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Huawei P40 Pro+ Review: Best In Class

The P40 Pro+ is the best camera phone you can buy today

Huawei pulled a Samsung this year, releasing three versions of its photography-focused, P40 series flagship phone. Aside from the regular P40 and the premium P40 Pro, the company also released the P40 Pro+, the ultra-premium variant of its flagship equipped with a new feature we’ve never seen before on a phone: 10x optical zoom capability.

Pros

  • Same excellent styling as the P40 Pro
  • As premium as they come
  • Incredibly fast
  • The only phone right now that has a 10x optical zoom lens

Cons

  • Very expensive
  • 10x zoom isn’t really that useful outside of specific shooting scenarios

Almost identical to the P40 Pro

The P40 Pro+ is an almost exact copy of the P40 Pro at first glance, which means it looks and feels as premium as its slightly more affordable brethren.

The back of the phone is made of glass which curves into the aluminum frame. Huawei’s unique aluminum frame taper into the curved display is still there, which protects the panel somewhat if you accidentally drop the phone on the pavement.

The biggest change design-wise from the P40 Pro is the camera module on the back. Somehow it’s become even bigger, which isn’t a good thing, at least for me. But considering the higher optical zoom (10x VS the 5x on the regular P40 Pro) I kind of understand why it’s a little bigger.

My review device came in Ceramic White, which is a nice change over the usual Black.

The display remains unchanged from the P40 Pro. You’re still getting a 6.58-in Full HD+ resolution panel, along with a 90Hz refresh rate and a pill-shaped punch-hole notch on the upper left side of the phone.

The display looks great, and while some may not like the lower resolution full HD+ panel isn’t as good as the quad HD setup like say, on Samsung’s top-tier Galaxy S20 Ultra, the display is good enough that I didn’t really mind. The full HD+ is also less of a power hog than a quad HD panel as well.

Zoom champ

The P-series of phones is where Huawei flexes its photography muscles, and the P40 Pro+ is armed with the best cameras you can find on any smartphone today.

The P40 Pro+ re-uses the main and wide-angle camera of the P40 Pro, both of which were already covered in our P40 Pro review so we’re not going through that again. 

What we’ll be going in-depth is the 10x optical zoom lens that replaces the 5x optical zoom in the regular P40 Pro.

No other brand in the market currently has a phone with a 10x optical zoom lens, and while many brands like Samsung claim that their phones can shoot up to 100x zoom, the images taken from such extreme zooms are digital in nature.

Digital zoom isn’t as clear or as good as regular optical zoom, and if you consider the technical hurdles that Huawei had to overcome to get 10x optical zoom in such a small package, then you’d start to understand why the P40 Pro+ is such a marvel of engineering.

Images that were taken at 10x optical zoom look incredibly clear and crisp, thanks to the evolution of its periscope camera technology. The P40 Pro+ reflects the image it takes up to 5x VS the previous generation to produce an equivalent optical focal length of 240mm.

There are still some added software enhancements added to the final photo of course, but no amount of “hybrid zoom” will be able to match the full 10x optical capabilities of the P40 Pro+.

Still one of the best flagship phones in terms of performance

Just like the P40 Pro, the P40 Pro+ is packed with top-tier hardware to match its camera prowess.

The phone comes with Huawei’s own Kirin 990 5G-capable chipset, as well as 8GB of RAM and an insane 512GB of storage. The phone’s storage can still be further expanded via Huawei’s proprietary NM card.

As for overall performance, the P40 Pro+ performed extremely well, with no apparent slowdowns or issues during its time with us.

The P40 Pro+ still doesn’t come with Google Play, instead it ships with Huawei’s Mobile Services, and AppGallery.

App selection in Huawei’s AppGallery has continually grown in both quality and quantity, and now includes a large number of banking apps from industry leaders like BDO, UnionBank, PayMaya, and more.

Huawei’s EMUI 10.1 is onboard the P40 Pro+ as well as Android 10, and while Google isn’t providing support to Huawei because of the ban, the company has been pretty diligent in providing numerous software and security updates to their devices and is sometimes ahead of the search giant when it comes to pushing updates as well.

As far as battery goes, you’re looking at similar values compared to the P40 Pro – 4200mAh, 40W fast charging, 40W wireless fast charging as well as reverse wireless charging capability. Run times are extremely similar as well – around 10 hours and 58 minutes compared to the 11 hours and 5 minutes on the P40 Pro.

Verdict: want the best cameras on a phone this year? Get the P40 Pro+

If the P40 Pro wasn’t enough to satisfy your mobile photography cravings, then you should pick up the P40 Pro+.

While its significantly more expensive than the regular P40 Pro, it is the pinnacle of smartphone photography thanks to its 10x optical zoom camera, the first in the world.

You’re getting a ludicrous amount of storage, a powerful set of cameras along with insane zoom capability, though you will be paying quite a premium for the privilege considering its Php 69,990 price tag.

  • CPUHiSilicon Kirin 990 5G octa-core processor
  • RAM8GB
  • Storage512GB
  • Display6.58-inch quad curve overflow OLED display, support DCI-P3, 90hz refresh rate, 1,200 x 2,640 resolution
  • CameraLeica Penta-rear cameras: 40-megapixel f/1.8 ultra-wide RYYB SuperSensing Cine camera; 50-megapixel f/1.9 UltraVision RYYB main Camera with OIS and Octa Phase Detection AF; 8-megapixel f/4.4 SuperZoom periscope camera with 10x optical zoom and dual-axis OIS; 8-megapixel f/2.4 telephoto camera with 3x optical zoom and OIS; ToF camera; 3D Depth Sensor; Color temperature sensor, Laser Autofocus, LED Flash, 4K60 video recording, up to ISO 409600
  • OSAndroid 10 with EMUI 10.1
  • Battery4200 mAh
  • FeatureIn-display fingerprint scanner, 3D Face Unlock, IP68 rating, Nanotech Ceramic back
  • Front Camera32-megapixel f/2.2 front camera with AF; IR depth sensor, ToF sensor, 4k selfie video
  • CommunicationWiFi 6+, Bluetooth, Dual-band GPS, NFC

John Nieves

John is a veteran technology and gadget journalist with more than 10 years of experience both in print and online. When not writing about technology, he frequently gets lost in the boonies playing soldier.

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