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

Huawei has an comprehensive lineup of P40 smartphones: the P40, P40 Professional, P40 lite and P40 lite 5G — and now the P40 Professional+, reviewed here. As its identify indicates, this is the flagship for the P40 collection, and it costs a princely £1,299.99 (inc. VAT) with 8GB of RAM and 512GB of inside storage. Like all new Huawei handsets these days, it lacks Google Cellular Services next political moves by the US authorities, which implies no Google Enjoy retailer, Google applications or companies.

Huawei’s handsets are hugely regarded for their industrial style and design, 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 purchaser main Richard Yu as “a digital camera monster” at its (on line) start in March, whilst the quad-digital camera P40 Professional product at present heads up the influential DXOMARK smartphone digital camera rankings.


The six.fifty eight-inch P40 Professional+ shares lots of options with the P40 Professional product, but has five cameras at the back, like 10x periscope zoom and 3x telephoto cameras, as well as a ‘nano-tech ceramic’ backplate in white or black.

Photographs: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet


Tempting gives…but the price tag tag is even now substantial.

Graphic: Huawei

In spite of these strengths, the Google situation and the pricing are very likely to be the most relevant aspects for any one looking at the P40 Professional+ as their daily handset.


Future purchasers are still left in no doubt about the Google Cellular Services situation.

Graphic: Huawei

At £1,299.99, the Huawei P40 Professional+ is even much more high priced than the Apple iphone eleven 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 few of freebies from Huawei with the P40 Professional+ in the shape of the SuperCharge Wi-fi Charger Stand, which retails for £119.99, and the Huawei Check out GT2, which commonly costs £219.99.

The absence of Google Cellular Services (GMS) from the whole P40 selection implies that this mobile phone lacks not only the Google Enjoy Retailer, but also several Google applications like Chrome, YouTube, Google Maps and Gmail. Huawei presents its individual world-wide-web browser, and this presents a viable, if not entirely satisfactory, route to some Google companies.

As a substitute of GMS, there is Huawei Cellular Services total with Huawei AppGallery, which is continuously getting populated with applications. However, if you on a regular basis use a huge selection of applications you could not come across every little thing you want — your bank’s cell app or your favourite messaging app could be absent, for case in point. If you draw a blank in the AppGallery, Huawei’s Petal Search, which sits on the phone’s property display as a Uncover Applications search bar, could assist: enter an app identify and Petal Search will scour multiple on line resources, and you could come across what you want in a further 3rd-occasion app retailer, or as a self-installable APK.

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You will find also the alternative of copying favourite applications about from your current mobile phone, and Huawei presents its Cellphone Clone app on the P40 Professional+ for this reason. Down load it from the Google Enjoy Retailer onto your existing mobile phone, connection to the P40 Professional+ and port throughout what you want. It’s actually quick, but the draw back is you only get the applications as they at present are — no updates, no Google indication-in. It’s a bit of a fudge, and is not actually a viable long-expression option.

If you happen to be not invested in the Google ecosystem, most of this will be irrelevant. But for lots of some others it will be a deal breaker.

The most important advertising place of the P40 Professional+ is its digital camera system, which contains two at the entrance and five at the back. The five rear cameras are: 50MP f/one.9 huge angle 40MP f/one.eight extremely-huge angle 8MP f/4.4 tremendous-zoom (10x optical ‘periscope’ zoom) 8MP f/two.4 telephoto (3x optical zoom) and a Time-of Flight (ToF) depth-sensing digital camera. On the entrance, a 32MP f/two.two huge-angle digital camera and a ToF depth sensor sit in an unobtrusive lozenge in the top rated still left of the display.

All of this digital camera technological innovation caters for a huge selection of photography variations. I took tons of close-up photographs of bouquets and was actually impressed each by the color copy and the sheer high quality of the output. Zooming in to consider macro pictures gets some very robust results, while you shouldn’t consider it far too far. Seem at the zoomed graphic underneath to see this: some of the graphic is pin-sharp, but a great deal of it is not.


Macro photographs from the P40 Professional+.  

Photographs: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet

However macro pictures can be satisfying, and if you have a very little persistence it is possible to consider some pleasant pictures.


Additional macro photographs from the P40 Professional+.

Photographs: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet

For general place-and-click on pictures, the most important digital camera can produce lovely photographs.


Point-and-shoot photographs from the P40 Professional+.

Photographs: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet

It is not all superb, although. I tended to avoid the AI method, for case in point, as it can about-saturate photographs. With exercise and utilised in the appropriate settings AI method could be beneficial, but I might want a great deal for a longer period with this handset to actually get the most effective from it. 

