Huawei put a P40 Pro in our hands and here’s what we think of it so far

Huawei put a P40 Pro in our hands and here’s what we think of it so far

Yes, you read that right. Huawei let us hold its newest flagship smartphone – the P40 Pro – at a behind closed doors briefing last week. In what is certainly the first for any hands-on we’ve done before, the device was hidden in a box that prevented us from casting our eyes on it. Instead, we relied on our sense of touch to gain an understanding of what design characteristics the phone will adopt.

Let’s get a few things out the way first – the P40 Pro won’t come with the same Horizon Display as the Mate 30 Pro and it’ll have a huge rectangular camera module on its rear, although not quite as monstrous as Samsung’s Galaxy S20 Ultra.

Although it won’t boast a waterfall aesthetic with extreme curvature, the P40 Pro is doing something a little different with its display design. Running our hands across the device confirmed the handset will have curves on its sides, in addition to its top and bottom. In our brief hands-on time, this left its display feeling like a pebble in our hands that elegantly melded into the chassis of the phone from all sides – the only real sharp edges are on its corners.

If you’ve used a Mate 30 Pro and hate its lack of physical volume buttons, then we have good news! The P40 Pro will indeed have rockers to turn its audio up or down depending on your preference – this adds further weight to our certainty the handset won’t have a Horizon Display.

Then there’s the camera. And boy is it huge. In what appears to be a smartphone trend for 2020, the P40 Pro will indeed boast a rectangular camera system on its rear, although we couldn’t find out exactly how many sensors are housed inside.

READ MORE: Huawei Mate 30 Pro review: Infinitely better than it has any right to be

The P40 Pro certainly has the second largest camera housing on a smartphone – that title still goes to the Galaxy S20 Ultra. A Huawei product expert told this publication the P40 Pro will boast “market leading sensor technology” and “advanced periscope camera technology”. This certainly suggests the Chinese tech giant is not only planning to introduce larger sensors, but also improve upon the zooming capabilities of the P30 Pro – with a 10x optical zoom, perhaps?

The Huawei product expert also hinted the new flagship will introduce new AI capabilities which certainly isn’t surprising considering the firm has pushed the technology in all of its most recent premium devices.

Although the Shenzhen tech giant emphasised that, just like all of its previous P-series handsets, the P40 Pro will place its camera on a pedestal, this apparently won’t come with any design compromises. Once again though, Huawei stayed tight-lipped on any specific details about the P40 Pro’s build and materials.

Just like the Mate 30 Pro, the P40 Pro isn’t expected to come with support for Google apps and services. During our briefing with Huawei, the firm once again touted its Huawei Mobile Services (HMS) offering as a viable alternative to those from Google and Apple. That said, the firm admitted it still needs time for its vision of HMS to be fully realised.

So what can we conclude from our hands-on time with the P40 Pro? Well, it seems alleged images of the phone that surfaced back in January from famed leaker Evan Blass are accurate – everything from the size of the camera bump to the phone’s display curvature seem to line up with our experience last week.

Huawei didn’t confirm any specs of the P40 Pro to us, but rumours have suggested it’ll come with a high refresh rate display, be powered by the same Kirin 990 chipset as the Mate 30 Pro and be 5G-capable.

In terms of pure camera specs, leaker RODENT950 has claimed it’ll boast a 52-megapixel main, a 40-megapixel ultra wide-angle, a 3x telephoto, 10x optical prism lens and a time-of-flight (ToF) sensor. Safe to say, the P40 Pro could be the ultimate photography powerhouse.

The P40 Pro will be unveiled on March 26, so there’s not long to wait until we get our hands (and eyes, this time) on the new flagship.

Published at Tue, 10 Mar 2020 10:00:00 +0000