HUAWEI Mate30 Pro Hands-On and Google Mobile Services

The cloud might have settled a little with the official launch of the HUAWEI Mate30 Series. The Mate30 Series are running on Android 10 and EMUI10 instead of HarmonyOS or any other OSes.

So, what’s good about the latest HUAWEI Mate30 or HUAWEI Mate30 Pro?

I have just got my hands on the HUAWEI Mate30 Pro review unit in silver color. It has a little card in the box that clearly states that this review unit is not a final consumer unit, not for sale and is for the Chinese market. The apps and software might change in the final version.

Here is a short hands-on video.

Let me do a quick review on the HUAWEI Mate30 Pro. This menu is for your easy navigation on this post.

Menu

First look and impression

Hardware

My first impression is that it looks amazing. With the waterfall screen design, which Huawei calls it the Horizon Display, the display seems bezel-less. The trick is that the screen curves at an angle of 88 degrees at the edge.

The notch on the front display panel is also amazing. It is packed with technology and yet, it is smaller than previous version.

On the back, you can see the halo design surrounding the quad cameras. It has a piece of glass on top of the cameras so that you won’t feel the bump on each of the camera.

Close up of the Quad Camera setup. Huawei says that it is to resemble the shape of the lens. Some of us think that it looks like a front-loader washing machine.

Here is the bump on Quad Camera Set.

The glass back is a fingerprint magnet. This time, Huawei has tried to overcome this by having a hybrid back for the emerald green unit. On its back, the top part is glossy and the bottom part is matte. Check out the two pictures below

Personally, I don’t like it.

Here some different views of the HUAWEI Mate30 Pro.

Software

The HUAWEI Mate30 Series is running on Android 10 and EMUI10 based on the Android Open Source Project. It does not have the Google Mobile Services (GMS).

The World without Google Mobile Services (GMS)

As what Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei Consumer Business Group (CBG), mentioned in the Keynote: If you cannot use the GMS (Google Mobile Services) core, you can use the HMS (Huawei Mobile Services) core.

He also briefly mentioned the US ban. He says because of the US ban, Huawei cannot pre-install the GMS core and it forces Huawei to use the HMS core. All apps will be downloaded via Huawei App Gallery.

I cannot deny the fact that it is strange without GMS. I have been using Android OS for years and has never thought that there will be a situation where checking my Gmail is a challenge.

Welcome to the Huawei Mobile Services (HMS) ONLY world on the HUAWEI Mate 30 Series. It is strange to me. You don’t see the familiar icons when you power up the phone.

But HMS is not new. It has been on Huawei phones for years in the China market and is doing well there. If you have noticed, Huawei phones already have HMS incorporated into them.

The fact that we did not notice them speaks volume on the challenges for Huawei right now to get consumers like us to adapt to it.

Do not be surprised when you fire up the browser. It has Chinese characters on it. And the default search engine is Baidu (although you can manually change it to Google).

You will need to use the Huawei AppGallery (Huawei equivalent of Google Play Store) to search for apps. Sadly, at the moment, it has limited apps for the global audience.

Apps

During the keynote, Richard Yu announces USD 1 billion investment for Developers into these core areas – Development Fund, User Growth Fund and Marketing Fund. Huawei is all out to woo the best developers to develop apps for HMS.

And in our roundtable discussion with Huawei, Jervis Su, Vice President, Consumer Mobile Services Huawei Consumer Business Group, he mentioned that Huawei has been aggressively working with app developers on getting the apps uploaded to Huawei AppGallery. Each day, hundreds of apps are uploaded.


Jervis Su, Vice President, Consumer Mobile Services Huawei Consumer Business Group

One of the questions asked by the Singapore team is on official apps from banks (DBS, Citibank and etc.) or government agencies (e.g. SingPass). They cannot be found on Huawei AppGallery currently and cannot be directly downloaded via their official websites.

Our concern is that these apps are the most commonly used apps by Singaporeans. If they are not available, it will be an issue for most of us.

Huawei assured us that there are dedicated teams in various countries that are working with app developers and relevant people to get the apps into AppGallery.

Jervis assured that if an app cannot be downloaded from website, the teams can work with ground people to expedite the process.

I think someone should start a campaign to list out Singapore’s most needed apps to be available in AppGallery.

Google Mobile Services (GMS)

I think this will be the most interesting topic in this lengthy post – Google Mobile Services (GMS). From my understanding, Richard Yu firmly states that Huawei will adhere to US decision (Banning Huawei from using US technologies on Huawei’s new products, which in this case, the HUAWEI Mate30 Series).

