Huawei P40 Pro and Pro Plus announced – now with five cameras and 10x optical periscope zoom

Today Huawei announced their latest flagship for the first
half of the year. The P40 series has always been about the camera, and the new
launch is now exception with it likely to be one of if not the best camera
phones of the year.

Build & Display

The new Pro Plus uses a ceramic back that is highly scratch resistant and durable; this is not dissimilar to the recently launched Oppo Find X2 Pro.

With this phone, they have ditched the excessive waterfall display of the Mate 30 Pro and now used a quad curve where the left, right, top and bottom all curve inwards giving a slightly strange appearance to the corner but an exceptional screen to body ration.

The display itself is 6.58 inches running at 2640×1200 with
a 441 PPI and 90Hz refresh rate. This display is the same on the Pro and Pro
Plus.

Huawei claims the phone has a new generation in display fingerprint scanner with 30% quicker unlock speeds.

The P40 Pro and Plus are both IP68 rated while the standard P40 is IP53.

Chipset

As previously reported the new Huawei P40 series uses the Kirin 990 5G in the UK this was launched back with the Huawei Mate 30 Pro so the spec doesn’t quite compete vs the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865, but real-world performance should be about the same, and likely offer superior battery performance than the Exynos 990 found on the UK version of the Samsung Galaxy S20.

Camera

As always with the P40 series, the big focus is the camera, in my opinion, Huawei has been at the forefront of phone camera technology in recent years, and it is their innovation that driven the competition of other brands towards developing the best camera phones.  

On the P40 you get:

  • 50MP RRYB sensor
  • 16MP ultra-wide
  • 8MP 3x optical telephoto lens
  • 8 channel colour temperature sensor

Then on the Huawei P40 Pro you get

  • 50MP RRYB sensor
  • 40MP ultra-wide cine lens (the same as on the Mate 30)
  • 12MP 5x optical telephoto RYYB periscope zoom
  • TOF camera
  • 8 channel colour temperature sensor

Then finally on the P40 Pro Plus you get:

  • 50MP RRYB sensor
  • 40MP ultra-wide cine lens (the same as on the
    Mate 30)
  • 8MP 10x optical telephoto RYYB periscope zoom
  • 8MP 3x optical zoom
  • TOF camera
  • 8 channel colour temperature sensor

That periscope scope lense on each phone is now an RYYB
sensor, so it offers the a superior low light performance similar to the main
sensor.

The 10x optical zoom allows the Pro Plus to go to a ridiculous 100x maximum zoom using digital.

On top of those big number specs, the sensor size itself has been massively increased the main RYYB lens on each phone is a 1/1.28 sensor size up from 1/1.17 on the P30 Pro, and significantly larger than the Galaxy S20+ and iPhone 11 Pro Max.

If that was not enough, they have doubled the ISO since the P40 giving it an ISO of 204800.

Finally, the AI features of the phone have a new Golden Moment
AI best moment feature which seems to take multiple photos before and after the
button press then will select the optimal shot (I believe the iPhone has
similar).

The AI can then also help edit shots such as removing passers buy or removing reflection, which is especially good when shooting through a window.

Front Camera

On the front of the phone, you have an elongated punch hole
which has a 32MP lens, IR depth sensor and an ambient proximity sensor. This
allows smarter face unlock as well as gesture control and much better bokeh on
selfies.

Battery

On the standard model, the battery capacity is 3,800mAh and will only support 22.5W fast charging.

The battery on the Pro model is 4,200mAh battery with support for 40W SuperCharge, which was large last year but starting to look a little small now. You also get 27W wireless

On the P40 Pro Plus, you get an insane 40W wireless charge, so there is no need to ever plug you phone in again.

OS

The phone still uses Android and Huawei have replaced many of the feature native from Google with the new Huawei Mobile Services. You can then download many of the apps you would normally use via the Huawei App Gallery.

You can also sideload many of the Google apps, the caveat is that the security policies required for some apps like banking and mobile payments are not there, you will therefore not be able to use them.

Huawei is investing big with the App Gallery with better profit shares and other incentives for developers to use their system. I think it is quite likely in a few years this difference between phones will barely even be worth mentioning, but in the mean time, it is a serious consideration you need to make, especially for premium-priced flagships.

Price

The Huawei P40 Pro (8GB RAM, 256GB Storage, RRP £899) will launch in the UK in Black and Silver Frost. The devices are available to pre-order from 26th March to 6th April with Carphone Warehouse, Virgin Mobile and selected retailers, and with Three from 27th March to 6th April. Eligible pre-orders can claim (via redemption) a bundle which includes HUAWEI FreeBuds 3, Huawei SuperCharge Wireless Car Charger and Wireless Charger.  The device goes on sale from the 7th April.

The Huawei P40 (8GB RAM, 128GB Storage, RRP £699) will launch in the UK in Silver Frost (Carphone Warehouse only), and Black (Virgin Mobile and selected retailers). Pre-orders start from 26th March to 6th April, and the device goes on sale on 7th April. Eligible pre-orders will include a bundled pair of the HUAWEI FreeBuds 3 only.

The Huawei P40 Pro Plus will be launched in June, there is no UK pricing but the EU price is 1399-Euros which works out as £1277, so the same sort of price as you pay for the Samsung S20 Ultra

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