Huawei Mate 40 Pro review
Huawei Mate 40 Pro is a monster of power. It is useless to go around it. The latest super top of the range of the Chinese giant has arrived on the market with everything a user may need: an excellent display, a performing hardware and a photographic sector that allows him to take home the title of cameraphone.
However, we do not want to anticipate this review so we leave the general considerations to go into detail and find out what the new member of the Mate family is like.
Huawei Mate 40 Pro amazes both on the front and on the back. In fact we find in front a 6,76-inch curved edge display, an OLED with a resolution of 1344 x 2772 pixels, support for HDR10 + and a refresh rate of a 90 Hz. Like many other manufacturers, Huawei does not force you to use the highest refresh rate: you can opt for the Standard mode (60 Hz), for the Ultra (90 Hz) or for the dynamic one, which adjusts the frequency independently and according to the content. The screen resolution and color calibration are also editable. There are two possible variants in this case: Intense and Normal, to which you can associate the temperature you prefer between Cold and Hot. We are obviously not talking about modes randomly set by the Chinese company: the Intense one is designed to move the P3 color space while Normal refers to the sRGB one. It goes without saying that there is no better solution than the other: everything is subjective. And precisely because we are not all the same and we do not all love the exact same things, Huawei puts in our hands a product that can adapt to our tastes and needs.
Before moving on to the back cover we remind you that Mate 40 Pro is equipped with the so-called "hole". Where "-ino" is a bit of an understatement. In this case, in fact, it houses both the 13 megapixel front camera and the 3D TOF so it occupies double the space compared to the normal hole. Nothing invasive though. Once you get used to it you will barely notice it.
On the back we find il ring which we have also learned to appreciate on its predecessor and which immediately distinguishes the smartphone from the competition. The new color also enhances it Mystic Silver with matte finish. In fact, the back cover offers fascinating plays of light that highlight the rear ring even more.
We report the return of the physical keys, the double stereo speaker, the USB-C connector and the slot for the SIM cards and for the NMCard, the expansion card of Huawei's proprietary memory.
Overall we find ourselves in our hands a device solid and extremely ergonomic, also thanks to the 88 ° curved edges. Maybe a little extreme and not suitable for everyone but certainly unique and comfortable.
The dimensions, with the thickness of 9,1 mm, and the weight, of 212 grams, are also convincing. Not very light, it is evident, but you must remember that you have a 6,67 ″ OLED in your hands, therefore designed for those who really want a lot of space available.
Complete the picture IP68 certification for resistance to dust and water and the fingerprint sensor positioned under the display.
Huawei Mate 40 Pro review: it fears nothing
Huawei Mate 40 Pro is the first smartphone to mount the HiSilicon Kirin 9000 processor with 5 nm production process. Alongside it is the Mali G78 GPU, 8 GB of RAM and 256 GB of internal memory which, as previously mentioned, can be expanded via NanoMemory. Overall, you have the latest generation hardware that allows you to carry out any kind of activity, from traditional navigation to the most advanced gaming.
Then promoted the stereo sound with a while volume on the connectivity front we have everything you need: SIM, eSIM, 5G, Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2, GPS and NFC although, we remind you, at the moment there is still no compatible digital payment system.
Autonomy is also convincing. The battery is not particularly large - we stop at 4400 mAh - but Huawei has been able to optimize the software in order to better manage consumption. Thus we manage to arrive at the end of the day without any difficulty even keeping the display fixed on 90 Hz.
Once downloaded, you can recharge your Mate 40 Pro with the power supply included in the package. It is about a 66W Super Charge charger which takes you from 0 to 100% in about 45 minutes, so you can get back on track in minutes.
Huawei Mate 40 Pro also supports wireless charging up to 50W and provides for the reverse charging.
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We have already talked about this topic several times and, more recently, in the P Smart 2021 review. Why okay, Huawei Mate 40 Pro is a bomb, a super flagship, but Google?
By now you know: last year in the United States they imposed a ban that prevented Huawei from working with American companies, including the Mountain View giant. The direct consequence is the impossibility of obtaining official certification for new Chinese smartphones which therefore cannot use Google services. This excludes Drive, Photo, YouTube, Play Store and a few other apps, in some cases also blocking third-party software that requires Google Play Services.
At the beginning, of course, it wasn't easy. The Shenzhen-based company had to quickly reorganize, pushing the development of a proprietary operating system - which has not yet landed on smartphones - and bringing HMS to mobile devices. Huawei Mobile Services.
In fact, Huawei has provided a valid substitute for everything that Google usually offers. Music, video, cloud, store: the Asian company has really thought of everything.
But that's not all. Huawei - not only the headquarters, but also the local realities - has worked closely with the developers to bring as many applications as possible on AppGallery, the proprietary store that today has thousands of applications, thus reducing the gap with the competition. It then focused on partnerships with alternative stores, those that still include Android applications that you can download onto Huawei smartphones without problems and without difficulty thanks to Petal Search (here we tell you how this tool works).
