There's every reason to be excited about the Huawei P40 series and there's no doubt about it; the hype is real. Huawei has continously impressed us with each iteration of their P series and the latest P40 series has not only met our expectations, but has impressed us with features that we never knew we would want in a photography smartphone device.
Of course, the biggest reason many are hesitant to even consider a Huawei device is due to the lack of Google apps. But in our recent testing, we were informed on how to get key apps such as Facebook, Instagram and even Netflix on our device which we will delve into later. All we can say for now is that it works, even if it isn't as direct as it could be.
But before we touch on that, let's talk about the best features of the P40 Pro first.
Design: Curved to perfection
As we got the P40 Pro, it comes with the Quad-curve Overflow Display (which the P40 lacks) and usually I'm not a fan of cruved displays cause they don't feel comfortable in my hands. But the P40 Pro feels different; it's smaller and sturdier and feels safe within the palm of my hand.
On top of that, the design on the P40 Pro is definitely gorgeous. We got an incredibly reflective blue version which is definitely pretty and impressive, but it is prone to finger print marks so if you're not fond of that, you will need to use a phone cover.
In terms of the screen, you're getting a 90Hz OLED screen with a 2640 x 1200 resolution. Sure, it isn't the most powerful in the market currently, but it still is a good screen to work on, and the colours remain impressive regardless. There's even an in-display fingerprint which you can utilise for further security on the screen.
Probably the only issue you may find with the screen is the cut-out for the front-facing selfie cam and face-recognition sensors. I don't find it that much of an issue, but if you're not a fan of your screen being "marred" in that way, then this would be a big no for you.
Camera: Loads of Video Improvement
The P in the Huawei P series, of course, stands for Photography and Huawei continues to prove why they deserve this title. It can be hard to test the device even during the lockdown, but this challenge proves even more why the P40 Pro is perfect for every smartphone photography fan. After all, if photos look good even when you're at home, what more when you go out?
For the camera specs, the Huawei P40 Pro comes with 4 rear camera, which include a 50MP Ultra Vision wide with an f/1.9 lens, 40MP 18mm ultra-wide with an f/1.8 lens and a 12MP 5x optical zoom camera that uses a periscope lens to achieve those zooming levels, with video recordings up to 4K (no 8K options unfortunately). Huawei has focused a lot on improving the video aspect of their device, adding features like 7680fps slow motion, 4K timelapse, HDR, and even audio zoom.
So far every picture taken is detailed and vivid. There were some levels of saturation, especially for the night shots, but it didn't take away too much for me. The use of AI to take photos means images are more enhanced appropriately, which is a hit or miss at times and should be expected. It is possible to zoom up to 50x though I still think that level of zooming is more of a gimmick than it is useful, but even if the pictures at 50x zoom came out really grainy, it wasn't undistingishuable.
To be honest though, the zoom impressed me more when I was taking a video. There's no doubt that when zooming that much, the image is going to shake and be unstable a lot, yet the P40 Pro managed to take a pretty stable video when zoomed in at 50x. I wish this could have been applied in photos somehow, but based on this, I can confirm that not only has Huawei improved in terms of photography, but particularly videography as well.
Speaking of which, there’s also a 32MP camera on the front with autofocus, which even has the ability to shoot 4K videos. So to makeup artists or vloggers out there, this device is definitely for you.
Battery: Gets the job done and more
Battery for the Huawei P40 Pro can come off as unimpressive. With just a 4200mAh battery, which is the same as the P30 Pro, so it feels like there's no upgrade there. But there's actually plenty to look out for as it now comes with 40W SuperCharge and charges really fast, where you can get a full battery (from 0 percent) in less than 50 minutes.
It also comes with smart battery charging, where you can charge the device overnight and will lower the speed of the charge so you can get it fully charged before sunrise, similar to the iPhone batter management.
The P40 Pro also comes with 27W wireless charging (the normal P40 does not have wireless charging), and even reverse wireless charging. After activating the reverse charging from the battery options, you can charge your smartwatch or wireless earbuds off the phone, or even your friend's or partner's smartphone.
Overall, while spec wise the battery seems unimpressive, it's anything but and does its job well.
Features: Yes, you can get the apps
Now let's touch on the biggest aspect that many people are claiming to be the downfall of Huawei; the lack of Google apps. As mentioned in my earlier statements, it's totally possible to download key apps such as Facebook and Twitter on the device, but it's not that direct as it is with the Google Play Store.
Basically you can clone your old device to the P40 Pro and get all the apps from the old device to the new one. Then there's also the Huawei App Gallery that either redirects you to a web link to download the app (this is so for Facebook), or you get Aptoide or Apkpure on the device to get you all these apps. This includes Facebook, Messenger, Whatsapp, Netflix, Instagram, McDonalds, and more. So far the only one unable to download on the device (which I use) is Line, though it's a small price to lose seeing how I can still use Whatsapp or Messenger anyways.
Of course, you can do all this but the question is; will it work? The answer is a resounding yes. It will work. But there are limitations, such as Google Maps which won't work as it requires GMS to get your location. But all those important apps to upload or send those gorgeous pictures? Definitely works. So even with the lack of some apps, the pain isn't as great as before.
You have to give it Huawei, even with the many restrictions they faced, they are still focused in delivering the best devices to the market. With the Samsung Galaxy S20 series, it felt a little blown out of porportion, giving you a lot of powerful tech that may not actually be used in the long run and may even be a little detrimental to your experience (like having a 120Hz screen that eats up battery fast).
But with the Huawei P40 series, everything feels balanced and not out of place. Sure, it's not exactly the most powerful device there is in the market, but it definitely excels in what the P stands for; Photography. And with this recent P40 series, I think Huawei is impressive even in the video department.