The new baseline for the flagship smartphone this year consists of two key things: 5G connectivity and 5nm fabrication process. Apple got off to a fantastic start with the iPhone 12, rocking both 5G and a spanking new 5nm A14 Bionic chip. Well, as tech things go, a competitor isn’t so far behind. Huawei today unveiled its latest Mate 40 flagship smartphone line-up, boasting a new iconic design, its most powerful SoC with 5G to date, and an uprated camera system.
Since its inception 10 generations ago, the Mate series has been synonymous with design and craftsmanship and the best of Huawei technologies. The Mate 40 series is no different, now with a new curvier design, headlined by the 88-degree Horizon Display and Space Ring Design on the back.
The Huawei Mate 40 and Mate 40 Pro are available in Black and White, as well as the colour-shifting Mystic Silver. Black looks sleek and elegant, but the Mystic Silver, as I found during a sneak preview, looks absolutely stunning; the matte finish on the glass back repels fingerprints which I appreciated. More hands-on impressions in a separate post.
Additionally, there are also two vegan leather variants in Yellow and Green.
Meanwhile, the Mate 40 Pro+ boasts a nano-tech ceramic back panel in Ceramic white and Ceramic Black.
The Kirin 9000G Series chip with 5G is Huawei’s most powerful silicon, packing 15.3 billion transistors with cores running at up to 3.13GHz. This is paired with the world’s first 24-core Mali-G78 GPU and a tri-core NPU.
The Mate 40 Pro’s 6.76-inch FHD+ immersive display features a 90Hz panel with 240Hz touch sampling rate for better responsiveness especially when playing games. Complementing the display are dual stereo speakers.
The Mate 40 Series comes with the fastest iteration of wired Huawei SuperCharge yet—66W, charging via USB-C. It also supports 50W Wireless Huawei SuperCharge. The Mate 40 Pro comes with a 4,400mAh battery.
On the camera side of things, Huawei continues to co-engineer optics with Leica. The Mate 40 Pro and Mate 40 Pro+ pack Dual Cine Cameras and Dual Ultra-Wide Cameras for all-scenario photography and videography. This comprises the 50MP f/1.9 wide-angle camera, 20MP f/1.8 ultra-wide-angle camera, 12MP f/3.4 telephoto camera with OIS and AF, and a laser sensor.
The Dual Cine Cameras feature a 3:2 cinema-style shooting ratio sensor and it also comes with electronic image stabilisation called Steady Shot (not to be confused with Sony’s). AI-assisted XD Fusion HDR Video helps balance exposure, even in tricky, extreme lighting conditions.
Some useful camera features include Tracking Shot, and Story Creator, a guided mode to help users create thematic short videos. As seen on the previous generation Mate series, Audio Focus and Audio Zoom dynamically focuses audio capture as a user zooms into a shot.
The Huawei Mate 40 Pro features a Periscope Telephoto Camera that supports 10x hybrid zoom and 50x digital zoom, while the Mate 40 Pro+ takes things even further with a dual-telephoto system that delivers 20x hybrid zoom and 100x digital zoom. The telephoto lens on the camera offers up to 5x optical zoom.
While gimmicky, Huawei is still adamant on pursuing gestures to control the device. Smart Gesture Controls allow hands-free control of your device. You can hover your hand over the device to wake it up, navigate your phone by swiping left, right, up, and down, and so forth.
The Mate 40 Series runs EMUI 11 based on Android 10 and comes equipped with Huawei Mobile Services (HMS).
Pricing and availability
The Huawei Mate 40 Series will be available in selected markets. Pricing is as follows:
- Huawei Mate 40 – 8GB RAM + 128GB storage – EUR899 (~MYR4,402)
- Huawei Mate 40 Pro – 8GB RAM + 256GB storage – EUR1,199 (~MYR5,871)
- Huawei Mate 40 Pro+ – 12GB RAM + 256GB storage – EUR1,399 (~MYR6,851)
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