Huawei introduces Android alternative…


…and equips a whole wagon load of new equipment with it. The new operating system could totally turn the mobile market around. And: Is the P50 already coming? […]

In March 2019, the big bang came: The US banned Huawei from using software in which US technology is involved. For example, all Google Services – and thus the heart of the otherwise open-source operating system, Android.

Huawei initially continued to rely on Android and launched the App Gallery and Petal Search for apps, as the Google Play Store was logically no longer allowed to be used. In principle, everything worked fine, but somehow seemed unfinished – and Huawei did not hesitate for a second to use US software where they were allowed to-for example, on their laptops.

Now everything is different: Huawei presented the long-announced, in-house operating system, HarmonyOS, at their developer conference. And not only that: The tech giants from Shenzen have also released numerous new devices-equipped with the new operating system right from the factory, including new tablets, smartwatches and headphones. Some devices – of course also with HarmonyOS-also come to Switzerland.


(c) Screenshot / Huawei

But first to the main attraction, the new operating system. The central feature of the operating system, as Huawei enthusiastically explained, is multi-device compatibility. HarmonyOS runs on smartphones, as well as on computers, laptops, smartwatches and other devices from their own forge – even kitchen appliances are not excluded. As a result, an ecosystem can be built up that can be easily applied to other devices at any time and thus grow infinitely.

The smartphone could, for example, serve as a central control unit for several devices and thus become a real super device. Or the new Huawei tablet (see next page) can serve as an additional monitor of a laptop or a computer without cables and Bluetooth – and then also be controlled and used with the ordinary mouse and keyboard.

The Kasus Knacktus of history is a control app on the Shenzen smartphone, which recognizes HarmonyOS devices in the same network and can connect them with a finger swipe. Bluetooth and the like are not necessary. A data transfer function-let’s call it AirDrop clone for simplicity – is also available.

The otherwise well – known “one – time setup” is also omitted – even if you buy a new device in the store and start it, it is-if it runs with HarmonyOS-immediately recognized by the control hub and added to the network.

Goodbye Apps

Already in the days of Android, Huawei developed so-called quick apps. Services that are listed app-like on the smartphone, but fall back on the server when used. This saves memory. With HarmonyOS, Huawei is taking it a step further: Since apps can work anywhere across devices, it’s enough to have an app installed on a HarmonyOS device. If you now want to access it from another device, this is no longer a problem thanks to the control stroke. In the coming weeks, Huawei will begin to distribute its new operating system to its devices – some of which are up to five years old.

(c) Screenshot / Huawei

By the way: Huawei has already entered into a partnership with the traditional Swiss company Tissot. So it is quite possible that we will soon be able to present a HarmonyOS smartwatch “Made in Switzerland”.

Watches, tablets, headphones-even a smartphone?

Apart from HarmonyOS, Huawei has presented numerous devices. For example, the new smartwatch Huawei Watch 3 and Watch 3 Pro, whose batteries last three or five days, respectively. This has the usual features for smartwatches on board, such as various dials, over 100 workout programs, sleep tracking and other health features-such as a temperature sensor-in pandemic times certainly not the stupidest feature. In addition, the model supports eSIM and thus allows access to the AppGallery. Apps can also be downloaded to the watch and the watch can be connected to other devices.

Available from June 18, for 369 euros, respectively 599 euros for the Pro model.

Huawei FreeBuds 4

(c) Screenshot / Huawei

After the FreeBuds 4i for a small budget (see review here), Huawei has now also launched its flagship line of true wireless headphones. The FreeBuds 4 are – as I have to admit, to my astonishment – not plugs, but buds, so shaped like their predecessors or about the Apple AirPods second generation. Despite the semi-open design, Huawei promises active noise cancelling of up to 25 decibels. The cable-free plugs with their 14-millimeter drivers should bring improved sound.

The batteries in the headphones, each weighing around 4 grams, and the charging box weighing 9.2 grams are supposed to total only 22 hours (4 hours on the headphones), but they are charged from 0 to 100 in 40 minutes. In addition, Huawei gives the listeners a touch control and autodetection. In addition, one can assume that the new headphones will be taken as an opportunity to push their own music streaming service Huawei Music-a promo action could follow accordingly.

In Ceramic White and Silver Frost for 149 euros-available from June 18

Huawei MatePad (Pro)

(c) Screenshot / Huawei

Huawei would not be Huawei if she did not still come up with a tablet. The Huawei MatePad Pro should compete with the Cupertine competitor – accordingly, the new Pro tablets are more positioned in the business sector. The device has a 12.6-inch screen (10.8 inches for the more portable device) and should even be able to handle 3D renderings with its hardware config. To improve productivity, Huawei also applies a pen: M-Pencil is what Huawei calls the input device.

HarmonyOS is also present here and visually very reminiscent of Apple’s mobile operating systems. Large selling point is – as mentioned before – the additional possibility of use as a screen.

Every Windows PC should be able to work with it. The classic settings that Windows offers when working with multiple screens are supported: Extend mode, i.e. the extension of the first screen, Mirror Mode, which reflects the contents of the desktop and a multi-screen mode, in which both the normal screen and the tablet are controlled with mouse and keyboard and thus files can be moved back and forth. Huawei is also introducing another tablet, the MatePad 11.

This (and the smaller of the Pros) is powered by Qualcomm chipsets-as long as the tablets do not get 5G support, they are allowed to install the US chipsets. Probably a relief for the Chinese, the stocks of their own chips have probably become smaller with regard to the US ban and the corona pandemic.

From July 2021, price: from 549 euros, the Pencil beats with 99 euros.

Last but not least

(c) Screenshot / Huawei

Huawei will also try to position itself on the screen market. The Chinese are introducing two PC monitors – one for the creative sector, one for gamers. The MateView GT should impress above all with color and detail.

From the end of July for 549 Euro (MateView GT), respectively, 699 Euro (MateView)

(c) Screenshot / Huawei

Huawei P50

(c) Screenshot / Huawei

Only once you could sniff punkto smartphone. Huawei showed only some pictures. Richard Yu had to admit that for the well – known reasons-the US ban and the resulting chip shortage-the new P flagship still needs time. Until now, the device was always presented in March, shortly after the Samsung S. But a prototype already seems to exist.

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