- Limited App list
- Large selfie camera cut-out
This phone could’ve been the phone of the year if not for the Google Ban of 2019. It has all the right stuff, a great camera, a friendly feel, beautiful screen. How much does the lack of Google apps matter? Here’s what you need to know…
The Huawei Mate 40 Pro is a design dream. Reviewers thought the curved screen was a joy to hold. Although the dimensions suggest it’s a large phone, many noted that it doesn’t feel that big since it’s relatively thin and light. The glass front and back plates give the phone a premium feel, although reviewers noted that the black model picked up fingerprints incredibly easy.
A 6.76-inch, OLED HDR 10 screen takes up most of the phone’s face. Reviewers noted bright and sharp colors, declaring the screen impressive overall. However, unless your app or streaming service of choice supports HDR, they won’t use the screen to its fullest. The only complaint we could find surrounded the selfie camera cutouts. Many reviewers felt the two lens cutouts are distracting.
With the apps that everyone is accustomed to using not being there, it’s hard to test their performance. However, for what reviewers could test, they found the phone snappy and without lag -- even during multitasking settings. The phone is fast and reliable, but understand that a lack of Google App support will make your app choices and overall experience very different than most Android phones in 2020.
Software & Storage
The Huawei Mate 40 Pro offers Android 10 with an overlay called EMUI 11. Reviewers loved the software tweaks available -- such as dark mode, eye comfort adjustments, and the ability to change color temperature. The phone includes 256GB onboard storage -- a larger amount than many Android phones shipping this year -- but be aware that there are very few cloud storage options available on Huawei’s app store.
The Mate 40 Pro is one of the best available today. There are numerous options for enhancing photos and the pictures it captures are phenomenal. Reviewers said that this was the best camera on a phone that they’ve seen thus far. With the range of photography options and 4K video recording, there’s little to be disappointed about when it comes to the photography and videography elements of this phone.
A whole day on a single charge isn’t a lot to ask of a modern smartphone and the Huawei Mate 40 Pro does just that. Reviewers said the lack of apps being available may have contributed to that but there’s nothing conclusive there. The other exciting part is that the phone offers both wireless and wired fast charging. So, you you won’t be stranded without your phone as long as you keep your charger handy.
Top and bottom grilles give the Huawei Mate 40 Pro stereo sound capabilities. Reviews note that they are loud and very clear, but unfortunately they lack bass -- much like any smartphone these days. There’s no headphone jack, so you’ll have to use Bluetooth or a pair of USB-C headphones if you want better audio quality.
Specs at a Glance
- Glass chassis
- 6.76-inch OLED HDR 10 display
- Octa-core 3.13 GHz HiSilicon Kirin 9000 5G Processor
- 8GB of RAM
- Android 10 with EMUI 11 overlay
- 256GB of storage
- 50MP/ 20MP ultra-wide/12MP 5x zoom camera
- 4400mAh battery
In general, it seems as though Huawei nailed just about everything. But the dispute with the US government and, along with them, Google means the phone won’t always support the apps you have learned to rely on. If you’re the type that doesn’t use social media services or media streaming on your phone this is a fine choice.
Reviewers note that the Huawei Mate 40 Pro is most suited for photography enthusiasts. It has a phenomenal camera and 256GB to save pictures with. However, if you keep up with pop culture trends and download the latest apps, you’ll want to look elsewhere.
Android Authority says, “Hardware-wise, Huawei has made a contender for the best all-around smartphone in 2020. The Mate 40 Pro hangs with the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, Oppo Find X2 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max. If you don’t need Google services, the Huawei Mate 40 Pro is a fantastic top-end option.”
Phone Arena states, “The Huawei Mate 40 Pro encapsulates the best in smartphone technology. It has an industry-leading screen, an ample chipset, and a great camera system on the back. It’s all premium, except Google Services is still missing and Harmony OS isn’t quite ready. This phone is a beast but in order to be tamed, it needs patience and an adventurous spirit at the same time. If you can get through the software learning curve, then you’ll be perfectly happy with this device.”
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