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Huawei Mate 40 Pro arrives: no Google but packs a camera punch

Huawei’s latest smartphone has tons of camera innovations - plus new headphones!

Huawei Mate 40 Pro arrives: no Google but packs a camera punch
Marc Chacksfield
22 October 2020

The Huawei Mate 40 is here and it’s a big-screen phone with plenty of specs promise. Huawei has had a time of it of late, what with Google Play Services being taken off its smartphones and its current 5G battles, but that hasn’t stopped the company putting out top-notch products.

We’ve recently had the Huawei Watch GT 2 Pro and the Huawei FreeBuds Pro in our test labs and they are brilliant smart devices. The latest release, though, might be its smartest yet.

The Huawei Mate 40 Pro is a smartphone with a 6.76 OLED - 2772 x 1344 curved screen. It has an 88-degree curve and boats no side borders because of this.

Those who have been paying attention to Huawei’s Mate range will note that the handset has shifted away from a notch and now has a punch-hole 13MP selfie camera on the front.

There are three cameras on the back, a whopping 50MP main camera, a 20MP ultra-wide lens and a 12MP periscope lens - also on board is a jaw-dropping 7x optical zoom. These can all be found in a new Space Ring Design on the rear.

TikTok fans will be happy as there is a new video mode that allows you to edit 15 second video snippets in Story editor mode.

Another interesting camera feature is a 'steadicam' mode which follows a subject through a scene without you having to move the handset - this should make those weird shaky panning shots a thing of the past.

When it comes to charging, Huawei has upped the speed of its wireless charging by an impressive 85% and its wired charging by 60%.

A new chip means that GPU and CPU power has also been supercharged - with a 50% improvement in graphical prowess.

As with all recent Huawei smartphones, the big thing missing here is Google Play and all the Google apps that go with it. This will be a blow to many who are tied to the G Suite, but Huawei has revealed it is improving its own app store, with a more editorialised offering.

Huawei Mate 40 Pro arrives: no Google but packs a camera punch

Huawei has also revealed a new range of headphones. Its first over-ear effort is called Huawei FreeBuds Studio and they come packing 24bit audio, an increased driver size and hi-res sound.

They look rather lovely, with Active Noise Cancellation and a battery life that leaves many rivals in the dust. If you switch the ANC off then you can get 24 hours’ playback on a charge. It’s 20 hours with the ANC on and a 10 minute charge will get eight hours’ play out of them.

There’s good news if you are, like us, a fan of the Huawei Watch GT 2 Pro smartwatch. Huawei has teamed up with Porsche once more to give it a design makeover. The Porsche Design Huawei Watch GT 2 Pro comes with a new design by Porsche, customised Sapphire lens, the buttons have been changed to pistons and there’s now a ceramic case.

Watch faces have been customised and you get exclusive watch faces that inherit the same look as the in-dash components of the Porsche display.