Huawei Announces Mate 40 Series, Another Flagship Phone No One Will Buy
Huawei is in a tough spot, but it’s still releasing phones like nothing is wrong. The Chinese megafirm’s newest devices are the Mate 40 and Mate 40 Pro. As usual, they have incredible camera setups and super-premium hardware, but the Android software is still bereft of all Google apps and services. That makes it a non-starter in most countries, and Huawei’s chip situation is potentially perilous for its global operations.
As the names imply, the Mate 40 is the cheaper of the two phones, but it’s still plenty powerful. The Mate 40 has a 6.5-inch 1080p OLED, 8GB of RAM, and 128-256GB of storage. The Pro is just a little bigger at 6.67 inches and has a higher 1344 x 2772. It also has 256GB of storage. Both phones also have a hole-punch in the display for the front-facing cameras; a single 13MP sensor for the base model and a larger space for the 13MP/depth sensor combo on the Pro.
Early reviews are already praising the camera setup, which includes a 50MP RYYB primary sensor on both phones. It has an impressive f/1.9 aperture, allowing it to capture a ton of light. The Mate 40 also has an 8MP 3x telephoto and a 16MP ultrawide sensor. The Mate 40 Pro, meanwhile, has a 12MP periscope camera with 5x optical zoom and a 10MP ultrawide.
These devices still lack Google services thanks to the trade ban enacted back in 2019. That means buyers will have to make do with Huawei’s App Gallery and cloud services instead of Google. There are no Google services inside China, so Huawei’s sales have remained high even with this major feature gap. However, new actions from the US could be hitting Huawei where it really hurts.
The phones, which look a bit like upside-down iPods from the back, run on the new Kirin 9000 5G chip. Reports indicate that Huawei has only stockpiled about 10 million of these ARM-based octa-core chips, and that’s all it may ever have. New US trade restrictions on semiconductors have forced Taiwan-based TSMC to stop supplying Huawei. Going forward, Huawei might only have access to manufacturing processes that are several generations out of date. Without its custom silicon, Huawei would lose the last advantage it has over the competition. While 10 million phones might sound like a lot, it’s not very many for a company like Huawei that used to move tens of millions per year.
The Mate 40 and Mate 40 Pro are probably only coming to Asia and Europe, priced at €899 for the Mate 40 and €1,199 for the Mate 40 Pro. With a limited supply of chips, Huawei will have to think long and hard about which markets will get units.