Then, drop a comment if you have anything to add!
Review based on a European living in UK, other regions might be completely different.
Amazing piece of hardware but that's it! Software at this moment in time is pretty useless. Don't buy this phone if you need an actual smartphone. I would recommend you buy yourself a cheapo smartphone with a separate point and shoot camera, honestly you would get way better experience that way. If you are a tinkerer like myself and like messing with devices and fixing issues the manufacturer wont, don't buy this phone (locked bootloader).
If you stick with the pure Huawei experience and don't need any apps that are not in Huawei store, I am sure you would have a great time, unfortunately I rely on other, non-google apps way too much such as Slack, Delivero, Uber, DJI Pilot app, Blizzard Authenticator, Unified Remote Control etc... If you decide to side load the apps missing from it's store (using Petal Search or Aurora store), be prepared that those apps will probably be broken in some shape or form. Most apps rely on Google services such as Firebase for notifications, Google location services for location and etc.
You might be able to get the side-loaded app installed and mostly functioning, but something some where might be broken and you wont know until it bites you. For example Slack is installable and definitely usable, but you wont get any notifications. Apps that use google location all seem to be half broken even if you install Google services; you will open Delivero/Uber once and everything will work, and next time you open it there will be no location. You order from Delivero one day and you will get the notification that the driver is outside so you think sweet, the app fully works, but the next time you order the driver would have tried contacting you 4 times before he drives away with you undelivered food. Apparently this is fixable with an always on display and tuning the power saving of the phone. I did contact a few app developers asking if they plan to support HMS, and got mixed replies.
Other than the Google situation, here are some points:
Build quality and materials are generally amazing
Centre of gravity is slightly offset from centre, its towards the top left corner of the phone. Also the phone is PHAT, its definitely bigger than my S8 and thicker, but its the weight that's most noticeable. Not a huge deal but was a minor annoyance.
Face-ID and fingerprint scanner both work flawlessly and super fast.
Camera is superb
"Wide" camera is an insult to the term. The sensor is great but the wideness is just a smidge more than normal lens. Honestly I would call it misleading advertising and it should be called "Not-So-Wide" camera
General performance is great, no complaints. Also compared to my S8, the phone stays colder for much longer
Battery life seemed great, spent a whole day on it installing google and only drained like 60%.
The stock experience is OK, apart from any AI features. AI is in pre-alpha phase. For example the voice assistant cannot set a timer, it can only open the timer app. Oh and if you don't speak the exact accent Huawei expects you to, good luck getting it to recognise anything. You could side-load Alexa, but you cannot change the default assistant, so the 1sec press of power button will always bring Celia
The gestures work really well in most cases. The same gestures do get very annoying in some apps where you keep accidentally pressing back instead of bringing up side menus or switch drawer.
Banking is mostly broken for stock Huawei. Managed to get Natwest banking app working after a lot of work though. Contactless payment is 100% broken and will be for a long time!
Permisions: Pretty much every single Huawei app wants to have access to your calls and messaging history. Maybe nothing malicious but certainly makes you question why they need it
NM cards are more than double the price of MicroSD
Comes with loads of bloatware, but most is easily removed
The pill cutout is not bad, just wish they shoved it more in the corner of the phone more
Uncertainty if your phone will break after an update if you have google services installed
Installing Google services is not easy and seems to be a constantly evolving battle where methods change frequently
Internet forums/ youtube is filled with post from either bots or one can only assume are Huawei influencers. Also the phone is so talked about online that trying to use search to find answers to your problems usually just brings up a Forbes news story.
I admit, I made a mistake of not checking the news before buying the phone (saw a dirt cheap one on eBay). Fully expected to unlock the bootloader and install some custom ROM with GApps, but since 2018 Huawei locked their bootloaders for "security". Even so, I tried the phone for couple of days, spend a day installing google services, aurora store, icebox and the whole lot and honestly was super disappointed. Sold the phone couple days later and if you check eBay you can see dozens of people doing the same thing every day.
|Thread Tools||Search this Thread|