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Huawei P40 Pro Plus review: the smartphone with 10x optical zoom

Huawei P40 Pro+ camera
Picture: TechnikNews
(Post picture: © 2020 TechnikNews)

Huawei didn't just put that out in March P40 and P40 Pro, but also an even better equipped Huawei P40 Pro+ before. The focus of this smartphone is clearly on the camera. This is how Huawei builds it into the P40 Pro Plus actually a 10x optical zoom. But it is significantly more expensive than almost all competitors. In this review, we'll take a look at whether the price is justified and how good the camera really is.

Since there are hardly any differences to the P40 Pro I refer to our detailed one here Huawei P40 Pro Review. In this article I would mainly like to go into the differences between the two models and of course at the end clarify the question of whether a purchase is worthwhile.

Material, colors and weight

While almost all manufacturers now rely on a back made of glass or plastic for their current smartphones, Huawei is taking a different approach. They build a ceramic back, which should be significantly more scratch-resistant and harder than glass. I can also confirm that. The back feels a little harder and more stable compared to the glass back, even if the difference is not too big. I haven't found any scratches or other signs of use so far, so the back seems to be really very resistant to scratches, but I recommend everyone to use a cover. On the one hand because this is a very expensive smartphone that shouldn't break and on the other hand because the ceramic back is very slippery. In addition, like the back of glass, it is very susceptible to fingerprints.

After the rather bright colors of the P30 Pro, Huawei continued with the P40 Pro already on rather simpler, more subtle colors. With the Plus model, this path is consistently continued and only offers black and white as colors. My black model is much more prone to fingerprints than the white or matte models of the P40 Pro.

The high weight of 226 grams (209 grams for the P40 Pro). You definitely notice this weight difference in everyday life and therefore the P40 belongs Pro+ currently among the heaviest high-end smartphones. only that iPhone 11 Pro Max also weighs 226 grams and the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra is also in a similar weight class with 220 grams.

The design of the camera module also differs slightly from the P40 Pro. The module is a bit longer and wider since the P40 Pro+ is equipped with an even better camera. And how is the quality of the cameras? Well, let's look at that now in the next paragraph.

Camera

Huawei has installed five cameras here: There is the same 50 megapixel (f / 1.9) main sensor, the same 40 megapixel (f / 1.8) ultra-wide-angle camera and the TOF sensor, which is used for portraits, among other things. The specialty is the zoom cameras: an 8 megapixel (f / 2.4) 3-fold telephoto lens and an 8 megapixel (f / 4.4) 10-fold telephoto lens.

The shots with the main and ultra wide-angle cameras are just as good as with the P40 Pro. There are also no differences in portrait shots and videos. If you are interested, I refer you again to our detailed Huawei P40 Pro Review. Only zoom shots are different and we'll look at them now.

Recordings with the 3-fold telecamera

Recordings with the triple telephoto camera are great. Very good sharpness, decent contrast, a good dynamic range and mostly realistic colors. Sometimes colors look a bit pale, but this small one can be fixed ProFix problem with some Leica color modes in camera app. At 3x magnification, the Plus model wins and at 5x magnification, the P40 wins again Pro.

Let's take a look at a few test photos. As usual, a bit compressed to save storage space and increase loading time. The following pictures are definitely lossless and unedited.

Recordings with the 10-fold telecamera

Recordings with the 10x telephoto camera are also great. Although the quality cannot keep up with the main camera by far, because the colors could be a little livelier and the images are often rendered a little too cold, this is excellent for pictures with 10x magnification. Huawei also advertises a 20x hybrid zoom, which also does an impressive job and can definitely still be used in everyday life. Up to about 50x, pictures are still reasonably okay, although the quality drops sharply from 30x. Anything over 50 times is an absolute gimmick and no longer usable in everyday life.

Huawei sets here in comparison to the P40 Pro and a shovel on top of all the competition. That's really impressive. Kudos to Huawei.

Comparison with Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra and Huawei P40 Pro

Let's briefly compare the zoom with other flagships. For comparison, the Galaxy S20 Ultra from Samsung and the P40 Pro from Huawei on.

