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Huawei P30 Lite vs P30 Pro in 2021: Which Should You Buy?

author Luis Silva (May 2020 Updated: August 2021 - 6 min. reading time)

The P30 Pro is more expensive than the P30 Lite, but it also has better specs.

It has better performance (+86%), better cameras, water-resistance, and better battery life.

What else sets them apart?

With the P30 Pro, you'll also get an AMOLED, Always-On, larger (+0.3") display, better peak brightness, optical image stabilization, a telephoto lens (+108 mm), faster-charging speeds (40w vs. 18w), wireless charging, reverse wireless charging, more RAM (6GB vs. 4GB), and Bluetooth 5. But the P30 Lite brings a lightweight body (33 g./1.16 oz less) and a headphone jack.

How much more will the P30 Pro cost me?

If you're not considering going for a carrier subscription, it'll cost you around $400 more.

Is the P30 Lite still worth getting in 2021?

The P30 Lite is a good value for the money in 2021, but I can't recommend it. There are better options out there, like the Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite, as it will offer you better performance, more security updates, faster charging, more RAM, an AMOLED display, and 4K video recording.

Is the P30 Pro still worth getting in 2021?

It's 2021. Just skip the P30 Pro. If you want good cameras, good battery life, optical zoom, and fast charging, then fine. But if you prefer better performance, better cameras, and more security updates, there are other options. Just check other phones like the Apple iPhone 12 too.

Just keep reading if you want to know everything about them, how they differ from their competition, and you'll know how the tech experts evaluate their specs.

Check prices on Amazon Check prices on Amazon
Click here or scroll down to check prices on eBay, BestBuy, and Walmart.

I earn a small fee from qualifying purchases. It doesn't affect the price you pay nor my opinions.

Huawei P30 Lite, Huawei P30 Pro

Photo by Joel & Jasmin Forestbird on Unsplash

CONTENTS

Click on one of these
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Introduction

Is the P30 Lite good enough if you're aiming for the P30 Pro?

Let's find that out.

In March of 2019, Huawei launched its P30 Pro. The P30 Lite, however, saw the light of day one month later.

We've run down the specs, design, price, and much more in this guide to help you choose between the P30 Lite and the P30 Pro.

If you're considering the P30 Lite, it probably already lost it's security updates.

The weight of each section

For additional information regarding our smartphone comparisons, check this FAQ.

to check who their rivals are.

Price*
vs.
Device P30 Lite P30 Pro
Release Date 2019, April 2019, March 0y.
OS Updates 2 years 2 years 0y.
Security Updates 2 years 2 years 0y.

*Reference: 100: Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra.

Which One Has The Best Performance?

Geekbench 5 scores the P30 Pro 86% ahead of its sibling in the multi-core ranking. Even if you don't value a smooth device that much, be aware of that difference, as it will be very noticeable.

You should know that performance-wise, the P30 Lite is below the norm if you consider related-priced phones. It got a score of 1281, compared to the usual 1747, or close to that.

We can label the P30 Lite as a low to mid-range and the P30 Pro as a lower high-end.

Performance*
vs.
Features P30 Lite P30 Pro
SoC Hisilicon Kirin 710 Hisilicon Kirin 980
Graphics Mali-G51 MP4 Mali-G76 MP10
Geekbench 5 Score 1281
2378
1097
OS Android 9 (Pie) Android 9 (Pie) and EMUI 10
Tek-Score
4.1
6.0
1.8

*Reference: 100: Apple iPhone 12.

Which Phone Has The Best Display?

Huawei P30 Lite front transparent png Huawei P30 Pro front transparent png

The P30 Pro's display does stand out, and you'd be able to tell the difference. Although the P30 Lite has better glass protection.

Most similarly priced devices average at 619 nits, but the P30 Lite stays at 163 nits below that.

Usually, anything below 500 nits isn't your best option for HDR content and outdoor readability. Relating to HDR:

Considering the P30 Lite, just know that 81% of its rivals have an AMOLED screen. On the other hand, only 12% of them feature Gorilla Glass 6 or Victus.

Concerning the P30 Pro, just so you know, 90% of its rivals can play HDR content and have an Always-On display, and 97% have an AMOLED screen.

Display Density (DPIs)*
vs.
Features P30 Lite P30 Pro
Size 6.1
6.4
0.3
Screen Type LCD AMOLED
Resolution (px) 1080x2312
1080x2340
30240
Refresh Rate 60hz 60hz 0
Dots per Inch 418.33
402.69
-15.64
Always-On-Display No Yes
Notch Teardrop Teardrop
Peak Brightness 456 nits
605 nits
149
HDR - HDR10
Sub Tek-Score
1.8
7.9
6.1
Protection Aluminosilicate glass -
Tek-Score
3.0
2.8
-0.3

*Reference: 100: Sony Xperia 1 II.