So, does that mean that we cannot have GMS on the HUAWEI Mate30 Series?

Many forums, websites have started to introduce methods to sideload GMS into the HUAWEI Mate30 Series.

Here is my experience.

Disclaimer: TechieLobang will not take any responsibilities in the event that this procedure caused issues on your Google Account, Services or on your smartphone. Please understand and digest the risk(s) before performing these actions.

I got this information from websites that claim that it could work. So, here is the simplified procedure.

Procedure to Install GMS

Things to Note before you start

  • I log in to my Huawei Account when I was asked to sign in when I power on the HUAWEI Mate30 Pro.
  • I setup the HUAWEI Mate30 Pro as a new device.
  • I skipped all other things like Cloud backup and etc.
  • I make sure that I get a good WiFi connection before I start.

Procedure

1. Go to http://www.lzplay.net.

2. It is in Chinese characters. Press the download button to start the process.

3. Please allow your phone to run the app.

4. The app will proceed to download applications in the background and install them. It will take a few minutes depending on your download bandwidth.

5. Once it is done, it will proceed to a page (in Chinese) where it states that it is performing tasks. It will take a while.

6. After a few minutes, I suggest that you go to Home on your phone. The Google Play Store logo should be available.

7. Click on it and proceed to sign in to your Google Account.

8. If it is successful, congrats!

9. If it is not successful, I suggest you shut down and power on your phone and retry the sign in.

Do note that you will need to download other Google apps individually like, Google Maps, Google, Google Assistant, Gmail, Google Calendar and etc.

Apps that are not working with GMS

As I have just setup the phone, many apps are not downloaded via Google Playstore yet. However, one of them that I can confirm is NOT working is Netflix.

If you download from Playstore , it states that this device is not compatible. If you follow their FAQ to download the APK (Application file) from their website, it is also not working. It shows “not supported” when you try to run the Netflix app on the phone.

Here is my list of apps not working (Updated: 23-Sep-2019)

  1. Netflix

Pricing and Availability

Huawei has not announced the official pricing in Singapore. Here is the pricing in EURO announced during the Huawei Keynote.

  • HUAWEI Mate30 (8GB, 128GB): 799 Euro
  • HUAWEI Mate30 Pro (8GB, 256GB): 1,099 Euro
  • HUAWEI Mate30Pro 5G (8GB, 256GB): 1,199 Euro
  • PORSCHE DESIGN HUAWEI Mate30 RS: 2,095 Euro

There is also no mention of availability in any market during the Keynote or in the Press Release. Will update once I receive the details.

Specifications

HUAWEI Mate30 Series (5G Version) Specifications

1 Product size and related specifications are theoretical values only. Actual measurements between individual products may vary. All specifications are subject to the actual product.
2 Product weight and related specifications are theoretical values only. Actual measurements between individual products may vary. All specifications are subject to the actual product.
3 With a rounded corners design on the display, the diagonal length of the screen is 6.62 inches when measured according to the standard rectangle (the actual viewable area is slightly smaller).
4 With a rounded corners design on the display, the diagonal length of the screen is 6.53 inches when measured according to the standard rectangle (the actual viewable area is slightly smaller).
5 The resolution measured as a standard rectangle, with a rounded corners design, the effective pixels are slightly less.
6 The resolution measured as a standard rectangle, with a rounded corners design, the effective pixels are slightly less.
7 Your device has been tested in a controlled environment and certified to be splash, water, and dust resistant in specific situations (meets requirements of classification IP53 as described by the international standard IEC 60529).
Water and dust-proofing are not permanent, and resistance may decrease as a result of normal wear over time. Do not charge the phone when it is wet or in moist environments. Refer to the manual for cleaning and drying instructions. Submersion in liquid and the resulting damage is not covered by the warranty.
8 Your device has been tested in a controlled environment and certified to be splash, water, and dust resistant in specific situations (meets requirements of classification IP68 as described by the international standard IEC 60529).
Water and dust-proofing are not permanent, and resistance may decrease as a result of normal wear over time. Do not charge the phone when it is wet or in moist environments. Refer to the manual for cleaning and drying instructions. Submersion in liquid and the resulting damage is not covered by the warranty.
IP68 rating means that based on certain defined test conditions, the device is protected against harmful ingress of static water at up to 1.5 meters, for up to 30 minutes, meanwhile the temperature difference between water and device is not more than 5K.

