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We’ve seen the video test to be quite outdated here and mostly related to very fine scaling behaviours as well as screen refresh rates.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


View All Comments

  • psychobriggsy - Wednesday, November 27, 2019 - link

    After years on Android, and a set of Android Apps and Services that I own via the Play Store (or because they come with the phone), the lack of Google Services and the Play Store is a critical piece of missing functionality.

    Indeed I'd say that this is not Android at all, Android for most people being the combination of core operating system and Google Services.
  • imaheadcase - Wednesday, November 27, 2019 - link

    Exactly, the whole point of a android phone is to have google services. Anything else you are are developers whim in updates to OS and apps. Which if anyone who got burned by Samsung tablets know..its not pretty. Reply
  • prisonerX - Wednesday, November 27, 2019 - link

    There's something to be said for there being an alternative to the Google monopoly in that respect. Let's hope that something like that emerges from this fiasco. Reply
  • versesuvius - Thursday, November 28, 2019 - link

    Vendor lock-in does not even begin to describe what the US government is enforcing on the mobile phone users around the world. If at one time it was Apple or Microsoft or some other OS maker, now it is a political and economical system that the US government and Google want to lock the world in. That said, a mobile phone is nothing but Browser as OS. And the entire Google offering is nothing but open web technologies. The half hearthed attempts at something different from Google never added up to much because they always chose Google to fall back on from the get go. With Huawei on the one side and the general drift of the Western world towards Trumpism and the asinine single mindedness of what passes for American political and economical infrastructure, we are going to witness many wonderful shifts towards true freedom and innovation around the world and Huawei is just a very wonderful start. Reply
  • s.yu - Thursday, November 28, 2019 - link

    Wow, a Huawei maniac. Looks like the impact of the CCP's censorship already ripples across the world.

    This is what you hail as your savior.

    The (Chinese) industry's sole dissenter, TieLiu, who regularly exposes Huawei's lies and its collusion with the CCP, is back online after his internet presence was banned back in June in the heat of the trade war. I'm looking for suitable ways to make his articles more accessible to English readers, but so far I could only think of Google Translate.

    This time I'll give you the latest update manually though:

    There's a so called issue of "three 3's" prohibiting the widespread adoption of 5G, "3 times the number of base stations of 4G", "3 times the power consumption per base station compared to 4G", "3 times the price of a 4G base station".

    Here's how China plans to solve this, according to LI Zhengmao, vice president of China Mobile:

    1. "3 times the number of base stations compared to 4G was an estimate based on 3.5GHz, we'll use 2.6GHz instead to enhance range."
    *catch: 2.6GHz is China Mobile's 4G frequency, building a NSA 5G network at this frequency will cannibalize the bandwidth of current users on 4G plans; 2.6GHz does not have the bandwidth to reach 5G's theoretical speeds, while China Unicom's 4G on 3CA already manages 1155.8Mbps in Xiongan, in line with the peak speed of current 5G solutions; also 2.6GHz isn't a fundamental improvement in terms of coverage.

    2. "China Mobile is rolling out flexibly configured base stations, 64T64R when necessary, some could be lowered to 32T32R, even 8T8R, for maximum cost-effectiveness and power conservation"
    *catch: You cannot attain 5G's promised speed improvements by cutting corners on the hardware, 128 antennas or even 192 is one of the basis of 5G's performance gains. With 8T8R, there will be no difference from current 4G speeds, while carriers could fulfil executive orders by the Party to migrate to 5G, and hike prices selling the 5G concept. Handsets supporting 5G also have higher margins. Only consumers suffer.

    3. To further lower costs of powering a 5G network, "Governments of Shanxi, Guangdong etc. have officially issued orders to provide discount electricity to 5G base stations, I hope this could form a trend, as this is very beneficial to the development of the 5G industry."
    *catch: they can't make the system efficient enough to make commercial sense, so effectively all taxpayers are subsidizing the network's electricity bill for 5G to roll out.

