Huawei P40 Pro Review; Flagship Full of Excitement - TeknoGadyet

Monday, April 27, 2020

Huawei P40 Pro Review; Flagship Full of Excitement


INTRODUCTION:

The Huawei P40 Pro was launched last March, and as expected, it carries the top-caliber camera tradition of the Huawei P series as one of its many highlights. Yes, the photography department is not the only thing this flagship smartphone has to offer. And, if you want to discover what those are, let's check it out here!

Huawei P40 Pro Review; Flagship Full of Excitement
Huawei P40 Pro Review; Flagship Full of Excitement


PHYSICAL:

The Huawei P40 Pro is a cross-breed between the last year's flagship devices - the Mate 30 Pro and the P30 Pro. However, it surpasses them not only in features, but also in physical appearance. We are not saying that previous Mate and P series phones are not elegant, but the P40 Pro takes elegance into the next level.

Huawei P40 Pro Front
Front

Its facade is entirely smooth with no wide notch like Mate 30 Pro or the dewdrop screen of the P30 Pro. Instead, it has an "Overflow Display" inspired by the beauty and form of flowing water, wherein all sides "flow" downwards to the frame, and the four curved edges sweep towards the protective round corners.

This kind of design is possible as Huawei opted for the punch-hole trend found on smartphones' displays today. It has a pill-shape cut-out on the screen, wherein the selfie cameras are located - the 32MP AF main module and the depth sensor. The punch hole is not so small, that is because there is an ambient and proximity sensor placed in between the two front snappers.

Huawei P40 Pro Display
Display

As for the display itself, the OLED panel measures 6.58-inches with FHD+ resolution, which is 2640 x 1200 pixels, and supports a 90Hz refresh rate, which is the first from Huawei. It is quite sharp, bright, and immersive with excellent viewing angles. It also has extensive options that users can tweak under the display settings. Some of these items are changing the screen resolution and refresh rate, and the option to hide the cutout.

Just like the Mate 30 Pro and P30 Pro, the P40 Pro has no earpiece, and it uses screen vibration to produce sound during a call. It is our first time to actually experience in, and we can say that it has the same experience with phones that have an earpiece.

Aside from having no earpiece, there are other things these three phones have in common. All of them have no 3.5mm audio port, which is becoming the norm these days in flagship devices. Another thing is the under-display optical fingerprint sensor, and it is quite fast, unlocking the phone is almost an instant. Moreover, face recognition is pretty quick too, and works well even in the dark environment.

Huawei P40 Pro Back
Back, Silver Frost

The rear of the P40 Pro ditches the gradient color design from the previous flagship phones. Instead, it adopts a more simplistic, yet elegant solid colors. The one we have for review is the Silver Frost, and the other two are Deep Sea Blue and Blush Gold, all of which have a matte finish.

Located at the back is the crowning glory of the P40 Pro, the quad-camera setup housed in a rectangular module that is noticeably embossed even if the phone is wearing the free silicon case. To be fair, the camera panel is smooth, with no sharp corners or edges.

The rear shooters are composed of the 50MP Ultra Vision Camera, the 40MP Cine Camera, 12MP SuperSensing Telephoto Camera, and 3D Depth Sensing Camera.

Going around the aluminum frame, the top has the secondary microphone and IR blaster, the left has nothing on it, the right has the volume keys and power button, and the bottom holds the loudspeaker grille, USB Type-C port, primary microphone, and the card tray. The card tray supports 2 Nano SIM cards or 1 Nano SIM card + 1 NanoMemory card.

The Huawei P40 Pro has a pretty solid build quality, and it is also IP68-certified, meaning it is protected against dust and static water up to 1.5 meters for up to 30 minutes. It measures 72.6mm x 158.2mm x 8.95mm and weighs 209 grams. That is a similar height with the P30 Pro and Mate 30 Pro, but it is thicker and heavier.


Huawei P40 Pro Unboxing and Initial Impressions

The retail package consists of the unit itself, the 40W Huawei SuperCharge desktop charger, USB Type-C Cable, wired earphones with USB-C connector, free case, SIM ejector tool, and paper documents. To learn more, you can watch our unboxing and hands-on video above.

Also Read: Huawei Mate Xs 5G with Foldable Display and Quad Leica Cameras Now Available for Only Php139,999


SOFTWARE:

The Huawei P40 Pro runs on EMUI 10 based on Android 10, and it has Huawei Mobile Services and uses Huawei's very own application store - the AppGallery. Yes, it has no Google Mobile Services, and it has no Google Play Store, but I guess you know that already.

Like any other EMUI device, it has a magazine-style lockscreen with pictures that change every time the screen is wake up. Swiping up from the bottom of the lockscreen will bring up quick shortcuts. After unlocking, you will find all the apps in the homescreen, there is no app drawer by default, but you can enable that in the settings menu. The same is true with the UI, by default it has gesture navigation, but you can always go back to three-key navigation. At the end of the day, it is just a matter of preference.

