You may remember Huawei from the famous US-China trade ware that escalated when Trump got into power. The US and China have resolved the issue, but unfortunately, Huawei was asked to stop its businesses with US companies. Hence, the Huawei P30 series did not have Google’s Android on board. Though the sales were hugely affected by the fact that there were no Google play services and Google’s security services Huawei reported that P30 Pro was one of their best selling device in Asia. Undoubtedly, it was because of how Huawei handled the situation with their Harmony OS and the Huawei App gallery.
Now that Huawei has developed its system, the P40 Pro, the new flagship, has the task to redeem the sales and respect that the company once possessed. Huawei released the P40 Pro yesterday, and it is almost as good as any other Android flagship released this year. The device has its merits and caveats. Let us have a look at the device and see how does it fare against the Galaxy S or the Pixel devices.
Design & Display
Design is one of the priorities of any company, primarily in the flagship market, and just by looking at it, one can say that it is a flagship from the future. The front side of the display is all about the screen, which wraps smoothly around the edges with a little bezel on the bottom. There is no visible notch on the front rather than having a notch Huawei has used Lazer cutout on the display that houses the front cameras and 3D face scanning system. On the back, the only sore to the eyes is the huge camera module that wobbles when placed on the back. Talking about the glass back, it is safe to say that it is the best implementation of glass back as it hides the smudges and fingerprints.
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The Huawei P40 Pro houses a smaller (in terms of 2020 devices) 6.58-inch curved display that wraps around the front. The resolution is only 1200p, but you are getting a 90Hz display. There is no tradeoff between resolution and refresh rate as you are set from the start. It also houses the optical fingerprint scanner, which, according to Huawei, is 30% larger and 30% faster than its predecessor. Lastly, the device features a dual security system, 3D face scanning, and a fingerprint sensor.
Specifications & Performance
Huawei has its own processors, so naturally, the new device comes with its own processor called Kirin 990 5G. As evident from the name, the processor supports the latest 5G connectivity format. The processor itself is an octa-core processor with ARM’s big little technology in place. It has four high-performance Cortex A-76 cores, two of which are clocked at 2.36GHz, and the other two are clocked at 2.86GHz. On the other hand, the last four are battery efficient Cortex A-55 cores clocked at 1.95GHz.
The GPU is from ARM called Mali G76MP16, with 16 core clusters to boost your gaming performance. The supported applications will run at 90FPS on this device. In terms of games, only Asphalt 9 supports 90FPS, support for PUBG and Fortnite will come later. Finally, the neural processing unit NPU has “two” big cores and one “Tiny” cores to handle the AI-related tasks remotely.
Huawei P40 supports performance mode the same as the Mate 30, which means the device will not conserve battery or heat dissipation and will provide the best performance. According to GSMarena, there was a little GPU boost but no boost in the CPU performance with the performance mode. The new Kirin 990 5G provides a marginal performance boost over the regular Kirin 990 present in the Mate 30 Pro. It was slightly behind the Snapdragon 865. However, In the Android world, Samsung Exynos 990 remains on the top.
In terms of the GPU performance, the device again performed marginally better, but it was behind both its rivals from Qualcomm and Samsung.
In the modern world, camera quality is the only defining feature in the flagship market. Gone are days when there were significant performance differences among devices. The Huawei P40 Pro features the so-called Ultra Vision Leica Quad camera. It features an Ultrawide camera, a regular wide-angle camera, a Tof sensor, and a periscope telephoto lens.
The primary wide-angle camera features a 50MP sensor with a massive 1/1.28″ aperture. According to Huawei, they can achieve a better level of detail from their 50MP sensor than competition 100MP lenses. 50MP seems like a balanced tradeoff between the sharpness and the quality. The images turn out to be sharp and well balanced. It should be noted that these are binned 12MP pictures. It means that the camera creates bigger pixels using the 50MP sensor and merges them to produce a 12MP image. The omnidirectional phase detection autofocus works pretty well. On the other hand, the Galaxy S20 Ultra suffered from focus issues.
The ultrawide camera is the improved version of the ultrawide present in the P30 pro. It is a 40MP sensor with 1/1.54″ aperture. It outputs 10MP binned photos with better sharpness. Though the camera supports Quad-Bayer RGGB color filter, the images turn out to be a little downgrade over the standard wide-angle lens. The camera tends to overexpose pictures to maintain the highlights.
The telephoto camera has a new 12MP periscope lens with a 1/3.4″ aperture. The camera can output up to 5x optical zoom. Lastly, the ToF sensor helps in the autofocus and provides subject separation, which provides better portraits.
Battery & Price
Huawei has been a champion of battery life and charging. The P30 Pro was one of the few devices that had more than 7 hours of screen-on time. It packs the same 4,200 mAh Li-Po battery. The 40W super-fast charger comes in the box, and it can fill 80% of the battery in just 30 minutes. It also supports reverse charging at 5W. Expect the phone to last more than 7 hours since the display is a little smaller (though higher refresh rate), and the processor is more efficient.
Lastly, the price of P40 Pro is 1399 euros, while the P40 only costs 799 euros. Huawei is asking more than Samsung for its “ultra-pro,” which is a bold move considering that there are no Google play services. The smaller P40 seems more compelling at 799 euros.
Huawei P40 Pro is one of the most beautiful looking devices. With the front being all screen and one of the best renditions of the glass back, you can not go wrong with the device in terms of design. However, the problem resides in the software. Though the device is based on Android 10 there are no Google services. For most consumers, it may turn out to be a deal-breaker, but for others, the camera, display, and battery life is enough for them to make a buying decision.
Moreover, add the fact most of the market for Huawei’s devices is in China, where people do not care about Google Play services, then Huawei P40 Pro is one of the best smartphones in the market.