We just couldn't miss the opportunity to take Huawei's newest flagship for a photo shootout with some of the best among the flagships and the samples are in.
The Huawei P40 Pro shoots excellent daylight photos - those match the detail and the punchy colors on the S20 Ultra images. The P30 Pro and the iPhone 11 Pro pictures show more resolved detail in some photos, while in other scenes, the P40 Pro resolves better the finest details. We'd call this match a tie.
Huawei P40 Pro is an absolute winner in terms of quality when it comes to ultrawide photos. Its images are superb in detail, colors, and contrast. If only they were really ultrawide though - their field of view is inferior to the super-wide 13mm shots coming from the Galaxy and the iPhone and you can quickly tell that by just looking at the thumbs below.
The Huawei P40 Pro is also superior when it comes to 5x zoom. Its tele camera has a 12MP sensor, and hence it easily beats the upscaled photos coming from the 8MP P30 Pro shooter. Same for the Galaxy - the S20 Ultra native zoom is 4x, and the phone digitally zooms and crops to achieve the promised 5x.
The Galaxy and the P30 Pro are more accurate when it comes to color presentation, not that the P40 Pro is bad though.
The Huawei P40 Pro is a good camera phone at nighttime, but best it is not. Its images are often better than the regular ones from the iPhone 11 Pro Max (we disabled the iPhone's Night Mode for this first round of comparisons). And even then - iPhone stills had better color reproduction - meaning they lack the reddish tint.
The S20 Ultra beats the P40 even if by a whisker - its got bright and sharp images but they are also noisier than the P40's.
Huawei P30 Pro is also a good shooter, but the P40 Pro shots are both brighter and have less noise and fewer (if any) blown highlights.
The Huawei P40 Pro Night Mode isn't improving on the regular still that much although the shots are a bit brighter but far less detailed. The mode is mostly on par with the iPhone's and the P30's Night Modes.
The Galaxy S20 Ultra once again excels in this shootout with amazingly bright, detailed and lively Night Mode shots and easily outperforms the Huawei's and the iPhone.
Without a shadow of a doubt, the Huawei P40 Pro has the best ultrawide camera with sharp, detailed and noise-free photos that also kept a very good color saturation. It is not as wide as the competition, but as far as quality goes - it's miles ahead.
Unfortunately, the P40 Pro's standard photos from the ultrawide camera are so good that it's only downhill from there. And that's the case with the ultrawide Night Mode - it takes 8+ seconds and is pretty much pointless on the P40 Pro - the quality is much worse, and the S20 Ultra and P30 Pro easily beat it.
But even with their Night Modes, the Samsung and the old P30 can't match the quality of the regular ultrawide stills.
The iPhone 11 Pro Max doesn't offer Night Mode for its ultrawide camera. And apologies for missing one of the scenes with the P30 Pro.
The Huawei P40 Pro has the best 5x zoomed photos at night because its camera shoots in native 12MP and does no upscaling as the S20 Ultra's (native 4x) and the P30 Pro (native 8MP).
There is a noticeable red tint be this is something that will be tuned properly before the phone hits the shelves.
The Night Mode with these long-range snappers requires one very steady hand, but it's worth it. While the Galaxy S20 Ultra has the brightest shots, the P40 Pro saves the most detailed and sharp. The red tint isn't as visible here.
We can't say the Huawei P40 Pro is the best camera phone out there, but it is among the best, that's for sure. Its ultrawide camera performance is unmatched, it also excels in the long-range photography even if plagued by the red tinge. We expected the main camera to be a bigger upgrade compared to the P30 Pro's camera, but we aren't disappointed either. We were also surprised to see that the other manufacturers have all caught up with Huawei in regards to their Night modes, so that's a testament at the fast pace this industry moves at.