Huawei today introduced new flagship phones, the P40, the P40 Pro and the P40 Pro +. These are beautiful phones with great technical data. However, it would only take a few minutes to realize that they have something strange. There is no Gmail, no Google Maps and no Google Play Store.
Last year, the US government prevented US companies from doing business with Huawei. Although Huawei can only bring out Google-free phones, the company doesn't stand still. Flagship phones are still being released at a normal pace. One day, Huawei may finally be able to use Google's services again.
Huawei uses the open source version of Android without all of the core functions associated with Google services. The company has its own app shop and tries to compensate for the lack of Google apps with apps from the Huawei brand.
In China, Google services are blocked by the Great Firewall anyway. However, if you don't live in China, I wouldn't recommend buying a P40 phone. A phone without Android or iOS leads to a lot of restrictions.
But let's talk about the new phones anyway, as Huawei has released some interesting phones in the past. As with previous P-series devices, Huawei has integrated some impressive camera sensors into the device.
In the P40 Pro and P40 Pro +, the display is curved around all four edges, including the top and bottom edges of the device. Last year's P30 had a drop notch in the middle of the device. This year, Huawei is opting for a new hole design in the upper left corner. In a way, it reminds me of current Samsung phones.
There are three different devices – the P40, the P40 Pro and the P40 Pro +. Huawei has not yet discussed pricing and availability. The P40 has a 6.1-inch display, while the two "Pro" models have a 6.58-inch display. This display has a refresh rate of 90 Hz.
As always, Huawei offers many colorful options for the back of the device. Some surfaces are matt like the iPhone 11 Pro. You can also get a black or white matte ceramic on the P40 Pro +.
It is powered by Huawei's own system on a chip, the Kirin 990, and works in 5G networks. Compared to the previous year, the CPU is 23% faster and the GPU 39% on this new system on one chip.
For cameras, the P40 Pro + has four different camera modules and a time-of-flight sensor – an ultra wide-angle lens (18 mm), a normal lens (23 mm), a 3x lens (80 mm) and a superperiscope lens with 10 -fold optical zoom. This last camera corresponds to a 240 mm lens.
The Huawei P40 Pro has three different camera modules and a time-of-flight sensor. In addition to the ultra wide-angle and normal lens, there is a 5x camera lens (125 mm equivalent).
The Huawei P40 has three camera modules: ultra wide-angle (17 mm), normal (23 mm) and triple zoom (80 mm). The main camera sensor produces 50 megapixel photos.
Smartphone cameras also require a lot of software processing to get good pictures. Although I could not play with the P40 devices due to the lock in Europe, Huawei is usually a little too persistent in post-processing. If you use your camera with the master AI setting, the colors are too saturated.
According to Huawei, however, you can expect general improvements in image processing – better HDR processing, better night mode, better hardware and software image stabilization, better portrait photography, etc. The P40 also tries to remove reflections from windows during post-processing.
The company also added a new mode called AI Best Moment. Your phone automatically detects when to take a photo – everyone may jump at the same time or when a basketball player goes to slam dunk.
As you can see, Huawei has a long list of large numbers to prove that the P40 Pro + is faster and better than the P30 Pro. Just like the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra, it feels a bit like excess. Sure, it's good to see that smartphone manufacturers can pack ever more powerful components year after year.
But the smartphone industry is at a turning point. It is no longer a race for better specifications. Manufacturers must demonstrate that there are new use cases that justify the purchase of new models. Manufacturers with a clear focus and a clear vision will stand out from the crowd.