If you’re looking at the Huawei P30 Lite, then we’d imagine that one of the biggest pulls for you is the camera setup. Huawei have become synonymous with providing an exceptional photography experience, so, does the P30 Lite live up to expectations?
That triple lens rear setup consists of a whopping 48MP main sensor (don’t forget that this device is under £350!) with an f/1.8 aperture and PDAF, an 8MP ultra-wide-angle lens with a 13mm equivalent focal length and a 2MP depth sensor with an f/2.4 aperture – there’s also a single LED flash on the rear.
It’s important to note that some regions may get the P30 Lite with a 24MP main sensor, however the device we got our hands on was a 48MP sensor!
- 48MP main, f/1.8, PDAF
- 8MP ultra-wide-angle, 13mm (equivalent) focal length
- 2MP depth sensor, f/2.4 aperture
- LED flash
Standard shots taken with the Huawei P30 Lite, no filters applied or AI-enabled, are actually very decent and impressive considering the standing of this device. Whilst the P30 Lite doesn’t have the four cameras of the P30 Pro, the main lens surprisingly offers a higher resolution than the P30 Pro (48MP v 40MP). That said, it doesn’t have the same software capabilities and the lack of Super Zoom is a noticeable omission.
Images shot in this way can be shot in that whopping 48MP and produce an incredibly detailed photo, however when you begin to use effects such as AI, images are shot in 12MP.
The AI tech of the Huawei P30 Lite can recognise 22 different categories, including flowers and food. From this, settings like colour, lighting and contrast are automatically adjusted to produce some very impressive images.
There is a slight difference in terms of saturation between these images and those standard shots, but Huawei have toned this down with the P30 Lite and final results have improved dramatically. Colour reproduction on the whole is very good and the photos we took still look pretty natural.
The lack of a telephoto lens means that the Huawei P30 Lite doesn’t come with the same zooming capabilities of its counterparts, however it can still capture images from distance, comparable to a 2x optical zoom lens.
Hyper sampling lossless zoom tech enhances the 48MP ultraHD lens to be turned into a super zoom lens and the results are really good. Details are still very, very crisp and we cannot fault this one bit.
One of the key features that we do love about the Huawei P30 Lite, is its super-wide-angle lens. This is a feature that we make use of quite a lot here at Clove, and with a 120-degree field of view, the lens is actually a little bit wider than the other two versions.
On the whole, wide-angle images are very good, however there is a slight bit of distortion around the edges of photos as you might expect. If we’re being critical, some images did lose their crispness slightly, particularly when you move from the middle of the image, but generally, we’ve been really impressed with the overall look.
Bokeh & Portrait Photography
Whilst Huawei have ditched the telephoto lens on the Huawei P30 Lite, they have kept the time of flight sensor which is great news if you’re into portrait photography.
This 2MP lens is dedicated to better depth perception and it’s been very quick to kick in in the time that we’ve had with the device. Portrait mode works to blur out the background and isolate the subject in an image and whilst this isn’t accomplished with the same precision as the P30 Pro, the TOF sensor still does a pretty good job.
It’s worth noting that the Portrait mode on the Huawei P30 Lite only applies a bokeh effect to people and so if you want that blurred background on other things, then you will need to use Huawei’s aperture mode.
Aperture mode allows you to blur the background of photos to emphasise subjects that are within 2 metres and again, whilst not up to the P30 Pro, the results are decent.
Alongside this, the Huawei P30 Lite benefits from a dedicated night mode which works in the same way as other Huawei devices.
AI stabilisation works to keep the camera still so that it can take multiple and long exposures of the same low-light moment, combining them together to capture an impressive amount of detail.
Now as you can see here, final results are more than respectable. They’re not quite at the same level as its siblings, but at this price point, we haven’t experienced many better low-light offerings.
If selfies are more your thing, then the Huawei P30 Lite comes with the same front setup as the P30 and P30 Pro; consisting of a 32MP sensor with an f/2.0 aperture.
On board AI tech beautifies self-portraits based on your unique face shape and type, supposedly mapping the contours of your features and creating a custom algorithm to ensure that you always show your best side. The processing is a little too much for some, however is certainly an improvement over other mid-range Huawei devices.
The AI can also recognise more than 8 different categories through the front camera, adjusting the background accordingly. You can also blur out backgrounds by enabling bokeh through the camera app or add depth after the photo has been taken.
When it comes to video, the Huawei P30 Lite can record in 1080p at 60 or 30fps with electronic image stabilisation, which is more than passable but doesn’t compete with most flagships.
Super-slow motion allows you to capture 16x slow motion, in 720p at either 120 or 480fps. Unlike the standard slow motion mode in which there is no length limit, this is restricted and is sandwiched by two periods of normal time movement.
Other notable features include time lapse, which takes a photo every few seconds before animating them together to give a 720p video file, as well as light painting, which is a fun artistic feature that is best utilised in dark scenarios and AR Lens.
On the whole, we really don’t think you’re going to find a better smartphone photography experience at the price point than the Huawei P30 Lite. Images are crisp and full of detail and colour reproduction is very, very good. AI tech is at the heart of Huawei’s photography and with the P30 Lite, this is far more natural.