Honor might be suffering under the effects of the US Entity List for the time being as a Huawei subdivision, but that isn’t stopping the phone maker from putting together some compelling-looking smartphones in the anticipated V40 series.
The company’s V-series devices have come to serve as the cream of the crop as part of the brand’s annual launch portfolio, offering top-tier performance and complemented by powerful cameras.
Honor usually pulls from Huawei’s existing phone catalogue and then twists and tweaks those devices until they’re left with a handset that makes small compromises that result in an impressive cost reduction, while still delivering where it counts.
Huawei has since confirmed that it’s selling Honor off, though it’s likely that the V40 will be unaffected by the sale for the time being – the phones will have been in development long before the sale is finalised. It could mean that these are the last Honor flagships we see that take after Huawei phones though, and will mark the end of an era.
When does the Honor V40 launch?
Arriving a little later than last year’s V30 line (which landed on 26 November 2019), rumours from Weibo cite a mid-December 2020 launch for at least two Honor V40 series handsets.
However, in late November leakers began to shed doubt on this schedule, and it’s been reported that the launch has been delayed to January 2021.
How much is the Honor V40?
The Honor V30 came in at CNY¥3299 at launch, with the V30 Pro costing ¥3899; equivalent to £380/€420/US$490 and £450/€500/$580, respectively.
Looking at the regional launch pricing for the recently-released Huawei Mate 40 Pro, compared to its predecessor (the Mate 30 Pro), the company increased the starting price for this high-end handset by 12%.
As a rough guide and assuming that the there’s an equivalent technical leap forward from Honor’s V30 series to the V40 series, pricing would work out to ¥3699 for the Honor V40 and ¥4399 (adjusting for Honor’s proclivity towards ending all its Chinese prices in “99”) for the V40 Pro.
With word of an additional V40 Pro+ model and using the 38% price increase from the base Huawei Mate 40 Pro to the Mate 40 Pro+ as a framework, equivalent pricing for the Honor V40 Pro+ would be expected to come in at ¥6099 (roughly £700/€780/$910).
We’ll update this feature with actual pricing should it leak or once the phones have been formally announced.
What features does the Honor V40 offer?
The V40 series is expected to include three devices (up from two models in last year’s V30 line): The Honor V40, Honor V40 Pro and Honor V40 Pro+.
Aside from providing a potential launch window for the V40 series, Dragon Two Pro – established Chinese tech blogger and the Weibo source mentioned earlier – serves up the most complete spec sheet for what these phones might bring to the table.
They cite a 120Hz high-refresh-rate Full HD+ display with a dual hole-punch front-facing camera setup, a 50Mp RYYB-pixel-arranged primary camera and impressive 66W wired charging, alongside fast 40W wireless charging.
The source never mentions which device these specs pertain to, but makes the distinction that one device will come powered by Huawei’s latest 5nm Kirin 9000 chipset, while another will use MediaTek’s Dimensity 1000+ SoC.
That prediction has, however, since been thrown into doubt by another Chinese tipster, Digital Chat Station, who claims that the V40 series will not feature the Kirin 9000. It was initially unclear if this was a simple result of stock shortages within Huawei, or the first impact of the sale of Honor, however, DCS posted to Weibo separately, stating that the Kirin SKUs have been cut, leaving only the MediaTek-powered models.
This leak also provided a codename for the V40 series in “YORK” with the model number YOK-AN10 attached to one of the expected devices.
Previous leaks (via MyFixGuide) suggested that only the V40 Pro+ will benefit from that 120Hz refresh rate, while the other two models will drop to more modest 90Hz displays. All models will supposedly employ a 32Mp front-facing camera, with only the Pro+ sporting a secondary ToF sensor.
The Kirin 9000 chip was originally expected to be reserved for the Plus model while MediaTek’s Dimensity silicon would power the V40 and V40 Pro. With this latest development taking the Kirin off the table, there’s a chance that the Pro+ will either arrive later, come toting a Dimensity 1000+ instead or not launch at all, although it’s still too early to know how badly the V40 line’s release has been affected by this change.
Read next: Honor 30 Pro+ review
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