There is a problem with Huawei phones without Google services


Google has canceled deals with Huawei. Now Huawei users have to do without Google services. Stiftung Warentest took a close look at Huawei smartphones without Google’s infrastructure for the first time. As the test by the consumer organization shows, there are quite a few problems without Google services. Huawei’s own app gallery leaves a lot to be desired and many popular apps just don’t work without Google. The situation is currently unsatisfactory.

When asked, Huawei’s PR manager Pascal Landolt said about the test: “The test focuses very strongly on Google-specific offers and almost completely leaves out Huawei’s own alternatives.” That is of course not complete, and many customers in this country not only rely on Google offers, but are already using alternatives. The group also notes that devices like the Mate 20, P30 or P20, which were launched before autumn 2019, still have Google Mobile Services (GMS).

App gallery leaves a lot to be desired

Huawei users have to do without apps such as Maps, Gmail and the Playstore with the new devices. Huawei wants to solve this problem with its own app store, the app gallery. According to Stiftung Warentest, however, many popular apps are not available for download there. Whatsapp, for example, cannot be downloaded directly from the app gallery. Instead, the store refers to the Whatsapp download page itself.

Zoom appears twice. Once as a link to the provider website and once with the same app icon as a direct download. The second version does not hide the program, but an advertising app. Anyone looking for Instagram in the app gallery will be redirected to their mobile website. There, in turn, according to Stiftung Warentest, the use of the app is recommended and a reference is made to the Google Playstore – completely useless for Huawei customers.

According to Landolt, users in Switzerland can use their favorite apps such as Whatsapp, Instagram, Snapchat, Telegram, Twitter and others without restrictions. The Huawei App Gallery is already the third largest platform for apps worldwide and continues to grow. “Of course, the availability of certain apps is always a ‘work in progress’ on which Huawei continues to work tirelessly. In addition to the app gallery, every Huawei smartphone also has the ‘Find Apps’ widget, the ‘Petal Search’, on the home screen, “says Huawei’s PR manager. This widget could be used to search for news, images, videos and other content as well as apps. Apps that have not yet been integrated into the app gallery can be downloaded from other portals, as has always been possible for Android users.

Popular apps don’t work

Obtaining apps from alternative sources only helps to a limited extent, according to Stiftung Warentest. Many apps use the infrastructure provided by Google. As the test shows, they only work to a limited extent or not at all on Huawei devices.

The consumer organization names the apps from Zeit Online and Tagesschau as an example. In the test these crashed repeatedly and did not provide any notifications. Netflix and Ebay also wouldn’t even start. The same thing happens with apps like Lyft or Uber, since they integrate Google Maps.

The testers’ conclusion: the consumer loses

The consumer organization rates the current situation with Huawei devices as unsatisfactory. Because the loser in this development is ultimately the consumer. According to Stiftung Warentest, this is all the more annoying because Huawei is actually a serious alternative to market leaders like Apple and Samsung.

“Users can and should decide for themselves which devices with which functions best suit them,” says Huawei about the testers’ conclusion. “We offer our current and future users on the Internet all the information so that they can obtain comprehensive information about the Huawei Mobile Services and App Gallery.” Huawei is constantly working to offer its users new functions and possibilities. “We agree with the assessment that customers always benefit from more global networking and cooperation between providers worldwide. Certain current decisions are also beyond our control,” says Landolt.

Huawei remains open to Google collaboration

“Huawei remains open to a cooperation with Google – as well as with all other providers worldwide,” Landolt continues. “We are convinced that real innovation arises when companies cooperate with one another across borders and develop solutions together.” Therefore, Huawei lives an open and equal cooperation with its partners.

Stiftung Warentest recently examined 29 cell phones. Read here why the consumer organization is not convinced by most cell phone cameras.

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