The Huawei P-series of smartphones have always been their most photography-centric devices, hence the P in P-series. These devices have always aimed to innovate and simplify what it means to take a still image from the cameras we always carry in our pockets — from Super Night Modes, Periscope lenses to massive sensors.
The question is, does the Huawei P60 Pro have what it takes to be the best still image camera king of 2023?
Table of Contents
Design and Construction
Jumping into design, starting off with the rear, the Huawei P60 Pro exudes that premium feel in this Rococo Pearl colorway. Inspired by the 18th century Victorian Baroque movement, Huawei has created an industry first for pearl texture design.
Manufacturing this rear panel incorporated natural mineral pearl powder into the cast of the panel. From here, Huawei’s designers add a hand-crafted touch to each panel, making each Rococo Pearl rear one of a kind.
Out of the box it felt very sandblasted matte to the touch and in-person it does look very elegant.
Also found here is the main camera module that features Huawei’s XMAGE triple camera setup. From a design standpoint, I think it’s kind of quirky and looks like the mugshot of a Koala.
For I/O, found on the right side of the P60 Pro is the volume rocker and red-accented power button. On top is one of two stereo speakers, a noise-cancelling mic for speaker calls, and an infrared sensor so you can turn your phone into a remote control for your home appliances.
At the bottom is the hybrid dual nano SIM card tray, mic for regular calls, USB Type-C (3.1) charging port, and the second of the two stereo speakers.
The device has an IP68 rating for dust and water resistance up to a depth of 1.5 meters for as long as 30 minutes.
Overall the build feels superb. Going against that flat-side trend for smartphones in 2023, the P60 Pro feels a little refreshing in a novel and charming way. It’s stainless steel frame feels great to grip, and its slender form factor feels nice to pocket.
Display, Multimedia and Biometrics
For display, the Huawei P60 Pro features a 6.67-inch QHD (1220 x 2700) LTPO OLED panel that has a maximum refresh rate of 120Hz. It has an adaptive refresh rate so the panel can lower its refresh rate down to 1Hz when in idle to save on battery life.
It’s also protected by Kunlun Glass which features a 5-star glass drop resistance from the SGS at Switzerland. Because of this the P60 Pro’s drop resistance is increased 10-fold.
Overall this is really nice panel, perfect for consuming media and even some productivity work.
With Huawei’s X-True display in the works, colors-accuracy looks great and, out of the box, the display color profile is set to its Normal mode for the best accuracy in sRGB or DCI-P3. We can set things to vivid if you want a more vibrant look, and even adjust color temperature.
Consuming media and playing games on this panel look stunning and what really steals the show here are its dual stereo speaker setup.
Sound stage for a smartphone is excellent, we get clear separations from lows to highs. In our testing, we noticed the top earpiece speaker produces most of the highs and mids, with the bottom-firing ones for the lows.
In a nutshell, the listening experience on this device is “I have a Bluetooth speaker for a phone” levels, especially in max volume.
For biometric security, we get an optical finger scanner and face unlock; all from components right under the display.
The fingerprint scanner feels quick but isn’t the quickest in-display scanner we’ve experienced, although it is undoubtedly very reliable and accurate.
Face unlock on the other hand also works as one would expect it too, but I’ve left it turned off for the fingerprint scanner is still more convenient and secure. In pitch-black lighting conditions, your results may vary.
Going into the P60 Pro’s crown jewels — the camera system.
The Huawei P60 Pro features their Ultra Lighting XMAGE triple camera setup in the rear that features a 48MP RYYB main sensor with a variable aperture of f/1.4 to f/4.0 that features Phase Detection AF, Laser AF, and OIS.
This allows end-users to achieve a natural looking shallow depth of field when the aperture is wide open.
Followed by the 48MP RYYB periscopic telephoto sensor with an aperture of f/2.1 that also features OIS and serves as the 3.5x zoom.
This telephoto sensor is very special, as it takes in about 178% more light compared to its competitors, allowing us to capture rich detail even in low-lighting conditions.
And last but not the least is the 13MP RYYB ultra-wide sensor with an aperture of f/2.2; For Gen Z selfies, landscape shots, Architecture.
In front, the P60 Pro features a 13MP ultra-wide sensor with an aperture of f/2.4 as its in-display selfie camera.
Taking stills on the main camera system is amazing. The power of AI processing just gets better and better, especially Huawei’s!
Taking photos (not in portrait mode) at 3.5x in the default photo mode have been our favorite from this device.
This is because of how the sensor was designed to take in more light; Portraits of people, animals, and flowers look very sharp with great detail even in low-lighting conditions. Some of our samples from the telephoto sensor make us feel like we took them using a DSLR camera, processed through Luminar Ai.
What’s also amazing about this sensor is that it can take macro photos, from a distance!
That’s right, utilizing the same periscopic telephotos sensor, we can also capture macro imagery. You can do this by going into 10x zoom or more up to 100x digital.
Another way to make the most out of macro is to physically move the phone closer or further from the tiny subject in 10x or higher, enabling you to find the best focusing distance for macro photography. A preview window at the top left of the screen appears to help show the user how cropped in they are compared to its 1x focal length.
The XMAGE AI processing that runs things in the background is very well-tuned. A nifty thing it does is it corrects warped ultrawide shots right away which we liked.
