Huawei has had a tumultuous six months since the unveiling of the Huawei P30 series, but it is now showing off its next top-end flagship phone in the form of the Huawei P40.
The Huawei P40 family features three different devices; the Huawei P40, Huawei P40 Pro and, a new addition to the line-up for 2020, the Huawei P40 Pro Plus.
These three handsets feature top-end specs to try and combat the Samsung Galaxy S20, Google Pixel 4, and devices like the upcoming iPhone 12 and OnePlus 8. But keep in mind that Huawei’s app selection is lacking compared to those alternatives.
Below we’ve collected together all of the information that we’ve learnt so far about the handsets.
Huawei P40 release date and price
The Huawei P40 is set to hit stores in some regions on April 7 and in Australia on April 16, at a cost of £699 / AU$1,099 (around $870), with the Huawei P40 Pro arriving on the same day for £899 / AU$1,599 (roughly $1,100).
The Huawei P40 Pro Plus meanwhile isn’t scheduled to land until June and will cost €1,399 (approximately $1,500 / £1,300 / AU$2,500).
Of course, aside from the confirmed European and Australian pricing above, the other prices listed won’t be exact conversions and availability in key regions is still unclear.
Huawei handsets have never been widely available in the US, and they’re also a little more uncertain in the UK now they don’t come with Google Mobile Services.
For example, the Huawei Mate 30 Pro launched in September last year but it didn’t come to a UK retailer until early 2020. Even then, it came with little fanfare and a complicated process to set it up.
That means we don’t know how long you’ll be waiting to be able to buy these new handsets.
That said, Huawei is a big brand in Australia and both the Huawei P40 and P40 Pro have been confirmed for release Down Under.
Huawei P40 design and display
The Huawei P40 range of phones don’t look radically different from their predecessors, and the main difference is that the camera array is a little bit bigger, with all the lenses on the back housed in one big bump.
Well, the Huawei P40 Pro has another fairly noticeable change, as while it retains the curved edges, it also has a curved top and bottom. This might make it pretty slippery.
The Huawei P40 range comes with a glass rear, except the P40 Pro Plus which has a ceramic rear that is said to be more scratch-resistant, and apparently feels more premium in the hand.
The Huawei P40 is IP53 water and dust resistant, but the P40 Pro and Pro Plus are IP68-rated, which should make them survive a watery dip should accidents occur.
There’s no notch on any of these phones, with the front-facing cameras instead housed in a pill-shaped cut-out in the top left of the display.
The screen on the Huawei P40 is 6.1 inches with a 2340 x 1080 resolution, while the P40 Pro and Pro Plus are both 6.58 inches with 2640 x 1200 resolutions. All the phones displays have 90Hz refresh rates, a step up over the P30s but less than the 120Hz that a few top-end phones have now.
One improvement here is said to be the in-screen fingerprint sensor, which is apparently 30% bigger so it’s easier to use, and it’s apparently 30% faster too.
Huawei P40 camera
All three of these devices are set to offer a top-end camera experience, but the higher end Huawei P40 Pro Plus is set to be the best experience.
Starting with the Huawei P40, this phone comes with a 16MP ultra-wide-angle f/2.2 shooter, a 50MP RYYB f/1.9 camera and an 8MP telephoto.
That telephoto is capable of shooting up to 3x optical zoom, and it’s likely to be able to do more with a digital zoom. This is the same as the Huawei P30.
The Huawei P40 Pro has a much more powerful camera setup on paper. It features the 50MP main camera from before but a 40MP ultra-wide snapper and a 12MP ‘super-zoom’ telephoto camera. There’s also a Time-of-Flight (ToF) sensor.
This ‘super-zoom’ camera facilitates 10x optical zoom, which is pretty impressive and enough to rival the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra.
The Huawei P40 Pro Plus has even that beat though, as it has the same 50MP main lens along with the 40MP ultra-wide one, but then has an 8MP f/4.4 periscope lens offering 10x optical zoom, and an 8MP f/2.4 telephoto one with 3x optical zoom, plus a ToF sensor. Those dual zoom lenses also allow for 20x hybrid zoom and 100x maximum zoom.
Each of the phones has a 32MP front-facing camera, and the Huawei P40 Pro and Pro Plus both have ToF sensors on the front too.
While pictures taken on the phones should be great, Huawei made a point of the new and improved video-shooting modes like 4K time-lapse, 7680fps ultra-slow-mo, audio zoom (so when you zoom video in the audio only focuses on what’s in frame), and a max of 4K 60fps video shooting (notably not 8K, as many new phones have).
Huawei P40 specs and battery
There’s a Kirin 990 5G chipset in each of the three Huawei P40 phones, which is the accomplished chipset we saw in the Mate 30 from late 2019. It should return pretty great benchmarking scores when we test it out, and Huawei also said it’s good for optimizing the phone to drain less power. That chipset also means the whole range is 5G-compatible.
For RAM, you’re looking at 8GB in all models, with 128GB of storage in the Huawei P40, 256GB in the P40 Pro, and 512GB in the P40 Pro Plus.
As for batteries, there’s a 3,800mAh one in the Huawei P40 and a 4,200mAh in the P40 Pro and Pro Plus, so they’re not huge, but combined with the optimizations the phones could still last a long time without charging.
The Huawei P40 has 22.5W charging, but that’s the only way you can charge it up – there’s no wireless charging. On the P40 Pro and Pro Plus, though, you can use 40W charging, both wired and wireless.
Huawei P40 software
The three phones come running EMUI 10.1 software from Huawei, and that doesn’t include popular Android apps like the Google Play Store, YouTube or Google Chrome.
That’s going to cause a lot of problems for users in the west who are embedded in those services already, as it means you won’t be able to download most popular apps as easily, and instead Huawei offers its own alternatives through the Huawei App Gallery.
There’s a variety of apps available on that store, but it doesn’t compare to the amount available on iOS or other Android devices. Huawei endeavours to include more and more apps in the future, but at present the selection is quite lacking.
There is a way to install certain apps onto the handsets without any dubious hacking though, which you’ll find in our guide to Huawei Mobile Services apps here.
Beyond the app situation, the software should be familiar if you’ve used Huawei phones before, but there are some new features, such as a new voice assistant called Celia.
There’s also a multi-window feature for multitasking, and a video calling app called MeeTime.