Shooting in low-light is no issue for the Mate 40 Pro, as expected. Night time shots have excellent dynamic range with particularly well developed shadows and lower midtones. Colors are nicely saturated, and the phone handles warm street light without the orange hue, we've seen all too often. Detail is great, finding any noise in a tall order.
Photo mode performance is so good that going into Night mode you don't stand to gain too much. Perhaps the one benefit is the minor improvement in highlight development, but it's so small as to not be able to offset the increased shot-taking time and the combined effects of the long exposure and increased sharpening. We'd stick to Photo mode, really.
The telephoto camera fares quite well in low light too. It needs some light to work with, but if gets it, it delivers sharp and detailed shots, noise-free once again. And, once again, dynamic range and colors are properly great. It's worth noting that in very dark conditions the Mate will default to the main cam for telephoto use and those pics do turn out pretty low quality, but you probably don't want to be shooting in such low light anyway.
Night mode guarantees the Mate will use the periscope module. Again, with the already great photo mode 5x zoom photos, its usefulness in most conditions is debatable, but it can salvage a shot in very bad lighting.
The ultra wide angle cam doesn't disappoint either. It's capable of exposing brighter than most competitors without significant quality sacrifices, giving it an edge in shadow development. A common theme across all Mate cameras - wide dynamic range and pleasing colors.
Night mode shots from the ultra wide come out at 12MP and 4:3 aspect ratio, as opposed to the native 20MP and 3:2 ratio. So you'll be getting the sides cropped, making it for a not-very-ultra-wide frame. The drop in resolution compounds with the usual Night mode drop in fine detail to make for fairly unimpressive Night mode ultra wide shots. No worries, the photo mode ones are great anyway.
We extended the impromptu comparison into the night as well. The Mate 40 Pro uses more or less the same main camera as the P40 Pro, but the end results are generally better, with wider dynamic range and notably improved shadow development - it outshines the Note in this respect as well. Both Huaweis have superior noise performance than the Note too, hardly a difference between the two.
The Mate's tendency for brighter shadows continues into zoomed in shooting where it also shows an improvement over the P40 Pro in terms of exposure and dynamic range. The Note is no match in either. The Huaweis are neck and neck for sharpness and detail, the Note trailing behind them.
The Note's ultra wide angle output in low light is almost embarrassing in this company - it's noisier and softer and lacking in fine detail in well lit areas and shadows alike. The Mate 40 Pro is again a couple of notches above the P40 Pro in terms of tonal development, though detail levels look on par to our eyes.
Once you're done with the real world samples, head over to our Photo compare tool to see how the Huawei Mate 40 Pro stacks up against the competition.