Huawei Mate 40, Mate 40 Pro and Mate 40 Pro Plus Launched; A Whole Lot of Expensive Innovation

Faisal Rasool

Today was Huawei's big launch event where the company unveiled the long-anticipated Huawei Mate 40 series, alongside a few other premium products. It's the same story as last year — exceptionally powerful hardware, but a lacking software experience. Let’s unpack the new lineup.

Huawei Mate 40 Pro

The Huawei Mate40 Pro had been extensively leaked already (and it seemed very promising) and now that it has been officially introduced, it’s a cutting-edge piece of engineering. Huawei’s first 5nm 5G Kirin 9000 chipset is at the phone’s heart.

It’s their latest and greatest flagship processor, presumably faster than Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 865+. It improves on GPU performance roughly by half over the last generation and supports real-time HDR image processing.

In the same vein, the Mate 40 Pro's 4400 mAh battery is now powered by 66W fast charging (a watt higher than Oppo’s 65W technology that gives you a full charge in less than 40 minutes). Plus, it supports 50W wireless charging — that’s faster than most flagships charge over wired.

Huawei Mate 40 Pro’s aesthetic still has the signature Mate look to it — that is, curved screen edges and the ring-style camera bump. The 88° display curvature is almost waterfall but Huawei brought back the physical buttons this year. The refresh rate has been bumped up to 90Hz (not 120Hz because it’s a battery hog according to Huawei).

We have a true dual stereo speaker (not just the earpiece modified to produce the surround effect) The back is ceramic material (just like the P40 series) and has a dynamic finish to it. Depending on the viewing angle, it refracts multiple hues. There are also faux leather options.

Huawei has co-engineered the Mate 40 Pro cameras with Leica like every year. We’re looking at a 50MP standard camera, a 12MP telephoto that supports up to 5x optical and up to 50x digital zoom. The highlight here is ultra-wide cameras on both front and back of the phone, but with a new anti-distortion freeform lens.

Huawei Mate 40

The vanilla Mate 40 looks almost entirely the same as its Pro brother but with a single hole-punch cutout and lesser pronounced curves around the edges. Even the color palette featuring the gorgeous Mystic Silver, White, Green, Black, and Yellow editions is the same.

Due to the ongoing situation with the US, Huawei is devastated and probably not going to conduct any more local launches which also means that we might not be able to see the last of the Mate flagship in Pakistan.

The cameras are slightly trimmed down as is the Kirin 9000E chipset.  The all-new Huawei Mate 40 powered by a 4200 mAh battery that charges over 40W (not as dramatic as 66W but very serviceable nonetheless.)

Huawei Mate 40 Pro Plus

As you’d expect, the Huawei Mate40 Pro+ is the most premium of the three models. Its ring contains five cameras — making it the first Penta-camera from Huawei. Two of these cameras are dedicated zoom lenses — a 12MP telephoto camera with 3x optical zoom and a periscope-style camera for a whopping 10x optical zoom.

Combined with the advanced real-time HDR for better contrast and wide dynamic range, the Huawei Mate40 Pro Plus is certainly Huawei’s most powerful camera system yet. The selfie cameras are shared with the Pro version, so are the chipset, battery, fast charging, and the 6.67” OLED screen. Instead of the 8GB+256GB of base memory and storage, the Mate40 Pro+ has 12GB of RAM but doesn’t go up to 512GB.

The Mate 40 series makes up for the underwhelming EMUI 11 with a few innovative features of its own — better air gestures, a new navigation app, the Eyes On Display that lights up the always-on screen when you look at the phone, IR-enabled face unlocking, and privacy-respecting tweaks.

More to the point though, Huawei only has a limited stockpile of Kirin 9000 chipsets (estimated around 8-10 million) and the EMUI 11 onboard lacks Google’s mobile services. So which markets get the new Mate 40 series phones is anyone’s guess right now. Huawei might re-release the phones with different chipsets and cheaper prices.

Despite the apparent flaws, Huawei is aggressively jacking up the prices this year. The Mate 30 Pro was priced at roughly €700 and the new Mate40 Pro starts from €1199 (Rs. 229,000). The standard Mate 40 will be available for €899 (Rs. 1,72,000) and the Pro+ edition at €1399 (Rs. 267,000).


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