Huawei is not currently having a simple time. If in 2019, in fact, the situation related to ban of the United States had been fairly mitigated, during this year in Europe things have become more complicated. In fact, almost all the smartphones presented have been equipped with HMS (Huawei Mobile Services), except for Huawei P30 Pro New Edition. This completely revolutionized the market, forcing fans of the brand to change course. Among the many products launched this year, therefore, the real emblem of this change was the P40 series, without Google services. Among these, therefore, we also have Huawei P40 Lite 5G which in recent weeks has been tested in daily use. How did he behave? Did we manage to survive with a mid-range product without Google services? Find out inside ours Full review.
Huawei P40 Lite 5G review
Taking a look at the packaging, we always notice the usual brand design. On the front, therefore, we have the name of the product and, a little further down, the plate that certifies the presence of Huawei Mobile Services. Therefore, inside the sales box are located:
- Huawei P40 Lite 5G;
- wall-mounted power supply with European socket;
- USB / USB Type-C cable;
- wired headphones (not in-ear) with audio jack;
- protective film for the screen;
- pin for removing the SIM slot;
- warranty card;
- short instruction manual.
Design & Materials
Throughout the testing period I was able to try the version Crush Green, with a beautiful green color on the back that differs from the crowd. Obviously this surface is made of glass, while the whole side frame presents a mix of shiny and satin metal which gives this product a premium character. In terms of size, however, we are more or less on the same line as other mid-range devices on the market, measuring 162,31 x 75,0 x 8,58 mm, with a weight of approx 189 grams. To hold in the hand, therefore, it is rather comfortable and is also easy to handle.
It is not too slippery, perhaps also because it is scarce oleophobic treatment immediately dirty the two glass surfaces on this unit. Despite this, however, I still recommend the use of a protective cover, also for another reason. Taking a look on the back, in fact, you notice the presence of one Quad Room rear that protrudes much compared to the device profile. This component therefore exceeds a good millimeter and this problem comes out mainly when the smartphone is placed on the table. Despite this, the lines are fairly clean and, as on other competing devices, the front glass is divided by the metal body by means of a plastic strip.
At the level of components mounted on the product we are in line with the market, showing on the right the volume balance and the power on / off button, which also integrates the biometric sensor. On the opposite side, then, there is space SIM slot, while at the top we only have the microphone for the suppression of environmental noise. Below, however, we find the audio jack from 3,5mm, main microphone, the entrance USB Type-C and system speaker. Everything has been precisely finished, there are no assembly burrs, confirming the great quality offered by the brand even in such a difficult moment.
Huawei P40 Lite 5G mounts a IPS LCD display da 6,5 " with resolution FHD + (2.400 x 1.080 pixels). This unity, therefore, left me with a good impression, also in one aspect in particular. As you can see, in fact, this smartphone is equipped with a front hole, containing the selfie camera, which resides right on the left. Looking at the screen perpendicular to this component, however, there is no nuance next to it. Only by turning the device and increasing the viewing diagonal of the display is the effect of light bleeding typical of these panels. Here, however, the quality is certainly higher than that shown by other competing products, which immediately highlight this problem.
On a chromatic level I have not noticed any critical issues, as i colors they are well calibrated and very close to reality. There are no excessive contrasts but, even if you are not satisfied with this component, you could always change everything through the appropriate settings menu. Here you can customize the color temperature front panel. I would have preferred, however, to be able to see this display much better outdoors. In direct sunlight, in fact, it is not easy to take a look at all the contents on the screen, due to a poor olephobic treatment that certainly does not help. This, however, is almost the only reason for this issue. The brightness sensorin fact, it has proven to be quite fast in calibrating the display, in all situations.
I haven't noticed any problems with the panel touch screen, which has always shown an excellent touch response. While surfing the net, or even inside the interface, it is possible to move easily without problems, despite the refresh rate of the panel is still equal to 60Hz.
We do not find any news on this product regarding the release systems. Again, therefore, we find the biometric sensor and the face unlock.
Analyzing the first method, I must say that perhaps it is one of the most comfortable tried lately. Huawei has decided, in fact, to place this unit right on the right frame, not too high, allowing even those who do not have too large hands to get there without problems. This, then, is really very fast in the recognition of the impression. I recommend using it, therefore, to the detriment of the face unlock which, however, always presents the usual problems.
