The compact flagship – it’s a niche fewer dare to explore, no matter potential or demand. Sony has given up on the Compact series, unfortunately, and the iPhone SE 2 is in a Schrödinger’s state of uncertainty for all we know. But Huawei P40 is already here, already available worldwide, and it brings a ton of premium perks stuffed into a pocket-friendly body.
The P40 is the smallest and least expensive of the new P40 series trio by Huawei. It relies on a more reasonably sized 6.1″ OLED screen, although 60Hz instead of 90Hz, with similar sharpness and boasts Huawei’s top-of-the-line Kirin 990 5G chip. The screen vibrates to make sound just like on the other P40’s, and the under-display fingerprint scanner is of equal speed and accuracy.
Being a (P)hotography-centric smartphone, the P40 also offers some of the key camera features found on its Pro siblings like the new 50MP main shooter, complete with the RYYB filter, OIS, and 4K at 60fps capturing. The zoom range is limited to 3x as there is no periscope lens, while the ultrawide shooter uses a more mainstream 16MP sensor vs. 40MP on the Pro. There is no fourth (ToF) camera on the back of the P40 as there is on the Pro.
The selfie camera enjoys the high-res 32MP sensor available on the Pro models, but it omits autofocus and we were really bummed to find this. At least it got the IR camera helper, so Face Unlock is possible.
The P40 is a smaller phone and it has a smaller 3,800 mAh battery. Its charging speed isn’t as impressive at 22.5W, but still fast enough. There are no wireless charging capabilities on the P40 though, which is yet another obvious difference from the Pros.
Huawei P40 specs
- Body: Glass front and back, aluminum frame; IP53-rated for dust and splash resistance.
- Screen: 6.1″ OLED, 1,080×2,340px resolution (422ppi); 60Hz refresh rate; HDR10.
- Chipset: Kirin 990 5G, octa-core processor (2xA76 @2.86GHz + 2xA76 @2.36GHz +4xA55 @1.95GHz), Mali-G76 MP16 GPU, tri-core NPU.
- Memory: 6/8GB RAM, 128/256GB UFS3.0 storage (expandable via Nano Memory – hybrid slot).
- OS/Software: Android 10, EMUI 10.1.
- Rear camera: Primary: 50MP (RYYB filter), 1/1.28″ sensor size, 23mm f/1.8 lens, OIS, PDAF; Telephoto: 8MP 80mm f/2.4, OIS, 3x optical and 5x hybrid zoom, PDAF; Ultrawide angle: 16MP, 17mm, f/2.2, AF; 4K@60fps video capture; Leica co-developed.
- Front camera: 32MP, f/2.0, 26mm; 3D IR camera.
- Battery: 3,800mAh; Super Charge 22.5W.
- Security: Fingerprint reader (under display, optical), 3D face recognition.
- Connectivity: 5G/4G/3G/GSM; Dual SIM, Wi-Fi 6+, Dual-band GPS, Bluetooth 5.1 + LE, NFC, USB Type-C.
- Misc: Acoustic display acts as earpiece, bottom-firing loudspeaker.
Well, besides the lower screen refresh rate, reworked secondary cameras and slower charging, the Huawei P40 has one more thing different the more premium Pro versions – it is only splash-proof with IP53 rating, instead of water-resistant with IP68 or similar. This has been an ongoing thing with Huawei’s flagships for years now and we dream for the day where Pro and non-Pro headliners will have feature parity.
Enough with the small talk, here comes the P40 out of its box.
Unboxing the Huawei P40
The Huawei P40 retail bundle is flagship worthy. Inside the white paper box, you will find Huawei’s 22.5W Super Charge brick and the enhanced USB-C cable needed for the Super Charge to work.
Huawei also ships the P40 with its wired EarBuds ending on a USB-C plug. There is no 3.5mm adapter inside the box.
Some markets may also get a transparent silicone case within the box, but we did not receive one.