Friday, March 27, 2020

Bucket Tech: Huawei P40 Series - First Impressions


Even with half the world on lockdown or practicing social distancing, Huawei, the Chinese mobile giant went ahead with it's launch of the P40 Series flagship smart phone. The event which was very different to the norm was live streamed globally and presented by Huawei's CEO of Consumer BG Richard Yu, with millions watching in anticipation to see what Huawei had up their sleeve with this new device. I personally had huge expectations, while I do not doubt the quality of their devices, after owning four devices from their P Series range, I can vouch that build quality, user interface and general appeal of their phones is up there with the big guns, and market stats don't lie as well. But after the US sanctions prevented American companies from partnering with Huawei, the major one being Google which suspended all services to newer model devices, it did come as a severe shock to the once loyal client base. 


With Google being the number one app based portal for most Android devices, his was going to be one major hurdle that Huawei would need to over come. Hence I figured with the P40, the company needed to come up with some drastic to still have some appeal to their brand, something big, something other than a really really nice camera. After watching the live stream I felt a bit disappointed that what I had hoped for didn't materialize, there was no major breakthrough, nothing that the P40 offered that no other smart device on the market doesn't offer already, all they did was a slap a really really nice camera to it. 


Don't get be wrong, the camera is fantastic, probably the best on the market at the moment but nothing to say, wow, okay maybe it's worth a gamble on sticking with the brand. However after a sleep on it and having digested everything I have watched, I can say that everything that Huawei is offering on the P40 is almost the same or even better than Google Services. HMS have been hard at work, starting from scratch, developing tools that mimic or better what is or has been offered by the Google, who are considered by many as the benchmark when it comes to mobile app developments. This for more hit home as remarkable, they're doing this all by themselves, there's no recipe they could look up, there were no ingredients on the side of the container for them to see and try to replicate. This was all done in house in record time. Some of the tools demonstrated by Richard Yu yesterday were outstanding. Huawei have used their most power AI yet to help integrate with normal tools that we're so used to in our normal devices and have made them better to use, imagine beating Google at their own game?! And all it took was a year or less to do so, I don't care which brand you have affiliation to, if you cannot respect that, then you cannot respect anything technology related. 


Some examples of these tools on the P40 Series, first is Huawei's answer to Google's voice prompt AI tool, Celia. Triggered by saying the words "Hey Celia, she can, using the phones Kirin 990 chipset can perform a host of tasks, faster than any other AI interface around at the moment. One tool that Huawei seemed to have pulled away from many is their Share services, which essentially is NFC but on steroids. The P40 Series devices can link with any digital device capable of sharing simply by touching it with the device, will get back to more of that later with a product that Huawei launched at yesterdays event. Huawei's answer to Apple's favourite FaceTime, is MeeTime, again simple service but they've clicked up a few notches with you being able to share your screen in real time, switch cameras and continue the conversation on other devices like your laptop or TV with Huawei Share. using Huawei share on your laptop will have your mobile phone display on the side of your screen, so you don't even have to pick it up while working. 


Huawei also took the opportunity to launch their wireless speaker, the Sound X, which has an interested design with dual reflex subwoofers, made with good quality materials to maintain crystal clarity sound and a deep bass than many wireless speakers cannot compete with. What I loved about this speak is how well it syncs with the mobile device with Huawei share, beauty is when receiving a phone call, not only does it pause the music playing, it also reverts back to your mobile speaker instead of having the speaker broadcast your entire phone call, saving you the trouble from disconnecting the the device but if you want to have a conference call or having people listen in, just tap your phone to the speaker and it's done. 


Okay back to the phone, there's three models as many of you would know by now, the P40, P40 Pro and P40 Pro+. Most of the insides stay the same but the camera various between them all. Huawei's theme for this phone was Visionary Photography and while we can all agree that they always had pretty dope cameras, they just getting better and better. Developed with Leica, the P40 comes with a triple lens camera, the P40 Pro a quad camera and the P40 Pro+ a Penta 5 lens system. Pro+ comes with a 50MP Ultra Vision camera, a 100x SuperZoom Array which is made up of two 8MP camera's, 40MP Ultra Wide Cine camera and 3D Depth Sensing Camera. All which make for extraordinary pictures with immense detail, better pictures in low light and with the AI, focusing the best shot for you every time. The P40 also takes multiple pics at once so you can chose the best one, the built in AI also edits out unwanted objects from your picture, something that you could only do via 3rd party apps in the past. The screen is certainly one of the biggest on the market so far with the curved edges now extending over each four sides, gives the you a limitless display. The P40 is 5G ready and really is a powerful device, prices for the device does seem a bit stiff given that Huawei are still trying to compete with a relatively unknown ecosystem. Whether sales will reflect positively for the brand is another thing 


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