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Huawei P40: What you need to know about the new flagship phones

Huawei P40 price, specs, camera and apps explained

Huawei’s lifted the lid on its latest 2020 line of P40 flagship smartphones and boy do they look good. But with ongoing uncertainty about the phones’ software and all three coming with more custom hardware than you can shake a stick at, you may justifiably have a few questions about the Huawei P40, P40 Pro and P40 Pro Plus.

Here to help we’ve collated a definitive guide detailing everything you need to know about Huawei’s new phones. Scroll down for an in-depth technical breakdown all three new handsets hardware. Or if you’re in a rush check out our quick fire cliff notes of all the latest Huawei P40 news below.

Huawei P40 top stories

Huawei P40 versus

If you’re looking for a more thorough breakdown describing how the Huawei P40 compares to other flagship phones, we’ve also got you covered with the below explainers.

A collection of our Huawei P40 reviews

If you’re interested in our hands-on impressions of the Huawei P40 line you can also jump to one of our reviews. We’ll be updating this article with links to each new review when it goes live, so make sure to bookmark this page and keep checking back.

If none of that’s not sated your appetite keep reading for a more thorough break down of the Huawei P40 family of phones specs, features, price and release date.

What is the Huawei P40?

The Huawei P40 is the latest flagship family of handsets from the heavyweight Chinese firm behind 2020’s best camera phone. It includes three different handsets: The vanilla Huawei P40, the larger and slightly more expensive Huawei P40 Pro, and top-end Huawei P40 Pro Plus.

The release strategy mirrors Samsung’s, with Huawei pitting its three phones in the exact same market segments as Samsung’s Galaxy S20 family.

Last year’s Huawei P30 series was brilliant. The P30 scored an excellent 4/5 stars and the Trusted Reviews Recommended seal of approval in our review, while the Huawei P30 Pro went even further, topping our list of the best camera phones for months and earning a near-perfect 4.5/5 stars.

Of course, things have changed dramatically since then, and because of the US government, the Huawei P40 series can not run the full version of Android or any of Google’s big-name apps.

Huawei P40 price

You can see a breakdown of pricing for the Huawei P40, P40 Pro and P40 Pro Plus below:

  • Huawei P40 (8GB RAM, 128GB storage) − €799 (~£730)
  • Huawei P40 Pro (8GB RAM, 256GB storage) − €999 (~£910)
  • Huawei P40 Pro Plus (8GB RAM, 512GB storage) − €1399 (~£1280)

Bear in mind that those are starting prices. There will be a more expensive P40 model with 256GB of storage and a pricier P40 Pro model with 512GB of storage, but the prices of those variants not yet been revealed.

We continually check thousands of prices to show you the best deals. If you buy a product through our site we will earn a small commission from the retailer – a sort of automated referral fee – but our reviewers are always kept separate from this process. You can read more about how we make money in our Ethics Policy.

Best Huawei P40 Preorder Deals

Huawei P40 5G on EE – 10GB of Data, Unlimited Minutes and Texts

With moderate use, 10GB of data will keep you going from month to month, allowing you to stream and enjoy the stunning 6.1-inch overflow display with 90Hz refresh rate. Plus you'll receive a free pair of Freebuds 3 with your preorder.

Huawei P40 5G on Vodafone – Unlimited Data, Minutes and Texts (Use Code: TRUSTED10)

Go big or go home with 5G connectivity and ensure you're never at risk of running low on data with Vodafone's Unlimited tariff. Benefit from the fastest fifth gen mobile connectivity and receive a free pair of Freebuds 3 with your preorder.

Powered by Trusted Reviews

Huawei P40 release date

The Huawei P40 and P40 Pro will be release on April 7, but the P40 Pro Plus will come out a little bit later, at an unspecified date in June.

Huawei P40 design

The Huawei P40 family has a uniform design across all three devices. This means they look like an upgrade rather than a rethink of the design Huawei employed on its older P30 series.

The P40 and P40 Plus are particularly similar in their design, featuring soft-edged, glass backs. The only noticeable difference is that the phones have larger rectangular camera housings on their top left-hand sides. Huawei claims the houses have the same aspect ratio and curvature as the phones’ main chassis, and that it has been “intelligently placed to let you hold the phone like a camera”.

