HUAWEI Mate 40 Pro Review: Seven days with the flagship

The HUAWEI Mate 40 Pro is most technologically advanced and highly anticipated smartphone in 2020. The novelty attracts a scattering of features and interesting chips. How convenient is the curved screen, how do the cameras shoot, and what about the content of the branded app store?


Screen

HUAWEI Mate 40 Pro

The display of the Mate 40 Pro pleased from the first minutes of acquaintance with the gadget. After a week of operation, my opinion has not changed — the picture of the smartphone is super. The 6.76-inch OLED screen with rounded edges, adequate auto-brightness and natural color settings surprised with the image quality and smooth scrolling. Not to mention the support of all fashionable technologies: 90 Hz, HDR10+, Always on Display, and so on. I didn’t even have to adjust anything for myself.

We always prefer the dark design mode. On the previous phone with the Super AMOLED matrix, the text was slightly slowed down, despite the stated support for “smooth scrolling”. Therefore, it was not particularly convenient to read a lot from the screen — my eyes were tired. In the case of the Mate 40 Pro, there are no such problems. However, we don’t know if it’s all about the increased coverage or a better display.

After experimenting with the screen modes, I left the dynamic preset, which is offered by default. With it, the refresh rate adjusts automatically, switching between 90 and 60 Hz. This does not affect the smoothness of scrolling, but it helps to save power.

Perhaps, the disadvantage of the display – “waterfall” is one: the picture on the side faces is slightly green. I still can’t imagine how to stick a protective glass on the rounded edges. We can only hope for Gorilla Glass 6, which covers the screen. On the other hand, the manufacturer has taken care of the factory film of decent quality — for the first time it should be enough.


Camera

Photo capabilities are one of the main trump cards of the Mate 40 Pro, and it’s not for nothing that the device is leading in the DxOMark rating. My attitude to mobile photography is simple: I believe that the flagship should produce cool shots in any conditions. This is how the HUAWEI Mate 40 Pro works. No need to think about the exposure, dynamic range, shutter speed and other nuances-everything will be taken care of by Leica’s 50-megapixel optics, the nimble Kirin 9000 chipset and neural network algorithms. Open the camera app, take photos — we get a decent result in any conditions, whether it is a contour light, evening lighting, shooting in motion or with shaking hands. The AI, depending on the situation, selects the parameters for the best picture.

Especially impressive are the automatic shooting in the dark, the portrait mode of the main camera and the optical five-fold zoom, which even at night produces good shots. I note that for fans of art photography, there are a lot of different formats, including a manual preset with RAW support.

With video, things are the same as with photos: everything works well at the touch of a single button. You can record videos in 4K at 60 fps. There are various cool options like slow-mo. The zoom is well thought out — just pull the slider while shooting, and the app switches the modules itself.


Software

HUAWEI Mate 40 Pro

We love pure Android, but I don’t like the hardware platforms where it is put. In the case of the Mate 40 Pro, I discovered a brave new world of EMUI, where there are no familiar Google services. Data transfer from an old phone to a new HUAWEI device was done in Peregrine Falcon, using the built-in PhoneClone utility. Everything moved, but many programs did not function push notifications, including the corporate messenger that was critical for me. SberPay also did not want to work, and in the standard utility “Wallet” my bank card was not supported. That is, I got a cool camera phone, but with limited capabilities.

Fortunately, the situation was quickly corrected. After studying the corresponding thread on the 4PDA forum, I realized what the error was: I transferred data from the previous smartphone in a hurry, relying on PhoneClone. And it was necessary to install programs through HUAWEI AppGallery. Even if there is no necessary utility, the end-to-end search helps-there is a link to the developer’s website or to APKPure and other sources with files.

As a result, I did a data reset and re-downloaded everything. After this installation, push notifications appeared in applications from AppGallery. SberPay started working, but the corporate messenger remained silent. Tech support wrote that a version for the HUAWEI market will be released soon.


Conclusion

After a week of testing the new Huawei Mate 40 Pro, we can say with confidence that the new product is a very interesting and unusual flagship for those who are ready for certain compromises. As soon as I figured out how to install the software, I got a device that can handle any of our daily requests, whether it’s work, photography, or entertainment content.