Huawei was in the press a lot in 2019. The company delivered some excellent smartphones in the likes of the P30 Pro at the beginning of that year, followed by the Mate 30 Pro in the latter part of the year.
Sadly though, as great as the Mate 30 series is, these were the first devices to be affected by the US trade war on China, launching without access to Google’s services. That was and still is a problem.
What does that mean for the Huawei P40 and P40 Pro? Will these handsets still launch in the UK and Europe – and what can we expect from them if they do? Here’s everything we know so far…
Huawei P40 release date and price
- 26 March 2020 online launch confirmed
- 14:30 CET / 13:30 GMT start time
Huawei has confirmed that the P40 series will be launched on 26 March 2020.
Originally this was due to be at an event in Paris, as confirmed directly from Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei Business Group, during the company’s online event in place of its Mobile World Congress keynote.
However, since then, due to the global impact of COVID-19 fears, it has been changed to an online-only streaming event. So no Paris event for 2020.
In terms of pricing, the P30 started at £699, while the P30 Pro started at £899. We wouldn’t be surprised to see the P40 and P40 Pro around the same prices as these predecessors, if not a little more.
There’s also rumoured to be a P40 Pro Premium Edition, which will likely push into higher pricing. We’re reading this as a stand-in for the typical Porsche Design version, which we don’t know if we can expect to continue.
- Metal and glass designs
- In-display fingerprint scanner
- Horizon Display, no edge bezel
We’ve been treated to a few design leaks for the P40 Pro – from @OnLeaks, @evleaks, and Android Headlines – giving us a good impression of what to expect from the P40 Pro. The biggest design detail is the pronounced camera unit in the corner on the back, similar to Samsung’s Galaxy S20 series.
Beyond just those third-party leakers, we’ve also already handled the phone in an official meeting with Huawei. However, this was in a concealed box, i.e. we were only able to feel the phone, not actually see it. But that did reveal some interesting facts nonetheless.
Huawei will make use of its Horizon Display on the P40 Pro, wrapping right over the edge of the phone. We’ve felt that in person, while the teaser for the launch event further helps to confirm that, as did a P40 Pro leak as seen in the wild in China.
It’s also reported that there will be a ceramic version. Huawei did confirm to Pocket-lint that it will potentially use new materials. And a leak of seven different colour finishes suggests this pearlescent finish to be accurate.
We’ve seen the regular P40 appear in renders and this looks to have a flatter display – just like the standard P30 did last generation – again drawing out the differences between these two/three phones.
There’s no 3.5mm headphone socket and no sign of a fingerprint scanner, so it’s likely to be in the display on all devices.
- OLED display, 120Hz refresh rate
- Punch hole twin front camera
- P40 Pro: ~6.5-6.7 inches
- P40: ~6.1-6.2 inches
The Huawei P30 and P30 Pro both have a Full HD+ resolution across their OLED displays. It looks like the Huawei P40 Pro will be moving to Quad HD+ OLED display, with a size of somewhere between 6.5 to 6.7-inches – the exact dimensions are currently unknown, but it’s certainly a large-scale device. This will be a Horizon Display, curved on all edges. We think the P40 Pro Premium Edition will have the same display, rather than being a yet larger design.
It’s said that the P40 will be 6.1 to 6.2-inches and is more likely to be flat, something that’s also confirmed by design renders. There’s a chance that this will also be OLED, but have a Full HD+ resolution.
It’s also widely believed that the P40 and P40 Pro will get dual front cameras, using a punch hole in the display, with no notch this time around. That public sighting of the phone seems to corroborate this.
- Huawei P40: Triple Leica system
- Huawei P40 Pro: Quad Leica system
- Huawei P40 Pro Premium Edition: Penta Leica system
So far we’ve only had some rumours and direct-from-Huawei cryptic feed about what the P40 series might offer. That includes the Sony IMX686 sensor, a brand new 64-megapixel sensor, and a periscope telephoto camera offering 10x zoom. However, reports differ on the sensor behind this 10x telephoto, some saying it’s a 16-megapixel sensor and some saying it’s 8-megapixels.
The Huawei P40 looks to be getting a triple camera system, based around the main camera, ultra-wide and telephoto. We don’t know many details about this selection of cameras, but it might pack in a 64-megapixel main sensor, 20-megapixel ultra wide and 12-megapixel zoom.
The Huawei P40 Pro will have four cameras on the back, adding in a periscope zoom that gives you 5x zoom – or 125mm as it’s marked on the back of the phone, which makes sense as five times that of the 25mm main sensor. That additional camera is probably time-of-flight (ToF) for depth detection.
The Huawei P40 Pro Premium Edition has appeared with five cameras on the back. In this case, it looks like the focal length on the periscope zoom is 240mm, so 10x, making this different to the regular P40 Pro. The fifth camera is probably a macro, which became an increasing trend throughout 2019.
We’ve handled either the Pro or the Premium in person and can confirm the camera unit is around double the width of that on the P30 Pro, thus an extra row of camera can be accommodated.
Contrary information has suggested Huawei will use a custom 52-megapixel sensor. At the moment we’re really waiting for more information to surface to give a more definite answer.
- Kirin 990 processor
- Fast charging
- Reverse wireless charging
Huawei manufactures its own chips so the P40 and P40 Pro will no doubt run on the latest Kirin processor – the Kirin 990 – which is the same as Huawei uses in its Mate 30.
We’d expect it to be available in 4G and 5G options, something that’s been mostly confirmed by TENNA certification, but it has also been confirmed by Huawei that it will be a 5G handset.
