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

Huawei has an intensive lineup of P40 smartphones: the P40, P40 Pro, P40 lite and P40 lite 5G — and now the P40 Pro+, reviewed below. As its title indicates, this is the flagship for the P40 sequence, and it charges a princely £1,299.99 (inc. VAT) with 8GB of RAM and 512GB of interior storage. Like all new Huawei handsets these times, it lacks Google Mobile Companies pursuing political moves by the US governing administration, which means no Google Participate in retail store, Google applications or services.

Huawei’s handsets are very regarded for their industrial style, general performance and AI-assisted digicam abilities, and the P40 Pro+ is no exception. With its quintet of rear cameras, it was explained by purchaser chief Richard Yu as “a digicam monster” at its (on line) start in March, although the quad-digicam P40 Pro product currently heads up the influential DXOMARK smartphone digicam rankings.


The six.58-inch P40 Pro+ shares lots of functions with the P40 Pro product, but has five cameras at the back again, such as 10x periscope zoom and 3x telephoto cameras, plus a ‘nano-tech ceramic’ backplate in white or black.

Pictures: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet


Tempting provides…but the selling price tag is nonetheless large.

Image: Huawei

In spite of these benefits, the Google concern and the pricing are probably to be the most pertinent aspects for any person taking into consideration the P40 Pro+ as their everyday handset.


Future buyers are still left in no question about the Google Mobile Companies concern.

Image: Huawei

At £1,299.99, the Huawei P40 Pro+ is even extra costly than the Apple iphone 11 Pro Max (£1,149 with 4GB of RAM and 512GB of storage), Samsung’s Galaxy S20 Extremely (£1,099 with 12GB/128GB) and the Sony Xperia one II (£1,099 with 8GB/256GB). Even now, you do get a couple of freebies from Huawei with the P40 Pro+ in the shape of the SuperCharge Wireless Charger Stand, which retails for £119.99, and the Huawei Look at GT2, which normally charges £219.99.

The absence of Google Mobile Companies (GMS) from the full P40 array means that this phone lacks not only the Google Participate in Shop, but also several Google applications such as Chrome, YouTube, Google Maps and Gmail. Huawei presents its own world wide web browser, and this presents a feasible, if not fully satisfactory, route to some Google services.

In its place of GMS, there is Huawei Mobile Companies comprehensive with Huawei AppGallery, which is continuously being populated with applications. Even now, if you on a regular basis use a vast array of applications you may well not come across every little thing you need to have — your bank’s cell app or your favourite messaging app could possibly be absent, for case in point. If you attract a blank in the AppGallery, Huawei’s Petal Search, which sits on the phone’s residence screen as a Uncover Applications search bar, could possibly help: enter an app title and Petal Search will scour several on line resources, and you could possibly come across what you want in another third-bash app retail store, or as a self-installable APK.

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There is also the alternative of copying favourite applications above from your present-day phone, and Huawei presents its Cellphone Clone app on the P40 Pro+ for this reason. Download it from the Google Participate in Shop onto your present phone, backlink to the P40 Pro+ and port throughout what you need to have. It’s truly effortless, but the downside is you only get the applications as they currently are — no updates, no Google sign-in. It’s a bit of a fudge, and is just not truly a feasible prolonged-expression option.

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

The principal advertising point of the P40 Pro+ is its digicam system, which includes two at the entrance and five at the back again. The five rear cameras are: 50MP f/one.nine vast angle 40MP f/one.8 extremely-vast 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 digicam. On the entrance, a 32MP f/2.2 vast-angle digicam and a ToF depth sensor sit in an unobtrusive lozenge in the major still left of the screen.

All of this digicam engineering caters for a vast array of photography styles. I took plenty of near-up images of bouquets and was truly impressed both of those by the colour reproduction and the sheer top quality of the output. Zooming in to acquire macro photographs will get some pretty sturdy final results, although you shouldn’t acquire it far too considerably. Glimpse at the zoomed impression under to see this: some of the impression is pin-sharp, but a lot of it is not.


Macro photos from the P40 Pro+.  

Pictures: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet

Even now macro photographs can be fulfilling, and if you have a very little endurance it can be achievable to acquire some wonderful photographs.


Much more macro photos from the P40 Pro+.

Pictures: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet

For basic point-and-simply click photographs, the principal digicam can produce pretty images.


Point-and-shoot photos from the P40 Pro+.

Pictures: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet

It is just not all amazing, although. I tended to stay clear of the AI mode, for case in point, as it can above-saturate images. With observe and used in the appropriate options AI mode may well be practical, but I might need to have a lot for a longer period with this handset to truly get the finest from it. 

