Huawei is going through a difficult time because of the US veto that prevents companies like Google sell or license its technology to the Chinese company. However, Huawei is not willing to give up and recently announced its new flagship Huawei Mate 30 Pro, which comes with impressive hardware but without the services of Google or Play Store.
The Huawei Mate 30 Pro comes with a curved 6.5 ″ OLED screen, Kirin 990 processor, 8GB of RAM, 256GB of storage, 40MP + 40MP + 8MP + ToF quad-rear camera, 32MP front camera and 4,500 mAh battery with a fast charge at 40W.
The Huawei Mate 30 Pro is not yet for sale in some countries but, if there are no surprises, it will reach the market for an official price of € 1,029.
Software: Operating System
Due to the US veto, although the Huawei Mate 30 Pro runs Android 10 with the EMUI 10 customization layer, it lacks the services of Google and the Play Store app store.
Instead, Huawei has included its own version of Google Mobile Services called HMS (Huawei Mobile Services) and its own App Gallery app store. According to Huawei, there are more than 45,000 apps that use HMS and its App Gallery store has more than one million apps.
In practice, however, the number of popular apps in this part of the world that are adapted to use HMS is very low. Similarly, the App Gallery has many Chinese apps but not so many western apps.
As an example, none of these apps can be downloaded from the App Gallery at the time of writing this article: WhatsApp, Telegram, Facebook, Instagram, Uber, Cabify, or Spotify. Nor do we find hardly any apps from airlines, banks, health devices, video/music streaming, etc.
What apps do we find in App Gallery? Most of the apps are little known outside of China although there are some notable exceptions such as Twitter, Air Europa, AliExpress, Ryanair, Tik Tok, Amazon, Booking or Orange TV. All these are in the Huawei store.
Huawei is keen to boost its own HMS services and plans to encourage developers to adapt their apps. Until this happens, however, the App Gallery app offer is insufficient.
Therefore, it is essential to install Play Store (or another application store but Play Store is the most complete and secure) to have access to all the apps that are not in the App Gallery and that, at least for me, are indispensable.
Installing Play Store (or another app store) or downloading the APK of your favorite app is not complicated but it is not enough. Many apps require Google mobile services (GMS, Google Mobile Services) to function properly.
For example, apps like Uber or Cabify use the Google Maps service, so just installing the app is not enough. The same goes for games that use Google Play Games for multiplayer games.
Therefore, we also have to install Google Mobile Services (GMS) to use many applications. Again, installing GMS is not complicated since there are tutorials to install Play Store and GMS that, in just over 10 minutes, will allow you to make use of, for example, apps that use Google Maps.
Netflix is not allowed to install from the Play Store and, although you can install an old version, the maximum resolution that you will be able to see is SD since the device does not have Google Widevine support. Also, since you use an old version of the app, Netflix may block access at any time.
What you will be able to install and use are Google apps (YouTube, Gmail, Play Music, Google Drive, etc.) and many other bank apps (Santander, ING), payment services (Paypal, Bnext, Revolut), streaming (HBO, Movistar +, Spotify), games (Fortnite, PUBG, Asphalt 9) and more.
Software: EMUI 10 functionalities
As we mentioned in the previous section, the Huawei Mate 30 Pro runs Android 10 and, above the operating system, Huawei has incorporated its own EMUI 10 customization layer.
EMUI is one of the layers of customization with the largest number of settings and options as it adds a lot of features on Android.
When Huawei introduced EMUI 10, it mainly highlighted four features: a new design inspired by a contemporary magazine, the dark mode on the interface, colors with low saturation inspired by the artist Giorgio Morandi and Always Active Screen with themes rotating throughout the day.
The new design inspired by a contemporary magazine is the most visible interface change. The EMUI interface and Huawei’s own apps now offer a design similar to that of magazines with more blank spaces.
In the Contacts section, the upper area with the person’s name appears on a background that is also turned off.
The use of muted tones contrasts with the efforts that other manufacturers have put into making colors come into view, often showing more saturated colors than reality.
