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Huawei Mate 40 release date, price, news and rumors

Huawei Mate 40
The Huawei Mate 30 Pro (Image credit: TechRadar)

The Huawei Mate 40 and Mate 40 Pro are set to be Huawei's two best phones of the year, as the Mate series is where Huawei deploys all its best tech and features. Many questions surround them though, like whether they'll get Google apps or if they'll even be available to buy in most of the world.

Other phones we expect to see in 2020:

We don’t have concrete answers to any of that yet, but we can speculate, and as news and rumors start to roll in we’ll update you accordingly. The launch of the Huawei P40 series in March 2020 gives us an early glimpse at Huawei's vision for the year, so take a look at those phones for some early clues.

In the meantime you’ll also find our wish list below for what we want from the Mate 40 range – it starts with full Android, but there’s plenty more that we’d like to see.

Update: We've seen what the Huawei Mate 40's camera bump could look like, including the number of rear lenses, and it looks set to be a photography powerhouse.

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? The successor to the Huawei Mate 30
  • When is it out? Possibly October 2020
  • What will it cost? Around what other flagship phones cost

Huawei Mate 40 release date and price

The Huawei Mate 30 and Huawei Mate 30 Pro were announced on September 19, 2019, while the Huawei Mate 20 range landed in October 2018. So as there are no release date rumors yet we can’t narrow down the launch to a specific day or week, but the Mate 40 range is likely to land in September or October of 2020.

One leak has pointed to October for a global unveiling of the phones, which is when we were see a close competitor, the Google Pixel 5, launch.

However, that’s not necessarily when you’ll be able to buy them. In fact, you might not easily be able to buy them at all, as due to the Huawei ban the availability of the Mate 30 range is unclear at the time of writing – the US won’t be getting them, but even in the likes of the UK and Australia there’s no confirmed availability right now. So this may well be the case for the Huawei Mate 40 range too.

As for price, for now we can only look at the Huawei Mate 30 range, with the standard phone costing €799 (around $880 / £700 / AU$1,300), while the Huawei Mate 30 Pro costs €1,099 (around $1,200 / £970 / AU$1,700). So prices may be similar for the Mate 40 range.

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Huawei Mate 40 news and rumors

There are very few rumors about the Huawei Mate 40 and Mate 40 Pro yet, and it's starting to feel like interest has waned in the series compared to its predecessors, thanks to the Huawei ban.

We have heard a couple of things though. Firstly, they’re likely to run Android – albeit without Google Play Services, leaving them in a similar situation to the Huawei Mate 30 range.

Huawei has built its own operating system, dubbed HarmonyOS, but has said it isn’t in any hurry to ditch Android for it.

It’s also rumored that the Huawei Mate 40 range will use a Kirin 1000 chipset. This chipset hasn’t been announced, but according to Huawei Central it will be the company’s first to be made on a 5nm process (making it smaller and more efficient than the Huawei Mate 30’s chipset) and will land in the second half of 2020, with the Huawei Mate 40 range being the first phones to use it.

While this is just a rumor for now it’s very believable, as Huawei follows a pattern of debuting new chipsets on the Mate range.

Plus, we've recently heard similar claims from Ming-Chi Kuo (a respected analyst), though he suggested the chipset would be called the Kirin 1020 - it's possible of course that both are in the works.

Kuo also suggested the Mate 40 range could get a new 'freeform' camera design, a design which can reduce distortion in wide-angle shots.

(Image credit: TechRadar)

We have seen one leaked image from a Huawei factory showing what the camera bump could look like. We can see it's likely to be a circular or square rounded design in the center of the phone, as in previous Mate devices.

The component also says '3D' on it, so there could be a Time-of-Flight sensor here for 3D imaging, although beyond that we've no idea what snappers the Mate 40 could have.

What we want to see

The Huawei Mate 30 and especially the Huawei Mate 30 Pro are great phones, but with one major flaw and a number of smaller ones. Here’s how the next models could be improved.

1. Full Android

Our wish list for the Huawei Mate 40 doesn’t end at full Android (complete with Google Mobile Services), but it does start there.

Without this, however great the handset is in other ways it will be crippled. So we really hope Huawei can come to an arrangement with the US that allows it to resume using Google’s apps and services.

2. Bring back the volume buttons

The Mate 30 Pro made some daring design choices, including the removal of any physical volume buttons. Instead, you can use gesture controls to adjust the volume, and while these work well when the display is on, they don’t work at all when it’s off.

This is a real annoyance, so for the Huawei Mate 40 range we want either physical volume buttons or for the gesture controls to work when the display is off.

3. The same curves, without the vignetting

(Image credit: TechRadar)

This is another problem that only applies to the Huawei Mate 30 Pro, rather than the standard Mate 30, but it has a steeply curved screen that looks great – at least most of the time.

Sadly, those curves also create screen vignetting, which is something we’d like to see fixed for the next models. However, assuming Huawei can do that we’d love those sharp curves to be present on both the Mate 40 and Mate 40 Pro.

4. No more notch

While the Huawei Mate 30 and especially the Mate 30 Pro generally look good, they both sport notches, which are looking increasingly dated. So for the Huawei Mate 40 range we want the company to deliver an all-screen design with no notch and ideally no punch-hole either.

5. A sharper screen

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Despite its generally cutting-edge specs, the Huawei Mate 30 Pro has ‘just’ an 1176 x 2400 screen, while the standard Mate 30 has a similar resolution 1080 x 2340 one.

While these aren’t bad resolutions, they’re not quite QHD, and many rivals now have QHD+ displays, so we’d like to see a boost to at least 1440 x 2560 on the Huawei Mate 40 range.

6. A bundled stylus

The Mate range is in many ways a rival to the Samsung Galaxy Note range – bigger alternatives to each company’s ‘main’ flagship line. However, the Note range additionally stands out through Samsung’s S Pen stylus, which is a key component of each model.

While the Huawei Mate 30 Pro does support Huawei’s M-Pen, it doesn’t come with it, and the functionality is more limited than with Samsung’s S Pen.

So for the Huawei Mate 40 range we want the M-Pen to be a core component. It should ship with the phone, fit into a slot in the phone, and be packed full of features to help you get the most out of that inevitably large screen.

7. An in-screen camera

We reckon 2020 could be the year that we start seeing in-screen cameras in phones, and we want the Huawei Mate 40 (or at least the Huawei Mate 40 Pro) to be one of them. Not only would that be an impressive feature in its own right, it would also help get rid of the notch we were lamenting above.