Tag Archive | "Huawei"

Speed Test G: Huawei P40 vs Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus (Exynos version)

Our own Gary Sims just pitted two major devices with similarly named chipsets against each other in a Speed Test G round. That’s right, it’s the Huawei P40 vs Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus fight out you’ve been waiting for!

To be clear, the variant of the Galaxy S20 Plus here is not one you’d buy in North America — those devices use the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 chipset. The international models of the Galaxy S20 line, though, use Samsung’s own Exynos 990 chipset, which is what’s featured here. The Huawei P40 uses the proprietary Kirin 990 SoC, so this is an interesting matchup.

Who comes out the winner in the Huawei P40 vs Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus battle? You’ll need to check out the video above to see, but we’ll say this: you might want to rethink the P40 if you are looking to play some graphics-heavy games.

Related: Head here for more Speed Test G battles

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The Huawei and US debacle: The story so far (Updated March 2)

The headlines and details concerning the Trump administration’s blacklisting of Huawei have come in fast and furious over the past week. Here’s a breakdown of how the story has unfolded.

For a more detailed historical look at how Huawei has reached this point, check out our full summary here.

Wednesday, May 15:

The Trump administration adds Huawei to the US Department of Commerce’s Entity List via executive order, thereby blacklisting the company as far as US corporations are concerned.

Sunday, May 19:

Google publicly states it will obey the administration’s order: “We are complying with the order and reviewing the implications. For users of our services, Google Play and the security protections from Google Play Protect will continue to function on existing Huawei devices. Huawei will only be able to use the public version of Android and will not be able to get access to proprietary apps and services from Google.”

Monday, May 20:

Intel and Qualcomm join Google: Neither company issued a statement, but sources cited by Bloomberg said the companies would comply with the order.

Huawei issues first public response: “Huawei has made substantial contributions to the development and growth of Android around the world. As one of Android’s key global partners, we have worked closely with their open-source platform to develop an ecosystem that has benefitted both users and the industry. [We] will continue to provide security updates and after-sales services to all existing Huawei and Honor smartphone and tablet products, covering those that have been sold and that are still in stock globally. We will continue to build a safe and sustainable software ecosystem, in order to provide the best experience for all users globally.”

Huawei issues second public response: “Huawei has been building an alternative operating system just in case it is needed,” said spokesperson Glenn Schloss to CNN. “We would like to be able to continue operating in the Microsoft and Google ecosystems.”

Further reading: Huawei’s response to Google ban raises more questions than answers

Chinese government issues statement: “China supports Chinese companies defending their legitimate rights according to laws,” said Lu Kang, a spokesperson for China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to CNN. “In terms of what measures either Chinese companies or Chinese government would take, please wait and see.”

Huawei says plan B in the works: The company has an option to move forward without Google, according to several spokespersons. “We have been making a plan for this possible outcome,” said Huawei’s Jeremy Thompson, executive vice president in the U.K, speaking to the BBC. “We have a parallel program in place to develop an alternative. We would rather work with Android but if it doesn’t happen in the future we have an alternative in place which we think will delight our customers.”

US signs 90-day reprieve: On May 20, the Trump administration’s Commerce Department issued a temporary license that will allow Huawei to maintain its current products (for existing customers). The license expires August 19, which will essentially bring the full weight of the ban to bear.

Huawei P30 Pro and Huawei P30 speaker grills and selfie camera

Tuesday, May 21:

Huawei founder gets testy: Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei has strong words for Trump’s ban, according to Global Times. “The company is able to continue providing products and services, and the US sanctions will not hurt our core business. In such a critical moment, I’m grateful to US companies, as they’ve contributed a lot to Huawei’s development and showed their conscientiousness on the matter. As far as I know, US companies have been making efforts to persuade the US government to let them cooperate with Huawei.”

Huawei says it is working with Google: “[Google has] zero motivation to block us. We are working closely with Google to find out how Huawei can handle the situation and the impact from the US Department of Commerce decision,” said Abraham Liu, a rep for Huawei in the E.U. Liu also likened the Trump administration’s behavior to bullying. “This is not just an attack against Huawei. It is an attack on the liberal, rules-based order.”

