Excited about Huawei’s new line of smartphones, but a little confused about what’s different between the basic Huawei P40 and top-dog Huawei P40 Pro Plus?
You’re not alone. At first glance both handsets have very similar features sets and designs. But if you look a little closer there are a number of key factors differentiating the two phones. Here are the biggest.
- Read our hands-on Huawei P40 Pro review
1. One’s made of glass, the other isn’t
From a distance the two phones look fairly similar featuring rectangular chassis with black camera houses on their back. But put them in the light and you’ll see one key difference; the P40 is made of glass the Pro Plus isn’t.
The Pro Plus is built using a premium ceramic material Huawei claims “refracts light like a diamond”. Huawei’s also offering the Pro Plus with different colour options. Specifically, you’ll be able to pick the Pro Plus up in basic black and white colourings. The regular P40 has a more diverse set of colourings that includes white, black, blue, “silver frost” and “blush gold” options.
The P40 Pro Plus also carries a more robust IP68 water resistance rating. The standard P40 only has an IP53 rating, which means it’ll only survive accidental splashes, not full submersion.
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The regular P40 is also a lot smaller than the Huawei P40 Pro Plus, measuring in at a modest 6.1-inches. The P40 Pro Plus meanwhile measures in at a noticeably chunkier 6.58-inches. This means it isn’t quite as gargantuan as some key rivals, like the Galaxy S20 Ultra, but it’s still more phone that some buyers will want. Small handed shoppers may prefer the vanilla P40 as a result.
Despite the size difference both have identical connectivity and inputs. Both feature new in-screen fingerprint scanners that Huawei claims are 30% larger and faster than those used in the older P30 line and USB C ports. The two phones also both run on Huawei’s new Kirin 990 chipset, meaning both offer 5G connectivity and support Wi-Fi 6 Plus.
3. Screen quality
Size isn’t the only differentiator between the two phones’ screens. The P40 Pro Plus also features a sharper 2640 x 1200 (FHD+) resolution panel. The smaller P40 features a 2340×1080 resolution screen by comparison.
Thankfully both screens feature speedy 90Hz refresh rates. The refresh rate doesn’t match the top end Galaxy S20 line’s 120Hz speed, but it should make both screens way smoother and reactive than the older P30, which had a basic 60Hz panel.
Sadly Huawei hasn’t confirmed if you’ll be able to adjust either P40s’ refresh rate. If it’s permanently locked to 90Hz this could impact both phones battery life.
The Huawei P40 Pro Plus has a much larger battery than the plain P40, being powered by a 4200mAh cell. The P40 features a 3800mAh by comparison. Huawei hasn’t given any quoted battery life figures, but claimed both will easily last a full days use during a briefing attended by Trusted Reviews.
5. Wireless fast charging
The P40 Pro Plus is the only one of the two to support Huawei’s new 40W wireless and cabled charging. This means you can get the same charging speeds as a cabled connection on the P40 Pro Plus, if you invest in Huawei’s add on wireless charge pad. Huawei hasn’t revealed how much the pad will cost however. The P40 comes with slower 22W charging. Which will be an annoyance for people that regularly forget to charge their phone.
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The biggest differentiator between the P40 and P40 Pro Plus is camera tech. Both feature Huawei’s spiffy new 50-megapixel snapper as their main sensor, but it’s backed up by a much more diverse set of cameras on the Pro Plus.
Specifically the Pro Plus pairs the main 50-megapixel sensor with custom made 8-megapixel “super telephoto/periscope”, 8-megapixel optical telephoto, 40-megapixel ultrawide and ToF sensors.
The P40 by comparison couples the main sensor with a 40-megapixel ultrawide and 12-megapixel hybrid periscope/telephoto lens.
We haven’t had a chance to test either phone’s camera, but according to Huawei the difference in quality between the Pro Plus and regular P40 will be palpable, particularly when zooming or shooting in low light.