Huawei P40 may have a large camera module, but it won’t launch with Google apps

Huawei may not have had the best 2019, but hopes are high for 2020 — and the new Huawei P40 flagship range is going to be leading the charge. Previous statements by Huawei’s Richard Yu had said we should expect a new design we’ve never seen before — but if the latest leaks are to be believed, that may not be the case. According to renders from Steve Hemmerstoffer and 91Mobiles, the Huawei P40 and P40 Pro may embrace the chunky camera module we’re expecting to dominate phone designs in 2020.

It’s clear details are still relatively scarce for this phone, and that’s represented in the dark nature of the renders presented by Hemmerstoffer and 91Mobiles. The renders don’t shed any light — literally — on the front of the phone, so it’s unclear whether Huawei has moved significantly away from the notches used on the Huawei P30 range. Instead, all of the attention is on the back of the phone, and specifically the camera module.

Credit: 91Mobiles/@OnLeaks

Like many phone designs we’re anticipating this year, the Huawei P40 range seems to be using a rectangular camera module to contain the large number of sensors and lenses expected from a modern flagship phone. This double line of lenses forming a rectangle is becoming one of the most popular ways to arrange a camera module, and we’ve seen it on the Pixel 4 and iPhone 11 Pro range, and we’re anticipating seeing it on the Samsung Galaxy S11 and Galaxy Note 10 Lite in 2020.

In fairness to Huawei, it was one of the first manufacturers to adopt a camera module that wasn’t just some variant on a single line, with the Huawei Mate 20‘s squared module being one of the first phones to adopt a square module. But regardless of who did it first, it looks like 2020 will be filled with squared and rectangular camera modules.

However, it seems Huawei’s troubles are unlikely to be linked to an unoriginal design. Instead, it looks like software could be a major issues in certain markets, thanks to continued issues with the trade war between the U.S. and China. While it’s confirmed the P40 will launch with the latest version of EMUI over Android 10, it won’t have access to Google’s Play services. So there’ll be no access to the Google Play Store, Gmail, Google Drive, or any of the mod cons you’d expect from an Android phone. While this won’t trouble Huawei’s Chinese userbase, it may well put off many of the fans Huawei has gained outside of its home country.

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