Huawei today unveiled a total of three new high-end smartphones, the P40, P40 Pro and P40 Pro Plus. The focus is on the P40 Pro, which is already available as a test device and is marketed as a new “camera miracle”. However, we will also briefly cut the other two P40 models.
Now you could assume at first that the Huawei P40 Pro Plus is the star of the trio – but in fact it is the P40 Pro. This offers everything you need. The Plus model differs only in three respects:
- Back in ceramic instead of glass
- Two telephoto lenses with 3x and 10x optical zoom
- This allows a 100- instead of fifty-fold zoom
Since the P40 Pro Plus comes later and should cost more, it doesn’t really matter at first, but of course it stays in the back of your mind.
Huawei P40 Pro: The Star of the Show
So let’s get to the Huawei P40 Pro and the highlights of the smartphone. Of course, the design is of the first priority. The entire P-Series is designed to be based on a compact camera when handled. That’s why Huawei has optimized the case once again to improve handling. In fact, despite a large display, the P40 Pro is hardly bigger than a Samsung Galaxy S20, which surprised me very positively. At more than 200 grams, it is considerably heavier, although the battery has only 200 mAh more capacity.
At the front, the “Overflow” OLED display stands out. The display is slightly rounded on the right and left side. The glass, on all four sides. This makes it look as if the display is pouring over the entire front of the phone. Personally, I like it very well and much better than the Huawei Mate 30 Pro with the Waterfall design. The OLED panel measures 6.58 inches and has a resolution of 2,640 x 1,200 pixels. The refresh rate is 90 Hertz and operates dynamically.
The back is embossed by the main camera with four sensors. Actually looks like a compact camera and should replace it. Huawei is collaborating with Leica on the P40 Pro. In addition, the company has listened to the users of the P30 Pro, who have provided many suggestions for improvement. This includes, for example, optical image stabilization for Periscope zoom, which enables five times optical magnification without loss of quality. A maximum of fifty times magnification is possible.
Not only the Periscope zoom has been improved, but also the ultra-wide-angle camera with 40 MP, but primarily also the 50 MP main camera. The sensor has been enlarged again and now measures 1/1.28 inches. Photographing is made with pixel binning, where four pixels are added together to a larger pixel. Photos are effectively taken with 12.5 MP.
Huawei has integrated many improvements in camera software that make operation even easier. Photos succeed better in automatic mode, but you can also intervene in professional mode. This is especially true for low-light recordings, but also for portraits. With the “AI Best Moment” function you can choose the perfect image, because the P40 Pro already takes photos before and after triggering. If someone is running into the picture, it will simply be removed at the touch of a button.
However, the video functions have also been greatly upgraded. Recording at 4K and 60 frames per second is now possible with the main and front camera. Image stabilization is even better, there’s audio zoom and improved HDR function.
Other highlights of the Huawei P40 Pro include:
- Kirin 990 processor with 5G support
- 8 GB RAM
- 256 GB of internal storage (expandable)
- Wi-Fi 6 Plus
- IR sensor for facial recognition (2D)
- Gesture sensor at the front
- eSIM support
- Dual SIM
- 4,200 mAh battery with 40 watts wired and 27 watts wireless charging function
- Reverse Wireless Charging
Huawei P40 Pro without Google services
The biggest disadvantage is and remains the ecosystem. The Huawei P40 Pro is powered by Android 10 and it runs the EMUI 10.1 as a surface on it. The U.S. embargo does not give you access to the Play Store and Google services and apps. Huawei is trying to attract more and more developers, but it is slow to do so.
Of course, you can still get the APKs, for example with WhatsApp from the developer, and install the apps manually. However, this does not work with all applications, especially those that rely on Google Play Services. An external developer has launched the App Search app into Huawei’s AppGallery. This gives you direct links to most apps. However, you often end up on APKMirror or similar sites. For normal users, this is a dealbreaker.
And what can the Huawei P40 do?
The normal P40 has a flat 6.1-inch display, resolves with FHD+and comes with 128 instead of 256 GB of storage – but also with 8 GB of RAM. The battery is slightly smaller at 3,800 mAh and can only be charged with 22.5 watts. The back also has the 50MP camera, but it is supported by an 8MP telephoto lens and 16MP super wide angle. A 32MP camera is also used at the front and 5G is also supported – with fewer bands. But the phone is also a bit cheaper.
Huawei P40 Pro: Price and Availability
The Huawei P40 Pro is on the market for 999 euros. The P40 costs 799 euros. A price for the P40 Pro Plus is not known. The market launch will take place on 2 May 2020. Pre-sales start today with a special promotion. Pre-orders will receive the Huawei Watch GT2e and Huawei Freebuds 3 for free, worth a total of 348 euros. The promotion runs until 1 May 2020.
Personal assessment of huawei P40 Pro
Without a US embargo and access to the Google Play Store and all services, the Huawei P40 Pro would probably be the best Android smartphone of 2020 so far. So you can only recommend it to enthusiasts who want to get involved in the special circumstances and still pay such a high price for the mobile phone.