One of last year's best phones is now available in the U.K. with free earbuds and a smartwatch

One of last year's best phones is now available in the U.K. with free earbuds and a smartwatch
Under normal circumstances, the Huawei Mate 30 Pro would have been a strong contender for 2019's phone of the year title. But nothing about Huawei is normal these days. Because it is banned from its U.S. supply chain, the company cannot license the Google Mobile Services version of Android. As a result, the Mate 30 Pro is loaded with an open-source version of Android and cannot run Google's core apps like the Play Store, Search, Gmail, Drive, Maps and more. In China, where most of Google's apps are banned, this doesn't matter. But outside of the country, the lack of Google apps dampened global sales.

The Mate 30 Pro was released last September and did well inside China. Chinese consumers became defensive over the way that the U.S. treated Huawei and felt that the firm was being bullied by the Trump administration. During the calendar third quarter last year, which ran from July through September, Huawei saw its domestic smartphone shipments soar 66% on an annual basis giving it an unheard of 42.4% share of the smartphone market in China.

For the equivalent of $1,165 USD, the Mate 30 Pro can be purchased in the U.K.


Huawei didn't bother offering the phone in the U.K. back when the device was first launched. But now, it is being offered by Carphone Warehouse (via Android Police) and the British mobile device retailer is making it clear that those purchasing the phone are not getting the Google version of Android. On the retailer's website is an interesting notice that reads, "The new Mate 30 Pro comes with Android 10, EMUI 10 and the Huawei App Gallery. This device does not come with Google Mobile Services, so we have a dedicated VIP support team on hand for you once purchased."


In addition, Carphone Warehouse customers purchasing the handset will get a couple of free goodies such as the Huawei FreeBuds 3 and a Huawei Watch GT2. The FreeBuds 3 are AirPods Pro competitors with active noise cancellation and a wireless charging case. Together, these two extra goodies are valued at nearly $400.

The Mate 30 Pro carries a 6.5-inch waterfall display with a resolution of 1176 x 2400. Under the hood is the powerful home-grown Kirin 990 chipset paired with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. The quad-camera setup on the back includes a 40MP primary camera, an 8MP telephoto camera, and a 40MP ultra-wide camera. There is also a Time of Flight (ToF) sensor onboard. This measures the time it takes for a beam of infrared light to bounce off the subject and return to the phone. With this data, the Mate 30 Pro can deliver more natural-looking bokeh blurs on portraits, better AR capabilities and more. In the front you'll find a 32MP snapper and a ToF depth sensor. Keeping the lights on is a 4500mAh battery.


Even though the Mate 30 Pro is limited due to the lack of Google Mobile Services, it is priced at £899 ($1,165 USD at current exchange rates) so it is not cheap. Sure, you get the free earbuds and smartwatch but for the same price, you can get the Samsung Galaxy S20Plus with more memory (12GB), a free pair of Galaxy Buds Plus and a larger 6.7-inch display. And at a lower 1080p resolution, Samsung's phone has a 120Hz refresh rate.

Still, if you live in the U.K. and you're interested in using a phone that could be considered off the beaten path in the region, the Mate 30 Pro makes for a gutsy choice. Keep in mind that in the U.K., users will be able to use third-party app stores like Amazon's giving them access to Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp.

Related phones

Mate 30 Pro
  • Display 6.5 inches
    2400 x 1176 pixels
  • Camera 40 MP (Quad camera)
    32 MP front
  • Hardware HiSilicon Kirin 990, 8GB RAM
  • Storage 256GB, Nano Memory (NM)
  • Battery 4500 mAh
  • OS Android 10
    EMUI 10 UI

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14 Comments

10. Whitedot

Posts: 908; Member since: Sep 26, 2017

"Google's core apps like the Play Store, Search, Gmail, Drive, Maps and more" . You forgot to mention the most important part which is no banking or NFC related services. Without them this phone loost half of the of the value in my eyes. Not to mention other workarounds will have to be done. The last thing 99% of the customers looking to shelve £900 want to find out there is no banking and NFC. As someone mentioned above Huawei is testing waters. However price is way too steep.

9. geordie8t1

Posts: 348; Member since: Nov 16, 2015

I couldnt justify spending that kind of money on a phone that doesnt have Google services and is already almost 6 months old, with very little in the way of future software support, sure its nice to have a few sweeteners but they are not exactly that expensive and selling them on will have little value against the £900 phone cost

8. sleepypandaeyes

Posts: 436; Member since: Apr 12, 2015

The ad mentions there is a vip support system on hand, I wonder if they are there to help customers sideload google apps?

7. Citypaul83

Posts: 8; Member since: Feb 07, 2020

Useless phone. Without Google Apps and with such a price it will be fantastic if they sell a lot.

