Update: October 19, 2020 (5:10 AM ET): An extensive leak has now laid bare the Huawei Mate 40 Pro’s physical design and internals. We’ve updated the article with the new information.
Original article: June 10, 2020 (11 AM ET): The Huawei Mate 40 Pro is arguably the Chinese company’s most eagerly anticipated launch of the year. The Mate 30 Pro’s successor is expected to close out 12 months of mixed fortunes for the Chinese giant. Huawei has both topped global smartphone shipments for the first time in its history, but also lost a lot of ground outside of China due to the continuing impact of the US trade ban.
Nevertheless, every major Huawei release is still a key event in the smartphone calendar, and the Mate series represents the pinnacle of the brand’s mobile portfolio. Looking back at previous Mate devices, it wouldn’t be far-fetched to expect the Mate 40 Pro to sport an upgraded chipset, daring design decisions, and notable camera improvements borrowed from the photography-focused P series.
We’ve rounded up everything we know about the Mate 40 Pro and rumored Mate 40 RS with all the leaks, rumors, and confirmed details so far.
When is the Huawei Mate 40 Pro release date?
The Huawei Mate 30 series was announced in September 2019, while the Mate 20 appeared in October 2018. Because of this, if we were to posit a guess for the Mate 40 Pro release date, it would be sometime in September or October 2020. However, considering the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on other smartphone makers and the ongoing US ban on Huawei, we wouldn’t be surprised if the Chinese firm delayed the launch of the Mate 40 Pro to a later date.
On September 16, WinFuture indicated that the phone series will break cover in mid-October this year, but will only launch in 2021. The latter corroborates rumors of delays we’ve heard from the likes of Evan Blass. For what it’s worth, Huawei Mobile’s UK Twitter account noted on September 15 that the next-gen Mate series would be “coming soon.”
Twitter tipster Teme (@Rodent950) on September 30 suggested we could see the Mate 40 Pro debut on October 22, placing it the previously mentioned time-frame. This date was later confirmed by Huawei.
As for the name, Huawei’s consumer business chief, Yu Chengdong confirmed that 2020’s Mate series will receive the Huawei Mate 40 moniker, as expected. Based on rumors thus far, we expect at least three versions of the device to make an appearance. Notably, @Rodent950 believes the Huawei Mate 40 Pro will now form the base of the model range, with the Mate 40 Pro Plus and Mate 40 RS also expected.
It’s likely that Huawei will continue its focus on camera hardware with the Mate 40 Pro, with an alleged design that draws attention to it too.
Leaked renders (via PriceBaba) suggest that the Mate 40 Pro phone will feature a pill-style selfie camera cutout, similar to the Huawei P40 Pro. This would be a first for the Mate line, which traditionally opted for notches. The Mate 30 Pro required a broad notch that housed additional sensors for face authentication. It’s not clear if Huawei would be able to fit these components in the cutout, or if it’ll adopt the secondary infrared camera found on the P40 Pro and P40 Pro Plus.
See also: The best Huawei phones you can buy right now
The Huawei Mate 40 Pro’s screen size is rumored to measure 6.7-inches across. That would be slightly larger than the Mate 30 Pro’s 6.53-inch display, but renders suggest a less aggressive “waterfall” edge on the Mate 40 Pro. This should appease users who hated the sacrifice of practicality for aesthetics on the Mate 30 Pro.
On the back, the Mate 40 Pro may have a circular camera array, which protrudes by more than a millimeter from the phone’s actual body. Four sensors are indicated, which matches the Mate 30 Pro. Tipster OnLeaks also believes the Mate 40 Pro will be thicker than the Mate 30 Pro, measuring more than 10mm deep at its camera array and 9mm along its edge. OnLeaks also suggests that one of the Mate 40 Pro’s cameras will be a telephoto lens.
An IR blaster, single-speaker grille, and the return of physical volume and power controls on the side of the phone are also hinted at in early renders (as seen above).
A TENAA listing spotted by MySmartPrice writer Mukul Sharma on September 24 shed more light on the Mate 40’s apparent display and battery details. For power, the device listed includes a 4,000mAh power cell, while its screen measures 6.5-inches, slightly smaller than the 6.62-inch display on the Mate 30. It seems the Mate 40 could be a larger overall device, too. TENAA’s measurements find the device will be 167mm long, just under 78mm wide, and around 10mm thick.
