Huawei P40 Camera Review – Ditch Google?

From the P40’s triple-camera setup to the P40 Pro Plus’ penta-camera configuration, Huawei launched the latest P-series with high ambitions for the future of mobile photography. 

These high-end smartphones feature cutting-edge camera technologies, and their upgraded AI capabilities undoubtedly put them on the market’s A list. But, does Huawei’s ongoing battle with Google make this line-up a dud?

The series has three entries: the P40, P40 Pro, and P40 Plus. Today, we’ll discuss the latest technologies used in the Huawei P40 lineup, the technical specs, and how they all compare.

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The Huawei P40 Lineup

Huawei vs Google

If you don’t know, there’s some beef between Huawei and Google that can be traced to American-Chinese relations. As a result, Huawei doesn’t sell phones in the U.S. (Amazon excluded) and Google doesn’t allow Huawei to use their software on its newest P40 lineup of smartphones. While there’s loads more to the Huawei vs Google story, that’s all you need to know in a Huawei P40 camera review.

Can’t live without Google? The iPhone 12 Pro Max’s camera is pretty impressive too.

Huawei P40 Pro vs Huawei P30 Pro

The P40 Pro and P30 Pro have a similar Leica quad-camera setup albeit with some minor upgrades.. The P40 comes with an upgraded 50MP main camera, compared to the P30’s 40MP. 

Aside from the camera features, the P30 Pro has an advantage over the P40 Pro—it supports Google services, while the P40 Pro doesn’t. This means the phone users won’t have access to Gmail, Google Play Store, or YouTube, which are fundamental for most users.

No wonder people have been shying away from the P40 Pro, especially considering that the two phones aren’t that different in terms of performance. Are the upgraded camera features worth ditching Google?

Here’s a rundown of the resolution differences between the two smartphones.

PhonePreviewOur RatingWide CameraUltrawide CameraTelephoto CameraCostCheck Price
Huawei P40 ProiPhone 12 Pro camera review9.2/1050MP with f/1.9

40MP with f/1.8

12MP with f/3.4$$Check Price
Huawei P30 ProOnePlus 8 Pro camera review9.0/1040MP with f/1.6

20MP with f/2.2

8MP with f/3.4

$Check Price

While the resolution differences aren’t major, you’ll notice some differences in daylight photography. The P40 Pro’s photos will be more color balanced with a better dynamic range.

The P40 Pro’s video clips are better, thanks to improved 4K capability that provides excellent rendering of fine details. The video exposure is also good in low light (too much ISO leads to a grainy image), which is usually a shortcoming in smartphone cameras.

One of the differences between the two smartphones is the front camera’s position. The P30 features a 32MP selfie camera in a tear-drop shape. Meanwhile, the P40 Pro’s front camera is wide to fit the TrueDepth camera, so the phone sports an oval horizontal shape on the display’s left side. 

In terms of camera performance, the P30 Pro and P40 Pro don’t have major differences. The P40 Pro comes with a few camera upgrades, but is it worth ditching Google? We don’t think so.

Huawei P40 Pro vs Huawei P40 Lite

huawei p40 vs huawei p40 Pro vs huawei p40 Pro+

The most significant difference between Huawei’s latest P-series smartphones is their cameras, with the P40, P40 Pro, and P40 Plus each featuring minutely different setups.

For instance, the P40 Pro features a quad-camera setup, an upgrade from the P40’s triple-camera setup. Additionally, the Pro comes with improved zoom features and higher resolutions. Here’s a rundown of their resolution differences.

PhonePreviewOur RatingWide CameraUltrawide CameraTelephoto CameraCostCheck Price
Huawei P40 ProiPhone 12 Pro camera review9.2/1050MP with f/1.9

40MP with f/1.8

12MP with f/3.4$$Check Price
Huawei P40 LiteOnePlus 8 Pro camera review9.0/1050MP with f/1.9

16MP with f/2.2

8MP with f/2.4

$Check Price

Typically, the P40 comes with its share of shortcomings because of the lower price. For starters, the wide-angle lens has substantially fewer pixels than the Pro, and periscope zoom isn’t available. Additionally, there’s no 3D depth camera, and the RYYB sensor comes without optical image stabilization.

Moreover, the P40 Pro has a Time of Flight sensor—a software feature designed to create the background blur in portrait mode.

The zoom differences are also noticeable between the two phones. The P40 delivers 3x optical zoom and 5x hybrid zoom, along with 30x max zoom. Meanwhile, the Pro sets the standards high with its 5x optical zoom, 10x hybrid zoom, and 50x max zoom.

In comparison, the only downside of the P40 Pro is the lack of sharpness of the main camera’s photos, but only in regards to the Pro Plus. Still, the Pro’s camera clearly stands superior compared to the P40, whose most competitive factor is its lower price.

Huawei P40 Pro vs Huawei P40 Pro Plus

At a first glance, the P40 Pro and the Pro Plus are strikingly similar. Both have the same 6.58 inches curved display, and they share the Kirin 900 processor and 4,200mAh battery. The only slightly noticeable difference is the Plus’ heavier weight because of the ceramic panel instead of the Pro’s glass one.

When it comes to camera features, though, the Pro Plus is beyond compare. It houses a penta-camera setup, including a 50MP standard lens, a 40MP ultra-wide-angle camera, an 8MP 3x optical zoom, and an 8MP 10x optical zoom. There’s also a Time of Flight sensing camera.

The main difference lies in the telephoto setups. While the P40 Plus features a dedicated 3x lens, the P40 Pro uses digital zoom. The Plus clearly excels at taking photos of distant objects.

The Plus’ 10x optical zoom is the highest in a smartphone to date. Comparing it to smartphones in the same price range, the iPhone 11 comes with 2x optical zoom, while the Samsung S20 ultra upgrades to 4x. Both can’t compare to Huawei.

The Pro Plus clearly wins the round, but it costs a lot more. If you’re on a budget, the P40 Pro is the obvious choice.

The Huawei P40 Pro Camera Specs

Huawei P40 Pro+ CamerasCamera Tech Specs
Huawei P40 Pro+ front Camera reviewHuawei P40 Pro+ rear Camera review
Front26mm 32MP with f/2.2, 1/2.8" sensor featuring 0.8µm pixels
Wide23mm 50MP with f/1.9, 1/1.28" sensor featuring 1.22µm pixels
Ultrawide18mm 40MP with f/1.8, 1/1.54" sensor
Telephoto125mm 12 MP with f/3.4

Video Capability4K at 30/60fps
1080p at 30/60fps
7680 fps Slow Motio


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The Huawei P40 Camera Review Final Verdict


Huawei’s P40 Pro camera took things up a notch compared to its fellow P40. The quad-camera setup is well worth the extra dollars and the zoom settings are much better. For the price it comes with, we’d say the Pro is quite the bargain. 

You may consider the Pro Plus if you have some extra dollars to spend. Yet, the P40 Pro is still a great choice if you want a decent camera with smart options.

Compared to the P30 Pro, the P40 Pro is more powerful, but it doesn’t offer many upgrades in terms of camera specs. The choice is up to you, whether you want the latest or you’d be okay with last year’s model.

About the Author /

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Joe takes some pretty impressive photos and videos on his phone. He has a plethora of experience writing for large websites on a variety of topics and is able to deliver relatable mobile content that you'll surely enjoy. Joe majored in History at Christopher Newport University in VA. He currently resides in Denver, CO with his fiancee, Kathryn, and their dog, Jasmine.

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