Review: Huawei P40 Pro+, a stunning camera system, just got even better, also adds 5G

4 months later and they have a new flagship....

Huawei are well known for their great hardware and when I reviewed their P40 Pro back in April, I highlighted just how good the hardware is. Well we find ourselves just 4 months later and Huawei have already got another new flagship. The P40 Pro+ improves on what was already stunning hardware.

The + indicates an improvement over the P40 and when we break it down, you’ll see why this could have easily been a full point release, if not a P50, then at least a P45 Pro, it really is that different.

The phone’s design may be physically similar to the P40 (.05mm thicker and 17grams heavier), but when you take a look at the spec sheet, you’ll find improvements in the network speed, storage and especially in that stunning set of cameras.

DESIGN

Curves in all the right places

While the P40 came in the glossy, gradiented colours, the Pro+ is available in Australia in just 1 colour, White Ceramic. Internationally the phone is also available in black and Huawei tell me that the decision to include just the white centers around a want to stand out from an sea of otherwise black phones that dominate our phone landscape today. Personally I think the white looks great, it’s not a boring matt white finish, but still features some gloss white reflects the light a little, while also diffusing it.

The finish of the white back now feels much more scratch resistant than the glass backs of the past. Given many users wrap their phones in protective cases, this may not be a big deal for some, but for those whole love to have their phone on display, it’s a big plus.

PERFORMANCE

How does it perform ?

The P40 Pro+ now comes with 5G capability and of course whenever we talk about 5G hardware, we have to mention that Australia’s 5G networks are still in the early days of being rolled out. Despite that we have 5G in much of Albury Wodonga and as you’d expect, it delivers speeds in the hundreds of Mbps, many times that available on 4G.

This feature won’t be critical for some, but will be amazingly inviting for others, particularly if you hold onto your phones for a couple of years. By 2022, expect much wider coverage of 5G and having it in a phone now means you’ll be set for the future.

Maybe you have 5G at work, but not at home today, that will come overtime and when it does, it could open up some new possibilities. For example, some households could definitely get away without having home internet connections and simply live off their 5G phones and hotspots, assuming they’re matched with the right data plan.

When it comes to other performance, the display is still the same great 90Hz OLED at 6.58″ in size. It runs a resolution of 2640 x 1200 and looks amazing, but I’d expect nothing less from a phone at the top end of the market.

Inside is the HUAWEI Kirin 990 5G chip, made up of an Octa-core CPU runing 2 x Cortex-A76 Based 2.86 GHz + 2 x Cortex-A76 Based 2.36 GHz + 4 x Cortex-A55 1.95 GHz. It also has a 16-Core Mali-G76 GPU and wouldn’t be complete without some way to process the AI. The P40 Pro+ uses a Dual Big Core + Tiny Core NPUs (Neural-network Processing Unit).

All this adds up to a seriously snappy device, bouncing in and out of applications it’s ultra-fast, application load times were small and processing that large 4K footage from the camera was a breeze.

FEATURES

Stand out features of this phone.

Ok let’s get serious, if you buy this phone, you’ll do that because you want the best camera on the market. The Huawei P40 Pro+ has an insane

The rear of the phone features a substantial bump but if you use a case, it’ll likely become flush with the back of the phone. This camera module is shaped in a way to look like a smaller phone, clinging to the back of the phone like a koala bear does to its mother. In 2020, there are all sorts of different approaches to the layout of cameras on the rear of phones and regardless of whether its the same aspect ratio as the phone is not particularly important, what the cameras offer, absolutely is.

Rear Camera

The headline feature is likely to be 100x SuperZoom Array. This is really impressive and can certainly achieve pretty great quality photos of objects far in the distance, of course once you go past 30x, then 50x and right out to 100x, you’re well into the digital zoom section of the hybrid zoom, so wherever possible, stick with the optical.

That said, the camera features a 50 MP Ultra Vision Camera (Wide Angle, f/1.9 aperture, OIS) and 40 MP Cine Camera (Ultra-Wide Angle, f/1.8 aperture) as well as an 8 MP SuperZoom Camera (10x Optical Zoom, f/4.4 aperture, OIS), an 8 MP Telephoto Camera (3x Optical Zoom, f/2.4 aperture, OIS) and finally a 3D Depth Sensing Camera.

This camera system is capable of capturing photos in resolutions up to 8192 x 6144 pixels. With that level of quality, digital zoom and ultimately cropping, still creates an amazing photo.

When it comes to video, the P40 Pro+ can record in 4K (3840 x 2160 pixels) at 60fps video. This means amazing quality and buttery smooth motion.

The camera also features fast Autofocus and Image stabilization to help you capture the best photo the first time.

Front Camera

Turning our attention to the front, there’s a seriously impressive 32 MP Selfie Camera (f/2.2 aperture) which combines with a Depth Camera to offer face unlock support (even at night).

Traditionally front-facing cameras were an afterthought, but now with video calling (and TikTok) being so popular, it’s becoming a real must-have feature to have great front-facing cameras.

The P40 Pro+ delivers with support for 4K 60fps video recording, yes, front the front camera, that’s insane. You can also snap selfies with as many as 6528 x 4896 pixels.

Storage

If you’re shooting the best photos and videos, you’ll consume a lot of storage. Huawei understands that and has doubled the storage from 256GB on the P40 Pro right up to 512GB. That’s one of the largest on-board storage figures available on the market.

Charging

The P40 Pro+ also features improved wireless charging. HUAWEI SuperCharge on the P40 Pro+ is done at a max rate of 40 W, the same as a wired connection. There are still losses, so it won’t be exactly the same speed as a hard connection but is much closer than the previous max of 27 W on the P40 Pro.

PRICE & AVAILABILITY

How much and when can you get one ?

Having this level of hardware specs obviously does not come cheap. This is Huawei’s most expensive phone in Australia at $2,099 and surprisingly that’s actually cheaper than some of the competition’s flagships.

The phone went on sale in Australia from 7th August and if you’re early, you can get a Watch GT2e purchase gift, not bad given that’s a $250 watch.

OVERALL

Final thoughts

If you already own a P40 Pro, I wouldn’t upgrade to the Pro+ unless 5G is a must-have for you. Those looking for the best camera hardware on the market should look no further, this is the benchmark right now. DXOMark hasn’t yet adding the Pro+ to their charts, but I suspect it’ll land Huawei back in the top spot when they do.

The software situation with Huawei is improving, but the lack of Google Play services out of the box will turn off some users. If you can look past that, you have the ability to use Phone Clone to get most of your favourite apps over to the phone, as well as Petal Search to go find other APKs out there on the web.

9.4
Review: Huawei P40 Pro+
The Good
  • Those cameras
  • Solid feel in the hand
  • Really fast wireless charging
  • Loads of storages
The Bad
  • That cost
  • No google play services
  • Design
    9.5
  • Performance
    9.9
  • Features
    9.0
  • Value
    9.0
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This post is authored by techAU staffers. Used rarely and sparingly when the source decided to keep their identity secret, or a guest author who isn't seeking credit.
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