You probably know Huawei phones quite well if you’re a budding photographer. The Chinese manufacturer makes some of the best smartphones for taking pictures, whether you’re a seasoned professional or an amateur snapper.
Each uses cutting-edge camera sensors, lenses and post-processing software, thanks to Huawei’s collaboration with camera tech manufacturer Leica, to make them the best camera phones available.
Because of this diversity it can be hard to choose which Huawei smartphone to buy, but that’s why we’ve made this list – so you can run through the strengths and weaknesses of each device, and make an informed decision on which you want.
If you know Huawei phones, you’ll notice two big omissions. First is the Huawei Mate 30, the first handset from the company to launch without Google apps. We’ve got that in our labs right now, to put it through its paces and see if it can hold its own. Second is the Huawei Mate X, the foldable phone Huawei showed off in February 2019. This still hasn’t been released yet, so we’re waiting to be able to get our hands on that.
It’s worth bearing in mind Huawei’s ongoing Android ban, in which Google suspended Huawei’s future access to Android Play Store.
That means for the time being, Huawei’s future is rather uncertain, and while all the devices on this list will still be serviced with updates (Google and Huawei have confirmed), future phones might use a different operating system entirely.
Something else to remember is that Black Friday 2019 is coming soon, with Cyber Monday 2019 just after, so Huawei phones could see some pretty big discounts. Amazon Prime Day 2019 brought with it significant savings on handsets from Huawei, and this will probably be the same for the late-November sales bonanza.
Best Huawei phone 2019 at a glance:
- Huawei P30 Pro
- Huawei Mate 20 Pro
- Huawei P30
- Huawei P20 Pro
- Huawei Mate 20 X
- Huawei Mate 20
- Huawei Mate 10 Pro
- Huawei P20
- Huawei P Smart
- Huawei P30 Lite
Best Huawei phones
1. Huawei P30 Pro
The P30 Pro is the best Huawei phone you can buy right now
Release date: March 2019 | Weight: 192g | Dimensions: 158 x 73.4 x 8.4mm | OS: Android 9 | Screen size: 6.47-inch | CPU: Kirin 980 | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 128/256/512GB | Battery: 4,200mAh | Rear camera: 40MP + 20MP + 8MP + ToF | Front camera: 32MP
Display ‘only’ Full HD
EMUI lacks polish
The Huawei P30 Pro is the best Huawei phone you can buy right now. It’s the best phone we’ve used when it comes to photography with the cameras the P30 Pro’s real party piece, providing staggeringly good 5x and 10x zoom, and a digital 50x zoom with gets you insanely close to objects far off in the distance. Its low-light capabilities are also top-notch.
The large 6.47-inch screen on the P30 Pro may ‘only’ have a Full HD+ resolution, but it’s bright, clear and colorful providing an excellent canvas for your apps and games.
There’s no worry when it comes to the P30 Pro potentially running out of juice, the battery life here is excellent. We regularly got to the end of the day with 30% or more left in the tank.
The P30 Pro not only sets a new standard for Huawei, it sets a new standard for the entire mobile industry. Its cameras are quite simply astonishing, the design is eye-catching and the power plentiful. It’s a true flagship smartphone.
Read more: Huawei P30 Pro review
2. Huawei Mate 20 Pro
The best Huawei phone right now
Release date: November 2018 | Weight: 189g | Dimensions: 157.8 x 72.3 x 8.6mm | OS: Android 9 | Screen size: 6.39-inch | Resolution: 1440 x 3120 | CPU: Kirin 980 | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 256GB | Battery: 4200mAh | Rear camera: 40MP + 20MP + 8MP | Front camera: 24MP
In-screen fingerprint scanner
Great triple cameras
The UI needs refinement
The Huawei Mate 20 Pro is the best Huawei phone you can buy right now, offering up a heady mix of design, power and performance with a few party pieces thrown in too.
It builds on the excellent P20 and P20 Pro, offering up even more screen, enhanced triple rear cameras and an in-display fingerprint scanner.
The Mate 20 Pro packs a huge 6.39-inch display giving you a huge amount of space for gaming and movies, and its QHD resolution and HDR10 support ensures everything looks great. There is a wide notch at the top of the display though.
It also boasts three cameras on the rear, nabbing the excellent 40MP wide-angle and 8MP telephoto lenses from the P20 Pro – but the third sensor is new. It’s an ultra-wide 16MP snapper allowing you to cram even more of your surroundings into each shot.
The Mate 20 Pro is a full-featured phone for a full-featured price – it even has a few tricks you won’t see elsewhere, and more powerful specs than most of its competitors.
