If you’ve followed HUAWEI and its evolution over the past five years, you know very well that the two flagships, the Spring P-series and the Fall Mate series, are two different animals.
The P40, which won the Road Warrior Award for the Pro version and the best camera of 2020 for the Pro + version, is aimed at creative people with a focus on multimedia and photography. The Mate series is the one that pushes the boundaries of performance. It’s also the device that usually introduces the latest iteration of the Kirin chipset and other advances.
This was certainly the case with the Mate 40 Pro and it brought even more power to the palm of your hand. Three months after launch, this is our long-term HUAWEI Mate 40 Pro review.
HUAWEI has decided to refresh the color palette of the Mate 40 Pro and offer it in white, black, olive green, sunflower yellow and the very interesting, chameleonic Mystic Silver that we have here.
This color option shifts the hues from matte silver to red, orange, yellow, green and starting with blue. It has the most colors in the spectrum when hit by the right light at the right angle. The matte finish of the glass also helps keep fingerprints at a decent level.
The display is curved towards the edges, as are all extremities on the back. This makes the phone incredibly easy to grip and ergonomic. The buttons are easy to reach because the on / off switch on the underside is bright red. The volume rockers are at the top, but you also have the option to control the output using the virtual buttons on the left side of the display.
At first I didn’t know what to make of the round, Oreo-like camera arrangement on the back, with the Leica logo in the center painted with the same color change as the rest of the back of the phone. I think that makes it look more like a circle than a disk or an oreo. You catch my drift. HUAWEI calls it “the space ring”.
Overall, we believe that HUAWEI implemented the design, materials and overall finish of the Mate 40 Pro perfectly. That’s why Pocketnow decided to honor them HUAWEI Mate 40 Pro wins Editor’s Choice Award for Design.
The Mate 40 Pro, like every other Mate model before, is a beast. It is powered by the last generation 5nm octa-core Kirin 9000 processor, which includes a Mali G78 GPU with 24 cores, three NPUs, and modems that can operate on most 5G networks and frequencies.
Combine that with 8 GB of RAM and future-proofing just a whole new meaning. It also has 256GB of storage and a 4,400mAh battery that provides 66W wired and 50W fast wireless charging.
The display is a gorgeous 6.76-inch OLED panel with an FHD + resolution of 2772 x 1344 pixels and a maximum refresh rate of 90 Hz. Aside from the fact that it’s a gorgeous display, it is too extremely curved at the edges, to the point where the contents flow almost to a 90 degree angle.
There’s a fingerprint scanner underneath the display, which is fast and accurate and provides an easy alternative to unlocking your phone in case face recognition fails as you wear a mask most of the time when you’re outside.
Just in case HUAWEI had to prove they really mean business with the Mate 40 Pro, they packed a total of 5 cameras, 3 on the back and 2 on the front.
On the back you will find a trio of 50 MP ultra vision camera (wide angle, f / 1.9 aperture), 20 MP cine camera (ultra wide angle, f / 1.8 aperture) and 12 MP telephoto camera (f / 3 , 4 aperture). OIS) as well as the LED flash.
On the front of the oval, pill-shaped cutout there is a 13-megapixel ultra-vision selfie camera (wide angle, f / 2.4) and the 3D depth detection camera.
I’ll be honest, I haven’t handled a smartphone faster than the Mate 40 Pro in the past 12 months. Whether it’s the fast processor, the amount of memory, or EMUI 11 (or a combination of all of the above) I really don’t know, but it’s nasty!
Throw at what you want and it’ll work right away without breaking a sweat. This happens both after a restart and for days without a restart.
We won’t bore you with benchmarks and other analytical information (there are other reviews that focus specifically on this) because here at Pocketnow we believe in real life performance.
Whether you’re playing a challenging game like Asphalt 9 Legends or you have several other applications running in the background, you won’t feel any lag, lag, or hiccups.
While we were unable to test 5G due to the lack of service in this region, we can safely say that the same performance applies to WiFi and 4G as well. The data speed is right there at the upper limit of what the service provider guarantees. Phone calls and audio for general calls are crisp and clear and limited only by the quality of your service provider (for example, hi-fi voice is only available if both party’s phones and their carriers support it). This is not the case with calls on WhatsApp or Facebook where the quality is crisp and clear.
This brings us to the speakers. The Mate 40 Pro has two pretty powerful speakers, one above and one below, for stereo effects. Not only are they loud, but they also produce quite a surprisingly high quality sound considering where that sound is coming from (a phone).
