Much has been said about the Mate 30 lineup, Huawei’s latest but not-so-greatest flagship series that can’t run Google apps and services.
Since its September launch in China and the dozens of reviews that have gone out since then, the general overview is this: the Mate 30 and Mate 30 Pro could have been the best smartphone on the market if not for the lack of a proper Android operating system.
What we got is an excellent, specced-out device (that shoots really well!) painfully hampered by the lack of apps that everyone has come to rely on. The lack of feasible replacements on the Huawei AppGallery (Huawei’s own store) didn’t help.
But even after all that jazz and razzmatazz, if you’re still interested in the Mate 30 series (at premium flagship prices of up to $1,298, no less), then by all means, head down to Huawei’s launch event at 313@Somerset this Saturday (Nov 16).
The one-day roadshow event is set to kick off at 10am at the mall’s atrium on the first floor.
It’s been just a little over a month since the Chinese tech giant held a private launch of the Mate 30 and Mate 30 Pro phones for a select audience of hardcore enthusiasts, and honestly, we're surprised that there's enough local demand for Huawei to merit a public launch.
The question that remains right now (if you’re in the market for a brand new handset) is this: should you even bother? Personally, it’s a resounding no — a Google-less life is harder than you might realise. But! We’ll let you figure it out yourself via a list of pros and cons.
- It can take better pictures than the iPhone 11 Pro Max, according to the DXOMARK benchmark tests.
- Huawei is sweetening the deal with a bundle of free gifts. Mate 30 buyers get a Huawei power bank, a phone case, and a wireless car charger, while those who bought the Pro edition get all the above plus a DJI Osmo smartphone gimbal for super-steady shots.
- It’s exclusive AF. You’ll be one of mere hundreds in the country who actually purchase and own a Mate 30 or Mate 30 Pro. Only 500 handsets will be up for grabs this Saturday.
- You’re a Huawei Mobile Services pioneer! In lieu of apps via Google Play, you can use the likes of Huawei’s own internet browsers, music and video players, themes, and digital assistant via the Huawei AppGallery.
- The edge-to-edge curved OLED screen on the Mate 30 Pro is gorgeous.
- The battery life is insane, with 4200 mAh on the Mate 30 and the 4500 mAh on the Pro. The capacity is big enough for you to charge other things using the phone, which can actually be done wirelessly.
- It’ll play well with other Huawei devices that you already have or are planning to buy, including the Huawei Watch GT and Huawei Band series, MediaPad tablets, and headphones.
- At first, it was possible to install Google Mobile Services on the Mate 30 series, but that got shut down quickly. But according to Geek Culture, there is a new workaround to do so.
- According to a Bloomberg report, licenses that allow US companies like Google to deal with Huawei once again are set to arrive "very shortly".
- It can’t run Google Apps. So no Google Maps, Gmail, Google Drive, and the many other software that makes for a full Android experience.
- No Google Play means you can’t download other essential apps, including WhatsApp, Facebook or Instagram.
- Huawei AppGallery still has a long way to go to offer a diverse range of apps that customers outside of China will need.
- There’s only one physical button on the phone — volume control is done through on-screen sliders. Which is weird, because that means you can’t control the volume when the display is switched off.
- It’s not secure. The Mate 30 Pro failed Google’s SafetyNet security test.
- Expensive for a phone that can’t even run Google apps and services.