The huawei Mate40 is one of the latest additions to the company’s smartphone lineup, and it’s probably going to be the first flagship product that Huawei officially releases in the United States. For a more in-depth review of this device, you can refer to the full review here. Some of the highlights of this device include dual rear cameras (a first on any Huawei device) and an ultra-wide front camera that will let you take group selfies like never before.
The Huawei Mate 40 features a triple-lens rear camera, similar to that on last year’s P20 Pro. The main lens is a wide-angle one with an f/1.8 aperture, while there’s another telephoto lens and an ultra-wide angle one for even more flexibility. On the front, you’ll find a 24-megapixel selfie cam. And you can record video at up to 4K UHD resolution, too. It’s not quite as impressive as Google Pixel 3’s night sight feature or Samsung Galaxy S10’s ultra slow motion mode but it’s not bad either. Huawei includes its own take on portrait mode: While it doesn’t capture images in true black and white, it does let you adjust bokeh after shooting so your subject stands out from their background. Other new features include real-time translation of voice (only English, German, Spanish, French), custom augmented reality experiences (such as interactions with works of art at museums), and auto frames.
The battery life of any cell phone can make or break a review. The Huawei Mate 40 has a battery life that will last most users at least two days. You might even be able to squeeze a day and a half out of it if you’re not super heavy on your phone usage. Charging times are also great, with fast charging technology that only takes about 30 minutes for a full charge. It’s an all-around strong contender in terms of battery performance, though those who want more heavy-duty batteries would be better served by looking elsewhere.
The Mate 40 has a large 6.4-inch display with a resolution of 1080×2340 pixels and 424 PPI. The screen uses an OLED panel, which offers better color depth and greater contrast than your typical LCD display. It’s also significantly more power efficient, making it less draining on your battery while giving you brighter, deeper colors (including 100% DCI-P3 coverage). You can adjust how much information is displayed on your screen with different wallpapers or apps that offer some customization options as well.
The speakers are surprisingly clear and rich for such a large phone. While playing music on my subway ride, I did a double take when I first noticed them. The sound is vibrant and doesn’t feel like it’s only coming from one side of your ear. A big step up from my previous phones, which had tinny and muffled sounds. The main speaker is located at the bottom right edge while in landscape mode (left if you’re holding it). It has Dolby Atmos technology so that sounds all around you will reverberate (much like what you hear in an Imax theatre). To test how great or annoying those noises could be to others, I opened an episode of Game of Thrones—and yes: My neighbors were not happy about me being alive. If these are important factors to you as well (or if Dolby isn’t part of your daily vocabulary), then I’d recommend keeping TV-watching down to 3D Imax screenings only.
There’s a stylus included with both models, but they’re not exactly what you might expect. They look and feel more like a ballpoint pen than a Wacom or Adonit stylus. There are no buttons to click on its side, which could potentially make navigating around smartphone screens awkward. The lack of buttons is somewhat made up for by a software feature called ScreenPad 2.0; it lets you perform some tasks by hovering over certain areas on your display with your finger or stylus. That said, you can’t make selections by just tapping once — that is an option for later versions, according to Huawei.
Software (EMUI9.0, Android Pie 9.0, etc.)
In terms of software, EMUI is more important than you may realize. The Android OS may be open source, but Google has very strict specifications on what manufacturers can and cannot do to Android with each release. If a phone doesn’t comply with those specifications (which they rarely do), it won’t pass Google certification and cannot run any apps that are in Google Play. That means no Gmail or YouTube and no apps like Google Maps or Calendar. While some manufacturers use essentially stock Android, most include their own custom skin—and these skins typically add extra bloatware and mess with Android’s look and feel as well as its system performance. The Moto G7 Plus runs EMUI 9.0 on top of Android Pie 9.0 (the latest version).