The Huawei P40 Pro has landed, and it’s an impressive smartphone, living up to the high standard of the P30 Pro. The latest iteration from Huawei occupies the same flagship spot as its previous release, sitting one step under the more expensive Plus model — of course, as long as we aren’t counting folding smartphones. If you’ve got your eye on a Huawei device, we’ll help you decide between the company’s P30 Pro and the new kid on the block, the P40 Pro.
|P30 Pro||P40 Pro|
|Size||158 x 73.4 x 8.41 mm (6.22 x 2.89 x 0.33 in)||158.2 x 72.6 x 8.95 mm (6.23 x 2.86 x 0.35 in)|
|Weight||192 grams (6.77 oz)||209 grams (7.37 oz)|
|Screen size||6.47-inch OLED||6.58-inch OLED, 90 Hz|
|Screen resolution||2,340 x 1,080 pixels (398 pixels per inch)||2,640 x 1,200 pixels (441 pixels per inch)|
|Operating system||EMUI 9.1 (Android 9.0 Pie) (upgradeable to EMUI 10.1)||EMUI 10.1 (Android 10)|
|Storage space||128GB (with 6GB RAM), 256GB (with 8GB RAM), 512GB (with 8GB RAM)||256GB|
|MicroSD card slot||No, NM card||No, NM card|
|Processor||Kirin 980||Kirin 990 5G|
|RAM||6GB (with 128GB storage), 8GB (with 256GB and 512GB storage)||8GB|
|Camera||Quad-lens ultra-wide-angle 20MP, standard 40MP with OIS, 8MP telephoto, and TOF camera rear. 32MP lens front||Quad-lens ultra-wide-angle 40MP, standard 50MP with OIS, 12MP telephoto, and 3D depth-sensing camera rear. 32MP lens and depth sensor front|
|Video||Up to 4K at 30 frames-per-second, 1080p at 60 fps, 720p at 960 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|
|Fingerprint sensor||Yes, in-display||Yes, in-display|
Huawei SuperCharge (40W)
Fast wireless charging (15W)
Reverse wireless charging
Huawei SuperCharge (40W)
Fast wireless charging (27W)
Reverse wireless charging (27W)
|App marketplace||Google Play Store (Huawei App Gallery only after EMUI 10/Android 10 update)||Huawei App Gallery|
|Network support||No official US support||No official US support|
|Colors||Mystic Blue, Misty Lavender, Amber Sunrise, Breathing Crystal, Pearl White, Aurora, Black||Silver Frost, Blush Gold, Deep Sea Blue, Ice White, Black|
|Review score||4.5 out of 5 stars||3.5 out of 5 stars|
Design, display, and durability
Those already familiar with the design of the Huawei P30 Pro won’t see a radical update in the P40 Pro, but rather incremental updates. Both smartphones feature metal bodies with curved glass screens, although the screen on the P40 Pro is curved to a lesser degree — that said, it feels exceptional in the hand and the curved edges help to reduce palm fatigue. As for the back of the devices, the P30 Pro’s rear camera bump has doubled in width, to fit in the additional cameras.
From a size standpoint, the P40 Pro does sport a slightly larger display, yet the width and height of the P40 Pro have decreased in comparison to the P40 Pro. As a trade-off, the P40 Pro has become ever so slightly chunkier, but we doubt most users will notice. The same goes for the weight, with the P30 Pro weighing 192 grams and the P40 Pro weighing in at a slightly larger 209 grams. Both devices do retain their splash, water, and dust resistance of IP68 — protected against water at up to 1.5 meters for up to 30 minutes.
The Huawei P30 Pro gave us a beautiful OLED 6.47-inch display, featuring a resolution of 2,340 x 1,080. The new P40 Pro provides us with a slightly larger OLED 6.58-inch display, with an improved resolution of 2,640 x 1,200 — the overall color ability stands true at 16.7 million. Will you notice the new resolution or the upgraded size? We don’t think so, as a 1/10th inch upgrade isn’t much to write home. However, what you will notice is the P40 Pro’s new 90Hz frame rate that helps to make animations and everyday use feel smoother.
What separates these displays is their front camera placement. While the P30 Pro features a singular tear-drop design for its 32-megapixel selfie camera, the P40 Pro had to go a bit wider to fit in the true depth camera. As a result, the P40 Pro sports a wide-oval cutout on the left-hand side of the display — similar to what we saw with Samsung’s Galaxy S10 Plus. As for which design fares better, it’s up to you to decide. You may find the P30 Pro’s cutout feels less distracting than the P40 Pro’s.
Those looking for a bit of color customization should remain happy with Huawei’s selection of Silver Frost, Blush Gold, Deep-Sea Blue, Ice White, and Black on the P40 Pro. However, we can’t help but miss some of the more vivid colors and designs presented on the P30 Pro, such as Amber Sunrise, Breathing Crystal, and Aurora. When it comes to design, both smartphones continue to look sharp, and we can’t separate them.
Performance, battery life, and charging
Turning to the insides of each device, we find the P30 Pro sporting Huawei’s Kirin 980 Octa-core processor, while the newer P40 Pro boasts the newer Kirin 990. While we could discuss the small differences present between the two processors when it comes to speed, the more considerable attraction is the 990’s support for 5G connectivity, allowing for faster download speeds on networks around the world — be sure to check out our detailed guide on 5G. Both devices also contain Huawei’s Dual NPUs (neural-networking processing units) to aid artificial intelligence processes.
