Before we start, let's make one thing clear: I just got my hands on the brand new Huawei P40 Pro this morning. Everything in this article is based on a few hours of use and is therefore intended to be a guide to what to expect, rather than an in-depth analysis of the phone.
Also, if you are looking for a glitch From the specifications of the Huawei P40 Pro and everything that is new, I suggest you come here. Napier, my glorious colleague, has done a great job of capturing all the details you need to know.
Now that this piece is out of the way, let's get a first impression of the Huawei P40 Pro.
It looks good
The Huawei P40 Pro is a beautiful product. It's one of the few times lately that I've pulled a handset out of the box and made a little "oohhhh" sound. The color on the back is also really eye-catching:
I also dig what camera bumps look like on the back. Huawei said that it was influenced by manufacturers of standalone cameras with this design and really works for me.
In general, the Huawei P40 Pro is also well in your hands.
It has a nice weight and is the perfect size for my hands. The only thing I have a problem with is the camera section mentioned above. I like what it looks like, but it's big enough that my hand bumped it a couple of times and I had to adjust my grip. A little complaint, but still a complaint.
However, it is important to note that this is only without the case included. When I put it on, the bump was far less pronounced.
The setup process is terrible
Basically, it was too long and unwieldy. I had to agree and grant permissions to a number of apps and services that I was not too familiar with.
However, this was simply an inconvenience. I understand that since the U.S. ban and the lack of Google Mobile Services (GMS), I would be faced with some new things from Huawei.
It got bad when I was almost done setting up the Huawei P40 Pro and then one. The screen flashed and tried to get me to install a number of apps – none of which I knew. It feels spammy and not what I want from a premium smartphone.
The same problem was repeated when I opened the AppGallery (Huawei's reply to the Play Store). I'm sure some people don't mind, but I found it incredibly disgusting.
The best way to put it is that setting up the phone didn't feel like an experience, it was a fiddly task.
Using the phone feels fluid, but unpolished.
With the Huawei P40 Pro, the company introduced some new features, of which the swipe gestures are the most noticeable. This should be fairly familiar to iPhone users, as you can move your thumb from the edge of the screen to the center to go back, or from the bottom to get to the home screen.
This feels pretty intuitive, but isn't quite as fluid as the iPhone 11 or Pixel 4. This could change in the future, but currently doesn't offer the premium experience I get from a phone in this area would wish.
The waterfall screen of the Huawei P40 Pro feels strange.
First of all, the screen itself is delicious. It offers a clear and rich viewing experience that fits every phone display I use.
However, I am still on the fence about the element "waterfall". Basically, this is a new feature where the edges of the screen curve on the sides to get a fuller viewing angle. This is also something I could get used to, but it doesn't feel right at the moment .
This could be due to the software – I noticed that certain parts of apps are distorted at the edges of the waterfall – or except for me, who is not yet used to it. To be honest, I've found that typing is a real problem, especially with icons on the edge of the screen – something that shouldn't be a problem.
Aesthetically, the curved display is a nice touch, and it's nice that it does something different, but the jury is still not there.
I'm totally excited to get my teeth into the camera.
Since I've only had the Huawei P40 Pro in my hands for a few hours, I didn't have the opportunity to venture outside and take some real snapshots with it. You know, we're experiencing a ban after all.
But I was playing around with it and taking a few snapshots, and well, I'm excited. This could be the best camera we've ever seen in a smartphone.
Check this out:
And one more for your sins:
Stay tuned because we will definitely put this to the acid test as we did with the P30.
The lack of Google Apps and Services is a real killer right now
Honestly, as good as the hardware is, I think I would struggle to recommend the Huawei P40 Pro as a daily driver to anyone in the West.
I was surprised at how much I rely on this central selection of Google Apps to do my daily chores, and to be honest, the Huawei replacement apps are far from meeting this standard. The Huawei browser is crap, the mail app can't hold a candle for Gmail, and there is no current equivalent to Google Maps.
As bad as it is, it's not the whole story.
I'm sure these experiences will improve and better apps will be developed, but I'm so embedded in this Google ecosystem that it will take a lot of work to get out. This could be possible in the future. But right now? The Huawei P40 Pro is good, but it's not good enough to get me to leave this world behind.
It is important to note that things are not terrible . When I transferred my data to the P40 Pro using PhoneClone, a number of apps were displayed that are not currently available in AppGallery, including Facebook and Twitter.
When you switch from an Android phone, the input is done. The Huawei ecosystem is a little easier because you can keep most of your favorite apps.
So, sum up the Huawei P40 Pro for me
Basically, the Huawei P40 Pro is a beast of a handset. It has a nice screen, feels great, and – at least at this point – the camera seems special.
The problem is the software, not just the fact that Google services are not supported. Compared to devices like the iPhone 11 and Pixel 4, the P40 Pro isn't as chic or seamless. That doesn't mean it's bad, just that it's not quite at that level.
Nevertheless, these are only a few first impressions. Be sure to keep an eye on Plugged in the coming weeks to get more thoughts.
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Published on March 26, 2020 – 15:23 UTC