Huawei’s new Mate 40 Pro is an excellent device – but still lacks Google Mobile Services, and is probably the last phone to house the Kirin chipset.
The Mate 40 Pro has finally been released by Huawei after facing a plethora of adversities along its way. The launch event had to be postponed due to the issues faced by Huawei, mainly because of the sanctions imposed on the Chinese company by the US administration. Huawei even ordered significantly lesser chipsets from their supplier TSMC, because they expected lower sales due to the situation they were in. And now the Mate 40 Pro is probably the last Huawei device with a Kirin chipset inside, as the US has disallowed TSMC to provide any more chips to the Chinese manufacturer.
Nonetheless, let’s get into our full review of the Mate 40 Pro, and find out if it’s worthy of being chosen over the likes of the Note 20 Ultra, the OnePlus 8T and iPhone 12 Pro Max.
The Mate 40 Pro is definitely unique in its design aspect – which is a relief because we’re tired of seeing the same designs over and over again from manufacturers. Huawei has opted for a disc-style camera module at the back, with the Leica branding in between the ring – all of which looks slick and different from any other design we’ve seen so far this year. Moreover, no glossy, fingerprint-magnet textures at the back as well – with the Mate 40 Pro opting for a matte style glass finish, which not only looks elegant, but also prevents fingerprint marks slipperiness of the phone. You also get an IP68 waterproofing certificate on this phone, so you know you don’t have to worry about taking it to the shower (if you’re into that).
Moving on to the front of the device, we’ve got a gorgeous 6.76” OLED display with a 90Hz refresh rate. The screen is being called a waterfall display, as it curves almost all the way across the sides of the phone, making the phone look more modernistic than ever before. There will be an issue of accidental touches being registered, but as long as Huawei keeps a hold of that on the software side, it’s going to be fine. There’s a pill shaped cutout for the front cameras – a bit larger than expected, which also houses a ToF sensor for face detection.
The Mate 40 Pro is as fast of a phone as they come. The device is packed with Kirin 9000, which on the Android side is the first chipset based on a 5nm system – of course the iPhone 12 series’ A14 bionic is the first chip to do so. The Mate 40 Pro is a powerhouse of a device, as it will easily run through all the tasks you throw at it, be it gaming, media consumption or even video rendering. The phone’s Antutu score is around the 680,000 mark – the fastest around.
You get 8 gigs of RAM alongside the SoC, as well as 256GB of UFS 3.1 storage, all of which is going to help immensely in the smooth performance of the phone.
The battery isn’t the largest unit out there, with just a 4,400mAh cell in the back. Yes, that’s not a bad number at all, but for a flagship with such a power-hungry display, you won’t find the Mate 40 Pro delivering the longest battery duration times. However, luckily it comes with an insane 66W fast charger, and an ability to wirelessly charge at 50W – which is absurd in itself as well. So you won’t really be missing the lack of a chunky battery in the device much.
The camera system on the Mate 40 Pro is excellent as well, as you get a triple camera setup with a main, 50MP sensor leading the way, a 20MP ultra wide lens and a 12MP periscope telephoto sensor which is capable of 5x optical zoom without distorting the image quality.
The image quality shot from the Mate 40 Pro’s camera is excellent, and consistently so as well. The main camera shoots exquisitely well, with plenty of detail and dynamic range that it’s hard to rattle this guy even with harsh skies. The pictures also come out true to life, without any excessive saturation seen with the software processing.
Shots from the periscope lens are great as well, with no detail lost when zooming in, even with 5x zoom. The images still have plenty of dynamic range, and there’s no noise to be seen whatsoever. Moreover, the ultra wide is surprisingly impressive as well, with better quality than most of its competitors.
Even the night time shots look excellent with the Mate 40 Pro’s camera, as you won’t even find yourself needing to resort to Night Mode to take good night time pictures, as even the normal photo mode is going to take amazing shots. Noise is hard to see, exposure and shadows are on point, and there’s barely any glare noticeable in shots.
All in all, the Mate 40 Pro has a top notch camera.
Well, if the phone’s all that good, should you buy it? Our answer is probably going to be No, much like a lot of other international phone users. The issue is that the Mate 40 Pro is going to be without any Google Mobile Services, and Huawei’s own AppGallery has a lot of distance to cover before reaching the library of the Google Play Store. You won’t find many of your favourite apps on the store, and you’ll have to get around the system and download APKs and whatnot just to enjoy your favourite apps. Moreover, we don’t know what else is to be expected in the future considering Huawei’s reputation with the US administration.
If you’re willing to put up with that, then the Mate 40 Pro is an excellent device out and out, and we’re not afraid to admit that.