Jun 03, 2020 Reviews
Huawei has been around the top of the smartphone market for a long time now, even surpassing Apple for a significant time period. Their growth as a smartphone manufacturer has been huge, and it’s due to phones like the P30 Pro, Mate 20 and so on. The company once known for only cheaper phones, penetrated the flagship market heavily with their incredible screens and top-of-the-line cameras that even performed better than the likes of Samsung and Apple once upon a time. P30 Pro at its time was considered the absolute best camera unit on any smartphone, period - and we can comfortably say that the P40 Pro is no worse. However, with the exclusion of one major factor, it can be a dealbreaker for the majority of people.
There are plenty of reasons why this phone would stand out from the rest of the pack, and why it makes a great case to be one of the best phones in the market. Let’s get right into it.
The P40 Pro is actually built like a “Pro” phone, and looks every bit like it. The front is all screen except a dual-camera punch-hole design, and the screen gracefully curves around the edges. Moreover, the back is made of ceramic, which helps it achieve the premium look that separates it from almost every flagship these days - it also adds a lot to the in-hand comfortability of the phone. The camera module is mainly the biggest reason why the device looks like a Pro device, as it definitely makes it feel like a pro shooter, especially with the “Leica” branding on top of it. It looks similar to the S20 Ultra, but it manages to look more slick and elegant than it for some reason. You get IP68 water resistance, meaning you can keep this phone underwater for 30 minutes upto 1.5 metres. Moreover, a fast, up-to-date in-display fingerprint scanner is also available, along with an infrared face scanner if you want to unlock your phone that way. However, you do miss out on a headphone jack, but that’s the story with almost every flagship smartphone nowadays.
Much like any other hardware in this phone, the display is excellent as well. The P40 Pro sports an AMOLED display with a 90Hz refresh rate to make sure your viewing experience remains enjoyable to say the least. The screen is gorgeous, and the colors come out punchy and bold, with the blacks being deep as well. You’d expect the panels to be made by Samsung as Huawei has opted for the Korean manufacturer to make their displays for quite some time now. But surprisingly enough, Huawei follows in the same steps of the Mate 20, as it opts for Chinese company BOE and LG both to supply screens for them. Well, whoever supplies screens for them, we know that they are top-tier. Many people will point out to the fact that Samsung’s S20 and OnePlus 8 Pro both have a 120Hz refresh rate at a similar price - but it’s important to know that the leap from 60 to 90 is far more significant than from 90 to 120, which isn’t noticeable at all. The 90Hz option is a sweet spot for displays, because it offers that smooth performance along with more battery life as compared to a 120Hz screen.
Huawei has been opting for their own Kirin series for a long time instead of Snapdragon as their usual chipset. The same can be seen in the P40 Pro, as a Kirin 990 chip is featured in the phone which is obviously blazing fast. With an insane antutu score of around 460,000, the P40 Pro is one of the fastest phones on the market, and will not give you any jitters in the UI at all, and running even the most graphic-heavy games will feel like a breeze on this device. Pair that with 8 gigs of RAM, and you will be worry-free the entire time.
With one of the highest scores from DXOMark, the P40 Pro definitely lives up to the hype, and delivers an incredible camera performance. A quad setup can be seen in the back, with a 50MP main shooter, an insane 40MP for the ultrawide, and a telephoto camera at 8MP, with an option of 10x optical zoom. There’s also an extra depth sensor for portrait mode. The pictures from the main camera are excellent, and reproduce accurate colors. Dynamic range is on point as well, with the images coming out with amazing details as well. Moving on to the ultra-wide sensor, and you barely notice a drop in image quality - something which usually does happen in most phones, even flagships. Huawei made sure to not just keep the ultra-wide as a gimmick, and make the images very capable of being posted to your social media accounts or wherever you would want to.
Battery life is also top-notch on the P40 Pro, with a 4200 cell on board. You can easily get a day’s use with this phone without any problems. That may not be as impressive as other options in the flagship market, but when we take into the equation the option of 40W fast charging, it certainly elevates the battery performance tenfold. Moreover, you also get an option of reverse wireless charging other phones at 27W which is highly impressive in its own regard.
Well, there are no Google Services. Meaning, no Google Play Store, no Google Maps, GMail and everything associated with Google. A lot of the apps you find on the play store won’t even be on the app store that Huawei has included in their software. This is a bummer, because the recent U.S ban has stopped Huawei from using any of Google’s services - and that severely gets in the way of Huawei to become the undisputed best phone of 2020.
Now, if you know your way around Android devices and all, you can certainly get all your major apps through APKs. You can customize your phone to include Google’s services unofficially, but it will be a pain in the neck, and won’t certainly reach upto the level of your phone naturally having Google services in the first place. If you can deal with all that, then the P40 Pro is the phone to get, with one of the most impressive hardware components we’ve seen in a phone.