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Huawei Mate 30: No Google Play – but there’s S$1.38 billion for app developers

Huawei’s top exec Richard Yu confirms rumours at the launch of their latest flagship phones – the Mate 30 and Mate 30 Pro – in Munich.

Huawei Mate 30: No Google Play – but there’s S$1.38 billion for app developers

Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei's consumer business group, launches the Mate 30 smartphone range at the Convention Center in Munich, Germany September 19, 2019. REUTERS/Michael Dalder

New flagship phones, watches and even a television were announced at the latest Huawei event – but as the media gathered to leave the convention hall of Munchen Messe in Munich, Germany, following the presentation of the Mate 30 Pro series on Thursday (Sept 19), the Chinese company’s chief executive officer Richard Yu confirmed what was on everyone’s minds.

Yu confirmed that Google Mobile Services will not be available in its flagship phones “due to the US ban”. Instead, he highlighted the company’s own Huawei Mobile Services (HMS) and said he’s prepared to drop US$1 billion (S$1.38 billion) to help grow HMS’ AppGallery instead. 

“I want to tell global app developers: Build for Huawei Mobile Services to grow your business,” Yu said, to applause from the audience.

Huawei’s AppGallery in the HMS currently draws more than 570 million global monthly active users and 180 billion downloads per year in more than 170 countries and regions. There are currently 45,000 apps in AppGallery but Yu did not elaborate further on whether HMS would have a workaround for Google Services such as Maps, Gmail and others. 

The Huawei Mate 30 phones compared to the iPhone 11 Pro Max at the former's launch in Munich, Germany. (Photo: Peter Yeo)

Will consumers, including those in Singapore, buy a high-end phone but without Google services such as Maps and YouTube? The development will certainly have an effect, said Xiaofeng Wang, an analyst for Forrester Research.

“After all, Google services like Search, Maps and YouTube are table stakes to Singaporeans’ daily lives. If Huawei can come up with a workaround solution that won’t affect the usage of Google services or an aggressive promotion plan, it would be a different story,” she said, adding that another possible scenario is for consumers who are likely to own more than one phone to ignore the absence of Google services and “go for the competitive features” of the Mate 30.

Huawei's new Mate 30 Pro (left) and Mate 30 smartphones. (Photo: Huawei)


And the new phones do look competitive. The 6.53-inch Mate 30 Pro and 6.62-inch Mate 30 will come in different colours: Emerald Green, Space Silver, Cosmic Purple and Black, while the Forest Green and Orange variants will only be available in vegan leather. Pricing and availability in Singapore will be revealed at a later date.

At the heart of the phones is Huawei’s latest proprietary Kirin 990 5G chipset, which supports 2G through 4G networks, as well as 5G Non-StandAlone and StandAlone modes, offering telcos a variety of options to adopt for its networks.

The Huawei Mate 30 Pro Black variant. (Photo: Huawei)

When it comes to screens, the Mate 30 Pro has an edge-to-edge display. Unsightly volume buttons are kept out of sight with a cool side-touch feature that lets you choose where you want them.

Camera-wise, the Mate 30 features a triple Leica lens array and a 24-megapixels front-facing camera. But it’s the Pro variant that proves more interesting. If the iPhone 11’s triple lens array weirded you out, the Mate 30 Pro quad-camera system will make you wonder why it stopped there when everyone’s already putting in more. The four Leica lenses are arrayed in a metallic “halo” that sits flat on the back so nothing protrudes. A 32-megapixel front facing camera completes the setup.


Two 40-megapixel lens sit side-by-side to bring features like sharp photos, low-light images, ultra-wide shots and mind-bending slow-motion videos. The 40-megapixel SuperSensing Camera boasts a first-in-industry 1/1.7-inch sensor that delivers ISO 409600 photosensitivity. And the 8-megapixel Telephoto lens with 3X Optical Zoom, 5X Hybrid Zoom and 30X Digital Zoom completes the setup.

The Huawei Mate 30 Pro Black variant with four cameras at the back. (Photo: Huawei)

The 40-megapixel Cine Camera features a 1/1.54-inch big sensor with ISO 512000 to make low-light photography luxurious, not hazy. A super high-speed video capture promises slow-motion videos like the ones you see on YouTube from the Slow-Mo Guys. At 7,680 frames per second in HD, it is eight times faster than other slow-motion video capture feature in current smartphone cameras. The camera also expands your photographic world-view with a 4K Ultra Wide-angle timelapse video capability.

Not to be outdone, the Mate 30 features a 40-megapixel SuperSensing Camera with a 1/1.7-inch sensor, ISO409600 photosensitivity and optical image stablisation so low-light images are not a blurred out mess. The 16-megapixel Ultra-Wide angle lens and the 8-megapixel Telephoto lens with 3X Optical Zoom, 5X Hybrid Zoom and 30X Digital Zoom bring your subjects as near – or far – as you want.

Both phones feature depth-sensing front-facing cameras at 32-megapixels for the Mate 30 Pro and 24-megapixels for the Mate30 to deliver selfies that show off your features with nice and natural-looking bokehs.

Finally, both offer massive batteries (4,500 mAh for the Mate 30 Pro and 4,200 mAh for the Mate Pro), enough even for all your other stash, with an upgraded reverse wireless charging system lets you charge all wireless devices in your stash through the phones.

Huawei Watch GT 2. (Photo: Huawei)

Also announced at the event was Huawei’s Watch GT 2 in 46mm and 42mm variants, which is the first smartwatch from Huawei to feature an all-in-one 3D glass screen for a wider, boundless display.

There’s also an AI-capable television, dubbed the Huawei Vision, which boasts a 4K Quantum Dot Screen, 8+1+1 Intelligent Sound System, IOT console and comes with a Touch Remote controller.

CNA Lifestyle was in Munich at the invitation of Huawei.

Source: CNA/mm