Before you buy that Huawei P40 Pro, you should know these 5 things

Before you buy that Huawei P40 Pro, you should know these 5 things

P40-pro product

Andrew Hoyle / CNET

Huawei’s P40 Series Smartphone sales continue in Europe and the UK. Range includes base P40, P40 Pro and P40 Pro Plus, And Huawei hopes to take the fight to the likes of iPhone 11 Pro, Galaxy s20 And OnePlus 8. I’m using the baby P40 Pro, the middle of the three – and putting it through my paces. The phone is available in the UK for £ 900 (around $ 1,120 or AU $ 1,770), but because of this US ban on Huawei products, It is not officially on sale in the US.

That restriction also means that he does not use Google apps – including access to the Google Play Store – but the phone has 5G and a good camera. Said, its older brother, the P40 Pro Plus, is even more focus-focused, with the first 10x optical zoom visible on the phone. Photography enthusiasts should wait in June, until the phone lands in June, or at least until we give it our review treatment.

If you are in one of Huawei’s consumer markets and are curious about the phone, here are five things you should know about this phone before you consider spending your money.

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Huawei P40 Pro has no Google app

Due to the company’s ongoing difficulties with the US government, Huawei phones do not use Google services. This means that there is no Google Play Store for apps and no support for services such as Gmail, YouTube, Maps or the Chrome browser. For many of you this will be a deal breaker, especially if you depend on Google’s app for your work.

P40-pro product-4

Andrew Hoyle / CNET

But this does not mean that there are no applications. Huawei has its own email client, browser and calendar on board and also has its own app store. Many big-name apps are already available, such as Amazon, TicketLock, Adidas Running, Snapchat, PixArt and sometimes popular Fortnite. However, there are many more, including Instagram or editing apps such as Adobe Lightroom that are not available through Huawei’s store.

While Facebook and WhatsApp are not directly available, the store will take you to the web pages of those apps, where you can download and install the app (in the inpack file) through a browser. Apps will then appear on the phone and work normally.

It is important, then, to try and see if the apps you trust are available right now. Huawei says that it is working closely with developers around the world and is trying to bring many more apps to its stores, so it is possible that we will see big names over time.

P40-pro product-3

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P40 Pro has 5G

Any flagship phone worth its salt in 2020 will not launch without 5G connectivity and the P40 Pro is no exception. You have to live in an area that has 5G and a 5G-enabled phone plan to take advantage of the next generation network. If you are hoping to get those fast-paced speeds straight away, then make sure to know what availability is in your area before upgrading to any 5G phone.

P40 Pro’s camera is good, but needs to be improved

Huawei has a track record of equipping its phones with awesome cameras. The P40 Pro packs four lenses: a standard zoom, a super wide-angle lens, a 5x optical zoom lens, and a depth-sensing lens. Although the phone’s camera prowess is certainly the best, it requires some tweaking in the software before it can take the crown as the best.

Dean Village of Edinburgh, captured with P40 Pro’s standard camera.

Andrew Hoyle / CNET

A statue, taken with the standard camera mode of the P40 Pro.

Andrew Hoyle / CNET

The same image taken with the 5x zoom lens of the P40 Pro.

Andrew Hoyle / CNET

Night mode on the P40 Pro.

Andrew Hoyle / CNET

My main issue is with white balance, or overall color temperature, to capture photos to the camera. Often, it seems to depict images with more magenta hue than what is present in real life, which made various test shots from the phone look less natural than similar shots taken on the iPhone 11 Pro. Galaxy s20 ultra. This is only a minor change, and you may not notice if you are not making direct comparisons with other phones. Huawei says that an update will be available in May that fixes the problem. I am testing the phone then to see how the update helps.

However, apart from this, the phone takes great images, even exposure and lovely contrast. Its 5x zoom produces crisp shots of distant subjects and images in low light and is easily reached there at night.

If you want a great camera, then you should wait for the P40 Pro Plus

If you are tempted to get the P40 Pro instead of the standard P40, this may be due to a camera upgrade to the base model, like the 5x optical zoom.

But the P40 Pro Plus includes a stunning 10x optical zoom, which promises amazing magnification without loss of quality. This is the highest optical zoom seen on a phone and I’m really excited to try it out. But this phone does not go on sale until sometime in June, so we are yet to see how it actually stacks up.

P40-pro product-2

Andrew Hoyle / CNET

It could be that this is not a massive upgrade on the P40 Pro and is not worth the money unless you are actually in your zoom. But if you’re keen on photography, it’s worth waiting at least to see what the phone is like before investing soon and getting frustrated.

Do not buy black version

Some of Huawei’s previous launches, including the P30 and P20 series, came with some vibrant color options that looked stunning. While the P40 Pro was featured in some delightful-looking hues, the review model that landed on my desk was plain black and, like all plain black phones, it looks dull and fluffy.

No one wants to be dull and forgetful – not when you could be happy and lively and exciting. So if you plan to fake the cash for the P40 Pro, at least grab it in its dark blue, shimmering pink or soft gold varieties.

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