Huawei’s ban on Google applications have led to many hesitating on whether or not buying this phone will lead to increased convenience or hindrance in their daily lives. As a heavy Google user, I am here today to show you guys how I managed to use Huawei products.
Huawei Mate40 Pro 5G
Instead of your usual Play Store available in Android phones, Huawei’s phones come with an AppGallery. The updated AppGallery offers a ton of useful apps to fill in the void of the lack of Google apps. There are apps that are familiar with us, such as popular social media apps like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Tinder, Telegram, and Tik Tok. However, the usual productivity apps such as Google Calendar were not available for download. Further in the article, I will discuss how I manage day to day without my Google apps!
As a university student, I rely a lot on productivity apps to keep myself in check and stay motivated. Previously, I mainly used Google-based applications, such as Google Calendar and Gmail. However, using the Mate40 Pro means that I must do without these Google applications, which was easier than expected with their in-built applications. Students in my university have our own unique Microsoft Outlook email account, where we receive important mail and news. This Microsoft account can be seamlessly linked to the Mate40 Pro in their pre-downloaded email application.
The email is also synced to the Huawei calendar application, where any important school events emailed to me will be reflected on the calendar. Hence, without the Google apps, I was still able to stay at the top of my game and stay productive when I am in school. Furthermore, the TraceTogether application now works on the updated Huawei Phone!
When I first held the phone, it had a slim feel with a one-touch button to access the camera. It also has smooth curved edges and is light with ergonomic side buttons. Huawei has the smartphone’s industry most advanced, transistor-dense, most integrated and powerful SoC to date. This means that it is able to provide breakneck connection speeds.
I was most impressed with their portrait mode, where the subject was captured very clearly with a classy blurred background. Settings in the portrait mode can be tweaked to make the subject look more natural too, these customisable functions really appealed to me. The Dual View function lets the user record videos on the front and back cameras at once, with various slow-mo settings up to an impressive 3840fps. You can also record 4K videos on the Mate40 Pro.
It also has a periscope focus lens for up to 50x zoom-in capabilities. The first picture shown above is a landscape picture of the pool, and the second picture is a zoomed-in 50x image of the words at the other end of the pool. Although it was a little pixelated, the words could still be seen clearly.
It has a 6.76-inch OLED display with great colours, enough to enjoy my games and videos. There was no lag and the 90Hz refresh rate made gameplay smooth.
The Mate40 Pro has a superb battery life that lasted me through the day with heavy camera usage for photos and videos, as well as games. The real reason the phone lasts a long time could be due to a Huawei smart software optimisation that keeps the battery going longer. The wired charging charges up the phone in less than an hour, and I also tried the wireless charging which was surprisingly fast, even though I did not use the official Huawei 50W wireless charging pad.
Huawei Freebuds Studio, Freelance Pro, and Freebuds Pro
Overall, the connection of these 3 audio products to the Mate40 Pro was seamless and fast.
The Freebuds Pro, smallest of the 3, is great for day-to-day use, and what’s unique is its Voice Mode. There is no need to take off my earbuds, just a long press, and I can switch to awareness mode and reconnect with my surroundings. The unique Voice Mode reduces ambient sound to make human voices stand out. This means I would not miss the PA broadcasts or quick chats with friends passing by.
The Freelance Pro offers Dual-mic Active Noise Cancellation and a 24-hour playback. It is light and feels secure in my ears.
The Freebuds studio features a dual-antenna design, providing a wide signal coverage. Even if your phone is in your bag or pocket, your FreeBuds Studio still offers a stable connection.
The overall tuning for the 3 audio products are similar. The bass is not exaggerated but tuned for a good balance of intensity. The treble is clear but not too transparent. Overall, we feel that care is taken to bring out musical details without getting overboard. For Active Noise Cancellation, the FreeBuds Studio is the most effective. The FreeBuds Pro delivers the world’s first intelligent dynamic noise-cancelling technology, though the constant adjustment to the ANC takes getting used to. The FreeLace Pro offers reliable noise cancelling, stable fit and convenient power management when earbuds snap together.
Overall, I would use the Freebuds studio for intense music listening sessions, or when I want to get rid of distracting noises and stay in a cafe to focus on studying and be productive. I would use the Freelance Pro for exercise or gaming on-the-go, and finally, the Freebuds Pro when I want to pack light when I am travelling around.
The Huawei Mate40 Pro will be available in Singapore on 12.12 at S$1,598 with free 40W wireless charger worth S$148. The Huawei Mate40 Pro, Freebuds Pro, Freelance Pro, and Freebuds Studio can be found online here.