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Huawei P40 Pro Hands-on Review: Silky Design, Sharp Camera | Digital Trends

The Huawei P30 Pro is a tough act to comply with. It had the whole lot we wished from a telephone, from slick design and exquisite colours, to a trendsetting digital camera and, in fact, Google Play put in.

It successor, the Huawei P40 Pro, is now right here. Despite attempting instances for Huawei, the brand new telephone manages to push technical boundaries, significantly with its digital camera. It additionally challenges the established technique of discovering and downloading the apps we would like.

I may go on with technical particulars, however right here’s what you really want to know. This telephone simply feels proper. From the astonishingly silky texture of the physique and velvety clean software program, to the pleasant display and cracking digital camera, the Huawei P40 Pro is an excellent telephone.


The P40 Pro adheres to Huawei’s desire for designing the P-series telephones across the huge digital camera. The chassis is steel, whereas the entrance and rear are lined in glass. My evaluation mannequin, pictured under, is in a coloration referred to as silver frost, which has a matte end on the again. It’s exceptionally efficient at decreasing fingerprints, but captures gentle in a sexy manner. The matte end additionally is available in gold, and you’ll select between ice white, black, or deep sea blue hues with out the matte end.

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I mentioned the P40 Pro just feels right, and I meant it. The curved edges movement between display and rear panel, decreasing fatigue in your palm when holding the telephone for lengthy intervals. That design is repeated on the highest and backside edges. This makes swiping snug, particularly when swiping up from the underside of the display, which is essential to utilizing the gesture management system. To give the sides some safety, the steel chassis extends up over the information of the glass. Still, this isn’t a telephone for clumsy arms.

The 6.58-inch display has a 2640 x 1200 pixel decision, a 90Hz refresh fee, and appears improbable. The curved glass flows in a manner I’ve probably not seen earlier than. It’s extra pronounced than the Apple iPhone 11 Pro and the Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus, however much less so than the Huawei Mate 30 Pro.

Huawei says the display is engineered to resemble floor rigidity on water, the place a liquid threatens to overflow out of a cup, however by no means fairly breaks the floor. It’s an ideal analogy for a way the display seems from all angles. It’s distinctive, eye-catching. and, in my expertise, makes the telephone much less taxing to make use of for lengthy intervals of time.

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Though heavier than the Galaxy S20 Plus, the P40’s weight is nicely distributed regardless of the massive digital camera bump on the again. It by no means feels top-heavy or able to topple out of your hand. The in-display fingerprint sensor is 30% bigger, and likewise quicker than the P40 Pro’s sensor. The dual-sensor selfie digital camera now has an IR sensor, so face unlock is equally improved. The P40 Pro has an IP68 water resistance score, too.


The digital camera is why I sit up for a brand new P Series telephone. The P40 Pro has a large 1/1.28-inch 50-megapixel Ultra Vision RYYB primary sensor, a 40-megapixel wide-angle sensor, a 12-megapixel telephoto sensor, and a time-of-flight sensor too. Experts Leica have labored with Huawei to tune the sensors, lenses, and software program. It’s all powered by a brand new third-generation picture engine with synthetic intelligence (A.I.), which takes photographs earlier than, throughout, and after you press the shutter button, after which optimizes the scene pixel-by-pixel in any respect focal lengths.

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When you employ the P40 Pro’s spectacular 5x optical zoom, the A.I. Image Engine clears up the picture, leading to extra element and higher readability. It reduces the typically overly digital look of zoomed-in pictures. There’s a brand new autofocus system as nicely, with eight separate factors of focus per pixel, leading to higher deal with transferring objects.

That’s all earlier than exploring what the brand new XD Fusion Engine can do when it really works with the picture sign processor (ISP) and neural processing unit (NPU). This enables you to crop pictures with out dropping readability, whether or not it’s throughout the daytime or on photographs taken with the revised Super Night mode. A.I. may even take away undesirable folks out of your photographs, or reflections from home windows.

Unfortunately, the P40 Pro has arrived in my arms at a time once I, like many others, have restricted entry to the surface world. That left me with few alternatives to really take a look at the digital camera’s limits. I did discover that sunny outside pictures look clear and aren’t overly saturated, whereas pictures taken in aperture mode have wonderful edge detection. When transferring between large, commonplace, 5x, and 10x zoom there are inconsistencies in publicity, dynamic vary, and coloration; however it is a identified challenge on all telephones with a number of lenses, and never distinctive to the P40 Pro.

I used to be blown away by how nicely the A.I. Image Engine can clear up photographs at excessive ranges of zoom. Improved sharpness is straight away noticeable in pictures shot at 5x optical and 10x hybrid, and the A.I.-assisted stabilization retains the whole lot regular. However, the software program nonetheless wants work. Night Mode, normally a Huawei excessive level, doesn’t take nice pictures but, and lowlight pictures look a lot better when shot in commonplace photograph mode.

