The MWC consumer technology tradeshow might be cancelled, but that won’t stop Honor from taking to the stage in Barcelona on February 24, 2020. Kicking-off at 5.30 GMT (6.30pm CET), the event is widely-expected to reveal a host of new products from the Huawei sub-brand.
So what can we expect from Honor’s Barcelona showcase? Well, the firm has teased a swathe of incoming devices on its Twitter page. In a post promoting its hardware event, the company posted an image with a load of new tech where you can glimpse new smartphones, a laptop, what appears to be a Chromecast-style dongle, a new smartwatch, and smart home equipment.
It’s a lot. And shows that Honor is planning something much, much more ambitious than its typical smartphone showcase.
By far the most notable item appears to be the Honor V30 series, which was announced and released for the Chinese market at the tail end of last year.
The V30 comes in two primary models: the regular V30, and V30 Pro. Both devices are exactly the same in terms of dimensions, features, and performance – the only difference between the two is the fact the V30 Pro has support for 5G.
Although the V30 series is pitched as being mid-tier, it boasts a number of decidedly flagship features. First up is the device’s processor – the V30 is powered by Huawei’s in-house Kirin 990 chipset, the same as found in the Mate 30 Pro. That means the Honor device should be able to blitz through any number of tasks, including photo editing, graphics-intensive games, and more.
Of course, it wouldn’t be an Honor flagship without a huge focus on the camera. Both V30 and V30 Pro come with a trio of sensors on their rear comprised of a 40-megapixel primary, 8-megapixel telephoto, and a 12-megapixel ultra wide-angle.
While that all sounds pretty standard for most contemporary smartphones, it seems the V30 is truly something special in the photography department, at least according to DxOMark. The French publication – renowned for its smartphone camera reviews – delivered its verdict on the V30 Pro at the start of the year and awarded it a score of 122.
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The Honor V30 series is already available in China
For context, the V30 Pro’s score of 122 is higher than that of the iPhone 11 Pro Max, Galaxy Note 10+ 5G, Huawei P30 Pro and Oppo Reno 10x Zoom to name a few. In fact, the only phones with a higher score than the V30 Pro are the Huawei Mat 30 Pro 5G and Xiaomi’s new Mi 10 Pro.
In particular, DxOMark praised the V30 Pro’s camera system for offering a great night mode, portrait mode and overall detail in photos.
Commenting on the performance of the Honor device, DxOMark said: “In the Photo category, the Honor V30 Pro sits in second place at 133, just behind the Huawei Mate 30 Pro 5G with 134. The main difference between the devices is the occasional autofocus failure on the Honor V30 Pro, but otherwise results across the different Photo sub-categories are close and both devices offer exceptional image quality across the board.
“The Xiaomi Mi CC9 Pro Premium Edition is again third for still photos, but remains the king of zoom performance, thanks to its multiple focal length optics and image pipeline processing.
“Night shooting, bokeh simulation, detail preservation, and exposure are all key strengths for still photos on the Honor V30 Pro. In near-dark conditions, Night mode ensures bright exposures and nice details. Flash portraits at night are also very good, with accurate exposure on the subject and more details in the background compared to the key competition.”
The V30 series is no slouch when it comes to video, either. Both the V30 and V30 Pro can record in up to 4K at 30-frames-per-second.
The design of the V30 series is also pretty striking, even if the phone does look like an amalgamation of some of its rivals. The device comes with a rectangular camera system on its rear, comes in a number of gradient colours that are eerily similar to that of the P30 Pro and has an all-screen design complete with a pill-shaped cut-out for two front-facing cameras à la Galaxy S10+.
By far the biggest disappointment of the device, at least on paper, is the fact it has an LCD display and not an OLED. This means if you’re a huge fan of dark modes you won’t be getting the full battery life benefits because the pixels on the display can’t turn off like they do on an OLED.
One of the biggest question marks about the device concerns its software. If the V30 series is indeed coming to Europe, it’s likely to do so without any support for Google apps and services. That’s because Honor’s parent company, Huawei, is banned from dealing with US companies and therefore getting an Android licence from Google that allows such programmes to come pre-installed on new devices.
The regular V30 starts at 3,299 Chinese Yuan (which works out at roughly £360) while the V30 Pro retails for 3,899 Chinese Yuan (£430). That said, Honor hasn’t announced any European or UK pricing for the device – it’s likely this detail, along with a release date for the device, will be discussed at the Chinese firm’s Barcelona showcase next week.
Honor’s hardware event will kick-start at 6.30pm in Barcelona, or 5.30pm GMT. In addition to the V30 series, the firm has also teased the launch of a new laptop, smartwatch and smart home equipment.