Huawei P40, P40 Pro, Pro Plus launched online
Amidst trying times, Huawei has announced its next generation of flagship mobile devices via live stream today. The Huawei P40, P40 Pro and P40 Pro Plus follow up the groundbreaking P30 series phones in terms of photography and performance.
Originally slated to happen in Paris, the launch was scaled back to an online-only event due to Covid-19, formerly known as the novel coronavirus.
Ultra Vision Leica penta camera array
Huawei’s 2020 devices come in three variants. The P40 Pro Plus (stylised as the P40 Pro+) comes with a Penta camera array arranged in a rectangle that sits flush to the top left corner on the rear of the device.
The camera cluster houses an ultra-wide cine camera at 40 megapixels at f/1.8, an “Ultra Vision” standard 50-megapixel RYYB f/1.9 unit and an 8-megapixel 10x periscope telephoto lens that provides the 35mm equivalent of 240mm of zoom. At 1/1.28 inches, the main RYYB sensor is one of the largest sensors on current smartphones, which might improve low-light performance.
On the other column is an f/2.4 3x optical telephoto lens at 8-megapixels, a time-of-flight depth camera and a dedicated colour temperature sensor.
While the camera array is quite the mouthful, there are several main improvements from the P30. On the P40 phones is a new Golden Snap feature that intelligently selects the best photo in a burst. However, unlike Top Shot on the Google Pixel 3, it also removes unwanted reflections or people in the background.
On the front, the P40 has also been improved with a 32-megapixel f/2.2 selfie camera that now shoots 4K 60p video, along with a depth sensor for depth bokeh effects and for face unlock.
Video has been a particular point of focus on the Huawei P40 phones, with improved stabilisation and directional audio zoom that uses the microphone array onboard the phone to cancel out environmental noise.
With what the company calls an Overflow display, the Huawei P40 phones are gently curved not only on the long sides, but also on the top and bottom. This makes for one of the most immersive display experiences on a smartphone, with the screen seemingly pushed all the way to the edges.
The 6.58-inch OLED display on the Huawei P40 Pro and Pro Plus has also been boosted in terms of refresh rate, with Pro variants going up to 90Hz.
A pill-shaped hole-punch is offset to the left side, housing the 32-megapixel selfie camera, ToF sensor and infrared hardware for face unlock. There’s also no speaker grille at the top, replaced by the Acoustic Display that vibrates the screen for calls.
The standard Huawei P40 has a smaller 6.1-inch display without the curves, drops the infrared face unlock, and has a more standard 60Hz refresh rate for its display. All three variants, however, support in-display fingerprint scanners that are 30% bigger and 30% faster.
The P40 will also be only IP53 water resistant as compared to the IP68 of the Pro and Pro Plus devices.
As with previous Huawei P- and Mate-series flagship devices, the Huawei P40 is no slouch when it comes to performance. All variants sport the Kirin 990 chip used on last year’s Mate 30 but will be all 5G-capable, while supporting the latest WiFi 6 connectivity. The Pro variants support 40-watt wireless charging.
The Huawei P40 devices have also been improved in terms of reverse wireless charging.
Huawei has doubled down on software development and has partnered with companies to create versions of apps on Huawei Mobile Services to add to its AppGallery. That means that you will be able to find Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp when you boot up your P40 device.
The embattled Chinese telecommunications giant has also introduced MeeTime, a video chat service, along with Celia, its proprietary voice assistant. It is also currently working with TomTom to create an alternative to the ubiquitous Google Maps.
Pricing and availability
The Huawei P40 devices will be available from 7th April 2020, with prices starting from EUR 799 (SGD 1,260) for the base Huawei P40. The Huawei P40 Pro will start from EUR 999 (SGD 1,576), while the P40 Pro Plus will be available in June, starting from EUR 1,399 (SGD 2,207).
Local prices and availability in Singapore is to be confirmed. Amounts in SGD are based on conversion rates at the time of publishing.