A few days ago, Huawei was kind enough to let us borrow a unit of the P40, to check out. What we have on our hands is the simplest of the trio – the P40. Although lacking the upgraded cameras of the P40 Pro and Pro+ models and wireless charging (plus a few other features), the P40 already cements a brilliant offering on its specs sheet.
For this article, we’ll unbox the P40 and give our initial impressions.
PACKAGING AND INCLUSIONS
Like most phones at this price range, the P40 doesn’t come with a lot in its package. It just comes with the main unit, some earphones, its Huawei 22.5W Supercharge charger, charging cable, SIM card ejector tool. The box also came with space for a clear case, but we’re not sure if was missing in the package that Huawei gave to us, or if it really doesn’t come with it. Hopefully, the clear silicon case should be included in the retail package.
The Huawei P40 is very solidly built, and shines among the rest in terms of design and its overall feel. Because it’s much smaller at 6.1 inches, it feels really great to hold and just right in my hands. (This is coming from someone who is currently using a Samsung Galaxy Note 10+, which is huge.) One handed operation is much more convenient.
The back of the phone we received is a fantastic Blush Gold color, however the P40 also comes in Deep Sea Blue and Silver Frost Colors. The matte feel on the phone is easy on the hands, and so far not a fingerprint magnet compared to other phones that have glass or shiny ceramic/plastic backs.
The Huawei P40 is powered by a HiSilicon Kirin 990 5G SoC, with an Octa-core processor and a MALI G76 GPU, while RAM is at 8GB. The phone runs EMUI 10.1 based on Android 10, which runs smoothly. Initial tests using PUBG Mobile and Mobile Legends turned out impressive, and the phone was able to handle even the highest settings with no major issue or overheating.
However, the rear camera is the main star of the show, with its 50 MP Ultra Vision camera as its main focus. The other cameras on the phone are a 16 MP Ultra-Wide Angle Camera and and 8 MP Telephoto Camera. It has less optical zoom compared to its bigger siblings, and doesn’t have the ToF (Time of Flight) sensor on the Pro+ model. However, this doesn’t seem to cripple the P40. Since it shares the same 50MP shooter on the others, images come out much better and sharper (when using the high-resolution mode) compared to any other phone on the market.
The camera module, however, sticks out quite obviously, and has a similar shape to the module that’s used on the Samsung S20 Ultra.
Initial photos turned out great, and we’ll explore more into this camera soon.
Storage is at 128GB which is not bad, but it can be expanded with Huawei’s proprietary NM card. Bummer. This is likely the direction that Huawei is headed, given less patent issues with microSD manufacturers and also gives them more profit.
Facial recognition was quick, as well as fingerprint unlock. One thing I noticed is that even at a dark room, facial recognition was still usable.
Charging is via USB type-C port and is capable of Huawei’s 22.5W SuperCharge tech, which should be able to fill up the phone in less than an hour. Battery is rated at 3800mAh which is more than enough for a day’s full usage. Battery life should also be much better than its siblings, even if the Pro and Pro+ models have higher capacities, because of its smaller screen and lower resolution.
The biggest issue which most users might experience here is the usage of Huawei’s AppGallery – which is, in all honesty, not that bad. Considering that that the AppGallery is still relatively new, the portfolio of useable apps is already huge, and apps being supported on it is growing quickly since Huawei has been incentivizing developers to use its platform. I was able to install Facebook, Viber, Messenger, Gcash without any issue. It is also quite easy to install APK’s using third-party sites such as APKpure. I was able to install PUBG and Mobile Legends using APK’s and I didn’t encounter any issues. I wasn’t able to install COD Mobile, but maybe I was doing it wrong (?). We’ll go into this even deeper soon after a few more days.
From our first impressions, the Huawei P40, seems like a very capable device with fantastic value, with great specs and a fantastic flagship camera. The only gripe some users might have is the AppGallery and other software – but we’ll discuss that later.
- 6.1-inch OLED display, 2340 x 1080 (FHD+) resolution, 19.5:9 aspect ratio, 60Hz refresh rate
- HiSilicon Kirin 990 5G SoC, powered by an Octa-core CPU (2 Cortez A76 operating at 2.86Ghz, 2 Cortex A76 at 2.36Ghz and 4 Cortez A55 at 1.95 Ghz.)
- DaVinci NPU (Neural Processing Core) for AI processing
- Mali G76 GPU (16-core)
- 6GB/8GB RAM
- 128GB/256GB storage, expandable with Huawei’s proprietary NM cards (sold separately)
- Rear: 50-megapixel, f/1.9 (main), 16-megapixel, f/2.2 (ultra wide), 8-megapixel, f/2.4 with OIS (telephoto)
- Front: 32-megapixel front camera + IR sensor
- Fingerprint reader (under-display)
- 3,800mAh battery with 22.5-watt (capable of Huawei SuperCharge)
- EMUI 10.1 based on Android 10 with Huawei Mobile Services
- up to 5G connectivity
The Huawei P40 is now up for pre-order for Php36,990 on Lazada and Shopee, as well as MemoXpress online store. There’s a whole load of freebies (see below) when you pre-order so do check it out.