Huawei re-launches P30 Pro to get around US ban on Google services

Huawei seems to have found a way around the US government’s order banning American companies from doing business with the world’s second largest smartphone brand – by re-releasing the P30 Pro in a ‘New Edition’ avatar. Readers might recall that ever since the ban was announced, Huawei has not been able to ship smartphones with Google services and apps preinstalled. While this hasn’t affected Huawei’s sales in its home market of China, with the rest of the world heavily reliant on Google services, it represents a potential roadblock in growth.

But at least for now, Huawei has found a way out. Back in January, it relaunched the P30 Lite as the P30 Lite New Edition. Now, it’s taken the P30 Pro, first launched around a year ago, reduced prices a bit, added a new colour variant, upgraded it to run Android 10, and relaunched it as the P30 Pro New Edition. The Huawei P30 Pro was the last Huawei flagship launched before the ban, and under the terms of the ban, can still be shipped with Google’s apps – as is indicated in this post by Google’s Android & Play Legal Director, Tristan Ostrowski.

That’s what explains the ‘new’ P30 Pro, aka P30 Pro New Edition. There’s a new colour variant on offer – Silver Frost (of the older colours, Black and Aurora variants are on sale as well), only one memory-and-storage option (8GB / 256GB), and buyers also get a free pair of Huawei’s Freebuds 3 as well as a Mini Speaker. You can also pick up a Huawei Watch GT 2 for €99 (US$107) alongside the device (which is now priced at €749 (US$813), a considerable drop over the launch pricing of €1099 (US$1,193) for the 256GB variant).

Other than that, it’s the same P30 Pro which was launched last year. More importantly, being an older device, one that predates the US ban, Huawei’s been able to install Google’s app and services. While prospective buyers might question the allure of what’s really a year-old phone, the P30 Pro does boast of enough muscle to challenge today’s crop of flagships – with a DXOMark score of 116, it’s not that far behind newer devices when it comes to cameras (and still scores higher than the Google Pixel 4). In fact, with a quad-camera setup that includes an 8MP 5X optical zoom, a 40MP main camera, a 20MP ultra-wide, and a depth sensor, it’s pretty much up there what today’s flagships offer.

The Kirin 980 processor used here might benchmark slower than today’s mobile processors, but given that it was top-of-the-line around a year ago, it’s unlikely that anyone except the finickiest gamer will ever notice the difference. There’s also ample storage (256GB) and RAM (8GB), an AMOLED 1080x 2340 display, an in-display optical fingerprint scanner, and 40W fast charging – all of which, again, allow the P30 Pro to challenge newer devices.

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