More plan B details emerge: While not sourced from Huawei, additional details concerning Plan B have leaked. Beijing-based Caijing says Huawei has an OS in the works that could replace the Android OS on its phones while still running Android apps.

Wednesday, May 22:

Arm suspends business dealings with Huawei: British chip designer Arm told its employees to halt conducting business with Huawei. “Arm is complying with all of the latest regulations set forth by the US government,” said Arm in a statement. Huawei later acknowledged the action. “We value our close relationships with our partners, but recognize the pressure some of them are under, as a result of politically motivated decisions. We are confident this regrettable situation can be resolved and our priority remains to continue to deliver world-class technology and products to our customers around the world.”

Thursday, May 23:

TSMC says it can still do business with Huawei: A spokesperson for Taiwan’s TSMC reportedly said its shipments to Huawei won’t be affected by the current US restrictions. The chip manufacturer is responsible for producing Huawei’s Kirin smartphone chipsets, while processors from Apple, MediaTek, and Qualcomm are also churned out by the firm. The company’s continued cooperation means Huawei won’t need to search for another manufacturer to produce its Kirin processors.

Trump open to dealing with “very dangerous” HuaweiPresident Trump has called Huawei “very dangerous,” but said the US is open to including the company as part of a future trade agreement between the US and China.

Trump was quoted as saying: “If we made a deal, I could imagine Huawei being possibly included in some form or some part of it.” This could be a good development for Huawei, though Trump also reaffirmed suspicions about the threat Huawei potentially poses to the US. “You look at what [Huawei has] done from a security standpoint, a military standpoint. Very dangerous,” Trump said.

Friday, May 24:

Huawei barred from SD card organization: As first spotted by SumahoInfo, the SD Association currently has Huawei de-listed on its website. In a statement sent to Android Authority, the SD Association confirmed that it is complying with the US government order and barring Huawei from the association. This will not affect current Huawei smartphones, but could cause major issues for future devices.

Huawei pushed out of Wi-Fi AllianceSimilarly to the barring of Huawei from the SD Association above, the Wi-Fi Alliance also temporarily revoked Huawei’s membership to its own organization. The Alliance had this to say in a statement to Android Authority: “Wi-Fi Alliance is fully complying with the recent US Department of Commerce order without revoking Huawei Technologies membership. Wi-Fi Alliance has temporarily restricted Huawei Technologies participation in Wi-Fi Alliance activities covered by the order.”

Monday, May 27:

Huawei claims it wouldn’t support bans of American companies: Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei told Bloomberg that he would protest a Chinese ban against Apple, calling the Cupertino company his “teacher.” In regards to a Chinese ban on American companies, he said, “That will not happen, first of all. And second of all, if that happens, I’ll be the first to protest. Apple is my teacher, it’s in the lead. As a student, why go against my teacher? Never.” So it seems that Apple, at least, is safe.

Tuesday, May 28:

Huawei sues, says the ban is unconstitutional: Huawei filed a legal motion claiming the ban on the company working with other US-based companies violates the US Constitution. In its argument, Huawei says that the ban violates a constitutional law stating that Congress cannot make laws against specific individuals. Huawei feels this ban violates that clause.

TSMC will continue to work with Huawei: Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) will continue to make chips for Huawei, the company confirmed. This goes in opposition to other global manufacturers complying with the US ban (TSMC is not obliged to commit to the ban). Although TSMC will continue its relationship with Huawei until at least the end of the year, the other bans might still have a negative effect on TSMC’s business.

Huawei’s replacement OS will not arrive in JuneA rumor started to spread online that Huawei OS — the replacement for Android on future Huawei smartphones — will land in June 2019. The source of this rumor was actually a Huawei employee. However, Huawei quickly shot down the rumor as just that, stating that any announcements regarding Huawei’s Android replacement will come through proper channels.

Wednesday, May 29:

Huawei rejoins three consortiums: Only a few days after getting pushed out of three consortiums, Huawei is now suddenly a member of all of them again. Huawei was relisted as a member in the Wi-Fi Alliance, the SD Association, and JEDEC. This is some much-needed good news for the company, although it’s not quite clear what this means for the ban overall.

