Huawei P40 Pro, hands on: Another superb Huawei phone, but still missing Google services Review

Nancy J. Delong

Huawei’s newly unveiled six.fifty eight-inch P40 Professional (£899.ninety nine inc. VAT), like its smaller sibling the P40 (£699.ninety nine), is a stunningly made handset that majors on camera functionality and provides a vary of other eye-catching functions.

Just like the Huawei Mate 30 Professional (£899.ninety nine), and the more inexpensive Honor 9x Professional (€249), the P40 series handsets lack Google Mobile Companies. Rather they run Android 10 with Huawei’s EMUI overlay and accessibility to Huawei Mobile Companies with the confined Huawei AppGallery. As a result, these products will not compete on an even enjoying industry with common Android-based handsets, and it truly is this which — despite all the other goodies — defines the P40 Professional and P40, and the future (in June) top-of-the-vary P40 Professional+.


No Google apps or solutions below.

Picture: Sandra Vogel/ZDNet

Final year’s Huawei P30 Professional was a scene-stealer, with its exceptional quad-camera method, fantastic display and outstanding battery lifestyle taking it proper to the top of the handset tree. A yr on and Huawei proceeds to innovate with its camera-centered ‘P’ series. But the lack of accessibility to Google Mobile Companies casts a extended shadow above the new handsets’ capabilities.

Software program

As with my assessment of the Huawei Mate 30 Professional, it truly is worth beginning with the computer software side of matters. Intrigued people will discover guides online on how to install Google Mobile Companies, but these are not formally supported, and I am executing no more below than mentioning this for completeness. This assessment was carried out with the handset in the sort it was offered to me by Huawei, which indicates it truly is managing just the open up-supply model of Android 10, overlain by Huawei’s EMUI

In this situation there are several Google applications lacking, which includes Chrome, Maps, YouTube, Gmail and the Enjoy Retail outlet. There are a great deal of other world wide web browsers for Android, and Huawei has chosen to contain its personal as effectively as Bing, by which you can accessibility YouTube, Gmail and Maps. Huawei also includes its personal tunes and video clip players, as well as a vary of extras which includes a notepad app, weather app, translator, calendar app, a discover telephone app, Huawei Pay out wallet and Microsoft Business. You will find the beneficial Good Remote, which works by using an IR blaster on the top of the handset to management matters like your Tv set.

Huawei has its personal AppGallery, which it is populating with more apps all the time. If the app you seek is not in the AppGallery and you come to a decision to install it via APK, then it will be a new, thoroughly clean install. Your person background from an installation on a prior handset will be lost, although Huawei’s Telephone Clone app, which is preinstalled on the P40 Professional, can acquire care of that side of matters.

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If you happen to be not wedded to the Google ecosystem, you might be happy with what’s on offer you below — in particular if you happen to be well prepared to seek out workarounds to get your favourite apps managing.



If you can are living with what Huawei Mobile Companies has to offer you, the P40 Professional is a superbly-engineered smartphone.

Picture: Sandra Vogel/ZDNet


4 rear cameras: 50MP large-angle, 40MP extremely-large-angle, 12MP periscope zoom (5x), and time-of-flight (TOF). Notice the pearlescent Silver Frost backplate.

Picture: Sandra Vogel/ZDNet

Huawei likes to ring the changes on handset structure, and the P40 Professional is no diverse in this regard. The backplate is a key illustration. Exactly where last year’s P30 Professional was about shimmering colors and reflective finishes, below we have two colour variants, a staid and demure black and the model I was sent, termed Silver Frost — or, more prosaically, grey.

The back again is made from glass but has a pearlescent, nearly opaque visual appeal. It has a matte finish that nearly feels delicate to the contact and won’t obtain fingerprints. It is easy but does not sense slippy, and is not like nearly anything I have observed on a handset ahead of. It is fully pleasing. 

The rear camera panel is substantial and protrudes significantly. It is rectangular, in proportion to the backplate itself, with its Leica branding and other producing in landscape format, just like the Huawei branding on the key backplate. As a result, it all appears to be like neat and tidy.

The proper side of the handset residences the ability button and volume rocker. The Huawei Mate 30 Professional lacked a volume rocker, alternatively asking people to double-tap the extended edge of the handset to bring up a display-based volume slide, but below we are in more typical territory. You will find the aforementioned IR blaster on the top, though the left edge is distinct and the bottom residences a speaker grille, a USB-C port and the SIM caddy. The handset is IP68 licensed for dust and water resistance, indicating it is ‘dust tight’ and can theoretically withstand immersion in one.5m of water for 30 minutes.


