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Honor unveils its View 40 flagship smartphone, Google Mobile Services status still unknown

After Honor’s apparent ‘divorce’ from Huawei, the brand has announced its latest flagship smartphone, the Honor View 40 (also known as the V40 in China). Although the front looks quite similar to the Huawei Mate 40 Pro, the internal specs are actually quite different.

At first glance, it looks like a premium flagship product that uses a combination of glass and metal materials. It also gets a frosted glass look that has a two-tone design which flows from the camera bump.

The Honor View 40’s display uses a 6.72″ dual-curved OLED panel that pushes a resolution of 2676×1236 pixels and it supports HDR10. It even supports a high refresh rate of 120Hz and a high 300Hz touch sampling rate. For instant unlocking, Honor has shifted the fingerprint sensor to the screen that uses an optical under-display sensor.

Instead of a Kirin chip, the new flagship runs on a 7nm MediaTek Dimensity 1000+ processor. The device is paired with 8GB of LPDDR4x RAM and can be configured with up to 256GB storage which strangely still uses UFS 2.1.

Interestingly the View 40 has a camera bump that looks similar to the Xiaomi Mi 10T series. It’s a triple-camera setup that features a 50MP f/1.9 main shooter with a large 1/1.56″ RYYB sensor, an 8MP f/2.4 ultra-wide-angle camera and a 2MP f/2.4 macro lens. Unfortunately, there’s no telephoto camera and the additional ‘holes’ on the bump is for the flash and Laser Auto Focus module.

The screen has a wide notch on the top left corner which houses a dual-selfie camera that features a 16MP front shooter. Powering the device is a rather small 4,000mAh battery and it supports 66W fast wired charging via USB-C. According to Honor, it can be charged up to 60% in just 15 minutes and a full charge takes only 35 minutes. The device also supports 50W fast wireless charging and it can get a 50% charge in just 30 minutes.

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5G is offered as standard and it supports both NSA and SA networks. There’s also NFC, an infrared blaster but no 3.5mm headphone jack. The Honor View 40 also offers dual stereo speakers and it has independent left and right vibration motors for a more immersive mobile gaming experience.

Out of the box, the View 40 runs on Magic UI 4.0 that’s based on Android 10. Below is the official pricing in China:

8GB RAM + 128GB storage – CNY 3,599 (about RM2,248)
8GB RAM + 256GB storage – CNY 3,999 (about RM2,497)

The biggest question is, can Honor now sell new phones with Google Mobile Services? According to its latest press release, Honor says it has the flexibility and independence to choose the best solutions for its global supply chain. It says it has confirmed partnerships with leading suppliers such as AMD, Intel, MediaTek, Micron Technology, Microsoft, Qualcomm, Samsung, SK hynix, and Sony.

At the moment, Google isn’t mentioned as a key partner and it would be interesting to see what’s their next step for global markets. Perhaps the brand will make another announcement about its access to Google Mobile Services closer to its global availability.

Honor had stopped offering new devices with Google apps and services after the Honor 20 series. As a result, it had to depend on Huawei Mobile Services as an alternative which uses a different app store called Huawei AppGallery. Interestingly, its PC business isn’t affected as they could continue selling Intel and AMD powered MagicBooks with Microsoft Windows 10 pre-installed.

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The former Huawei sub-brand was recently sold off to a consortium that consists of over 30 agents and dealers that’s called Shenzhen Zhixin New Information Technology. According to Huawei, the sale was necessary to help Honor’s channel sellers and suppliers make it through this difficult time due to US Government’s restrictions on Huawei and affiliate companies.

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Alexander Wong