Then you will find zooming. This is a big advertising place for the P40 Professional+ with its 10x optical zoom periscope lens (double the 5x on the P40 Professional), but warning is recommended. It’s quick to zoom up to 10x employing tap factors on the display to kick in at 3x and 10x. You will find a bit of refocusing whilst the handset switches in between its 3x and 10x lenses, but it is not a big situation, and I uncovered photographs to be of very good high quality.

Thereafter you use your fingers to zoom out to the 100x maximum employing digital zoom. Benefits degrade as you drive the digital zoom, and at 100x they are far from edifying.


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

Photographs: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet

The arch at Wembley Stadium, a number of miles absent from wherever I was standing at the time and scarcely discernible in the 1x photograph, slowly but surely arrives into look at as you enhance the zoom. But making use of digital zoom via 50x and up to 100x provides diminishing returns in terms of graphic high quality. What you can not see is the amount of pictures I had to consider to get the stadium arch in the centre of the graphic — digital camera shake is unavoidable unless of course you use a tripod. All of these photographs have been taken on a bright, sunny early July working day.

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

The 7-digital camera setup and a significant 4,200mAh battery incorporate to the fat of this mobile phone, which strategies the scales at 226g. The back of the handset, white in my circumstance, but also out there in black, is built from ceramic, compressed and fired so that it has a glass-like high quality glance to it. Naturally, Huawei has a extravagant identify for this long lasting, scratch-resistant material — ‘nano-tech ceramic’. It feels fewer slippy in the hand than glass, but the handset even now managed to fall to the carpet from my chair when calls arrived in, and at various other unpredictable times. However, it is an beautiful end that failed to gather a single fingerprint through screening. 


The 226g P40 Professional+ measures 9mm thick, while the rear cameras protrude significantly from the ceramic backplate. The power button is accented in pink.

Graphic: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet

The digital camera unit protrudes rather a ton, and so the mobile phone wobbles when its display is tapped when lain on a desk. The edges and buttons are silver, and the power button has a exclusive flash of pink. The chassis is IP68 rated for dust and h2o resistance. 

The six.fifty eight-inch AMOLED display is an ‘overflow display’ — which is Huawei’s expression for a display which is curved on each the shorter and long edges, so that the bezel is minimised all spherical. The display-to-body ratio is an extraordinary 91.5%. The show by itself has a 90Hz refresh level and is sharp, bright and lively. You will find a fingerprint scanner embedded in the display, or you can decide for face login if you want. Both of those labored correctly for me.

Like the P40 Professional, the P40 Professional+ is powered by the Huawei/HiSilicon Kirin 990 5G chipset. It has the identical 8GB of RAM as the P40 Professional, and our evaluate unit had a generous 512GB of inside storage. Of this, 16GB was utilised out of the box for Android 10 and Huawei’s EMUI overlay, leaving 496GB free of charge. You can increase storage even more with Huawei’s proprietary Nano Memory (NM) playing cards, if you happen to be well prepared to sacrifice the 2nd SIM slot.

To operate Geekbench 5 and the PCMark for Android battery test, I utilised Huawei’s Cellphone Clone app to port these benchmarks throughout to the P40 Professional+. Functionality was pretty extraordinary, with common Geekbench CPU scores of 747 (single main) and 2923 (multi main). This is close to the top rated of the current Geekbench leaderboard.

SEE: 5G smartphones: A cheat sheet (free of charge PDF) (TechRepublic)

Battery existence was robust, far too. A three-hour YouTube video clip loop (accessed by means of the world-wide-web browser) consumed just sixteen% from a whole demand, whilst the handset lasted for 12 hours 27 minutes under the Computer Mark battery test. That is not undesirable for a mobile phone with a 4,200mAh battery, and much better than the 10 hours 52 minutes that Sony’s Xperia one II managed from a 4,000mAh battery. The P40 Professional we examined in April lasted for a longer period although — 13 hours 51 minutes.

Rapidly charging (40W) and rapid wireless charging (40W) are supported, with the acceptable Huawei chargers. Rapidly reverse wireless charging (27W) is also out there.


The P40 Professional+ is a further incredibly annoying handset from Huawei. It’s superbly intended, with a fantastic AMOLED display, good battery existence, a substantial-conclude 5G chipset, as well as a good deal of RAM and inside storage. And the five-digital camera array at the back is fantastic, supplied you really don’t overdo the digital zoom. But with out access to Google applications and companies, it is really hard to propose at the price tag.

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