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By XDA_RealLifeReview, RealLifeReview Dude on 16th March 2020, 02:03 PM | Average Rating:
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Yes, yes, it's possible to love a phone. Heck, you sleep next to it, don't you? Rate this thread to indicate your love for the Huawei P40 Pro, all things considered. A higher rating indicates that the Huawei P40 Pro is an incredible phone that you enjoy tremendously. You love it.

Then, drop a comment if you have anything to add!
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1st May 2020, 05:58 AM |#2  
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Very happy with my P40 Pro so far. I'll try to keep this short & honest.
First of all, one of the most important things: battery life. It's very good IMO. I keep my phone on FHD+ with 90hz refresh rate. Honestly I expected sub-par battery life from this device with 90hz, and I thought I was gonna switch to 60hz for sure, but I was pleasantly surprised. Like I said, battery life is not an issue on this phone. Not insanely great, but still, very solid.
The camera? Oh, boy. Just look at the samples posted on the internet, or watch camera reviews on Youtube. It's just phenomenal. Low light is also incredibly good, although from my testing, some shots come out better in "photo mode" than they do in "night mode". Sometimes the opposite.
The display is also great. No QHD resolution, but FHD+ is more than enough for me. I think QHD on phones is a gimmick, but that's just my opinion.
The only thing I don't really like that comes to mind is the weight of this phone - it's kinda heavy, especially compared to my previous phone.

About the Google services issue... To me it's not really an issue. I don't NEED GMS on my phone. I can live without them. Yes I installed them, but it was more out of the urge to tinker with my phone, than the necessity of having them. Here's what I have to say about my personal usage.
My banking app is in the Huawei App Gallery. Google Calendar, I don't really use. Maps? The "Maps.me" app and Here WeGo seem like good alternatives to Google Maps. As for gmail, you can easily use AquaMail or Bluemail and add your gmail account there. The interface is a bit different though. I kinda miss Google Photos as I did have some photos saved there, but it's not that big of a deal. Out of curiosity, I just installed the Google Photos app moments ago and it seems to work fine on my P40 Pro. It detected the photos on my device and I can see everything that I backed up in the past.
I still would not recommend the P40/P40 Pro to people who are very dependent on Google apps, as I can't guarantee whether Huawei will patch this GMS installation method, or not. There's just no way of knowing that.

So, in summary, if you heavily depend on Google apps and services - DON'T buy it. If you think you can live without them, then you can give it a try. In my country Huawei lets you "try" the device for 15 days, so if you don't like it you can send it back and get a refund.

Huawei P40 Pro gets a solid 4.5/5 from me.
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19th June 2020, 01:31 PM |#3  
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Review based on a European living in UK, other regions might be completely different.

You don't use any apps that use GMS:
If majority of the apps you use on a daily basis are available in Huawei store, then this phone is for you and you can stop reading, this review assumes you use GMS (Google Mobile Sevices) in some direct or indirect form.

For the rest:
Amazing piece of hardware but the third party software at this moment in time (constantly progressing) is pretty useless. Don't buy this phone if:
  • You want everything to just work
  • You are not tech savvy enough to know what adb is and have enough experience to figure out which sideloaded apps are clearly unsafe
  • You need an actual smartphone and rely on it for critical tasks that cannot fail using third party apps that might rely on GMS
If you are a tinkerer like myself and like messing with devices and fixing issues the manufacturer wont, don't buy this phone (locked bootloader).

Google Situation
Think of how many times a day you use third party apps on your phone. Majority of those apps (in Europe atleast) use Google Mobile Services in some form. If you are one these people, I would recommend you buy yourself a cheaper smartphone with a separate point and shoot camera, honestly you would get a more reliable and possibly pleasant experience that way. Unfortunately I rely on other, non-google apps way too much such as Slack, Delivero, Uber, DJI Pilot app, Blizzard Authenticator, Unified Remote Control etc... If you decide to side load the apps missing from its store (using Petal Search or Aurora store), be prepared that those apps will probably be broken in some shape or form. Most apps rely on Google services such as Firebase for notifications, Google location services for location and etc.

You might be able to get the side-loaded app installed and mostly functioning, but something, somewhere might be broken and you wont know until it bites you. For example Slack is installable and definitely usable, but you wont get any notifications. Apps that use google location all seem to be half broken even if you install Google services; you will open Delivero/Uber once and everything will work, and next time you open it there will be no location. You order from Delivero one day and you will get the notification that the driver is outside so you think sweet, the app fully works, but the next time you order the driver would have tried contacting you 4 times before he drives away with you undelivered food. Apparently this is fixable with an always on display and tuning the power saving of the phone. I did contact a few app developers asking if they plan to support HMS, and got mixed replies.

