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Honor 30S First Look: Deep Decryption of Kirin 820 7nm SoC


Honor 30S Review: Specifications

Of course, before we start the Honor 30s review, let”s take a look at the parameter specifications of the Honor 30s.

Honor 30S
Screen Material 6.5 inch LCD
Screen Resolution 2400×1080
Screen-to-body Ratio 90.30%
SoC Kirin 820 5G
Storage 6GB/8GB ROM  
128GB/256GB RAM
Camera 64MP+8MP+8MP+2MP
16MP AI selfie
OS Magic UI 3.1
Battery Capacity 4000mAh
Charging 40W Super Fast Charging
Fingerprint Recognition Side print sensor


Honor 30S Review: Appearance Design

In terms of appearance, Honor 30s, as the successor of Honor 20S, also adopts the same design idea as Honor 20s. It inherits the butterfly feather texture design, adopts a new double-layer diaphragm technology, and uses the refraction and diffraction of light by very fine texture to make the whole diaphragm show light pattern changes. At the same time, the Honor 30s is designed with large radians of 3D curved glass, which looks more transparent and more comfortable to hold.


The “glamorous full screen” design that HUAWEI Honor has adopted for a long time has become a fashion trend, and the Honor 30s has also continued to achieve a complete screen shape with no shape on all sides, avoiding the occlusion brought by notch design.


In terms of screen detail parameters, the Honor 30s uses a 6.5in LCD display screen with a 20:9 ratio, with a typical brightness of 450nit and a typical contrast of 1500:1. What’s more, the NTSC color gamut is 96%.


At the bottom of the Honor 30S is the Type-C charging interface and speaker opening, and it is gratifying to note that the 3.5mm headphone jack has also been retained.


Honor 30S Review: Kirin 820 In-depth Analysis

As the successor of Kirin 810 in the 5G era, Kirin 820 has a 7nm process of the same level as Kirin 990.


The CPU part uses 1*A76 based big core + 3*A76 based medium core + 4*A55 small core, and GPU partially customizes Mali-G57 6 core (G77 peer architecture).


Kirin 820 In-depth Analysis: 7nm Process Technology

The process directly affects the performance and power consumption performance. The advanced process is the basis of the performance experience and energy efficiency experience, and it is also the core demand of the majority of mobile phone users.


In 2019 and now in 2020, most of the flagship and sub-flagship SoC use the 7nm process. However, when we delve into the process of each SoC, we will find that there seem to be some differences in the 7nm of different products.


For example, TSMC’s N7 (N7FF) is used in Snapdragon 855, Kirin 990 and Apple A12. TSMC N7P is used in Snapdragon 865, Apple A13 and TSMC 1000L. TSMC N7+ is used in Kirin 990 5G. Samsung 7LPP is used in Exynos 9825 and Snapdragon 765G.


Among them, TSMC began mass production of 7nm in 2018. The N7 (or N7FF) mentioned just now is the first batch of TSMC 7nm programs, and DUV is the first scheme. In 2019, TSMC launched N7P, the second generation of 7nm, which is an improved version of the original N7 solution, which still uses DUV and the same design criteria.


TSMC N7+ is different from N7P in that it begins to use EUV extreme ultraviolet lithography. According to TSMC, the overall performance will be better than N7.


It is not clear what kind of 7nm process is used in Kirin 820 and Kirin 990, which should be no more than one of the four listed above. What’s more, Honor officials say Kirin 820 is 20% more efficient and 50% denser than 8nm SoC.


Kirin 820 In-depth Analysis: CPU

In terms of CPU parameters, the Kirin 820 chip has a significant improvement compared with the previous generation of Kirin 810. on the basis of the previous generation of Kirin 810 carrying 2 A76 large cores and 6 A55 small cores, the CPU of Kirin 820 integrates 1 large core + 3 medium core (based on Cortex-A76 development) and 4 small core (Cortex-A55).


The dominant frequency of the large core reaches 2.36GHz (1*A76 Based @ 2.36GHz + 3*A76 Based @ 2.22GHz + 4*A55 @ 1.84GHz).


The design of this combination of large, medium and small cores fits the characteristics of mobile phone use scenarios, and it is also convenient for Honor 30s to optimize the scheduling of different cores for different use scenarios, and flexibly complete the deployment of CPU resources according to the needs of different applications, so as to achieve the purpose of optimizing system energy consumption.


Kirin 820 In-depth Analysis: GPU

In terms of GPU, Kirin 820 is equipped with the brand-new G57 MC6 architecture 6-core GPU–Mali-G57 (the actual capability is equivalent to the G77). In GFXBench’s GPU 1080p Manhattan 3.0 off-screen test, the performance improved by 25% compared to the previous generation of Kirin 810, and the GPU of Kirin 820 has higher performance, thanks to the latest G57 architecture.


It is worth mentioning that Mali-G57 uses the same Valhall architecture as Mali G77. Compared with the Bifrost architecture in the past three years, ARM has improved the graphics instruction set, computing architecture and so on. Compared with the previous G52 (such as the Mali G52 MP6 integrated with Kirin 810), the G57 has 1.3 times the performance, 30% higher energy efficiency, 30% higher performance density and 60% higher machine learning.


Kirin 820 In-depth Analysis: Master Lu Running Score

Master Lu can evaluate and compare the five core hardware of CPU, GPU, RAM, storage and display screen, which is more suitable for ordinary users to understand mobile phone-related information.


Under the premise that the pre-market software did not do any adaptation optimization to the phone, the performance mode of Honor 30s Master Lu scored more than 310000 points. In Master Lu’s scoring system, it has been slightly better than the Glory V20 of Kirin 980 SoC, which shows the performance strength given by Kirin 820 this time.


Honor 30s Kirin 820 CPU Test: More Powerful than Exynos 980 and Snapdragon 765G

As we have said earlier, in terms of CPU, the Kirin 820 chip has been a huge improvement over the previous generation of chips. On the basis of the previous generation of Kirin 810 carrying 2 A76 large cores and 6 A55 small cores, the CPU of Kirin 820 integrates 1 large core + 3 medium core (based on Cortex-A76 development) and 4 small core (Cortex-A55), of which the main frequency of large core is 2.36GHz (1*A76 Based @ 2.36GHz + 3*A76 Based @ 2.22GHz + 4*A55 @ 1.84GHz).


In order to highlight the difference, we use Samsung Exynos 980s and Snapdragon 765G models as a comparative reference. Here is a brief introduction to the CPU specifications of Samsung Exynos 980s and Snapdragon 765G models:


First, Samsung Exynos 980, based on 8nm technology, using 8-core CPU design, two Cortrex A77 large cores (2.2GHz) and six Cortex A55 small cores (1.8GHz).


Then there is Snapdragon 765G, based on 7nm EUV technology, CPU uses the same architecture of Kryo475, and Snapdragon 855, specifically equipped with one A76 core of 2.4GHz, one A76 medium core of 2.2GHz, and six A55 micronuclei of 1.8GHz.


Test Tool: GeekBench

GeekBench examines the single-core and multi-core performance of the CPU, and there is no doubt about its authority. With the intelligent multi-core scheduling of Kirin 820, Honor 30s can achieve a single-core running score of 640 and a multi-core running score of 2448 in performance mode, and the multithreading performance has been significantly improved.


By the Geekbench 5 measure, the Kirin 820 on the Honor 30s scored slightly lower than the Snapdragon 765G in single-core, but 25 percent more in multi-core than the latter.


Even in the face of Samsung’s Exynos 980, a core with an A77 core, Kirin 820 is not at a disadvantage, with a score slightly lower than that of the Exynos 980 and a 33 percent increase in multi-core scores.


In other words, according to the evaluation system of Geekbench 5, Qilin 820, Snapdragon 765G and Exynos 980 are rivals in the single-core aspect of absolute performance, and it is difficult to open the gap. But when it comes to the multi-core test of scheduling coordination, Kirin 820 performs much better than the other two.

On the whole, in terms of CPU, Kirin 820 on Honor 30s performs better on Geekbench 5 than Snapdragon 765G and Exynos 980 because of its multi-core advantage.


Honor 30s Kirin 820 GPU Test

In terms of GPU, Kirin 820 is equipped with G57 MC6 architecture 6-core GPU–Mali-G57. Mali-G57 uses the same Valhall architecture as Mali G77.


As a reference, Samsung Exynos 980s and Snapdragon 765G models are still used for comparison. Here is a brief introduction to the GPU specifications of Snapdragon 765G and Samsung Exynos 980s:


First, Samsung Exynos 980, whose GPU is ARM’s previous-generation Mali-G76 MP5.


Then there is Snapdragon 765G, which uses Adreno 620GPU.


There are six main test items: T-Rex, Manhattan 3.0,3.1,3.1, Car Chase, respectively correspond to the performance of OpenGL ES 2.0Accord 3.1Accord 3.1, and there are also newly added Aztec ruins Vulkan off-screen and Aztec ruins OpenGL off-screen. The test pressure is getting higher and higher, and the results are measured by FPS.