All this brings us to the here and now, to the Mate 40 Pro. We have used it for several days without difficulty. The apps present are now many and for the most popular Google software there is always the browser. In short, if you want to watch YouTube, just go to the site to have a very similar user experience to that offered by the app.
Then there are all the messaging software you need, the social networks, the browser to navigate and the apps for entertainment, from Netflix to Kindle.
What is required of you is just to be ready and prepared for change. After two days of use, you will be missing practically nothing.
Huawei Mate 40 Pro review: the camera
As per tradition, let's quickly review the sensors that make up the Huawei Mate 40 Pro before moving on to the opinion of our photography expert:
- main 50-megapixel;
- 20-megapixel wide-angle;
- 5 megapixel telephoto lens;
- front 13 megapixel camera.
The photographic module of Huawei Mate 40 Pro it is very similar to what we have already seen on the P40 Pro as well, only with a few small differences. The main camera has the same 1 / 1.28 "size sensor, 50MP resolution and fixed aperture f / 1,9 lens, but unlike its brother it is not equipped with an optical stabilizer. Same optical characteristics for the wide angle camera, equivalent to an 18mm, but increase the resolution: now there are 20 million pixels available. No variation, however, for the 5x telephoto lens.
Having overcome the pitfall of specifications, let's go straight to the point: image quality. The file, reduced to 12MP via pixel binning, which we get with the main camera, lives up to expectations. In fact, as regards the high-end smartphones of the Chinese giant, the photographic performance has always been a flagship. And the Mate 40 Pro is no exception.
By shooting with the main sensor we can enjoy a very wide dynamic range, capable of accurately reproducing both what we see in highlights and shadows. The level of detail offered is high and the noise level is also very well controlled in the shadows.
As with the other top of the range from Huawei what we can criticize is perhaps excessive unsharp mask applied to images, which unfortunately often makes the images a bit fake.
Also good color reproduction, just too saturated in some circumstances, but in general the white balance is accurate in almost every situation in which we have tested this Mate 40 Pro. Even when the light is scarce the photographs are certainly appreciable from a chromatic point of view.
As just mentioned even in low light this Huawei smartphone does its job well. It clearly lacks the same amount of detail as an image in optimal lighting conditions. But once again from the point of view of the colors it is faithful managing to contain the noise very well.
We also enjoyed the responsiveness of the autofocus system, precise and very fast in locking the subject, whether it is a moving subject, a face or a simple static object.
The results that can be obtained with the Mate 40 Pro if we need a zoom are also good. Before operating the camera with 5x optics, this smartphone uses a resolution enhancement algorithm and a crop on the main sensor. And despite the fact that it is simply a digital zoom, what you get is noteworthy. But that's when it comes into play 5x optics that the results still improve. The amount of detail that is returned with precision is very high and the color reproduction is also very faithful. We only noticed some uncertainty from the point of view of focus. It is not as accurate as on the main sensor.
Usually the optics wideangle they are the ones that offer the least convincing results on smartphones. And this is also the case with the Mate 40 Pro, although it must be recognized that overall no obvious defects are noted to make the images unpleasant to the eye. Shooting with this camera loses something in terms of sharpness and colors tend to be saturated. But in reality, what is less convincing is the choice of focal length: the 18mm of this lens represents one of the least pushed wide angles on the market, where it is possible to find alternatives up to 12mm. Wouldn't it have been better to go a little further?
Overall Mate 40 Pro takes the photographic level of the P40 Pro to an even higher level. We're only sorry to see the main camera lacking image stabilization, because with this dynamic range and detail reproduction, Huawei has achieved one of the best photographic smartphones on the square. It is no coincidence that on that strange and recognizable rear module there is in fact the name of Leica.
Huawei Mate 40 Pro: technical sheet
Dimensions: 162,9 x 75,5 x 9,1 mm
Weight: 212 g
Display: 6,76″ OLED – 1344 x 2772 pixel – 90 Hz
CPU: HiSilicon Kirin 9000 5G
RAM: 8 GB
Memory: 256 GB - expandable via NMcard
Network: 5G – Dual SIM
Connectivity: Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.1, USB-C, GPS, NFC
Battery: 4400 mAh
Rear camera: 50 + 20 + 12 MP
Front Camera: 13 MP
Videos: 4K @ 60fps
Operating system: Android 10 with EMUI 11
If it were not penalized by the absence of Google services, Huawei Mate 40 Pro would be a fearsome rival for all the competition. It's elegant, with a recognizable design, a truly large OLED display, first-class performance, and optimization that takes it to the end of the day without difficulty. What makes the difference is the photographic sector which makes it one of the most interesting cameraphone on the market.
Our advice is not to discard it a priori.
Go beyond the "does not have Google services". There is an alternative for everything and what you get in return is truly a super smartphone.
- Unique design
- Great display
- High performance
- Good battery
- Camera above average
- No digital payments