Speaking of homescreen, upon boot up, there are five unpopulated folders, namely Business, Entertainment, Social, Lifestyle, and Games. But, once you activated the internet, either mobile data or thru WiFi, those blank folders will start to populate with recommended apps. Yes, they are just recommendations, and will not be downloaded automatically.

The P40 Pro also offers air and non-touch gestures, such as scrolling and taking screenshots without touching the screen, automatically answering the calls by bringing the phone to your ear, and muting the phone by flipping it face down.

Huawei has been either partnering with other brands or creating their own solutions to replace similar Google applications. However, some of them are not yet fully ready or not yet readily available in most markets. For example, Huawei has TomTom-based Maps, but it is not yet launched. Huawei also has its very own smart assistant named Celia, but it is currently limited to a few countries and languages.

In addition, Huawei also teamed up with the EU's popular search engine, Qwant, and will soon replace the default Bing engine. Of course, you can always go to google.com on the browser if you still prefer the search giant. Moreover, Huawei also launched MeeTime, an all-new video calling app that rivals that of Apple's FaceTime.

As for the AppGallery, Huawei says it has more than 400 million users worldwide and boasts over 50,000 apps. However, some of the popular apps are there, and some aren't. So, the best way to start with Huawei P40 Pro is to use the Phone Clone app, which lets you copy almost everything from your old phone. In that way, you can have most of your essential apps, albeit, these apps won't get automatic updates in the future.

The good thing with Huawei is that they are partnering with both international and local companies to bring their applications to the AppGallery. For example, banking apps like UnionBank and BDO are already in the AppGallery; the same is true with mobile wallet apps like PayMaya and GCash.

To learn more about EMUI, you can visit https://consumer.huawei.com/ph/emui/. Meanwhile, if you need to know more about Huawei AppGallery, please visit https://consumer.huawei.com/ph/mobileservices/appgallery/.


PERFORMANCE:

The P40 Pro is powered by Huawei's HiSilicon Kirin 990 5G chipset, the same thing found inside the Mate 30 Pro 5G, and said to be a little faster than the non-5G chip in the regular Mate 30 Pro. It has an octa-core processor grouped into 3 clusters - 2 Cortex-A76 cores clocked at 2.86GHz, 2 Cortex-A76 cores clocked at 2.36GHz each, and 4 Cortex-A55 cores with a clock frequency of 1.95GHz each. It also has 16-core ARM Mali-G76 GPU and has a multi-core neural processing unit.

Below are the scores it got in our favorite benchmarking tools:

Benchmark Huawei P40 Pro Realme 5 Samsung Galaxy A71
Antutu 465,097 167,623 250,834
Geekbench 5 (Single-Core) 751 314 546
Geekbench 5 (Multi-Core) 2,287 1,365 1,735
Geekbench 5 (RenderScript) 3,726 377 915
PC Mark 9,393 7,789 7,694
3D Mark Sling Shot 3,953 1,760 2,979
3D Mark Sling Shot (Vulcan) 3,365 1,050 1,860
3D Mark Sling Shot (OpenGL) 5,595 1,150 2,468

As you can see in the above table, it really overpowers midrange devices Realme 5 and Samsung Galaxy A71. Our apologies for the comparison, as we haven't reviewed a flagship smartphone for quite a while now. The closest we can get is the OPPO Reno 10x Zoom. However, we can only compare its Antutu score of 363,834 and PCMark score of 8,672, as the other tests were done using old benchmarking apps. Nonetheless, you can still see the over 100K difference in the Antutu test, which shows how powerful the Kirin 990 5G compared to a Snapdragon855 handset.

As for the real-world usage, you will indeed get flagship speed and performance without no noticeable lags at all, whether you are playing high-performance games or using highly demanding apps. In addition, it has High-Performance Mode, wherein it boosts GPU for an added kick in performance. Add the 90Hz screen, and you get fluidity, speed, and immersive flagship experience.

See Also: Huawei MatePad Pro 4G Unveils in PH for Php32,990; Pre-Order Now to Get Php14,980 Worth of Freebies


CAMERA:

Huawei and Leica's partnership grows stronger year after year, and the P40 Pro is a solid testament to that. The quad cameras at the back, dubbed as Ultra Vision Leica Quad Camera, have similar compositions as the P30 Pro, but it now has more sophisticated sensors than before.

Huawei P40 Pro Quad Rear Cameras
Quad Rear Cameras

The main module is now upgraded to 50MP from 40MP and has octa phase-detection autofocus, albeit the aperture is now f/1.9 as compared to f/1.6. The periscope telephoto now also has more pixels at 12MP, up from 8MP before. The same is true with the ultrawide sensor, it is wider at 18mm, brighter at f/1.8, and twice as much resolution as the P30 Pro at 40MP. Of course, the TOF 3D sensor for depth sensing is still present.