Which Phone Has The Best Cameras?

Huawei P30 Lite back transparent png Huawei P30 Pro back transparent png

The Huawei P30 Pro should have an overall better camera.

You should be aware that the 48 MP shooter is market dependent, so when you buy, make sure that the smartphone is compatible with your carrier.

About the P30 Lite: I would've loved it if DXOMARK reviewed this camera, but by doing some math, it scored 94*. If you add its wide-angle lens, it'll get 104** points.

I hope this helps: you should know that 85% of its rivals can record videos in 4K or more, and all have an ultra-wide-angle lens. Although only 19% of them come with a telephoto lens, and only 23% of them come with Optical Image Stabilization.

What this picture-taking powerhouse is known for in the tech world is it's 50x hybrid zoom. While not being as good as a genuine 50x optical lens, thanks to AI, it is much better than the traditional digital zoom.

About the P30 Pro: DXOMARK has rated this camera with a score of 122. And if we consider the telephoto and wide-angle lenses, we end up with a score of 137** points. If you want to know more about every tidbit, check it here.

Furthermore, if you must know, all of its rivals can record videos in 4 or 8K and have an ultra-wide-angle lens, and 93% feature Optical Image Stabilization. Regardless, only 21% of them feature a macro lens.

Considering this score, we can classify the P30 Lite as mid-range and the P30 Pro as high-end.

Just in case it's a deciding factor, the P30 Pro telephoto lens is, on average, 65mm higher than what you'd get on related-priced phones.

*I do recommend DXOMARK's reviews. Unfortunately, they don't test every smartphone camera out there. So what do I do? I do my best to get a comparable score by evaluating hardware specs only (sensor size, Aperture, HDR, OIS, Lenses, and so on). As of now, you can expect a 2 points (more or less) error threshold.

**This score still needs improvement, especially with cameras with less than 40MP and no telephoto lens. They just revised their formula, and I only have few reviewed devices to deduce a compatible score.

Picture Quality*
vs.
Primary Camera P30 Lite P30 Pro
Megapixels 48
40
-8
Aperture 1.8
1.6
-0.2
Lens 27mm
27mm
0
Lens Type Wide-Angle Wide-Angle
Flash 1 2 1
HDR Yes Yes
OIS No Yes
Video 1080 2160 1080
Score 104
137
33

*Reference: 100: Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra.

Extra Camera(s) P30 Lite P30 Pro vs.
Megapixels 8
8
0
Aperture 2.4
3.4
1.0
Lens 17mm 125mm (5x zoom)
108
Lens Type Wide-Angle Telephoto lens
Megapixels 2 20 18
Aperture 2.4 2.2 -0.2
Lens - 16mm
Lens Type Depth Sensor Wide-Angle
Score 10 15 5
Selfie Camera P30 Lite P30 Pro vs.
Megapixels 24
32
8
Aperture 2.0
2.0
0.0
Lens 26mm 26mm 0
P30 Lite P30 Pro vs.
Tek-Score
6.1
8.1
1.9

Who has the best frame?

I'd go for the P30 Pro for its number of color options and water resistance.

The P30 Pro is 33 g. (1.30 oz) heavier than its sibling, which sits at 159 g. (5.61 oz). If you're looking for a lightweight device, the P30 Lite has a "weight to screen size" score of 7.6, meaning it's one of the lightest phones for its display size. The P30 Pro, on the other hand, has 4.5, so nothing to state here.

The P30 Pro is resistant to water up to 1 to 3 meters. That should be for up to 30 minutes, and it's freshwater in standby mode only.

Looks*
vs.
Body P30 Lite P30 Pro
Size 152 x 72 x 7 mm
(5.36 x 2.54 x 0.25 in)
158 x 73 x 8 mm
(5.57 x 2.58 x 0.28 in)
15664
Weight 159 g. (5.61 oz)
192 g. (6.77 oz)
33
Build Front and back glass Front and back glass
Colors Peacock Blue, Pearl White, and Midnight Black Aurora, Breathing Crystal, Amber Sunrise, Misty Lavender, Pearl White, Black, and Mystic Blue
Screen To Body Ratio 84.11%
87.17%
3.06
Disp.Size To Weight Score 7.6 4.5 -3.1
Looks 8.5/10
10.0/10
1.5
Waterproof - IP68
Biometrics Fingerprint Under Display Fingerprint
Tek-Score
3.5
7.5
4.0

*100% = 4+ colors + front and back glass + S2BR: 86+%.