Science publishing group IEEE boots Huawei employees as reviewers: The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (or IEEE) is in charge of publishing scientific journals. However, due to the Huawei ban, the US-based organization can no longer allow Huawei employees to peer review those journals. This information leaked via an economics professor on Twitter.

Friday, May 31:

China threatens to create its own ‘Entity List’ to include American firms: According to a spokesman for China’s commerce industry, China will create an Entity List of its own. Even though the spokesman didn’t call out the US or US-based companies, the implication is that China’s Entity List will include US-based companies.

Huawei employees ordered not to attend US meetings: According to the Financial Times, Huawei ordered employees to cancel technical meetings with American contacts. Huawei also reportedly sent back American citizens who worked in research and development roles.

Thursday, June 6:

Huawei will build a 5G network for Russia’s largest carrierAmidst the US government’s Huawei ban, the company is now poised to build out a 5G network for Russian telco MTS. The carrier has 78 million subscribers and owns 31 percent of the Russian market.

Huawei CFO will fight the US to stay in Canada: Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou is currently under house arrest in Canada. In early 2020, she will go on trial and face extradition to the US where she would be charged with fraud. However, she will fight to stay in Canada and avoid extradition.

Friday, June 7:

Facebook will no longer pre-install its apps on Huawei devices: According to Reuters, Facebook will no longer allow Huawei to pre-install any of its apps on the company’s smartphones. These apps include Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, three of the most popular apps in the world. The ban only applies to phones that have not yet left the factory.

Monday, June 10:

Huawei is building up its app store: According to XDA Developers, Huawei is recruiting Play Store developers to work on porting their apps to the company’s AppGallery just in case the US ban holds and Huawei is forced to go it alone.

Wednesday, June 12:

The first major casualty of the Huawei ban is the new MateBook: Huawei consumer CEO Richard Yu told CNBC that an upcoming MateBook laptop has been put on indefinite hold due to the situation. “We cannot supply the PC,” he was quoted as saying.

Huawei’s trip to number one will be slower than originally expected: Shao Yang, chief strategy officer of Huawei Consumer Business Group, admitted that Huawei’s planned ascension to become the top global smartphone manufacturer wouldn’t happen by the end of 2019 as originally planned. On Tuesday (via The New York Times), he said, “[Huawei] would have become the largest in the fourth quarter (of this year) but now we feel that this process may take longer.”

Thursday, June 13:

Huawei files a trademark for HongMeng OS: Huawei has filed a trademark application for HongMeng in at least nine countries as well as Europe (via Reuters). It’s not clear if this means HongMeng will be the name for its Android-replacement OS across the world or if Oak OS will take its place. It’s likely Huawei is attempting to trademark HongMeng globally just so other brands don’t use it, but Oak OS will be the global name.

However, Huawei could also be looking into Sailfish OS: Although Huawei is working on its own operating system to potentially replace Android, it could simultaneously be looking into a Russian-made fork of Linux-based Sailfish OS.

Canada will likely follow through on extradition of Huawei CFO: Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland dismissed the idea of Ottawa blocking the extradition of Huawei’s Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou to the United States, saying it would set a dangerous precedent (via Reuters).

Friday, June 14:

Huawei Mate X delayedAs one would expect, the Huawei Mate X — the first foldable device from the company — is getting a delayed release. This is likely due not only to the Huawei ban but also to the debacle surrounding the botched release of the Samsung Galaxy Fold.

EMUI software based on Android Q leaksAlthough Huawei is barred from using Android for the moment, the beta of Android Q launched before the ban took effect. As such, it looks like Huawei is still pushing forward with developing EMUI 10, likely in case the ban lifts.

Monday, June 17:

Huawei ban could cost the company over $ 30 billion: Huawei CEO Ren Zhengfei has revealed a rather massive nugget of information that puts the struggle in perspective. “Our revenue will be down by about $ 30 billion compared to forecasts. So our sales revenue this year and next will be about $ 100 billion,” he said.

Huge drop in sales expected for Huawei: Bloomberg reports that Huawei is expecting international smartphone sales to drop by 40 to 60 percent due to the ban. The outlet, citing several sources, says internal estimates are that there’ll be a sales drop of roughly 40 to 60 million devices this year.

