Huawei Mate 40 Pro Review: A Stunning Smartphone with a Catch

The Huawei Mate 40 Pro is one of the most impressive smartphones of 2020, boasting a gorgeous design, a powerful processor, a versatile camera system, and a long-lasting battery. However, it also comes with a major drawback: the lack of Google services and apps. In this article, we will take a closer look at the features, specifications, performance, and user experience of the Huawei Mate 40 Pro, and help you decide whether it is worth buying or not.

Design and Display

Huawei Mate 40 Pro design

The Huawei Mate 40 Pro has a stunning design that stands out from the crowd. The phone has a curved glass front and back, with an aluminum frame that gives it a premium feel. The back panel is available in either glass or vegan leather, with different color options such as Mystic Silver, White, Black, Green, and Yellow. The phone is also IP68 rated for dust and water resistance, which means it can survive up to 1.5 meters of water for 30 minutes.

The most striking feature of the Huawei Mate 40 Pro is its display, which has an 88-degree edge curvature that wraps around the sides of the phone. The display is a 6.76-inch OLED panel with a resolution of 1344 x 2772 pixels, a 90Hz refresh rate, and HDR10 support. The display is bright, sharp, colorful, and smooth, offering an immersive viewing experience for movies, games, and web browsing. The display also has a pill-shaped cutout on the top left corner that houses the selfie camera and the 3D depth-sensing camera.

The Huawei Mate 40 Pro has an optical fingerprint scanner under the display, which is fast and reliable. It also has an infrared face recognition system that uses the 3D depth-sensing camera to unlock the phone securely and quickly. The phone has stereo speakers on the top and bottom edges, which deliver loud and clear sound quality. However, the phone lacks a 3.5mm headphone jack, which means you will need to use wireless headphones or a USB-C adapter to listen to music.

Processor and Memory

Huawei Mate 40 Pro processor

The Huawei Mate 40 Pro is powered by the Kirin 9000 5G chipset, which is the first 5nm SoC for Android phones. The chipset has an octa-core CPU with four Cortex-A77 cores clocked at up to 3.13GHz and four Cortex-A55 cores clocked at up to 2.05GHz. It also has a Mali-G78 MP24 GPU and a dual NPU (neural-network processing unit) for AI tasks.

The Kirin 9000 5G chipset is one of the most powerful processors on the market, rivaling the likes of the Snapdragon 888 and the Exynos 2100. The chipset can handle any task you throw at it, from multitasking to gaming to photography. The phone also supports 5G connectivity on both SA (standalone) and NSA (non-standalone) networks, as well as Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2, NFC, GPS, GLONASS, BDS, GALILEO, QZSS, and NavIC.

The Huawei Mate 40 Pro comes with either 8GB or 12GB of RAM and either 128GB, 256GB, or 512GB of internal storage. The storage can be expanded up to 256GB using Huawei’s proprietary NM (nano memory) card slot, which shares space with the SIM card slot. The phone has UFS 3.1 storage technology, which offers fast read and write speeds.


Huawei Mate 40 Pro camera

The Huawei Mate 40 Pro has a triple rear camera setup that consists of a 50MP main camera with an f/1.9 aperture and omnidirectional PDAF; a 12MP periscope telephoto camera with an f/3.4 aperture, OIS, and 5x optical zoom; and a 20MP ultra-wide-angle camera with an f/1.8 aperture and PDAF. The rear cameras are co-engineered with Leica, a renowned German camera maker, and feature a circular design that Huawei calls the “Space Ring”.

The Huawei Mate 40 Pro can take stunning photos and videos in various scenarios, thanks to its versatile camera system and advanced software features. The main camera can capture detailed and dynamic images with accurate colors and exposure, even in low-light conditions. The telephoto camera can zoom in up to 50x digitally, without losing much quality. The ultra-wide-angle camera can fit more in the frame, with minimal distortion and noise. The phone also has a LED flash, a laser autofocus sensor, and a color temperature sensor to assist the cameras.

The Huawei Mate 40 Pro can record videos up to 4K resolution at 30 or 60 frames per second, with HDR and gyro-EIS support. The phone can also record slow-motion videos up to 1080p at 240 or 480 fps, or up to 720p at 960 or 3840 fps. The phone has a feature called “Story Creator” that lets you create cinematic videos with different themes and effects. The phone also has a feature called “Audio Zoom” that lets you zoom in on the sound source while recording videos.

The Huawei Mate 40 Pro has a dual front camera setup that consists of a 13MP ultra-wide-angle selfie camera with an f/2.4 aperture and a TOF 3D depth-sensing camera. The selfie camera can take wide-angle selfies with good quality and bokeh effect. The depth-sensing camera can also enable secure face unlock and gesture control features. The front camera can record videos up to 4K resolution at 30 or 60 fps, or up to 1080p at 240 fps.

Battery and Charging

Huawei Mate 40 Pro battery

The Huawei Mate 40 Pro has a 4400mAh battery that can last for a full day of moderate to heavy usage. The phone supports Huawei’s SuperCharge technology, which can charge the phone up to 66W using the included USB-C adapter. The phone also supports wireless charging up to 50W using a compatible wireless charger. The phone can also reverse wireless charge other devices up to 5W, such as headphones or smartwatches.

Software and User Experience

Huawei Mate 40 Pro software

The Huawei Mate 40 Pro runs on EMUI 11, which is based on Android 10. EMUI is Huawei’s custom user interface that offers various features and customization options. Some of the notable features of EMUI 11 are the Always-on Display (AOD), the Smart Multi-Window, the Eye Comfort mode, the Dark mode, the AppGallery, the Petal Search, the MeeTime, the Celia, and the Huawei Share.

However, the biggest drawback of the Huawei Mate 40 Pro is the lack of Google services and apps. Due to the US trade ban on Huawei, the phone does not have access to the Google Play Store, Google Maps, Gmail, YouTube, Google Photos, Google Assistant, and other popular Google apps. This means that you will have to rely on Huawei’s own alternatives or third-party sources to get your apps and services.

Huawei’s AppGallery is the official app store for Huawei devices, which offers some of the popular apps such as TikTok, Snapchat, Amazon Shopping, Tinder, Telegram, and more. However, it does not have many of the essential apps that most users need, such as Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Twitter, Netflix, Spotify, Uber, and more. Huawei’s Petal Search is a search engine that helps you find and download apps from various sources on the web. However, it does not guarantee the security or compatibility of these apps.

The lack of Google services and apps severely limits the functionality and user experience of the Huawei Mate 40 Pro. You will have to use alternative apps or web browsers to access your favorite content and services. You will also have to deal with compatibility issues or missing features when using some apps that rely on Google’s APIs or frameworks. You will also have to manually update your apps or sideload them from unknown sources.


The Huawei Mate 40 Pro is a stunning smartphone that offers a lot of features and performance for its price. It has a beautiful design, a brilliant display, a powerful processor, a versatile camera system, and a long-lasting battery. It is one of the best Android phones you can buy right now if you are looking for a premium flagship device.

Leave a Comment