But this doesn’t mean we do not turn it off from time to time for variation. Sometimes it can tweak the captured image a little too much, making it appear a bit too “contrasty” to our liking.
To quickly solve this preferential conflict, we quickly turn Master AI off and take a second shot.
Night mode is still here and years after the P20 Pro, it’s still very good. We do only reserve this mode for something that appears to be in complete darkness, as the processing of low-light photos in auto mode can still brighten up a dark image a lot.
For selfies, utilizing an ultrawide sensor is genius! Especially when they have the post-processing power to match.
Overall, the versatility this camera system brings, really impresses me when it comes to smartphone photography. I’ve even used this very device for taking editorial photos.
For video, the P60 Pro allows users to shoot in 4K at 30/60 fps, and FHD from 30 to 960 fps (slow-mo). Obviously missing is the 8K @ 24fps that we’d expect from flagship phones. Shooting video also features gyro electronic image stabilization.
OS, Apps, UI
On the software side of things, P60 Pro units in our local shores will be running on EMUI 13.1, while China units run on Harmony OS 3.1
Something we found cool about EMUI 13.1 were its ease-of-use features like holding onto the swipe back gesture to open a side panel where you can keep your most frequently used apps, and double-pressing on the volume down button to quick-launch the camera app.
And overall it’s my favorite interface from a Chinese smartphone manufacturer!
We don’t get the creature comforts I’m used to but this interface offers alternatives that work. Installing my most frequently used apps has also been quite painless even without Google’s Play Store services!
I’m also a fan of the wellbeing features like the BatteryCare optimization features. And never did I feel any hiccups using multitasking features like picture-in-picture or split-screen.
To flip the board, what I’m not such a fan of is ads in the AppGallery, and I get that we need to utilize GBox for apps like Facebook or Messenger but there still seems to be some issue with messaging apps that need it. Notifications and updates do not come in until you open the app! And it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out why this could be a cause for concern for when you need to reply to messages quickly.
Nonetheless, through time this should hopefully be a non-issue in the future.
Performance and Benchmarks
For hardware, running the show behind the P60 Pro is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 (4nm) chipset that features an octa-core processor and Adreno 730 GPU. This variant of the chipset was specifically manufactured by Qualcomm for Huawei, sans the 5G modem.
Our review unit comes configured with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of UFS 4.0 internal storage with support for storage expansion of up to 256GB with the use of a nano memory (NM) card.
In real-world use, never did I experience any hiccups or lags when playing most games, like Mobile Legends and Asphalt 9.
The Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chipset doesn’t feature 5G connectivity so if that’s what you wanted from a smartphone, you might have to look elsewhere.
For those interested in synthetic benchmark scores, check them out below:
|Chipset:||Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1|
|3D Mark Wild Life Extreme||2,713 (16.20 Avg FPS)|
|PCMark Work 3.0||10,888|
|PCMark Storage 2.0||37,889|
Battery and Connectivity
For battery, powering the P60 Pro is a 4,815mAh Li-Po cell with support for 88W SuperCharge Turbo. It can charge the device to 50% in about 10 minutes which we have found is as advertised.
It also features 50W wireless charging with support for reverse-wireless charging at 7.5W.
In our proprietary battery loop test which entails the device’s brightness to be set to 50%, audio muted, and Airplane mode turned on, the P60 Pro lasted 17 hours and 13 minutes.
Overall battery life on this device is within range of other Pro flagships of this caliber, but it isn’t the best across the board. In real world use, having that ultra-quick 88W Turbo charge is a pretty good trade-off.
I also noticed the rear of the device would warm up (though it normally happens on most smartphones with prolonged use) when using that amazing XMAGE telephoto sensor.
Its unique design, great sounding speakers, and superb camera system are all enticing reasons for why anyone should own this smartphone. It may not have the biggest battery in its segment but having a very very quick charger more than makes up for it.
Is it the still image camera king of 2023? At the time of this writing, definitely.
With a suggested retail price of PHP 58,999 (8GB RAM|265GB ROM), and PHP 68,999 (12GB RAM|512GB ROM) the Huawei P60 Pro continues to be a strong flagship offering.
For those of you interested in the P60 Pro, it’s available at Huawei’s official website.
What we like about it:
- Triple XMAGE camera system (DSLR-quality still image capabilities).
- Stereo Speakers (Great separation and clarity).
- Overall design and build quality (Kunlun Glass is TOUGH).
- 88W SuperCharge Turbo
What we did not like:
- No 5G connectivity, just 4G/LTE.
- In-display optical fingerprint scanner (there are faster ones out there).
- AppGallery advertisements.
- Messaging apps that need GBox only update when they are opened.
Huawei P60 Pro specs:
6.67-inch OLED LTPO, 2700 x 1220 pixels, 120Hz adaptive refresh rate
Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 4G
Adreno 730 GPU
8GB LPDDR5 RAM
256GB, 512GB UFS 4.0 internal storage
48MP main camera, f/1.4-4.0, OIS
13MP f/2.2 ultra-wide
48MP telephoto, f/2.1, 3.5x optical zoom, 100x digital zoom, OIS
4K @ 30fps, 60fps
13MP, f/2.4 front camera
IP68 dust and water resistance
4,815mAh Li-Po battery, 88W wired, 50W wireless
Feather Sand Purple, Feather Sand Black, Emerald Green, Limited Edition Rococo White