Huawei P40 Pro+, hands on: A top-class flagship phone with super-zoom camera system, but no Google services Review

Maria J. Danford

Huawei has an intensive lineup of P40 smartphones: the P40, P40 Professional, P40 lite and P40 lite 5G — and now the P40 Professional+, reviewed here. As its identify implies, this is the flagship for the P40 sequence, and it prices a princely £1,299.99 (inc. VAT) with 8GB of RAM […]

Huawei has an intensive lineup of P40 smartphones: the P40, P40 Professional, P40 lite and P40 lite 5G — and now the P40 Professional+, reviewed here. As its identify implies, this is the flagship for the P40 sequence, and it prices a princely £1,299.99 (inc. VAT) with 8GB of RAM and 512GB of interior storage. Like all new Huawei handsets these days, it lacks Google Cell Expert services adhering to political moves by the US government, which signifies no Google Engage in retailer, Google apps or products and services.

Huawei’s handsets are hugely regarded for their industrial layout, overall performance and AI-assisted digital camera capabilities, and the P40 Professional+ is no exception. With its quintet of rear cameras, it was described by buyer chief Richard Yu as “a digital camera monster” at its (on line) start in March, although the quad-digital camera P40 Professional model presently heads up the influential DXOMARK smartphone digital camera rankings.

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The 6.fifty eight-inch P40 Professional+ shares lots of characteristics with the P40 Professional model, but has five cameras at the again, which include 10x periscope zoom and 3x telephoto cameras, additionally a ‘nano-tech ceramic’ backplate in white or black.


Photos: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet

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Tempting gives…but the value tag is still significant.


Image: Huawei

Despite these benefits, the Google challenge and the pricing are likely to be the most applicable factors for any individual thinking about the P40 Professional+ as their day-to-day handset.

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Possible buyers are left in no question about the Google Cell Expert services challenge.


Image: Huawei

At £1,299.99, the Huawei P40 Professional+ is even additional costly than the Apple iphone 11 Professional Max (£1,149 with 4GB of RAM and 512GB of storage), Samsung’s Galaxy S20 Ultra (£1,099 with 12GB/128GB) and the Sony Xperia one II (£1,099 with 8GB/256GB). However, you do get a pair of freebies from Huawei with the P40 Professional+ in the form of the SuperCharge Wireless Charger Stand, which retails for £119.99, and the Huawei Check out GT2, which generally prices £219.99.

The absence of Google Cell Expert services (GMS) from the total P40 selection signifies that this cellular phone lacks not only the Google Engage in Store, but also quite a few Google apps which include Chrome, YouTube, Google Maps and Gmail. Huawei presents its have website browser, and this presents a feasible, if not fully satisfactory, route to some Google products and services.

Rather of GMS, there is Huawei Cell Expert services complete with Huawei AppGallery, which is frequently becoming populated with apps. However, if you consistently use a wide selection of apps you may possibly not find anything you need to have — your bank’s cell application or your favorite messaging application could possibly be absent, for case in point. If you attract a blank in the AppGallery, Huawei’s Petal Look for, which sits on the phone’s house display screen as a Obtain Applications lookup bar, could possibly assist: enter an application identify and Petal Look for will scour many on line sources, and you could possibly find what you want in a different third-celebration application retailer, or as a self-installable APK.

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There’s also the alternative of copying favorite apps more than from your present-day cellular phone, and Huawei presents its Mobile phone Clone application on the P40 Professional+ for this function. Down load it from the Google Engage in Store onto your current cellular phone, hyperlink to the P40 Professional+ and port throughout what you need to have. It is really actually effortless, but the downside is you only get the apps as they presently are — no updates, no Google sign-in. It is really a little bit of a fudge, and is not actually a feasible prolonged-time period alternative.

If you’re not invested in the Google ecosystem, most of this will be irrelevant. But for lots of other folks it will be a offer breaker.

The key promoting level of the P40 Professional+ is its digital camera process, which includes two at the front and five at the again. The five rear cameras are: 50MP f/one.9 wide angle 40MP f/one.8 ultra-wide angle 8MP f/4.4 super-zoom (10x optical ‘periscope’ zoom) 8MP f/2.4 telephoto (3x optical zoom) and a Time-of Flight (ToF) depth-sensing digital camera. On the front, a 32MP f/2.2 wide-angle digital camera and a ToF depth sensor sit in an unobtrusive lozenge in the best left of the display screen.

All of this digital camera technology caters for a wide selection of photography models. I took lots of shut-up photos of bouquets and was actually amazed each by the colour replica and the sheer excellent of the output. Zooming in to choose macro photographs receives some very sturdy outcomes, even though you shouldn’t choose it also considerably. Glimpse at the zoomed picture below to see this: some of the picture is pin-sharp, but much of it is not.

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Macro illustrations or photos from the P40 Professional+.  


Photos: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet

However macro photographs can be rewarding, and if you have a small endurance it truly is attainable to choose some awesome photographs.

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Far more macro illustrations or photos from the P40 Professional+.


