Huawei’s new smartphone launches in SA this month – without Google apps

Business Insider SA
Huawei P40 Lite
Huawei P40 Lite

  • Huawei is launching its mid-range P40 Lite model in South Africa
  • It will be available later this month, and will cost around R6,499
  • It uses its own App Store, and not the Google version found on Android
  • For more stories, visit

Huawei has announced that it is launching the mid-range P40 Lite in South Africa later this month but without many of SA's go-to apps.

It's a big test for the Chinese manufacturer as it will be one of its first phones to run without Google integration, meaning some of your favourite apps, like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, won't be easily available.

The phone has a recommended retailing price of R6,499 and is already available on a two-year contract from Telkom. Contract prices range between R399 and R949 a month. 

The P40 Lite slots in as the junior sibling to the company’s flagship P40 products, including the P40 Pro and Pro+.

However, it still has some chops. Its camera comprises four lenses, including one of a giant 48 megapixel. Under the hood, it’s powered by a HiSilicon Kirin 810 chipset, with 6GB of RAM and a very decent 128GB of internal storage.

For the price, the new Huawei phone's biggest competitor will be Samsung. The P40 Lite is going head-to-head with Samsung's midrange king, the A51. The new model can be bought from Takealot for R6,495 - nearly the exact price of the Huawei. Last year's version, the Samsung A50, was one of the bestselling phones in the world, which means the P40 Lite has its work cut out for it.

And that's before you take into consideration the lack of Google support, because the P40 Lite is not going to have any of the Google apps you're used to, despite running on Android.

Last year, the Chinese manufacturer was forced to adapt after the United States placed restrictions on Google's trade with Huawei.

That means there's no Play Store, and no pre-installed Google apps like Chrome, Maps or Gmail

Instead Huawei is hoping you'll switch to its AppGallery, which is its homebuilt replacement for Google's Play Store.

Although the store contains a broad selection of apps, including various software from Microsoft, Instagram and Facebook are still missing.

However, the P40 Lite still runs Android under the hood, which means that most of the apps still work. It's just not as easy to get hold of them. There are workarounds for many apps, if you're willing to fiddle, such as using the Amazon AppStore.

Huawei also offers a tool called Phone Clone to get your apps. It's basically a way of transferring your working apps from an old Android phone to the P40 Lite, handily skipping having to download them from Play.

Receive a daily update on your cellphone with all our latest news: click here.

Get the best of our site emailed to you daily: click here.

Also from Business Insider South Africa:

Rand - Dollar
Rand - Pound
Rand - Euro
Rand - Aus dollar
Rand - Yen
Brent Crude
Top 40
All Share
Resource 10
Industrial 25
Financial 15
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo