On the road with Huawei's latest travel tech

The right technology makes the life of the business traveller not only easier, but more productive and more enjoyable.

By David Flynn, December 23 2019
Executive Traveller x HUAWEI

Over the past decade, smartphones have become as indispensable for the international traveller as a passport. Of course, they’re so much more than just a phone. The combination of high-speed Internet access (be it WiFi at the hotel or 4G mobile broadband when you’re out and about) and apps for almost every occasion makes them a trusty travel companion.

So what does the latest generation of travel tech bring to the table? On a recent business trip to Singapore, Executive Traveller editor-in-chief David Flynn added HUAWEI's latest trio of new devices – the P30 Pro smartphone, Watch GT 2 and FreeBuds 3 – to his carry-on bag to find out.

This article is produced in partnership with HUAWEI

HUAWEI P30 Pro: the best smartphone for the business traveller

From the vivid 6.47-inch screen to the elegantly slim design, even at first glance there’s plenty to like about the HUAWEI P30 Pro. But the more time you spend with it, the more you come to appreciate the unique features which sets this smartphone apart from the crowd.

The HUAWEI P30 Pro is packed with features which set it apart from the crowd.
The HUAWEI P30 Pro is packed with features which set it apart from the crowd.

The camera is, of course, a standout. You might have relatively little use for it during your business day, but at night is when it really shines.

From a scenic cityscape to a selfie or group shot on a rooftop bar or a close-up of your Chilli Crab dinner, the pairing of a Leica camera system and revolutionary 40 megapixel ‘SuperSpectrum’ sensor with clever artificial intelligence (AI) delivers night-time shots with superb clarity and detail.

Read more: How to take better travel photos with your smartphone

However, it’s the actual technology of the P30 Pro which makes it worthy of consideration for the frequent business traveller.

Take the dual-SIM feature slots, for example. These are two physical SIM card slots, not one card and one internal eSIM. You can keep your Aussie SIM card in the phone, and active for taking calls from home if you so wish, and easily add a pre-paid SIM card bought at your destination for local calls and mobile data.

The HUAWEI P30 Pro's Dual SIM capabilities are tailor-made for the business traveller.
The HUAWEI P30 Pro's Dual SIM capabilities are tailor-made for the business traveller.

Many business contacts will prefer to dial a local number, and of course there’s no niggling concern about your roaming data usage, as pre-paid SIM cards tend to come with very generous data allowances.

On my trip to Singapore I picked up a prepaid Singtel SIM card for $8 with 1.5GB of data (more than enough for a long weekend) – they’re readily available at the airport on arrival, or from many convenience stores – popped it into the SIM2 slot and set the P30 Pro to use SIM2 for calls and data.

Another important feature for people on the go is the P30 Pro’s extensive battery life.

The massive 4200mAh battery is the primary driver here, but again, it’s the smarts behind the scenes – such as the power-efficient Kirin 980 processor – which means you’ll get to the end of your busiest day to find the P30 Pro still has well over 50% charge in reserve.

There's no need to cart around emergency battery packs; you could even forget to charge the P30 Pro overnight and not suffer from ‘battery anxiety’ the following day.

But if there is the need for a quick top-up, the P30 Pro’s SuperCharge technology will take it from zero to 70 percent in just 30 minutes. This could be a half-hour at the cafe, in an airport lounge between flights or while you grab breakfast at the hotel.

Extended battery life and fast-charge technology sees the HUAWEI P30 Pro run for days on end.
Extended battery life and fast-charge technology sees the HUAWEI P30 Pro run for days on end.

With additional options to extend battery life by activating ‘power saving’ and ‘ultra power saving’ modes, seeing the HUAWEI P30 Pro report a single-digit battery level is only slightly more likely than spotting the Loch Ness Monster.

Finally, the P30 Pro’s AI capabilities come to the fore when you access the HiVision feature, which is perhaps one of the device’s most little-known innovations.

HiVision isn’t an app – it’s a special camera-based mode which you access by swiping down from the home screen and tapping an otherwise-cryptic icon next to the Search bar.

