Huawei P40 Pro+ review

GSMArena team, 10 June 2020.

Design, build, handling

The Huawei P40 Pro+ looks the same as the regular Pro, or any other curved glass smartphone for that matter. Or at least that is what you'd think at first. And it'd be wrong. The Plus version has ceramic back and frame compared to the non-Plus, while its overflow screen gives it an edge over other curved headliners.

Huawei P40 Pro Plus reviewHuawei P40 Pro, P40 Pro+, and P40

Huawei is asking a lot for its P40 Pro+ model - priced at €1400 at launch, it is €400 more expensive than the Pro. But you should be happy to know you are not paying just for longer zoom. The ceramic panels are one of the sturdiest on the planet, and this alone has the potential to change our smartphone habits for good.

Still, as far as design goes, the Huawei P40 Pro+ is indeed an exact copy of the P40 Pro - it has the same size and shape, same curves and wavy frame. It has gained 17g more in weight, attributed probably to the extended camera and ceramic materials.

Huawei P40 Pro Plus reviewHuawei P40 Pro, P40 Pro+, and P40

Just like the P40 Pro, the Huawei P40 Pro+ is IP68-rated for dust and water-resistance. The ceramic back is said to have a hardness of 8.5 on Mohs scale. For comparison, sapphire is rated at level 9, and diamond is 10.

Huawei P40 Pro Plus review

The overflow screen was one of the P40 Pro best features and it stays the same on the Plus, too. It's a 6.58" OLED with 1200p resolution and 90Hz refresh rate. The elliptical cutout is an eyesore, sure, but it contains a lot of tech to make up for its size - a high-res selfie camera with IR ToF 3D sensor for autofocus and secure face unlock.

Huawei P40 Pro Plus review

Huawei calls the screen overflow and the name suits it perfectly - all four sides are curved towards the frame and just flow within it, while the extra space around the corners allows the frame to raise "waves". It sure is a subtle but beautiful execution and we like it.

Huawei P40 Pro Plus review

The screen is curved, yes, but nowhere near the Motorola Edge's panel. We didn't have any issues with accidental touch registration or worse, losing parts of the picture to those curves.

Huawei P40 Pro Plus review

But bear in mind the screen is protected by a Gorilla Glass-like strengthen glass, meaning it may shatter if you drop the P40 Pro+ on its screen. While the ceramic frame and the back will probably take quite the beating, the front glass won't.

Huawei has stopped using Corning as supplier for the protective glasses, though it says it opts for equally strong pieces to protects its screens.

One more thing that's typical of the most expensive Huaweis lately - the acoustic display and hence the absence of an earpiece. Just like the P30 Pro and P40 Pro, the Pro+ vibrates the screen to produce sounds in voice calls. It's great and cutting-edge, yes, but unfortunately, this technology can't match the loudness of an actual speaker and so the Pro+ has only one of those - at the bottom.

Huawei P40 Pro Plus review

Finally, the P40 Pro+, just like all of the flagships nowadays, has its fingerprint scanner underneath the OLED panel. It is an improved sensor since the P40 Pro with increased size and speed by 30%. It is of the optical kind, and it is among the fastest in the genre.

We said a lot about the front, but the magic happens elsewhere. The back has the first-ever penta-camera by Huawei and Leica, and it sounds great on paper. The 40MP ultrawide snapper accompanies the new 50MP UltraVision camera, then comes an 8MP cam for 3x optical zoom and the superstar - the 8MP shooter for 10x optical magnification made possible by using an even more complex periscope lens design than what they've had before. Around are also a ToF camera, an IR sensor, a multi-spectrum color temperature sensor, a mic for video capturing and its audio zoom feature, and the dual-tone LED flash.

Huawei P40 Pro Plus review

This entire camera kit sits on a volcano-esque rising bulge without any sharp edges. Huawei is very proud of the phone's elaborate design. Design is always a subjective matter, but this one suits the phone well and yes, it looks good. It does make the P40 Pro+ wobble a lot, of course.

Huawei P40 Pro Plus review

You can get the P40 Pro+ in Ceramic Black and Ceramic White. There are no gradients, just uniform color you are seeing on the photos. The Black is more of a dark gray, and it's super reflective (as much as a diamond, Huawei says), but thankfully, it's not the smudge magnet you'd expect. Maybe this has something to do with the ceramic.

Huawei P40 Pro Plus review

Huawei claims the back is made using nano-grade micro-zirconium compound - a first for this industry and as we said, one of the sturdiest materials with 8.5 hardness on Mohs. This thing is baked at 500C for five days to become as refractive as diamonds and nearly as strong.

Huawei P40 Pro Plus review

The ceramic frame is the thickest around the top and bottom. The bottom part is pretty crowded - here you'd see the speaker, the USB-C port, the hybrid-SIM tray and the mouthpiece.

Huawei P40 Pro Plus review

The top of the P40 Pro+ has the IR blaster and a second mic. The third mic is on the back, next to the multi-camera setup.

Huawei P40 Pro Plus review

You bet handling the P40 Pro+ is the ultimate flagship experience you can get these days. Its curves aren't making it the safest phone to handle, though the ceramic back and frame do help for the peace of mind. This is one of the phones we'd use without a case, but a screen protector is still a must.

Huawei P40 Pro Plus review

Anyway, we found the P40 Pro+ to be a premium smartphone through and through. It's well-built and water-resistant, and we liked how it felt in hand.

Reader comments

  • Kev

There is a trick to turn off the upscaling and the cropping of the telephoto cameras. However, I am not sure if it works on anything other than my own P30 Pro. What I do on my P30 Pro is use Pro mode, and crank the format to RAW. In this mode, t...

  • AnonD-973296

Consumer: hi! i would like to buy a new Huawei Storekeeper: ok! which one? Customer: The Huawei P40 Pro 10x Super Zoom Ultra 5G. Storekeeper: Im sorry a what now?

  • Anonymous

Huawei could make their own OS rather than depending on Android if they're willing to invest in app development market