Now that the calendar has flipped to 2020, Huawei is busy working on its first-half flagship phones, the camera-centric P40 line. A photo discovered on China’s Weibo microblogging site claims to show the Huawei P40’s camera module on the production line. If the photo is legit, we can easily see that there will be three cameras on the back of the phone. Each of the circular cutouts represents a camera and there are other cutouts inside the module for the dual LED flash units and the laser sensors. This represents a design change since last year’s P30 series had the LEDs and the laser located outside of the camera housing.
The Huawei P40 series will include the new Huawei Mobile Services
We can also assume that the module in the photograph is for the P40, not the P40 Pro. That is because the latter is going to use a periscope to deliver 5x optical zoom and a second telephoto camera that offers 2x optical zoom. Most periscope-based cameras use a rectangular opening and the camera housing in the photo lacks such a cutout. Ergo, we can say that the camera housing in the accompanying picture is for the P40, and the periscope zoom will be available only for the premium P40 Pro model. Besides, the P40 Pro is expected to include a regular wide camera, an ultra-wide camera, the telephoto camera, the periscope camera and a Time of Flight sensor.
Production line photo allegedly shows the camera module for the Huawei P40
The Huawei P40 Pro might be equipped with a 6.7-inch display that curves on all four sides. Renders indicate that each corner will have a lip covering the four edges of the display to protect them from drops. The device will be powered by the Kirin 990 chipset designed by Huawei’s own HiSilicon unit and manufactured by TSMC using its 7nm EUV process. With an integrated 5G modem, the component carries more than 10.3 billion transistors. We could see the phone available with 8GB or 12GB of memory with 128GB or 256GB of storage.
Render shows one of the lips that will be used on the P40 Pro to protect the quad-edge display
It is worth remembering that last year’s P30 carried three cameras on the back; if the photo is legit, Huawei won’t be adding a new camera to the camera module on the P40 model as it did last year when it from the two cameras used on the P20 to the trio employed on the P30.
As for the operating system, Android 10 will be pre-installed along with Huawei’s EMUI 10 interface. The company’s Huawei Mobile Services (HMS) will debut on the series since Huawei is not allowed to license Google Mobile Services (GMS). The latter allows an Android user to enjoy Google’s core Android apps and the Google ecosystem. HMS includes the Huawei AppGallery storefront, Huawei’s user-facing apps that run on the screen and other apps that run in the background so that users can access the Huawei ecosystem. Unless something drastic happens and the U.S. supply chain ban is lifted, we can expect something similar for the Mate 40 line that will be released during the second half of the year.
Not having Google’s main Android apps like Gmail, Search, the Google Play Store, Maps, and Chrome won’t impact sales in China since most Google apps are banned in the country anyway. But international sales have been affected and Huawei is going to have to hope that those overseas take to HMS if they hope to surpass or even make up ground on Samsung this year. The latter has done a lot of work with its first-half flagship Galaxy S series and has a foldable sequel expected to sport a real glass screen, flagship specs and a price under $1,000. The bottom line is that Huawei is going to have an uphill battle as it tries to knock Samsung off of the global smartphone throne.