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Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Review: Huawei P40 5G

Are you ready for the new Huawei P40?

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The Huawei P30 series is a tough act to follow, it already has everything we wanted from a smartphone. To be honest, I even got my own personal unit last year. This year tech giant Huawei is pushing the boundaries of mobile photography once again with the introduction of the P40 series, the highly anticipated upgrade from the revolutionary P30 series phones last year.

Related Article: Best Huawei P30 Pro pre-order deal

Its successor, the Huawei P40 series is now here. Despite trying times for Huawei, its new flagship smartphone manages to push the boundaries of mobile photography even further.

The Huawei P40 is the smallest and lowest-spec’d option among the 3 new models from the P40 series. But it’s no slouch. While it might only have 6.1 inch display without the curves and has a more standard 60Hz refresh rate for its display, all 3 variants however support in-display fingerprint sensors that are bigger and faster.

The P40 will also be only IP53 water resistant as compared to the IP68 of the P40 Pro and P40 Pro Plus devices. All variants will sport the Kirin 990 chip used on last year’s Mate 30 but will be all 5G-capable, while supporting the latest WiFi 6 connectivity.

Design and Display

The Huawei P40 misses out on the quad-curve overflow display found on the P40 Pro and P40 Pro Plus. However, having a flat display does have its benefits too. Since the display is not curved on the edges, there’s no risk of getting any color distortion or inconsistency in brightness.

On the front, it has a pill-shaped punch-hole with a dual-camera setup 32MP + IR selfie camera on the upper left of the screen. It also features an in-display fingerprint scanner that is 30% faster compared to the predecessor. It has a very aesthetically pleasing design that feels premium.

Huawei P40 pill-shaped notch
a pill-shaped punch-hole on the front of the screen houses a dual-camera setup 32MP camera sensor and a depth sensor.

The 6.1-inch display on the Huawei P40 has a resolution of FHD+ 2340 x 1080 Pixels OLED screen. The power button and volume keys are found on the right side of the phone, while the bottom houses the USB Type-C port and the single downward-firing speaker. The dual nanoSIM tray is also located here, and can also be used to expand storage with Huawei’s proprietary Nano Memory cards.

USB-C port along with a single down-firing speaker can be found on the bottom edge of the smartphone.

Unboxing/Accessories

The Huawei P40 arrived with the familiar white box with Huawei and Leica logo. I also noticed the AppGallery icon on the lower portion of the box. This means that Huawei is actively promoting its own app store as a replacement for Google Play.

Inside the box contains the Huawei P40 handset, and it also comes with a FREE clear TPU flexible case, Huawei SuperCharge charger, USB Type-C power cable, SIM ejector pin, and a USB-C earphones.

Build Quality/Design

The frame is made of a gorgeous blend of metal and glass. One thing I noticed about the new Huawei P40 is the camera bump that houses the Ultra Vision Leica Triple Camera that is headlined with 50 MP Ultra Vision Camera, 16 MP Ultra Wide Angle Camera, and 8MP Telephoto Camera. I really like how the new P40 looked very symmetrical.

Huawei P40 matte finish

The matte finish silver frost color of the Huawei P40 is very nice.

Battery

The Huawei P40 is equipped with 3,800mAh battery, which should last you a full day of moderate to heavy usage. It also supports 22.5W fast wired charging but no wireless charging. It’s not a deal breaker, but it would have been nice to include it.

Charging the device from 0% to 50% takes less than 30 minutes and will take you almost an hour to get 100% battery charge. The phone doesn’t charge as quickly as the P40 Pro, which powers up at 40W charging rates. Instead, the P40 charges at 22.5W.

The battery has an impressive screen-on time we’ve seen to date. I was able to consume over 8 hours of video content with the volume level to the highest and brightness level to its maximum. I was even able to play games for almost an hour before the battery reached 0%

Huawei P40 - Watch Movies
The new Huawei P40 is great for anyone who loves watching movies or TV shows on their phone.

So practically speaking, light users should be able to get around two days usage, and moderate to heavy users will unlikely struggle to go from morning to night on a single charge.

Camera

The Huawei P40 comes with a Leica triple-camera setup of Ultra Vision Wide 50MP RYYB (23mm) f/1.9, Ultra Wide 16MP (17mm) f/2.2, 3x Optical Telephoto 8MP (80mm) f/2.4 OIS, and a Colour Temperature Sensor 8 Colour Channel Multi-Spectrum. Huawei also continues to make use of an RYYB sensor on its latest flagship line, and this time it’s a huge 1/1.28-inch sensor size. Bigger sensors only means it can capture more light and produce sharper images with superior dynamic range.

