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The Design Story Behind The HUAWEI P40 Pro+

Huawei P40

Black and white are wholly contrasting colours, yet it’s acknowledged that they share indefinably similar qualities that work in unison rather than clashing. The distinction between black and white is clear and crisp. Black, white and grey are timeless, versatile shades that people are drawn to right away, whether that be in fashion, art, interiors or technology.

HUAWEI has always had a knack for coming up with luxury smartphone designs, and its flagship camera smartphone P40 Pro+ follows suit. It comes with a striking ceramic back, with two colour options – black and white.

To find out more about the aesthetics of one of the most stylish accessories of 2020, we spoke to Quentin Ting, the innovative chief designer at the helm of the HUAWEI P40 Series.

All hail monochrome

“The HUAWEI P Series represents the pinnacle of style and advanced mobile photography technology. Our experiments with new designs have always brought us back to one thing: colours,” explains Ting.

Experiments in colour range from the beautiful northern lights-inspired Twilight colourway of the HUAWEI P20 Series to the Breathing Crystal colour of the P30 Series, which took influence from the synergy between the sky and its reflection on the world’s salt flats.

Huawei P40
Photo: Courtesy of Huawei

For the HUAWEI P40 Series, the brand used more restrained colours, introducing a series of toned-down colour variants. In particular, the HUAWEI P40 Pro+ White Ceramic and Black Ceramic variants boast a contemporary yet classic design, reflecting the brand’s attitude towards aesthetics.

“In both design and photography, black and white is held in high regard,” says Ting. “Firstly, the elegance these two colours exude makes them regulars on the runway. Secondly, black and white photography is simply classic, not just because it’s the predecessor to all things photography related, but also due to how effective it is in capturing the raw emotions of the photographic subject. We pay tribute to both with our latest offerings.”

Avant-garde materials

Ceramics have forever inspired creativity and, by using innovative materials and a contemporary manufacturing process, HUAWEI offers a refreshing take on this classic material. Its designers took influence from the traditional craftsmanship process to create the rear cover of the HUAWEI P40 Pro+ from nano-tech ceramics.

Huawei P40
Photo: Courtesy of Huawei

This smooth, durable substance pays homage to the shimmering incandescence of gemstones, as Ting explains. “We use a unique ceramic material that offers a gem-like finish and a robustness closely resembling that of sapphire. The result? A material that is as much an artefact as it is a component of technology.”

Demonstrating HUAWEI’s design team’s quest for perfection, each ceramic cover takes five days of kilning, followed by an extensive polishing process, to create.

Striking a balance

“What sets smartphone industrial design apart from other facets of the design world is that our creations have to complement the technology. The balance between functionality and aesthetics is very delicate,” says Ting. “Engineers pour their hearts and souls into creating exciting new technology that enables new possibilities, but it doesn’t always sit well with the design language that the designers have agreed on.”

With the P40 Pro+, designers and engineers struck a careful balance to create a phone that evokes visceral pleasure as users enjoy a technologically advanced screen, reminiscent of the form of flowing water.

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“We believe design should be considered throughout a product’s development process, and vice versa. To make that possible, designers work shoulder to shoulder with engineers all across the world,” said Ting. HUAWEI has Design Centres in London, Seoul and Shanghai, and an Aesthetics Research Center in Paris, among others, all working to ensure the brand remains at the cutting edge.

Fashion or tech?

Why not both? As a fashion accessory, smartphones accent the outfits we wear. As a piece of technology, they help us capture the beauty around us. The HUAWEI P40 Pro+ features the Ultra Vision Leica Penta Camera, delivering state-of-the-art low-light performance with its massive 1/1.28-inch main camera sensor and up to 100x zoom with its SuperZoom Array, allowing users to shoot beautiful photography day or night. Whether it’s a frame-worthy portrait or just chronicling their everyday lives, the HUAWEI P40 Pro+ lets people faithfully capture what their eyes can see.

Huawei P40
Photo: Courtesy of Huawei

The Kirin 990 5G chipset embedded in it also delivers outstanding performance and enables users to enjoy 5G connectivity in a wide array of countries where the technology is supported, making the HUAWEI flagship device truly a master of all trades.

“The HUAWEI P40 Pro+ was designed with aesthetic beauty and technological advancements at the forefront,” says Ting. “We wanted to create a phone that not only performs better than any other device, but which also gives the user an air of sophistication. We wanted to create a device that would allow people to be more efficient, more creative and enjoy life.”

The HUAWEI P40 Series flagship smartphones feature cutting-edge designs with groundbreaking camera innovations that radically expand mobile photography and video capture possibilities


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