Huawei has, in recent years, risen up to be one of the biggest smartphone brands in the world. Even today, they’re still one of the major players in the Android ecosystem. But we’re all familiar with the woes Huawei has experienced in the past months, too: the company was placed on the United States’ entity list in 2019, greatly limiting their ability to do business with most U.S. companies. Huawei phones have had to change significantly as a result. But, as it turns out, they’re still making phones, and they’re still among some of the best Android phones out there. So today, we’re summing up some of the best Huawei phones currently on the market.
If you don’t mind the lack of Google apps and don’t mind diving into Huawei’s own ecosystem of apps and services head-on, then this might be a pretty easy decision. If you absolutely need Google apps, though, it might be a little tougher. But nonetheless, we have an option for everyone. We’ve categorized some of the best options, with and without Google apps, for you to choose from, although we’ll mostly focus on devices with Google apps as those will provide the best experience in the Western market. We’re also linking to Amazon listings: Since Huawei devices are not officially available in the U.S. and recent developments point at that not happening any time in the near future, these will be third-party sellers.
With that out of the way, read on to know more!
Navigate this guide:
- Best with HMS: Huawei P40 Pro
- Best with Google Apps: Huawei P30 Pro
- Best Features: Huawei Mate 20 Pro
- Best Bleeding-Edge: Huawei Mate Xs
- Best for Most People: Huawei P30
- Best Mid-Range: Huawei Nova 5T
- Best Budget with HMS: Huawei P Smart 2021
- Best Budget with Google Apps: Huawei P30 Lite
- Best Large: Huawei Mate 20 X
Best with HMS: Huawei P40 Pro
The Huawei P40 Pro is currently among the best Huawei has to offer. It has a beefy Kirin 990 processor that still stands very competitive with other flagship 2020 processors, and it comes with a 50MP camera setup that provides a camera experience that is up to the task for almost every scenario you can possibly imagine. It also packs Android 10 with EMUI 10 out of the box, comes with a decently-sized 4,200 mAh battery, up to 8 GB of RAM, and 512GB of storage, a 90Hz panel that is curved to all 4 sides… I could go on and on: this phone really throws in everything and the kitchen sink.
It’s only Achilles heel? The lack of Google apps might break the experience for a lot of users. It’s not only the Play Store that Huawei P40 Pro users will be missing out on, but a lot of Western apps actually rely a lot on Google Play services and Google Mobile Services frameworks in order to function properly. So you could experience anything from delayed notifications for some apps to straight-up apps refusing to even open. Huawei has attempted to fix this with their own Huawei Mobile Services, but there’s still some progress to be made on that end.
If you don’t mind dealing with a lack of Google apps and you’re ready to fully embrace the Huawei ecosystem, though, or you don’t mind going through weird hoops to get them installed on your phone, then you should absolutely go ahead and grab this phone.
Yes, this category is not selecting any of the new Mate 40 devices. The Mate 40 Pro as well as other phones in this new series are scarcely available in China, Huawei’s home market, and no plans have been announced for other regions. That makes the phone incredibly difficult to purchase, and consequently, not the best option within the scope of this list.
Best with Google Apps: Huawei P30 Pro
The Huawei P30 Pro is a fairly old device by now, being released in the first half of 2019. But it has two things going for it. First, it’s still very capable even today, with a Kirin 980 processor and an amazing camera just as we’ve come to expect from Huawei. The P30 Pro’s camera actually made a lot of headlines back in the day, and it’s still pretty good even today. And second, it was Huawei’s last flagship to release prior to most U.S. sanctions being applied to the company, meaning that this was the last Huawei flagship with full support for Google apps.
Google services are essential for a smartphone and its Google-reliant app ecosystem to work properly in the Western market, which is why Huawei has re-released the phone several times, even through 2020, when they’ve had newer smartphones up for sale. It’s still an amazing phone and one that you should absolutely check out now if you like Huawei’s hardware.
Best Features: Huawei Mate 20 Pro
The Huawei Mate 20 Pro is actually an even older device, clocking in at 2 years old now, but it’s as good as it gets when it comes to a device with Google apps. It actually features the same SoC in the Huawei P30 Pro, the Kirin 980, meaning that performance on both devices should be pretty much on par for the most part. And the cameras should be able to perform pretty well too, although maybe not up to the level of the Huawei P30 Pro as that one came with revamped cameras.
The Huawei Mate 20 Pro also has support for 3D face unlock within the device’s massive notch as well as 40W charging, so this is definitely one of the 2018 devices that have aged really well. Check it out now!
Best Bleeding Edge: Huawei Mate Xs
Huawei’s first shot at the foldable market came with the Huawei Mate X, but everything about that device screamed “first-gen”, not to mention all of the widespread issues that came for the very few people who did buy this phone. The Huawei Mate Xs, though? It’s better. The Huawei Mate Xs comes with an outward-facing foldable display just like its direct predecessor, and the newer device refined a lot of aspects over the previous one. It has a sturdier hinge, a more durable display, better folding action, and a faster processor, and packs a Kirin 990 processor instead of a Kirin 980.
