Smartphones today are all about the biggest numbers in terms of specs -which one has the most powerful chipset; the best-performing camera; the most stunning display and so on, and while it will be a while before Apple releases its next flagship smartphone, those of the non-iOS persuasion have been duking it out at the beginning of 2020.
The latest to enter the non-Apple horse race, of course, is the Huawei P40 series. It will arrive on the shores of Singapore on 4 April (the very first in all of Asia!), with pre-orders beginning from now, 27 March, to 3 April.
As with its predecessors, the “P” in the series stands for “photography”, which of course refers to its superb camera system. Like the P20 and P30 before it, the Huawei P40 aims to capture its target audience – typically those obsessed with photography – with its updated camera system,
Firstly, the Huawei P40 series comes with three models: the base P40, the more high-end P40 Pro, and, a new addition to a Huawei P series smartphone, the much larger P40 Pro+, which unfortunately, will not be available in Singapore yet). All three models pack a new camera system, once again reprising their long-term partnership with German camera brand Leica.
Geek Culture managed to get a brief hands-on with the Huawei P40 and P40 Pro, and of course, had to try out its camera since it is the main selling point of the smartphones. While both models have really good cameras, the latter, in particular, struck our attention more as it boasts the new Leica Quad Camera system. It comes with a 50MP Ultra Vision lens, a 40MP Cine lens, and a 12MP Telephoto lens, as well as a time-of-flight lens to deliver high-fidelity images, be it from afar or up close.
The telephoto lens, in particular, comes with a periscope zoom, that allows the P40 Pro to go up to 50x digital zoom, which is similar to its P30 Pro counterpart. The main difference here is that the P40 Pro comes with an updated RYYB colour filter array, which allows more light to pass through, and hence deliver clearer zoomed shots.
We tested it in the demo area, which had a series of miniature versions of popular local Singaporean dishes. The 50x zoom lens definitely made the miniature chicken rice look life-size, as did the colours on the screen, thanks to the colour filter array.
How else one might use the 50x zoom is up to their imagination, of course.
There are other new and really interesting camera functions present in the P40 series. This includes a host of new smart editing feature that allows users to pick out the best shots on the fly. The AI Remove Passerby feature, in particular, was one of the more interesting ones in the mix. Basically, it is a more streamlined version of Apple’s Live Photo feature, which allows users to take pictures within a span of a few seconds. Huawei’s version takes it a notch further by allowing users to immediately detect unwanted elements in the shot and “remove” them by letting machine learning pick out the exact moment in the shot that the unwanted element isn’t in the subject. While this may seem an inconsequential feature at first glance, we imagine it will save a lot of time while taking a flurry of photos in quick succession.
We have yet to test the Huawei P40 Pro’s low-light capabilities yet, but given that its ISO is a whopping 51200 compared to the P30 Pro’s 409600, we’re curious to see just how it matches up. Not by much, though, we imagine, but it still should make for a great low-light-capable camera phone.
Display-wise, the Huawei P40 series features a stunning OLED display. The P40 Pro, in particular, packs in 16.7 million colours in a 6.58-inch display with a buttery-smooth 90Hz refresh rate. This makes watching shows, playing games, or even simply scrolling through apps on it really friendly to the naked eye. Furthermore, the massive 2640×1200 resolution means images are always easily viewable, without requiring users to squint their eyes. And as an added bonus, Huawei seems to have solved the dreaded display notch problem by using a camera cutout on the main display for its frontal camera, which is a plus for screen real estate.
The Huawei P40 series runs on the new Kirin 990 5G processor, meaning that is not only very powerful by default, it also allows users to tap into the ultra-fast 5G network, which marks a significant uptick in smartphone companies adopting 5G-ready models at launch. Its battery can go up to 4,200mAh. While it isn’t the fattest battery in the market right now, it still gets the job done by lasting about a day and a half in paper.
But of course, while all these features seem rather promising, it all hinges on whether Huawei’s Android-based EMUI operating system can deliver a similar experience, especially now that its AppGallery is up and running.
The Huawei P40 and P40 Pro launches in Singapore on 4 April 2020, with pre-orders starting now until 3 April. The P40 will retail for S$1,048, and the P40 Pro will retail for S$1,448. Pre-orders and sales will be available at all Huawei Concept Stores, major telco outlets, and select consumer electronics stores across Singapore. Additionally, it will be available for sale and pre-order online at the Huawei official flagship stores on Lazada and Shopee.
Pre-orders will entitle customers to a free premium bundle worth up to S$562, while stocks last. Pre-orders for the Huawei P40 bundle includes the Huawei FreeBuds 3 (worth S$238) and a Smart View Flip Cover (worth S$58), while the Huawei P40 Pro variant will include a Huawei Watch GT 2 (worth S$328), a Huawei SuperCharge Wireless Charger (worth S$78), a Huawei SuperCharge Wireless Car Charger (worth S$98), and a Smart View Flip Cover (worth S$58).
|Model||Huawei P40||Huawei P40 Pro|
|OS||Android 10.0 + EMUI 10.1||Android 10.0 + EMUI 10.1|
|Processor||Huawei Kirin 990 5G||Huawei Kirin 990 5G|
|Memory||8GB RAM||8GB RAM|
|Display||6.1-inch OLED display, FHD+ (2340 x 1080 pixels), 422PPI||6.58-inch OLED 90Hz display (2640 x 1200 pixels), 441PPI|
|Camera||Rear (Triple Leica lens camera)50MP Ultra VisionCamera (wide angle, f/1.9)16MP Ultra-Wide Angle Camera (f/2.2)8MP Telephoto Camera (f/2.4, OIS)|
Front32MP Selfie Camera (f/2.0
|Rear (Quad Leica lens camera)50MP Ultra Vision Camera (wide angle, f/1.9, OIS)40MP Cine Camera (ultra-wide angle, f/1.8)12MP SuperSensing Telephoto Camera (f/3.4, OIS)3D Depth Sensing Camera|
Front32MP Selfie Camera (f/2.2, auto-focus) + Depth Camera
|Charging||Huawei SuperCharge technology (22.5W)||Huawei SuperCharge Technology (40W)Wireless Huawei |
SuperCharge (27W, wireless charger sold separately.)
|Dimensions||148.9 x 71.06 x 8.50mm||158.2 x 72.6 x 8.95mm|
|Water and dust resistance||IP53||IP68|
|Colours||Silver Frost, Blush Gold, Deep Sea Blue||Silver Frost, Blush Gold, Deep Sea Blue|
|Availability||4 April 2020||4 April 2020|
Marion has a serious RPG addiction. Sometimes it bleeds into real life; he forgets to sleep because he thinks he has a Witcher’s body clock. Forgive him in advance if he suddenly blurts out terms such as “Mind Flayer” and “Magic Missile”, because never once does he stop thinking about his next Dungeons & Dragons game.