Back in December, Huawei made plans to announce the P40 series in March. Suffice to say a lot has changed in the world since then, but Huawei is still moving forward with their announcement. The company has now officially revealed the Huawei P40, Huawei P40 Pro, and Huawei P40+ during an online launch event.
The Huawei P40 series was actually kicked off back in February with the P40 Lite, but today we’re finally seeing the flagship offerings. These are Huawei’s latest high-end smartphones for 2020 and they pack tons of features into attractive packages. The display sizes range from 6.1-inches to 6.58-inches, but in general, the family shares many of the same specifications.
Huawei P40 Series: Specifications
|Specifications||Huawei P40||Huawei P40 Pro||Huawei P40 Pro+|
|Size & Weight||
|CPU||Kirin 990 5G OctaCore CPU:
||Kirin 990 5G OctaCore CPU:
||Kirin 990 5G OctaCore CPU:
|Storage||128GB, nano memory card expansion||128/256GB, nano memory card expansion||–|
|Front Cameras||32MP, f/2.2||
|OS||EMUI 10.1 based on Android 10 (no Google services)||EMUI 10.1 based on Android 10 (no Google services)||EMUI 10.1 based on Android 10 (no Google services)|
|Charging||40W wired charging||
|Sensors||Fingerprint sensor, proximity sensor, ambient light, compass, accelerometer||Fingerprint sensor, proximity sensor, ambient light, compass, accelerometer||Fingerprint sensor, proximity sensor, ambient light, compass, accelerometer|
Huawei P40 series: Design
As you would expect, the design of all three devices is fairly similar. They all have rectangular camera modules positioned in the top left corner on the back. All three also feature hole-punch displays with the hole placed in the top left. Speaking of the display, the Pro and Pro+ have 90Hz displays, and Huawei has included what they are calling an “Overflow display” on these.
The Overflow display is a full edge-to-edge display. The edges of the display are curved on all four sides, creating a very smooth transition anywhere you touch. The usable area of the display curves ever so slightly over the edges, but it is far from the “waterfall” display of the Mate 30 Pro. This creates a stunning bezel-less feel without sacrificing usability. The Huawei P40 Pro and P40 Pro+ have 6.58-inch displays, while the P40 has a smaller 6.1-inch flat display.
The display is home to Goodix’s “ultra-thin” optical in-display fingerprint sensor as well. This sensor is 30% bigger and 30% faster than the sensor on the previous generation. Huawei also has some fancy new animations to go along with it. Goodix has also provided the AMOLED touch controller and smart audio amplifier for the P40 series.
Sticking with design, there are a number of color options available. All three models will be available in Ice White, Deep Sea Blue, and Black with glossy finishes. There is also Silver Frost and Blush Gold colors available in a matte finish. The P40 Pro+ has a ceramic back and is available in black and white.
If the giant camera modules didn’t give it away, the Huawei P40 series has a lot going on in the camera department. The headliner on all three devices is a 50MP RYYB 1/1.28” “Ultra Vision Sensor.” This camera boasts the highest light intake, higher dynamic range, and lower noise compared to the 40MP sensor on last year’s P30 series.
To go along with the bigger sensor, the Huawei P40 series also has a new HD Image Engine. This is the company’s 3rd generation AI image engine and it has a number of improvements. It goes pixel-by-pixel looking at lossless image separation, optimizing every scene possible, and it does this at any focal length. You can take large photos and chop them up into smaller photos without losing quality.
Another cool trick is “Super Resolution.” The phone takes information from the main camera and telephoto lens and merges them together to create a boosted resolution image. The features work with the XD Fusion Engine so you can zoom in and crop to create crisp images at any time of day.
Speaking of zoom, the P40 series has plenty of abilities when it comes to zoom. The standard P40 can do 3X optical zoom, which is good for portraits. The P40 Pro can do 5X optical zoom with the SuperSensing SuperZoom Lens. The P40 Pro+ has short-range, mid-range, and long-range versatility. It can do 3X optical zoom and 10X optical zoom, plus it claims to smoothly transition between them.
All three devices have a 32MP camera on the front, but the Pro and Pro+ also have an IR depth sensor. In addition to the 50MP main camera, the P40 Pro has a 40MP wide-angle camera, 5MP telephoto lens, and a TOF lens. The P40 Pro+ has, in addition to the main 50MP and 40MP wide-angle cameras, dual 8MP telephoto lens, and a TOF lens.
While the hardware is impressive, it combines with the software to yield much more versatility and function. On the Huawei P40 series, you can take studio-like shots regardless of complexities in the lighting thanks to Multi-Spectrum Color Temperature Sensor with AI AWB Algorithm. The Golden Snap Moment feature takes multiple shots before and the shutter button is pressed and presents you with the three best shots to save; while such a feature has been around on other phones for a while, the presence of this feature on the P40 series is impressive because of the newer camera hardware. The software also enables neat editing tricks such as eliminating photobombing passerby from the image and eliminate reflections when shooting across glass. There’s a Handheld Super Night Mode onboard too.
For video recording, the devices are capable of a fair few things. You can shoot in HDR, 4K 60fps, 4K timelapse, 7680fps super slow motion, super-steady telephoto video recording with OIS plus AIS. The phones are also capable of audio zoom thanks to the 3 stereo microphones. Of course, there is Pro Mode on the camera too for video recording.
Let’s talk about performance. The P40 series is equipped with the Kirin 990 5G SoC, which includes the 16-core Mali-G76 GPU. The P40 Pro+ has a 4 layer SuperCool system, 3D graphene film, and a super-thin Vapor Chamber cooling system. The P40 has a 3,800mAh battery, while the P40 Pro and Pro+ have 4,200mAh batteries. All three have 40W wired charging, while the Pro and Pro+ also have 40W wireless charging with the Huawei charging pad.
The Huawei P40 series comes with the company’s EMUI skin, which in this case is EMUI 10.1 based on Android 10. Huawei is including a new preloaded app called “MeeTime.” This is a video/audio calling app similar to FaceTime and Google Duo. It claims to have the best resolution in poor network bandwidth situations. Some of the other features include background changing, screen sharing, and tablet support.
Google apps are obviously a big topic with Huawei devices and the P40 does not include them. Huawei has 3,000 engineers working on HMS Core (Huawei Mobile Services) development. They partnered with Qwant for Search in Europe. Huawei also has its alternative to Instant Apps called “Huawei Quick App.”
Huawei also has its own Voice Assistant on EMUI 10.1 on the P40 series, called Celia. You can summon the voice assistant with the command “Hey Celia”, or by holding the power button for a second. Celia can help you with regular daily tasks, such as initiating phone calls and texts, setting up calendar appointments and reminders, start voice recording, translate sentences, play music, videos, toggle device settings and flashlight, and of course, search for information such as sports, weather, and more. Celia is compatible with HiVision AI Lens and AI touch-shopping. Celia will be available in UK, France, Spain, Chile, Mexico, and Colombia in languages such as English (UK), French, and Spanish.