    So who benefits from this? HUAWEI, first and foremost, who has 42% of China's smartphone market, and simultaneously over half of China's telecoms market. This is how the Party siphons resources from all across the country pushing Huawei's commercially inviable wares, to fatten Huawei's wallet. Huawei is the Party's prized pet, and you're counting on it to be your savior.
  • versesuvius - Thursday, November 28, 2019 - link

    When America does all that, it is just dandy and candy and righteous, but when China does that, even if what your "freedom fighter" says is true, it is the party's prized pet? The Chinese are free to buy Samsung or Apple or whatever they like in China. Still as you say Huawei has 42 percent of the Chines mobile phone market. Obviously the Chinese are not stupid enough to say no to one of the finest mobile phone makers in the world. And why should they? So, that America or some American web page company come mercenary services provider can dictate how they should live? Reply
  • dickeywang - Thursday, November 28, 2019 - link

    well said.
    I'm in China and I am happy with my new Huawei Mate 30 Pro.
    In addition, most of my female officemates used to be using Apple mobile phones, but like 80% of them now using Huawei since P30 Pro released just because they like the photos produced by the Huawei phones.
  • s.yu - Friday, November 29, 2019 - link

    The free will of those drowning in the enforced will of a single entity is so believable. Reply
  • s.yu - Friday, November 29, 2019 - link

    "When America does all that"
    IF, America does all that. Your argument needs more substance, but then again, Huawei drones do like to indulge in the fantasy that all its evil is universal, while ever failing to name a true equal.

    "The Chinese are free to buy Samsung or Apple or whatever they like in China."
    Your communist cool-aid is spilling from your mouth. The Party's obscurantist policies gives them freedom to deify Huawei to no end. Xi first deified himself, but realizing that this makes an easy target for international media, which unlike domestic ones are not under his control, he now uses Huawei to substitute as a national idol, the symbol of Chinese supremacy and the unquestionable legitimacy of Xi's lifelong reign.

    When P30P was exposed for moon faking, the editor who made and disclosed the discovery was promptly fired for "libel" against Huawei, before others were able to verify his claims and some were brave enough to stand with him, however the incident was downplayed and Huawei got away without an apology, like every other mistake or lie it was caught with, because Huawei is the political correctness in China.

    With the Party's iron grip on the media, it went on a crusade back in summer punishing Givenchy, CK etc. in what amounts to be literary inquisition, e.g. CK was publically defamed for "infringing on Chinese sovereignty" and stripped of its brand ambassadors just for listing Hong Kong as merely "Hong Kong" instead of "HKSAR" under “Select Region”, while entirely burying Huawei's whole Taiwan Independence Gate under identical circumstances. Such absurdity is only possible if you could dictate what every major media feeds to the public.

    Considering the vast reach of Xi's censorship and propaganda, I don't blame most of the Chinese public for failing to see Huawei as the bloodsucking scam that it really is.
  • airdrifting - Friday, November 29, 2019 - link

    You seem hell-bent on bashing China using lies and partial facts, I assume you are from Taiwan province where brainwashing is at its peak by the Democratic Progressive Party.

    Xi deified himself? Your argument needs more substance than that. Did we see Xi's statues erected all around China or people dancing to Xi's word? When it comes to smartphones, there are still ZTE, Xiaomi, Oneplus, Vivo and many other Chinese companies than Huawei. Korean has Samsung, China has Huawei, Japan has Toyota, I don't see you translate Samsung into Korean supremacy and unquestionable legitmacy, you are one extremely narrow mind biased individual.

    All companies have scandals one way or another, all companies deny their mistakes, Samsung denied their batteries were catching fire, Toyota denied safety recalls, Huawei is no exception. Again you seem to deliberate exaggerate a common despicable business practice to the political level.

    Reading your words, I see a anger blinded hater who is brainwashed and can not see facts.

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