Best Huawei phones 2021: all the top Huawei phones, ranked

These are the best Huawei smartphones right now

Huawei P40
(Image credit: Huawei)

In recent years the best Huawei phones have emerged out of China and expanded rapidly into other markets across the world – and they can stake a valid claim to be some of the very best smartphones available at the moment, in most of the key categories that matter.

There is one major caveat, in that US trade restrictions mean Huawei can't currently do business with Google or install Android on its handsets – and that affects the apps you can run. It's a huge shame, because Huawei really made a name for itself making some of the best Android phones. However, the Huawei AppGallery is slowly catching up in terms of the big name apps.

Software aside, there's no arguing with the build quality and the camera capabilities and the gorgeous screens that you get with the best Huawei phones on the market. If you're more of Samsung phone fan, though, be sure to check out T3's best Samsung phones guide, too.

Read on for our full ranking of how the best and most recent handsets stack up against each other.

Huawei P40 best Huawei phones 2021

(Image credit: Huawei)

1. Huawei P40

The best Huawei phone for most people

Specifications
Weight: 175 g
Dimensions: 148.9 mm x 71.1 mm x 8.5 mm
OS: Android 10, EMUI 10.1
Screen size: 6.1 inches
Resolution: 1080 x 2340 pixels
CPU: Kirin 990 5G
RAM: 6GB / 8GB
Storage: 128GB / 256GB
Battery: 3800 mAh
Rear camera: 50MP wide + 8MP telephoto x3 zoom + 16MP ultrawide
Front camera: 32MP wide
Reasons to buy
+Good price/performance balance+Excellent rear triple-lens camera

Polished, premium, packed with power... there's a lot to like about the Huawei P40, and given its competitive price we think it's the best Huawei phone for most people at the moment. It manages to balance some very decent specs and features with a price that's not going to overwhelm your finances.

The phone runs on a speedy Kirin 990 5G processor, and that's combined with 6GB or 8GB of RAM, as well as 128GB or 256GB of internal storage (which you can expand with a memory card if needed). Those specs are enough to get your apps running very quickly indeed, and on top of that you've got 5G connectivity and an excellent triple-lens 50MP+16MP+8MP rear camera, with an ultrawide mode and 3x optical zoom.

Around the front of the phone there's a fantastic-looking 6.1-inch, 1080 x 2340 pixel OLED screen – Huawei usually excels in the quality of its phone displays, and this one is no different. It's super-sharp, super-bright, and caps off what we think is definitely one of the best phones on the market right now (Huawei or otherwise).

Huawei Mate 40 Pro best Huawei phones 2021

(Image credit: Huawei)

2. Huawei Mate 40 Pro

The best premium Huawei phone

Specifications
Weight: 212 g
Dimensions: 162.9 mm x 75.5 mm x 9.1 mm
OS: Android 10, EMUI 11
Screen size: 6.76 inches
Resolution: 1344 x 2772 pixels
CPU: Kirin 9000 5G
RAM: 8GB
Storage: 256GB / 512GB
Battery: 4400 mAh
Rear camera: 50MP wide + 12MP periscope telephoto 5x zoom + 20MP ultrawide
Front camera: 13MP ultrawide
Reasons to buy
+Bright and beautiful screen+5x optical zoom camera

If you really want the very best that Huawei can offer at the moment – and you're prepared to pay for it – then we'd direct your attention towards the Huawei Mate 40 Pro. This is a monster of a phone from front to back, starting with the giant 6.76-inch, 1344 x 2772 pixel OLED screen at the top, which runs at a bumped up refresh rate of 90Hz.

Around the back the rear camera impresses too. It's made up of a 50MP wide lens, a 12MP periscope telephoto lens, and a 20MP ultrawide lens. Thanks to that periscope lens system, where the optics are organised vertically down the back of the case to save on room, you get up to 5x optical zoom. The camera is capable of some fantastic results, no matter what the lighting.