GFXBench considers the performance of GPU graphics core games. GPU did not have the upper hand for quite a long time since its birth, and it was not until Kirin 980 that it won or lost with Snapdragon 845. fortunately, with the blessing of GPU Turbo technology, it can run stably in full frames when facing large mobile games.


Among the above test subitems, the best performance of GPU graphical computing power is the Manhattan, T-Rex and Aztec ruins test scenarios. Among them, Tyrannosaurus Rex tests favor GPU texture and fill rate throughput, and Manhattan belongs to the core heavy task of a shader.


The performance of the Honor 30s Kirin 820 GPU is the best, followed by the Snapdragon 765G, while the Exynos 980 appears to be slightly inadequate.


Honor 30s Kirin 820 5G Test

Like Kirin 990 5G, Kirin 820 uses integrated 5G baseband without a plug-in solution.


It’s just that we are not sure about the built-in baseband model of Kirin 820. If nothing happens, it should be the same Barone 5000 as Kirin 990 5G. After all, this is the only 5G baseband that Hayes has discussed for mobile phones.


In terms of a frequency band, Honor 30s supports a total of five 5G bands owned by all operators in China, including n41/n78/n79/n1/n3. On the theoretical level, the downlink peak speed of Kirin 820 5G SoC5G NR theory is 2.9 GB PS NR 5G NR, the theoretical peak rate of downlink reaches 1.2Gbps.


It is worth mentioning that Honor 30s supports 5G dual-card dual standby and smart dual-card function. Currently, only Huawei and Honor phones support smart dual-card:


1. Use Honor 30S SIM1 to call the SIM2 number when answering the VoLTE phone, Glory 30s can receive the call. When a non-Honor/ Huawei phone answers a VoLTE call in SIM1, another SIM2 cannot get through.


2. When using Honor 30S SIM1 for mobile data transmission, if SIM2 receives an incoming call and connects the VoLTE phone, then SIM1 can continue the 5G data service, and the VoLTE phone of SIM2 can also be carried out normally. Non-Honor/ Huawei mobile phone disconnects (mobile data) network as soon as the SIM2 answers the VoLTE call.


5G network speed test

In terms of network speed, we use mainstream Speedtest software for testing.


The above speed measurements are carried out in 5G and 4G networks respectively at the same test site. We can see that in our test environment, the 5G network download rate of Honor 30S is 21 times higher than that of the 4G network, and the upload speed is 53% higher than that of the 4G network.


Network delay experience

Next, we test the delay of daily usage scenarios, and the specific test scheme is to use the ping Baidu home page, which can be reproduced by everyone. Use the test machine to ping, under the network to compare the test results under the 4G network.


The above is the delay performance of ping Baidu 5G (left) and 4G (right) networks, respectively. It can be seen that in the test environment, the average delay of the 4G network is 54ms and the average delay of the 5G network is 22.9ms. For Honor 30s phones supported by Kirin 820, the 5G network latency is about 31.7ms lower than that of 4G networks.


At present, the NSA networking mode is the main mode in the 5G phase, the user side is transmitted through 5G, and the control plane signaling is still transmitted through 4G. In other words, the total delay in non-independent networking mode is 4G control plane signaling delay superimposed 5G user plane delay and then superimposed Internet delay.


Therefore, at this stage, subject to the operators, not only the game delay but also the network delay of all 5G mobile phones under daily use can not be significantly improved. Only in the future when the SA networking mode is perfect and the 4G control plane signaling delay is removed, a lower and more ideal delay can be achieved. Thanks to the blessing of Kirin 820, Honor 30s supports SA/NSA 5G dual-module network.


It can be seen that no matter in which stage, which period, which kind of network environment, Honor 30s can transition smoothly and use normally.


Honor 30s Kirin 820 Camera Test

In terms of the imaging system, the Honor 30s main camera uses a 64 million pixel sensor (1max 1.7 inch), uses fhand 1.8 aperture, supports 4 in 1 optical fusion mode by default, and outputs photos with a resolution of 16MP 4:3 4608 “3456. Maximum output of 64MP 4:3 921606912 photos.


The Honor 30s is also equipped with a 120- degree ultra-wide-angle lens with an 8MP memory f-stroke 2.4aperture. After distortion correction, the wide-angle lens can achieve a wide angle of 103-degree, which is equivalent to the effect of the equivalent focal length 17mm lens. The content of the picture can be equal to about 2.4 times the wide-angle of 78-degree.


