Huawei, the rising star in the smartphone sky, was slowed down by the United States. Suddenly, Huawei can no longer use various American apps and the Google ecosystem because US companies are prohibited from working with Huawei. Therefore I am asked again and again: Is it still worth buying a Huawei smartphone?
A valid question. For us, the current situation means that if the USA does not relax its spell on future Huawei phones, we will still have to do without a Play Store. Huawei’s own App Gallery is being expanded significantly, but without US apps it is hardly an alternative.
This is particularly annoying for me, since Huawei is now presenting really great hardware, especially in the camera area. In recent years, the camera has been significantly improved with every flagship model and some very interesting new features have been introduced.
For me, Huawei had become the camera king at the beginning of 2019 at the latest. I still remember exactly how excited I was about the Huawei P30 Pro the first time I tried the camera, I was particularly impressed by the 5x optical zoom and the macro lens. At that time it was clear to me that Huawei could dominate the smartphone world in the next few years.
Unfortunately, the USA spell then overthrew everything. The latest top mobile phone from Huawei, the Mate 30 Pro was once again a great piece of technology, but it would not be really useful in Europe without the Google ecosystem. I was able to test it myself and summarized my opinion in this post,
Huawei is heavily challenged
Now the new year is here and the various smartphone manufacturers are getting ready to launch their new flagships. Samsung will start on February 11th. It is rumored that the South Koreans next to the Galaxy S20 will present the folding smartphone Galaxy Z Flip,
After that, Huawei traditionally comes with its latest P model and this year should not be any different. First leaks already show that you are at least visually very close to the Galaxy S20. And camera technology? I expect a lot. Samsung should have properly improved its camera for the new model and donate nothing to Huawei.
Nevertheless, Huawei has the problem in Europe that hardly anyone buys a cell phone that does not have access to the Play Store or apps such as Instagram, YouTube or Facebook. But you forget that Huawei still has some really good devices in its portfolio that are delivered as normal with the Play Store and other Google apps.
The Huawei P30 Pro is still a top device
Despite Huawei’s Miesere: From the consumer’s perspective, the incident between Huawei and the United States is quite interesting. Why? Because the prices of Huawei smartphones have fallen sharply in some cases. Sure, Android smartphones will be cheaper every month after the release, but probably no flagship smartphone should get their moment as cheaply as the Huawei P30 Pro.
Let’s briefly compare the Huawei P30 Pro with the biggest Android competitor, the Samsung Galaxy S10 + (cut-off date: February 1, 2020):
|Huawei P30 Pro||Samsung Galaxy S10 +|
|128 GB internal storage||128 GB internal storage|
|8 GB RAM||8 GB RAM|
|6.5-inch AMOLED display||6.4-inch AMOLED display|
|Dual sim, water & dust resistant||Dual sim, water & dust resistant|
|660 francs (Lowest Price)||743 francs (Lowest Price)|
Anyone who can live with 6 GB of RAM (which is more than enough for a smartphone, by the way) can find the P30 Pro model online from just CHF 629.
The Huawei P30 is currently hard to beat
Another great bargain is the smaller sister model P30. It is even available online for CHF 494. Although there are already several really good cell phones for under 500 francs, that I presented to you in this post, for me at the moment none comes close to the camera quality of the Huawei P30.
In a three month test, in which I was able to test all three smartphones of the P-30 series, the P30 was the best choice for me. For me, the balance of performance, weight and handiness was just right with this model. For this reason, I bought the P30 privately. It serves as my main cell phone when I’m not using a test device.
With the P30 you buy a smartphone that is cheap and has installed hardware that will still serve you reliably in three or four years. Sure, it is very obvious that the new flagships from Samsung, Apple and Co. will outperform the P30 – but they will also cost about three times as much. And spend 1200 francs so that the camera is a little better? It’s not really worth it, is it?
Other Huawei phones are (still) worth a look
If almost 500 francs are still too much for you, you still have a relatively wide selection of cheaper Huawei smartphones. For example, the Mate 20 Pro, the autumn flagship from 2018, is still a great, efficient device. And even the P20 Lite offers a lot for its 120 francs, although it was released in March 2018. However, I would only recommend this cell phone if you really just need a device for texting and calling – and maybe take a snapshot every now and then.
If you want a more up-to-date, but affordable device, the Huawei Nova 5t is also well advised. The cell phone was only released in autumn, but has thanks to a trick from Huawei all Google apps on board, At the moment you can get it from around 355 francs, which I think is fair. I haven’t been able to test the Nova 5t yet, but I’ve only heard good things from people I trust.
These cell phones all have in common that they come with the great camera technology from Huawei, even if a P20 Lite can of course not quite keep up with a P30. Often you can only see the difference anyway if you look very closely. A P20 Lite is always sufficient for Instagram or vacation snapshots.
To answer the question I asked in the title: Yes, buying a Huawei smartphone is still worthwhile. It is currently extremely difficult to find a cell phone with a better price-performance ratio. Sure, a Xiaomi Mi 9t Pro is cheaper, but when it comes to photo quality, it doesn’t come close to the performance of the P30 Pro.
I can warmly recommend the Huawei P30. It is handy, has top hardware and is very inexpensive. With all Huawei phones that you can currently buy, you have a normal two-year warranty and access to the Google Play Store. You can install any app as normal and you will also receive all future software updates that Huawei will deliver.
The only exception is the Huawei Mate 30 Pro. Although this has a normal guarantee and gets updates, it comes without Google apps. You can only order this cell phone from Digitec anyway. For all other Huawei phones, whether P20 Lite or Nova 5t, the rule is: grab it with confidence, I would do it too!