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 apps. That was and 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 launch date rumoured
- Price upwards of £650
Huawei has confirmed that the P40 series will be launched in March 2020 at an event in Paris. The announcement was made by Richard Yu, president of Huawei Devices business group. The exact date of 26 March was leaked by Evan Blass, but is still to be officially confirmed. The P30 series launched on Tuesday 26 March, so some time during that week would make logical sense.
In terms of pricing, the P30 starts at £699, while the P30 Pro starts at £899. We wouldn't be surprised to see the P40 and P40 Pro around the same prices as their predecessors, if not a little more - if these handsets gets a European launch at all.
There's also rumoured to be a P40 Pro Premium Edition, which will likely push into higher prices. 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 given the situation.
- Metal and glass designs
- In-display fingerprint scanner
- Horizon Display, no edge bezel
We've been treated to a couple of design leaks for the P40 Pro, from @OnLeaks 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 plans for the Galaxy S20 series.
It's also pretty certain that Huawei will make use of its Horizon Display on the P40 Pro, wrapping right over the edge of the phone. It appears that the frame will wrap higher at the corners on the P40 Pro - most likely to provide enhanced protection against drop damage in this area.
With the P40 Pro already seen in the wild in China, the display information appears to be true.
It's also reported that there will be a ceramic version, most likely appearing as a P40 Pro Premium Edition. We've not head any confirmation that's what it's going to be called, but that's what we're using for now. This super-spec edition appears to have five cameras on the back, but we suspect the design will be the same overall for these P40 Pro version.
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 this will be a Horizon Display, curved on all edges, according to reports. We think the P40 Pro Premium Edition will have the same display, rather than being a larger yet 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 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. 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 sketchy rumours 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 seems to have become an increasing trend throughout 2019.
- 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.
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 expected different 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.
It's possible the Google ban resulting from the US-China trade war might get itself sort out during 2020 though. So while we won't rule out the possibility of the P40 and P40 Pro offering Google apps just yet, we suspect it is more likely they will offer the same software experience as the Mate 30 series. For now.
The company has shown off its own solution, Huawei Mobile Services, or HMS, so we're expecting to see the Huawei run with that in the future if there's no let up in the Google situation.
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.
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— Ice universe (@UniverseIce) December 20, 2019
P40Pro 10x optical zoom 16MP
Two very different approaches
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.