The most extensive leak thus far dropped on October 17 by WinFuture which differs on some dimensions, design quirks, and specs versus previous leaks. Although the Huawei Mate 40 Pro will seemingly sport a circular camera array at the rear, it’ll resemble a ring similar to an iPad click wheel and not the solid glass slab suggested by early renders.
The Mate 30 Pro’s touch controls make way for physical buttons on the Mate 40 Pro’s right flank. Upfront, the pill-style selfie camera cutout is present in a 6.76-inch OLED display with a resolution of 2,772 x 1,344. Dimensions given by the German publication include a length of 163mm and a depth of 9.1mm. The Mate 40 Pro could be hefty at 212 grams.
Specs and features
As per previous Mate lines, expect Huawei to debut its latest Kirin chipset on the Mate 40 Pro. Rumors from as early as September last year from HuaweiCentral suggest that the Kirin 1000 will make its bow within the device.
On September 16, WinFuture mentioned the name Kirin 9000. Although Huawei hasn’t officially confirmed it, it’s possible that the company could use this trade name for its 5G-ready 5nm chipset instead.
The Kirin 9000 was detailed in WinFuture‘s report on October 17. The chipset is set to feature eight cores, with four Arm Cortex-A77 cores and four Arm Cortex-A55 cores. Seven of the eight cores will reportedly be clocked at 2.54GHz. A single Cortex-A77 core might stretch its legs to 3.13GHz, the report adds. Europeans may receive 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage in their Mate 40 Pro models, while Chinese buyers could find up to 12GB of RAM in their variants.
When confirming the name of the Mate 40 series, Yu Chengdong announced that the series will be the last to feature a Huawei-designed Kirin chipset. This is due to the US ban, which came into effect on September 15. It forbids the company from transacting with US-based firms or firms using US technology, like its chipset manufacturer TSMC.
Read more: Can Huawei survive without its custom Kirin chips?
As for imaging, a report from April points to the inclusion of a “freeform lens,” an addition to the Mate 40’s camera arsenal that could improve wide-angle shots.
WinFuture added to this in its October leak, detailing the three snappers allegedly present on the Mate 40 Pro. A 50MP primary sensor will reportedly join a 20MP wide-angle shooter and a 12MP zoom lens. Laser autofocus, a color temperature sensor, and an LED flash also make the cut. Upfront, a 13MP selfie camera will accompany a 3D sensor for gesture controls.
As for power, the Mate 40 Pro will reportedly pack a 4,400mAh battery with 65W charging via a USB-C port, per WinFuture.
Although they might make it to Europe, you shouldn’t expect Google integration on these devices. The phones will likely launch with EMUI 11 based on Android 10.
The Huawei Mate 40 RS, set to be the range-topper once more, will reportedly pack an octagonal camera array at the rear housing five cameras. According to @Rodent950, the phone will also pack a 50MP primary camera with support from a 20MP ultra-wide, 8MP optical zoom camera with 3x reach, and an 8MP zoom camera with 10x reach. A ToF sensor may also feature.
Huawei Mate 40 Pro: Price and availability
It’s too early to say just how much the Huawei Mate 40 Pro will cost, but the previous Mate models can be used as a rough guide. For starters, the Huawei Mate 30 Pro made its debut at €1,099 (~$1,296), which is €50 more than the Huawei Mate 20 Pro’s launch price. If the Mate 40 Pro’s pricing were to follow this pattern and the ever-increasing flagship prices in the global market, we could see a price of anywhere between €1,200 and €1,300, or potentially even higher.
Twitter tipster @Rodent950 in October shed some light on the Mate 40 line’s possible European prices. The Huawei Mate 40 Pro will reportedly come in at €1,100, with the Pro Plus pushing the €1,400 mark. The Mate 40 RS will likely be the costliest of the bunch requiring a hefty €2,500 investment.
That’s a pretty penny for phones that lacks Google services. However, the Mate 40 Pro’s price would put it in the same ballpark as the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, which it competes with on specs and features. The Mate 40 RS would be nearly €400 more than the Mate 30 RS, pushing it deep into beyond foldable phone pricing territory.
As for availability, it’s not immediately clear if or when these phones will make it to Europe.