The Pro Plus is a little different and features a ceramic back and slightly larger camera housing. The use of ceramic is a nifty touch we haven’t seen on a mainstream Android phone since the OnePlus X, and gives the handset a classy feel. Huawei also claims it’s pretty darned rugged, boasting that it’s just as tough as the sapphire glass used on sports watches from the likes of Garmin.

On paper there’s some truth to this claim, with the Plus featuring the same IP68 water and dust certification as the glass-backed Pro. The P40 has a lower IP53 certification, which means it won’t survive anything but accidental splashes.

Flip them around, and there have been a few more noticeable changes. For starters, the three phones now have “overflow displays”. This is a smart marketing term for the fact they have screens that curve around the phone’s sides, like the Infinity screens seen on many Samsung phones. The only difference is that the screen curves around the top and bottom edges, as well as the sides.

Huawei’s also tweaked the front camera design, loading the dual-sensor front sensors into a hole-punch housing on the phones top side. It also features an infrared sensor which can be used for face unlocking, again like Samsung’s recent handsets. If that isn’t your unlock method of choice, Huawei claims to have made the under-screen fingerprint scanner 30% bigger and faster.

juawei p40 pro

Huawei P40 camera

Like all its recent flagships, Huawei’s marketing the P40’s camera tech as the range’s main selling point, with a spokesperson boasting that they will be the first phones to grant users “the ability to delve into visionary photography” and “take photos like the one seen on iconic magazines”.

Despite applying the claim to all three phones, the specific sensor arrangement you get between the regular P40, P40 Pro and Plus differs.

All three phones feature a new custom 50-megapixel main sensor that you won’t find on any other phone. It’s been “co-engineered” with Leica, and according to Huawei, it’s a massive step up on the P30’s offering and Samsung’s flagship 108-megapixel unit.

As a piece of hardware, it’s fairly impressive, featuring an f1.9 aperture, OIS and the same custom RYYB colour capture arrangement as Huawei’s 2019 flagships. The latter aims to improve low-light performance by getting the sensor to capture yellow pixels instead of green.

It’s after this that things get a little fragmented, however. The P40 and P40 Pro have similar camera setups. Both combine the main 50-megapixel sensor with a 40-megapixel ultrawide and atypical 12-megapixel hybrid periscope/telephoto lens.

The latter is interesting, as it has the same RYYB capture tech as the main 50-megapixel and features a hybrid AIS and OIS that should, according to Huawei, reduce image shakes when shooting while zooming. The only difference between the regular P40 and the Pro is that the latter features a ToF sensor that should help with AR performance and portrait photography.

The Plus takes things a little further, pairing the main 50-megapixel sensor with custom made 8-megapixel “super telephoto/periscope”, 8-megapixel optical telephoto parts and the same 40-megapixel ultra-wide seen on its cheaper siblings.

Huawei made a big song and dance at the P40 launch event about the benefits of the atypical sensor arrangement. Still, the main takeaway is that it’ll let the Plus offer “leading in class” 10x optical zoom, improved AI photography powers and generally “better than the competition” picture quality.

If this sounds familiar, it’s because Samsung said pretty much the same thing about the Galaxy S20 Ultra earlier this year. But, given Huawei’s far more impressive track record in mobile photography, we’re taking the boast seriously and can’t wait to test the Plus zoom capabilities.

huawei p40 series camera

Outside of this, all the P40 phones will come with a few custom AI-powered photography features courtesy of Huawei’s new Kirin 990 CPU, XD Fusion Engine and improved High Definition Image Engine.

According to Huawei, improved pixel-by-pixel processing to improve shots sharpness and colour accuracy, faster autofocusing times, plus a few atypical shot modes and editing options.

The most interesting is the souped-up Super Night Mode, Super Portrait, scenes and AI cropping modes. The Night Mode does what it says on the tin and uses clever AI processing to improve low light photo quality. The same goes for Super Portrait, which aims to help the phones create realistic bokeh effects and natural skin tones when photographing people.

Scenes is an AI mode that lets the phone automatically tweak its settings depending on what the camera is looking at. The only difference between this and the technology on competing phone makers’ handsets is that Huawei’s can now identify and adjust its settings for seven more sports, 10 poses and a variety of different facial expressions.

The cropping feature is more interesting. It’s Huawei’s take on a feature Google tried many moons ago on its Pixel line, that aims to let you auto crop out unwanted parts of captured photos.