Other than the Google situation, here are some points:
  • Build quality and materials are generally amazing
  • Centre of gravity is slightly offset from centre, its towards the top left corner of the phone. Also the phone is PHAT, its definitely bigger than my S8 and thicker, but its the weight that's most noticeable. Not a huge deal but was a minor annoyance.
  • Face-ID and fingerprint scanner both work flawlessly and super fast.
  • Camera is superb
  • "Wide" camera is an insult to the term. The sensor is great but the wideness is just a smidge more than normal lens. Honestly I would call it misleading advertising and it should be called "Not-So-Wide" camera
  • General performance is great, no complaints. Also compared to my S8, the phone stays colder for much longer
  • Battery life seemed great, spent a whole day on it installing google and only drained like 60%.
  • The stock experience is OK, apart from any AI features. AI is in pre-alpha phase. For example the voice assistant cannot set a timer, it can only open the timer app. Oh and if you don't speak the exact accent Huawei expects you to, good luck getting it to recognise anything. You could side-load Alexa, but you cannot change the default assistant, so the 1sec press of power button will always bring Celia.
  • There is some weirdness in apps, for example the default keyboard (SwiftKey) gives you the option to login using your google account even though its definitely broken in stock.
  • The gestures work really well in most cases. The same gestures do get very annoying in some apps where you keep accidentally pressing back instead of bringing up side menus or switch drawer.
  • Banking is mostly broken for stock Huawei. Managed to get Natwest banking app working after a lot of work though. Contactless payment is 100% broken and will be for a long time!
  • Permissions: Pretty much every single Huawei app wants to have access to your calls and messaging history. Maybe nothing malicious but certainly makes you question why they need it
  • NM cards are more than double the price of MicroSD
  • Comes with loads of bloatware, but most is easily removed
  • The pill cutout is not bad, just wish they shoved it more in the corner of the phone more
  • Uncertainty if your phone will break after an update if you have google services installed
  • Installing Google services is not easy and seems to be a constantly evolving battle where methods change frequently
  • Internet forums/ youtube is filled with post from either bots or one can only assume are Huawei influencers. Also the phone is so talked about online that trying to use search to find answers to your problems usually just brings up a Forbes news story.
  • Locked bootloader

I admit, I made a mistake of not checking the news before buying the phone (saw a dirt cheap one on eBay). Fully expected to unlock the bootloader and install some custom ROM with GApps, but since 2018 Huawei locked their bootloaders for "security". Even so, I tried the phone for couple of days, spend a day installing google services, aurora store, icebox and the whole lot and honestly was super disappointed. Sold the phone couple days later and if you check eBay you can see dozens of people doing the same thing every day.
20th June 2020, 11:44 PM |#4  
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I stopped reading at "Software at this moment in time is pretty useless".
22nd June 2020, 02:33 PM |#5  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZedeN

Review based on a European living in UK, other regions might be completely different.

Amazing piece of hardware but that's it! Software at this moment in time is pretty useless. Don't buy this phone if you need an actual smartphone. I would recommend you buy yourself a cheapo smartphone with a separate point and shoot camera, honestly you would get way better experience that way. If you are a tinkerer like myself and like messing with devices and fixing issues the manufacturer wont, don't buy this phone (locked bootloader).

If you stick with the pure Huawei experience and don't need any apps that are not in Huawei store, I am sure you would have a great time, unfortunately I rely on other, non-google apps way too much such as Slack, Delivero, Uber, DJI Pilot app, Blizzard Authenticator, Unified Remote Control etc... If you decide to side load the apps missing from it's store (using Petal Search or Aurora store), be prepared that those apps will probably be broken in some shape or form. Most apps rely on Google services such as Firebase for notifications, Google location services for location and etc.

You might be able to get the side-loaded app installed and mostly functioning, but something some where might be broken and you wont know until it bites you. For example Slack is installable and definitely usable, but you wont get any notifications. Apps that use google location all seem to be half broken even if you install Google services; you will open Delivero/Uber once and everything will work, and next time you open it there will be no location. You order from Delivero one day and you will get the notification that the driver is outside so you think sweet, the app fully works, but the next time you order the driver would have tried contacting you 4 times before he drives away with you undelivered food. Apparently this is fixable with an always on display and tuning the power saving of the phone. I did contact a few app developers asking if they plan to support HMS, and got mixed replies.

