If you are beginning to think like me, you will wonder if there is one day that US might change its mind and reverse the ban. Or will US continue to ban Huawei hoping that it will hurt China (in the trade war) even more?
Here is a continuation of my review of the HUAWEI Mate30 Pro. If you are new here, this is how I would like to present my review. The menu will link to interesting topics and you will need to click on it to read them.
Well, this post is about the “what-if” scenario that US will never back out its direction and Huawei will never be able to get GMS (Google Mobile Services) into their phones again.
I have been enjoying the HUAWEI Mate30 Pro for a few weeks already. Thankfully, I managed to install GMS into it using the LZPlay method before it was taken down recently.
You can read all about it and my initial impression of the HUAWEI Mate30 Pro in the link below.
Since the news broke out that LZPlay.net is down, I begin to seriously look into the Huawei AppGallery to see what is missing in it.
“A lot” is an understatement here when you compare it with the Google Playstore.
However, I have been following closely on the development of the AppGallery and the HMS (Huawei Mobile Services), especially hearing the insightful information from Huawei, Jervis Su, Vice President, Consumer Mobile Services Huawei Consumer Business Group, when I was in Munich to attend the official launch on September 2019. There is some light to it, as far as apps are concerned.
AppGallery and How to Download Your Favorite Apps
This is an unfamiliar name. I admit that for every Huawei phone, I will keep this app into some miscellaneous folder and forgets about it.
It is only recently that I decided to really study the impact of the ban and using AppGallery to gauge how far is Huawei behind.
Huawei boasted 390 million and more MAU (Monthly Active Users) using the AppGallery. However, if you compare it with Google Playstore which has an MAU of 2 billion users, the difference is great.
Can we survive with just AppGallery?
The first thing I checked when I am in AppGallery is to see if we can get the usual apps.
Apps like WeChat, Line and etc are already there. Based on my simple check using “Singapore” as the search word (on 1st October 2019), there are only 56 apps that appear. Let me be clear about it. This is NOT comprehensive as some apps that we might use daily don’t have the “Singapore” word in it. For example, apps like Starhub, Fave and etc are already on board and not shown.
If you use the same search word “Singapore” to search on Google Playstore, the list is a lot longer with more apps.
So, I decided to check on AppGallery on other Huawei phones that have GMS. To my surprise, it seems that there are many more apps. Finally, on 11th October, the Mate30 Pro had a software update and when I checked on the AppGallery again with the same search word “Singapore”, the number of apps increased from 56 to 147.
Do note that this does not mean that the apps increase. It means that they have classified the apps more accurately according to the region. The question is why it seems that if all Huawei phones are accessing the same database, only Mate30 Pro is different. Nevertheless, this review set is not for the Singapore market in the first place.
Here are the apps with the search word “Singapore”.
Here are the favorite ones I picked out from the list.
The list is not comprehensive. Therefore, I dug further. Here are the apps that I think most Singaporeans will use and they are on the Huawei AppGallery.
- Comfort Delgro
- DJI Go
- DJI Mimo
- Flashpay Reader
- RSS Player
- My StarHub
- My M1
- Swiftkey Keyboard
- Touch ‘n Go eWallet
I found that some apps appear to have the old icons on AppGallery. However, when I install them, they are actually updated ones. Unfortunately, some apps are not there at all. For example, Singtel apps are not available.
Other Ways to Download the Apps
Good news is that there are always other ways to download your favorite apps
I need to mention this before I start to share. Android is a very flexible OS that you can actually have more than one App Store to download apps. However, I DO NOT recommend that you use other App Stores to download because they are not verified and scan by Play Protect from Google. There is always a risk to use them.
Using these 3rd party App stores, you can download most of the Google or US apps that do not rely on GMS like Google Maps and etc.
These two are my favorite app stores to download apps.
Huawei Developer Day in Singapore
Some other good news. Huawei will be hosting its first Huawei Developer Day in Singapore later this month (October) to share about the latest eco-construction strategy and distribution platform that offers a range of open capabilities for industry partners and developers.
