The Huawei P40 is expected to launch sometime in early 2020, and its launch is an event that smartphone camera fans should be excited for, because it heralds the arrival of (likely) one of the best camera phones of the year. However, a new leak suggests the P40 won’t be the improvement on the Huawei P30 we were hoping for.
The leak, which supposedly comes from Huawei's production line, shows pictures of the camera housing being created, and was shared on Chinese social media platform Weibo.
The images show what appears to be a camera bump, just as you’d get on the back of any phone – with space for only three lenses. It seems the pictures have since been deleted, but not before several sites such as GSMArena managed to save the images.
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Huawei P40 to have a triple camera, production line photo suggests https://t.co/JY9PZezKuWJanuary 4, 2020
For context, the Huawei P30 came with three rear cameras; a main snapper joined by telephoto and wide-angle cameras. It would seem, then, that the Huawei P40 is set to have exactly the same number of lenses and possibly the same configuration, and several news outlets have reported as much. However, we’re not convinced that this leak reflects the final Huawei P40, for a few reasons.
Huawei P40: the camera conundrum
If there’s one thing you can guarantee in new generations of smartphones, it’s that there will be ‘more’. More battery capacity, more advanced processors, and more rear cameras, especially in a phone that sells itself as a great device for keen photographers.
It’s really unlikely, then, that Huawei would stick to the same three lenses and sensors as it used before. Instead, there’s likely another reason this camera housing only has space for three snappers.
The first possible explanation is that, while the Huawei P40 sticks to three rear cameras, they’re better than the Huawei P30’s – perhaps the sensors have a higher resolution, the telephoto lens supports better zoom, or all three sensors use Huawei’s RYYB tech, as the Huawei P30 only had the main camera use this.
Then again, it’s totally possible there are going to be more rear cameras on the Huawei P40, just not housed in this rear camera bump. That’s the most likely option, as we’ve heard the Huawei P40 Pro will have five rear cameras and it makes sense the P40 would have only one fewer, not two.
This would work with the production line photos because not all the rear cameras need to be housed in the bump. For the Huawei P30 Pro, for example, the fourth camera sat just outside the bump, and this could be the case in the P40.
There’s also another possible explanation – the photo, and leak, could just be wrong. The images - if they really come from a Huawei production line at all - could be of another Huawei device, particularly a budget phone like the P40 Lite, a Nova device, or something else entirely. If a leak doesn’t line up with what we’ve heard before, it’s very possible the information is wrong, after all.
So all in all, while it’s impossible to discount this leaked photo for certain, you should take it with a huge pinch of salt. We’d expect the Huawei P40 to launch around March time with four rear cameras, despite this new information. We’ll know for sure then, but stay tuned to TechRadar in the run-up for all the latest Huawei news and rumors.
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Tom Bedford was deputy phones editor on TechRadar until late 2022, having worked his way up from staff writer. Though he specialized in phones and tablets, he also took on other tech like electric scooters, smartwatches, fitness, mobile gaming and more. He is based in London, UK and now works for the entertainment site What To Watch.
He graduated in American Literature and Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. Prior to working on TechRadar, he freelanced in tech, gaming and entertainment, and also spent many years working as a mixologist. He also currently works in film as a screenwriter, director and producer.