The Huawei P30 Pro was renowned for its excellent photography, but could its successor even improve upon this incredibly high standard?
The quality of the snappers on the Huawei P30 Pro was so high that we crowned it the best camera phone of 2019, snatching the title from the Google Pixel 3. On top of that, it also packed impressive battery life and a punchy processor. But can the P40 live up to its predecessor’s well-earned reputation, or could it even go one better?
Huawei P40 Pro – Release Date
Huawei has just revealed the Huawei P40‘s launch date: March 26. That will be exactly one year on from the launch of the Huawei P30 and Huawei P30 Pro − that last Huawei flagships to have access to full-fat Android and Google’s apps.
“Next month, in Paris on March 26 we will launch the world’s most powerful 5G flexible smartphone: Huawei P40 series,” Huawei CEO Richard Yu said right at the end of the Chinese firm’s MWC press conference, where it the foldable Huawei Mate Xs was formally unveiled.
Huawei P40 Pro – Price
According to Twitter tipster RODENT950, Huawei is scheduling a significant (and much-welcomed) price-drop for its next flagship series upon its March release date. The new pricing could turn out to be as follows (via GSMArena):
- Huawei P40 – €600 (~£508)
- Huawei P40 Pro – €800 (~£677)
- Huawei P40 Pro Premium – €1000 (~£846)
Not only is the entry price significantly cheaper than the likes of the iPhone 11 or the Samsung Galaxy Note 10, but it also appears that there will be a new “Premium Edition” top-spec version for the first time that trumps even the “Pro”.
Huawei P40 Pro – Design
Android Headlines released the following render of the P40 Pro on January 16, showing off the upcoming device from multiple angles for a thorough look-over:
The design looks somewhat similar to the P30 Pro, with an oblong camera module (though this time is seems that there are five rather than three sensors packed in). The screen slightly curves around the edges (though by the looks of it not to the same extent as the “waterfall display” Huawei Mate 30 Pro), and the camera bump looks particularly prominent. It seems that the brand has also brought back the physical volume toggle, having ditched it in the Huawei Mate 30 Pro in favour of a touchscreen slider.
Another leak (above), this time from Evan Blass, showed off a very similar render, but this time in an unusual alternative mint green colour that might attract some attention.
Huawei P40 Pro – Software
Richard Yu, Huawei’s CEO, has confirmed that the Huawei P40 Pro will run Android 10 with Huawei’s own-brand EMUI skin. Due to the Android ban, this will surely be an open-source version of Android that lacks Google Mobile Services (GMS) – meaning that customers will not have access to Google’s handy, familiar apps such as the Play Store, YouTube, and Google Maps. This compromising reality perhaps explains why the price is likely to be so much lower than expected.
In the meantime, Huawei has invested £20 million to entice developers to create more apps on for its own-brand App Gallery store, and while this currently offers some very popular apps such as TikTok and Snapchat, for now it still lacks fundamental apps such as WhatsApp and Facebook – and all of Google’s own apps of course.
Future handsets might run Huawei’s own-brand Harmony OS interface, but it seems that this software isn’t yet ready for a wide release (at least in Europe).
Huawei P40 Pro – Specs
A listing on TENAA, China’s telecommunications certification body, has revealed that all four models in the P40 series will have 5G connectivity. This doesn’t come as much of a surprise, since there was only one model in the Samsung Galaxy S20 series that was still 4G-only, and this year we also expect Apple to introduce 5G its iPhone 12 series.
The Huawei P40 Pro is likely to boast the Kirin 990 chipset, which was unveiled back at IFA 2019. In our review of the Huawei Mate 30 Pro, which also sports this chip, we found that it could deal comfortably with everyday tasks and could also run the most demanding games on high settings; however, the post-processing of images would sometimes cause a noticeable delay (for admittedly stunning results).
Huawei P40 Pro – Camera
The key feature of last year’s Huawei P30 Pro was undoubtedly its camera, which we described as being “super versatile”, and we singled out its low-light performance and 10x hybrid zoom for particular praise. So can the P40 Pro improve on this record?
So far there’s not much information going round regarding the cameras. But one of our first glints of insight comes courtesy of leaker @RODENT950, who claims the device will have a 53-megapixel sensor that will output 13-megapixel images after the pixel-binning process.
On top of that, Chinese source MyDrivers has indicated that the new model will boast an incredible 10x optical telephoto zoom which takes advantage of an innovative dual-prism design. This would match the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra‘s claim of 10x lossless zoom.