Unfortunately, though, the first Huawei Mate X already came without Google apps, and so does the Huawei Mate Xs. But if you’re willing to look past that and check out a smartphone with a radically different form factor to what we’ve seen from manufacturers such as Samsung and Motorola, then go ahead and buy it. Just keep in mind that it costs a pretty penny, even compared to other foldable phones, and if you’re in the U.S, then you’ll have to pay even more.
Best for Most People: Huawei P30
The Huawei P30 is actually a good middle ground for people that don’t need all of the camera fluff that comes with the Huawei P30 Pro, are aiming for a lower price point, and just want a device with flagship specifications that does the job and does it well. For all of those reasons, the regular Huawei P30 ticks the right boxes. It still has the excellent Kirin 980 SoC, features a flat display instead of the curved one in the Pro, up to 8 GB of RAM, and 256 GB of storage, and the camera is still great, just maybe not as versatile as the one in the Pro version.
The Huawei P30 is actually cheaper than ever now, and it’s definitely one of our top picks for the best Huawei phones, so check it out!
- The Huawei P30 was the company’s mid-tier flagship for 2019, packing most of the goodies in the Huawei P30 Pro, such as the same Kirin 980 SoC, while cutting down on other aspects like the camera, the display, and more. It’s an option worth considering if you want close-to-flagship performance at a lower price.
Best Mid-Range: Huawei Nova 5T
The Huawei Nova 5T is one of the last Huawei phones to pack Google apps being released with that same Kirin 980 processor that allows the phone to get flagship performance on a budget. The Huawei Nova 5T does differ a lot from other, more premium offerings from Huawei, and that is made evident starting on things like the camera: the phone features a conventional 48MP camera like the ones we’ve seen on other mid-range devices, it has a smaller battery rated at around 3,750 mAh, and the display is actually a Full HD panel instead of a Quad HD.
Still, the Kirin 980 processor packs a big punch in a relatively small price point, delivering a very decent overall package. It’s one of the best Huawei phones right now, so go check it out!
Best Budget with HMS: Huawei P Smart 2021
The Huawei P Smart 2021 is one of the newest devices on this list, and it actually has more in common with other devices than you might think. Looking at it from the front gives off strong Xiaomi/Samsung vibes with a centered punch-hole display, something that Huawei has yet to use on other devices. But it’s a decidedly budget smartphone. The device is powered by the Kirin 710A with up to 4 GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage. It fares better in other departments, such as the camera, providing an amazing (in budget terms) and versatile experience with a quad 48MP panel. The battery is also rated at 5,000 mAh, and with the Kirin 710A, it should be able to provide amazing battery life.
Of course, it doesn’t have Google apps so you’re subject to the same restrictions as some devices in this list, but if you’re curious about dipping your toes in the HMS ecosystem and you don’t have money to splurge on a flagship, this is your best bet.
Best Budget with Google Apps: Huawei P30 Lite
Again, yes, this phone has had successors in the form of the Huawei Mate 30 Lite and the Huawei P40 Lite, but we’re again focusing on phones that can actually be used in the Western market (plus, we’ve already mentioned a budget HMS alternative), and the P30 Lite is as good as it gets. It features a Kirin 710 processor which performs pretty similarly to some devices in the lower-end segment of the Snapdragon 600 series. It also features up to 8 GB of RAM and up to 256 GB of storage for good measure. It has a 48MP rear-facing camera setup with both ultrawide as well as depth sensors and can be updated up to Android 10 with EMUI 10 on top.
It’s not an amazing device in terms of specifications, but you can easily grab one for under $200. It should be able to take on the most essential tasks and more, which is why it earns a spot on our list of best Huawei phones.
Best Large: Huawei Mate 20 X
If you’re part of the crowd that thinks size really matters, then you will be very well served by the Huawei Mate 20 X. The device has all of the same features that come with the other devices in the Mate 20 family, but the screen size gets a bump to a massive 7.2 inches. While this goes into the unwieldy territory, the result is an amazing device with a gigantic display for media consumption, watching videos, you name it. It has a Kirin 980 processor as well as all of the goodies that you’d expect from other Huawei phones, such as great cameras and an overall premium experience.
The Huawei Mate 20 X is, even today, an amazing device, and the screen size is unmatched if you’re into that sort of thing. It’s one of the best Huawei devices out there. It even has 5G, although your mileage may vary if you’re getting one of these in the U.S. Check it out!
There’s a lot to like about the devices on our list. If you’re a fan of Huawei hardware, Huawei makes available their own ecosystem of apps and services so you don’t have to rely on actually having Google Play or Google apps in your device in order to get it to work. If you’re expecting it to use it more like other Android devices in the west, though, there’s also a lot of slightly older, yet still, very competitive devices that are fully supported by both Android updates from Huawei and full Google app support in tow.
The Huawei P40 Pro is this list’s crème de la crème with the best specs and features overall, while the Huawei P30 Pro is still very competitive in terms of performance while still providing Google apps. From there, we have everything from bleeding-edge devices with premium price points, such as the Huawei Mate Xs, all the way down to devices like the Huawei P Smart 2021 and the Huawei P30 Lite if you’re looking for something a little bit more affordable.
What do you think about our choices here? Let us know down in the comments!
The post These are the Best Huawei Phones you can buy right now appeared first on xda-developers.
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