Don’t buy the Huawei P40 Pro before you read this: 5 things to know


Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Huawei’s P40 series, which incorporates the bottom P40, the P40 Pro and the P40 Pro Plus, are on sale now within the UK and wider Europe and hope to do battle with the likes of the Galaxy S20, iPhone 11 Pro and OnePlus 8

For the previous week, I’ve been utilizing the P40 Pro — the center youngster of the three — and have been placing it via its paces. The phone is accessible for £900 (about $1,120 or AU$1,770), however because of the US ban on Huawei products, it isn’t formally on sale within the US. 

That ban additionally means it does not use Google apps — together with entry to the Google Play Store — however the phone does have 5G and an excellent digicam. That mentioned, its huge brother, the P40 Pro Plus, is much more photography-focussed, with the primary 10x optical zoom seen on a phone. Photography fanatics amongst it is best to take into account ready till that phone lands in June, or not less than till we have given it our assessment therapy.

If you are in certainly one of Huawei’s client markets and are curious in regards to the phone, listed here are 5 issues it is best to learn about this phone earlier than you take into account spending your cash. 

Read extra: 10 best phones under $500

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There are not any Google apps

Due to the corporate’s ongoing difficulties with the US authorities, Huawei telephones don’t use Google providers. That means no Google Play Store for apps and no help for providers corresponding to Gmail, YouTube, Maps or the Chrome browser. For a lot of you this shall be a deal breaker, notably if you happen to depend on Google’s suite of apps on your work. 

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But that does not imply there are not any apps in any respect. Huawei has its personal electronic mail shopper, browser and calendar on board and it additionally has its personal app retailer. There are loads of huge identify apps already out there, corresponding to Amazon, TikTok, Adidas Running, SnapChat, PicsArt and the ever-popular Fortnite. There are many extra, nonetheless, together with Instagram or modifying apps like Adobe Lightroom that merely aren’t out there via Huawei’s retailer.

While Facebook and WhatsApp aren’t out there immediately via the shop, the shop will take you to these apps’ net pages, the place you’ll be able to obtain and set up the app (in a .apk file) via the browser. The apps will then seem on the phone and work as regular.

It’s essential, then, to test and see whether or not the apps you depend on can be found proper now. Huawei says it is working carefully with builders from all around the world to try to convey many extra apps to its retailer, so it is probably we’ll see larger names showing over time. 

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It has 5G

No flagship phone value its salt in 2020 would launch with out 5G connectivity and the P40 Pro is not any exception. You’ll must be in an space that has 5G and have a 5G-enabled phone plan to make the most of the next-gen community. If you are hoping to get these blazing-fast speeds immediately, ensure that to test what availability you’ve gotten in your space earlier than upgrading to any 5G phone.

The digicam is nice, however wants enchancment

Huawei has a monitor report of equipping its telephones with superior cameras. The P40 Pro packs 4 lenses: an ordinary zoom, an excellent wide-angle lens, a 5x optical zoom lens and a depth-sensing lens. While the phone’s digicam abilities are actually up there with the perfect, it wants some tweaking within the software program earlier than it might probably take the crown as the perfect of the perfect. 

Edinburgh’s Dean Village, captured with the P40 Pro’s commonplace digicam.


Andrew Hoyle/CNET

A statue, taken with the P40 Pro’s commonplace digicam mode.


Andrew Hoyle/CNET

The similar statue, taken with the P40 Pro’s 5x zoom lens.


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Night mode on the P40 Pro.


Andrew Hoyle/CNET

My most important difficulty is with the white steadiness, or the general coloration temperature, of the photographs the cameras seize. Often, it appears to tint pictures with extra of a magenta hue than what was current in actual life, which made numerous take a look at pictures from the phone look much less pure than the identical pictures taken on the iPhone 11 Pro or Galaxy S20 Ultra. It’s solely a slight shift, and if you happen to’re not taking direct comparisons with different telephones you won’t discover. Huawei says an replace shall be out there in May that fixes the problem. I’ll be testing the phone then to see how the replace helps.

Besides that although, the phone takes nice pictures, with even exposures and wonderful distinction. Its 5x zoom produces crisp pictures of faraway topics, and pictures takin in low gentle and at evening time are simply up there with the perfect.

If you are into images, it is best to look forward to the P40 Pro Plus

If you are tempted to get the P40 Pro as a substitute of the commonplace P40, it might be due to digicam upgrades to the bottom mannequin, just like the 5x optical zoom. 

But the P40 Pro Plus ups that to incorporate a whopping 10x optical zoom, which guarantees superb magnification with out lack of high quality. It’s the very best optical zoom ever seen on a phone and I’m actually excited to strive it out. But that phone does not go on sale till someday in June, so we’re but to see the way it actually stacks up. 

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Andrew Hoyle/CNET

It could also be that it isn’t a large improve over the P40 Pro and is not definitely worth the cash except you are actually into your zooms. But if you happen to’re eager on images then it is not less than value ready to see what the phone is like earlier than probably investing too quickly and being upset. 

Don’t purchase the black model

Huawei’s previous few launches, together with the P30 and P20 collection, got here with some vibrant coloration choices that seemed superb. While the P40 Pro was proven off in some delightful-looking hues, the assessment mannequin that landed on my desk was plain black and, like all plain black telephones, it seems to be boring and forgettable. 

Nobody desires boring and forgettable — not when you can have glad and vibrant and thrilling. So if you happen to do plan on forking over the money for the P40 Pro, not less than seize it in its deep blue, shimmering pink or smooth gold varieties.

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