With smartphone cameras, I love taking a quality picture. But I know I lack a certain eye for a great shot. It’s just not my forte. I consider myself to be a bit of a nerd. I love tech specs as much as the next guy. But again, I’ll hold my hands up and say there are people who can run the specs of a phone better than I can. This specific duty falls to DXOMARK and they’ve just released their DXOMARK score for the new Huawei P40 Pro.
Who Is DXO? What is DXOMARK?
DXO is a French company dedicated to photography. The company was founded in 2006 and originally focused on image quality ratings for standalone cameras and lenses. In 2008 they founded DXOMARK. This is an independent benchmark that scientifically assesses smartphones, lenses and cameras. In recent years, there’s been growing interest in the DXOMARK awarded to smartphones.
The old saying is that the best camera for a photo is simply the one you have on you. By focusing on DXOMARK when buying a smartphone, you can ensure that you always have a quality camera on you.
DXO carries out rigorous testing before they grant a DXOMARK and the P40 Pro has already been through the testing process. I’m not ashamed to be leaning on DXO for their opinion on the camera. While I’m currently putting the P40 Pro through its paces, DXO are next-level camera testers.
P40 Pro Primary Camera
Camera arrays on smartphones have started to get quite big. They’re packing more punch than ever. The P40 Pro is certainly following suit. Remember, the P stands for photography.
P40 Pro Camera Hardware
In terms of hardware, the P40 Pro’s quad-camera setup is mighty. Onboard you have:
- 50 MP, f/1.9, 23mm (wide), 1/1.28″, 2.44µm, omnidirectional PDAF, OIS
- 8 MP, f/4.4, 240mm (telephoto), PDAF, OIS, 10x optical zoom
- 8 MP, f/2.4, 80mm (telephoto), PDAF, OIS, 3x optical zoom
- 40 MP, f/1.8, 18mm (ultrawide), 1/1.54″, PDAF
- TOF 3D, (depth)
Between high-resolution shots, the clever periscope lens and AI-assisted shooting, the P40 Pro is all about the camera from the ground up.
DXO picks up on some of the elements that caught my eye already. One of my favourites is the image stabilisation which makes the 50x zoom much more usable.
Fairly limited in being able to test the P40 Pro zoom, but here ya go. Wide angle to regular to 5x and 10x zoom. Nom nom nom. pic.twitter.com/MPrGlwiOvo
— Marty Meany (@martinmeany) March 26, 2020
P40 Pro Camera Software
To those of you who are into your nerdy specs, you might be looking at the hardware and be feeling there’s no real rafts of change from last year’s P30 Pro. I agree with you. However, the big changes come with Huawei’s software improvements.
DXO focus on the P40 Pro’s tele-camera set up to demonstrate this fact. While the P40 Pro uses similar tech to last year’s tele-camera, Huwaei has vastly improved the processing and software. According to DXO, Huawei is now “blowing the rest of the competition pretty much out of the water” when it comes to smartphone zooming. Check out these comparisons.
Another area DXO highlights as a massive area of improvement driven by software is the P40 Pro’s ability to create great Boken shots. Sometimes referred to as Portrait shots, Bokeh photos leave the subject of your photo clear and then blurs the background.
I remember seeing Huawei’s ability to draw on the power of the Kirin 990 chip to differentiate between subject and background of shots down to the pixel. Here’s DXO’s own testing which demonstrates the P40 Pro’s Bokeh effect compared to Huawei’s big competitors.
I’m not going to rattle on about every single feature of the DXO grading system, but video is a worthwhile call out.
P40 Pro Video Ability
The team at DXO was also impressed by the P40 Pro’s video ability. For me, the highlights are the incredible super slo-mo, but that’s just because I have a soft spot for slo-mo. For DXO, stabilisation again was a massive winner. This is something I’m very interested in testing out given the roads iPhone made last year with their stabilisation.
Also featuring on the pros list for the video camera of the Huwaei P40 Pro are vivid colours, fast and accurate autofocus with great tracking.
Here’s a like for like comparison with the P40 Pro and its biggest competitors.
So with all this positivity, what’s the craic with the P40 Pro’s DXOMARK?
P40 Pro DXOMARK
Last year, the P30 Pro scored a 116 DXOMARK. The Mate 30 Pro surprisingly scored a 123 DXOMARK. I say surprisingly because I personally preferred the P30 Pro showing the benefit of independent testing!
Topping the polls until now is the Oppo Find X2 Pro (which I’ve not got to test I’m afraid), the Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro (also untested I’m afraid) and the Huawei Mate 30 Pro 5G (I’ve played with the non-5G version).
This year, the P40 Pro once again tops the polls with a DXOMARK of 128. That’s 4 points ahead of the previous poll topper in the Oppo Find X2 Pro. The P40 Pro scores a 140 for photography and 105 for video.
Here’s a detailed breakdown of the DXOMARK scoring:
That’s the experts view on the P40 Pro. Keep an eye out for my full review in the coming days which looks at living without Google and reviewing all the other features of the Huawei P40 Pro.