Tech behemoth Huawei has unveiled its P40 flagship smartphone, after hundreds of thousands of Huawei employees in China were given the all-clear to return to work.
Huawei launched its premium device via livestream on 26 March. The standard, big-event style launches typically associated with new tech showcases are not an option amidst the Covid-19 pandemic.
The P40 launched the day after Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei reported that 150 000 Chinese based employees had returned to work. CEO Richard Yu said at the launch, the supply chain had recovered enough to support the launch of the P40.
The entire range is equipped with 5G functionality, which Yu said will drive a breakout year for smartphones. Powered by its in-house developed Kirin 990 chip, the P40’s CPU is 23% faster than its predecessor, the P30.
The camera, which features 3x optical zoom as a standard feature, also has 10x zoom functionality available in the P40+. Having optical zoom allows users to zoom in and out, without losing picture quality. Digital optimisation on the P40+, meanwhile, can achieve a 100x optical zoom.
According to the tech giant, the P40 is equipped with larger light sensors than its rival Samsung’s S20 or the iPhone 11, making it capable of taking better photographs in low-light situations without the flash.
An editing feature uses AI technology to erase unwanted shadows, reflections or other imperfections from images. The P40 has a voice-activated digital assistant which responds to “Hey Celia”. Celia can already identify millions of items from images using its sophisticated AI, said Huawei.
AI Best Mode is a built-in feature that uses AI to take pictures at the most opportune moment, enhancing action sequences and reducing blurry shots.
Industry experts say the P40, which lacks Google Play services, will struggle to compete in western markets where Google is more popular. Those who purchase the P40 will also not have access to apps such as YouTube, Maps and Twitter. However, Huawei revealed it has a $20 billion R&D budget to bolster its App portfolio to counter this initial shortcoming.
While the P40 was officially launched in late March, it goes on sale in Europe on 7 April and will retail for 799 Euros, with the P40+ retailing for 999 Euros.