After the popular Samsung Galaxy S20 and Oppo Find X2 Pro, the Huawei P40 Pro is another high-spec, 5G Android phone with a strong camera that has lots of megapixels and an intriguing zoom.
The P40 Pro may look similar to the P30 Pro, but it’s an across-the-board improvement. It swaps out the primary camera for an even more specced out unit, clocking in at 50MP and packing a Mate 30 Pro 40MP ultra-wide-angle module. Huawei’s also updated its design, with a four-sided curve across the front and rear glass. The Pro’s power and storage have been boosted, and it even boasts the fastest potential 5G speeds of any flagship around right now.
Huawei clearly knows that, despite its rise to glory in recent years, it’s once again a challenger brand, given the fact 2019’s US-China trade wars left the tech giant without access to Google Mobile Services in its smartphones. For anyone who can get past that though, you really won’t find a better camera phone for the price.
Huawei P40 Pro design
One thing’s for sure, for the most part, you can’t knock the Huawei P40 Pro’s design – this is Huawei at its best.
At 6.58 inches, the Pro is neither too big, nor is it too small, sitting between the Galaxy S20 and the S20 Plus, and iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max. That means, for most, it will be just about comfortable enough to manage one-handed. Despite the front glass on the P40 Pro being curved on all-sides, the screen itself isn’t too curved – nothing like the Mate 30 Pro, so accidental presses aren’t an issue.
At 9mm thick, the P40 Pro makes the 7.9mm thin Galaxy S20 5G feel like a waif, but as we’ll come onto, that camera is worth the extra heft.
The Pro’s styling is both familiar and fresh. Its display glass, which curves pretty drastically on all four sides, is held in place by a buffed metal frame that peaks at the phone’s corners. Huawei says this adds robustness to the device, and it makes sense – more metal on the corners means if you drop it, and glass is less likely to come into contact with the ground. This frame gives the impression the screen is ‘spilling over’ and is a welcome point of differentiation. The general curviness and smoothness on all sides mean the phone nestles so comfortably in your hand and feels comfortable.
Huawei P40 Pro camera
The Huawei P40 Pro’s primary camera is almost identical to that of the P40, but the P40 Pro features OIS. The shared 50MP Ultra Vision sensor was impressive on its smaller sibling, and on the P40 Pro, it’s best-in-class. An f/1.9 aperture lens with a 23mm focal length combines with large, 2.44-micron combined-pixels when taking 12MP images – that’s huge for a phone. Bigger pixels usually mean better photos, so the Pro’s off to a great start there.
With 5x optical zoom, equating to a 125mm focal length, the P40 Pro gets you a fair bit closer than the zoom on the S20 and S20 Plus. However, it can’t topple the S20 Ultra, even though the photo quality is ultimately better on Huawei’s flagship.
There’s also a mighty 40MP ultra-wide camera with an f/1.8 aperture and an 18mm angle of view. As with the Mate 30 Pro, this doubles up as the video capture camera, so can grab super-steady footage with no cropping. Additionally, it packs autofocus, so can lock in on close-up objects like a boss. Finally, there’s a time of flight (ToF) depth sensor for better background defocus effects and more.
Performance and software – Fast and cool, but no Google
Powered by a Kirin 990 paired with 8GB RAM, the Huawei P40 Pro isn’t the most powerful 2020 flagship smartphone around, but it’s still incredibly capable.
Everything from gaming to multitasking, right through to photo editing was nippy. The phone’s internal storage clocks in at 256GB which is ample, and it supports Huawei’s Nano Memory cards too.
With 5G data speeds, fast WiFi and NFC, not to mention a responsive under-display fingerprint scanner and fast face unlocking, nothing major is missing here when compared to pricier flagships.
The Huawei P40 Pro runs Android 10, with the brand’s own interface, Emotion UI over the top. It isn’t on the same footing as other Android phones though, thanks to the US imposed Huawei Google ban. In short, Huawei phones are restricted when it comes to Google; this means no Play Store, and other limitations when using third-party apps.
The situation is improving, with Here Maps, owned by BMW now providing Huawei phones with a decent mapping service available in its AppGallery. That said, getting apps on the phone isn’t an issue, to be honest. Of course, you can use Huawei’s AppGallery, but third-party app stores are better equipped, even if they aren’t always as polished (or protected). We found everything we needed in APKMirror, including Google Maps and Chrome, which both work fine on the P40 Pro. Alternatively, you can download apps directly from the host sites – Facebook and WhatsApp make their APKs (app files) available, for example. This takes a bit of scouting around, and updates aren’t automatically managed like they are with APK Mirror or other app stores, including Aurora.
Pricing and availability
Both the P40 and P40 Pro will be available in Silver Frost, Blush Gold and Deep Sea Blue – priced at S$1,448 and S$1,048 respectively.
Both phone models coming to Singapore will have 8GB of RAM. Built-in storage for the P40 is 128GB, while the P40 Pro get 256GB.
All customers who purchase the Huawei P40 series will also enjoy Huawei's Prestige Care services which include:-
Where to get your P40 phone?Here's where you can order the Huawei's latest phones:-