Huawei is debuting its new XD Fusion Engine which uses AI to optimize your images and is one of the first smartphone manufacturers to get on board with AI. The new P40 series are capable of removing photobombers in an instant and can even remove reflections that appear when you’re trying to photograph anything that’s behind glass.

Huawei P40 - Ultra Vision Leica Triple Camera
The camera bump is quite large because of the massive sensors but still manage to look really nice.

A pill-shaped punch-hole on the front of the screen houses a dual-camera setup 32MP camera sensor and a depth sensor. Also, the new P40 series is also capable of taking selfie videos for up to 4K resolution with up to 30fps across the front and rear cameras that I find really nice, especially if you are fond of vlogging or creating video contents on TikTok.

As expected, the Huawei P40 is capable of taking shots with superb clarity and rich details day and night. In terms of photo quality, Huawei P40’s images have very nice colors and sharpness with great balanced exposure and contrast. We managed to take a few photos outside my condo despite the enhanced community lockdown. To be honest, I’m really impressed with the photo quality. I can’t wait to try using this on my future travels.

Here are some sample photos I took using Huawei P40:

Huawei P40 - Day Main Camera
Day time sample photo.

Huawei P40 - Day Ultra-wide
Day time ultra-wide sample photo.

Huawei P40 - 1x
1x Optical Zoom.

Huawei P40 - 5x zoom
5x Hybrid Zoom

Huawei P40 - 30x zoom
30x Max Zoom.

Huawei AppGallery

The Huawei AppGallery is the official app market of HUAWEI smartphones that comes preloaded since April 2018. The Huawei AppGallery is more than just the default app store on their newest smartphones. It is currently the third-biggest app distribution platform globally, with 180 billion downloads and 390 million monthly active users worldwide. Every day the AppGallery grows bigger, adding more apps and games to its repertoire for users to enjoy.

You can also download social media apps such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and messaging apps like WeChat. Aside from that you can also download popular online retailer apps such as Lazada, Shopee, and Carousell which is available in AppGallery too.

Among the newest local services to join the AppGallery are Unionbank and SSS, whose official apps became available in tandem with the launch of Huawei’s latest device offering, the Huawei P40 series and Huawei nova 7i. Unionbank and SSS expressed excitement at being able to connect quickly and securely with more of their Filipino users online.

New Apps that are already available on AppGallery:

Online Banking BDO EastWest Gcash PayMaya UnionBank
Finance Cashalo, Investagrams, Pesoloans
Entertainment Booky Gmovies ClickTheCity, Platinum SongBook
Shopping and Rewards BeautyMNL, Lazada, SM Advantage Card, Robinsons Rewards, Rustans FSP, GlobeOne
News GMA, ABSCBN News, CNN
Govt PCSO, SSS
Travel OTWO Philippine Airlines
Gaming Asphalt 9, Creative Destruction, Mobile Royale, Rise Kingdom
Social Media Tiktok, Facebook, Viber

 

Verdict

The new Huawei P40 is a great affordable flagship 5G smartphone available in the market today. It has one of the best cameras available at its price range. Definitely a strong flagship contender for 2020!

Huawei P40 Specs

  • Display: 6.1-inch OLED Display (2340 x 1080 pixels)
  • Processor: 2.86GHz Octa-core HiSilicon Kirin 990 5G Processor
  • RAM: 8GB RAM
  • Storage: 128GB UFS Storage, NanoSD Memory Card Slot
  • Rear Cameras: 50MP f/1.9 Main + 16MP f/2.2 Ultra-wide + 8MP f/2.4 Telephoto, 3x Optical Zoom
  • Front Camera: 32MP f/2.2, IR
  • Network: 5G, 4G, Dual SIM
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11ax, Bluetooth 5.1, GPS, NFC
  • Ports: USB Type-C
  • Others: In-display Fingerprint Scanner, IP53 Dust and Water Resistant
  • OS: EMUI 10.1, Android 10
  • Battery: 3800mAh Battery, 22.5W Fast Charging

The Huawei P40 is priced at PHP 36,990, while the Huawei P40 Pro at PHP 50,990. The phones are available in three unique colors: Silver Frost, Deep Sea Blue, and Blush Gold.

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