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Huawei P40 should make Samsung Galaxy S20 nervous

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The Huawei P40 may destroy Galaxy S20’s photography reign

The Huawei P40 will be the first major competitor for Samsung’s Galaxy S20. Even in its basic form, the S20 has some great cameras. The rear triple array, along with the single front sensor, have taken many quality photos during our tests of the phone since its recent reveal. We were expecting the next Huawei P-series phone to appear at the end of March, but we’ve already got a look at it in a disguised form.

Digital Trends managed to get a sneak preview of the Huawei P40, along with some pictures of the handset that will succeed the P30 and P30 Pro. Except if you read the text on the phone, you will see that technically this isn’t a Huawei phone but a “Polarie” one, with lenses by “Blink” rather than Leica, Huawei’s long-standing photography partner.

(Image credit: Andy Boxall/DigitalTrends.com)

This is actually the basic P40, rather than the P40 Pro, so what you’re seeing will likely rival the Galaxy S20. The P40 Pro will likely fit somewhere between the S20 Plus and S20 Ultra depending on the exact specs Huawei decides to give its new device.

As we can see on the back of the phone, nestled in a handsome reflective blue body and arranged in a vertical stack in the phone’s top left corner, are three main camera lenses and a smaller sensor off to the side. It’s not a stretch to believe that these will be main, telephoto and ultra-wide cameras, along with a time-of-flight sensor to help judge depth for applying image effects like bokeh. The rumored megapixels for these three cameras are 52MP, 40MP and 8MP for the telephoto sensor. That last one’s quite a bit smaller than the 64MP sensor the S20 uses, but that won’t be a problem if Huawei has given it better optical zoom magnification, making a larger sensor less necessary for taking good zoom pictures.

Like the P30, this P40 prototype features a curved back, but it looks to have more rounded corners for additional comfort when holding the phone or carrying it in a pocket. There’s the ubiquitous USB-C port at the bottom, but sadly the headphone jack, present on the standard P30, has now disappeared. While we don’t see the display in any of the photos, we’re told that the screen is curved, as it was on the P30 Pro, but not too dramatically, unlike the “Horizon” display Huawei uses on its Mate 30 Pro. This means the P40 will looks less striking, but hopefully be a bit easier to use. This preview model is also thicker than the P30, so hopefully that means more internal upgrades like the new Kirin 990 5G-compatible CPU, a larger battery, and more besides.

(Image credit: Andy Boxall/DigitalTrends.com)

There’s a chance some of the aspects of this design will change before the March 26 launch event that Huawei has planned for the P40. We’re expecting at least the P40 and P40 Pro to be shown off here, but there’s also rumors of a P40 Pro Premium Edition, likely the model that will square off against the Galaxy S20 Ultra. Huawei also has a habit of releasing a “Lite” version of its P-series phones, although we might be waiting a few months before that appears.

But there’s two big issues with the P40. Firstly, it’s not available yet. Secondly, unless Huawei and the US government bury the hatchet in the very near future, the P40 series will launch without Google apps, which will make it a tough sell to many users. Therefore, if you want a great Android phone with the apps you expect, plus a fantastic display, great cameras and good battery life in a compact frame, the Samsung Galaxy S20 is still an excellent phone.

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