As for the rest of the specs, we've got a top-end Kirin 9000 5G processor, 5G connectivity, 8GB of RAM and either 256GB or 512GB of internal storage, which you can expand with a memory card if you want to. The phone even boasts IP68-rated water and dust resistance, for that extra bit of peace of mind.

Huawei P40 Lite best Huawei phones 2021

(Image credit: Huawei)

3. Huawei P40 Lite

The best budget Huawei phone

Specifications
Weight: 183 g
Dimensions: 159.2 mm x 76.3 mm x 8.7 mm
OS: Android 10, EMUI 10
Screen size: 6.4 inches
Resolution: 1080 x 2310 pixels
CPU: Kirin 810
RAM: 6GB
Storage: 128GB
Battery: 4200 mAh
Rear camera: 48MP wide + 8MP ultrawide + 2MP macro + 2MP depth
Front camera: 16MP wide
Reasons to buy
+Very affordable phone+Four cameras on the back

If you're willing to make a few compromises in terms of specs and features, you can get a Huawei phone for not very much money at all – as the Huawei P40 Lite demonstrates. For the money that you're paying, we'd say you get very good value for money, starting with the polished design and the 6.4-inch, 1080 x 2310 pixel LCD display.

Running everything you've got a Kirin 810 processor, 6GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage, which is expandable – not too shabby at all – and there's a quad-lens, 48MP+8MP+2MP+2MP rear camera here too with an ultrawide mode. As you would expect from Huawei, camera quality is very good, and the overall fit and finish of the phone is impressive as well.

Okay, you miss out on certain features – waterproofing, wireless charging and optical zoom on the camera – but this is an extremely affordable way of getting your foot on the Huawei ladder, and it's a phone that's not going to let you down at all.

Huawei Nova 5T best Huawei phones 2021

(Image credit: Huawei)

4. Huawei Nova 5T

The best Huawei phone with Google apps

Specifications
Weight: 174 g
Dimensions: 154.3 mm x 74 mm x 7.8 mm
OS: Android 10, EMUI 10
Screen size: 6.26 inches
Resolution: 1080 x 2340 pixels
CPU: Kirin 980
RAM: 6GB / 8GB
Storage: 128GB
Battery: 3750 mAh
Rear camera: 48MP wide + 16MP ultrawide + 2MP macro + 2MP depth
Front camera: 32MP wide
Reasons to buy
+Runs Google apps+Very appealing price

The Huawei Nova 5T is one of the older phones in the Huawei line-up these days, but therein lies its greatest strength: it predates the US trade ban, and so comes with full fat Android and the Google Play Store. You won't have any problems installing your favourite apps on the Nova 5T as you might have on other handsets from the company.

The phone sports a 6.26-inch, 1080 x 2340 pixel LCD display, a quad-lens 48MP+16MP+2MP+2MP rear camera, 6GB or 8GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage – that should be enough for most people, and it will have to be if you buy the Huawei Nova 5T, because there's no option to expand it with a memory card.

There's no wireless charging, no waterproofing, no 5G and not as much power as you can find on other, newer Huawei handsets – but you can find the Huawei Nova 5T for a very attractive price online, and with full access to the Google Play Store it's still worth a look as one of the best Huawei phones around.

Huawei P40 Pro best Huawei phones 2021

(Image credit: Huawei P40 Pro)

5. Huawei P40 Pro

A bit more screen for a bit more money

Specifications
Weight: 209 g
Dimensions: 158.2 mm x 72.6 mm x 9 mm
OS: Android 10, EMUI 10.1
Screen size: 6.58 inches
Resolution: 1200 x 2640 pixels
CPU: Kirin 990 5G
RAM: 8GB
Storage: 128GB / 256GB / 512GB
Battery: 4200 mAh
Rear camera: 50MP wide + 12MP periscope telephoto 5x zoom + 40MP ultrawide
Front camera: 32MP wide
Reasons to buy
+Packed with power+Screen looks great

There's not a huge amount of difference between the three Huawei P40 models, and while we think the standard P40 is probably the best deal overall, it's easy to recommend the Huawei P40 Pro as well. The internals – Kirin 990 CPU, 8GB RAM, and local storage of 128GB, 256GB or 512GB – are almost identical to the standard P40, but there are changes to the camera and screen.