Which has the best battery?

The P30 Lite does have a smaller battery, with 3340 mAh, while the P30 Pro has 4200 mAh. And as claimed by GSMArena, the latter is the winner here.

What's even better, the P30 Pro can also easily defeat most devices. Actually, it may even be on our top 10 for battery life.

Fast charging on the P30 Pro does stand out. Its competitors can only do about 31w.

Battery*
vs.
Features P30 Lite P30 Pro
Capacity (mAh) 3340 4200 860
1h Talk + 1h Web + 1h Video 82% left
84% left
2
1h Talk + 3h Web + 1h Video 68% left
70% left
2
1h Talk + 1h Web + 3h Video 66% left
74% left
8
Bat. To Phone Size Score 6.0 5.3 -0.7
Sub Tek-Score
7.2
7.6
0.4
Fast Charging 18w
40w
22
Wireless Charging No 15w
15
Reverse Charging No 2.5w
2.5
Tek-Score
6.2
7.6
1.4

*Reference: 90: Samsung Galaxy A31.

Which has more storage?

There isn't a winner here.

The P30 Lite has 128GB of internal storage and 4GB of RAM. Furthermore, other devices from this budget usually have more RAM but less storage. They're closer to 84Gb of storage and 6GB of RAM.

Storage*
vs.
Features P30 Lite P30 Pro
RAM (GB) 4GB
6GB
2
Internal (GB) 128GB
128GB
0
Micro SD microSDXC (shared SIM slot) Nano Memory (shared SIM slot)
Tek-Score
7.5
7.5
0.0

*Internal Storage + 256GB Memory Card (Max: 512GB).

Which is the most connectivity-friendly?

I'd go for the P30 Lite if you really value a headphone jack.

You can connect them to LTE networks. Do you want 5G on your next phone? Then, you may want to check the Oppo Find X3 Lite.

Connectivity
vs.
Features P30 Lite P30 Pro
Network LTE LTE
Bluetooth 4.2
5.0
NFC Yes (market dependent) Yes
3.5mm jack Yes No
Tek-Score
6.9
3.6
-3.3

Which is more affordable?

Here are the prices that we've come across recently:

Huawei P30 Lite

Reference: $280

Huawei P30 Lite

Huawei P30 Pro

Reference: $680

Huawei P30 Pro

I earn a small fee from qualifying purchases. It doesn't affect the price you pay nor my opinions, but it will mean a lot if you click on one of these buttons before purchasing your next phone (or whatever else you end up buying). You'll be helping to take this to the next level.

Prices on eBay are in $US but Europe-based. You can click to check the prices in your country.

Prices marked with ! are from renewed/refurbished/carrier-locked phones (except eBay prices that, as a last resort, can be from bids or used devices).

How much of a "phone" can your money buy?
That's how much "score" you can get with $100 based on the global score that you'll see in the next section (higher is better).

Have you found better prices elsewhere? The formula is simple: score/price*100.

Value for money P30 Lite P30 Pro VS
Amazon - 1.07 -
eBay 1.56 - -
Best Buy - - -
Walmart - - -

Also, don't forget to check the latest deals from these four stores, and the state of the art on mobile technology, if you don't want to overpay on your next smartphone.


Related articles:


Best smartphone deals


The Best Unbiased Smartphones For All Budgets


Smartphone Specs Statistics: The State Of The Art (Q1 2021)

Are you ready for that final score? We're almost there. For reference purposes, I'll tell you where most of its rivals average. It's 5.7 for the P30 Lite and 7.0 for the P30 Pro.

Verdict: What Makes the Huawei P30 Pro Stand Out?

As you may have guessed, they're not the same, and, in my opinion, they don't share that many features too.

It's hard to recommend the P30 Pro because, for some unknown reason, Huawei decided to exclude even the P30 Lite's Aluminosilicate glass protection.

That being said, if you want one of the best cameras out there, or if you just value performance, the P30 Pro is the one. You'll also get an AMOLED display, the Always-On display feature, and a better overall battery (with fast wireless charging and reverse charging). But you'll lose the 3.5mm audio jack, and you'll get a considerably heavier device. You'll also be going to have to pay some extra bucks if you want to add some storage to it.

