Honor was expected to announce its new V40 5G flagship on January 18, but the announcement date was pushed back to January 22. The company claimed that it had venue scheduling and equipment issues for as cause of the delay, but some speculation leads to believe that Honor could have postponed the event so it could ship the devices with Google Play Services out of the box. This is according to insiders that told Lenta RU.
Since the Huawei US ban from May of 2019, the phone maker would not be allowed to package Google Play Services with the new device, which hurt its sales in Western markets. This also applied to Honor smartphones since the brand was owned by Huawei. Huawei sold off the Honor brand and assets and the newly formed company would no longer be held under the sanctions against Huawei.
The Honor V40 was in the pipeline during the sale of the smartphone brand, so it appears that in the last couple of months, Honor was able to secure a license to ship the newest 5G smartphone with Google Play Services – allegedly, of course.
The V40 will be announced in China on January 22 with Western market availability happening some time after that where it will be known as the ‘Honor V40 View’. Although the event was postponed, Honor promised the phone would become available for sale in China on the 22nd. The phone is expected to arrive with a 6.72-inch OLED screen running the 120Hz refresh rate. The Mediatek Dimensity 1000+ chipset will be the brains of all operation.
The quad-camera will consist of a 50MP main camera sensor and the phone will support 66W fast charging by wire, and 55W wireless charging.
If Honor does indeed bring back Google Play Services, it still leaves more questions than answers. Will the Honor brand still use Magic UI (based on EMUI and pre-frameworked for Harmony OS)? Will existing Honor phones be able to get Google Play Services now? It will be interesting to see Honor as a valid option once again in markets where Realme, Redmi, and POCO have become comfortable without Honor and Huawei dominating sales.