Friday, October 9, 2020

My Honest Huawei P40 Pro Review - For North American Users

My Honest Huawei P40 Pro Review - For North American Users. 

Before we start on my thorough review on the Huawei’s P40 Pro, I’d love to give you a little background of myself as a reference for you, to see if the Huawei P40 Pro would be a great everyday phone for you as well : 

I’m a social media content creator and a business owner who depends heavily on phone cameras and Google apps. My main social media platform is Instagram, then Youtube, and Facebook. I blog with a laptop. I operate my business mainly with computers as well, but use mobile apps such as Google Drive, Google Calendar, and Gmail countless times a day. I don’t frequently download new apps except when I need something new for photo or video editing. And I very rarely play any games on my phone. 

My first few smartphones were Iphones, then I switched to an Android device one year, and never looked back. I love how unrestrictive Android phones are in comparison to Apple ones, and the flexibility Android phones offer, not to mention the variety of options you can choose from. To me, Android phones are MUCH more user friendly, but I’m sure Apple fans can debate against that. After all, it all depends on user habits. 

My first Huawei phone was Huawei’s P30 Pro and was extremely impressed with its capabilities. So when Huawei’s P40 Pro launched, I had no hesitation to upgrade. 

My experience with Huawei’s P40 Pro so far has been great ! As a content creator who constantly needs to take quality photos and videos, I’ve completely ditched my DSLR camera - that’s the level of trust I have with Huawei’s P40 Pro. I’ve been on the search for a phone camera that can really replace my camera for a long time now. Because first of all, a DSLR camera is often so heavy, it won’t fit in beautiful small (or even medium) purses, and it’s really not an elegant accessory to be carrying around when I attend media events and such. Furthermore, to achieve different photo styles, I often need to bring not just one bulky camera, but also the many lenses that come with it. 

Huawei’s P40 Pro, as confirmed by many phone review experts, has the best camera on a phone. 

The Leica camera comprises 50MP f/1.9 primary and 40MP f/1.8 ultra-wide cameras, and a 12MP telephoto camera that’s capable of 5x optical zoom or 50x digital zoom. The wide angle ability is one of my favorite aspects about the P30 Pro, and now the P40 Pro. It works wonders during trips when you want to capture magnificent landscapes. It’s the wide angle lens that helps create the classic travel influencers’ signature scenic photo: where the influencer is small and surrounded by an epic scenery. It is also the wide angle lens that helps elongate models’ legs in photos, without post-processing. There’s also a time-of-flight sensor that creates the bokeh effect that makes every photo look professional. These are the main reasons why I have the faith to stop bringing my DSLR around. The P40 Pro also performs exceptionally well in low-light settings, which is very helpful for me to take quality food photos in low light restaurants. 

Another thing that’s important to me when it comes to choosing phones is how they look physically. You can say everything to me is also an accessory, they need to look good. I got my P40 Pro in the Silver Frost. It’s a very magical color that melts a frosty blue, silver, and grey together attractively, and it changes subtly with the light. I even opted for a clear phone case just to show off how beautiful the phone looks ! The screen also looks great. It has an excellent curved display yet it doesn’t interfere with the touch screen experience at all, unlike some other curved screens that I’ve used. It’s bright and large with a 2640 x 1200 resolution, very visually appealing when viewing photos and videos. Huawei P40 Pro’s battery life is also worth noting - it is absolutely top-notch. Its 4,200mAh battery allows you a full two days of regular usage. Thank God for this because I no longer have to carry a heavy power bank around. Last but not least, the P40 Pro also carries a very powerful processor, the HiSilicon Kirin 990, and that allows me to download large video files in a matter of seconds.  

There is no debate and almost no competition in terms of Huawei’s P40 Pro’s hardware. But I know many readers must be wondering about its software experience as it lacks the Google Mobile Services. 

To be honest, as I’ve described my lifestyle in the very beginning, even for someone that uses social media and Google constantly, I haven’t really noticed much inconsistencies that will hinder me from using the P40 Pro. Important to note that while the phone is no longer powered with Google Mobile services, it instead is now using Huawei’s very own Huawei Mobile Services. This will ultimately better Huawei users experience, as the company continues to build and strengthen its own ecosystem for all of their products to work seamlessly in tandem together.