Thursday, June 20:

Huawei and Honor phones confirmed to get Android Q: Despite the Huawei ban still in full effect with no signs of letting up, the company has committed to bringing Android Q to at least two of its major device lines: the Huawei P30 series and Honor 20 series.

Friday, June 21:

Huawei files lawsuit against US Department of CommerceIn an expected move, Huawei officially filed a suit against the United States related to the Huawei ban. The company is suing the agency over telecommunications equipment seized by American officials.

FedEx refuses to deliver a package with Huawei smartphone insideIn what FedEx dubbed “a mistake,” a package was returned to the sender due to the contents: a Huawei smartphone. An explanation on the returned package cited the Huawei ban as the reason.

Thursday, June 27:

The Huawei P30 series smashes sales record of P20 series: In a bit of good news for Huawei, the company’s most recent flagship device series outsold its predecessor series buy a huge margin. It is unlikely that the sales trend will continue with the ban in full effect, though.

Saturday, June 29:

Trump announces there will be a partial lift to the Huawei ban: US companies will be allowed to work with Huawei again, President Trump announced in a news conference. On the sidelines of the G20 summit in Osaka, Trump said “US companies can sell their equipment to Huawei,” without going into detail. “We’re talking about equipment where there’s no great national security problem with it,” Trump continued. It’s not clear what this means for now, but it’s likely Huawei will be able to acquire basic components like Qualcomm processors and Google’s Android OS.

Wednesday, July 3:

Commerce Department still blacklisting HuaweiAlthough President Trump said that at least some aspects of the Huawei ban would be lifted, an internal memo in the US Department of Commerce suggests that the company is still getting the blacklist treatment.

Friday, July 5:

Government moves to dismiss Huawei lawsuit: In March, Huawei filed a lawsuit against the US government claiming that the country’s blacklisting of its networking products is illegal. On Wednesday, the US government filed an official motion to have that lawsuit dismissed.

Wednesday, July 10:

US clarifies Huawei trade ban status: On July 3, we told you about how there is some confusion regarding Huawei’s trade ban status. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told a conference that licenses to sell to Huawei will be issued if there’s no security threat, which means President Trump’s statements on June 29 are now getting placed into effect.

Monday, July 15:

Huawei trademarks another OS nameFirst, we saw Huawei trademarks for HongMeng and Oak, which seemingly suggested new operating system names. Now we have another trademarked name: Harmony. Is this the name of Huawei’s Android replacement?

Huawei planning massive layoffs in USAccording to a report from The Wall Street Journal, Huawei will lay off “hundreds” of employees based in the United States. Chinese citizens currently living in the US will have the option to come back to China for reassignment, while US citizens will be let go.

Wednesday, July 17:

Huawei smartphone market share way down: We’re starting to slowly see the negative effects of the Huawei ban on the company’s sales. Huawei market share in Europe is down by 9 percent when comparing June 2019 to May 2019.

Friday, July 19:

Huawei says HongMeng OS is not for smartphonesHuawei has clarified that the leaked information regarding HongMeng OS — its supposed Android replacement — is not intended for use on smartphones. However, the company would not give clear information on what it is actually for.

Monday, July 22:

Huawei involvement with North Korea is exposedA new report from The Washington Post suggests that Huawei worked closely with North Korea to build out that country’s internal wireless network. If true, this would be in direct violation of multiple international laws and treaties.

Wednesday, July 24:

Huawei still has big smartphone ambitions: Although Huawei smartphone shipments and sales have already taken major hits, Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei thinks the company can still reach 270 million units shipped in 2019. That’s actually a higher shipment estimate than the company planned before the trade ban started, which is quite interesting.

U.K. can’t find a technical reason not to use Huawei networking gearTwo commissions in the United Kingdom — both made up of prominent business, technology, and education leads — found “no technical reason” to not use Huawei equipment in the rollout of 5G networks in the U.K. However, both commissions conceded that geo-political considerations must be made.

Monday, July 29:

There was a Huawei/Google smart speaker on the way: Before the Huawei ban went into effect, Google and Huawei had planned a smart speaker. The speaker would have been made and sold by Huawei and featured Google Assistant support. This speaker would have been sold in the US, Huawei’s first major product in years in the US market.

