❤ Huawei Mate 40 Pro
Table of Contents
The world doesn’t end with this one escalating trade dispute, Huawei insists, so here’s the Mate 40 series for you. We have the Mate 40 Pro for review, the high-end almost-flagship that sits just below the ultimate Mate 40 Pro+.
We say almost-flagship just because there’s one better, but the Mate 40 Pro is nothing short of a top-tier handset. Immediately striking is the display – a 6.76-inch OLED that envelops the device’s sides – similar to the Mate 30 from last year, but even more extreme.
Flip over to the back, and you’ll be greeted by a camera arrangement that you haven’t seen before – so it turns out distinctive design is still possible. A proper tri-set of cameras sits inside that circle with a 50MP main unit and 5x periscope tele, both coming straight from the P40 Pro, and a new 20MP ultra-wide.
That’s what you can see. What you won’t be able to see is the new Kirin 9000 chipset, the first 5nm SoC for Android (Apple’s A14 Bionic inside the iPhone 12 has one). Powering things is a 4,400mAh battery, fairly unimpressive, but that gets charged by a 66W adapter over a cable and up to 50W wirelessly – those aren’t rookie numbers.
Huawei Mate 40 Pro specs :
|NETWORK||Technology||GSM / CDMA / HSPA / EVDO / LTE / 5G|
|2G bands||GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 – SIM 1 & SIM 2 (dual-SIM model only)|
|3G bands||HSDPA 800 / 850 / 900 / 1700(AWS) / 1900 / 2100|
|4G bands||1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 12, 17, 18, 19, 20, 26, 28, 32, 34, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42|
|5G bands||1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 28, 38, 40, 41, 77, 78, 79, 80, 84 SA/NSA/Sub6|
|Speed||HSPA, LTE-A, 5G|
|LAUNCH||Announced||2020, October 22|
|Status||Available. Released 2020, November 01|
|BODY||Dimensions||162.9 x 75.5 x 9.1 mm (Glass) / 9.5mm (Leather)|
|Weight||212 g (7.48 oz)|
|Build||Glass front, glass back or eco leather back, aluminum frame|
|SIM||Nano-SIM and eSIM or Hybrid Dual SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by)|
|IP68 dust/water resistant|
|DISPLAY||Type||OLED, HDR10, 90Hz|
|Size||6.76 inches, 115.7 cm2 (~94.1% screen-to-body ratio)|
|Resolution||1344 x 2772 pixels, 18.5:9 ratio (~456 ppi density)|
|PLATFORM||OS||Android 10, EMUI 11, no Google Play Services|
|Chipset||Kirin 9000 5G (5 nm)|
|CPU||Octa-core (1×3.13 GHz Cortex-A77 & 3×2.54 GHz Cortex-A77 & 4×2.05 GHz Cortex-A55)|
|MEMORY||Card slot||NM (Nano Memory), up to 256GB (uses shared SIM slot)|
|Internal||128GB 8GB RAM, 256GB 8GB RAM, 512GB 8GB RAM|
|MAIN CAMERA||Triple||50 MP, f/1.9, 23mm (wide), 1/1.28″, 1.22µm, multi-directional PDAF, Laser AF
12 MP, f/3.4, 125mm (periscope telephoto), PDAF, OIS, 5x optical zoom
20 MP, f/1.8, 18mm (ultrawide), PDAF
|Features||Leica optics, LED flash, panorama, HDR|
|Video||4K@30/60fps, 1080p@30/60/120/240/480fps, 720p@960fps, 720p@3840fps, HDR, gyro-EIS|
|SELFIE CAMERA||Single||13 MP, f/2.4, 18mm (ultrawide)
TOF 3D, (depth/biometrics sensor)
|SOUND||Loudspeaker||Yes, with stereo speakers|
|COMMS||WLAN||Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/6, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct|
|Bluetooth||5.2, A2DP, LE|
|Positioning||GPS (L1+L5), GLONASS (L1), BDS (B1I+B1c+B2a+B2b), GALILEO (E1+E5a+E5b), QZSS (L1+L5), NavIC|
|USB||USB Type-C 3.1, OTG|
|FEATURES||Sensors||Face ID, fingerprint (under display, optical), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, barometer, compass, color spectrum|
|BATTERY||Type||Li-Po 4400 mAh, non-removable|
5W reverse wireless
|MISC||Colors||Mystic Silver, White, Black, Green, Yellow|
|Models||NOH-NX9, NOH-AN00, NOH-AN01|
|Price||About 790 EUR|
|TESTS||Performance||AnTuTu: 686835 (v8)
GeekBench: 3704 (v5.1)
GFXBench: 43fps (ES 3.1 onscreen)
|Display||Contrast ratio: Infinite (nominal)|
|Camera||Photo / Video|
|Loudspeaker||-24.9 LUFS (Very good)|
Disclaimer. We can not guarantee that the information on this page is 100% correct.
