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Product Listing

Huawei P40 Pro+ review: Five times the camera, 100 times the zoom

By Liu Hongzuo - 11 Jul 2020
Launch SRP: S$1898

Camera and Imaging Performance

Camera and Imaging Performance

The imaging prowess of the Huawei P40 Pro+ is a headlining feature of the phone, so much so that Huawei is asking $400 more than the P40 Pro. We have high expectations for the Pro+’s cameras, so let’s get straight into the penta-camera configuration on the rear. For easy referencing, we’ve also included the P40 Pro’s camera output below so you know exactly what you are paying more for. 

P40 Pro+ vs. P40 Pro rear camera systems
Huawei P40 Pro+ Huawei P40 Pro
  • 50MP Ultra Vision Camera, wide-angle, f/1.9 aperture, OIS
  • 40MP SuperSensing Cine Camera, ultra-wide-angle, f/1.8 aperture 
  • 8MP SuperZoom Camera, 10x Optical Zoom, f/4.4 aperture, OIS
  • 8MP Telephoto Camera, 3x Optical Zoom, f/2.4 aperture, OIS
  • 3D Depth Sensing Camera (ToF sensor)
  • 50MP Ultra Vision Camera, wide-angle, f/1.9 aperture, OIS
  • 40MP SuperSensing Cine Camera, ultra-wide-angle, f/1.8 aperture 
  • 12MP SuperSensing Telephoto Camera, 5x Optical Zoom, f/3.4 aperture, OIS
  • 3D Depth Sensing Camera (ToF sensor) 

The primary and secondary cameras (the 50MP and 40MP) on both devices are identical. We don’t expect the P40 Pro+ to differ much if you’re going to take basic shots with the primary shooter without zooming. Like the P40 Pro, the 50MP sensor has 4-in-1 pixel binning and Full Pixel Octa PD AutoFocus, both of which we’ve explained in detail here.

Huawei doesn’t merely offer more cameras with differently rated zoom lengths and megapixel count. Previously, we said that the regular P40 Pro has 50x digital zoom thanks to the telephoto camera it has. On the P40 Pro+, Huawei goes all out with 100x digital zoom (240mm), courtesy of the collective effort between their Huawei XD Fusion Engine, OIS assistance, and the heavy hardware lifting by both the 10x optical telephoto camera and 3x optical telephoto camera

Another ‘soft’ feature is the entire purpose of the 3x optical telephoto camera, which was designed to emulate the 80mm lens used by professional portrait photographers who want high clarity and minimal lens distortion. 

Finally, the P40 Pro+ also shares in the Huawei benefits that cut across all their P40 devices, like Skin Tone Enhancement for skin and faces, ToF-assisted Bokeh effects, and AI-assisted night-time photography. Of course, we’ve not forgotten about the Huawei Golden Snap suite of AI editing tricks, either. 

For the Huawei P40 Pro+ specifically, we’re interested to learn how the regular primary camera holds up, how smooth or pleasant the 100x digital zoom can be, and if we do feel a little more artistic when using the portrait camera.

 

Primary camera (no zoom)

Our temporary 'lab chart' using the main camera with no zoom. Today, the papayas are in stock.

100% crop of the above image. Every little detail is clear, from the brand of cooking oil, to the blemishes on the fruits, their prices, and the clear plastic packaging used.

Another main camera shot for reference.

3x optical zoom

Main camera shot for comparison.

3x optical zoom enabled. Details are still well-captured, and noise handling is great even in spotty sunlight given the overcast sky.

Another 3x optical zoom shot for reference. It delivers on the artistic portraiture that Huawei was trying to achieve with this lens.

10x optical zoom

Main camera shot for comparison.

3x optical zoom for comparison.

10x optical zoom. While we can't make out what the sign says, the people in the image are all well-detailed, and you can easily tell them apart from each other.

To summarise our imaging findings, we did find the P40 Pro+ primary camera as capable as the regular P40 Pro. Also, the various zoom settings (3x optical, 10x optical, 100x digital) are all very snappy and responsive, and the software adjustments can help make mediocre photographers take decent-looking photos. You don’t have to take our word for it, just look at the images we have. Overall, the imaging quality is high - colours are vibrant, details are intact, and it has a good handle on contrasts, highlights, and shadows. Even at 3x optical and 10x optical, the phone was easy to handle for photography.
 

100x digital zoom

Main camera shot for comparison.

Ultra-wide-angle shot for comparison.

3x optical zoom for reference.

10x optical zoom for reference.

100x digital zoom. Frankly, it's not something we'd consider as portfolio-worthy, but it's quite unthinkable that the P40 Pro+ can still provide serviceable visual information even at 100x digital magnification. The biker behind was moving, making it even more impressive that the camera could register the biker clearly enough in the split-second he went by.

100x digital zoom posed a little bit of challenge, but the OIS compensation helps a lot at stabilising your shots, and the results aren’t too shabby, even if they aren’t portfolio-worthy. As a whole package, the Huawei P40 Pro+ camera system offers excellent versatility with exceptional quality at nearly every zoom level we needed, beating out phones with photography features that can’t deliver at the tier they promise, with a fantastic primary camera to boot.

 

Comparing 100x zoom - Huawei P40 Pro+ vs. Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra

This section contains quick samples showcasing the 100x zoom feature of the competing Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra versus the Huawei P40 Pro+'s 100x zoom. We've indicated the smartphone responsible for the shot in the captions. Our initial reaction is that the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra might have met its match.

Huawei P40 Pro+ 100x zoom.

Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 100x zoom.
Huawei P40 Pro+ 100x zoom.
Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 100x zoom.
Huawei P40 Pro+ 100x zoom.
Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 100x zoom.
8.0
  • Design 8.5
  • Features 8.5
  • User-Friendliness 7.5
  • Performance 8.5
  • Value 7.5
The Good
Versatile camera features with high quality
Clean and responsive UI
Offers 40W wireless charging
5G-ready
Fairly strong local app selection in AppGallery
The Bad
Proprietary memory card
Requires workarounds to get preferred apps
Competition has higher display resolution
Single-firing speaker
No 3.5mm headphone jack