To say I'm a fan of Huawei's P series products is putting in mildly, I'm on my 4th device right now, the P30 Pro and its absolutely brilliant. Negate the phenomenal camera which allows you to zoom and take pictures of the moon and in no light at all, the phone itself is capable of multiple tasks with ease. No over heating, no stalling, no unexpected restarts and that is what you essentially want in a phone. To perform what you need it to do with out any hassles. So when Huawei sent me their new P40 Pro a couple of weeks ago to test out, I was very interested to see how different it would be given that this phone is after the US trade ban era, so the biggest thing from that would mean zero Google services present on the device. I knew it wasn't going to be a smooth transition but apart from that, what would be the major noticeable changes in terms of performance and general functioning of the device? Find out more below.
I'll be straight up with you, I hate the bevel sides on a phone, yes when Samsung first launched the "curved" sides it was pretty cool but for me, its a solid no. I still curse it with my P30 Pro but as the common saying goes "it is, what it is". Design on the P40 Pro is similar to the P30 Pro, the metal unibody is still the same great quality, it feels a bit more slicker and stylish. Comfortable in hand and in pocket. The actual finish feels a bit slippery but in saying that, I didn't have a scare with it and I took the phone to some interesting spots which required quite a tight grip or its gone forever, needless to say I still had it and sent it back in one piece. I think in terms of build quality there's not much to add to Huawei, they really know what they're doing, the quad camera layout on the back is pretty to look at and has a glass back plate over it to protect the lenses. With the screen being slightly bigger than the P30, it has a more prominent screen to body ration so it looks great. The "notch" has been moved to be more on the left side with the dual sensors. It doesn't really hamper your view of things so this is good.
There's no shortage on power when it comes to this device, powered by the Kirin 990 5G processor, the P40 Pro has an Octoa-core which is made up of 2 x Cortex -A76 based 2.86 GHz + 2 x Cortex - A76 Based 2.36 GHz + 4 x Cortex-A55 1.95Ghz. GPU is 16-Core Mali-G76. So very close or slightly better than previous chipsets we're seeing in competitor devices. The operating system is Huawei's EMUI 10.1 which is based on Android 10, so it's not completely different, as there will be similarities for you to go on from when getting the device. Memory, the phone has 8GB RAM and an internal memory of 256GB, the P40 Pro supports NM SD Card of up to 256GB. Battery life has been really great on the P40 Pro, it has a 4200mAh, it gave me roughly 2 days of usage, so 16+ hours of use which included taking pictures and videos. The SuperCharge works superbly, with a max of 40W, its considerably faster that the P30 Pro. I didn't have a 5G Sim to test the true 5G speeds and the number of 5G networks currently available are few and far between at the moment.
We don't need to delve too much into this aspect, while the P40 Pro and P30 Pro cameras are pretty similar in terms of functionality, there is a difference in the quality with a much better, crisper end product on the P40. Even with the hybrid 50x zoom, the images are sharper with more detail. This is obviously thanks to the rear 50MP Ultra Vision Camera. The Image stabilization is incredible, either in video or when utilizing that mad zoom on the 12MP telephoto camera. The 3D depth sensing camera also adds levels to your pictures, giving you that real feel when looking at pictures. 4K video recording is brilliant, I'm yet to watch it on a 4K TV but so far on the phone it looks crispy and smooth. The super slow video also manages to capture so much more detail at an insanely slow frame rate. Overall, one of the best cameras on the market and this isn't even the Pro+ which I have news about at the end of the blog.
You've read the brochure part of the review, now its time to talk about the hard truth. Without Google Services, it was a bit of a mission. I think it will be for anyone, most would understand this sort of issue when migrating for IOS to Android on vice versa but its not all that bad given that EMUI is based on Android in anycase. So there's a lot more familiarity with this user interface. It's about making the adjustment and finding apps which you're normally used to use on Playstore on the Huawei App Gallery. While there are app's being populated by the thousands every week on the Gallery, there's no significant ones to speak off. Huawei are still working very hard on getting this right, most of the major banking apps are there, funnily enough FNB wasn't one of them but they do say they are in the process of releasing one soon. For more Gmail, I used to just log on via the browser, same goes for some social media applications. The lack of notifications was actually a blessing and also aided to not draining the battery. Being still based on Android software, there are always hacks and ways to get around this There's tonnes of videos online on how to get Google Playstore on the device and get all your favourite apps. Like I said previously, something has go to give, either guys like Facebook and Twitter will come to the party and release versions for the device or the US may take a u-turn on their decision. While there is a learning process, its not something that will cripple your use of the phone and once you get into it, you will soon realise what a masterful piece of tech this is.
Huawei have announced that the Huawei P40 Pro+ will be available to purchase locally from tomorrow, August 1st 2020. Check their online store for more.
SAMPLE PICS FROM THE P40 PRO