The phones, called the Mate 30 series, were launched at an event in Munich and contain an open-source version of Android. The phones will not have some key Google apps like Maps, Youtube or Gmail, but Huawei has its own interface that’s based on Android called EMUI10.
Huawei will also have its own app store, where people can download apps like Facebook and Instagram and other non-Google related apps.
“I don’t see how many users would make so many compromises with such a phone,” Gartner Research Vice President Annette Zimmermann said. “It’s a lot of uncertainty.”
In May, the U.S. added Huawei to an entity list saying that American companies had to get special permission to be able to sell to Huawei. In August, Huawei got a temporary reprieve, but it didn’t apply to the new phone line.
Huawei decided that it was going to push forward with the release regardless, and it said it’s been working on a new operating system of its own called the HarmonyOS, but it won’t be ready for a while.
The new phones have a quad-camera system, dark mode and reverse wireless charging. They’ll “probably be available in Europe as early as next month,” according to Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei’s consumer business group.
There’s a 6.62 inch and a 6.53 inch versions (the bigger one is the pro), and they come in both 4G and 5G versions. The 5G models are more expensive.