The HUAWEI Mate 40 series has finally arrived with the most powerful chipset for Android to date, the Kirin 9000 5G. When compared to its predecessor the phone comes not just with the upgrades in terms of processing power, but also with another important upgrade - the camera system.
Let’s find out what’s new and upgraded in the latest Huawei flagship Huawei Mate 40 Pro.
The Mate 40 Pro has inherited the round camera combination of the Mate 30 series but has made some small changes in the design department. It comes in a unique space ring design with the cameras inside the circular housing and the Leica logo at the center. And the model we have is a Mystic silver version using Anti-glare-glass technology. Otherwise, there are 5 different color models for you to choose from.
The front is an edge-to-edge 6.76-inch curved display, featuring a super wide-angle punch-hole selfie camera with a gesture sensor. The setup with the additional sensor is pretty unique, but this also means that the punch-hole occupies a much larger area than most smartphones released in 2020.
With the gesture sensor, the Mate 40 Pro supports some simple touch-free gesture operations, including the interesting AOD feature which only lights up when you look at the screen.
And talking about the display, to be honest, it’s not industry-leading as its other components like the cameras and the Kirin 9000 5G processor. The OLED display features a 1080P+ resolution and 90Hz refresh rate with a 240Hz touch sampling rate, which is good but probably not high-end enough for a 2020 Pro flagship phone. But with the 88 degrees of edgeless curvature, the display does have a strong visual appeal as compared to its flat-screen rivals.
Huawei has also added back physical volume buttons on the new model. But you can still double-tap on either display edges to pop up the volume slider via software.
In the Mate 40 series, I think the most important upgrade is the brand new Kirin 9000 chipset, which is the first 5nm processor with integrated 5G developed for smartphones. The Octa-core CPU is led by a big core clocking at 3.13 GHz. The 24-core Mali-G78 GPU technically offers higher performance and better power efficiency than the last generation flagship chipset from the brand.
We tried several games on the Mate 40 Pro. Indeed, the chipset could provide extraordinary gaming performance. Another detail that is worth noticing is the dual stereo speakers. No matter for media playback or gaming, the immersive experience of the speakers is pretty impressive.
Another highly anticipated upgrade is the cameras. The rear combination mainly contains 3 working cameras and one laser sensor: one 50MP main camera with f/1.9 aperture, a 20MP Wide-angle cine camera with f/1.8 aperture, and another 12MP telephoto camera supporting 5-times optical zoom. The assistant laser sensor doesn’t do imaging work but can support faster and accurate focus for the other cameras.
Well unsurprisingly, under good lighting conditions, the samples shot on its main camera is almost the same as the P40 Pro Plus, whether in terms of their Leica color optimizations, or the great resolution generated from the same 50MP sensor. The AI color strategy on the Huawei Mate 40 Pro is more accurate to real-life colors and looks a bit closer to true tones.
Most night samples had sharp image detail and quality. The Mate model managed to capture the night photos with correct exposure levels and rich details.
As for the wide-angle camera, most of the samples shot on the Mate model have more accurate color reproduction. It seems that no matter for the main camera or the wide-angle camera, the camera AI is obviously improved and smarter than what we have on the P40 Pro Plus.
And the most significant improvement of the wide-angle camera performance is night capture. The low-saturation issue during night photography on the P model is fixed on the new Mate model. The samples shot on the Mate 40 Pro reserved richer colors and better details with sharper images.
The Mate 40 Pro is equipped with a single 5-times zoom telephoto sensor. In the 5-times zoom department, the Mate 40 Pro model clearly took the lead. It has much higher saturation and more accurate color reproduction than P40 Pro Plus has. And the 12MP resolution of this 5-times zoom camera also guarantees better clarity. The night performance of the Mate model’s telephoto camera is also good. It managed to capture excellent photos with good noise control and sharpness than what we got on the P series model.
To learn more about its battery performance, we did a 4-hour power-consumption test connected to the 5G network. In one-hour of PUBG gaming, it consumed 18% of the power. Another 14% power dropped after an hour of camera use; 8% after one hour of social media use and a further 8% drop in the battery after one-hour of video playback. After the test, there was 52% of power left.
The new charging solution brings 66W charging efficiency for wired charging and 50W wireless charging. In the full-charge test, it took us 45 mins to get to 100% in wired charging.
Although the Mate 40 pro is not an all-round-leading flagship, Huawei has still maintained its industrial-leading position with its fantastic camera system. Compared to the iPhone’s camera strategy, Huawei is more focused on making mobile photography and filming more delightful for ordinary users.
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