Other than the Google situation, here are some points:
Build quality and materials are generally amazing
Centre of gravity is slightly offset from centre, its towards the top left corner of the phone. Also the phone is PHAT, its definitely bigger than my S8 and thicker, but its the weight that's most noticeable. Not a huge deal but was a minor annoyance.
Face-ID and fingerprint scanner both work flawlessly and super fast.
Camera is superb
"Wide" camera is an insult to the term. The sensor is great but the wideness is just a smidge more than normal lens. Honestly I would call it misleading advertising and it should be called "Not-So-Wide" camera
General performance is great, no complaints. Also compared to my S8, the phone stays colder for much longer
Battery life seemed great, spent a whole day on it installing google and only drained like 60%.
The stock experience is OK, apart from any AI features. AI is in pre-alpha phase. For example the voice assistant cannot set a timer, it can only open the timer app. Oh and if you don't speak the exact accent Huawei expects you to, good luck getting it to recognise anything. You could side-load Alexa, but you cannot change the default assistant, so the 1sec press of power button will always bring Celia
The gestures work really well in most cases. The same gestures do get very annoying in some apps where you keep accidentally pressing back instead of bringing up side menus or switch drawer.
Banking is mostly broken for stock Huawei. Managed to get Natwest banking app working after a lot of work though. Contactless payment is 100% broken and will be for a long time!
Permisions: Pretty much every single Huawei app wants to have access to your calls and messaging history. Maybe nothing malicious but certainly makes you question why they need it
NM cards are more than double the price of MicroSD
Comes with loads of bloatware, but most is easily removed
The pill cutout is not bad, just wish they shoved it more in the corner of the phone more
Uncertainty if your phone will break after an update if you have google services installed
Installing Google services is not easy and seems to be a constantly evolving battle where methods change frequently
Internet forums/ youtube is filled with post from either bots or one can only assume are Huawei influencers. Also the phone is so talked about online that trying to use search to find answers to your problems usually just brings up a Forbes news story.
Locked bootloader


I admit, I made a mistake of not checking the news before buying the phone (saw a dirt cheap one on eBay). Fully expected to unlock the bootloader and install some custom ROM with GApps, but since 2018 Huawei locked their bootloaders for "security". Even so, I tried the phone for couple of days, spend a day installing google services, aurora store, icebox and the whole lot and honestly was super disappointed. Sold the phone couple days later and if you check eBay you can see dozens of people doing the same thing every day.


Really? I'm using my phone as the way it was intended to be used with no Google services side-loaded and this phone does everything that my other Android phones does besides have a dedicated YouTube app. Perhaps you just don't know how to use a phone properly
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22nd June 2020, 06:18 PM |#6  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ushoda

I stopped reading at "Software at this moment in time is pretty useless".

Fair point, I changed the phrasing of the review.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Khonsu_

Really? I'm using my phone as the way it was intended to be used with no Google services side-loaded and this phone does everything that my other Android phones does besides have a dedicated YouTube app. Perhaps you just don't know how to use a phone properly

Maybe you live in another region where app developers don't use GMS as default, for example China? But clearly your use case doesn't depend on GMS, in that case, this phone is perfect for you. Also YouTube is the least of my problems, I have been using YouTube Vanced for years and even it is a pain to install on P40 Pro. You first have to either download "dirty" micro-g or modify the micro-g settings to stop it from using GMS otherwise you get stuck in login loop.

And thank you, I will go ahead and start learning to use my phone straight away sir, maybe Huawei should include that on the packaging as well.
23rd June 2020, 12:21 PM |#7  
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Quite an emotional topic, hmm?

My 2,5 cents: I used my smartphones primarily for audio books, photos, WhatsApp, mobile navigation, YouTube and common internet applications.
The P40 Pro does all that just perfectly, better than all smartphones I owned before. With just one single exception.
I like Google Maps, I like the Play Store, I like YouTube. Sure, there are alternative applications, but I still prefer the "originals".
So I spent about half an hour and went through installing the Google services according to instructions I got from a YouTube video. Some effort, but it paid.
I now got the perfect smartphone, running all and everything I need - and doing that better than ever before. With just one exception, no, with two exceptions.
1) Still not possible to use "Hey Google" or "Okay Google" on the lock screen.
2) Fixed battery, the usual bitchiness all smartphone manufacturers abuse for forcing you to discard your smartphone after about two years, or earlier if you charged your battery often to 100 % or let the battery get too warm (easy in summer in a car).
And that's it. I instantly fell in love with the P40 Pro after installing the "missing" Google services.

Two things I don't understand at all:
1) Why the heck doesn't Huawei provide unlock codes for the bootloader? Would solve that Google problem immediately. I just don't understand why they ignore that simple but effective move.
2) Why does all the world blame the Google problem on the USA, especially on Trump? It's not the USA, it's not Trump - it's Apple. Huawei sent Apple back to the lower places on the podium. The pride of the capitalism got declassified by the communists. So the rotting fruit applied pressure on the government - and there we are. It's not because of espionage (if there was any proof, they would have presented it with utmost happiness), it's to "make Apple great again" using all impure means available.
Yesterday, 11:27 AM |#8  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Klosterbruder

I like Google Maps,

Google Maps works for me without login.
Waze is actually better.
HereWeGo is not bad either.
Today, 01:10 AM |#9  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Klosterbruder

.
Two things I don't understand at all:
1) Why the heck doesn't Huawei provide unlock codes for the bootloader? Would solve that Google problem immediately. I just don't understand why they ignore that simple but effective move.

Maybe they do send data to Chinese government. 😂
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