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Huawei P40 Pro review

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Introduction

Ah, a new Photo king rises, but its kingdom of apps was taken away before its birth. What happens next then, the crowd asks? Will its subjects flee with the riches now gone? Or will the Huawei P40 Pro break new paths through this uncharted territory and keep its former glory? The crowds shall get their answer!

It was tough for Huawei to lose Google support, but it will be even more challenging to sell in the current stagnated market amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. But the P40 series is having its launch despite the global health crisis, and the P40 Pro surely looks like it is ready to stand its ground.

The P40 Pro provides a premium camera experience with improved sensors and a focus on the optical zooming, plus it has the new 90Hz 1200p OLED screen. There is an even more premium device than the Pro – the new P40 Pro+ with a ceramic body and a jaw-dropping 10x optical zoom.

The Pro+ launch was moved for this summer season though and it seems it will be more of a limited edition, quite expensive at that. So, all eyes on the P40 Pro here, please, as it is the star of this show.
Huawei P40 Pro review
The P40 Pro is Huawei’s first smartphone with a high-refresh-rate screen – it now has a 6.58″ curved OLED with high-resolution of 1200p and 90Hz refresh rate. The elliptical punch-hole is quite the eyesore but packs a brand-new 32MP selfie camera with autofocus (finally!) and a ToF snapper. It seems that Huawei is making up for the lost pixels Huawei by putting the tech needed for 3D face unlock.

The main camera is what everyone will be talking about, of course. It has a new 50MP sensor with a RYYB filter that will spit 12MP photos. Then comes the ultrawide shooter lifted straight from the Mate 30 Pro – a 40MP sensor with RGGB filter and autofocus. The zoom camera seems to have an identical periscope lens for 5x optical zoom as seen on the P30 Pro’s – but gets a new 12MP sensor with RYYB filter and will allow more light at nighttime. And finally, there is another ToF camera for portraits and autofocus assistance.

The new Kirin 990 5G is at the helm of the P40 Pro. At 4,200 mAh, the battery capacity has remained unchanged since the P30 Pro but charging should be faster.

Huawei P40 Pro specs

  • Body: Glass front and back, aluminum frame; IP68-rated for dust and water resistance.
  • Screen: 6.58″ quad-curved OLED, 1,200×2,640px resolution (440ppi); HDR10.
  • Chipset: Kirin 990 5G, octa-core processor (2xA76 @2.86GHz + 2xA76 @2.36GHz +4xA55 @1.95GHz), Mali-G76 MP16 GPU, dual-core NPU.
  • Memory: 8GB RAM, 256GB UFS3.0 storage (expandable via Nano Memory – hybrid slot).
  • OS/Software: Android 10, EMUI 10.1.
  • Rear camera: Primary: 50MP (RYYB filter), 1/1.28″ sensor size, 23mm f/1.8 lens, OIS, PDAF; Telephoto: 8MP (RYYB filter) 1/4.0″ with periscope 125mm f/3.4 OIS lens, 5x optical and 10x hybrid zoom, PDAF; Ultra wide angle: 40MP (RGGB filter), 1/1.54″, 18mm, f/1.8, PDAF; ToF camera; 4K@60fps video capture, 720@7680fps slow-mo; Leica co-developed.
  • Front camera: 32MP, f/2.2, 26mm; ToF camera.
  • Battery: 4,200mAh; Super Charge 40W; 27W wireless charging; 27W reverse wireless charging.
  • Security: Fingerprint reader (under display, optical), 3D face recognition.
  • Connectivity: 5G/4G/3G/GSM; Dual SIM, Wi-Fi 6+, Dual-band GPS, Bluetooth 5.1 + LE, NFC, USB Type-C.
  • Misc: IR blaster, acoustic display acts as earpiece, bottom-firing loudspeaker.

The Huawei P40 Pro seems to be lacking so little but the elephant in the room – the absence of Google Mobile Services – is something that raises many questions. And you will get those answered if you stick for a while with us.

Unboxing the Huawei P40 Pro

There are no surprises within the P40 Pro retail box – its contents are worthy of a flagship. Inside you will find the 40W power brick and the enhanced USB-C cable that goes with it.
Huawei P40 Pro review
Huawei is also throwing a pair of its wired earbuds ending on a USB-C plug. Those have the same shape as Huawei’s FreeBuds 3, they are just not so free.

Some markets may be getting a silicone case with the P40 Pro, but our box did not offer one.

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