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Huawei’s Galaxy S20 rival may be the cheapest flagship of the year

Published Jan 30th, 2020 6:04PM EST

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Samsung may be among the first smartphone vendors to launch new handsets in February, but the Galaxy S20 and Z Flip are just two of the high-end handsets expected to launch in the first half of the year. Some of Samsung’s biggest rivals will unveil their newest devices a few weeks later at MWC in Spain, while Samsung’s most significant Android rival — Huawei — will launch its flagship at some point in March.

Huawei is now the second-largest phone vendor in the world, trailing Samsung and ahead of Apple. The US ban may have affected Huawei’s operations last year, but the company still managed to sell more phones than in 2018, at around 240 million, according to the latest estimates. The P40 series is going to be Huawei’s first flagship this year, and will compete against the Galaxy S20 and all the other flagships coming out of MWC. The P40 Pro will be the best version of the new series, but none of the P40 models will come with Google services on board. However, Huawei might have a great trick to make up for that lack of Google services.

If this rumor is correct, the P40 series will have a lower price tag than its predecessor. A leaker, via GizChina, took to Twitter to say that the P40 prices will be lower than expected:

The P30 and P30 Pro cost €799 ($882) and €999 ($1,103) in Europe, in line with other high-end smartphones. But the P40 might start at €599 ($661), according to the leaker. That would mean the P40 Pro could also be a lot cheaper than previously expected.

The move might sound implausible, considering that Samsung is expected to slightly raise its prices for the Galaxy S20 line this year. But, again, Huwaei has to launch these phones in Western markets without any Google services on board. An Android experience without any of Google’s apps on board will be an especially tough sell in Europe, the US, and other markets. That might be a good enough reason for Huawei to drop prices in these regions, at least until it’s able to replace those Google apps with decent alternatives.

If this rumor is accurate, then Huawei might end up selling the cheapest flagship Android handsets of the year in Western markets. That’s something we often expect from a different Chinese smartphone maker, OnePlus, which sells flagship handsets for far cheaper than what Samsung or Apple are able to provide.

We’ll have to wait until March at MWC 2020 to see whether this rumor pans out.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.