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Huawei P40 series: Everything you need to know

Huawei has unveiled its P40 series, its first flagship smartphone lineup for 2020. The Chinese smartphone maker has unveiled not just two but three models that offer a different camera setup.

Similar to last year’s series, there’s the Huawei P40 with a triple-camera setup and the P40 Pro with a quad-camera array. This time, there’s a more advanced model that’s called the P40 Pro+ and it features a penta-camera setup.

Huawei P40 Pro+

The top of the line model is the P40 Pro+. Although there’s a “Plus” the device shares the same dimensions as the P40 Pro. It features a 6.58″ OLED display that’s curved at all four edges. The screen pushes a higher 2640×1200 pixels resolution in a 19.8:9 aspect ratio. For a more fluid experience, the screen supports a higher 90Hz refresh rate.

Powering the device is a Kirin 990 5G, which is the same unit that’s found on the Mate 30 Pro 5G and the recently announced Mate Xs. The device comes with 8GB of RAM and up to 512GB of internal storage. If you need more, you can expand storage via Huawei’s proprietary NMcard.

The Huawei P-series has always been about photography and this is their 5th generation device that’s co-engineered with Leica. The P40 Pro+ features a 50MP f/1.9 main camera with a 1/1.28″ RYYB sensor, which is currently the largest on a smartphone. The camera also boasts incredible low light capabilities with up to ISO 409600 and a large effective pixel size of 2.44-micron when four nearly pixels are combined (12.5MP). On top of that, the device also claims to be the world’s first to offer octa phase detection autofocus.

There’s also a 40MP f/1.8 ultra-wide-angle unit and there are two optical telephoto cameras. There’s an 8MP f/2.4 telephoto unit with 3X optical zoom and an 8MP f/4.4 periscope camera with 10X optical zoom. The P40 Pro+ is also capable of 20x hybrid zoom and up to 100x in digital zoom. Both telephoto cameras also come with optical image stabilisation. The 5th shooter is a 3D depth-sensing camera.

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In the past Huawei flagships, one of the key highlights was its moon mode capability. Instead of taking a picture, the new P40 series is capable of capturing the moon clearly in video format. For video, it boasts a high ISO 51200 sensitivity which claims to work in badly lit conditions as low as 0.5 Lux. Strangely, there’s no 8K video support and the device can only shoot up to 4K in 60fps.

New on the P40 series is an AI-assisted feature called Golden Snap. You can use it to remove unwanted passerby from your picture. There’s also a feature to remove unwanted reflections especially when you’re shooting near a glass surface.

Instead of a notch, the new Huawei P40 series embraces the punch-hole camera design. On the P40 Pro+, the device gets a 32MP f/2.2 auto-focus front camera along with an IR depth sensor and gesture camera, for bokeh effects.

Huawei has also introduced a video call app called MeeTime. Although video call apps aren’t entirely new, it promises to offer 1080p video quality while using lower bandwidth. On top of that, it also claims to work in the dark and your face will still be visible in low light conditions.

Some of the Mate 30 series features have been carried over as well such as the smart gesture control which allows you to scroll and perform a screen capture without touching the screen.

Powering the device is a 4,200mAh battery and it supports 40W SuperCharge via USB-C. On top of that, the device also supports 40W wireless SuperCharge which is insane. During the launch event, Huawei claims that you can get 65% charge through wireless charging in just 30 minutes, and this is 82% faster than the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra which supports wireless charging at a maximum of 15W.

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Connectivity-wise, the Huawei P40 Pro+ ticks all the right boxes. You can expect it to support the widest 5G bands on both SA and NSA networks, along with WiFi 6.

The device also comes with IP68 dust and water resistance, and out of the box, it runs on EMUI 10.1 that’s based on Android 10. To stand out from the rest, the P40 Pro+ is only available with a ceramic back and it’s offered only in two colours – White Ceramic and Black Ceramic.

Huawei P40 Pro

The Huawei P40 Pro shares a lot of similarities with the Plus version. It get a 6.58″ 2640×1200 pixels resolution OLED display that pushes a 90Hz refresh rate and under the hood it also runs on a Kirin 990 5G. The device also gets 8GB of RAM with 256GB of storage which supports NMcard expansion.

The notable change is its camera setup at the rear. The device still features the same 50MP f/1.9 main camera and a 40MP f/1.8 ultra-wide-angle shooter.

To get closer to the action, the P40 Pro has a higher resolution 12MP f/3.4 telephoto periscope shooter with OIS that uses an RYYB sensor which claims to increase light intake by 40%. The camera offers 5x optical zoom, 10x hybrid zoom and it can go up to 50x zoom which is similar to last year’s P30 Pro.

Powering the device is a 4,200mAh battery that also supports 40W wired Huawei SuperCharge via USB-C. However, for wireless charging, it supports up to 27W, which is similar to the Huawei Mate 30 Pro. Like the Pro+, the device also has IP68 dust and water resistance.

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Huawei P40

The Huawei P40 is the smallest of the lot with a 6.1″ OLED display that pushes a more conventional 2340×1080 pixels resolution in a 19.5:9 aspect ratio. It runs on a Kirin 990 5G processor with 8GB RAM and 128GB of storage. The device still offers the option to expand storage via an NMcard.

For taking pictures, the P40 settles for a triple camera setup but it still features the same 50MP f/1.9 main camera as the P40 Pro+. The device also gets a 16MP f/2.2 ultra-wide-angle shooter and an 8MP f/2.4 telephoto camera that has 3X optical zoom. It also does 5X hybrid zoom and up to 30x zoom in digital. For selfies, front punch-hole also features a 32MP selfie camera as well an IR sensor.

Powering the P40 is a 3,800mAh battery and it supports a lower 22.5W wired SuperCharge via USB-C. It also settles for a lower-rated IP53 splash resistance which is similar to last year’s Huawei P30.

Pricing and availability

As announced during the global event, the Huawei P40 series will be priced as follows:

Huawei P40 8GB RAM + 128GB storageEUR 799 (about RM3,831)
Huawei P40 Pro 8GB RAM + 256GB storageEUR 999 (about RM4,790)
Huawei P40 Pro+ 8GB RAM + 512GB storageEUR 1,399 (about RM6,708)

The P40 and P40 Pro will be released starting 7th April 2020 while the top-of-the-line P40 Pro+ will be available much later from June 2020. So far there’s no word of its available for Malaysia. Due to the current restrictions from the US government, there’s no Google apps and services pre-installed. All three P40 devices are shipped with Huawei Mobile Services that comes bundled with Huawei’s own AppGallery.

Alexander Wong