South Africans have gotten used to the slightly slower pace at which new tech reaches our far-reaching shores. Sometimes it’s days, sometimes weeks, but in the case of Huawei, Saffas tend to wait longer than it takes Zack Snyder to make a new cut of an old film. With that in mind, we welcome the Huawei Mate 40 Pro into South Africa as of 1 April 2021.
Originally announced in October 2020, the Mate 40 Pro handset is the latest in its line of Google-less smartphones. In lieu of Google mobile services, it plays host to the Chinese telecoms company’s own Huawei mobile services (HMS) and the AppGallery.
Lucky for potential Mate 40 Pro owners, the AppGallery has grown in popularity among app developers, and now you’ll get most of the major local apps you need on its devices. Some of the most notable ones include “… Capitec, FNB, ABSA, Nedbank, Standard Bank, Showmax, Bolt, Takealot, Superbalist, Zando and many more.” Also expect a few workarounds to load popular apps like Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram.
But believe us if we say you’re not buying this device for its software. As expected, Huawei comes in with hard-hitting hardware, including its new Kirin 9000 processor, 5G capability, impressive camera flex and a whopping 50Wh wireless fast-charging capability.
Under the bonnet, Mate
Up front, you get the 6.7in Flex OLED (Super-HD) waterfall display, an in-display fingerprint sensor and a 90Hz refresh rate. We would have loved to see a 120Hz display here. You also get the cutout selfie cam up front which features a 13MP camera, as well as a ToF sensor for depth-sensing face unlock features.
It’s fitted with a 4,400mAh battery that’s bound to last a full day and features 50W wireless SuperCharge as well as 66W on cable. Like its predecessors, you also get reverse wireless charging tech that’ll boost your buddies’ devices when they need it most.
The camera’s where it’s at though. Around the back you’ll find the circular camera module (it looks reminiscent of early-2000s iPods) that houses a 50MP UltraVision sensor, a 20MP ultra-wide sensor, a 12MP 7x optical zoom and a 12MP periscope lens. Video footage can be captured up to 8K, if you’re so inclined.
It also features 8GB or 12GB LPDDR5 RAM, comes in various storage variants (128GB, 256GB and 512GB) with the option to expand with Huawei’s nano-SD slot.
Get it right about now
The Huawei Mate 40 Pro is available to pre-order from today for just R20,000 — it comes in far below the asking price of competing flagships, but you’re sacrificing Google’s handy mobile services. As a pre-order special, on its e-commerce site the first 500 pre-orders will receive a R1,500 discount upon purchase, in addition to a pair of FreeBuds 4i, a Huawei Body Fat Scale, and a Watch GT 2e. All for R20 grand? They’re practically giving stuff away.