We’re happy to see Huawei has made 8GB of RAM standard across its tiers with the P40 Pro, as the previous P30 Pro offered a lesser version featuring 6GB of RAM. However, we’re a bit disappointed about what has been taken from us — storage choices. While the P30 Pro came in a variety of internal size options — including 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB — the P40 Pro is only available in a single 256GB offering. Both support external, Huawei-branded memory cards up to 256GB, so be sure to factor that into your buying cost if you need lots of storage.
The batteries come in at 4,200mAh for both the P30 Pro and P40 Pro. While one would expect both devices to obtain around the same amount of time in battery tests, the P40 Pro probably loses by a hair, as the larger display and 5G connectivity are more power-hungry. Luckily, both devices feature Huawei’s SuperCharge technology for decreasing the required charge time on both devices thanks to the ability to accept up to 40W chargers. In our testing, fast wired charging on the P40 Pro took us about 1 hour and 10 minutes to go from 5% to 100% — that’s impressive.
While the P40 Pro offers a newer, faster processor, which rates just below the Oppo Find X2 Pro in Geekbench 5, the P30 Pro still remains fast under loads; however, with the P40 Pro offering 5G connectivity, it has an edge. RAM has become standardized, and 8GB is a healthy amount for an Android-based OS, but we wish that Huawei would have continued offering different storage options to consumers.
Winner: Huawei P40 Pro
The Huawei P30 Pro impressed us with its rear-facing quad-camera arrangement, including a 40-megapixel wide lens, a 20-megapixel ultra-wide lens, an 8-megapixel telephoto lens, and the time-of-flight depth sensor. Altogether, the bundle created a device that had an excellent camera zoom system, performed beautifully in dark environments, and offered in-built image stabilization powered by Huawei’s artificial intelligence. The A.I. engine does an exceptional job at clearing up shots with high zoom levels, but the Night Mode function needs a bit of work as the standard mode will sometimes outperform it.
The P40 Pro ups the arrangement to a 50-megapixel wide lens, 40-megapixel ultra-wide lens, 12-megapixel telephoto lens, and a depth sensor. The P40 Pro features a new autofocus system that results in better focus when attempting to capture moving objects, and new A.I. capabilities that can remove unwanted subjects from images such as people and reflections. The phone also features the new XD Fusion Engine, which uses neural processing to help you crop photos without losing clarity. The device’s impressive zoom is respectable and produces excellent results, but even we admit that at 50x zoom, they might not be images you’ll always want to share. Overall, the P40 Pro has taken what we were smitten about on the P30 Pro and enhanced it.
While the Huawei P40 Pro does technically feature the better camera system, don’t let it weigh too heavily on your decision. You can pick up the P30 Pro and enjoy everything it has to offer for photography. As for the front-facing camera, both continue to sport a 32-megapixel camera, but the newer model adds a new front-facing true depth camera for face unlock — which will, of course, get in the way of notifications and when watching video. Additionally, both devices have issues with consistent explosive, dynamic range and color, when moving between the lenses, but not so much as to destroy the experience. It’s a close battle, but we have to give it to the P40 Pro for its improvements.
Winner: Huawei P40 Pro
Software and updates
Huawei is still entangled within the Google Android debacle, so the company is continuing to use EMUI, a custom interface built on top of Android. The result is that both the P40 Pro and P30 Pro (after the Android 10 update) no longer come installed with Google Mobile Services. Any new or updated Huawei device, including the P30 Pro and P40 Pro, will be absent of the Play Store, meaning that you will need to rely on Huawei’s own App Gallery and third-party stores like Amazon’s App Store.
While some users might find their way around this issue, we believe most will see it as a sharp pain point when using Huawei devices. What Huawei does include, however, is a name for its assistant. With the release of EMUI 10.1, you can officially say hello to Celia.
Both smartphones sport quite a few of Huawei’s best tricks including quad-camera systems capable of capturing clear night photos thanks to the company’s SuperSpectrum camera sensor. The built-in TOF and 3D cameras enable competent portrait photos with background blur. An advanced in-screen fingerprint sensor enables unlocking of your device quickly and with ease, eliminating the need to fumble for a rear scanning point.
For additional features loaded onto the P40 Pro, Huawei fans can enjoy the company’s new artificial intelligence-backed features including reflection and object removal. A more secure face unlock is also offered on board the P40 Pro thanks to its front-facing depth-sensing camera. As for fingerprint unlock on the P40 Pro, the sensor now has a 30% larger surface area.
Winner: Huawei P40 Pro
Price and availability
The Huawei P40 Pro is rolling out in European countries at €900 (about $1100), but we won’t see it in the U.S. anytime soon. Those looking to obtain the P40 Pro will need to do so via third-party international sellers, rather than through their carrier. The Huawei P30 Pro has been out for quite some time now and can be found on websites such as Amazon for as low as $670 for the 128GB variant. As with the P40 Pro, the P30 Pro isn’t available on U.S. carriers officially and will need to be purchased as an imported device.
Overall winner: Huawei P40 Pro
It should be no surprise that the P40 Pro pulls ahead of the P30 Pro; the former was released over a year after the latter. While the P30 Pro still stands as an excellent Android device for those who don’t rely heavily on the Google Play Store, the P40 Pro adds upon everything we had loved. A new 90Hz display, faster internals, improved cameras, and 5G support make the P40 Pro a phone that’s hard to beat — as long as you don’t rely on Google for your daily needs.
- Huawei P40 Pro Plus vs. Huawei P40 Pro: Does the Plus add a lot more?
- Huawei P40 Pro Plus vs. Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra: Uber-flagship throwdown
- The best Huawei phones for 2020
- Huawei P40 Pro Plus review-in-progress: Zooming ahead
- Huawei P40 Pro review: The best camera on a phone