Top rated: safeguarded corner of the minimal-bezel Quad Curve Overflow Display. Previously mentioned: front camera lozenge with 32MP selfie camera and depth sensor for IR encounter unlock.

Pictures: Sandra Vogel/ZDNet

Huawei has also offered the display a makeover, and the P40 Professional now packs a Quad-Curve Overflow Display. Unpacked, that terminology indicates that all four edges of the display curve so as to maximise the immersive viewing area and minimise bezels. We estimate the display-to-system ratio to be an outstanding 91.six%. The four corners of the telephone are raised and shaped so as to protect the display edges, giving a very little magnificence and structure novelty.

The screen’s relatively breathtaking curved structure is punctured by a sizeable lozenge in the top left corner housing the front camera and a depth sensor that also supports encounter unlock. Although a reasonable amount of display house is offered above to the front camera array, I want this technique to mechanical pop-out cameras.

The six.fifty eight-inch OLED display has a resolution of 2,640 by one,200 pixels (441ppi) and a 90Hz refresh price. Other distributors might go for higher resolutions or faster refresh costs, but they do so at the cost of battery lifestyle, and striking the proper harmony amongst the two is essential. Huawei has made excellent decisions in this regard. The display is sharp and vivid, though video clip appears to be like easy. If you want to conserve battery lifestyle you can fall the refresh price back again to 60Hz in the handset’s screen settings. 

Seem excellent from the bottom-mounted speaker is a bit of a weak website link, although, with a lack of bass at higher volumes.

Battery lifestyle from the four,200mAh battery would seem quite excellent. Anecdotally I received by two days from a single charge — although confined accessibility to apps intended my every day use sample was significantly less intensive than it usually is. Three hours of ongoing YouTube video clip performed by the world wide web browser at 90Hz took the battery from one hundred% to 86%. The Laptop Mark Operate 2. battery lifestyle exam stories thirteen hours 51 minutes for the Huawei P40 — eighty four minutes significantly less than the Mate 30 Professional with its four,500mAh battery. Quickly charging (40W) and wi-fi charging (27W) are supported, with the ideal Huawei chargers.

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And so to the cameras, which are normally the key occasion with Huawei’s P-series handsets. 

The front camera array comprises a 32MP f/2.2 selfie camera with autofocus and assistance for 4K video clip recording at 60fps and, as observed earlier, a depth sensor that permits IR encounter unlock.

The Leica-branded quad-camera array at the back again comprises a 50MP large-angle (f/one.nine, OIS) camera, a 40MP extremely-large-angle (f/one.eight) camera, a 12MP periscope zoom (f/3.four, 5x optical zoom, OIS) camera, and a time-of-flight (TOF) depth sensor. The key 50MP large angle camera works by using a substantial one/one.eight-inch RYYB Extremely Vision Sensor with 2.44μm pixels that provides fantastic reduced-gentle general performance. As effectively as 5x optical zoom on the periscope lens, you can get 10x hybrid zoom and 50x digital zoom.


Huawei P40 Professional images shot with 10x hybrid (left) and 50x digital (proper) zoom.

Pictures: Sandra Vogel/ZDNet

It is tough to adequately exam a camera method at the instant, thanks to social isolation constraints. Nonetheless, the P40 Pro’s 50x zoom shipped some appealing success (see over). I search forward to tests the P40 Professional in more expansive conditions. For the document, the Huawei P40 Professional currently heads up the influential DxOMARK smartphone camera rankings.

The typical technical specs are top-notch, as you’d be expecting from a flagship-course handset.

Huawei’s leading-edge Kirin 990 5G chipset gives a great deal of ability for the P40 Professional, which executed particularly effectively with 8GB of RAM in assistance. My assessment device experienced 256GB of internal storage, of which 17GB was utilised out of the box, leaving 239GB free. The handset supports two SIMs, or a person SIM and a proprietary Huawei Nano Memory (NM) card. There is also eSIM assistance.


Huawei has brought some appealing new functions to the P40 Professional, which includes a 90Hz refresh price for the OLED screen, a curved display on all four sides, leading-edge cameras, and a backplate structure that truly does split new ground.

Regrettably, these functions are not adequate to generate the P40 Professional an unequivocal suggestion. That’s due to the fact we will not know how much Huawei can acquire its AppGallery, or how extended it will be ahead of you will find a significant mass of applications that will satisfy most people. This is all that holds the P40 Professional back again: with Google Mobile Companies on board, it would have been my handset of the yr so much.

If you happen to be amazed by the P40 Professional but put off by the computer software problem, think about last year’s nevertheless-exceptional P30 Professional. It expenditures £270 significantly less (£629.ninety nine inc. VAT with 8GB RAM and 128GB of storage) and nevertheless comes with Google Mobile Companies.

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