The Huawei Mate 30 Pro will be released in the Netherlands later this year, but probably has to do without Google apps and services. That will be a loss.
For the Mate 30 and Mate 30 Pro, which will appear "later this year" in the Netherlands, Huawei cannot use Google apps and services. This is due to the US trade ban that was imposed because the US suspects Huawei of espionage for the Chinese government.
As a result, Google and Huawei are not allowed to do business. Huawei's license for Google services has recently been renewed, but this only applies to ongoing collaborations. New devices, such as the Mate 30, fall outside the scope of this agreement.
During the presentation of the smartphone this week in Munich, Huawei did not mention Google. The company prefers to focus on the innovations and technology in the new series of top phones.
In a separate presentation for the press, there was also no mention of it. Huawei chief Walter Ji only spoke about "major challenges". "We continue to make a lot of investments and with that we think we have a good chance."
Alternative to Google
As an alternative to the loss of Google, Huawei offers its own app store and location service. The company promises that you will eventually find many well-known apps in the Huawei App Gallery. We were able to take a brief look at that app store in Munich, but popular apps such as Facebook, Netflix and Spotify are not yet available there.
It is also questionable what the final offer will be. Google apps will - as long as the ban persists in any case - not appear at all. That means that YouTube and Gmail can only be opened via the browser. That is awkward to say the least.
Huawei hopes that developers will join the App Gallery to also deliver their software in that store. But many (Dutch) apps rely on the Google Play Services to work properly and safely. The only other solution is to download and install apps outside of an official store. But that is less easy and not always safe.
Curved screen edges
Then the telephone itself. After a short hands-on session we get the impression that the Mate 30 Pro is once again a solid smartphone - at least in terms of technology and design. The phone has a clear 6.5 inch screen that bends quite far into the edges. Even more so than on Samsung's top phones. In use, that looks nice. It also ensures that the edge feels less sharp than competing phones with these displays.
It also ensures fewer buttons on the sides. To control the volume, you can make swipe movements on the edge. That takes some getting used to and not as direct as physical buttons.
A notch can be found at the top of the display. This includes a front camera, but also a 3D face scanner to unlock the phone. It was not possible to get started with this during the short test in the demo room. This also applies to the fingerprint scanner behind the screen.
Cameras with super slow motion
Huawei is now known for its camera systems and further embroidered on the Mate 30 Pro. The four lenses are not placed in a square this time, but in a round shape. This makes the back of the phone somewhat reminiscent of a digital compact camera.
One of the new camera options is a slow-motion function with which a video can be delayed up to 7,860 images per second. That is much slower than we are used to with current smartphones. Competitors achieve around 960 images per second. During the test we saw that it worked well and smoothly, but the question remains how often you will eventually use this component.
The telephone also had some difficulty finding the subject in a test room with swimming fish, while they clearly swam through the frame. In addition, it must be said that the area was quite dark, possibly it had to do with that.
Huawei has been doing a good job on his top phones for a while and this time this part seems to be fine again. The Mate 30 Pro zooms three times optically (without loss of quality) and up to five times hybrid. With hybrid, digital and optical images are combined.
The short tests gave a convincing impression, but we did wonder why the Mate 30 Pro does not have the same camera system as the P30 Pro. When reviewing that device, we headed with "the best smartphone cameras of the moment". That device offered five times optical zoom and ten times hybrid.
The most exciting thing about the Huawei Mate 30 and Mate 30 Pro is the lack of Google services. The phone works on Android, but with a 'calmer', open source version. Without a Play Store and Play Services.
We cannot yet say how that will turn out. Perhaps the situation with the American ban surrounding the Dutch release has changed to such an extent that Google is fully embraced again. If not, it will probably be a tough job for Huawei to convince customers to opt for the Mate 30, because simply too much is missing for that.