Everyone involved in the mobile industry is watching Huawei’s next moves closely. With a pending export ban in place, Huawei can’t launch new phones with Google-certified Android, so the upcoming Mate 30 may be the first major Android phone to launch without Google apps. Huawei just launched a new phone, but it’s not the Mate 30. In fact, it’s not even “new” by some definitions. The revamped P30 Pro has been unveiled at IFA with a new exterior design and Android 10.
Huawei first launched the P30 Pro in March of this year, several months before the US Commerce Department added it to the “Entity List.” People and companies land on this list when the government decides they pose a threat to US interests. In this case, Huawei is accused of having close ties with the Chinese government and engaging in espionage activities. Huawei vehemently denies these claims.
The new P30 Pro has a redesigned exterior with a textured glass effect covering the lower two-thirds of the back panel. It looks a bit like Google’s current Pixel phones, but it’s available in much more fun colors like Mystic Blue and Misty Lavender. The matte glass makes the phones less slippery in the hand as well. The internals specs are unchanged with a Kirin 980 processor, 8GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage.
The re-released P30 devices will also have Android 10 at launch, along with a new version of its system skin known as EMUI 10. Huawei has made a number of design changes in the new EMUI including bolder app fonts, a Pixel-style quick settings bar, and new icons. Huawei also has a gesture navigation system similar to Google’s. You also get the standard Android 10 features like dark mode, more granular privacy controls, and more.
So, why re-release the P30 right now? Huawei currently enjoys a second 90-day delay on the full implementation of US export controls. Since the P30 Pro (and other P30 variants) launched before the trade ban, Huawei can continue certifying updates for those phones under the terms of the temporary delay. However, it can’t launch new phones with Google’s support. So, it seems all but certain that Huawei will have to release the Mate 30 without the Play Store and other apps everyone expects on Android.
The re-launch of the P30 Pro might be a way for Huawei to compensate for the Mate 30. While the Mate 30 will suffer from its lack of Google support, the Google-y P30 Pro is back for another round, and it’s a very similar piece of hardware. It might soften the blow of losing Google apps, but it’s just a temporary fix.