This year we have seen many flagship phones increase in price considerably with the cost associated with the 5G modems. While it looks like mid-range 5G chips are going to be in high demand compared to their flagship counterparts, we are yet to see a phone launch in the UK using the Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G, Mediatek Dimensity 800 or either of their derivatives.
Kirin 820 5G chipset outclasses other mid-range options
This is set to change with the launch of the Huawei P40 Lite which is equipped with the 5G enabled Kirin 820 5G SoC.
Not only does the new chipset offer 5G connectivity, but it offers tremendous performance at a low price point. Initial benchmarks have this sitting comfortably above Qualcomm’s SD765G and only a little behind last years flagship Kirin 980 which was featured on the Huawei P40 Pro.
Display & Design
On top of the high-performance chipset, the phone features a similar design to the P40 Pro with a 3D glass design and (single) punch-hole selfie lens.
The IPS display runs at 2400×1080 with 405ppi and 96% screen to body resolution, however, this runs at 60hz compared some 90Hz found on a growing number of phones.
The P40 lite 5G has an AI quad-camera system featuring a 64MP high-resolution main camera that works alongside ultra-wide, macro and bokeh cameras to support a wide range of everyday photography scenarios. The 64MP main camera supports 4-in-1 pixel binning, combining four pixels into one super pixel on the sensor for vastly improved light sensing capability. The ultra-wide angle lens can capture wonderful group photos and landscape scenes, while the macro lens and bokeh lens add versatility to the HUAWEI P40 lite 5G by making extreme close-ups and pro-grade progressive bokeh achievable on the smartphone.
The quad-camera system also supports unique Huawei video features such as Huawei Dual-View Video Mode, which lets users produce creative videos featuring two different cameras; 960fps slow motion video capture for slowing down the action to 1/32 the speed of real-time; and stunning time-lapse creation that is great for documenting the passing of time.
Fitted with an f/2.0 wide-aperture lens, the HUAWEI P40 lite 5G features advanced Super Night Selfie that optimises the subject with advanced portrait algorithms, and uses Multi-Frame Fusion to boost colour and details in the background. Thanks to the powerful Kirin 820 5G SoC, noise is controlled with BM3D algorithms, allowing P40 lite 5G to produce clean shots effortlessly even in dimly lit environments.
There is no Googe Play Store or App
Similar to the Huawei P40 Pro and other recent releases from Huawei/Honor, this will not have Google Apps, and it currently looks unlikely that this situation will change any time soon.
Huawei is investing heavily into their Huawei Mobile Service, and there is already a massive number of apps on their App Gallery, and it grows each day. You can also transfer your existing apps from your current phone using Phone Clone, or alternatively, download most apps via third party stores such as APKPure.
Some apps still require Google, it is possible to bypass some of these issues with microG or there are normally plenty of other alternative apps that have no connection to Google.
For the more daring, you should be able to install Google Play Services on the P40 Lite using the same method I used for the P40 Pro. I have not tried this, so can’t 100% confirm it would work, but I see no reason why it would not.
Price and Availability
The Huawei P40 lite 5G (6GB RAM+128GB storage, RRP £379.99) is available to pre-order from 3rd June to 16th June 2020 from the Huawei Store and selected operators and retailers. Customers who pre-order the device will receive a free pair of Huawei Freebuds 3 (via redemption, T&C apply). The P40 lite 5G goes on sale from 17th June.