Let's have a more in-depth look at each one of the sensors. The 50MP Ultra Vision Camera has a 1/1.28-inch sensor with an RYYB color filer array. Each pixel has 8 autofocus detectors, thus the term Octa PD Autofocus by Huawei, which basically improves focusing in low-light situations. By default, the output has 12.6MP resolution, that's 4096 x 3072 pixels, with a 4:3 aspect ratio. If you need to utilize the full 50MP, you must select the HIGH-RES mode buried in the "MORE" option.

The 12MP SuperSensing Telephoto Camera has a periscope lens that is capable of 5x Optical Zoom, 10x Hybrid Zoom, and 50x Max Zoom. It has optical image stabilization and aperture of f/3.4.

Meanwhile, the 40MP Cine Camera has an ultra-wide-angle lens equivalent to 18mm, has a 1/1.54-inch sensor, an aperture of f/1.8, and phase-detection autofocus. This is also similar, if not the same with that of the Mate 30 Pro. Unlike that main module, it uses the classic 3:2 aspect ratio. In addition, it has a Quad-Bayer RGGB filer, which makes the output to have a 10MP resolution, which is 3840 x 2592 pixels.

Lastly, the 3D Depth Sensing Camera is a Time Of Flight (TOF) camera that speeds up focusing and provides better portrait and bokeh effect.

Huawei P40 Pro Dual Selfie Cameras
Dual Selfie Cameras

Moving on to the front, the Huawei P40 Pro employs an additional two sensors for its selfie snappers, which makes the total phone's camera to 6. The main one still has a 32MP resolution, and a 26mm wide lens like the P30 Pro and Mate 30 Pro, albeit the aperture is f/2.2 as compared to f/2.0 found on the other two mentioned phones. The good thing is that it now has an autofocus sensor. The secondary camera, on the other hand, act as the depth sensor for better portrait images.

Camera Samples:

Huawei P40 Pro Camera Sample - Condo, Ultra-Wide
Condo, Ultra-Wide
Huawei P40 Pro Camera Sample - Condo, Normal
Condo, Normal
Huawei P40 Pro Camera Sample - Condo, 5x
Condo, 5x
Huawei P40 Pro Camera Sample - Condo, 10x
Condo, 10x
Huawei P40 Pro Camera Sample - Playground, Ultra-Wide
Playground, Ultra-Wide
Huawei P40 Pro Camera Sample - Playground, Normal
Playground, Normal
Huawei P40 Pro Camera Sample - Playground, 5x
Playground, 5x
Huawei P40 Pro Camera Sample - Playground, 10x
Playground, 10x
Huawei P40 Pro Camera Sample - Pool, Ultra-Wide
Pool, Ultra-Wide
Huawei P40 Pro Camera Sample - Pool, Normal
Pool, Normal
Huawei P40 Pro Camera Sample - Pool, 5x
Pool, 5x
Huawei P40 Pro Camera Sample - Pool, 10x
Pool, 10x
Huawei P40 Pro Camera Sample - Night, Ultra-Wide, Normal
Night, Ultra-Wide, Normal
Huawei P40 Pro Camera Sample - Night, Ultra-Wide, Night Mode
Night, Ultra-Wide, Night Mode
Huawei P40 Pro Camera Sample - Night, Normal, Normal Mode
Night, Normal, Normal Mode
Huawei P40 Pro Camera Sample - Night, Normal, Night Mode
Night, Normal, Night Mode
Huawei P40 Pro Camera Sample - Selfie with Mask
Selfie with Mask
Huawei P40 Pro Camera Sample - Selfie without Mask
Selfie without Mask
Huawei P40 Pro Camera Sample - Night Selfie, Normal
Night Selfie, Normal
Huawei P40 Pro Camera Sample - Night Selfie, Portrait
Night Selfie, Portrait
Huawei P40 Pro Camera Sample - Night Selfie, Night Mode
Night Selfie, Night Mode

As expected, the image qualities are excellent, whether the shots are taken indoor or outdoor, and whether it is broad daylight or night time. No matter what condition there is, the main and ultra-wide rear cameras still deliver outputs with plenty of resolved details, outstanding dynamic range, and near accurate color reproduction.

Going back to the dynamic range, the phone also has dedicated HDR mode with Huawei XD Fusion Engine. It is a nice option to have, but for us, it is not really necessary, mainly because the P40 Pro already excels in this category. That said, you might end up not using it at all since detecting highlights and shadows are quite easy tasks for this handset.

