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Three new flagships with some key differences
The Huawei P40 has landed and it’s not alone – it has been joined by the Huawei P40 Pro and the super-premium Huawei P40 Pro Plus, somewhat mirroring the Samsung Galaxy S20 range which is headlined by the super-premium Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra.
But while these three phones have plenty of differences, they also have a lot in common. So to help you choose between them – and simply differentiate them – we’ve compared the three new Huawei handsets across every key category.
Below you’ll find information on their designs, displays, power, camera, battery and more, with an emphasis on highlighting the similarities and differences.
Price and availability
The Huawei P40 and Huawei P40 Pro will both be hitting stores (in some regions at least) on April 7, with the former starting at £699 / AU$1,099 (around $870), and the latter at £899 / AU$1,599 (about $1,100).
The Huawei P40 Pro Plus meanwhile won’t hit stores until June, and will be much more expensive at €1399 (roughly £1,300, $1,500, AU$2,500). We don’t have exact pricing for regions like the UK or Australia.
Don’t count on seeing any of these phones in the US either as Huawei doesn’t really have a presence there.
The Huawei P40 and Huawei P40 Pro both sport a glass back in ice white, black, deep sea blue, silver frost or blush gold colors, while the Huawei P40 Pro Plus has a ceramic rear in black or white. So colors and material are the big visual difference.
Beyond that, the three phones all have a large rectangular camera block in the top left corner, a metal frame and an all-screen design.
One other area where they differ is in water resistance. The Huawei P40 Pro and Huawei P40 Pro Plus are IP68 certified, while the standard Huawei P40 has a lesser IP53 rating, meaning it’s less water and dust resistant.
The Huawei P40 has a 6.1-inch 1080 x 2340 19.5:9 screen with a 60Hz refresh rate, while the Huawei P40 Pro and Huawei P40 Pro Plus up it to a 6.58-inch 1200 x 2640 90Hz screen with curved edges all round – even on the top and bottom.
So the pricier two phones are bigger and have a more striking look, as well as a higher resolution and refresh rate – this is one of the main areas where the standard P40 is found lacking relative to the other two.
The phones all sport a truly all-screen design, though all three do have a large camera cut-out in the top left of the display (more on which below).
Camera and battery
The camera is one of the things that Huawei is pushing most with these phones, and of course it’s most exciting on the Huawei P40 Pro Plus.
That phone has a 50MP f/1.9 main sensor with optical image stabilization (OIS), supposedly capable of taking in a lot of light (for great low light shots). It also has a 40MP f/1.8 ultra-wide sensor, an 8MP f/4.4 periscope lens with OIS that’s capable of 10x optical zoom, and an 8MP f/2.4 telephoto lens with OIS, capable of 3x optical zoom.
That makes for the world’s first dual-lens optical telephoto system, and combined those lenses allow for 100x digital zoom. Finally, the P40 Pro Plus also has a time-of-flight (ToF) depth sensor, so there are five sensors in all.
The other two handsets also have that 50MP main sensor with OIS, but the Huawei P40 Pro pairs it with a 40MP f/1.8 ultra-wide sensor, a 12MP f/3.4 telephoto sensor with 5x optical zoom and OIS, and a ToF sensor.
Finally, the standard Huawei P40 pairs its 50MP main sensor with a 16MP f/2.2 ultra-wide one, and an 8MP f/2.4 telephoto one with 3x optical zoom and OIS. So with each step up the range there’s an extra lens and improved zoom capabilities.
On the front the three phones all have a 32MP selfie camera, but on the P40 Pro and P40 Pro Plus that’s joined by a ToF depth sensor, allowing for improved bokeh effects. All three models also offer fast facial recognition using infrared.
All three phones support 4K video recording with both front and back cameras, and if using the rear cameras you can pair that with a 60fps frame rate.
The three handsets also all have a lot of software and AI photography tricks, such as the ability to use AI to remove passersby from photos.
As for battery, the Huawei P40 has a 3,800mAh one, while the Huawei P40 Pro and Huawei P40 Pro Plus both have 4,200mAh ones. The latter two also support 40W wired charging and allow wireless charging, while the standard Huawei P40 only supports up to 22.5W wired charging and doesn’t have wireless charging.
Specs and features
All three phones use the top-end Kirin 990 chipset, and they all support 5G. There’s also a ‘4 layer SuperCool’ system in the Huawei P40 Pro Plus, which should help keep the phone cool even when you’re taxing its chipset.
As for RAM, they all have up to 8GB, though there’s also a model of the basic Huawei P40 with 6GB. For storage you get 128GB or 256GB in the Huawei P40, 128GB, 256GB or 512GB in the Huawei P40 Pro, and 256GB or 512GB in the Huawei P40 Pro Plus.
They run Android but of course due to the Huawei ban you’re not getting Google apps or services, so there’s no Google Play Store either.
The operating system is overlaid with Huawei’s EMUI 10.1 interface, and comes complete with a new voice assistant called Celia, which can be launched with a press of the power button.
Finally, the three phones also all have an in-screen fingerprint scanner, one which is apparently 30% larger and faster than the one used by previous-gen Huawei phones like the Huawei P30 Pro.
As is usual with Huawei the focus here seems to be on the camera, and on that front the Huawei P40 Pro Plus is miles ahead of the basic P40 – at least on paper – with the Huawei P40 Pro taking a middle ground.
The two pricier handsets also have an edge when it comes to the screen and design, but power should be similar across the board, and of course, as you move up the range you’re paying more.
We’ll let you know how the three perform in practice once we’ve put them through a full review, but in reality your choice might come down to what’s available where you live, as they might not all launch everywhere.