Read more: Huawei Mate 20 Pro review
3. Huawei P30
Release date: March 2019 | Weight: 165g | Dimensions: 149.1 x 71.4 x 7.6mm | OS: Android 9 | Screen size: 6.1-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 2340 | CPU: Kirin 980 | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 64/128/512GB | Battery: 3,650mAh | Rear camera: 40MP + 16MP + 8MP | Front camera: 32MP
No wireless charging
P30 Pro is superior
The Huawei P30 has a smaller screen than the P30 Pro, and makes do with just the three rear cameras and a maximum zoom of 30x, but it’s still one of the best Huawei phones around.
With a 6.1-inch display the P30 is a little easier to manage in the hand than its larger sibling, and with a Full HD+ and plenty of colour it’s a top smartphone screen. You can expect to get excellent battery life from the Huawei P30, with the phone often lasting a day and a half on a single charge without issue.
While the three cameras on the rear aren’t quite as good as the four on the P30 Pro, they still offer up an impressive shooting experience with 5x, 10x and 30x zoom and great low-light abilities.
There’s heaps of power, a handy headphone jack (something the Pro can’t boast) and a more manageable form factor for one-handed use. And of course, it’s a little cheaper too.
Read more: Huawei P30 review
4. Huawei P20 Pro
A real pro for photography
Weight: 180g | Dimensions: 155 x 73.9 x 7.8mm | OS: Android 9 | Screen size: 6.1-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 2240 | CPU: Kirin 970 | RAM: 6GB | Storage: 128GB | Battery: 4,000mAh | Rear camera: 40MP+20MP+8MP | Front camera: 24MP
Great battery life
No wireless charging
Minor fizz to the OLED screen
The Huawei P20 Pro may not be Huawei’s latest flagship any more, but it still has a lot going for it, with the highlight being its exceedingly impressive and versatile triple-lens rear camera.
That camera allows for 3x optical zoom and proves surprisingly adept at night shots, which is usually a setting that phone cameras really struggle with.
Other highlights of the Huawei P20 Pro include a big, long-lasting battery, and an even bigger AMOLED screen that delivers vivid colors on a large scale.
The Huawei P20 Pro also has a striking design, with a metal frame and a glass back, that optionally comes in a gradient color scheme that sees the colors shift from purple at the top to a turquoise shade at the bottom.
Like any good flagship the Huawei P20 Pro also has facial recognition, a fingerprint scanner and lots of RAM.
There’s no wireless charging and the chipset isn’t quite a match for some flagships, but it’s not far off, and as a complete package the Huawei P20 Pro can compete with any other handset, as its strong ranking in our best smartphones list attests.
Read more: Huawei P20 Pro review
5. Huawei Mate 20 X
The Huawei phone that thinks it’s a tablet
Weight: 232g | Dimensions: 174.6 x 85.4 x 8.2mm | OS: Android 9 | Screen size: 7.2-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 2244 | CPU: Kirin 980 | RAM: 6/8GB | Storage: 128/256GB | Battery: 5,000mAh | Rear camera: 40MP + 20MP + 8MP | Front camera: 24MP
Long battery life
‘Only’ Full HD+ display
The Huawei Mate 20 X is a smartphone… just. With a huge display, this Huawei phone is actually closer to a tablet that happens to make calls as well.
Despite the size of its display, the tiny bezels mean it’s just about manageable as a phone, and there’s plenty of power and features packed into its large frame.
Folks who want to get the most out of their content, won’t mind being encumbered in favor of having the extra screen real estate and sheer power. The OLED display is vibrant with decent contrast and excellent for watching videos or working on documents.
Gamers will love the zippy performance and extra screen space not obscured by their thumbs. Moreover, the phone can endure pretty much any power-hungry app you throw at it and still comfortably last a day and then some.
Read more: Huawei Mate 20 X review
6. Huawei Mate 20
Weight: 188g | Dimensions: 158.2 x 77.2 x 8.3mm | OS: Android 9 | Screen size: 6.53-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 2244 | CPU: Kirin 980 | RAM: 4/6GB | Storage: 128GB | Battery: 4,000mAh | Rear camera: 12MP+16MP+8MP | Front camera: 24MP
Excellent battery life
Incredible power for the price
Full HD+ screen resolution is low
No IP68 water and dust resistance
The standard Huawei Mate 20 may be worse than the Huawei Mate 20 Pro, but it’s still a strong phone in its own right and it’s cheaper too.
Other than the lower – though still high – price, highlights include a 4,000mAh battery which in our tests delivered excellent life, and top-end power, thanks to the use of an octa-core Kirin 980 chipset and up to 6GB of RAM.
The Huawei Mate 20 also has a triple-lens camera on the back. This isn’t the same selection of lenses as its Pro-level sibling, but still makes for a versatile setup.
And in some ways the Mate 20 actually has the Mate 20 Pro beat, as its 6.53-inch screen is larger, and it has a headphone port, which the fancier phone doesn’t.