With 2D face recognition we always use the same technology used by many other competing products, namely the front camera. This is intended for the recognition of our face but, at present, it is easily deceitful and is not absolutely foolproof. A dim environment, or some extra gadgets such as hats and glasses, is enough to send this system into crisis.
Hardware & Performance
This device can count on a SoC Kirin HiSilicon 820, therefore a chipset with the following configuration: 1 x 76 GHz Cortex-A2,36 + 3 x 76 GHz Cortex-A2,22 + 4 x 55 GHz Cortex-A1,84. It is therefore a mid-range CPU that, however, winks at the high end, guaranteeing excellent performance on paper. To all this, however, we also add one GPU Mali-G57 and a single one NPU (Neural Processing Unit). Taking a look at the memories, however, we find well 6GB RAM e 128GB of internal memory. We do not have certain data about it but it should be an LPDDR4X RAM and a memory for the internal storage of UFS 2.1 data.
In this respect, I have not encountered any problems with this smartphone, always resulting rather fluid and quick. I must say that the performances are good in every context, even when using many different apps in a short time. Here the RAM is not managed too conservatively but, obviously, after several tens of minutes of non-use of a software this is eliminated from the memory to make room for the new operations. This strategy also helps to keep consumption low.
We will go to see after what are the difficulties in finding them app right but, beyond this aspect, once downloaded they work really well. There was never a message of some sudden shutdown, or a system restart. I must say, therefore, that even in gaming I was quite satisfied with the performance offered. Playing at Call of Duty Mobilein fact, I was able to enjoy an excellent experience, recording a good stable frame-rate. You will also have no problem even with watching videos on YouTube or, alternatively, on some streaming platforms such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. Here you will be able to enjoy the highest possible quality without compromise.
Huawei P40 Lite 5G does not have Google services, clearly relying on HMS. This means, therefore, that we will not have all the comforts we are used to, such as Google Drive, the synchronization automatic contact in case of smartphone change, all Google cloud rescue systems and much more. From a certain point of view, however, within theAppGallery we already find many applications present by default on Android. Only some important software related to banks and other major institutions are missing.
I did not find myself in difficulty on this smartphone, being able to make more or less the usual life. Now, therefore, Huawei offers many more services than before and many more useful applications, such as TrovApp. With the latter, in fact, it will be possible to easily find our favorite app in several alternative stores to the Play Store, such as Amazon AppStore. It is certainly not a device that, once purchased, can be used without any problem from the first start. You have to juggle enough within the various stores, precisely because at the moment the AppGallery is not yet completely complete. And also because in any case we are all fairly connected to the Google world.
Despite all the problems related to Google services, this device always offers the usual system apps and the usual level of customization. Nothing really is missing, therefore, configuring itself as one of the most complete interfaces. I remind you, in any case, that here we find the EMUI 10.1, of course always based on Android 10 and with security patches dating back to May 1 2020.
Taking a look at the rear of the device we notice the presence of an impressive quad-camera, assisted by the single LED flash. On board, therefore, we find a sensor from 64MP with aperture f / 1.8, a wide-angle lens da 8MP with f / 2.4 aperture, a sensor from 2MP used for the macro with f / 2.4 aperture and an additional sensor from 2MP for the calculation of depth of field.
Huawei always offers the usual camera interface, once again confining the mode HDR within the settings. Perhaps because, at least on this smartphone, this option is absolutely irrelevant. I tried to use it day, even in unfavorable conditions, but does not seem to act much on the final image. Beyond this aspect, however, the daytime photos are rather good, characterized by a good contrast and colors that, although good, are slightly too warm. Despite this, the final yield is excellent, even with the wide-angle sensor, which does not show any slightest distortion. I believe that in its price range it is one of the best in this respect, even at night.
I just want to deepen the discussion about macro. In fact, I was able to take advantage of the Super Macro mode which, in certain respects, returns good quality. We do not find details particularly noteworthy but, overall, the image is more than valid. In case you were not satisfied with the surrender, however, you could still be satisfied with the main room which, from this point of view, does not disappoint the expectations.
