Review: Ironclad hardware cannot save the Huawei P40 Pro | NOW

With four cameras, a large screen and a strong battery, the Huawei P40 Pro is a beast of a phone. But the lack of popular apps in the AppGallery makes the phone feel incomplete.

The Huawei P40 Pro is the latest top device from the Chinese manufacturer. It is actually a polished version of the Huawei P30 Pro, which also scored well with us last year with its hardware and cameras.

The P40 Pro is a very comfortable phone. With its 6.6 inch it fits comfortably in the hand. The device is smaller than the 6.9 inch phone samples, but large enough for comfortable use. The screen fills the front and is interrupted in the top left only by a hole in which two selfie cameras are placed.

The P40 Pro uses a so-called ‘OverFlow’ design. The screen is curved on all sides, making the screen edges thinner. The phone feels smooth, without rough edges.

Specifications Huawei P40 Pro

  • Screen: 6.58 inch (2640 x 1200 pixels)
  • Processor: Kirin 990 5G
  • Working memory: 8GB
  • Storage: 256GB
  • Battery: 4,200 mAh
  • Weight: 209 grams
  • Price: 999 euros

The screen is interrupted only by a hole in which two cameras are placed.

You no longer need to bring a camera

The cameras are super, which we are used to from Huawei phones. With the P30 phones, we were already impressed with the cameras, but with the P40 series, Huawei takes it one step further.

The camera island on the back of the phone contains four lenses: a standard lens, a wide-angle lens, a depth sensor and a zoom lens that allows you to zoom in optically up to five times. Digitally it is possible to zoom up to fifty times, and even then the camera presents surprisingly well. Although it is difficult to focus without a tripod and sometimes details are lost. The phone also has a double selfie camera.

The camera island on the back of the phone takes up a lot of space and protrudes slightly, causing the smartphone to wobble when you put it on its back. It also stands out from the tone with the otherwise sleek appearance of the phone. Although that is actually ant fuck when you think of the four cameras that you get back.


The camera island is large and protrudes slightly.

Difficult in daily use

The real problem, like other new Huawei phones, is in the software. The P40 series will not work with Google apps and services due to a trade ban with the United States. Thus, users do not have access to the Google Play Store.

Huawei offers its own app store: the AppGallery. But the offer is disappointing. Lots of popular apps are missing and the store is full of weird copies of apps that you don’t care about and that look unreliable. For example, apps such as Facebook, Netflix, the NS Travel Planner or NU.nl are not in the AppGallery.

If possible, Huawei will navigate you to the app’s site so that you can install it on the phone from the APK file itself. But this way, an app cannot automatically update itself. You therefore have to make every effort to install the apps via detours and to provide them with the correct updates via detours.

That turns out to be too much trouble for a lazy smartphone user like myself. I missed ease of use. In the week that was in use in the P40 Pro, I continuously grabbed my old phone where I can WhatsApp, watch Netflix and check my Gmail without any hassle.


There are many copies of popular apps in the App Gallery.

Conclusion

In terms of cameras and hardware, the Huawei P40 Pro is a very impressive phone. The phone is comfortable to hold, the battery lasted for me for two days without any problems and the cameras are to tell you.

The problem is in the software. Because many popular apps cannot be found in the AppGallery, the phone feels incomplete. I missed ease of use and found I didn’t want to bother continuously installing and updating apps manually.

But those who are less lazy than I and do not mind making the effort, or who already make little use of Google apps anyway, may think differently. Anyone can make that assessment himself. For me, the experience with the P40 Pro was certainly not ideal and certainly not worth 999 euros.

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