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Huawei Mate 40 Pro: A good choice despite the lack of Google services

The Huawei Mate 40 Pro is a modern smartphone with HMS.
The Huawei Mate 40 Pro is a modern smartphone with HMS.
The Huawei Mate 40 Pro turned out to be a powerful high-end smartphone in the test, shining with many premium features. The biggest shortcoming in Germany is the lack of Google services. But are they really absolutely necessary? And what alternatives are there?

The Huawei Mate 40 Pro uses Android 10 with the in-house EMUI 11 and Huawei Mobile Services (HMS). The AppGallery is available for apps; it has long been established in Asia and is now being expanded to the Western markets due to the consequences of the trade dispute between the USA and China. Some apps are certainly not available there yet, but Huawei manages to close this gap with Petal Search for the most part. This is a search engine that also searches app databases and manufacturer sites for the installation files (APKs) of the respective app and offers direct downloads. Although this is not as convenient as installing an app directly from the AppGallery, it usually only requires an additional touch of the screen. Another minor disadvantage is that apps installed in this way are usually not updated automatically.

With Petal Maps against Google's supremacy

Another disadvantage that HMS still currently has compared to GMS is the lack of the possibility to do mobile payments with the smartphone. Huawei already has the necessary prerequisites, but it's currently still in negotiations with potential partners. The company hopes to be able to name concrete dates and partners early next year. However, it's foreseeable that this gap will be closed in 2021.

Until now, HMS has also lacked its own navigation solution, and users had to resort to third-party providers. This has now been at least partially solved with the first beta version of Petal Maps. Because on the one hand, it's still a beta version, and on the other hand, the new navigation software can't yet offer the scope of Google Maps. So far, only routes for cars can be planned but not for bicycles or pedestrians. A good feature that's already available, however, is the indication of the number of traffic lights on the route.

Huawei seems to have solved the issue of DRM certification for its top products at least, since the Mate 40 Pro has one. The Corona Warning app is not yet available for HMS either, but the company has created the technical prerequisites for using it and is only waiting for the developers to complete these.

Overall, Huawei certainly has a lot of work to do, but the speed at which the Chinese are tackling the task is astonishing.

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> Expert Reviews and News on Laptops, Smartphones and Tech Innovations > Reviews > Huawei Mate 40 Pro: A good choice despite the lack of Google services
Daniel Schmidt, 2020-11-28 (Update: 2020-11-26)