Huawei is set to reveal the Mate 30 – its latest flagship phone – at an event in Munich, Germany on September 19. The event will begin at 2PM CEST/8AM ET.
If you want to watch it, you can head on to Huawei’s YouTube page here, or better yet, just watch the stream below:
The company is expected to announce four new phones, including the flagship Huawei Mate 30 Pro, the premium-ish Mate 30, the cheaper Mate 30 Lite, and the special edition Mate 30 Porche Design.
Except for the Lite, each of these phones is expected to run Huawei’s new Kirin 990 chip with built-in 5G capabilities. The Lite will likely run the Kirin 810 to help cut costs. Huawei is keeping the notch on these displays (though the Lite has a Samsung-esque cutout instead), and the company has once again redesigned the look for the rear cameras, including a circular camera module on the P30 Pro.
Phones aside, Huawei is said to be planning to announce a watch, TV, fitness tracker, and tablet at the event as well.
But what will Huawei do without Google app support?
The Mate 30 event will be a major test for Huawei. It is the first new flagship phone it has launched since President Trump blacklisted the company back in May, effectively barring American companies from doing business with it. That includes Google, which, you know, is a pretty important part of Android.
Thankfully, Android is open source, so Huawei can still provide a working phone without resorting to its own upcoming HarmonyOS. However, Google Play apps and services are not open source, making it a lot more complicated for Huawei to provide the same out-of-the-box experience you get on pretty much every Android phone outside of China (where the Google Play Store is blocked).
Right now, it seems Huawei is getting through this problem the way we’ve seen some on Chinese phones: just sideload the Play Store. At IFA, Huawei CEO Richard Yu hinted it would be “quite easy” for users to install Google apps on the phone, and XDA has a great write-up explaining the approaches Huawei might take.
In summary: Google may not be allowed to officially license the Mate 30 to use services, but neither does it seem the company has to explicitly prevent Huawei phones from being able to run said apps. You can bet Huawei will do everything in its power to make the experience as seamless as possible.
Still, given how long news of Google’s Trump-induced breakup has been circulating, Huawei will face an uphill battle to convince consumers that its phones are as capable as they ever were. For a lot of buyers, the sheer uncertainty of Huawei’s future relationship with Android may be enough to give them pause. The company will have to make it incredibly easy and intuitive to install the Play Store and spend the marketing dollars to let consumers know.
This is all a shame for those of us who wish we could ignore the politics and just focus on advancing technology. Huawei has delivered class-leading cameras and robust features with its Mate devices the past few years, and I expect the hardware to be up to par once again this year.
Alas, that is not the world we live in. We’ll be keeping an eye on the news tomorrow, so stay tuned to TNW for more.
Published September 18, 2019 — 23:52 UTC