Huawei P40 Pro Plus vs. Huawei P40 Pro: Does the Plus add a lot more?

The Huawei P40 Pro Plus has arrived, stealing the limelight from its stablemate, the Huawei P40 Pro. The P40 Pro has probably the best camera on a smartphone, but the P40 Pro Plus goes even further, adding a “SuperZoom” 8-megapixel periscope lens that gives your zoomed photos visibly better clarity and detail. On top of this, it adds an oven-baked ceramic rear case, making its reverse side more durable — and bulkier — than its less expensive stablemate.

However, aside from an even more powerful camera and a more luxury design, is the Huawei P40 Pro Plus really any better than than the Huawei P40 Pro? In this article, we test the two models to find out, comparing them across six categories: Design, camera, performance, software, special features, and price. Hopefully, this should help you work out which one is right for you.

Specs

P40 Pro Plus P40 Pro
Size 158.2 x 72.6 x 9 mm (6.23 x 2.86 x 0.35 in) 158.2 x 72.6 x 8.95 mm (6.23 x 2.86 x 0.35 in)
Weight 226 grams (7.97 oz) 209 grams (7.37 oz)
Screen size 6.47-inch OLED 6.58-inch OLED, 90 Hz
Screen resolution 2,640 x 1,200 pixels (441 pixels per inch) 2,640 x 1,200 pixels (441 pixels per inch)
Operating system EMUI 10.1 (Android 10) EMUI 10.1 (Android 10)
Storage space 256GB, 512GB 128GB, 256GB, 512GB
MicroSD card slot No, NM card No, NM card
NFC Yes Yes
Processor Kirin 990 5G Kirin 990 5G
RAM 8GB 8GB
Camera Ultra-wide 40-megapixel, standard 50-megapixel with OIS, 8-megapixel periscope telephoto,
8-megapixel telephoto, and 3D depth-sensing camera rear. 32-megapixel lens and depth sensor front
Ultra-wide-angle 40-megapixel, standard 50-megapixel with OIS, 12-megapixel telephoto, and 3D depth-sensing camera rear. 32-megapixel lens and depth sensor front
Video Up to 4K at 60 frames per second, 1080p at 960 fps super slo-mo, 720p at 7680 fps super slo-mo Up to 4K at 60 frames per second, 1080p at 960 fps super slo-mo, 720p at 7680 fps super slo-mo
Bluetooth version 5.1 5.1
Ports USB-C, 3.1 USB-C, 3.1
Fingerprint sensor Yes, in-display Yes, in-display
Water resistance IP68 IP68
Battery 4,200mAh

Huawei SuperCharge (40W)

Fast wireless charging (40W)

Reverse wireless charging (27W)

4,200mAh

Huawei SuperCharge (40W)

Fast wireless charging (27W)

Reverse wireless charging (27W)

App marketplace Huawei App Gallery Huawei App Gallery
Network support No official US support No official US support
Colors White Ceramic, Black Ceramic Silver Frost, Blush Gold, Deep Sea Blue, Ice White, Black
Price $1,645 $1,100
Buy from Huawei Huawei
Review score Review in progress 3.5 out of 5 stars

Design, display, and durability

Huawei P40 Pro Plus Buttons
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

To be fair, casual observers would be hard-pressed to spot the difference between the Huawei P40 Pro and P40 Pro Plus. Both smartphones sport metal bodies with curved glass screens. That said, there are two main differences that quickly reveal themselves to the keen observer.

First, the Huawei P40 Pro Plus features a ceramic rear. It looks great, and given that Huawei has baked it in the oven for five days at around 1,500 degrees centigrade, it should be very durable. However, it’s also the reason why the P40 Pro Plus is about 17 grams heavier than the P40 Pro. In smartphone terms, this is a lot, and it makes a difference in how the phone feels in your hands. The P40 Pro was already fairly heavy at 209 grams, so 226 grams results in a smartphone that can be a bit cumbersome to hold.

Secondly, the camera bump on the P40 Pro Plus is noticeably larger than the P40 Pro’s, with the P40 Pro Plus being half a millimeter thicker than its younger sibling. This is because Huawei needed a little extra space to house the new periscope telephoto lens. It’s not a particularly significant difference in practice, but with the added weight of the P40 Pro Plus, it adds to a niggling sense of bulkiness.

Lastly, it should be pointed out that the Huawei P40 Pro and Huawei P40 Pro Plus have identical displays. Both displays boast the same dimensions, the same resolution, and therefore the same pixels per inch.

Considered together, the superior beauty of the P40 Pro Plus is canceled out by its greater bulkiness. Also, because both phones have identical displays, we’ll call this round a tie.

Winner: Tie

Performance, battery life, and charging

Huawei P40 Pro Screen
Andy Boxall/DigitalTrends

Once again, it’s time to spot the difference. The Huawei P40 Pro and the P40 Pro Plus have the same powerful processor (the Kirin 990 5G), the same 8GB of RAM, and they also present buyers with the same option of upgrading to models with 512GB of internal storage. In other words, they’ll handle the vast majority of jobs equally well, whether we’re talking about the latest video games or simply handling multiple tasks in parallel.