We found a new animation by clicking on the icon of an app on the desktop to open it. If you look closely, the icon slightly reduces its size and then retrieves it, as if it were a real button. The same goes for clicking on a photo in the Gallery.
Another of the aesthetic changes has to do with the Dark mode, which is one of the novelties of Android 10.
EMUI 10 allows you to activate the Dark mode and, in doing so, not only the interface to a black color scheme but also Huawei pre-installed apps also switch to this mode.
Huawei Dark mode is similar to other manufacturers. The backgrounds become black, which in addition to reducing eyestrain if you are in a dimly lit environment, helps to save battery due to the OLED panel.
EMUI 10 has improved the interconnection between the smartphone and Huawei Matebook laptops.
When you connect the Mate 30 Pro with a Matebook, a virtual smartphone that you can use with the keyboard and mouse appears on the computer screen. You can even drag files between the phone and the laptop.
Huawei offers a functionality called Game Center that brings together all the games and allows us to display a panel of game tools when we are in a game.
This panel offers the following tools:
- L / R buttons to map two areas of the screen and simulate your touch by touching the left and right ends of the top edge of the screen.
- Play without interruptions to block notifications on the screen except calls, alarms, and alerts due to low battery levels.
- Screen capture to save what we see on the screen as an image.
- Screen recording to record what happens on the screen along with the audio captured by the microphone.
- Avoid accidental operations to block navigation keys.
- Window applications to open certain applications in a window without leaving the game.
Huawei incorporates gesture control through device movements and gestures with knuckles:
- Movements: Turn around to silence, lift to decrease the ring volume or bring the ear closer to answer/make calls.
- Gestures with knuckles: take a screenshot of the screen or part of it when hitting with a knuckle, make a recording of the screen when hitting with two knuckles, divide the screen into two for multi-task.
Huawei offers an interesting functionality called Twin Application that allows you to log in with two different accounts in the same app at the same time. This is useful for having several accounts set up in apps like WhatsApp, Facebook or Snapchat.
Another related functionality is Private Space, which creates a new desktop where you can keep apps, photographs, videos, music, and any other content away from other people’s eyes. Huawei allows you to associate a PIN and a different fingerprint to this space, so that, if we use them on the lock screen, we directly access this desktop.
In case we want to protect only photographs, videos, music or other files without creating a new desktop, we can do it with Safe. It is possible to add some of these elements to a password-protected or fingerprint safe, and we can even create several safes with different content.
If we only want to restrict access to one or more apps, we can use the Application Lock, which allows you to protect access to an application by password or fingerprint.
Huawei includes the Password Manager functionality that saves usernames and passwords and uses them to automatically complete the information when you log in to an application. This data is stored only on the device.
The Huawei Mate 30 Pro also has the Projection function, which allows you to connect the phone to a screen to enjoy a desktop experience with applications running on windows.
To connect, it is no longer necessary to use a cable but it is possible to do it wirelessly if the screen is compatible with the Miracast protocol.
The phone screen becomes a trackpad although, if we prefer, we can use an external keyboard and mouse via Bluetooth.
Huawei also offers a functionality called Huawei Share that allows you to print on nearby printers wirelessly, share files between two Huawei devices without using mobile data, as well as with Windows or macOS computers connected to the same WiFi network.
It is even easier to share files such as images, videos, contacts or URLs between two devices with NFC using Huawei Beam. This functionality is activated by bringing the two devices near the back and pressing the screen.
Read full Huawei Mate 30 Pro In-depth Analysis:
- Part 01: Huawei Mate 30 Pro In-depth Analysis – Design and Screen.
- Part 02: Huawei Mate 30 Pro In-depth Analysis - Hardware and Battery.
- Part 03: Huawei Mate 30 Pro In-depth Analysis - Software.
- Part 04: Huawei Mate 30 Pro In-depth Analysis - Applications included and Multimedia.
- Part 05: Huawei Mate 30 Pro In-depth Analysis - Photo Camera and Voice Calls.
- Part 06: Huawei Mate 30 Pro In-depth Analysis - Price and Competitors
All Image credits: Huawei Mate 30 Pro