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Huawei's P40 series of smartphones are on sale now in Europe and the UK. The range includes the base P40, the P40 Pro and the P40 Pro Plus, and Huawei hopes they'll take the fight to the likes of the iPhone 11 Pro, Galaxy S20 and OnePlus 8. I've been using the P40 Pro -- the middle child of the three -- and have been putting it through its paces. The phone is available for £900 (about $1,120 or AU$1,770) here in the UK, but due to the US ban on Huawei products, it's not officially on sale in the US.
That ban also means it doesn't use Google apps -- including access to the Google Play Store -- but the phone does have 5G and a good camera. That said, its big brother, the P40 Pro Plus, is even more photography-focused, with the first 10x optical zoom seen on a phone. Photography enthusiasts among you should consider waiting until that phone lands in June, or at least until we've given it our review treatment.
If you're in one of Huawei's consumer markets and are curious about the phone, here are five things you should know about this phone before you consider spending your money.
Read more: 10 best phones under $500
Huawei P40 Pro has no Google apps
Due to the company's ongoing difficulties with the US government, Huawei phones do not use Google services. That means no Google Play Store for apps and no support for services such as Gmail, YouTube, Maps or the Chrome browser. For many of you this will be a deal breaker, particularly if you rely on Google's suite of apps for your work.
But that doesn't mean there are no apps at all. Huawei has its own email client, browser and calendar on board and it also has its own app store. There are plenty of big name apps already available, such as Amazon, TikTok, Adidas Running, SnapChat, PicsArt and the ever-popular Fortnite. There are many more, however, including Instagram or editing apps like Adobe Lightroom that simply aren't available through Huawei's store.
While Facebook and WhatsApp aren't available directly, the store will take you to those apps' web pages, where you can download and install the app (in a .apk file) through the browser. The apps will then appear on the phone and work as normal.
It's important, then, to check and see whether the apps you rely on are available right now. Huawei says it's working closely with developers from all over the world to try and bring many more apps to its store, so it's likely we'll see bigger names appearing over time.
P40 Pro does have 5G
No flagship phone worth its salt in 2020 would launch without 5G connectivity and the P40 Pro is no exception. You'll need to be in an area that has 5G and have a 5G-enabled phone plan to take advantage of the next-gen network. If you're hoping to get those blazing-fast speeds straight away, make sure to check what availability you have in your area before upgrading to any 5G phone.
The P40 Pro's camera is good, but needs improvement
Huawei has a track record of equipping its phones with awesome cameras. The P40 Pro packs four lenses: a standard zoom, a super wide-angle lens, a 5x optical zoom lens and a depth-sensing lens. While the phone's camera skills are certainly up there with the best, it needs some tweaking in the software before it can take the crown as the best of the best.