The Huawei Mate 40 Pro has just been formalized. However, we have already been able to take in hand this premium smartphone without Google services to deliver our first feedback. Despite this constraint, the device is full of promise.
Smartphone news has been very hectic in recent weeks. The announcements are flowing in all directions and all that was missing was the Huawei Mate 40 Pro to participate in this great frenetic party. This new high-end device from the Chinese giant also occurs in a particular context: the American embargo against its manufacturer tightened in 2020.
In addition to not being able to offer Google services on its smartphones, Huawei has seen Washington prohibit it from working with foreign suppliers using American technologies. It is therefore difficult to project serenely towards a bright future. However, the brand wants to prove that it does not let go of the obstacles that stand in front of it. The Mate 40 Pro is his new weapon.
In general terms, we must consider this Huawei Mate 40 Pro as a logical evolution of the Mate 30 Pro and P40 Pro.
The technical sheet of the Huawei Mate 40 Pro
A little heavy, but very neat
In hand, the phone is rather pleasant. This is not due to its fairly substantial weight of 212 grams, but more to its well rounded finishes, especially at the corners, for a Huawei Mate 40 Pro which hugs the palm of the palm. Add to that a matt glass back which offers a pleasant satin feel in addition to a silver color with the most beautiful effect thanks to its reflections.
True to its lineage, the Huawei Mate 40 Pro is not a compact smartphone: its dimensions of 75.5 x 162.9 x 9.1 mm raise it to the rank of great fellows. This in no way detracts from its refined air to which the very curved screen contributes a lot. In this regard, let us note an important detail: the manufacturer reinstates physical buttons on the right for the volume whereas the Mate 30 Pro had got rid of them.
However, this was a bad idea: you had to tap twice on the end of the screen to change the sound level. A counter-intuitive gesture that wasted more time than anything else. This function has not disappeared on the Mate 40 Pro, but at least we are entitled to more practical classic keys. The unlock button is also on the right edge. The phone panel is pierced at the top left with a double punch housing a classic selfie sensor and a 3D sensor. The manufacturer has also succeeded in the nice feat of integrating a 3D facial recognition solution in this space, however smaller than a large notch.
We have already mentioned the touch on the back, but not yet the huge well-centered circular photo module. Its massive size allows it to be quite stable when used lying flat on a table – pressing the corners still causes it to sway. It remains to be seen whether or not such a crude formwork design appeals to the average user. Personally, I find the whole to be well balanced, but that really only commits me.
Also note that the fingerprint reader is positioned in the screen, that there is no jack and that there is a speaker grille on each edge at the top and bottom for stereo sound. . In short, a pretty gem.
In addition, here we are entitled to a diagonal of 6.76 inches with a definition of 2772 x 1344 pixels – remember that the edges are curved. The Mate 40 Pro relies on an OLED display and 90 Hz mode – which, by default, automatically adjusts to the content displayed to conserve battery power. The visual experience seems really excellent at first glance, even if a few software animations seem to offset a tad the fluidity sought with the high refresh rate. We will check this more diligently during the full test.
Petal to impress
While in parallel refining its home system HarmonyOS, Huawei continues to work on its alternative to Android with Google sauce. Thus, the Mate 40 Pro takes advantage of Android 10, but with the EMUI 11 interface. Applications like Gmail, Drive or YouTube are therefore not available here and, instead of the Play Store, we find the inevitable store AppGallery. The latter continues to expand its catalog week after week and we kind of want to believe it. Especially since the developers of the firm have planned a redesign of the interface so that users more easily find the applications likely to interest them.
In addition, the Petal Search tool is improving. As a reminder, this is a platform for consulting a news feed, taking advantage of a search engine powered by Qwant and, above all, finding applications on different platforms. This makes it easier to download apps that are not available on the AppGallery.
All you have to do is type the name in the search bar, see the results offered by Petal Search and come from various sources (APKPure, Aptoide, developer’s website…) and press the download button. The big news here is that Petal Search also sends you a notification when an application installed in this way needs an update. The user experience is therefore better thought out, more complete, even if it is an additional solution.
It doesn’t stop there. Huawei is also launching today the beta phase of a new Petal Maps service, an ambitious alternative to Google Maps. The mapping service promises to operate in more than 140 countries, in various languages and to offer real-time traffic information and 2D and 3D navigation modes. Thus, the more time passes, the more the experience promised by Huawei improves and becomes interesting. Let’s not rush: the brand still has a big job to do, but it is not giving up.
Photo, video and battery
On the photo side, no big revolution: the Mate 40 Pro follows in the footsteps of the P40 Pro with a 50-megapixel main sensor, a 20-megapixel ultra-wide-angle, a 12-megapixel x5 telephoto lens and a TOF sensor for the management of the depth. The phone promises, among other things, an irreproachable management of the colorimetry, an exposure very well managed on the scenes with strong dynamics and a sharpness foolproof. We will try to verify if all this is true during our full test. Huawei places particular emphasis on video with an ultra stabilized mode and intelligent tracking of people in motion.
Inside the phone, there is a brand new chip, the Kirin 9000 engraved in 5 nm.
On the program: high power and better energy efficiency. Finally, the 4400mAh battery comes with a 66W fast charger.
Price and availability of the Huawei Mate 40 Pro in France
The Huawei Mate 40 Pro is displayed at the official price of 1199 euros in France. From now until November 11, you can pre-order it. You will then receive a pair of FreeBuds Pro as a bonus.