Pros P30 Lite P30 Pro
#1 Cameras AMOLED
#2 Fast Charging Always-On-Display
#3 MicroSD Slot Cameras
#4 3.5mm Jack Battery Life
#5 Fast Charging
#6 Wireless Charging
#7 MicroSD Slot
Cons P30 Lite P30 Pro
#1 AMOLED Weight
#2 Always-On-Display 3.5mm Jack
#3 Wireless Charging Price
#4 Glass Protection
Relative Score*
vs.
Global Score P30 Lite P30 Pro
Gaming Score
3.8
6.2
2.4
Tek-Score
5.45
6.42
0.97
Your Score

Scroll the sliders down below to get your own personalized score. Let's suppose you value performance and battery life, and you don't really care about anything else. Then, just set the "Performance" and the "Battery" sliders up to 5 (5+5=10), and then the other sliders down to 0. You'll know what's the best phone for you.

Performance 1.9
Display 1.7
Cameras 1.4
Frame 0.9
Battery 1.9
Storage 2.0
Connectivity 0.4
Total Should be 10 or as close as possible: 9.6

*Reference: 100: Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra.

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About me

Hello!

My name is Luis Silva, and I have a degree in computer management. Ever since I was a teenager, I've loved everything to do with tech. Music, pictures, video editing, I've done it all! This site is a place for me to share some of the knowledge I have, as well as keep up-to-date with current trends. This is a wonderful place for tech-geeks and everyone else that just want to learn more about tech and smartphones in general.


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Huawei P30 Lite Related Comparisons


Huawei P30 Pro Related Comparisons

×

"Display size to phone weight" ratio explained

This indeed is a "display size to phone weight" ratio, but because every phone ended up somewhere between 0.0272 and 0.0421, I've amplified (adapted) those values so they would fit in a 0-10 scale. As of now, the best smartphone is the Samsung Galaxy A40, with 140g. (4.94 oz) for a 5.9 inch display. It got a score of 9.92. While the worse device is the iPhone 8 Plus, which weighs 202 g. (7.13 oz) and has a 5.5-inch display. It ended up with a score of 0.75.

Please, be aware that this score is subject to change if and when a new smartphone comes along that ends up being outside of this scale.

×

"Battery to device size" ratio explained

This score should give you an idea about the energy footprint of the devices you're considering. It reflects not only the hardware and the energy that it requires but also the amount of energy that the battery can deliver.

The major spenders on any device should be the display and the SoC. But everything from a notification led to its modems need to be optimized, or else, the OEM should simply include a bigger battery as a compensation. Unfortunately, it isn't always possible due to size limitations. But in the end, if a particular OEM can do a good job and give you excellent battery life on a small device, so should everyone else. That's why I've added a "battery to device size" ratio. But since the real scale went from 119 (for the Galaxy S10e, Snapdragon variant) and up to 164 (for the iPhone 7 Plus), I've decided to convert them so they would fit in a 0-10 scale, being 0 the worst device, (the iPhone 7 Plus) and 10 the one every OEM should look up to.

As an example, Apple did an excellent job on the iPhone 7. It has a score of 8. Despite having a small capacity, the hardware is well optimized, and it still gives you decent battery life considering its size. The iPhone 7 Plus, on the other hand, with those bezels shrinking its display size, clearly could've been the #1 in our top 10 list of best battery devices if Apple simply filled all that empty space with a bigger battery.

As a side note: I haven't included the dept of the devices in this formula because even if a device ended up being 1mm/0.03 inches thicker, it wouldn't matter that much to those who really value battery life.

Please, be aware that this score is subject to change if and when a new smartphone comes along that ends up being outside of this scale.

×

Rivals

As of now, these are the rivals that were considered for each of them. They may change every time its prices are updated.

These are the lowest prices found on Amazon, eBay, BestBuy, and Walmart.


 Huawei P30 Lite 
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy A50
    $265
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy A70
    $255
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy A40
    $240
  • XiaomirivalMi 9T
    $270
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy M30s
    $300
  • XiaomirivalPocophone F1
    $250
  • ApplerivaliPhone 7 Plus
    $260
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S9
    $305
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20+ EX
    $329
  • OnePlusrival7T
    $329
  • RealmerivalXT
    $290
  • ApplerivaliPhone 7
    $250
  • OnePlusrival6T
    $300
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S9 Plus
    $305
  • HuaweirivalMate 20
    $285
  • XiaomirivalMi 9 Lite
    $317
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S10 Lite
    $299
  • XiaomirivalMi 9 SE
    $250
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy A51
    $280
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy A31
    $225
  • OnePlusrivalNord N10
    $299
  • XiaomirivalMi 10T Lite
    $325
  • XiaomirivalPoco X3 NFC
    $230
  • XiaomirivalRedmi Note 10 Pro
    $255
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy A32
    $252
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy A42
    $299
  • XiaomirivalPoco X3 Pro
    $243
  • XiaomirivalRedmi Note 10 Pro Max
    $292
  • XiaomirivalMi 9t
    $270

