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Huawei P40 Pro and Pro Plus challenge Samsung's camera supremacy

Huawei P40 Pro and Pro Plus challenge Samsung's camera supremacy
Huawei

has just taken the wraps off its latest superphone series. It unveiled the P40, P40 Pro and the P40 Pro Plus in Thursday, and there's no question that these are all about the cameras.

The P40 costs 799 euros (about $880, £730 or AU$1,450). The P40 Pro is 999 euros (about $1,100, £910 or AU$1,820). Both will ship April 7. The P40 Pro Plus will cost 1,399 euros (about $1,540, £1,280 or AU$2,550) and ships in June. It won't be available officially in the US.

The standard P40 comes with three rear cameras, the P40 Pro ups that to four and the P40 Pro Plus comes with five. All three models have a 50-megapixel standard zoom lens, equipped with a larger sensor for better low light imaging. The standard P40 also has a 16-megapixel ultra wide lens and an 8-megapixel optical zoom.

The P40 Pro ups that to a 40mp ultra wide lens, a 12-megapixel 5x optical zoom and there's also a time of flight sensor for better depth sensing to add an artfully out-of-focus background to your portraits.

Huawei

The P40 Pro Plus is the hero, of course. It comes with the standard 50-megapixel zoom, a 40-megapixel ultrawide-angle camera, an 8MP optical zoom and an 8MP 10x optical zoom as well as the time-of-flight depth sensor. The zoom skills are what set the Pro Plus apart from the rest. This is the first time we've seen a 10x optical zoom on a phone and I'm keen to see just how it compares to the 4x optical zoom offered on Samsung's .

The Pro Plus can also achieve 100x zoom -- just like the S20 Ultra. Huawei showed off a comparison photo from both phones taken at 100x zoom. Huawei's did look clearer, but I'll reserve judgment on that until I can get both phones side by side.

Apart from the zoom, the P40 range promises improved low-light imaging, which is exciting as Huawei's phones were already superb in the dark. They also get various AI updates including a mode that can apparently automatically remove passersby in your photos. Again, I'm going to wait and see how that works outside the presentation.

Huawei

Beyond the cameras, the phones have some impressive hardware. The display on the P40 Pro and P40 Pro Plus wraps so far over the sides of the phone that there's basically no bezel at all. It looks great in the images and videos Huawei's shown off so far, but whether it makes them a little awkward to hold remains to be seen. The screens themselves are OLED, have high resolutions and support HDR -- which is all pretty much what you'd expect.

Under the hood is Huawei's latest Kirin 990 processor, which, unsurprisingly, supports . It also promises better performance and better power consumption. I'll be putting that to the test later.

Other treats include faster in-screen fingerprint scanning, faster wireless charging and updates to Huawei's EMUI 10.1 software for better multitasking.

Huawei

Speaking of software, these phones won't support services, so you won't have access to the Google Play store. That's going to be a big negative for most people, but Huawei did make a lot of noise about the increase in developers it's working with and the number of people using its own app store. There are plenty of apps on Huawei's app gallery, but it's worth checking out if your favorites are available before you spend your money.

Overall these phones are pretty much what I'd expect from Huawei -- potentially awesome camera skills, attractive design, 5G and the latest processors. But how it all comes together in the real world remains to be seen when I put the phones to the test.

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