Can Huawei Mobile Survive in the West without Western Apps?

No Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Dropbox, LinkedIn, Skype, Netflix, Spotify or Google Maps. Just some of the apps not available on the new Huawei AppGallery. The new app store was created to answer the banning of use of the Google Play Store on Huawei phones because of an ongoing trade war between the United States of America and China. It will be available on the new Mate 30 (released May 8th, 2020) and the new P40 Pro (reviewed-unreleased).

huawei p40 pro

Some of these, like Twitter, when searched in the AppGallery, direct you to the browser version of the company. Although at the time of this review, even clicking on that link gave me the message “Browser is not available in your current country or region. Select another country/region?”

My home is run off of smart home apps, also not available for Huawei AppGallery.

So what is a Smart Phone in 2020 without the apps we have come to use in our everyday lives? The apps that have made our lives easier, more connected to each other, and those that entertain us? Pretty much a phone to call and text, a music player and a camera to take photos and videos with. The latter being the strength people have come to know Huawei for.

With a DXOMARK of 140 for photo and 105 for video, the 128 rating overall shows that the Huawei P40 Pro camera, made in partnership with Leica, is still top of class.

So what does one do if they want the latest version of the world’s best smartphone camera? There are a few options available for both iPhone and Android users wishing to pick up the device when it comes out in Canada later this year.

Phone Clone – This is the easiest way to transfer contacts, photos and videos and apps to your new device.

3rd Party Tools – There are 3rd party tools to help you get the apps you want on your phone. Check out Petal Search or More APPs.

Huawei AppGallery – Launched in Canada with the Mate 30 on May 8th. Hopefully more apps will be added as we get closer to the launch of the P40 Pro later in the year.

One thing that may not ever be available on Huawei devices going forward are any apps that require google mobile services. Google id, authentication, Google Pay, Google Maps and more are not able to be used from the new devices.

There is however a partnership with Here We Go that provides a map service for those directionally challenged.

Let’s take a look at the specs on the cameras on the Huawei P40 Pro.

Key camera specifications:

-Primary Lens – a 50 megapixel, f/1.9 lens equal to 27mm at 1x zoom.

-Ultra-Wide Angle Lens – a 40 megapixel, f/1.8 lens equal to an 18mm.

-Telephoto Lens – a 12 megapixel, f/3.4 lens equal to 125mm

-Time of Flight (ToF) – 3D depth-sensing camera (78-degree FOV)

-The video camera can shoot 4K video, 2160p/60fps – Dual View (two focal lengths shot at once)


Here are some photos looking south on Yonge Street towards Bloor from roughly Balmoral just south of St. Clair. The photos go in order from Wide->1x zoom->5x zoom->10x zoom>50x zoom. Even at the 10x zoom focal length the photos are very sharp. At around 20x zoom the quality starts to drop off and at 50x zoom you are mostly just picking out shapes and colours.

If you want a phone with a really good camera, then the Huawei P40 Pro may be right for you. There are still tons of apps on the new Huawei AppGallery for productivity, health, gaming and more. It just may be hard to share your favourite photos with your friends and family with the apps that they are all on.



About Joel Levy 2574 Articles
Editor-In-Chief at Toronto Guardian. Photographer and Writer for Toronto Guardian and Joel Levy Photography