If we had to pick one hot trend of 2019, then it has to be Huawei watching. From flying high and knocking other smartphones out of the fight with the Huawei P30 Pro, the company has been fighting to overturn the US trade injunction that came into place in May 2019.
It's made for an interesting year from the company - and it's going to be interesting flowing into 2020. That's going to see the launch of the Huawei P40 and P40 Pro, the next device in line to lead the flagship smartphone charge.
The rumours about this device have been rather scarce, but we've now been treated to something speculative from Twitter. Take caution though, this isn't a widely-known leaker, so we can't verify the accuracy.
(1/3)#HuaweiP40— Yash Raj Chaudhary (@hereYashRaj) December 8, 2019
6.5 inch 2K OLED
120Hz Refresh Rate
98% screen to body ratio (about)
Leica Penta Camera
64MP( Sony IMX686 1/1.7 inch , supports OIS) +20MP ultra wide camera+12 MP (Periscope) telephoto lens +Macro camera + ToF
Telegram - https://t.co/O0BSOxLqFu pic.twitter.com/19FLSAy7SI
(2/3)Huawei P40 will innovatively apply graphene materials to the positive and negative electrodes and electrolytes of mobile phone batteries. This makes the battery capacity of Huawei P40 reach 5500mAh, but its volume is only 70% of that of lithium batteries#HuaweiP40Pro— Yash Raj Chaudhary (@hereYashRaj) December 8, 2019
(2/3)In addition, Huawei P40 will also use Huawei's newly developed 50W flash charge, which only takes 45 minutes to fully charge this graphene-based battery.— Yash Raj Chaudhary (@hereYashRaj) December 8, 2019
Kirin 990 5G
4k video recording
Dual Punch Hole
Front camera- main camera+ultra wide (like nova 6 5G)
There's a lot to digest here, so let's start with the core hardware. The Kirin 990 was used in the Mate 30 and we'd expect it in Huawei's next flagship too. We'd also expect options for 4G and 5G, so that's pretty easy to guess at.
The speculation around the use of graphene in the battery needs to be taken with a pinch of salt, until we hear more about it. Certainly, there's been a lot of research and development around the use of graphene and it's been shown to allow increased capacity and faster charging. The rumour here says a 5500mAh battery with graphene tech, but a smaller physical size than a traditional lithium-ion battery.
The leak then goes on to say that this will charge at 50W. That's perfectly reasonable considering others are offering similar systems.
The camera is where most of the attention is going to be focused, with the report of a 64-megapixel (Sony IMX686 sensor, 1/1.7in) main camera, 20-megapixel wide camera, 12-megapixel periscope telephoto, along with a macro camera and time of flight sensor.
That would be a bump in pixels for the main sensor, but sticking to the same size as the Mate 30 Pro. It's also a different configuration of sensor, using RGGB rather than RYYB of the 2019 devices. The Sony IMX686 is being talked about widely, but whether it's the sensor Huawei would jump on remains to be seen.
Huawei has used the periscope telephoto before and we expect it to offer great things moving forward as it continues to offer good quality digital zoom. The addition of a macro lens is new, however giving yet another string to Huawei's camera system bow.
The front camera is said to be a dual punch hole. We saw Samsung use this on the Galaxy S10+ to avoid the notch - and Huawei has introduced that on the Huawei Nova 6, so it might do the same on the P40 Pro.
As to the display, the 6.5-inch OLED display with a 2K resolution sounds entirely reasonable. It's listed as a "waterfall" display, or as Huawei will term it, Horizon Display. Again, as this appeared on the Mate 30 Pro, that's entirely feasible.
It's also listed with a 120Hz refresh rate; higher refresh rates on displays has been something of a trend of 2019, aiming to give smoother results in some applications. Some gaming phones use 120Hz, some other phones settle on 90Hz - and again, there's nothing hugely revolutionary here.
The Huawei P40 Pro is said to run Android 10 with EMUI 10, which makes sense. At the moment that would be without Google, meaning that many of these great specs might not have the impact that customers are looking for.
In summary, there's no way to validate these leaked specs and until we see more rumours from a wider range of sources, we have to treat them with caution. But at the same time, some of it makes logical sense. The more important factor will be the US and Chinese trade deals - without Google services on this phone, it's likely to struggle outside of China.