HUAWEI literally spoiled us with the performance of the cameras it equips its phones with. The Mate 40 Pro’s triple camera setup is no different. Needless to say, it’s one of the best camera phones out there, and it rivals its other siblings in the Mate 40 range as well as the P40 range.
Regardless of what you choose to capture for posterity, the Mate 40 Pro won’t disappoint, be it landscapes, close-ups, portraits, etc. Colors are accurate, contrast and depth are spot on, and with the enhanced focal length of With the Ultra-Wide Camera gives you great results. This is also due to the freeform lens that Huawei used for the Mate 40 Pro, which uses an uneven shape to reduce, and sometimes completely remove, distortion.
HUAWEI Mate 40 Pro zoom increment samples
HUAWEI Mate 40 Pro various camera shots
HUAWEI Mate 40 Pro selfie shots
When it comes to the telephoto lens, you have the option of optically zooming up to 5x. Since it is an optical zoom and this is strongly stabilized, the quality of the images is exceptional. There is also the option to go further with the digital zoom. However, we recommend that you leave it at the bottom.
Even in poor lighting conditions, Huawei does such a good job that night photos are often as bright as if they were taken at dawn or at sunrise.
Turning to the front, we can only recommend Huawei to go for a wide-angle lens for the selfie camera. It makes it easy to frame your shot and gather more people within the same frame in case you choose not to distance yourself socially.
Selfies that have been taken can often benefit from the effects that you want to apply. However, you will be happy with the results even if you choose not to use one.
This elephant in the same room has been approached so many times that I feel like I’m writing the same paragraphs every time I check a modern HUAWEI smartphone.
Yes it is google! I’m not going to hit the same dead horse again. The status quo has become the “norm” so I think the time has come for the world to move from a plaintive / desirable / criticizing mindset to a mere acceptance of the product for what it is.
EMUI 11 is based on AOSP Android 11 and instead of Google Play you get your apps officially from the HUAWEI AppGallery or unofficially (at your own risk) from one of the various services.
We covered this topic in detail in at least two of our most recent reviews of the HUAWEI P40 Pro and Mate 30 Pro. Read either of these pieces of information (heck, read both!) For more information on the subject.
Instead, we look at the present and the future. HUAWEI is not only committed, but has already proven that it can build a solid alternative ecosystem. The AppGallery is expanding every day and yes, while it is still way behind the Play Store, there are probably more apps available every day that are slowly filling the void.
Solid Google Maps alternatives are represented by TomTom and Here Maps. Local banking apps are added (localized in each country). Bolt is available as an Uber alternative. Yes, there is an app loophole, but it is slowly closing to the point where the lack of Google and its services is really manageable.
HUAWEI did a nice little thing with Quick Apps. You visit a website such as YouTube and load the mobile version of the page (which is as close as possible to the functionality of the mobile app). Quick Apps let you send this page straight to your home screen, keeping the icon and everything. So, to an untrained eye, it seems like the regular app you installed.
You can do this with Google Maps, Gmail, and pretty much any other service that has a mobile-optimized website. Trust me, even if a feature or two is missing (with the company providing the service, not HUAWEI), it’s as close as possible.
HUAWEI Mate 40 Pro review: Conclusion
Sure, I’ve been recommending and recommending modern HUAWEI smartphones for years. The solid build quality, great design, fast performance, great cameras, and extensive experience make it easy to recommend in terms of hardware.
But it’s the software and services that really made me recommend a purchase, especially for those who are not advanced users, to the point where you can do this job by spending a little extra time spend and tinker with the software.
This has now changed thanks to the efforts of HUAWEI. Sure, the product continually improves hardware from predecessor to successor, and that’s easy to recommend, but it’s the company’s software and ecosystem efforts that allow me to finally recommend HUAWEI’s flagship without major reservations, and I think , that is the most important conclusion to our HUAWEI Mate 40 Pro review.
With first-class hardware components in the Mate 40 Pro, it is future-proof enough to continue developing the HMS ecosystem into a vision of HUAWEI in the future.
Outside the US, you can purchase the Mate 40 Pro from HUAWEI stores (if available) or from partner retailers. In the US, it currently costs $ 1,348 on Amazon.
HUAWEI Mate 40 Pro review: pros and cons
+ excellent workmanship and design;
+ exceptional cameras;
+ great battery life;
+ powerful speakers.
– a bit expensive;
– Some apps may not be available yet.
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