A mid-September report from tipster Evan Blass signals bad news for Huawei fans beyond China. While the phone’s Chinese availability will likely follow its rumored launch in October, the phone’s international availability may be pushed back to 2021. This time-frame will also likely be affected by the US trade ban. We wouldn’t be surprised if the Mate 40 global launch is delayed even further, especially considering reports of production delays in June, and Huawei’s purported lower phone shipment projections.
That’s all we know so far about the Huawei Mate 40 Pro, but we do have a few hopes of our own for the next Huawei flagship. Read on for our Mate 40 Pro wishlist!
Huawei Mate 40 Pro: What we want to see
Ditch the waterfall display
The Mate 30 Pro was one of a couple of phones that launched with a waterfall display last year. This trend sees the screen spill over the edges at a far more drastic angle than a normal curved display.
Our own Bogdan Petrovan hated the feature, owing to the fact that they simply weren’t practical. Huawei opted for a more traditional curved screen on the P40 Pro series. Here’s hoping it follows suit for the Mate 40 Pro.
A massively upgraded processor
Huawei usually debuts a new Kirin flagship processor in the Mate series each year. We’re expecting the same procedure this year, but we’ve got our fingers crossed for a major upgrade on the Mate 40 Pro specs sheet.
The Kirin 990 wasn’t a massive upgrade over the Kirin 980, retaining the same CPU and GPU cores, for example. We did see improved machine learning silicon and camera capabilities (i.e. 4K/60fps), but hopefully, Huawei adopts Arm’s latest Cortex-X1 and Cortex-A78 CPUs for a massive step forward. Arm’s Mali-G78 would also be a welcome upgrade over the Kirin 990’s Mali-G76 GPU.
8K recording and video snap
Samsung’s Galaxy S20 series offers 8K recording, making for a big leap over 4K video recording in theory. We’d like to see the Huawei Mate 40 Pro camera support this option too, but not just for the sake of having a higher resolution format.
Read: Maybe don’t buy into the 8K video recording hype yet
Samsung’s flagships allow you to extract 33MP frames from 8K clips, essentially giving you a burst mode of sorts. We’d love to see the Huawei Mate 40 Pro offer a similar feature, bringing more flexibility to the table. This could be handy for situations where you can’t decide between photo and video.
A fix for the app situation… somehow
It’s no secret that recent Huawei phones have a bit of an app problem. The ideal scenario for the Mate 40 would be the Google Play Store and the millions of apps within making a return, but it’s highly unlikely given the intensifying US ban. In any event, this is also an opportunity for Huawei to add some big hitters to its own App Gallery that don’t require Google services.
There’s also the issue of third-party apps that require Google services of some kind. Huawei will need to work with these developers and offer incentives to ensure these apps land on its own App Gallery.
The Mate 20 series debuted 40W charging back in October 2018, and it still holds up incredibly well today. This tech means your 4,200mAh+ battery can be topped up in roughly an hour.
Related: The best wireless chargers — What are your choices?
However, the likes of Oppo and other rivals have stepped up to offer 65W charging in the past 12 months. This means you can fill up a 4,000mAh battery in just 35 minutes, as the Oppo Reno Ace shows. We’d be fine with 40W charging, but wouldn’t it be cool to see charging times of 45 minutes or less?
Bring back microSD support
Huawei introduced Nano Memory (NM) cards with the Mate 20 series launch. It is essentially a proprietary memory card format. For what it’s worth, the NM cards fit into a nano-SIM tray and are apparently 45% smaller than microSD cards.
But who cares when NM cards aren’t easy to find and they’re so darn expensive? For example, Amazon UK lists a 128GB card for just over £40 (~$51). Meanwhile, your typical 128GB microSD card can be found for £15 to £20 (~$19 to ~$25). What’s the point of expandable storage if you have to jump through hoops to get it? Hopefully the Huawei Mate 40 Pro returns to a standard card format, as unlikely as that might be.
More Golden Snap magic
The Huawei P40 series introduced a so-called Golden Snap suite of camera-related features, and it certainly makes for crowd-pleasing tech. Some of these features include the ability to remove reflections in windows and the ability to remove people in the background. The latter isn’t new, but today’s powerful chipsets are theoretically able to do it better than ever before.
We’d love to see these features come to the Mate 40 Pro, but hopefully, Huawei brings similarly innovative computational photography tricks to the table. We wouldn’t say no to a Samsung-style Single Take mode, Lumia-style Action Shots, or Pixel-inspired Dual Exposure Controls either.