Correct, the P40 Pro doesn’t come with Google apps pre-installed like all the other Android devices I’ve used before, including the P30 Pro. Yes, it doesn’t have the Google Play Store. I imagined this could be a frustrating scenario and was prepared to make the effort to adapt to the new system because I love the camera so much. But to my surprise, it didn’t require much effort at all ! Huawei had developed its own app store that is now available in Canada called Huawei AppGallery

From the moment I set up the P40 Pro right out of its new box, I was led straight to what’s called a Phone Clone App during the swifty setup process. This Phone Clone App feature asked for permission to transfer all my apps and data from my old phone to the P40 Pro, I accepted. 

And from there, it was smooth sailing throughout. I got all the apps I use regularly right away after my datas were transferred by Phone Clone, this includes Instagram, Facebook, Whatsapp, Tiktok, Google Chrome, Google Maps, RED, Evernote, Canva, Fido, Amazon, Lightroom, Pinterest, Planoly, Google Calendar data, etc.  

The only apps that didn’t get carried over for me were Google Drive, Youtube and Gmail. But I was able to add the shortcuts to my homepage, and they work just like their corresponding apps, only with a different interface. Alternatively, I could add my email addresses into the built-in mail app to retrieve mails that way, but I chose to stick with the shortcuts since all my email addresses are Gmail anyway. 

I didn’t need to download any more apps at this point, as I’ve already gotten all I need from the setup process. But there are some other ways for users to obtain new apps onto the phone. One is through Huawei’s AppGallery. The AppGallery has over 390 million active users and over 45,000 apps and is rapidly growing ! The search and installation of the apps are almost identical to the Google Play store. 

Another option to get your apps is using the Petal Search (pre-installed on new Huawei devices), where you can find over 1 million apps ! The Petal Search is a search widget that allows users to search and find everything they need - from apps to news, to images, and more ! And it can be placed directly on your home screen. You can find almost anything on Petal Search, such as all the major social media platforms like TikTok, Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter, and others such as Messenger, Google Photos, Spotify, Pinterest, Evernote, Amazon Alexa, Dropbox, and so much more ! 

Petal Search was also where I added the Google Drive, Youtube and Gmail “apps” onto my home screen as shortcuts/bookmarks, so I can access them directly from my home page just like how I access other apps. For instance, when searching for an app using Petal Search, if it is unavailable, like Youtube, the phone will ask if you wish to add an icon to your home screen. And once agreed, an icon of Youtube will be added to your home screen to grant you the same web experience to the Youtube app. The downside of this is of course the web experience is not as intuitive or mobile friendly as the app. But for such a minor inconvenience for just one or two apps, I personally feel it’s worth it in exchange for all the other great qualities the P40 Pro offers. The great thing about Petal Search is you will receive all of the necessary app updates through this platform.

For many users, not having Google apps or the Play Store do not impact them much, or at all. Take my parents for example, they don’t use Google services much anyways, so the P40 Pro would make a great gift for them for this Christmas ! A lot of the influencer friends I know also choose to stick with the P40 Pro mainly for its camera capabilities, and since all the social media platforms are easily accessible, there’s not much reason for them to not love the P40 Pro. 

I would hence 100% recommend the Huawei P40 Pro if your priority is to have a phenomenal phone camera. And if you are looking for an excellent battery life, powerful processor, and a stunning look. In terms of these aspects, there’s currently no other phone that’s quite like it in the market! I remember when I first switched from using an Iphone to Android, it took me a bit to adapt to switching from the Apple Store to Google Play, sure, some apps were only available for Apple users, but to be honest, it wasn’t a big deal and it still is not. I believe that it is only a matter of (a short) time for Huawei to catch up on filling in the gaps like how Google Play did to compete with the Apple Store. I am not worried about that and so I am absolutely loving my P40 Pro. 

For those interested in learning more, please click HERE. 

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