Looking at the photos taken of notte we note the presence of very little background grain. The sky is completely black and all the details reproduced in the photos are of excellent quality. I therefore appreciated the management of the artificial lights, good even without using the Night Mode, both with the main lens as with the 2x zoom and the wide angle sensor. The latter, however, is what obviously suffers a little more in this respect. Despite this, the details are well reproduced and with the Night Mode it is possible to obtain an even better quality, with a substantial improvement of the shot especially as regards the image balance and management of artificial light sources.
Inside the hole on the front there is a sensor from 16MP with f / 2.0 aperture, which allows you to get good shots in almost any situation. This component, however, is the one that surely thrilled me the least, returning only sufficient quality in certain cases. You notice, in fact, a lot more photographic noise than the rear photographic sector, losing many details. During the day, moreover, it often tends to burn some parts of the image, perhaps also due to the lack of a HDR automatic. Obviously during the day the yield is quite good but, at night, the quality drops drastically.
With this smartphone it is also possible to shoot videos in 1080p to 30fps or 4k, always a 30fps. I don't know why there is no option to take advantage of 60fps, at least in 1080p. Despite this, the quality is fair, as the image, although stabilized, suffers from the typical noise, at the software level, which clearly shows how the system is working to make the movie as stable as possible. Beyond this aspect, then, the auto focus it is good, as is the response to various light changes.
It is certainly not one of those devices with which you can shoot short films, but for a few clips on vacation, it can be more than good.
Connectivity & Audio
By extracting the SIM trolley, you immediately notice the double slot which, therefore, can contain simultaneously two nanoSIM or, alternatively, one nanoSIM and one NM SD card. Here it is possible, in fact, expand internal memory up to 256GB. As also revealed by the name of the product, it is possible to navigate with 5G, if you have an adequate contract. In my case I could not test this functionality, having to settle for just the 4G +. I have not noticed, however, any malfunction in the exterior, managing to guarantee excellent coverage in almost every point of the city, even those usually more shielded. The same goes for Wi-Fi, in this case a module 802.11a / b / g / n / ac Dual Band. There is also the Bluetooth 5.1, an entrance USB Type-C 2.0, audio jack 3,5mm, NFC, GPS / AGPS / GLONASS / Galileo / QZSS. All these components work perfectly, including satellite navigation that has allowed me on more than one occasion not to get lost in some villages in Piedmont.
At the audio level we find a unique speaker mono which, however, is really excellent. Unlike what happens on other competing devices, the frequencies here are quite distinct and there is a good sound depth. Although the volume is not very high, there are no distortions and the bass, although not very marked, is present. So I was quite satisfied with the quality returned by this component. Even in the call, then, the performances are good, with the headset capsule which offers a clear and clean voice even in slightly more crowded places.
There is a battery under the glass body 4.000 mAh. Many users support it but, often, few believe it. I must admit, therefore, that the autonomy of this smartphone is stunning, allowing me to reach in one day 9 hours and 30 minutes of active screen, on a basis of 18 hours of continuous use (with still a good 20% of residual charge). During this stress day I tried to make the most of the device, dedicating myself several hours even in gaming on Call of Duty Mobile. Everything was seasoned, then, by a mix of Wi-Fi and LTE network, with 4 mail accounts synchronized in the background, several open apps, active bluetooth, active geolocation.
Going from 10 to 100%, then, does not take too long, taking about it 1 30 hours and minutes thanks to the charger in the package equipped with the Huawei SuperCharge da 40W.
Price & Conclusions
Huawei P40 Lite 5G coast 369 € on the official Huawei website but, at this price, not only the smartphone is offered. In fact, this figure also includes a pair of bluetooth headphones, i.e. Huawei FreeBuds 3i (99 euros) and, furthermore, the Huawei Mini Speaker (29 euros). Find the bundle below.
By looking on the net, however, you can also find it for just over 250/260 euros, therefore a certainly more attractive figure. I believe, in any case, that it is a valid product that, all in all, does not cost excessively even in the price list, especially considering the other two products that are, in fact, given away during the purchase.
You will have to get used to a different system to the one you have always been used to, but after a few hours, you will have an almost perfect device in your hands. It will be possible to download most of your favorite apps, one way or another, except for the Google package. This could be a big problem for someone but with HMS you also earn a lot in terms of consumption. Before I get my hands on the software, with the intention of enabling Google services, therefore, I would think twice. On the photographic level, moreover, in this price range there is not much better, a sign that the goodness of this sector represents, in all respects, the true essence of the Huawei P40 series.