Huawei’s demo showed an exec auto-cropping a person in the background of a group shot, with the phone using AI to autofill the space previously occupied by the unintentional photo-bomber with grass. It’s an excellent idea, but it’s the only camera feature we’re sceptical of. Even Google, arguably the most advanced AI camera maker around, struggled to make the feature work. Still, it’s an, on paper, neat addition.

Huawei’s made some significant updates to the P40 line’s front camera setup. Specifically, it’s loaded all three with dual 32-megapixel front cameras. What makes them interesting is that they come with auto-focus, which will make taking selfies way easier, and the ability to shoot 4K video at 40fps 4k recording.

Huawei P40 specs

The Huawei P40, P40 Pro and P40 Pro Plus all come with some seriously impressive hardware. The same Kirin 990 chipset powers all three.

This is Huawei’s answer to the Snapdragon 865 and means every P40 comes with 5G and Wi-Fi 6 Plus connectivity as standard.

Clock speeds and memory haven’t been disclosed, but Huawei claims the chip is 23% more powerful and power-efficient than its predecessor.

If accurate, the P40 family should be blisteringly powerful and easily deal with every task you can think of.

Every phone also features a 90Hz high refresh rate screen. This is the same refresh rate seen on last year’s OnePlus 7 Pro and 7T lines and means the screens should be smoother and more reactive than the panels used in the P30 range, which were locked to 60Hz.

Sadly a Huawei spokesperson couldn’t confirm if users will be able to opt to lower the refresh rate to save battery, which is a key feature we wanted on the OnePlus line.

Thankfully all three phones come with fairly hefty batteries so this shouldn’t be too much of an issue. The Pro and Pro Plus are both confirmed to feature 4200mAh batteries. The regular P40 will run off a slightly smaller 3800mAh cell.

Sadly the P40 doesn’t feature the P40 Pro and Plus’ super swift 40W fast charge support – which can also work wirelessly using a custom charge pad from Huawei. Instead, the main P40 just sports 22W charging.

Huawei P40 apps and software

Excited? Well, from a hardware perspective, you should be. But we have to address the big elephant in the room whenever talking about Huawei.

As it stands, no new Huawei phone, the P40 line included, has access to Google services. This means that despite running on the open-source version of Android 10, the P40 line doesn’t come with access to the Google Play store, Assistant or Google Pay.

Instead, you have to use Huawei’s own AppGallery storefront. We haven’t had a chance to test the store yet, but from what we’ve seen, it’s still a lot smaller than Play, featuring a modest 3000 apps at the time of publishing.

The phone’s custom ‘Celia’ digital assistant will also likely be reasonably barebones compared to the Google Assistant. On paper it’ll let you do most things, like quizzing the P40 about the weather, checking contacts and setting calendar alerts. But we just can’t see it being as accurate or useful at launch as more established services like Assistant, or Amazon Alexa.

We also can’t help but think Huawei could have picked a name that wasn’t so similar to Siri…

We continually check thousands of prices to show you the best deals. If you buy a product through our site we will earn a small commission from the retailer – a sort of automated referral fee – but our reviewers are always kept separate from this process. You can read more about how we make money in our Ethics Policy.

Best Huawei P40 Preorder Deals

Huawei P40 5G on EE – 10GB of Data, Unlimited Minutes and Texts

With moderate use, 10GB of data will keep you going from month to month, allowing you to stream and enjoy the stunning 6.1-inch overflow display with 90Hz refresh rate. Plus you'll receive a free pair of Freebuds 3 with your preorder.

Huawei P40 5G on Vodafone – Unlimited Data, Minutes and Texts (Use Code: TRUSTED10)

Go big or go home with 5G connectivity and ensure you're never at risk of running low on data with Vodafone's Unlimited tariff. Benefit from the fastest fifth gen mobile connectivity and receive a free pair of Freebuds 3 with your preorder.

Powered by Trusted Reviews

Current advice

There’s no getting around the fact that Huawei has a strong track record when it comes to hardware. Over the last few years, its P-series has earned a reputation as the top dog when it comes to mobile photography, and from what we’ve seen testing the Pro that looks set to continue with the P40 line.

But we can’t help but be concerned about the ongoing lack of Google services. Though we’ve publicly said the mobile ecosystem could do with a shake up when it comes to app store choices, AppGallery is still very, very, very young and unproven. As a result, adopting it will be a big gamble and adjustment for any mobile buyer.

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