What concerning the A.I.’s potential to take away folks and reflections? In a weird flip of occasions, taking pictures with precise folks in them throughout my quick time exterior has confirmed difficult. Still, I did strive the reflection removing function, with combined outcomes. My makes an attempt to {photograph} glass bottles didn’t result in good outcomes, however the A.I. actually removes some reflections, in the event that they’re refined.

The P40 Pro does enhance on the P30 Pro,and the Mate 30 Pro, and I haven’t but been capable of correctly take a look at out its massive sensor to its limits, and my early evaluation mannequin will certainly profit from a number of software program tweaks to enhance Night Mode. If the P40 Pro isn’t sufficient, Huawei has upgraded the digital camera on the brand new P40 Pro Plus. More on that in a second.

Software and efficiency

A Kirin 990 processor and 8GB of RAM energy the P40 Pro seen under, and 5G is commonplace. A 4,200mAh battery is discovered inside, charged by a 40W system over wired and wi-fi choices.

Huawei’s EMUI 10.1 is put in over Android 10, but it surely’s the open-source model, and doesn’t include Google Mobile Services. I used the Phone Clone device to switch apps and settings from one other Huawei telephone, a course of which took solely moments.

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Using the P40 Pro redefines the idea of slick. EMUI 10.1 paired with a 90Hz display couldn’t be any smoother. Every fade, each app animation, and each slide or scroll of a display is a pleasurable, completely clean expertise. It’s additional enhanced by the texture of the display underneath your finger, and the efficiency of the Kirin 990 chipset.

The absence of Google Play isn’t as critical as you might assume. I’ve a excessive proportion of the apps I would like on the P40, obtained from Huawei’s App Gallery, the Amazon App Store, and APKs, in addition to through the use of the Phone Clone device. However, there are not any banking apps and no contactless cost programs like Google Pay, and you must depend on the browser for extra duties than earlier than. It’s not an insurmountable drawback from telephone lovers. Everyday customers, nevertheless, could also be confused.

Andy Boxall/DigitalTrends

Huawei’s HiVoice voice assistant lastly has a reputation in EMUI 10.1. Meet Celia, who wakes with a brief press of the facility button, or by detecting your voice. You can carry out actions like asking the climate, setting reminders, or sending an SMS. The voice is evident, and the always-listening microphone picks up the wake command nicely. But like all voice assistants, it’s not one thing I’d use fairly often exterior of the home.

What concerning the P40 and the P40 Pro Plus?

The P40 Pro isn’t the highest P40 Series telephone you should buy. Huawei additionally has the P40 Pro Plus, which guarantees an excellent higher digital camera. Huawei describes it as “the most complete smartphone camera system, ever.” It has 5 lenses on the again, that includes the identical 50-megapixel and 40-megapixel commonplace and large lenses because the P40 Pro, plus a pair of 8-megapixel lenses for telephoto duties.

This offers it the first-ever twin optical zoom digital camera lens system on a telephone, providing 3x optical and 10x optical zoom, with clean transitions between the 2 lenses as you zoom in. The digital camera system additionally has a time-of-flight sensor and optical picture stabilization on each lens. It’s all cutting-edge {hardware}.

The P40 Plus’s display and energy are the identical because the P40 Pro’s, but it surely does include a ceramic again panel, offering higher scratch safety. It’ll be accessible in black or white. I haven’t had the prospect to make use of the P40 Pro Plus but, however the promise of an excellent higher digital camera wrapped in a ceramic package deal is tantalizing.

Huawei additionally introduced the P40. It has a 6.1-inch display with a 2340 x 1080 pixel decision, however with out the 90Hz refresh fee. It shares the identical Kirin 990 processor and 5G connection because the Pro fashions. It misses out on the IR sensor within the selfie digital camera and provides a IP53 water resistance score fairly than IP68. The camera is different, with the bump itself resembling the P30. It has a 50-megapixel primary lens, a 16-megapixel large angle, and an 8-megapixel telephoto lens with 3x optical zoom. Inside is a 3,800mAh battery with out wi-fi charging.


There’s no query the Huawei P40 Pro is a real 2020 flagship smartphone, from the superbly crafted form to the spectacular digital camera. However, I’ve a sense the P40 Pro Plus can be even higher. That isn’t to belittle the P40 Pro. The form, display, and efficiency all make it worthy of consideration.

I’m most impressed by the P40 Pro’s refinement. The software program is nice, the in-hand really feel has advanced over the Mate 30 Pro, and the digital camera is a technical marvel. It leaves most of the units from its direct rivals — all vying for supremacy in Europe following Huawei’s lack of Google Mobile Services — in its mud.

Price and availability

We will learn how a lot the P40, P40 Pro, and P40 Pro Plus value as soon as the net launch occasion has ended. At the time of writing ,the small print are unknown. When the P30 Pro launched, it value 1,000 euros, or about $925 U.S. right this moment, so anticipate one thing related for the P40 Pro.

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