Huawei P40 review

GSMArena team, 8 April 2020.

Design and handling

Huawei P40 looks a lot like the Pro models, or that's what we first thought. Gone are the premium curves around the screen and it's noticeably smaller. And these might be good news for many.

Huawei P40 reviewHuawei P40 Pro next to Huawei P40

The P40 Pro is advertised for its quad-curved dual-glass design, but the P40 has no slopes on its screen edges. And that's doing wonders for the grip, as well as the mistouch prevention. Don't you worry though, fans of the curves, the back is still trendily bent towards the aluminum frame - as Huawei likes to call it - overflowing.

Huawei P40 reviewHuawei P40 Pro next to Huawei P40

One thing that's completely missing on the P40 is water-tightness of the shell. The P40 is only IP53 rated for medium dust resistance and light splashes. It's better than nothing, but whenever this ingress segmentation of the Huawei's flagship models ends, it'll still be late.

So, the front has the 6.1" OLED screen with elliptical punch-hole and rounded corners. It's still mind-boggling that we now call the 6.1-inchers compact, but the bezel-less era surely helped reduce the overall footprint and thus leave space for more pixels. And thanks to this smaller OLED, the P40 is indeed one reasonably compact smartphone.

Huawei P40 review

The screen is of extended 1080p resolution, but thanks to the smaller panel size, the picture is quite sharp at 422ppi. The glass on top of it is of unknown origin, but Huawei has been using some sort of strengthened glass for a while now.

Huawei P40 review

Unfortunately, Huawei has chosen not to bring 90Hz refresh rate on the P40 display and it's limited to 60Hz, which is so 2019. But with 2020 about to be cancelled, and more importantly - not everyone being able to notice the difference between 90Hz and 60Hz, we can understand Huawei's reasons not to push for 90Hz across the entire series.

Another thing that didn't make it on the P40 is the autofocus for the selfie camera. It's still 32MP and it still has an IR camera, so more secure face unlock is available.

Just like on the P30 Pro and P40 Pro, the display doubles as an earpiece. It vibrates to produce sound in voice calls and the sound is great. Unfortunately, it can't double as a speaker, hence there are no stereo speakers on either of the P40 phones.

Huawei P40 review

The under-display fingerprint reader is superb - it is among the fastest available on the market, with excellent accuracy and reliability. It has 30% larger scanning area than the P30 generation and works noticeably faster and easier.

The back is where the photography magic is happening and the volcano-like protruding setup houses all essential hardware. Here you can see, left to right, the 16MP ultrawide, the 50MP primary, and the 8MP tele snappers. A dual-tone flash us below, but there is no fourth camera for depth purposes.

Huawei P40 review

Huawei has designed the P40s backs to mimic a certain look of the flat point-and-shoot cameras from a not-so-distant era. And it surely works great for the P40. It comes with a price though - the phone wobbles a lot when used on a flat desk or table.

Huawei P40 review

Anyway, once you are past the camera - you can enjoy one really nice view of Deep-Sea Blue - Huawei really knows how to make a captivating paint without it being over the top. The shade changes depending on the reflection, but the change is subtle and makes for a good, relaxing effect as opposed to, say, disco lights.

Huawei P40 review

The Deep-Sea Blue, Black, and Ice White version are with the familiar glossy finish - meaning they are shiny and slippery. Huawei is also selling alternative matt models in Silver Frost and Blush Gold - so, if grip is important (it is), and you want a break from the polished panels, we strongly recommend the matt ones.

Huawei P40 review

Huawei P40 has a metal frame, reasonably sized and shaped. It is enough to provide for a proper grip, even if it isn't ideal. The matt versions should do better in this aspect, of course.

Huawei P40 review

Around the frame you'll see the volume and power keys on the right, while the bottom has everything else - SIM tray, USB-C port, mouthpiece, and speaker.

Huawei P40 review

The P40 spreads at 148.9 x 71.1 x 8.5 mm - only 5mm taller than the iPhone 11 Pro. The P40 weighs 175 grams, which is about 13g lighter than the iPhone. The P40 is indeed a (2020) pocket-sized smartphone.

Huawei P40 reviewiPhone 11 Pro next to the Huawei P40

Handling the Huawei P40 is a flagship experience - just as most of the recent glass smartphones. The size is a nice break from the traditional large screen flagships, and the matt versions are appreciated for the grip. The one thing we do miss is the proper ingress protection - everything else is simply great with the P40.

Reader comments

Really? Mine dropped from the first floor on the staircase, it hit the stairs twice landed on the floor with the frame and almost nothing happened. Only some visible damage on the frame.

  • Anonymous

It falls 1 time En the screen is broken

  • Duki92

Guys, can anyone share with me your SOT? I can buy this phone brand new for 380 euros but I'm a bit worried ab battery life. Even then, can't think of any other phone with better camera at this price (except mi note 10, but I can't s...