We expect to see super-fast wired charging on the P40 Pro, with rumours that Huawei has a new 50W system. We also expect to see reverse wireless charging.
The battery is said to be 5,500mAh. However, we expect that to differ between the two main handsets, given their differing sizes.
Software: Google apps?
It’s the million dollar question: will the P40 and P40 Pro offer Google apps and services? At the moment, we expect not.
The Google ban, resulting from the US-China trade war, has been in place for some time now and Huawei has moved forward with some of its own solutions. Huawei Mobile Services, or HMS, aims to offer a rivals to Google, turning to companies like TomTom for mapping. Huawei has gone as far as saying that even if the ban lifted, it would now proceed without Google.
Another indicator that Huawei is serious about going it alone is that the Mate 30 has gone on sale in the UK. This was in limbo after launch, but now seems to have come to market, an indicator, perhaps, that Huawei has decided how to proceed. So, we’d fully expect a UK and European launch for the Huawei P40 and P40 Pro and we’d expect Google to be out of the picture.
It’s also reported that Huawei, Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo are working together on a rival app store to compete with Google Play.
We also know from conversations with Huawei that it intends to move hundreds of employees to London to work on HMS.
P40 and P40 Pro rumours: What’s happened so far?
You’ll find any rumours surrounding the P40 and P40 Pro here as and when they appear.
17 March 2020: Conference start time confirmation
It was confirmed that the live stream will commence at 13:30 GMT on 26 March. That’s 14:30 CET, 05:30 PDT, 08:30 EDT.
16 March 2020: 7 colour finishes leak out
A leak on Twitter shows the P40 Pro in a variety of colour finishes.
10 March 2020: Huawei confirms P40 launch event will be online only
Due to COVID-19 outbreak, Huawei has elected to launch the P40 series in an online-only event, not in Paris as originally planned.
10 March 2020: Huawei lets Pocket-lint go hands-on with the P40 Pro
24 February 2020: Huawei confirmed P40 launch date of 26 March
Huawei has officially confirmed that it’s launching the P40 series on 26 March, saying it was “the world’s most powerful 5G flagship smartphone”.
19 February 2020: Huawei P40 and P40 Pro 5G certification spotted, launch imminent
The Huawei P40 and P40 Pro has reportedly passed via TENNA, a certification authority in China, and something that confirmed that these devices are close to launch. This also confirms 5G status for these phones.
17 February 2020: Huawei might load P40 series with 52MP camera sensor
The Huawei P40 might come with a custom 52-megapixel sensor, with the aim of 16 pixel combining for an equivalent 4.48µm pixel size.
22 January 2020: P40 Pro appears in the wild
It’s not just renders any more, as pictures of a purported P40 Pro in the wild appeared on Chinese social site Weibo. The images seem to confirm all the rumours, such as the dual front cameras, although the case puts the rear cameras under question. We’ll have to wait and see what comes true.
17 January 2020: Detailed P40 Pro renders complete the next-gen Huawei set
Images reportedly of the Huawei P40 Pro show the difference to the so-called Premium Edition, revealing that Huawei is offering more high-end devices.
17 January 2020: Huawei P40 Pro Premium Edition leak reveals release date – and five rear cameras!
Leaker supremo Evan Blass has shared high quality images of the Huawei P40 Pro Premium Edition with confirmation of a ceramic model – and the release date.
16 January 2020: Huawei P40 Pro images leak a full range of device colours
Images showing the full line-up of colours for the Huawei P40 Pro leak, revealing a few new details.
15 January 2020: Huawei P40 design gets leaked, showing triple Leica camera
New renders surface showing off the regular of the two Huawei phones, the P40.
30 December 2019: Huawei P40 Pro renders indicate another chunky camera bump
Renders reporting to be the P40 Pro appear, bringing with them some claims about what will make up the camera on Huawei’s future phone.
23 December 2019: Could the Huawei P40 Pro come with a 10x zoom?
A report from a frequently-cited analyst suggests that the Huawei P40 Pro will have a 10x zoom with 8-megapixel sensor.
20 December 2019: Huawei P40 Pro camera to have 16-megapixel 10x telephoto
Twitter leaker @UniverseIce has said that the P40 Pro will come with a 10x telephoto lens with a 16-megapixel sensor.
S11 + 5x optical zoom 48MP
P40Pro 10x optical zoom 16MP
Two very different approaches
— Ice universe (@UniverseIce) December 20, 2019
18 December 2019: Huawei’s P40 and P40 Pro hop on the rectangular camera bandwagon
Renders from a reliable source give an insight into the overall design, as well as adding some details to the specs.
18 December 2019: Huawei P40 will be unveiled in March in Paris, confirmed
Huawei has confirmed that the P40 series will be unveiled at an event in Paris in March 2020.
11 December 2019: Purported image of Huawei P40 shows significant camera bump
An image claiming to be of a Huawei P40 shows a big area where the cameras might sit – but also that the design isn’t changing hugely from the P30 Pro.
08 December 2019: Huawei P40 Pro specs appear, but take with a pinch of salt
A set of comprehensive set of specs for the Huawei P40 Pro have appeared on Twitter, but from a source that’s not well established in leaks, so needs to be treated with caution. Many of the assumptions make logical sense, but there’s little to corroborate the facts.
14 November 2019: Huawei might launch the P40 and P40 Pro earlier in 2020
A report from The Information suggests that Huawei might look to launch the P40 and P40 Pro earlier in 2020. Previous devices have been launched in March, but the company might bring things forward. This might be to appeal to Chinese buyers.