Neither the expansion of the coronavirus (COVID-19) nor the veto imposed by Donald Trump have prevented Huawei from officially presenting the new P40 range, with which the manufacturer intends to rival Samsung, Apple and the rest of the companies that enter the segment. highest in the market.

This new family is made up of four different models, of which three have not been presented until now. These are: Huawei P40, Huawei P40 Pro and Huawei P40 Pro +. The total number, therefore, grows by one unit compared to previous generations, usually made up of three models.

At Hipertextual we have had the opportunity to test the Huawei P40 Pro, the intermediate of the three teams that the manufacturer has officially presented. This, although it has a model above it, is the benchmark of the new range. With it, Huawei will try to compete with the Galaxy S20, the iPhone 11 Pro and the rest of the high-end equipment that will land on the market in the coming months.

Huawei P40 Pro
Huawei P30 Pro
screen
6.6 “OLED, FullHD + (1200p), 90Hz
6.5 “19.5: 9 OLED, FullHD +
Size
73 x 158 mm
73 x 158 mm
Thickness
8.9 mm
8.4 mm
Weight
203 grams
192 grams
Processor
Kirin 990 5G, 7nm +
Kirin 980, 7nm
RAM
8 GB
8 GB
Memory
256GB and NMCard
128, 256, 512 GB and NMCard
Main camera
50 MP RYYB f / 1.9, wide 40 MP f / 1.8, 5x 8 MP f / 3.4 zoom and ToF sensor
40 MP RYYB f / 1.6, wide 20 MP f / 2.2, 5x 8 MP f / 3.4 zoom and ToF
Frontal camera
32 MP f / 2.2, IR sensor and ToF sensor
32 MP f / 2.0
Battery
4,200 mAh, fast charge 40W, wireless charge 27W
4,200 mAh, fast charge 40W, wireless charge 15W
Resistance
IP68
IP68
Biometrics
Fingerprint sensor under display, optical
Fingerprint sensor under display, optical
Connectivity
5G (NSA and SA), Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.1, NFC, USB C, without jack, GPS, Galileo, Glonass, Beidou
4G (LTE Cat 21), Wi-Fi 5, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, USB C, no jack, GPS, Galileo, Glonass, Beidou
System
Android 10
Android 9 Pie
Launching
To be confirmed
April 2019
Official price
To be confirmed
949, 1049, 1199 euros

Goodbye to gradient colors

In this new generation, the most noticeable change may be the absence of the strident gradients that the brand popularized with previous models. The P40 Pro will hit the market in a total of five finishes: Ice White, Black, Deep Sea Blue, Silver Frost and Blush Gold. The glass of these last two models, yes, they have a matte finish similar to that of the iPhone 11 Pro, which is very soft to the touch and, in addition, better camouflages fingerprints than conventional glass.

The new range of colors, in general, is sober but attractive. When moving away from the gradients, in addition, the P40 family distances itself from the mid / low range manufacturers such as Xiaomi or Realme, who, following the trail that Huawei once started, have also turned this type of finish into their own sign of identity.

The arrangement of elements in the posterior region remains static compared to the previous generation. In this sense, the only noticeable change is the inclusion of a box in which all the cameras of the team are grouped (four, in the case of the P40 Pro). This takes up quite a bit of space, although not as much as on the Galaxy S20 Ultra.

A front that seeks to hide the edges

To increase the feeling of immersion, Huawei has curved the glass that covers the screen in four directions (up, down, left and right). This methodology allows to camouflage the frame that traditionally surrounds the panel, including the classic “chin” that many Android smartphones present. Thus, the P40 Pro achieves a front in which the frames that surround the screen are practically symmetrical.

Another major change is the disappearance of the notch, which gives way to a double perforation through which the front chambers emerge. In the P40 Pro, the set takes up quite a bit of space, especially when compared to Samsung’s solution in the Galaxy S20 (much more discreet).

Known hardware

Inside, the P40 Pro houses some components very similar to those that the manufacturer has already incorporated in the Mate 30 Pro. The brain is the Kirin 990 5G, the most advanced processor of the Chinese company. Next to it, there are also 8 GB of RAM and up to 256 GB of storage (expandable through the Huawei NM card).