The OLED screen is bigger on the Pro model, measuring 6.58 inches from corner to corner. It also ups the refresh rate to 90Hz and comes with HDR10 support, so you should get a smoother visual experience with better colour balance. The triple-lens, 50MP+12MP+40MP rear camera ups the optical zoom from 3x to 5x as well.

Wireless charging is added, as is better waterproofing, which is all well and good. If you can afford the Pro model then by all means go for it, as it's another excellent phone from Huawei – we just think most people will be happy with paying less for the standard P40.

Huawei Mate Xs best Huawei phones 2021

(Image credit: Huawei)

6. Huawei Mate Xs

The best foldable Huawei phone

Specifications
Weight: 300 g
Dimensions: 161.3 mm x 146.2 mm x 5.4 mm (unfolded)
OS: Android 10, EMUI 10
Screen size: 8 inches (unfolded)
Resolution: 2200 x 2480 pixels (unfolded)
CPU: Kirin 990 5G
RAM: 8GB
Storage: 512GB
Battery: 4500 mAh
Rear camera: 40MP wide + 8MP telephoto 3x zoom + 16MP ultrawide
Reasons to buy
+It folds!+Top-end performance

Huawei was one of the first smartphone makers to jump into producing foldable devices, and the Huawei Mate Xs is the company's best effort at the form factor to date. If you're willing to pay top dollar for cutting edge tech, then the Huawei Mate Xs might be the next-gen phone upgrade you've been looking for.

It certainly has that wow factor: when the device is closed shut you've still got a very spacious 6.6-inch display, but open it up and you've got a screen that's 8 inches from corner to corner – plenty of room for your apps, movies and games, and even enough room to get apps up alongside each other. Huawei calls it a Falcon Wing design, and it's a sight to behold.

There's lots more to like about the phone as well. It features a super-fast Kirin 990 processor, 8GB of RAM, 512GB of internal storage and 5G connectivity. Around the back – or maybe that's the front – there's a quad-lens 40MP+8MP+16MP+TOF camera with 3x optical zoom and an ultrawide mode.

Huawei P40 Pro Plus best Huawei phones 2021

(Image credit: Huawei)

7. Huawei P40 Pro Plus

Another of the best Huawei phones around right now

Specifications
Weight: 226 g
Dimensions: 158.2 mm x 72.6 mm x 9 mm
OS: Android 10, EMUI 10.1
Screen size: 6.58 inches
Resolution: 1200 x 2640 pixels
CPU: Kirin 990 5G
RAM: 8GB
Storage: 256GB / 512GB
Battery: 4200 mAh
Rear camera: 50MP wide + 8MP periscope telephoto 10x zoom + 8MP telephoto 3x zoom + 40MP ultrawide
Front camera: 32MP wide
Reasons to buy
+Really nicely finished+Premium-level specs

There's even less difference between the Huawei P40 Pro Plus and the Huawei P40 Pro than there is between the Pro and standard P40, but this is yet another option that you could go for if you find the combination of looks, specs and price appealing – and it's another excellent handset from Huawei.

The internals of the P40 Pro Plus match the internals of the P40 Pro very closely, although there's no 128GB storage option on the Huawei P40 Pro Plus. The 6.58-inch, 1200 x 2640 pixel, 90Hz OLED display is the same, though you do get an extra camera lens on the back, as well as a periscope zoom that goes all the way up to 10x. If you need the very best that the P40 series has to offer, this is it.

The P40 Plus also offers slightly faster wireless charging compared with the P40 Pro, and it comes in different finishes too – a white ceramic or black ceramic finish are your options here. It's another hugely impressive bit of kit from Huawei, though it will cost you more than the Huawei P40 and the Huawei P40 Pro.