Huawei hasn’t skimped on the smaller niceties either, and the Mate 40 Pro comes with stereo speakers – two evenly matched units. The front-facing ToF cam provides secure face recognition, and there’s another IR-based feature – a blaster up top to operate your old-school TV or AC unit. An IP68 rating is also par for the course in this segment. Sure, there’s no 3.5mm jack, but does that really bother anyone at this point? Plus, there’s headset in this box, unlike other, half-sized boxes.
Huawei Mate 40 Pro unboxing
The Mate 40 Pro‘s retail box is the same as what we’ve gotten with previous Mates – black cardboard, golden lettering, red Leica dot on the front. Inside, there’s a full set of accessories.
A powerful 66-watt adapter, which is still reasonably compact, is included as is a cable to go with it – since both pieces use the in-house SuperCharge technology you better hold on to them to get the maximum charging speeds.
There is a pair of earbuds, too, ending in a USB-C connector – that’s the only wired interface on the Mate 40 Pro. There’s no USB-C-to-headphone jack adapter included.
A new addition this time is a protective case. It’s a basic clear silicone one, but it’s thick and provides protection straight out of the box. It also doesn’t interfere with the touch operation on the curved display edges but does rob you of feedback when operating the physical buttons.
The Mate 40 Pro‘s hardware and price mean it’s a match to the best smartphones out there. The Galaxy Note20 Ultra is Samsung’s top-dog in much the same vein. The Galaxy will get you a higher refresh rate and marginally higher-res display, though only one at a time. An S Pen stylus is also in the Note’s favor. That and the ability to use every app you can think of that the Google-deprived Mate can’t quite match. Compared to the Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra, the Mate 40 Pro, believe it or not, is the better cameraphone overall.
In fact, camera quality and versatility are a point where the Mate 40 Pro beats pretty much every other smartphone we’ve reviewed so far, just as the screen refresh rate and the lack of Google Play services are points where it underdelivers.
So if the OnePlus 8 Pro has Google services but can’t beat the Mate for image quality, it better have something else to tip the scales. It does – 20-25% price savings, a 120Hz 1440p display, slightly better battery life, and maybe the OP software experience. But it’s the savings, really.
Those can be had elsewhere too. For about 8 Pro money (so tangibly cheaper than a Mate), the Mi 10 Pro remains Xiaomi’s top global offering, and no 144Hz 10T Pro’s can detract from that. The Xiaomi has extensive imaging credentials itself, even if it can’t match the Mate’s zoom capability. It’s a close race in most other areas too – practically a tie in the display, battery life, and speakers. So it’s the Mate’s camera vs. the Mi’s lower price and G apps support.
Hear us out, then. If you’re not going to have Google’s blessing on the Mate 40 Pro, why not scrap the Google OS altogether and pick up an iPhone? The 12 Pro Max, specifically, will only be slightly more expensive. Ironically, this will let you have Google Maps and Photos, and pretty much whatever app your heart craves. The Max will only get you half the Mate’s zoom power, and the new iPhone cameras are yet to prove themselves, plus it’s about a month of waiting until you’ll be able to get them, but what is a month really, in this weird year in particular.
Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G • OnePlus 8 Pro • Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro 5G • Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max
The Mate 40 Pro serves us a most unpleasant question to answer – is getting the ultimate camera worth paying the ultimate price? And, while the phone is certainly expensive, we’re not talking about its monetary value.
We knew it from the get-go, and one review later, nothing’s changed. Without Google’s backing, the Mate 40 Pro is hard to recommend to anyone with the habit of using the search giant’s app ecosystem and third-party apps, which are dependent on it. And that’s really the only problem we have with the Mate – the rest of the cons in the list below are just us being picky.
Outside of these software restrictions, the Mate 40 Pro is one of the most complete packages on the market. Its waterfall display looks cool but is also objectively accurate and shines bright. Battery life is excellent in no small part thanks to a very efficient next-gen chipset, and charging doesn’t leave you waiting either. The Mate’s 3D facial recognition is hard to come by on Android, and while stereo speakers are fairly common, speakers as good as these aren’t. And, well, the whole camera experience has us almost smitten.
In the end, it turns out the decision is simple. If you can’t live without full Google support, don’t get the Mate 40 Pro. If you’re willing to sacrifice some convenience on the software front, or you’re an optimist on Huawei‘s smartphone future, do get the Mate 40 Pro.
- Standout design thanks to waterfall screen and distinct camera assembly.
- 90Hz OLED display is bright and color-accurate.
- Long-lasting battery, very fast charging.
- Top-class speakers.
- Secure facial recognition.
- Powerful and efficient chipset.
- Likely the most capable camera system to date, day and night, back and front.
- No Google services on board – even if there are workarounds and most apps will work, some won’t.
- Competitors have 120Hz displays, this one is only 90Hz.
- Front camera cutout is a bit in your face.
- While 2020-powerful, the chipset might be lagging behind next year’s competing designs.