Huawei hasn’t even launched the P40 yet and yet fans are already clamouring for details on the Mate 30’s successor, due to be released later in 2020.
The company has so-called “dual flagships”, launching the P-series in the spring, and the Mate series in the autumn. Back in September 2019 the Mate 30 series was announced, and was the first phone to fall foul of the US trade ban which meant no Google services despite the presence of Android 10 on the handsets.
And as that ban shows no signs of being lifted, it’s entirely possible Huawei will have to forge ahead with its own services running on open source Android. Indeed, it has allegedly said that even if it could now run Google apps it would not, and is openly working with Xiaomi, Vivo and Oppo to create a Chinese alternative to Google Play.
You may know that the firm is developing its own in-house operating system called HarmonyOS, but for now, it is sticking with Android and installing its own app store and using its own apps to replace some of the Google services.
It’s a big ask to get developers to make their apps available in Huawei’s App Gallery, but that appears to be Huawei’s plan at the moment. Even so, you’ll still not be able to access Google Maps or other Google apps which rely on Google services being installed on the phone.
When is the Mate 40 coming out?
It’s likely Huawei will hold an event in September 2020 to launch the range of phones, but it’s way too early for this to be confirmed. And depending upon how the P40 launch goes (with an announcement event set for 26 March), the Mate 40 might not get a global launch and instead be confined to China and other markets which don’t demand Google services.
How much will the Mate 40 cost?
Again, any figures at this stage are pure speculation but, put simply, it will cost what other flagship phones cost. We thought Huawei might drop the price of the Mate 30 because of the Google absence, but no: the phone still cost just as much as its rivals.
The more relevant question is where you’ll be able to buy one. Huawei has a rather poor track record when it comes to launching devices and then failing to make them available to buy. Many of its MateBook laptops, for example are still not available to buy in the UK. The same goes for the Mate 30: it’s still not officially available in the UK, US or Europe.
What are the Mate 40 specification rumours?
Right now, there are very few. One is that it will be the first phone (range of phones, to be exact) to use the next-generation Kirin processor.
That might sound obvious, but Huawei Central says that industry sources are reporting that the chip is already in trial production, that it is using a 5nm process and that it’s based on the ARM A77 architecture.
And that’s it. There are no other rumours or leaks to shed any light on what else might change or be improved.
We’d like to see a return of physical volume buttons for one thing. The novelty of removing them on the Mate 30 Pro was exactly that, and relied upon the screen being on to adjust the volume level. The Mate 30, on the other hand, has proper volume buttons…
Getting back to our wishlist for the Mate 40, Google services are obviously right up there, but we’d like to see it offer improvements in the camera department. Anyone who owns a P30 Pro is unlikely to lust after the Mate 30 Pro as its zoom lens basically the one you’ll find on the Mate 20 Pro (and even older P20 Pro) – 3x optical.
With the P40 supposedly arriving with the industry’s first 10x optical zoom, the Mate 40 (Pro) will need to step up its game.
When some new rumours or leaks appear, we’ll update this roundup.
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