Tuesday, July 30:

Somehow, Huawei saw a smartphone shipment spike: Despite the Huawei ban, the company reported some very strong results. The Chinese manufacturer reported that it shipped 118 million smartphones in the first half of the year. This is a 24 percent increase over H1 2018 when it shipped 95 million units.

Monday, August 5:

Rumor points to HongMeng OS phone launching this year: Despite the fact that Huawei categorically said HongMeng OS will not be used in smartphones, a new rumor from Chinese publication Global Times says that the company could launch a HongMeng OS phone alongside the Huawei Mate 30 series later this Fall.

Wednesday, August 7:

China won’t sit idly if India blocks Huawei: India still hasn’t decided on whether to use Huawei equipment in its 5G network or not. China has now declared that if India attempts to block Huawei it will fight back through trade sanctions on India.

Friday, August 9:

Huawei officially launches Harmony OS: Huawei just announced Harmony OS. The new, open-source platform is ostensibly the final name for its Hongmeng OS. Harmony OS is “the first microkernel-based distributed OS for all scenarios,” consumer group CEO Richard Yu told attendees at the Huawei Developer Conference. The new platform supports smartphones, smart speakers, computers, smartwatches, wireless earbuds, cars, and tablets. However, Huawei simultaneously committed to keep using Android in its smartphones as long as it can.

Trump says “we are not going to do business with Huawei”Although the trade ban against Huawei has exceptions, President Trump seemed to counteract that system of exceptions when he announced during a press conference: “We’re not going to do business with Huawei. That doesn’t mean we won’t agree to something if and when we make a trade deal, but we’re not going to be doing business with Huawei.” Allegedly, the system put in place to determine which firms have access to Huawei is suspended.

Monday, August 19:

Huawei’s 90-day reprieve extended by another 90 days: The US gave Huawei a 90-day reprieve following the trade ban against the manufacturer in May. The trade ban, which allows US companies to maintain business ties with Huawei, expired August 19.

US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross confirmed that the US government will actually extend that reprieve for another 90 days immediately following the previous reprieve. This means the Chinese brand is able to keep buying products and services from US companies to service existing customers and devices.

Huawei sent Android Authority an official response to the 90-day extension. There were two main aspects to the statement: the company stating that it is unhappy with still being on the Entity List and then declaring that the very existence of the list is bad for consumers around the world.

Thursday, August 29:

Huawei Mate 30 series tipped for delay in West due to US trade ban: The South China Morning Post reports that overseas sales of the Mate 30 series might be delayed due to the US trade ban, citing people familiar with the plans. The outlet’s sources say the phones will continue to run Android, but that they won’t offer the likes of the Play Store and Google Maps. SCMP‘s sources caution that the plan isn’t final and that further US government action might affect the move.

Friday, August 30:

US reportedly received 130 license requests to sell to Huawei, none granted: The White House made an abrupt turnaround of sorts in June when President Donald Trump announced that some US companies would be allowed to deal with Huawei. The Commerce Department stated at the time that licenses would be granted to US companies wanting to deal with Huawei, as long as there were no security risks involved. Since then, Reuters reported that the department has received 130 license applications to sell goods and services to Huawei, none of which have been granted.

Huawei confirms new Android phones with Google apps coming: Huawei South Africa confirmed that it will release at least two new smartphones by the end of this year that will feature a fully-licensed version of Android. That means Google apps will be on board.

The devices in question are the Huawei Nova 5T and the Huawei Y9 S. This isn’t the first time a Huawei phone with Google support was widely launched after the ban though, as was the case for the Honor 20 series and Y9 Prime 2019.

Sunday, September 1:

Huawei Mate 30 series launch date confirmed: Huawei has confirmed a September 19 launch date for the Mate 30 series in Munich, Germany. Even though we have a release date, the biggest questions about the Mate 30 Pro are still up in the air. It will run Android, but will it have access to the Google Play Store and Google Play Services? Only time will tell.

Tuesday, September 3:

Huawei accuses US of cyberattacks, employee harassment, but supplies no evidence: Towards the end of August, The Wall Street Journal published an article that focused on allegations of patent infringement against Chinese smartphone manufacturer Huawei. The company then published a press release in response to that article September 3, in which it defends itself against the accusations.

