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Huawei’s P40 Pro is a masterclass of design and premium in-hand feel, with the metal and glass package measuring in at 72.60 x 158.20 x 8.95 mm and tipping the smartphone scales at 209 g.

The centrepiece of the eye-catching design is its 6.58″ OLED (2640 x 1200) which is not just stunning to behold but is of the edge to edge variety and packs a refresh rate of up to 90 Hz. This allows for smooth scrolling through EMUI 10.1 (based on Android 10) and buttery smooth mobile gaming experiences on titles that support higher frame rates. The icing on this hardware cake is that the phablet is Splash, Water, and Dust Resistant (IP68).

It should be noted that while the hardware is top tier unlike the Huawei Nova 5T we also reviewed this Android-running smartphone does not offer support for Google services like the Play Store or Google Drive as well as Google apps such as Google Maps. While Huawei’s AppGallery is growing in terms of its app offerings daily, you still will find some notable acceptions you might be used to from previous Android devices or if you switch from an iPhone. Workarounds like Huawei’s pre-installed Phone Clone tool and the ability to sideloaded apps (for the technically inclined) does help but is definitely not ideal.

Under the bonnet of the smartphone resides a powerful HUAWEI Kirin 990 5G processor which is an Octa-core mobile processor with two Cortex-A76 cores clocked at 2.86 GHz, two Cortex-A76 cores running at 2.36 GHz and four Cortex-A55 cores clocked at 1.95 GHz. Also onboard this mobile processor is a 16-Core Mali-G76 GPU and dual Big Core + Tiny Core NPUs (Neural-network Processing Unit). The smartphone sports 8 GB RAM and 256 GB ROM (onboard storage). The relatively large 4200 mAh will get you through a working day at least, even if you are a power user, while quick charge via HUAWEI’s SuperCharge feature ensures snappy refills for this battery.

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Highly capable mobile shooter

At the back of this stunning smartphone resides a highly capable camera array consisting of a 50 MP Ultra Vision Camera (Wide Angle, f/1.9 aperture, OIS), a 40 MP Cine Camera (Ultra-Wide Angle, f/1.8 aperture), a 12 MP SuperSensing Telephoto Camera (f/3.4 aperture, OIS) and a 3D depth-sensing camera. Photography results will definately not vary as this capable shooter produces highly detailed images with wide dynamic range. The camera also feels very snappy while in action and even low-light photos look great even if you do not utilise the dedicated night mode. Videos also look equally stunning and you can record UHD quality video from the back camera or front-facing shooter.

Speaking of which, avid selfie shooters will also appreciate the 32 MP front-facing selfie camera (f/2.2 aperture) plus depth camera for capturing glorious stills and even video up to 4K quality.

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Final word

For those willing to go the extra mile to obtain access to their favourite apps on the Huawei P40 Pro, they will find that the design, premium quality feel, performance and camera abilities of this smartphone is unrivalled.

It goes for a recommended retail price of R21 000, which is a good deal as its not only priced to compete with rivals like the Galaxy S20+ (R22 000) but is also bundled at outlets like Huawei’s online store with accessories such as the Freebuds 3 earphones + Wireless Charger for extra value.