Update: March 13, 2020 (05:30 PM ET): We’ve updated the article with recently leaked renders and spec information about the Huawei P40 Pro Premium Edition. Read on for more details!
Original Article: November 18, 2019 (11:11 AM ET): Huawei is on track to launch its flagship Huawei P40 smartphone series. The Chinese firm is clearly undeterred even though it is still barred from using Google services on its phones.
In fact, the US ban has pushed Huawei to strengthen its base in China, where its smartphone business is now doing better than ever. Huawei is investing a billion dollars into its own suite of mobile services, rivaling Google’s offerings. A big chunk of that investment is also going into creating a viable library of apps to counter the Play Store.
Related: Huawei rotating chairman says survival is ‘first priority’ in 2020
With all this in the works, it’ll be interesting to see how Huawei ups its game with the new P40 lineup.
Last year, the Huawei P30 series brought excellent cameras and great specs in a well-designed package. Can Huawei strike all the right chords once again with the Huawei P40, P40 Pro, and P40 Pro Premium Edition? Here’s what we’ve heard so far.
Huawei P40 series: Name and launch date
Huawei has confirmed that it’ll announce the Huawei P40 series on March 26, 2020. The manufacturer recently revealed a teaser banner for the launch, and it confirms that it’s now an online event.
According to recent leaks, there could be three new flagships in the P40 series — the Huawei P40, Huawei P40 Pro, and Huawei P40 Pro Premium Edition. There is also the Huawei P40 Lite, which the company quietly launched in Spain on February 27, 2020.
Currently, only the P40 moniker is confirmed. Going by the names of last year’s flagships, it’s believed that at least two phones in the series will be called the P40 and P40 Pro. The name of the third premium version is still unconfirmed.
One of the major differences between the three rumored Huawei P40 flagships is their camera setup. The Huawei P40 is expected to come with triple rear cameras. Meanwhile, the P40 Pro and P40 Pro Premium Edition are said to come with quad- and penta-camera arrays, respectively. We’ll talk more about them in the camera section below.
Let’s first take a look at the design of the new phones.
Huawei P40 series design
Leaked renders show that the Huawei P40 features a flat punch-hole display, though our recent “hands-on” suggests it could feature a curved one. The renders also reveal a pill-shaped cutout on the top left corner of the screen housing two selfie shooters.
The P40 Pro most likely features a curved display, and recent P40 Pro Premium Edition renders also reveal a similar curved display as seen below.
Besides the possible varying displays and the camera layouts, all three devices look almost identical in renders.
A recent report claimed the P40 and P40 Pro are expected to launch in five gradient colorways: Black, Blush Gold, Silver Frost, Deep Sea Blue, and Ice White.
However, tipster Evan Blass tweeted out an image of a sixth new color for the P40 Pro which can only be described as mint green. Do note, though, that that is not likely the official name of the colorway. You can see it in the image below.
Notably, none of the renders we’ve seen so far show a 3.5mm jack on either the P40 or P40 Pro. Instead, both phones are seen sporting a USB-C port and nothing else. We expected the Pro variant to skip the headphone jack, but the vanilla Huawei P30 featured the much-loved port last year. It seems that Huawei is fully abandoning it going forward.
A possible leaked image of the pro variant recently made its way to Chinese social media site Weibo that backs up some of the previous claims. We only see the front of the device in the image, yet there are still a few things we can glean from this potential hands-on.
The device in the image appears to feature a substantially curved display and the previously rumored dual-front facing cameras. We also get a look at the crazy thin bezels on all four sides and the possible antenna bands on the top and bottom of the device. Unfortunately, we don’t get a look at the sides or back of the handset, so this is all we have to go on so far.
Also, keep in mind there is no way to know if this is a real Huawei P40 Pro or not. A few people are skeptical in the Weibo post’s comments, so take this image and the information we gathered from it with a grain of salt.
Related: What to expect after my blind date with the Huawei P40
Though we have yet to see the device in the flesh, we have felt it…literally. Our very own Robert Triggs went hands-on with the upcoming Huawei P40 in London. He didn’t see the phone but he was allowed to touch it hidden away in a box.
Thanks to this experience, we have a pretty good idea of what to expect from the Huawei P40 series’ design. Unsurprisingly, the previously mentioned renders seem fairly accurate.
We can expect a large rear camera housing on the back of the phone, which we may have gotten a small glimpse of in a piece of Huawei promotional material. The Huawei P40 will also feature a curved display, though it’s certainly not as drastic as the Huawei Mate 30 Pro’s. The power button and small volume rocker remain on the upper right side while a headphone jack is completely absent from the device.
Representatives at the event also teased the Huawei P40 range may feature some new materials, but they didn’t reveal any specifics. A spokesperson noted Huawei has worked with vegan leather before, so that is within the realm of possibility and could resemble the recently announced Oppo Find X2 Pro.
The cameras on P40 phones are expected to be their highlight. A tipster gave us a glimpse at what these camera setups would look like. Check out the images in the embedded tweet below.
P40, P40Pro and P40ProPE #HuaweiP40Pro #HuaweiP40 pic.twitter.com/72EccMfk98
— Teme (特米) (@RODENT950) January 17, 2020
As you can see, there are three rear shooters on the regular P40, while the pro and premium variants get four and five rear sensors, respectively. These images are obviously unconfirmed right now but are in line with leaked renders of the phones.