Photos: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet

For typical level-and-simply click photographs, the key digital camera can produce lovely photos.

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Level-and-shoot illustrations or photos from the P40 Professional+.


Photos: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet

It is not all amazing, even though. I tended to stay away from the AI mode, for case in point, as it can more than-saturate photos. With practice and made use of in the proper options AI mode may possibly be helpful, but I’d need to have much longer with this handset to actually get the greatest from it. 

Then you can find zooming. This is a big promoting level for the P40 Professional+ with its 10x optical zoom periscope lens (double the 5x on the P40 Professional), but warning is recommended. It is really effortless to zoom up to 10x working with faucet factors on the display screen to kick in at 3x and 10x. There’s a little bit of refocusing although the handset switches amongst its 3x and 10x lenses, but it truly is not a big challenge, and I uncovered photos to be of very great excellent.

Thereafter you use your fingers to zoom out to the 100x most working with electronic zoom. Benefits degrade as you force the electronic zoom, and at 100x they are considerably from edifying.

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Views of Wembley stadium, clockwise from best left: 1x, 10x, 50x, 100x zoom.


Photos: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet

The arch at Wembley Stadium, a number of miles away from wherever I was standing at the time and hardly discernible in the 1x photo, slowly and gradually will come into look at as you improve the zoom. But implementing electronic zoom by means of 50x and up to 100x delivers diminishing returns in terms of picture excellent. What you won’t be able to see is the number of photographs I had to choose to get the stadium arch in the centre of the picture — digital camera shake is unavoidable unless of course you use a tripod. All of these photos have been taken on a brilliant, sunny early July working day.

These headline factors apart, what else do we have here?

The 7-digital camera setup and a significant 4,200mAh battery increase to the fat of this cellular phone, which recommendations the scales at 226g. The again of the handset, white in my case, but also out there in black, is created from ceramic, compressed and fired so that it has a glass-like excellent look to it. The natural way, Huawei has a extravagant identify for this tough, scratch-resistant content — ‘nano-tech ceramic’. It feels significantly less slippy in the hand than glass, but the handset still managed to tumble to the carpet from my chair when phone calls came in, and at different other unpredictable situations. However, it truly is an desirable end that failed to collect a one fingerprint through screening. 

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The 226g P40 Professional+ actions 9mm thick, even though the rear cameras protrude noticeably from the ceramic backplate. The ability button is accented in red.


Image: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet

The digital camera unit protrudes instead a good deal, and so the cellular phone wobbles when its display screen is tapped when lain on a desk. The edges and buttons are silver, and the ability button has a unique flash of red. The chassis is IP68 rated for dust and h2o resistance. 

The 6.fifty eight-inch AMOLED display screen is an ‘overflow display’ — which is Huawei’s time period for a display screen which is curved on each the short and prolonged edges, so that the bezel is minimised all round. The display screen-to-human body ratio is an impressive 91.five%. The screen by itself has a 90Hz refresh amount and is sharp, brilliant and vivid. There’s a fingerprint scanner embedded in the display screen, or you can choose for face login if you desire. Equally labored completely for me.

Like the P40 Professional, the P40 Professional+ is driven by the Huawei/HiSilicon Kirin 990 5G chipset. It has the similar 8GB of RAM as the P40 Professional, and our assessment unit had a generous 512GB of interior storage. Of this, 16GB was made use of out of the box for Android ten and Huawei’s EMUI ten.one overlay, leaving 496GB no cost. You can augment storage even more with Huawei’s proprietary Nano Memory (NM) cards, if you’re geared up to sacrifice the 2nd SIM slot.

To run Geekbench five and the PCMark for Android battery check, I made use of Huawei’s Mobile phone Clone application to port these benchmarks throughout to the P40 Professional+. Effectiveness was very impressive, with common Geekbench CPU scores of 747 (one core) and 2923 (multi core). This is shut to the best of the present-day Geekbench leaderboard.

SEE: 5G smartphones: A cheat sheet (no cost PDF) (TechRepublic)

Battery daily life was sturdy, also. A three-hour YouTube movie loop (accessed by means of the website browser) consumed just sixteen% from a entire demand, although the handset lasted for 12 hours 27 minutes under the Personal computer Mark battery check. That is not lousy for a cellular phone with a 4,200mAh battery, and superior than the ten hours 52 minutes that Sony’s Xperia one II managed from a 4,000mAh battery. The P40 Professional we tested in April lasted longer even though — 13 hours fifty one minutes.

Speedy charging (40W) and speedy wi-fi charging (40W) are supported, with the suitable Huawei chargers. Speedy reverse wi-fi charging (27W) is also out there.

Conclusions

The P40 Professional+ is a different very irritating handset from Huawei. It is really superbly designed, with a terrific AMOLED display screen, great battery daily life, a significant-finish 5G chipset, additionally a good deal of RAM and interior storage. And the five-digital camera array at the again is excellent, provided you don’t overdo the electronic zoom. But without having access to Google apps and products and services, it truly is tough to propose at the value.

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