6. maestrotelefono

Posts: 23; Member since: Sep 30, 2019

Can anyone explain me how a phone in Europe without Google Services can cost this amount of money? Who the hell and why would anyone buy this phone??? I am not an iPhone user (lover), but I do appreciate Apple builds really good phones. For this.money you can go for a 11 Pro Max... I really can't understand pricing of Mate 30 Pro.

14. midan

Posts: 3300; Member since: Oct 09, 2017

I can't see how they could sell it cheaper in different countries? that would make huge s**t storm for the company. But yes it's way too expensive for what if offers, but well that's life. By the way i live in EU and 11 Pro Max costs almost 300e more than this. Is these phones really priced same in your country?

5. meanestgenius

Posts: 23174; Member since: May 28, 2014

Some sweet deals for an amazing smartphone. Easily among the top 3 best smartphones of last year. I think it’s also worth noting that the Mate 30 series also comes with expandable storage via Nano-Memory card, for those expandable storage diehards.

12. maherk

Posts: 7114; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

Without Google services, it's far from a sweet deal. Those who might believe this phone can survive out of China, should check out xda and reddit regarding the countless issues that are plugging this device, software wise, even with Google services sideloaded. You're basically paying this much for a smartwatch, freebuds, and a camera instead of a smartphone.

15. meanestgenius

Posts: 23174; Member since: May 28, 2014

Let me elaborate: It’s a sweet deal TO ME as I don’t need or very much care for Google services. I really don’t care how others think or feel about what I want to purchase, as I’m sure others don’t care about that with regards to me. I am a huge fan of the features and hardware of Huawei smartphones. I also honestly only stick with Android because of the features many Android manufacturers provide that the owner of the other prevalent operating system, Apple, does not provide with its iPhones. If the current iPhones, of which I am an owner of an iPhone 11 Pro Max, matched Android manufactures smartphones feature for feature, I’d only be using the iPhone. I’ve frequent websites like huaweicentral, which often provides the issues of Huawei smartphones, as well as the fixes that have been pushed by Huawei. I’ve yet to see issues with side loading, and I’ve personally become really good at it, having used the Amazon Fire Phone for almost a year. I’d be basically paying this much smartphone that I’d happily use without Google services. However, let me be clear: NO SMARTPHONE is worth that much, even with Googles services. And NO ONE can convince me otherwise. These flagship smartphone prices are ridiculous. Fortunately, I know where I can get this smartphone for $200-$300 less.

3. foldablephone

Posts: 87; Member since: Sep 19, 2018

I believe Huawei are doing this a test run to see how a smaller launch without Google goes down in the UK. The Mate series has never really been a big seller here and rarely marketed, but Britain loved the P30 Pro which was one of the best selling devices here last year and all eyes will be on the P40 series. While I could easily live without Google (and can also side load / use workarounds) the majority of the public won’t be. Even with TomTom coming as an alternative to GMaps I think Huawei are going to struggle to convince the public. I can see many 1 star reviews for the P40. I also disagree that Carphone have made it clear enough in that link about no Google Apps. It should say (No YouTube App, No Gmail App etc in red letters). The P40 launch may be a disaster at this rate.

4. meanestgenius

Posts: 23174; Member since: May 28, 2014

One star reviews for the P40 series? Doubtful. The Mate 30 series didn’t get one star reviews, so I highly doubt the P40 series will. It won’t be a disaster at launch, either. The Mate 30 series wasn’t, and the P-Series sells more than the Mate Series.

17. foldablephone

Posts: 87; Member since: Sep 19, 2018

One Star “CONSUMER REVIEWS”. I‘m certain there will be floods of 1 star amazon reviews and carphone warehouse reviews, just look what happened when the first Kindle Fire came out or Windows Phone consumer reviews. Snapchat not being on Windows Phone was enough for it to not sell to young people with UK retailer Argos having high returns. There will be tens of thousands of British people who don’t know what “Google Mobile Services” actually means, will get the P40 first week of release on contact and then be horrified that there is no Gmail app. No Youtube. No PlayStore to get their local newspaper or banking apps. No Google Photos. Come back to this thread in a few months time. I really hope that Huawei can make this a success, but I know what the average British consumer is like. This will be a disaster unless Huawei can make a miracle happen.

18. meanestgenius

Posts: 23174; Member since: May 28, 2014

Again, I’ve yet to see one star “CONSUMER REVIEWS” on the Mate 30 series anywhere, and I am the internet extensively. So I don’t expect there will be any for the P40 series. And I’ll be sure to come right back here in a few months time, just make sure you show up as well, especially if there are no one star “CONSUMER REVIEWS” like you claim there will be.

2. chenski

Posts: 802; Member since: Mar 22, 2015

Damn I ordered from Australia and only got the free buds 3 included not the watch

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