Huawei launches the Mate 30 Series phones, without the Google Play Store
As it does every year, Huawei has unveiled a new Mate series of flagship phones, brimming with the latest mobile technology, but this year there's one big caveat – no Google apps or access to the Play Store, because of an ongoing trade ban put in place by the US government.
Other than that, the Mate 30 and the Mate 30 Pro are two of the best smartphones you're going to find this year. The latest, super-fast Huawei Kirin 990 processor is running the show, along with 8 GB of RAM and either 128 GB or 256 GB of internal storage.
And Huawei has once again raised the bar in terms of its mobile camera technology, an area it's excelled in for several years now. The Mate 30 comes with a triple-lens 40 MP + 16 MP + 8 MP rear camera, capable of 3x optical zoom, while the Mate 30 Pro boasts a triple-lens 40 MP + 40 MP + 8 MP camera, with an extra 3D depth sensor, and the same 3x optical zoom level.
The Mate 30 has the bigger screen at 6.62 inches (2,340 x 1,080 pixel resolution), while the Mate 30 Pro features a 6.53-inch display (at a resolution of 2,400 x 1,176 pixels) that curves around the sides, and has ditched the physical buttons for touch-sensitive panels (a little like the Vivo Nex 3 that has just been unveiled).
In terms of finishes, you can get both the Huawei Mate 30 and the Mate 30 Pro in four main colors: black, silver, purple and emerald green, with orange and forest green also available in special vegan leather editions of the phones.
The Mate 30 Pro is going to be available in an upgraded 5G version as well, while there will also be a Porsche edition of the more expensive handset, just like last year, with some extra configuration and styling options.
Both the Mate 30 and the Mate 30 Pro are impressive phones, so it's a shame that the current political climate means Huawei can't tap into the Play Store for its new devices (older ones still get access). The mobile OS as a whole is based on the foundation of Android 10 though, and Huawei says it's investing some US$1 billion in its own app store – though we'll have to wait and see how successful that is.
There is a chance that Google and Huawei will be able to start doing business again in the future, and if that happens then these phones would give Samsung and Apple some serious competition in terms of hardware specs. For the time being though, they might struggle to find buyers outside of Asia.
Only European prices have been announced so far: the starting prices are €799 (about US$885) for the Mate 30, €1,099 (about $1,215) for the 4G Mate 30 Pro, €1,199 (about $1,325) for the 5G Mate 30 Pro, and a hefty €2,095 (about $2,315) for the Porsche edition.
Huawei also had time to unveil a new Huawei Watch GT 2, available in both a stylish and a sporty trim (so whether you spend more time going out or working out, there's a model for you). With its own custom apps, it might stand a better chance than the new Huawei phones outside of China – the Watch GT 2 retails for €229 (about $255) and up.
Product page: Huawei