Wednesday , March 21 2018

Huawei’s new EMUI will be a complete overhaul, with broad Western appeal

In a double header report this morning, not only is Huawei about to unveil a completely redesigned EMUI, made to appeal to Western markets, but we’re going to see the next Huawei Mate launched at IFA 2016 in September.

EMUI has long been Huawei’s achilles heel outside of China, with the software failing to impress most reviewers, despite (or perhaps because of) its popularity in Asian markets. Huawei hired a former Apple creative director Abigail Brody in September last year, and this upcoming release of EMUI will be Brody’s major effort for Huawei, having built her team out of Huawei’s San Francisco design centre.

Though nothing has been seen of Huawei’s new EMUI, that it will be designed to appeal to Western markets is pleasing. We’ve been giving this feedback to Huawei for a while now, and so have others; EMUI doesn’t work broadly, it’s too iOS-ish, it doesn’t feel like Android in some key respects, and it just isn’t popular. Things likely to be improved (amongst a raft of others, mind) include notifications being done Google’s way instead of the confusing Huawei way, less tinkering with icons, and the use of an app drawer.

These changes should result in a lighter, more agile EMUI, and should also enable Huawei to release Android updates more quickly — indeed, the company is setting a two month goal for itself, which is even less than the 90 day target HTC set for itself. Admirable goal.

What we could see here is nothing short of breathtaking; Huawei are becoming known for pretty great hardware. The Huawei P9 is a top shelf phone, and the pricing is rather competitive. Imagine something like that paired with great software that isn’t so EMUI-ish. That’s what’s on offer.

In 2017, Huawei will be real competition for Samsung and the other market incumbents if it can truly turn around its software experience, and continue to pair that with what has been established as pretty competent hardware design.

If you’re not convinced by Huawei today, would a revitalised, more accessible EMUI help change your mind?


Chris Rowland   Editor and Publisher

Chris has been at the forefront of smartphone reporting in Australia since smartphones were a thing, and has used mobile phones since they came with giant lead-acid batteries that were "transportable" and were carried in a shoulder bag. He saw the transition from AMPS to GSM, loved the Motorola StarTac, and got into Palm technologies in a big way. The arrival some years later of the original iPhone, and then the early Androids, awoke a new interest in mobile technology, and Chris has been writing about it since.

Today, Chris publishes one of Australia's most popular technology websites, Ausdroid. His interests include mobile (of course), as well as connected technology and how it can make all our lives easier.

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5 Comments on "Huawei’s new EMUI will be a complete overhaul, with broad Western appeal"

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Phill Edwards
Valued Guest
Phill Edwards

Where do Mate phones sit compared to the P9? Are they high end or mid range?

Valued Guest

Mate appeals to a slightly different audience, P9 is definitely the high-end / flagship, Mate is a close second fiddle to that.

Valued Guest

The Mate line is high end, often higher then their P series. The main difference though is their size. These are 6 inch phones

Valued Guest

Or they could, you know, just ship the stock Android UI with one of the standard theme engines, which would appeal to the Western market just fine.

Ausdroid Reader

True. I don’t like the iPhone like look of Chinese phones.

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