System Performance

We’ve seen that the new Kirin 990 does in fact still pack quite a bit of punch in regards to the CPUs due to the new memory subsystem, so now the question is how this translates into overall system performance. The Mate 30 Pro ships with Android 10 (technically, AOSP 10), so it should be an interesting comparison.

As with other Huawei devices over the last year, we’re testing the chip in its “High performance” mode in the battery settings as this is the equivalent to the intended performance of the chip, and the default state of the phone is more of a light battery saving mode. This is in contrast to some other Chinese vendor’s High Performance modes which is more akin to a cheating mode for benchmarks.

PCMark Work 2.0 - Web Browsing 2.0

In the web browsing test, the Mate 30 Pro here fares slightly worse than the Kirin 980 devices. I haven’t seen evidence that the Kirin 990 is scaling slower than the Kirin 980, so the differences here might be related to the new memory subsystem. If the A55 cores indeed have access to the SLC, this would mean there would also be a larger latency penalty to DRAM, and it possibly might be a reason why PCMark’s rather light web browsing test is sensitive to performance changes here.

PCMark Work 2.0 - Video Editing

We’ve seen the video test to be quite outdated here and mostly related to very fine scaling behaviours as well as screen refresh rates.

PCMark Work 2.0 - Writing 2.0

The Writing sub-test is the most important in the whole suite as it’s post representative of real world performance, and here the Mate 30 Pro’s performance is simply a step ahead of every other phone in the market, showcasing a similar large step-increase as we’ve seen in some of the memory bound benchmarks in SPEC.

PCMark Work 2.0 - Photo Editing 2.0

The Photo Editing scores are also significantly better for the new phone, although due to the workload being a RenderScript task, we’re not sure if this is due to Android 10 or changes in the software stack or DVFS of the GPU of the new phone. In any case, the new results are excellent and just slightly ahead of the best Snapdragon 855 devices. It’ll be interesting to see Kirin 980 devices here once they’ve been updates with the new OS and if that improves the scores in any way.

PCMark Work 2.0 - Data Manipulation

Data Manipulation test scores are again quite high, although the differences to other phones is smaller here.

PCMark Work 2.0 - Performance

Overall in PCMark, the Mate 30 Pro takes the top spot amongst all Android devices, which given that it’s the phone with the strongest hardware to date, isn’t too surprising.

Web Benchmarks

Speedometer 2.0 - OS WebView WebXPRT 3 - OS WebView JetStream 2 - OS Webview

Oddly enough, the phone didn’t do too well in the web benchmarks, sometimes falling behind the Kirin 980. I don’t believe this would be due to the hardware, but rather to maybe some software issues with the BSP and Android 10. Over the last few months I’ve seen some odd changes in WebView performance in recent updates across a larger swath of phones, some showing degradations. It’s definitely something I would blame on Google rather than Huawei in this case.

System Performance Conclusion

Overall, the Mate 30 Pro has been for me visibly the fastest Android device to date. It’s quite noticeable that it shows more responsiveness than any other device this year and is ahead of other fast devices such as the Galaxy S10 or the Pixel 4. Huawei definitely did a good job here and I think it’s one of the Mate 30 Pro’s strong points.

The Kirin 990 SoC GPU Performance & Power
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  • invinciblegod - Wednesday, November 27, 2019 - link

    What you say is true, but there is also no international law that says US has to do business with Huawei if the US doesn't like what Huawei is doing. As such, the US decided to ban Huawei so that other companies will do what the US wants them to do (or not do). Basically, if you want to do business in China, you must in general follow China's instructions. If you want to do business in the US, you must follow US instructions. To do both you must be able to balance the two without angering either, which I guess is becoming harder.
  • airdrifting - Wednesday, November 27, 2019 - link

    I was replying to the previous post which implies no one is buying from Huawei except Iran.
  • invinciblegod - Wednesday, November 27, 2019 - link

    Also, like it or not, the US is currently the center of the world, otherwise US ban of Huawei would have literally no effect. No one cares if say Iran bans your product, but many people do care if the US bans your product (or hinders it in some way).
  • obama gaming - Wednesday, November 27, 2019 - link

    except... it doesn't really have that much of an effect. Huawei still remains as the largest telecommunications company and their stocks haven't drastically crashed either...
  • invinciblegod - Wednesday, November 27, 2019 - link

    Didn't they say they have a year supply of parts? If that is the case, then it would be a year at minimum for there to be any major effect. Also, to amend my previous statement, the US has not actually banned Huawei yet because they keep giving them 3 month exemptions which basically pauses the ban. Because the exemptions keep happening, people are more relaxed and think it will continue forever, sort of like Brexit.
  • s.yu - Thursday, November 28, 2019 - link

    You are completely correct, without continuously running for over a year, the ban is almost entirely symbolistic.
  • webdoctors - Wednesday, November 27, 2019 - link

    LOL, that's because the expectation is they'll get a reprieve like ZTE did. If USA went nuclear and just banned Huawei from the SWIFT banking system, Huawei stock would be worthless over night.

    USA has a huge number of ways of damaging a corporation, much more than China. China can only ban you from selling in China, USA can essentially ban you from doing business in the entire world using their 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon if they want to go nuclear.
  • s.yu - Thursday, November 28, 2019 - link

    "China can only ban you from selling in China“
    Don't underestimate the Party, they stalled anti-trust probes of other companies twice(Motorola and Qualcomm) in retaliation to investigations into Huawei's IP theft and each time did a lot of damage. Their unique advantage is that they could hit you in ways you never thought possible.
  • s.yu - Thursday, November 28, 2019 - link

    "There is no international law says you can not sell phones to Iran, US can whine and moan all she wants but Huawei is free to do business with whoever they want because they are not a US company"
    Says the Huawei drone?
    Then who gave the CCP the right to block the Motorola-Nokia Siemens and NXP-Qualcomm mergers incurring hundreds of millions of damages when all the rest of the world gave the green light? None of those companies are Chinese.
  • alufan - Wednesday, November 27, 2019 - link

    whole Family have been Huawei users for the last few years however not any more the mate 20 pros curve was just tolerable this one seems way to much and yes lack of banking apps etc is a total deal breaker for us

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