I will share more details when I get them.
One of the best features of the HUAWEI Mate30 Pro is the cameras that are Leica-certified which has a DXOmark of 121.
The Mate30 Pro comes with 4 rear cameras – Ultra Wide Cine (40 MP (18mm) f/1.8), SuperSensing Wide (40 MP (27mm) f/1.6, OIS, Telephoto (8 MP (80mm) f/2.4, OIS) and 3D Depth Sensing.
It has better image stabilization as compared to P30 Pro. Perhaps, one of the biggest improvements is that the Ultra-Wide Cine camera and the SuperSensing Wide camera have their individual sensor.
Photography in Auto Mode with AI turned on
I have done a couple of tests using the rear cameras. Check them out below. Note that the pictures have been resized and added with a watermark without any other editing.
Check out the sunray in the picture below.
The Ultra Wide Angle does a wonderful job.
This photo is captured with the Ultra Wide Angle Lens in the evening. And thanks to large aperture, it did well in low light condition.
Here are some pictures using the Zoom feature.
In the picture below, details are lost due to digital zooming.
Here is my contribution to the Merlion in Sentosa that is going to be dismantled this month (October 2019).
The Mate30 Pro has an Optical Zoom of 3x only. Surprisingly, the combination of optical + digital zoom in the picture below is quite good.
These pictures are taken during the night time when lasers are projected onto the Merlion.
As usual, Huawei’s night mode is a breeze to use. Here is a shot using the Night Mode while I was on a plane. I can bearly make out the outline of the wing. Finally, after a few tries, I am able to capture this image that has the wing of the plane, the stars in the sky and a very dim sunset over the horizon (and my reflection in the glass).
This area is dimly lited but the camera is able to capture the details.
And here is one shot that was taken with super dim light and it turns out well.
Although the HUAWEI Mate30 Pro is without the Periscope feature found on the HUAWEI P30 Pro, it is still able to capture the moon usings its 30x zoom (Optical + Digital).
Here is the cropped version of the month from the above picture.
I have not many complain about the cameras except that in some pictures, they are over-saturated.
Video Recording in Standard, Optical+Digital Zoom and Low Light Condition
I took the HUAWEI Mate30 Pro to USS (Universal Studio Singapore) recently and here are some video recordings from it.
In my last part of the video, I used the HUAWEI P30 Pro to compare with the Mate30 Pro in terms of low-light capability and sound recording. The Mate30 Pro is better in both the video and sound but I don’t think I can use the footage. There is way too much lag in the video even though image stabilization is much better now.
Huawei has updated this feature recently to include 4K resolution with the Ultra Wide Angle Lens.
Check out the timelapse video below that took 1 hour to capture.
I love slow motion. Huawei has beaten the competitors by introducing the 7,680 fps or 256x slow motion. Although it can only be filmed on 720P resolution, the results are really amazing.
Check out this short video of me playing with a lighter with 1x, 8x, 32x to 256x slow-motion feature.
The HUAWEI Mate30 Pro is one of the best Android phones in 2019. From its unique design to the features on the phone, Huawei has become the leader in pushing the limits of Android smartphones.
However, because of the ban, they will need to change their strategy fast. No consumers will wait for a phone manufacturer for too long. There are many brands out there for them to choose from.
Apps, in my opinion, are the most important assets in an ecosystem. Without them, no matter how good the hardware is, the user will never be satisfied since it will affect their daily lifestyle.
Huawei has a lot more to do on the apps in the AppGallery to convince consumers to stay on the brand. Currently, with the progress, it seems that Huawei might need years to catch up or to convince the App Developers to develop apps for them.
I could be wrong. The good news is that Huawei recognizes this priority and are spending a lot of effort and money to bring developers to their side.
I am looking forward to seeing Huawei overcoming these “hiccups” and continue their dream to be the top Android phone maker in the near future.