HUAWEI Mate30 Series (4G Version) Specifications

1 Product size and related specifications are theoretical values only. Actual measurements between individual products may vary. All specifications are subject to the actual product.
2 Product weight and related specifications are theoretical values only. Actual measurements between individual products may vary. All specifications are subject to the actual product.
3 With a rounded corners design on the display, the diagonal length of the screen is 6.62 inches when measured according to the standard rectangle (the actual viewable area is slightly smaller).
4 With a rounded corners design on the display, the diagonal length of the screen is 6.53 inches when measured according to the standard rectangle (the actual viewable area is slightly smaller).
5 The resolution measured as a standard rectangle, with a rounded corners design, the effective pixels are slightly less.
6 The resolution measured as a standard rectangle, with a rounded corners design, the effective pixels are slightly less.
7 Your device has been tested in a controlled environment and certified to be splash, water, and dust resistant in specific situations (meets requirements of classification IP53 as described by the international standard IEC 60529).
Water and dust-proofing are not permanent, and resistance may decrease as a result of normal wear over time. Do not charge the phone when it is wet or in moist environments. Refer to the manual for cleaning and drying instructions. Submersion in liquid and the resulting damage is not covered by the warranty.
8 Your device has been tested in a controlled environment and certified to be splash, water, and dust resistant in specific situations (meets requirements of classification IP68 as described by the international standard IEC 60529).
Water and dust-proofing are not permanent, and resistance may decrease as a result of normal wear over time. Do not charge the phone when it is wet or in moist environments. Refer to the manual for cleaning and drying instructions. Submersion in liquid and the resulting damage is not covered by the warranty.
IP68 rating means that based on certain defined test conditions, the device is protected against harmful ingress of static water at up to 1.5 meters, for up to 30 minutes, meanwhile the temperature difference between water and device is not more than 5K.

PORSCHE DESIGN HUAWEI Mate30 RS Specifications

1 Product size and related specifications are theoretical values only. Actual measurements between individual products may vary. All specifications are subject to the actual product.
2 Product weight and related specifications are theoretical values only. Actual measurements between individual products may vary. All specifications are subject to the actual product.
3 With a rounded corners design on the display, the diagonal length of the screen is 6.62 inches when measured according to the standard rectangle (the actual viewable area is slightly smaller).
4 With a rounded corners design on the display, the diagonal length of the screen is 6.53 inches when measured according to the standard rectangle (the actual viewable area is slightly smaller).
5 The resolution measured as a standard rectangle, with a rounded corners design, the effective pixels are slightly less.
6 The resolution measured as a standard rectangle, with a rounded corners design, the effective pixels are slightly less.
7 Your device has been tested in a controlled environment and certified to be splash, water, and dust resistant in specific situations (meets requirements of classification IP53 as described by the international standard IEC 60529).
Water and dust-proofing are not permanent, and resistance may decrease as a result of normal wear over time. Do not charge the phone when it is wet or in moist environments. Refer to the manual for cleaning and drying instructions. Submersion in liquid and the resulting damage is not covered by the warranty.
8 Your device has been tested in a controlled environment and certified to be splash, water, and dust resistant in specific situations (meets requirements of classification IP68 as described by the international standard IEC 60529).
Water and dust-proofing are not permanent, and resistance may decrease as a result of normal wear over time. Do not charge the phone when it is wet or in moist environments. Refer to the manual for cleaning and drying instructions. Submersion in liquid and the resulting damage is not covered by the warranty.
IP68 rating means that based on certain defined test conditions, the device is protected against harmful ingress of static water at up to 1.5 meters, for up to 30 minutes, meanwhile the temperature difference between water and device is not more than 5K.

Conclusion

Huawei has come a long way from an unknown smartphone maker in the global market to become the No. 2 leader in the world. Sadly, due to US decision to blacklist Huawei, their target to become No.1 has to detour. In a positive light, this might be a great opportunity for Huawei to bare themselves to the world with the introduction to their ecosystem, HMS core and showing their support to developers worldwide instead of just within China.

One of the biggest challenges is acceptance from the majority. I would not think that consumers have the patience or the skill to sideload GMS to use them. At the end of the day, they might just give up and move on to the next smartphone maker leaving Huawei in the limbo.

If they are able to pull through this difficult time, I am sure that with their innovation, determination, partnership with major brands, Huawei will rise to become the top in the world.

You never know. You might see three logos on every app download: Android, iOS, Huawei in the next few years.