||glass front, ceramic back, ceramic frame
||6.8-inch AMOLED (1200 x 2640 resolution, 441ppi pixel density)
||8GB RAM - 500GB storage
||Quad-lens + depth sensor (Wide, Ultrawide, 4xTelephoto, 10xZoom)
||Face recognition and Fingerprint sensor at the back
||Android 10 and Huawei EMUI - No support for Google Play Store
|Retail Price at Launch
Design and screen
- Ceramic back is unique and eye catching
- IP68 water and dust resistance
- Quad-curve Overflow Display curves around all edges
- Display resolution is 1200 x 2640 pixels (~441 ppi density)
The Huawei P40 Pro+ is one of the best looking smartphones I’ve had the pleasure to test. The phone's ceramic white design really catches the eye - you'll want to show it off.
Though the AMOLED screen doesn’t match what Samsung has to offer, it is still as sharp and bright as you would expect from a flagship phone.
The body is slightly thicker than your average smartphone at 9mm, but despite its above-average thickness, it still doesn’t feel unwieldy and looks great too. It’s not as prone to finger smudging as black glass either.
The white ceramic back doesn't show any smudged fingerprints. A big plus for anyone who likes to keep their phone squeaky clean.
At the bottom of the phone, you’ll find a reversible USB-C slot and, uniquely, a SIM/SD Card slot.
The camera array at the back consists of quad-lens and depth sensor with ultrawide 4xTelephoto and 10xZoom. It is quite big but appears to be well resistant to scratches.
The power button and volume rocker are placed on the right side, within the metal frame. Both buttons have a solid feel to them. All in all, everything feels extremely well built.
The “quad-edge” display has a slight curving around all edges. This design is unique and feels upmarket, even compared to the likes of the iPhone, Galaxy S20. The display is a large 6.8-inch AMOLED screen.
Huawei claims that the back is as tough as sapphire glass. Though I’m not in the habit of drop-testing, I can confirm that after a full week of use without a case on, the white ceramic back and the camera lenses both look pristine and unscratched.
The display’s colour rendering is good, excellent saturation and colour balance by default and the customisation allows you to select the colour temperature to your liking. The phone supports HDR video content with excellent viewing angles.
Performance and battery life
It is not unusual for Huawei phones to have the most powerful processors and P40 Pro+ is no exception, it comes with the same processor as the P40 Pro (Kirin 990).
Huawei software has come a long way in the last few years and is currently as smooth as Samsung and ONE UI in every respect, though it still lags behind when it comes to customisation.
The offering from the Huawei App Store is pretty poor, so make sure you skip the “Recommended apps” screen for your own good; or not.
*Currently, the Huawei App Store is no Google Play store. As an alternative, head to the home screen and search for the apps you need with “Petal search”.
The device optimiser (pre-installed) is basic but it does the job. With 500GB of storage as standard, however, it will be a while before you start worrying about storage space.
The on-screen fingerprint scanner is surprisingly fast and a big improvement on the slower one offered by Samsung. Good on Huawei.
We all know that multi-window is nothing new. But other aspects of the EMUI are not as polished or easy to use as the UI offered by Samsung or Sony.
Although you will find some Microsoft apps like Office and Bing, you won’t find the Microsoft OneDrive. What ruins the experience for most users is that it has no support for Google Play Store.
The Huawei health app records steps, counts calories, measures distance and keeps track of exercise time. Features such as Timeline, Record your Sleep/Wake Times, Exercise Targets, and Options to Share your Sports Data with your friends are a big plus. Overall, it’s an excellent app that rivals dedicated third-party health apps. However, it requires registering for a Huawei account. Same goes for the Huawei cloud services to back up your photos.
Sadly, there is no support for Google services, including essential applications such as Gmail and Google Drive because of the US ban. Frustratingly, this is quite possibly the best smartphone we've ever seen in quite some time but the Google ban makes it a fundamentally flawed device.
That is not to say that Google services are off limits. You can access your Gmail and G-Drive via the browser. The same goes for Microsoft One Drive which is an excellent alternative for many.
You’re unlikely to be able to install your bank or supermarket app and there is limited support for cloud services (unless accessed via the browser and not via an app).
The Huawei app gallery is limited but Huawei has implemented a ‘Find Apps’ tool that searches for suitable apps across third-party suppliers. If it cannot find one, it gives you the option to save the web-version of the service on the home screen.
Experimenting with Find Apps, I managed to install Google Maps and Microsoft One Drive within minutes. The same goes for Google Photos since you can still access all Google services via the browser and although they may not integrate as well as with the app, they are perfectly usable.
Here’s a deal-breaker for a specific category of people, the device is not for gamers as household brands like Fortnite are just not available.
Features such as Phone Clone can be used to transfer apps from your old phone, bit it’s a bit of a hit and miss and you may lose saved data.
Biometric face-unlocking is definitely superior to Samsung in every aspect; the same goes for on-screen fingerprint recognition. When it comes to biometrics, Huawei technology is unmatched with the exception of Apple face unlocking.
A great advantage is that it supports wireless charging via any charging pad (cross-compatible but speed may vary).
The 4,200mAh battery which easily lasts a day, and it can even be stretched to two days when using the battery optimisation tools.
The 40W fast charging and wireless charging gets you back to full battery quickly and conveniently.
We can safely say that the Huawei P40 Pro+ has the best camera available on the market. The main camera is a 50MP f/1.9 lens that can capture an outstanding level of detail and vibrant colours.
So far, it is the best all-rounder camera with an excellent dynamic range that’s on par with the Pixel 4 and Galaxy S20.
Leica branded camera has been a distinctive feature of high-end Huawei devices since the revolutionary P20. Thanks to its amazing quad-lens camera, photographers are going to love this phone.
The main lens of the P40 Pro+ handles low light and shaded areas exceptionally. It also has an ultra-wide 40-megapixel lens that compromises little as it has autofocus and optical image stabilisation.
The f1.8 aperture lens performs better than the equivalent super-wide-angle on the Galaxy S20 Plus. This lens is highly versatile and ideal for capturing small spaces, group photos, as well as macro photography. Thanks to its wide aperture, it performs great in challenging light conditions, unlike the S20 wide-angle lens.
The phone has two zoom lenses both of which are 8MP, a 3x zoom with a f/2.4 aperture and a 10x optical zoom, f/4.4 aperture.
Incredibly, both cameras feature OIS and the digital zoom can be stretched to 100x digital zoom.
On a sunny day, you can capture incredible snaps from the 10x camera; for best results, use a tripod or rest the phone on a steady surface.
Auto image stabilisation can be a hit or miss and at times, it becomes practically impossible to shoot a sharp image on the 10x camera unless you rest the phone on a flat surface or on a tripod.
The Huawei P40 Pro+ has a well-designed camera interface with AI scene recognition turned on by default. But we have found that it tends to over-saturate colours so it is best advised to use the camera with the feature disabled.
The Huawei P40 Pro+ is easily one of the best smartphones available on the market.
By far, it has the most capable camera phone that even outperforms both the Pixel 4 and Galaxy S20 Ultra. 10xZoom is unparalleled and a large amount of storage means you can take thousands of photos without worrying about storage. Don't forget to backup though.
No Google support right out of the box can be a deal-breaker for many but Huawei hasn't been idle. Workarounds are easy to find and the "Find apps" utility is a game-changer.
The phone isn’t cheap and sits at the £1,200 price bracket, SIM-free. But if you’re OK with the price tag, it’s a fantastic smartphone to go for.