Perhaps its a case of the phone that some call “impossible to sell” becoming “harder to buy” in Australia, but the Huawei Mate 30 Pro will be coming to Australia on 21 November .. but the way Huawei’s doing it is a little different.
Instead of just launching in the usual retailers, Huawei is asking customers to register their interest from today, before a limited number of handsets become available from a couple of retailers on November 21.
It’s also a return to the long lead times of yesteryear; the Mate 30 series was announced in mid September, making it a full two months (and a couple of days) between announcement and retail launch. As you read on, you’ll be able to understand why Huawei has been a little cautious introducing the Mate 30 Pro to the Australian market.
Whereas previous Huawei phones could be found with carriers, in JB HiFi, and other retailers here and there, the Huawei Mate 30 Pro will not be found in any of those places. Rather, it will be available from Huawei’s Experience Store (one of which is in Chatswood, NSW), from Mobileciti (in Parramatta, NSW and online) and from selected HappyTel stores (found in shopping centres, usually).
Better yet, only “selected customers” can actually purchase the phone. Huawei has advised only 200 phones will go on sale, and customers have to go through a bit of a process to actually buy one:
- Register online for a chance to buy the phone, at https://www.huaweipromotions.com.au/mainpage
- Fill out details, including:
- Where you want to buy it from
- Confirming your understanding that Mate 30 doesn’t come with Google Services (twice, in fact)
- A 200 words or less description of why you want to buy the Mate 30 Pro
- Wait and see if you’re one of the selected “winners”
- Make your purchase if so selected
This is a very marked, noticeable change from the Huawei P30 Pro retail launch earlier in the year, and you may be asking why.
Sadly, it’s because Huawei can’t licence Google’s apps and services anymore – due to that pesky trade embargo with the US – and so Huawei’s Mate 30 Pro runs the open source version of Android. This isn’t really an issue though – AOSP Android is fine, and works without issues.
What isn’t fine, and what does cause issues, is that Huawei’s Mate 30 Pro doesn’t have Google Mobile Services built in, which means – amongst other things – this:
- No Google apps – so Gmail, Chrome, Drive, Calendar, and whatever other Google apps are not on board
- No apps that use Google services – things like Uber which rely on the Google Maps API may or may not work, if you can even install them
- There’s no Google Play Store, so most apps that you might want to use probably wont be available. Instead, you use Huawei’s App Gallery which has some popular apps, but definitely not all (or maybe even most)
The really tough sell? Huawei’s Mate 30 Pro will still retail for $1,599 – the same price as last year’s Mate 20 Pro (which did have all the Googley bits) – even though it has some real software differences that many users will find frustrating.
This is offset a little by the quality of the hardware. Huawei claims – and it appears, justifiably – that the Mate 30 Pro has one of the best smartphone camera systems available, a huge battery (at 4,500 mAh) and some AI-driven camera smarts.
How this will fly – if at all – with a consumer segment well accustomed to Google’s version of Android (with those Google services everyone uses daily) remains to be seen.
I’m cautiously optimistic that the Mate 30 Pro hardware experience will be great, but I can’t mince words – I’m really sceptical the software experience will match. We’ve asked Huawei for a review phone so we can give it the full run-down and let you know what it’s like.