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Huawei launch P40 despite corona virus

Lucie Spraggs's picture

Huawei has launched a range of new flagship smartphones despite the coronavirus pandemic.

The firm unveiled the P40 phones a day after the firm's founder announced that 90% of the company's 150,000 China-based employees had returned to work. The new handsets were unveiled via a livestreamed video feed rather than at one of the big-budget events Huawei typically hosts. Unlike last year's models, the P40 phones lack Google services - including its YouTube, Maps and Play Store apps, and the Google Assistant - because of a US trade ban. That makes them a difficult sale outside of China, where Android phones come preinstalled with alternatives. But as a result, one company-watcher suggested that the firm might actually be in a better place to deal with the consequences of Covid-19 than its rivals.

"Huawei was already pretty much locked out of markets outside of China and had factored in a pretty tough trading environment for the next year or two," explained Ben Wood from CCS Insight.

Huawei p40 insurance

Huawei P40 launches

3 models in a nutshell:

There are three versions of the new phones: the standard P40 Lite, and a larger mid-range P40 and high-end Pro.


P40 Lite 


  • 6.4" HD LCD display  
  • 48MP + 8MP + 2MP + 2MP quad camera 
  • 128 GB internal storage 

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P40 5G


  • 6.1" HD+ OLED display 
  • 50MP + 16MP + 8MP triple main cameras 
  • 128GB internal storage 

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P40 Pro 5G


  • 6.58" HD+ OLED display
  • 50MP + 40MP +12MP triple main cameras 
  • 256GB internal storage

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Features and specs

The Huawei P40 Pro is powered by the same Kirin 990 5G chipset that we’ve seen in the Mate 30 Pro and Huawei’s folding phone, the Mate Xs. This is based on 7nm+ manufacturing technology and is plenty fast enough to keep up with the latest flagship phones from rival brands.

The processor, which is teamed with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, is currently the only high-end chipset with integrated 5G, meaning it will work well with the dedicated 5G networks of the future, as well as with the current hybrid LTE/5G networks.

The Huawei P40 is also equipped with a 3,800mAh battery, which should last you a full day of moderate to heavy usage. It supports 22.5W fast wired charging, but no wireless charging.


The Huawei P40’s Leica-branded camera setup consists of a 50MP f/1.9 primary camera, a 16MP f/2.2 ultra-wide camera, and an 8MP f/2.4 telephoto camera that’s capable of 3x optical zoom, just like the Galaxy S20 and Galaxy S20 Plus. Unlike the P40 Pro, there’s no time-of-flight (ToF) sensor here.

Huawei continues to use an RYYB sensor on its latest flagship line, and this time it’s a huge 1/1.28-inch size, which is the largest sensor Huawei has ever used, and bigger than the one found on the Galaxy S20 Ultra.

Using pixel binning (whereby four of the sensor's pixels are combined into one ‘superpixel’), the phone's main sensor can take 12MP shots that deliver improved low light performance over traditional 12MP camera phones.

With the P40-series, Huawei is debuting its XD Fusion Engine, which uses AI to optimize your photos. Huawei was one of the first manufacturers to get on board with AI, and the results on the P40 are impressive. The phone can remove photo-bombing friends from a picture, and even reflections that appear when you’re trying to photograph anything that's behind glass.

An oblong cut-out on the front of the screen houses a 32MP camera sensor and a depth sensor. Packing autofocus, unlike most selfie cameras, the whole P40-series is built for self-portraits, and we can confirm - it’s incredibly flattering.

Add to the mix 4K video captured at up to 30fps across the front and rear cameras, and for the price, the P40 looks like a camera champ.

Standout features

  • artificial intelligence techniques that can remove undesired objects from a scene and to eliminate reflections in glass
  • a super-slow motion video mode that captures footage at 7,680 frames per second
  • a 32 megapixel selfie camera that can record in 4K. In the two higher models, this is enhanced with its own depth-sensing tech to create background blur in portrait snaps
  • a smart assistant summoned by saying "Hey Celia", which can identify flowers and other objects the phone is shown
  • The Huawei App Gallery includes TikTok, Telegram, Viber, and Microsoft Office among other products. But beyond Google's apps, it is also missing Twitter, Facebook and WhatsApp.
  • To help make up for the loss of YouTube, the firm has created its own Huawei Video app.
  • It has signed a deal with BBC Studios to provide access to 300 hours of content.
  • Huawei Video will include BBC drama, comedy and factual TV shows in 26 countries outside the UK.
  • And to replace the Duo video chat app, it offers MeeTime, which it claims offers superior performance in low-light conditions.

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