When Huawei launched its new P40 series two months ago, I have to admit that I was a little underwhelmed. Sure, the P40 and P40 Pro had some expected hardware improvements, but the cameras, though still miles ahead of the competition, weren't as significant a leap from the P20 to the P30.
The reason for this is, as it turns out, that the Chinese technology giant had another trick up its sleeve in the form of a new third model called the P40 Pro +. I managed to get my hands on a set before it was released this month. So does it offer the upgrade I was looking for?
If it doesn't break …
The P40 Pro + (left) and the P40 Pro (right) / Photo credit: Vulcan Post
If you look at the phones side by side, the P40 Pro + looks exactly like the P40 Pro – both phones measure 72.6 mm x 158 mm with a 6.58 waterfall OLED display, although the Pro + is due to an additional weight of 17 g feels slightly heavier.
Part of this 17 g is due to the new ceramic surface of the P40 Pro +, which should be more durable and scratch-resistant than the glass of the P40 Pro. This – along with a new white color – gives the Pro + a classier and more professional feel, but this is ultimately a question of personal taste.
In terms of performance, the Pro + is again identical to its little brother, which is equipped with the latest Kirin 990 processor from Huawei, 8 GB RAM and a 4,200 mAh battery that was easily used for a whole day ( 37% left) exactly). Other features include IP68 water resistance, (fast) wireless charging, and face and fingerprint unlocking.
This is a matter of course for a 2020 flagship smartphone, but an outstanding feature is a refresh rate of 90 Hz. Refreshing the screen 90 times per second makes navigation through the phone noticeably smoother. Given how often we use our phones, this is a huge improvement to the overall user experience.
And in case you're wondering, the P40 Pro + still doesn't have Google Mobile services like the Play Store and Google Maps. As mentioned earlier, there are some workarounds, and Huawei employees have consistently added alternatives to their AppGallery services.
Five is better than four
Credit: Vulcan Post
At this point, you may be thinking, "The Pro + doesn't appear to be much of an improvement over the P40 Pro," but the camera … or rather, cameras are where things get interesting.
With the 50 MP Ultra Vision, 40 MP Cine and 3D Depth Sensing cameras of the P40 Pro, the Pro + adds an additional 8 MP SuperZoom camera and upgrades the f / 3.4 telephoto camera to an f / 2.4, which corresponds to a total of five reversing cameras.
If all of that doesn't make sense to you, it basically means that the P40 Pro + offers 10x optical zoom and 100x maximum zoom, a significant advance over the P40's 50x optical / 50x maximum zoom Per represents.
0x Zoom / picture credits: Vulcan Post
10x zoom / picture credits: Vulcan Post
100x zoom / picture credits: Vulcan Post
And while the 100x zoom is more of a cool party trick (you need a tripod to get a clear shot at all), the 10x optical zoom really sets the Pro + apart from the competition. Most phones will have problems at this distance, but the Pro + manages to keep the details and actually take a usable photo.
Credit: Vulcan Post
Combine that with the P40 Pro's already excellent image quality and low-light performance, and you have a camera system that's ready for almost any situation you throw at it. This is the upgrade I was looking for.
Credit: Vulcan Post
While the P40 Pro isn't a bad phone, the P40 Pro + feels like the true successor to the P30 Pro. Huawei's P-series has always been known to have one of the best smartphone cameras on the market, and their latest offering seems to keep them in this top position.
However, these premium features come with a premium price tag. The Pro + costs $ 1,898, which means you essentially pay $ 450 more for a better camera system. Whether it's worth it depends on how often you take photos. However, we believe that this will pay off in the long run.
If you don't get scared, the Huawei P40 Pro + will be released on the June 27thand will be available in Huawei concept stores, telecommunications companies and both online (Lazada, Shoppee) and physical retail (Best Denki, Challenger, COURTS, Harvey Norman).
Pre-orders also start on June 20th, and as usual, an early adopter brings a variety of giveaways. This time, Huawei chose quality instead of quantity and offers a 40W wireless supercharge stand and its new Sound X speaker, valued at $ 148 and $ 498, respectively.
The new Sound X speaker / picture credits from Huawei: Vulcan Post
Since we're here, we might as well talk a little bit about the Sound X – similar to the partnership with Leica, Huawei teamed up with the French audio brand Devialet for this, and considering that their speakers typically spend more than $ 1,800 cost is a big win for the brand.
I had the opportunity to test a real Devialet speaker last year, and although the Sound X is not a 1: 1 representation, it does have the heart-pounding bass that the brand is known for. This is probably the cheapest way to get the Devialet experience. If you get this completely free of charge, pre-ordering the Pro + is much more tempting.
The loss of GMS was an unfortunate blow for Huawei, but products like this are a strong argument for sticking to the brand. If you're looking for a new phone, like taking photos, and ready to make a few concessions in the app department, the P40 Pro + should be at the top of your list.
VP Verdict is a series in which we personally test products, services, fads and apps. Would you like to suggest something else to give us a try? Leave a comment here or send the suggestion to our Facebook page.
Credit: Vulcan Post