Point the P30 Pro at any signage or other written material in a foreign language and it’ll translate it into English. Want a practical example of how useful this can be? Imagine being in a country where English is definitely not the native tongue, and you visit a chemist to pick up something to fight off an unexpected dose of the flu or tummy-bug: HiVision can translate instructions and recommended dosages for you.

If you’re trying to keep an eye on your fitness, HiVision can provide a quick nutritional summary of specific food items by comparing the image against an extensive database to show an estimate of calories, carbs, fat and protein.

HUAWEI FreeBuds 3 earbuds

If a passport and smartphone are two must-haves for the business traveller and frequent flyer, a close third would be noise-cancelling earbuds. They’re super-convenient for pushing away that steady rumble of background noise during a flight so you can better enjoy a movie, some music or a podcast.

If a passport and smartphone are two must-haves for the business traveller and frequent flyer, a close third would be noise-cancelling earbuds. They’re super-convenient for pushing away that steady rumble of background noise during a flight so you can better enjoy a movie, some music or a podcast.

The noise-cancelling tech inside the FreeBuds 3 has to be heard to be believed.
The noise-cancelling tech inside the FreeBuds 3 has to be heard to be believed.

One issue with over-the-ear headphones is the amount of space they take up in your carry-on bag. Another is that you’re almost certainly doubling up on travel tech, because you’ll also want to bring a pair of Bluetooth headphones to use with your smartphone.

The ‘open fit’ FreeBuds 3 deliver the best of both worlds, and then some. Their active-noise cancellation has to be experienced to be believed, and you can enjoy those benefits anywhere: in the airport lounge, during your Uber ride around the city, at the hotel gym or on a morning run.

The stylish HUAWEI FreeBuds 3 are available in white and black.
The stylish HUAWEI FreeBuds 3 are available in white and black.

In fact, unlike some other wireless earbuds, they boast a reassuringly snug yet comfortable fit when you’re exercising.

The FreeBuds 3 are rated for four hours of music playback on a single charge, while the small circular carry case doubles as a battery charger with 20 hours of juice on tap. As an added bonus, the case’s battery can be charged using a USB-C cable or the increasingly-common Qi wireless standard.

The FreeBuds 3 nestle into a compact carry case which doubles as a battery charger.
The FreeBuds 3 nestle into a compact carry case which doubles as a battery charger.

No charger at hand? Activate ‘reverse charging mode’ on your P30 Pro and the smartphone’s own capacious battery will top up the FreeBuds 3.

HUAWEI Watch GT 2

I’ve written before about my time with the HUAWEI Watch GT 2, which is a uniquely fitness-oriented smartwatch.

Smartwatches are increasingly becoming the third element of the business traveller’s tech trio, although of course they’re as much a ‘day-to-day’ device as a smartphone.

And with a device like the Watch GT 2 as your travel companion, you’ll be a little less likely to stray from the fitness path.

The HUAWEI Watch GT 2 helps keeps your fitness on track when you travel.
The HUAWEI Watch GT 2 helps keeps your fitness on track when you travel.

Should you have time to integrate a workout or a run into your schedule, the Watch GT 2 will keep you on track with its array of tools from real-time heartrate monitoring to workout routines covering 15 sports, including popular gym machines such as rowers and elliptical machines, and 4GB of music storage where you can load around 1,000 songs via your Android smartphone and play them through the FreeBuds 3.

Pair your FreeBuds 3 with the HUAWEI Watch GT 2, then hit the gym or the running track.
Pair your FreeBuds 3 with the HUAWEI Watch GT 2, then hit the gym or the running track.

Even if your work schedule is incredibly packed, as business trips so often are, the Watch GT 2 will continue to tally your daily steps so that you don’t fall behind. In fact, you might be surprised how much healthy walking you end up doing on an overseas trip – especially if you give yourself a day off to explore the city. It’s not uncommon for me to find that I do more ‘casual walking’ when overseas compared to the deliberately set target I have when at home.

Play some music through the FreeBuds 3, keep the P30 Pro in your pocket to help find your way around or track down a highly-recommended cafe, and you’ll quickly appreciate how HUAWEI's trio of tech heroes brings a new dimension to your travels.

For more information on Huawei’s latest travel tech, visit consumer.huawei.com/au

This article is produced in partnership with HUAWEI

David

David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.