Round-up: Cases for the Huawei P40 Pro

As usual for my case roundups, I'll cover a variety of styles, with most samples supplied by MobileFun, kind people that they are. See their complete range of Huawei P40 Pro cases and covers.

But on with the individual cases, each link goes to the relevant product page, of course.

Olixar Slim Leather Wallet, £20

Now, wallet cases like this have obvious pros and cons. On the 'pro' side the phone's screen is normally covered and protected, plus you get to keep a couple of cards in the front slots, perhaps obviating the need to carry  a separate wallet. And, as here, there's the option of part folding the rear half to form a stand for watching media on your P40 Pro in landscape mode. Win!

On the other hand... there's the thickness when closed, typically around 2cm. Ouch. But Olixar has done a good job here of keeping the case as thin as possible:
  • The shell that grips the phone is slender (and shock-absorbing) TPU rather than cheap solid plastic, which tends to be thicker.
  • The rear leather is shaped around the camera island in an 'open' configuration, rather than needing bulky (i.e. thicker) leather to go around it.
  • Only two card slots, so there's a limited amount you can stuff in the front!

All in all, rather well done, and the price is right too, for something that looks and smells the real deal. A magnetic catch is minimalist and works well.

The cutaway look on the back perhaps is a little odd, but you'll get used to it.

Score: 9/10

Olixar Carbon Fibre, £13

The 'Carbon Fibre' design is a favourite of mine, of course. Simple and tough, you get textured and attractive TPU (albeit in black!), with raised top and bottom ends, to help protect in the event of a face-drop.

The sides aren't protected well, but they're suitably grippy and hopefully you won't a) drop the P40 Pro, and b) have it land exactly on one side!

The brushed metal effect is tremendously well done, as usual. Well done, Olixar.

Score: 9/10

Huawei Clear 'Back Cover', £25

Now here's an oddity. The P40 Pro comes with a nice Huawei TPU back cover in the box. (So, ideally, you shouldn't need most of the cases here in the first place!)  And here's a premium Huawei accessory which looks and feels (when in place) almost identical. So what's going on?

The short answer is that you wouldn't buy this unless you'd lost the original. But there are differences and they're in the material itself. While the in-box TPU is soft and bendy, this 'back cover' is much harder and made of denser and more rigid plastic. There's no real advantage once this is on the metal and glass phone, of course, and the protection is nigh on identical, but the higher quality plastic is worth noting anyway.

You do get an official Huawei logo on the back (whether you like it or not - it doesn't come off!), so you can show your brand off as clearly as if you didn't have a case on at all.

In the hand, this Huawei case is perfectly fine, in terms of looks and improving grip. Do note that, as with the in-box original, there's almost zero side or face drop protection, since the screen glass is open to the elements on all sides.

Score: 8/10

Huawei Smart View Flip Cover, £30

This is a very stylish folio design in that the hinge is minimalist fabric and so the front flap can fit snugly inside the corner stays. The result is a very thin profile when cased, yet providing complete front and back protection.

So a lovely folio case then - what's the 'Smart' bit about? Well, don't hold your breath, it's not quite as smart as you'd think. Out of the box, the P40 Pro has a lovely 'always on' time and date display, centred appropriately. With this case on, NFC tags tell the phone of its presence and then the P40 Pro switches to an alternate system, where in you get the same data, but moved over to the right, to shine (dimly) through the smoked front of the folio:

The catch is that this isn't 'always on' anymore. You get the display for a few seconds after closing the folio, or when pressing the side power button, but the 'cased' display is only ever temporary. I've looked for a way to configure this and all you can do in the P40 Pros Settings is set the temporary display to on or off - there's no way to make it truly 'always on'. Sadly.

Which is a shame. The materials used, the fit and finish, are all top notch, but losing a true 'always on display' loses this case at least a point or two. Maybe this can be easily fixed in a software update, Huawei? How would making the 'Smart View Clip' display 'always on' drain any more power than the standard version?

Score: 7/10

Olixar Ultra-Thin, £7

Terrific value, as usual for Olixar's TPU designs. But as with the (expensive) Huawei version above, this is only really a replacement for the in-box original, which is almost identical.

Olixar's is slightly grippier, which is always good, but the same complete lack of protection from all side or face drops is a bit of an issue for such an expensive device. Even the corners are (again) not high enough to lift the screen off a surface when placed face down (e.g. at a restaurant).

At £7 you can't really complain, and it's not Olixar's fault that Huawei headed off a large chunk of the accessory market by supplying such a good (similar) case in every phone box.

Score: 8/10


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