 Huawei P30 Pro 
  • ApplerivaliPhone 12
    $689
  • SonyrivalXperia 1
    $688
  • SonyrivalXperia 5
    $649
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy Note 10+
    $565
  • ApplerivaliPhone X
    $579
  • ApplerivaliPhone 11
    $575
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy Note 9
    $598
  • ApplerivaliPhone 11 Pro
    $684
  • ApplerivaliPhone XS Max
    $650
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S10
    $499
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S10 Plus
    $689
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S10e SD
    $499
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S10+ EX
    $689
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20 EX
    $697
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20 SD
    $535
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20+ SD
    $535
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S10 SD
    $499
  • OnePlusrival7T Pro
    $503
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20
    $697
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20 Plus
    $600
  • HuaweirivalP40
    $666
  • OnePlusrival8
    $480
  • XiaomirivalMi 10 Pro
    $600
  • GooglerivalPixel 5
    $580
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S21 Plus
    $600
  • XiaomirivalMi 10T Pro
    $480
  • OnePlusrival8T
    $549
  • XiaomirivalMi 10
    $529
  • OpporivalReno4 Pro
    $594
  • SonyrivalXperia 1 II
    $650
  • XiaomirivalMi 11
    $698
  • OnePlusrival9
    $551
  • OpporivalFind X3 Lite
    $554
×

Formula deviation

Since the guys at DxoMark don't review every camera out there, I've come up with a formula based on the ones that they do rate, so I could get an equivalent score for the ones they don't review. After testing it against these cameras, I got the deviation between that and their DxO score.

Device: DxOScore Deviation
Samsung Galaxy A50: 88 -1
Apple iPhone XR: 104 1
Xiaomi Mi 9T Pro: 108 -7
Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro: 87 1
Sony Xperia 1: 99 -1
Sony Xperia 5: 101 1
Samsung Galaxy Note 8: 100 0
Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus: 126 2
Apple iPhone 8 Plus: 96 -3
Xiaomi Pocophone F1: 92 -1
Apple iPhone 7 Plus: 90 -1
Apple iPhone X: 101 3
Apple iPhone 11: 112 -1
Samsung Galaxy Note 8: 100 0
Samsung Galaxy Note 9: 107 1
Apple iPhone XS Max: 110 -2
Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max: 124 1
Samsung Galaxy S10: 124 2
Apple iPhone XS: 110 -1
Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus: 120 -2
OnePlus 7 Pro: 122 0
OnePlus 7T Pro: 122 0
Huawei P30 Pro: 125 -1
Google Pixel 4: 117 0
Google Pixel 3: 103 0
Google Pixel 2: 100 0
Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus: 127 -2
Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra: 132 2
OnePlus 6: 100 0
OnePlus 6T: 101 1
Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus: 105 -1
Huawei Mate 20 Pro: 120 0
Xiaomi Mi 9: 115 0
Huawei Mate 30 Pro: 132 0
Huawei P40 Pro: 140 -1
Apple iPhone SE 2: 101 0
OnePlus 8 Pro: 126 0
Xiaomi Mi 8: 105 1
Samsung Galaxy A71: 89 1
Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro: 134 0

As you can see, most cameras sit between 1 and -1, while a few of them go up to 2 or -2. That means it's reasonable to assume other similar cameras that they don't review to, in the worst-case scenario, be anywhere from -2 to 2 points from the score that the formula gets.

For example: Given that the Pixel 4 got 117 points and that the Pixel 4 XL share the same year and camera specs, it's reasonable to expect a score of 117 too. But in reality, if they do review that camera, it may end up anywhere between 115 and 119.

Be aware that at DxO, they give a score based on their opinion, not based on any formula. That's why I think there's an odd difference of 6 points between the iPhone 8 Plus and the iPhone X. In theory, they should have the same camera.

I'm guessing that the Mi 9T Pro got a deviation of 7 points because they tested its Chinese variant (the K20 Pro).

Update: They just changed their protocol to include preview image evaluation and trustability. I'm keeping the old table (for now) for reference purposes, and I'll be adding a new one as soon as they review at least a couple of new mclass-range cameras.

You can expect the same (or a bit bigger) deviation for high-end cameras, but anything with a score below 100-110 should be taken with a grain of salt.

This is valid for all cameras tested with the previous protocol. For those that they dclassn't test, the deviation may be up to twice as much.

×

About GeekBench 5

This is just a quick note to let you know that, if, by any chance, the smartphone you're looking for isn't on the GeekBench site yet, you can check on GsmArena.com, as they also usually test smartphones with that benchmark tool.



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