At the same time, both phones have the same 4,200mAh battery, so you’re likely to squeeze the same amount of use out of each model. That said, the Huawei P40 Pro Plus offers 40W wireless charging, while the P40 Pro can muster only 27W wireless charging. Both phones also support reverse wireless charging, at 27W.

All in all, there’s almost nothing to separate the two smartphones, unless you count the 40W wireless charging. However, given that this isn’t a major advantage, we’re going to declare another tie.

Winner: Tie

Camera

Huawei P40 Pro Plus 10x
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

Finally, we’ve managed to find something to tell the Huawei P40 Pro Plus and the Pro 40 Pro apart. Yes, the two main cameras on each are identical, and both phones have a 50-megapixel wide lens and a 40-megapixel ultrawide lens. Nonetheless, the P40 Pro Plus adds an 8-megapixel periscope telephoto lens with 10x optical zoom, in contrast to the P40 Pro’s 12-megapixel periscope telephoto lens with “only” a 5x optical zoom.

In practice, this bigger optical zoom range allows you to take zoomed photos with more detail and clarity. Before, certain objects may have lacked texture and definition, but with the P40 Pro Plus, we’ve found that you can capture most objects vividly from a distance.

What’s more, the P40 Pro Plus adds an extra 8-megapixel telephoto lens with 3x optical zoom. This is something the P40 Pro lacks, and together with the periscope telephoto lens, it enables you to reach a hybrid zoom of up to 20x and a digital zoom of 100x. This is double the amount the P40 Pro offers.

Aside from these two differences, both smartphones provide a great camera experience. They both feature Huawei’s excellent camera A.I., which helps you to get the perfect shot for each environment and situation, regardless of your experience behind the camera. However, because it provides markedly better zoom, we’re giving this round to the P40 Pro Plus.

Winner: Huawei P40 Pro Plus

Software and updates

Huawei P40 Pro App Drawer
Andy Boxall/DigitalTrends.com

By now we should all be familiar with Huawei’s difficulties with Google, which has forced the Chinese company to abandon Google’s apps. As a result, both the P40 Pro and P40 Pro Plus lack Google Mobile Services and the Google Play Store. Instead, users will have to use Huawei’s own App Gallery, as well as third-party stores like Amazon’s App Store. The App Gallery is well designed and easy to use, although it doesn’t quite offer the same depth of app choices as the Google Play Store.

Both the P40 Pro and the P40 Pro Plus run on EMUI 10.1, which for the first time introduces Huawei’s own personal assistant, Celia. She (or it) can do pretty much everything other assistants can do, such as play music, make calls, send texts, check the weather, and so on. It doesn’t have the range of functionality seen with other assistants at the moment, but Huawei says it’s updating Celia’s abilities all the time.

Unsurprisingly, we’re declaring another tie, since both smartphones run the same software and lack Google Mobile Services.

Winner: Tie

Special features

Huawei P40 Pro Plus 100x
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

To be honest, the Huawei P40 Pro Plus really has only one special feature that the P40 Pro doesn’t. That’s the superior zoom capabilities, enabled by a more powerful periscope telephoto lens. Other than that, there’s the lovely ceramic rear, but because this is mostly a cosmetic difference, it’s arguably not a full-fledged special feature.

In the end, because the two phones are fundamentally the same device with a couple of differentiators, they offer the same special features. They both provide a more secure face unlock when compared to the P20 and P30, thanks mostly to their 32-megapixel front-facing and depth-sensing camera. Likewise, the fingerprint sensors on both phones have a 30% larger surface area, making the fingerprint lock feature more reliable.

For the price, the Huawei P40 Pro Plus arguably fails to offer enough special features. For example, both phones come with a 90Hz refresh rate, yet because many Android smartphones now offer 120Hz, you might expect the more expensive P40 Pro Plus to do the same. However, it settles for the same refresh rate as its cheaper counterpart.

As such, even though the powerful zoom features are a welcome and useful extra, we’re calling this a tie.

Winner: Tie

Price and availability

Huawei P40 Pro Plus Charge
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

The Huawei P40 Pro was released in European countries in March and priced at 900 British pounds (about $1,100). Meanwhile, the P40 Pro Plus was released in early June and is priced at about 1,299 British pounds (or $1,645).

As for availability, both phones aren’t officially for sale in the United States. As a result, anyone in the States who wants one will need to look to third-party international sellers, rather than through a mobile carrier.

Overall winner: Huawei P40 Pro

Huawei P40 Pro Rear Jacket
Andy Boxall/DigitalTrends.com

Yes, the Huawei P40 Pro Plus is objectively better than the P40 Pro. However, a better zoom doesn’t really justify paying an extra £400 (or $545). For this reason, we have to give the win to the P40 Pro. Its camera is almost as good as the P40 Pro Plus’, while it offers the same performance, the same battery life, a less hand-straining design, and the same software. It’s already an excellent smartphone, and it will save you some serious pocket money to boot.

Editors' Recommendations