“Leap Further Ahead” is the tagline of Huawei’s flagship phone, and the phone certainly lives up to those words and more. Find out in our in-depth review to learn why.
For those who do not know yet, the Huawei Mate 40 Pro has two standout features: its 5G capability (with 5G Super Uplink speeds) and its Leica co-engineered camera. It features a power-packed Kirin 9000 processor, a 4,400mAh battery with HUAWEI SuperCharge capability (66W wired and 50W wireless), brand-new AI Gesture Control, and in-screen Fingerprint and 3D Face/Fingerprint Unlock for convenient quality of life features. The phone comes in two classic colors, Mystic Silver and Black (which is the model we have in-hand).
Design and build
When first unboxing the Huawei Mate40 Pro, the thing that stands out the most at first glance is its massive screen size. Its edge-to-edge 88° Horizon Display wraps around the rounded edges of the phone, creating an immersive and waterfall-esque viewing experience. The screen features a 90Hz screen refresh rate and a mega 240Hz touch sampling rate for the ultimate in touch-responsiveness. This includes using optional virtual controls on the edges of the phone alongside the physical volume keys. On top of all this, the screen adjusts automatically to give you the perfect brightness level and color accuracy throughout all times of the day due to its intelligent calibration. In terms of safety, the screen is Rated IP68 for water, splash, and dust resistance so you can live stress-free with your phone even in unexpected situations like sudden rainfall.
On the bottom part of the screen is the in-display fingerprint scanner which can be used to unlock the phone without having to type in a pin/password. A more convenient way to do this would be to activate the facial recognition feature which can unlock the phone even in unfavorable lighting.
On the bottom of the phone are the card tray for two nano-SIM cards, a USB-C port, and a speaker grille which you will also find on the top to provide a more surround sound experience. On its right which is nearly on its back (because of the edge-to-edge display), it has the power button in red and the volume rocker on top.
The Kirin 9000 5G SoC
As expected, the Huawei Mate 40 Pro’s powerful triad of CPU, GPU, and NPU work in combination to give you an unprecedentedly smooth and immersive experience. The Kirin 9000 5G SoC CPU consists of a giant 3.13 GHZ core within a three-level, octacore architecture for great power efficiency and performance. Meanwhile, the 24-core Mali-G78 GPU delivers superior image-processing capabilities for the best in graphics and gaming amongst modern smartphones. Last but not least, the NPU consists of three cores that help to push the AI processing to greater heights. This includes improving a myriad of functions like camera features, AI-assisted object recognition, or touch-free gesture controls. These include moving your hand left-to-right to go through your photo gallery or an e-book, and even answer calls or control audio playback by simply hovering your hand closely to the screen.
Camera that sets a standard for smartphones
The Huawei Mate 40 Pro’s camera system (produced in collaboration with Leica) is a standout stunner. It contains three different types of cameras/lenses: an overall Ultra Vision Camera with 50MP and f/1.9 aperture for your everyday shots, an Ultra Wide Cine Camera with 20MP and f/1.8 aperture for capturing landscapes and broader subject matter, and a Telephoto Camera with 12MP and 50x digital zoom for those hard to reach and hidden details that are hard to shoot otherwise. Lastly, the front 13MP camera intelligently senses and highlights your best features through its adaptive selfie mode (which supports three types of wide angles). This also means you can let your friends into the frame for “groupfies” and the appropriate wide angle mode will activate automatically.
I personally found the rear camera to be protruding too much. It will however balance out if used with the provided clear jelly/plastic protective case.
The Mate 40 Pro’s camera system also features an XD Fusion HDR Video mode and 4K capability that accurately captures astonishing brightness, color, contrast and detail through custom multi-exposure imaging. Huawei’s Steady Shot and Tracking Shot features let you record stably even when on the move (such as running or biking) and even in more adventurous situations without losing clarity. The front camera also supports 4K video, front and rear dual-view video, ultra-wide view recording, and slow-motion velfies (with 240 FPS and 1080P quality).
Love at first sight may definitely be a thing when you get to experience the Huawei Mate40 Pro firsthand. However, as all relationships go, it can sometimes come at a cost — PHP55,999 to be exact. It is a bit pricey but it’s expected with all the flagship specs that come along with it. Huawei definitely did not disappoint with this one, even despite its lack of Google Mobile Services.