In this Huawei Mate 40 Pro review you can read everything about this new flagship. We will discuss the big plus points and discuss the lesser points. Are you reading?
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Huawei Mate 40 Pro review: flagship of 2020
The Huawei Mate 40 Pro is the new addition to the Mate series and comes with updated cameras and a large waterfall screen. In this review, we will discuss three plus points of the device, but also three points that Huawei can certainly work on (further).
Three advantages of the Mate 40 Pro
1. Very good performance
If you buy a Mate 40 Pro, you have nothing to complain about the hardware. The device is equipped with good components on many points. For example, the Kirin 9000 processor is very powerful and based on the 5 nanometer process. That is, in addition to the Apple A14 chip, the first in the world. In practice, this ensures good performance: hiccups are nowhere to be seen and every app or game you use opens immediately.
This also ensures better battery performance. You have to do your best to completely empty the battery in a day and a half. If you use the device less, you can easily get it for two days.
Huawei has returned the hardware volume buttons to this device. These were not available with the Mate 30 Pro because of the rounded screen. Good as far as we are concerned, because alone onscreen adjusting the volume did not always work smoothly.
For the rest, the device is very complete. For example, you can expand the 256GB internal storage, either with your own Huawei memory card. If you don’t use it, you can use a second SIM card. The device is dust and waterproof thanks to an IP68 certification, has a second speaker on the top of the device and also an infrared port.
The screen is 6.76 inches in size, has a high resolution and an AMOLED panel has been chosen. Together with the ‘waterfall’ edges, this ensures that you get a premium feeling when you hold the device. If you look straight ahead, you will hardly see any edges on the side. The Mystic Silver finish, among other things, plays a major role in this. That not only looks good, but also has a matte finish, which provides some roughness.
2. Cameras for every situation
There seem to be two cameras at the front, but that is an optical illusion. In addition to a selfie camera, a sensor for 3D face recognition is also present. The facial recognition works well, even in poor light conditions, and you can also use hand gestures to scroll through websites, adjust the volume or pause a movie. That works reasonably well, but we find no more than one gimmick.
You can take selfies in an extra wide angle, which is useful if you want to have a photo with some friends. On the back are another three cameras of 50, 20 and 12 megapixels. You can also use up to five times optical zoom or 50 times digital zoom.
So you lack nothing to take good pictures and that is more than good with the Mate 40 Pro. Photos taken with the main camera are not standard shot at 50 megapixels. Pixels are compressed into a single pixel for better results. Colors look true to nature, there are many details to be seen and images are gems to look at in good lighting conditions.
There is also a wide-angle camera on board, which occasionally shows some over-saturated colors in photos. You can also use up to five times optical zoom, ten times hybrid zoom (a mix of optical and digital) and 50 times digital zoom. The first two zoom methods in particular provide fine pictures. In the gallery below you see photos taken at a wider angle, the normal position, with five times optical zoom and finally with ten times hybrid zoom.
The night mode is also very good and provides good pictures in less light conditions. You can use both the main camera and wide-angle lens perfectly, since both lenses are bright. When zooming you can clearly see that the quality of the photos is deteriorating.
3. Fast charging to an even higher level
In addition to the nice battery life, the fast charging of the Mate 40 Pro has also been taken to a higher level. The device charges with a maximum of 66 watts and in practice this means that half an hour on the charger is already good for about 80 percent. You can fully charge the 4400 mAh battery in about 45 minutes. This is about as fast as with the OnePlus 8T, which appeared recently.
Wireless charging is also available and that goes with a maximum of 50 Watt, which is impressive. For this you need a special charger from Huawei, which you have to buy separately. Fortunately, the adapter to charge the Mate 40 Pro very quickly with a cable is included in the box.
Downsides of the Mate 40 Pro
The Mate 40 Pro is an impressive smartphone, but it certainly has its downsides. Below we discuss them with you.
1. Hardware could be a little better here and there
Let’s start with that hardware, because despite the device being very powerful, there are two points that Huawei can certainly still tinker with. For example, the screen refreshes ‘only’ 90 times per second, while competitors already offer displays with a refresh rate of 120Hz or 144Hz.
Huawei says it has opted for a 90Hz screen because this is more favorable for the battery life of the Mate 40 Pro. This in itself is a logical reasoning, but there are also the necessary devices in this price range with an even smoother screen of 120 or 144Hz.
There is also no headphone jack on board. That is a general trend in the smartphone world and something we are already used to. For example, many people now use a USB-C headset, adapter or wireless earplugs. Why we mention it anyway is because the Huawei Mate 40 apparently does have such a connection. Unfortunately, that device is not for sale here.
2. Software: lack of Google apps
The Mate 40 Pro also comes without Google services, but that does not immediately mean that it cannot be used at all. Installing apps can be done in several ways. In theory, you get everything from the Huawei AppGallery store. However, the supply there is still sparse at the time of writing.
For example, many apps cannot be found in the AppGallery. Think of internet banking apps, but also Disney Plus, Dropbox or Evernote, for example. You can place applications on the ‘wish list’, so that Huawei knows that you would like to download those apps, but that is of no use to you now.
Do you have apps on your current phone that you also want to use on the Mate 40 Pro (or other Huawei device without Google services)? Then you can use Phone Clone. For example, you can easily transfer a banking app and that works fine.
Huawei Internet Services
Another option to download more apps is ‘Petal Search’. This way, which you can reach via the search widget on the home screen, you can download loose installation files fairly quickly. These are so-called apk files, with which you can still download and install apps that you cannot find in AppGallery. If you follow this route, Petal Search will redirect you to “reliable sources,” Huawei said. Think of platforms such as APKPure or APKMirror.
In practice, that’s nice, because it allows you to get started with Netflix, for example (which, by the way, shows streams in a lower resolution, which also has to do with the lack of Google integration). Apps are also provided with updates which is nice, but it is and remains a hassle. Especially for people who are less adept at this.
It is a fact that Huawei is of course busy with this. For example, they fill the AppGallery, release their own alternative apps and do everything they can to expand the app range. For the time being, this is and remains a process that requires the necessary attention and will certainly continue for a long time to come.
The Mate 40 Pro is equipped with Android 10 and EMUI 11. Whether we will ever see Android 11 is still the question. Of course we put that question to the manufacturer, “but nothing can be said about it now,” said a spokesman.
3. Recommended retail price too high
Huawei asks 1199 euros for the Mate 40 Pro and that is a considerable amount of money. There is little to criticize about the hardware and that also applies to the performance. Nevertheless, the phone is again 100 euros more expensive than its predecessor and has the same major problem: the lack of Google apps and therefore a full Android experience. Add to that an unclear update policy and it’s hard to justify that suggested retail price.
Conclusion Huawei Mate 40 Pro review
The Huawei Mate 40 Pro is in many ways the best smartphone ever from the manufacturer. The good battery life, impressive hardware, extensive features and the set of good cameras are big pluses.
However, not everything is cake and egg and that still has to do with support for apps, games and other software, or the lack thereof. However, Huawei is doing all it can to provide a good experience, and it is slowly getting better and better.
Nevertheless, we do not recommend buying the Huawei Mate 40 Pro. The lack of Google apps remains a major problem and for many users installing applications manually is too much of a hassle. If you are looking for a high-end smartphone, you better look further.
Buy Huawei Mate 40 Pro
The Huawei Mate 40 Pro has a suggested retail price of 1199 euros and is now available in the Netherlands. Below we list all current prices and offers.
Huawei Mate 40 Pro
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