Then there is certainly zooming. This is a significant advertising point for the P40 Pro+ with its 10x optical zoom periscope lens (double the 5x on the P40 Pro), but warning is sensible. It’s effortless to zoom up to 10x using faucet factors on the screen to kick in at 3x and 10x. There is a bit of refocusing although the handset switches involving its 3x and 10x lenses, but it can be not a significant concern, and I located images to be of pretty very good top quality.

Thereafter you use your fingers to zoom out to the 100x maximum using digital zoom. Results degrade as you thrust the digital zoom, and at 100x they are considerably from edifying.


Sights of Wembley stadium, clockwise from major still left: 1x, 10x, 50x, 100x zoom.

Pictures: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet

The arch at Wembley Stadium, several miles away from where I was standing at the time and scarcely discernible in the 1x picture, bit by bit will come into check out as you maximize the zoom. But making use of digital zoom via 50x and up to 100x provides diminishing returns in conditions of impression top quality. What you won’t be able to see is the number of photographs I had to acquire to get the stadium arch in the centre of the impression — digicam shake is unavoidable unless of course you use a tripod. All of these images had been taken on a vivid, sunny early July day.

These headline aspects aside, what else do we have below?

The seven-digicam setup and a hefty 4,200mAh battery add to the bodyweight of this phone, which guidelines the scales at 226g. The back again of the handset, white in my case, but also readily available in black, is produced from ceramic, compressed and fired so that it has a glass-like top quality appear to it. The natural way, Huawei has a fancy title for this long lasting, scratch-resistant content — ‘nano-tech ceramic’. It feels considerably less slippy in the hand than glass, but the handset nonetheless managed to tumble to the carpet from my chair when phone calls arrived in, and at different other unpredictable instances. Even now, it can be an interesting complete that failed to gather a single fingerprint for the duration of testing. 


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

Image: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet

The digicam unit protrudes instead a great deal, and so the phone wobbles when its screen is tapped when lain on a desk. The edges and buttons are silver, and the power button has a distinct flash of pink. The chassis is IP68 rated for dust and water resistance. 

The six.58-inch AMOLED screen is an ‘overflow display’ — that is Huawei’s expression for a screen that is curved on both of those the short and prolonged edges, so that the bezel is minimised all round. The screen-to-body ratio is an remarkable 91.five%. The display screen itself has a 90Hz refresh rate and is sharp, vivid and vibrant. There is a fingerprint scanner embedded in the screen, or you can opt for confront login if you like. Both labored flawlessly for me.

Like the P40 Pro, the P40 Pro+ is run by the Huawei/HiSilicon Kirin 990 5G chipset. It has the same 8GB of RAM as the P40 Pro, and our evaluation unit had a generous 512GB of interior storage. Of this, 16GB was used out of the box for Android ten and Huawei’s EMUI overlay, leaving 496GB free of charge. You can augment storage further more with Huawei’s proprietary Nano Memory (NM) playing cards, if you happen to be ready to sacrifice the next SIM slot.

To run Geekbench five and the PCMark for Android battery exam, I used Huawei’s Cellphone Clone app to port these benchmarks throughout to the P40 Pro+. Overall performance was quite remarkable, with ordinary Geekbench CPU scores of 747 (single core) and 2923 (multi core). This is near to the major of the present-day Geekbench leaderboard.

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

Battery everyday living was sturdy, far too. A a few-hour YouTube video clip loop (accessed by using the world wide web browser) consumed just sixteen% from a entire cost, although the handset lasted for twelve hrs 27 minutes beneath the Computer Mark battery exam. Which is not bad for a phone with a 4,200mAh battery, and better than the ten hrs 52 minutes that Sony’s Xperia one II managed from a 4,000mAh battery. The P40 Pro we tested in April lasted for a longer period although — thirteen hrs fifty one minutes.

Quickly charging (40W) and rapid wi-fi charging (40W) are supported, with the proper Huawei chargers. Quickly reverse wi-fi charging (27W) is also readily available.


The P40 Pro+ is another extremely disheartening handset from Huawei. It’s fantastically created, with a wonderful AMOLED screen, very good battery everyday living, a large-conclude 5G chipset, plus plenty of RAM and interior storage. And the five-digicam array at the back again is wonderful, supplied you will not overdo the digital zoom. But with no obtain to Google applications and services, it can be really hard to suggest at the selling price.

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Rosa G. Rose

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