The Huawei P30 Pro New Edition is the ultimate protest phone

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(Pocket Ribbon) – After launching the P30 Pro in March 2019, Huawei revised its flagship with new designs in September 2019 – and now there's a new edition for May 2020 as the Chinese company runs this iconic handset.

In the smartphone world, technology dates fast. Some manufacturers are unable to get their devices on the shelves until a new iteration of a core component is updated and replaced with a new piece of hardware. So why is Huawei thrashing the same old phone? Well, it is not quite the same.

On May 15, 2019, the U.S. Department of Commerce added Huawei to its entity list, banning virtually all U.S. trade with Huawei. One of the biggest outcomes of that ruling was that Huawei could no longer use Google's products and services, such as the Play Store, Google Maps and Gmail.

A year later, Trump extended that ruling for another year, which means that the ban will remain in effect until at least May 2021. That's where the Huawei P30 Pro New Edition comes into play.

The Huawei P30 Pro was the last Huawei flagship phone to be certified by Google before that US ban took effect, meaning it wasn't affected by the ruling. Later devices – the Mate 30 and P40 – failed to offer those core Google services.

So what is Huawei doing? It just releases the same approved handset again, not once, but twice, making the ruling two fingers effective. It's the ultimate protest phone, a roundabout way around what many see as Trump's trade war with China and, crucially, giving Europeans a refreshed Google-powered Huawei smartphone to buy. We invited Huawei to comment on the moves, but the company politely declined.

We've broken down exactly what's changed between the original and the "new" version of this phone, but essentially there's a new finish to the phone along with a boost in RAM and storage. At the same time, the price of this phone has come down, making it an attractive package overall – with good value for money.

It runs on Android 10 and the latest version of EMUI – and it also has one of the best cameras on the market. Yes, it's a year old, but 2020's flagship rivals haven't really changed the game since the P30 Pro, and they cost hundreds more. We still regularly use the Huawei P30 Pro here at Pocket-lint and it more than rivals the latest handsets in terms of power and performance.

Some might see this as the final blow to an insect's leg being squashed underfoot, but to us it's more like an unapologetic resistance in adversity – and there's something admirable about that.


Written by Chris Hall.

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