Cubot P40: Low-Budget Smartphone with NFC for $106.27

The manufacturer Cubot has been in the Chinese smartphone industry for several years now, not least due to the fact that its name is based on established brands and its good presence at Amazon. For the Cubot P40, they also choose a well-known name, but for under $100 they even offer NFC. Is the plan working out?

Technical data of the P40

Cubot P40
Display 6.2 inch IPS LCD display (1520 x 720 p) with 270 ppi
Processor MediaTek Helio A22 Quad-Core @ 2 Ghz
Graphics chip PowerVR GE8300
RAM 4 GB
Internal memory 128 GB
Camera 12 megapixel Sony IMX486, 5 MP macro, 2 MP + 0.3 MP portrait sensor
Front camera 20 megapixels
Battery 4.200 mAh, exchangeable
Connectivity USB-C, BT 4.2, GPS, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, LTE Band 1/3/4/5/7/8/20, NFC
Features headphone jack, hybrid SIM
Operating system Android 10
Dimensions / Weight 155 x 73 x 10 mm / 184 g

P30 from front, P40 from rear

The Cubot P40 is of course named after the Huawei P40, although at first glance this reference is not obvious. With the Waterdrop-Notch at the upper edge of the screen, one rather orients oneself to its predecessor, the Huawei P30. Fortunately, Cubot relies on a similarly compact form factor and implements a 6.2″ screen diagonal, while the current trend is more in the direction of 7 inches.

The low price isn’t noticeable in the screen size, but rather in the screen quality. The Cubot P40 is equipped with a HD+ IPS LC display, so you “only” get a 1520 x 720p resolution like in a Xiaomi Mi A3. This results in a pixel density of 270 ppi. This is a point of criticism in the Android cosmos, but the iPhone 11, currently the best-selling mobile phone, is forgiven for having such a low pixel density.

On the back it is then clear why it is the Cubot P40. Cubot relies here on a rectangular camera module for the quad camera, which strongly resembles the Huawei P40. The four camera sensors are arranged in an “L”. The Cubot P40 is available in the colors black, blue and green and weighs 184 g.

Is a quad-core processor 2020 sufficient?

The difference between premium smartphones and their imitators often only becomes clear when you take a look inside. Cubot integrates the MediaTek MT6761 aka Helio A22 quad-core processor into the P40. The CPU was presented in 2018 and is also found in the now aged Redmi 6A from Xiaomi, for example. After all, there are 4 GB RAM and 128 GB mass storage, which can even be expanded via microSD card. But for this you have to give up one of the two Nano-SIM slots.

What’s interesting about the Cubot P40 is not only that the battery is at least averagely large at 4,200 mAh, but that the battery is also replaceable. This is a long forgotten “feature” that we also mentioned positively in the Cubot Magic test back then. The battery should actually lead to a passable runtime of 1 to 1.5 days due to the weak processor. But you can only charge it with a maximum of 10 watts.

Apparently, even budget smartphones have to fulfill the criterion of a quad camera. Surprisingly, the Cubot P40 even works with the Sony IMX486 sensor with 12 megapixel resolution. This was also found in the Xiaomi Mi A2, for example. In addition, there’s a 5 megapixel macro camera as in the Redmi Note 9S, a 2 MP depth sensor and an unspecified 0.3 MP camera, which is probably just a gimmick. It should be noted that the camera always depends heavily on software optimization, from which we don’t expect too much. A 20 MP front camera sits in the front.

Remaining equipment

The software is a good keyword: The Cubot P40 is equipped with Android 10 and Cubot promises a “stock experience”, thus a pure Android operating system. On the underside of the device there is at least USB Type-C (OTG-capable) and a 3.5 mm jack connector. Certain wireless standards like LTE Band 8 and 20, GPS, Dua-Band a/b/g/n WiFi and Bluetooth 4.2 are also supported.

But the unique selling point is definitely the integrated NFC, i.e. Near Field Communication. Thus, Google Pay should be possible with the Cubot P40 without any problems. Established manufacturers such as Xiaomi or Realme are much more difficult to integrate NFC in similar price segments, which is why this is a big plus for the P40.

Assessment

We would always advise to use more established manufacturers such as Xiaomi, Realme or Honor simply because of their better update policy. Here Cubot has yet to prove itself. The hardware of the Cubot P40 is for the most part justifiable for the offer price of less than $100, although a stronger processor could have been used. The right plus points for the Cubot P40 are NFC, the compact size and the exchangeable battery/removable back. The main camera sensor is also okay. An alternative in this price range would be the Xiaomi Redmi 8A.

In my opinion, the Cubo P40 is more of an option as a second, festival or transitional mobile phone. For the full price, there are better options, especially as a Daily Driver, such as a Redmi Note 8.

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Profile picture from Thorben

Thorben

My special interests are smartphones from China and I am always keen to discover new smartphone accessories like smartwatches and headphones. 

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Comments (2)

  • Profile picture from Guest
    06.06.20 um 20:43

    Anonymous

    Your link is wrong

    • Profile picture from Maike
      09.06.20 um 10:42

      Maike CG team

      Thank you so much, it's the correct link now 🙂

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