Read more: Huawei Mate 20 review
7. Huawei Mate 10 Pro
Weight: 178g | Dimensions: 154.2 x 74.5 x 7.9mm | OS: Android 9 | Screen size: 6.0-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 2160 | CPU: Kirin 970 | RAM: 6GB | Storage: 128GB | Battery: 4,000mAh | Rear camera: 12MP+20MP | Front camera: 8MP
No headphone jack
No wireless charging
While the Huawei Mate 10 Pro landed back in late 2017 it’s still a very strong handset.
And while there are now larger Huawei handsets, this is still a big phone, with a 6.0-inch 1080 x 2160 AMOLED screen giving you plenty of space to enjoy apps, games and video.
As with the P20 Pro, the Mate 10 Pro also has great battery life, thanks to the big 4,000mAh juice pack inside it. And the design, while lacking the flashy colors of Huawei’s newer flagship, still impresses, thanks to a glass back, a metal frame, minimal bezel around the screen and water resistance.
Elsewhere you get a powerful dual-lens camera, loud stereo speakers and exactly the same chipset as the Huawei P20 Pro, making this a surprisingly powerful phone for its age.
Read more: Huawei Mate 10 Pro review
8. Huawei P20
A solid smartphone, but its big brother is better
Weight: 165g | Dimensions: 149.1 x 70.8 x 7.7mm | OS: Android 9 | Screen size: 5.8-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 2240 | CPU: Kirin 970 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 128GB | Battery: 3,400mAh | Rear camera: 12MP+20MP | Front camera: 24MP
Big battery with lots of stamina
No wireless charging
No water resistance
While no match for the P20 Pro, the standard Huawei P20 is still a very strong phone in its own right, and cheaper too.
It has much in common with its Pro companion, including a stylish metal and glass build, a Kirin 970 octa-core chipset, facial recognition and loads of storage.
Plenty more differs though, as with the Huawei P20 you get a dual rather than triple-lens camera, a 5.8-inch 1080 x 2240 LCD screen and a smaller 3,400mAh battery. Still, taken in isolation those are all still very solid specs.
In fact, while neither the camera nor battery is quite a match for the P20’s larger sibling, both are still strong enough for us to praise them in our review. So if you want something slightly smaller and slightly more affordable than Huawei’s headline handset, the P20 is a good option.
Read more: Huawei P20 review
9. Huawei P Smart
The P Smart offers an 18:9 screen for the budget buyer
Weight: 143g | Dimensions: 150.1 x 72.1 x 7.5mm | OS: Android Oreo | Screen size: 5.65-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 2160 | CPU: Kirin 659 | RAM: 3GB/4GB | Storage: 32/64GB | Battery: 3,000mAh | Rear camera: 13MP+2MP | Front camera: 8MP
Large 18:9 screen
Background blur for both cameras
Camera poor at night
Occasional performance blips
The Huawei P Smart is one of Huawei’s most affordable handsets, so its price is definitely a plus, but it wouldn’t be in this list if it was simply cheap.
For one thing, it has an attractive design, with an aluminum back that looks like something you’d expect to pay more for. It also has a fairly sizeable 5.65-inch screen with a trendy 18:9 aspect ratio and a 1080 x 2160 resolution, making it sharp too.
Plus, the Huawei P Smart has a dual-lens rear camera, and though the selfie camera only has a single lens, it and the rear snapper are both capable of background blur in shots.
Performance isn’t perfect, and you sacrifice some features such as fast charging, but overall the Huawei P Smart is a budget beast.
Read more: Huawei P Smart review
10. Huawei P30 Lite
Huawei’s mid-ranger is a notch or two below its brothers
Weight: 159g | Dimensions: 152.9 x 72.7 x 7.4mm | OS: Android 9 | Screen size: 6.15-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 2312 | CPU: Kirin 710 | RAM: 4/6GB | Storage: 128GB | Battery: 3,340mAh | Rear camera: 48MP + 8MP + 2MP | Front camera: 24MP
Mediocre battery life
Despite having P30 in its name, the Huawei P30 Lite is no match for the rest of the range and nor is it a flagship. Instead it’s a mid-ranger, but it’s quite a good one.
For one thing, it looks good, with a glass-backed design that’s similar to the Huawei P30, down to the notch on the front.
It also has a similarly good screen to its pricier sibling, as it has a 6.15-inch 1080 x 2312 display with a pixel density of around 415 pixels per inch.
Plus it has face unlock, a triple-lens rear camera, an octa-core chipset and 4/6GB of RAM. However, this is a mid-range chipset and not as good as the ones some similarly priced alternatives have.
Overall, it’s a solid mid-range handset, but attempting to say it belongs in the same family as the other two P30 devices feels like a little bit of a stretch.
Read more: Huawei P30 Lite review