Updated: Aug 19, 2021
We have with us, the Huawei P40 Pro for a first impressions video, and honestly? There’s quite a bit that’s impressive about this phone. Now, this isn’t actually the flagship product, with the P40 Pro Plus yet to come to Singapore. But first, let’s look at the P40 Pro.
The P40 Pro runs on the Kirin 990 5G processor, has 8GB of RAM and 256GB of internal storage that’s expandable with Huawei’s nano memory cards. The 6.58” OLED display supports DCI-P3 HDR, a PPI of 441 and a resolution of 2640 by 1200. It’s bright and vibrant, photos and videos look great on this phone and thanks to the 90Hz refresh rate, you’ll see smoother scrolling while browsing the web and just overall better visual performance in general.
I’m pretty glad Huawei has gone with a physical volume rocker this time, instead of the virtual one on the Mate 30 series that was a bit finicky. You get a down-firing speaker on the bottom of the phone, as well as a speaker under the display for calls. The speaker is loud enough, but the bass is a bit lacking.
Moving onto the cameras, Leica has stepped in once again with a quad-camera array on the back of the P40 Pro. You get a 50-megapixel main camera with optical image stabilisation, a 40-megapixel ultra-wide camera, a 12-megapixel telephoto camera again with optical image stabilisation and a time of flight 3D depth-sensing camera. The P40 Pro will have 5 times optical zoom and up to 50 times digital zoom with the telephoto camera.
On the front, there’s a 32-megapixel selfie camera along with a depth camera for better bokeh and separation in portraits, as well as an infrared sensor that Huawei claims will allow users to unlock the phone with face unlock even in extreme low light conditions. We’ll definitely have to test that out.
But it’s the camera software that wowed us. Huawei has introduced a feature called AI Golden Snap, that will be able to remove passers-by and photo bombers from photos, or even your own reflection from glass surfaces. We saw it in action at the launch event and while there were a few kinks, it’s really quite amazing when it works. It removes even the shadow of the person being erased, but of course, it’ll likely be dependent on good lighting conditions and such. I’ll definitely be looking to test this further in the upcoming weeks.
The Pro variant comes with a 4200 mAh battery that supports 40w fast charging and 27w wireless charging, although the wireless charger is a separate purchase. There’s IP68 water resistance on this, which means in the event you spill water on your phone, it’s safe. Don’t go swimming in the sea or pool with this though, chlorine and salt don’t mix well with electronics even if they’re water-resistant.
Let’s talk about apps. Yes, the phone is still running on Android 10, but there’s no GMS onboard, which means you won’t have access to the Google Play store. I did manage to get a workaround by using the Phone Clone app to transfer most of my data to the P40 Pro, with Instagram, Spotify, WhatsApp, Facebook, Grab and more being able to work on the phone even if they’re not available on the AppGallery.
Speaking of the AppGallery, there’s actually been a bunch of new apps added with banking apps like UOB Mighty, ride-hailing apps Tada, Ryde and even ComfortDelgro. Huawei has confirmed that they’re in advanced discussions with DBS and Grab to bring those apps to the AppGallery, so that’s great to hear.
There’s a whole bunch of stuff we still have to test, so stay tuned for our full review.
The Huawei P40 Pro (S$1,448) will be available in Singapore on 4 April 2020. Preorders are now open at Huawei Concept Stores, telcos, selected electronics stores and at Huawei’s official online stores on Lazada and Shopee.