Up close, the camera systems on all the alleged P40 variants have Leica-branded lenses.
The Huawei P40’s triple rear cameras are rumored to include a primary sensor, an ultra-wide sensor, and a ToF sensor. There’s no word on the configuration of the three lenses.
The P40 Pro could add an 8MP telephoto sensor to the mix to complete its rumored quad camera setup.
We’ve heard that the both the P40 Pro and the P40 Pro Premium Edition will facilitate 10x optical zoom. Not too many phones have this capability, with even the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra only having 5x optical zoom.
Recently leaked information suggests the P40 Pro Premium Edition’s camera setup will tout a 52MP primary shooter, a 40MP lens, an 8MP ultra-wide lens, a 3D ToF sensor, and a periscopic camera around back. In front, the device should come with a 32MP shooter and another 3D ToF sensor.
There’s also talk of the Huawei P40 Pro being equipped with a 52MP custom Sony sensor, possibly the same one rumored for the premium variant. The camera is said to apply two 4-in-1 Quad Bayer conversions to achieve a 16-in-1 pixel-binned shot.
We’re hoping to get more concrete details on the camera setup of the P40 series closer to the launch date.
Other hardware specifications
Huawei makes its own chipsets, so the company will most likely use the latest flagship Kirin processor on the P40 series.
The phones can be expected to run on the Kirin 990 5G chipset, which is Huawei’s first SoC with an integrated 5G modem. It’s also 4G/5G multi-mode compliant, meaning that the P40 series would support both 4G and 5G networks. The chipset was previously featured on the Huawei Mate 30 and Honor View 30 series. Recent China 3C certification seems to back up the devices’ 5G capabilities, so that’s pretty much a given at this point.
If you’re wondering why the P40 series will feature a 2019 chipset, it’s probably because the rumored Kirin 1000 chipset is said to debut on the Mate 40 series slated for later this year.
Related: Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 vs Kirin 990 vs Exynos 990: How do they compare?
If 5G service isn’t active in your area, you still should see some great networking capabilities. Chinese outlet ITHome reports that the Huawei P40 series will offer a Huawei-developed system called Wi-Fi 6 Plus. As one would expect from the moniker, it will be Wi-Fi 6 but even faster. We’ll need to test this out ourselves, though.
Beyond the networking capabilities of the devices, one rumor suggests the P40 Pro Premium Edition could tout 12GB of RAM and 512GB of storage. Unfortunately, we haven’t heard anything about the other two models’ storage and RAM configurations.
Another tip says the P40 Pro will come with a 5,500mAh battery and 50W fast charging. Though this would be good news, other leaks suggest this will be the setup for the premium variant, and the previously mentioned 3C certification reveals some conflicting information about the Pro model.
According to the certification, one model (presumably the standard P40) supports 22.5W charging, while the other model (presumably the Pro variant) supports 40W charging. This means we’re likely looking at the same charging speed for the Huawei P40 and P40 Pro as its predecessors, though it’s possible Huawei will tweak other elements to enable faster charging.
There’s no word yet on the battery capacity for the standard P40, and neither capacity nor charging abilities have been rumored about the Lite variant.
In terms of display, the Huawei P40 could get a flat 6.1-inch or 6.2-inch panel. The P40 Pro is expected to feature a 6.5-inch to 6.7-inch waterfall OLED Quad HD+ display. The P40 Pro Premium Edition should tout a 6.7-inch 3,160×1,440 panel.
Rumor has it that the phones would sport a 120Hz display refresh rate, just like the Galaxy S20 series and the upcoming OnePlus 8 and Poco X2 phones.
We’re expecting the Huawei P40 series to debut with Huawei Mobile Services (HMS). There won’t be any Google apps such as Gmail, Maps, Google Play Store, etc. available on the phones as the US ban continues to be in effect.
HMS includes services such as the Huawei App Gallery, Huawei Browser, and more. We also recently heard that the company has partnered with TomTom to create a Google Maps alternative for its phones.
Related: What is Harmony OS? Huawei’s Android rival explained
Hopefully, Huawei will have something to boast about given its sizeable investments into growing HMS. However, we still think it has a long way to go when it comes to being a true alternative to Google’s suite of services.
Huawei P40 series price and availability
The Huawei P30 Pro was priced at €1,000 (~$1,100) when it launched and the P30 cost €800 (~$880) when it was first released. The P40 series is expected to be cheaper in comparison.
Rumor has it that the P40 will be priced around €600 (~$660). So if we go by the €200 (~$220) price difference from last year, the P40 Pro could cost €800 (~$880), while the premium variant could come in close to €1,000 (~$1,100).
Huawei is probably lowering prices for the new flagships due to the lack of Google services on its phones. A cheaper price tag could bolster sales for the spec-heavy flagships, negating the lack of Google apps. However, we can’t be sure of these leaked prices so we’ll need to wait some more before other trusted sources corroborate this leak.
Now that you know what to expect from the upcoming Huawei P40 series, we’d love to hear your thoughts. Head to the comments section below to tell us what you think.
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