The same is true when shooting at night, when AI is enabled, it gives outputs with great details and less noise, even when shooting only in normal mode. There is not much difference in the image quality when you shoot using the Night mode. In fact, it is a bit hard to distinguished which shooting mode was used when you compare the pictures taken either by the 50MP main module or the 40MP ultra-wide module.

However, it slightly different when using the telephoto lens. The images produced are generally softer than the two other modules and colors are weaker. At night, the outputs are still very much usable, but usually tends to be darker. And we can say that when using the 5x zoom in low-light conditions, the dedicated night mode is highly recommended as it brightens the pictures and brings more details.

As for the selfie cameras, outputs are great as well. The images are sharp with lots of details and mostly accurate colors. There is one thing though that could be a plus or a deduction for some users, and that is the beautification level is not as aggressive as compared to other Chineses smartphones in the market.

For the video capability, the Huawei P40 Pro can records videos up to 4K resolution at 60fps both for the front and rear cameras with AIS video stabilization on top of EIS and OIS.

Related: A Typical Day with the Huawei Y7p and its AppGallery


BATTERY:

The Huawei P40 Pro is equipped with a battery that has 4,200mAh typical value and supports 40W fast wired charging and 15W fast wireless charging. Based on our test, the 40W HuaweiSuperCharge can refill the phone from 0 to 75% in about 30 minutes, and 57 minutes to 100%. In PC Mark Battery Test, it scored exactly 16 hours.

Huawei P40 Pro PC Mark Battery Score
PC Mark Battery Score

It also supports 27W wireless charging, but in order to achieve that, you need to purchase HUAWEI SuperCharge Wireless Charger or HUAWEI SuperCharge Wireless Car Charger.


CONNECTIVITY:

The Huawei P40 Pro has a dual card slot, which can either support two Nano-SIM cards or a Nano-SIM + a NanoMemory card for storage expansion, which is still less popular these days. As mentioned multiple times already, it supports 5G connection, however, we do not have 5G SIM at the time of review, so we have not tested it out yet. Nonetheless, the 4G LTE connection is still fast and can satisfy your mobile data needs.

As for the WiFi, the connection is pretty fast, especially that it already supports WiFi 6, that 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax standard, and 2 x 2 MIMO. The Bluetooth version is 5.1, it has NFC, and the USB port is Type-C version 3.1.

The consumer will also be delighted to know that it still has an IR blaster, which allows users to control tons of appliances with the phone through the Smart Remote app.

For location tracking, it has pretty comprehensive locators, dual-band GPS with A-GPS, multiple bands BDS, dual-band Galileo, dual-band QZSS, and NavIC. However, since Huawei still lacks a replacement for Google's location framework, some apps that require location services might not work with the P40 Pro.


FINAL WORDS:

The Huawei P40 Pro is an elegant smartphone that is premium in every sense - look, touch, and feel. Its responsive software and powerful internals combined with the immersive display also gives premium experience.

Huawei P40 Pro Philippines
Huawei P40 Pro

As for its cameras, both the rear shooters and front snappers give excellent outputs. And, with the different sensors and variety of lenses, the P40 Pro can cover most if not all your photography needs, from portrait, landscape, to nightscape.

Yes, there is an adjustment period without GMS, but nonetheless, the Huawei P40 Pro is still an excellent premium flagship device.

Huawei P40 Pro Specs (Philippines)

  • Dual Nano-SIM, dual standby, supports 5G connectivity
  • 6.58-inch OLED FHD+ (2640 x 1200) capacitive touchscreen display; 90Hz refresh rate
  • IP68 splash, water, and dust resistant
  • Dimensions: 72.6mm x 158.2mm x 8.95mm
  • Weight: 209 grams
  • EMUI 10.1 based on Android 10 with Huawei Mobile Services
  • 2.86GHz octa-core CPU, ARM Mali-G76MP16 GPU with GPU Turbo, HiSilicon Kirin 990 5G chip
  • 8GB RAM
  • 256GB storage, expandable via NanoMemory card up to 256GB, uses SIM 2 slot
  • 50MP PDAF OIS Ultra Vision f/1.9 + 40MP f/1.8 Ultra-wide Cine Lens, 12MP f/3.4 PDAF OIS telephoto + TOF 3D depth quad rear cameras, 4K video recording at 60fps
  • 32MP AF f/2.0 + IR Depth front cameras, 4K video recording at 60fps
  • WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax
  • Bluetooth v5.1
  • NFC
  • GPS with A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS, Galileo, QZSS, NavIC
  • USB Type-C port with OTG support
  • Sensors: fingerprint (in-display), light, proximity, accelerometer, gyroscope, hall, magnetic
  • Battery: 4,200mAh Li-Po non-removable with 40W Wired SuperCharge, 27W wireless SuperCharge, 27W wireless reverse SuperCharge
  • Colors: Silver Frost, Blush Gold, Deep Sea Blue, Ice White, Black
  • Price: Php50,990

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