As you might expect, the Huawei P40 delivers Pro+ the significantly better results. At 100x magnification, it delivers a much better, sharper and even more color-true image than the Galaxy S20 Ultra. When compared to the P40 Pro first of all the somewhat paler colors of the Pro+ on. This is probably mainly due to the lack of RYYB technology, which Huawei could improve on. But the picture is much sharper.

More memory

Unfortunately, Huawei only offers the top model here in Europe in a version with a proud 512 GB flash memory. In China, however, there is also a version with 256 GB of flash memory.

Even faster wireless charging

Already the Huawei P40 Pro can be charged wirelessly with up to 27 watts quite quickly. With the Pro+ the Chinese manufacturer goes one step further and gives the device 40 watts of wireless charging. It should be about 30 in 50 minutes Procent and in 80 minutes to 100 Procent loaded. Huawei is also at the forefront here. For comparison, that OnePlus 8 Pro can keep up with 30 watts. The competitors from Samsung and Apple are lagging far behind anyway.

So you can be P40 Pro+ can be charged wirelessly with up to 40 watts, you need the in-house wireless charger from Huawei. Only with this charger can it be charged so quickly.

Price and availability

At the market launch, the Chinese manufacturer asked for an impressive 1.399 euros; the smartphone is currently available from Huawei for 1.363,73 euros and from Amazon for 1.129,21 euros. At other dealers you can certainly save a little more. As already mentioned, there is only a version with 512 GB flash memory in black and white.

Summary

My verdict on the Huawei P40 Pro+ is relatively difficult for me. It is definitely an excellent smartphone, starting with the feel and workmanship, through the design to the display, performance, features, battery and camera. Almost everything is right here and therefore the P40 belongs Pro+ currently among the best smartphones on the market. Nevertheless, I can unfortunately hardly recommend the device to anyone and there are 2 reasons for this:

For one, the P40 is also missing Pro+ Google services, which unfortunately leads to some limitations: Google apps don't work (unless you install them indirectly) and many other apps, such as DB Navigator, Slack, Microsoft Teams and Twitter don't work properly either. There are, of course, a few alternatives and you can do a lot, such as YouTube prouse it in the browser without any problems, but the selection of apps in the in-house AppGallery is not nearly as large as in the Google Play Store. Since most people don't want to be without Google services, I would only recommend it to those who could do without Google services... If it weren't for reason number 2:

If you can imagine doing without Google services, I recommend a Huawei P40 Pro. Compared to the Plus model, this device hardly offers any compromises: design, feel and workmanship, display, performance, speakers, battery, main and ultra wide-angle camera are just as good here, there are no differences. On top is the P40 Pro also significantly cheaper (currently available for about 650-750 euros) and this surcharge to the P40 Pro+ for a little more memory, faster wireless charging and the slightly better zoom is absolutely not worth it. If the price difference between the two models was around 150 euros, the Plus model would be worth it again.

tl; dr

I can really only recommend the device to those who want and need the best zoom in a smartphone. Otherwise, the P40 is sufficient Pro.

Nevertheless, I am currently using the Huawei P40 Pro+ as my daily driver and I couldn't imagine a better smartphone at the moment. I was lucky enough to get a real bargain on Ebay classifieds a few months ago and since I'm totally smartphone-crazy and like to take pictures in my free time, I decided on this device. Now one or the other is probably wondering whether I can get by with the missing Google services. In principle, I could do without the Google services. Almost everything I need works to some extent and what doesn't work I use on my second daily driver, the OnePlus 8 Pro.

Huawei P40 Pro Buy Plus

Huawei P40 Pro buy

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Fabian Menzel

Fabian has been part of since mid-September 2020 TechnikNews and regularly provides the site with various news, but also with some test reports on smartphones. It's a lot of fun for him and he's extremely grateful to have such a great team at his side. In his spare time, he enjoys listening to music and occasionally taking photos with his Huawei P50 Pro.

Fabian has already written 273 articles and left 22 comments.

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