A 2 million-pixel macro lens can work in extreme scenes, such as 4cm macro shots.


What is more surprising is that the Honor 30s has added a telephoto lens, which is rare in the same model, with a specification of 8MP Magneto fhand 2.4, supporting a maximum of 3x optical zoom, 5x mixed zoom, and 20x digital zoom. The telephoto lens of the same specification used to appear only in various flagship models in the past.


Honor 30s Kirin 820 Charging Experience

As we can see before, as a non-flagship model, the Honor 30s has been second only to its own flagship Qilin 820, its flagship camera ISP, and its own flagship 5G performance, and now even a 40W super fast charge has been transferred to the Honor 30s.


The Honor 30s uses a 4000mAh battery, so let’s take a look at the battery life.


Use bilibili client to play online on-screen video, 20% volume, 70% brightness, keep QQ and WeChat in the background, use WiFi network, while the mobile network is in 5G state, starting from 100% power, after 7 hours and 19 minutes, the remaining power is 29%, and the power consumption is 71%.


It can be estimated that in our test environment, the Honor 30s should be able to achieve more than 10 hours of uninterrupted online video life, more than enough to meet the daily use of the day.


The Honor 30s supports a maximum of 40W super-fast charging scheme. Through the actual measurement, we find that the 4000 Ma / h battery can be charged from 18% to 98% in 40 minutes at the earliest, and the speed is quite powerful. The 40W flagship super-fast charging makes the Honor 30s charging speed among the best in the same gear.



The Honor 30s, which is positioned at the middle and high end, has too many halos, of which the most shining is the 7nm Kirin 820 chip.


Kirin 820 has a big upgrade in CPU. Instead of two A76 large cores, Kirin 820 integrates 1 large core + 3 medium core (based on Cortex-A76 development) and 4 small core (Cortex-A55).


According to the Geekbench 5 measure, the Kirin 820 on the Honor 30s scored slightly higher than the Snapdragon 765G in single-core, but 25 percent more in multi-core than the latter. Even in the face of Samsung’s Exynos 980, a core with an A77 core, Kirin 820 is not at a disadvantage, with a score slightly lower than that of the Exynos 980 and a 33 percent increase in multi-core scores.


The biggest advantage of Kirin 820 CPU still lies in testing the multi-core performance of scheduling coordination.


Such CPU performance may not have much effect if it appears on the flagship fuselage, but if it is arranged in a sub-flagship model such as the Honor 30s, it will have enough impact to make it rest easy around the same gear, with huge performance advantages and cost-effective advantages.


In addition to the CPU performance upgrade, in terms of GPU, Kirin 820 is equipped with a brand new 6-core Mali-G57. Compared with the previous generation of Kirin 810, the performance is improved by 25%, and thanks to the latest G57 architecture, the GPU of Kirin 820 has higher performance.


It is worth mentioning that Mali-G57 uses the same Valhall architecture as Mali G77. Compared with the Bifrost architecture in the past three years, ARM has improved the graphics instruction set and computing architecture, removing the shackles that Kirin Core has been limited by the architecture for a long time and is in a disadvantageous situation in GPU performance.


GPU is not only unfettered, through our GFXBench test of Kirin 820, but we also found that its performance is much higher than that of the sub-flagship Exynos 980, and even surpassed the Snapdragon 765G, which has dominated the graphic performance for a long time, in each test project, which is not a big breakthrough.


5G, AI has always been the basic disk of glory together with Kirin core, thanks to the blessing of Kirin 820, the performance of Honor 30s is not disappointing. According to the authoritative AI Benchmark test results, the score of Kirin 820 carried by Honor 30s is second only to the current top Kirin 9905G, higher than MediaTek’s flagship core Tianji 1000, and far higher than the top flagship of other camps.


The paper parameters and actual performance of the 5G are almost the same as those of the Kirin 990 series, which makes the Glory 30s phone worth buying.


Thanks to the radical upgrade of the Kirin 820, the Honor 30s even won the ISP, of the Kirin 990 accidentally added a 3x optical zoom long lens in addition to the 64 million main shot + 8 million ultra-wide angles, resulting in a further improvement in imaging ability.


Combining the experience and test results of CPU, GPU, AI, ISP, 5G and so on, it is really difficult for Kirin 820 to find a rival under Kirin 990s.


Through this evaluation experience, it is not difficult to find that the Honor 30 S will be the most cost-effective 5G phone in 2020.

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