Objectively, the Huawei Mate 30 phones are impressive. With strides in areas ranging from its improved triple camera system to a new generation of proprietary mobile chipset with support for 5G connectivity, there’s just one issue.
Few outside of China will be focusing on those specifications.
That’s because the Mate 30 and 30 Pro will not be launching with Google’s suite of mobile applications the large majority of Android users might find themselves accustomed to.
Everything, from Gmail to Google Keep, from YouTube to Hangouts. Even the Google Play Store will be gone. In its place, customers will find Huawei Mobile Services (HMS), a veritable internal app store that had been widely in use within China where access to Google services including the Play Store is mostly impossible.
HMS shouldn’t come as too much of a shock since it had shipped with all Huawei devices for a long time coming. This ubiquity and airtime have given it an opportunity to mature, and Huawei claims it offers 45,000 apps in total with plenty more to come pending an RMB 1 billion investment.
With the iconic circular camera array drawing attention to its photographic abilities, the Mate 30 sports a Leica triple camera system in an arrangement that Huawei calls a Halo ring design.
It is a main 40-megapixel f/1.8 camera augmented by a 16-megapixel ultra-wide lens with f/2.2, and an 8-megapixel f/2.4 telephoto camera. The focus has been improved with laser technology.
Slow-motion has also been greatly improved with frame rates of up to 7680 fps, while the phone itself can record 4K video up to 60fps.
Display-wise, the Huawei Mate 30 Pro sports a curved 6.53-inch display while the regular Mate 30 confusingly has a slightly larger flat display at 6.62 inches. The Pro model also ships with a larger 4,500 mAh battery against the 4,200 mAh of the Mate 30, which can both be charged wirelessly at 27 watts or with fast charging at up to 40W.
Both devices will be running Huawei’s latest 5G-capable Kirin 990 mobile chipset, which will also pave the way for the company’s first 5G phones.
The Huawei Mate 30 phones run EMUI 10, Huawei’s flavour of the Android 10 that will also ship with its foundation’s key features like a system-wide dark mode and no-touch gesture controls utilising sensors housed in the phone’s notch.
Pricing is set at EUR 799 (~SGD 1,213) for the Huawei Mate 30, and at EUR 1,099 (~SGD 1,669), with the 5G model commanding a EUR 100 (~ SGD 151) premium. There’s even a Porsche Design Huawei Mate 30 RS that will set you back EUR 2,095 (~SGD 3,181) with a entirely different design, 12GB of RAM and 512GB of storage.
It remains unclear if HMS on the Mate 30 devices will allow for sideloading of key Google applications like Google Maps, Gmail and YouTube. Huawei CEO Richard Yu, however, announced the company’s intention to invest USD 1 billion into its HMS platform for posterity.