In Europe, the entire P40 series will have 5G connectivity as standard – with the exception of the Lite. The devices will be able to connect to both standalone and non-standalone networks, but they remain outside the millimeter wave (mmWave). This, although it would be beneficial for the future, is not a problem in the short and medium term, since most European operators are starting to deploy 5G with bands below 6 GHz (sub-6), which can be connect the P40 Pro.

The screen of the P40 Pro, following the usual line, has a size of 6.58 inches. However, the interesting thing is in other aspects:

The refresh rate is 90 Hz, exceeding the usual 60 Hz but below the 120 Hz of the Galaxy S20 family.
The resolution is higher than Full HD + but lower than 2K (2640 x 1200).
It makes use of OLED technology, which is already a standard in the high-end.

Very promising cameras

If something has characterized each generation of the P series it is the amount of advances in photography that they bring with them. And the P40 Pro, how could it be otherwise, is no exception to that rule.

The main sensor now has a resolution of 50 megapixels, but what’s really interesting is that its size has also increased. Specifically, it is a 1 / 1.28-inch sensor that exceeds dimensions even to the present in the Galaxy S20 Ultra. This, in principle, will allow more light to be captured in the most adverse scenarios, which, in turn, translates into sharper photographs, more accurate colors and, above all, a lower noise level.

In addition to this large sensor, we must add its matrix (RYYB), which, according to Huawei, allows even more light to be scratched when necessary. And if that were not enough, we must also add to the equation the well-known pixel-binning, which combines the information of four adjacent pixels into one of greater dimensions.

Enhancements to the main camera, however, don’t just stay on the hardware side. Huawei claims to have evolved the multiple image processing algorithms so that the final results are much better than those of the previous generation. This should be seen, according to the brand, in the treatment of people’s skin, in the colors of their faces and night photography, among other aspects.

In the zoom field, the P40 Pro maintains the five-magnification periscopic lens. However, this promises better results thanks to two main improvements: the use of a RYYB sensor capable of capturing more light and the improvement of optical and electronic stabilization systems. Huawei ensures that, by performing a long-range zoom (like a 30X), the user will obtain greater stability and will be able to frame more easily, something that did not happen in the previous generation.

The wide angle, meanwhile, has a resolution of 40 megapixels and, as in the Mate 30 Pro, allows you to record 4K video at 60 FPS with great quality. Its maximum ISO is 51200, it allows to record videos in slow motion at a maximum of 7680 FPS and, in this new generation, it also incorporates a zoom audio system. Thanks to this function, if the user zooms in on one of the participants in a conversation, the audio of the video will self-equalize to give greater prominence to what said person is saying.

And finally, the P40 Pro has a ToF sensor that allows you to measure distances and new artificial intelligence algorithms that allow you to automatically erase unwanted subjects from a photograph or remove reflections from a glass when taking a photograph of an element that, for example, it is found inside a showcase.

Without Google, but with HMS

The veto imposed by the United States in 2019 prevents Huawei from incorporating Google services in its products, including the recently presented P40 Pro. The company, to solve this deficiency, is strongly promoting Huawei Mobile Services, including services of cloud storage and most importantly, an alternative app store.

The number of applications present in this store grows over the days, but it is still far from reaching the immense offer of apps from the Google Play Store. Some applications like WhatsApp can be downloaded from the company’s website, but many others, such as Netflix or Banco Santander, cannot.

And yes, there are workarounds, like downloading the APK files from third-party repositories, but most come with some compromise, such as a lack of subsequent updates.

The great work that Huawei has carried out with the P40 Pro is unquestionable. To the already known Mate 30 Pro hardware, the Chinese manufacturer has added a promising camera that evolves where it makes the most sense to do so (in algorithms and sensor size). All this, however, is weighed down by the still unresolved situation in the field of software, which will make it difficult for this team to recommend it to the general public. Overcoming Google’s absence takes time, money, and effort. And although Huawei seems to be taking the right steps to achieve this, the company still has a long way to go.