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We’ve just seen Huawei launch its Mate 40 Pro and 40 Pro+ flagship smartphones that feature almost everything you might want from a premium Android phone, with the exception of having Google’s apps and services built-in. This is down to the tussle between China and the US which has resulted in an ongoing trade war that has snared Huawei in its traps. Every since May 15th in 2019, Huawei has been banned from working with Google in any form, and so its Mate 30, P40, and now the Mate 40 series of smartphones have launched featuring the exact same omission: the Play Store. All of which adds up to an intriguing question that only you can answer – would you buy an Android phone that didn’t have any access to Google’s apps and services?

This isn’t just about missing apps, the lack of Google’s Firebase Index means that many apps simply won’t work or may not issue notifications on your new Huawei handset. Sure, there are some workarounds available if you are handy with sideloading apps and fiddling with your handset’s software, but none that are foolproof or that work 100% all of the time.

For its part, Huawei is trying to fill the gap in its apps collection with its AppGallery storefront that is regularly updated with must-have apps and services. Just none of Google’s apps, and many banks and streaming services have yet to bring their wares to the AppGallery, which leaves users needing either sideload the apps or try and find a third-party alternative.

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Which brings us back full circle to the question at hand; would you buy an Android smartphone that doesn’t have the goodness of Google pre-installed? Let us know in the poll below, and if you’ve got some words to share, head on down to the comments.


He’s been an Android fan ever since owning an HTC Hero, with the Dell Streak being his first phablet. He currently carries an OPPO Find X2 Pro in his pockets, a Galaxy Tab S5e in his backpack, and thinks nothing of lugging a 17-inch laptop around the world. When not immersed in the world of Android and gadgets, he’s an avid sports fan, and like all South Africans, he loves a good Braai (BBQ).




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