At the end of the press release, Huawei goes on to lists nine very serious accusations against the United States government with no evidence to prove the accusation. The unedited accusation list is as follows:

  • Instructing law enforcement to threaten, menace, coerce, entice, and incite both current and former Huawei employees to turn against the company and work for them
  • Unlawfully searching, detaining, and even arresting Huawei employees and Huawei partners
  • Attempting entrapment, or pretending to be Huawei employees to establish legal pretense for unfounded accusations against the company
  • Launching cyber attacks to infiltrate Huawei’s intranet and internal information systems
  • Sending FBI agents to the homes of Huawei employees and pressuring them to collect information on the company
  • Mobilizing and conspiring with companies that work with Huawei, or have a business conflict with Huawei, to bring unsubstantiated accusations against the company
  • Launching investigations based on false media reports that target the company
  • Digging up old civil cases that have already been settled, and selectively launching criminal investigations or filing criminal charges against Huawei based on claims of technology theft
  • Obstructing normal business activities and technical communications through intimidation, denying visas, detaining shipment, etc.

Monday, September 9:

US is treating Huawei unfairly, says Microsoft: In an interview with Bloomberg Businessweek, Microsoft President and Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith said the US government’s actions toward Huawei shouldn’t be taken without a “sound basis in fact, logic, and the rule of law.”

In the interview, Smith said Microsoft approached US regulators and asked for their reasoning behind the ban.

“Oftentimes, what we get in response is, ‘Well, if you knew what we knew, you would agree with us.’ And our answer to that is, ‘Great, show us what you know so we can decide for ourselves.’”

Smith also said President Donald Trump should know better and cited President Trump’s experience in the hotel industry.

“To tell a tech company that it can sell products, but not buy an operating system or chips, is like telling a hotel company that it can open its doors, but not put beds in its hotel rooms or food in its restaurant. Either way, you put the survival of that company at risk.”

Tuesday, September 10:

Huawei drops lawsuit against US over 2017 seizure of equipment: The Chinese manufacturer dropped a suit against the US Commerce Department and other agencies after the government seized telecommunications equipment back in September 2017.

The lawsuit was dropped after the US government released the telecommunications equipment in question, TechCrunch reported. Huawei’s equipment, which was tested in California and on its way back to China, was seized by the government in Alaska.

Huawei asserts that the US government found that an export license wasn’t needed for the equipment (which includes Ethernet switches and servers), but still kept the shipment without cause anyway. The manufacturer maintains that the government decision to return the equipment was a “tacit admission” that the seizure was unlawful.

Wednesday, September 18:

Huawei still leads 5G deployment: According to Huawei, shipments for its 5G-enabled base stations appear to be generally unaffected by the trade ban. Huawei reports a 33% boost in sales between July and September, bringing the company’s total global shipments to 200,000 units.

Huawei suspended from global cyber-security forum: Huawei’s membership to the Forum of Incident Response and Security Teams (First) gets suspended. This Forum is an “informal first responder” to major hacks and cyber-security incidents. Huawei’s suspension from the group means its ability to issue patches could slow down because it won’t have access to the group’s resources, including an automated platform that shares the latest details regarding malware.

Thursday, September 19:

Huawei launches the Mate 30 and Mate 30 Pro, and the company reveals how it plans to tackle Google apps: Huawei releases the Mate 30 and Mate 30 Pro, and to no one’s surprise, it doesn’t launch with Google services. To combat this, Huawei announces that it will be pushing its own app store called AppGallery, and it is pouring $ 1 billion into app development. Huawei hopes this will convince developers to release their apps in its Play Store competitor, but CEO Richard Yu also says as soon as the trade ban lifts, the company will push Google apps to Mate 30 devices overnight.

Huawei plans to sell 20 million Mate 30 devices even without Google services: At the Mate 30 launch event, Huawei tells Android Authority that it hopes to ship up to 20 million devices thanks to strong sales in China. CEO Richard Yu claims the Mate 30 devices are the most competitive 5G flagships in the world, and sales will reflect that even without US sales.

Related: What is Harmony OS? Huawei’s ‘Android rival’ explained!

Sunday, September 22:

Huawei clarifies it has “no plans” to unlock the Mate 30, Mate 30 Pro bootloader: Initial confusion over remarks CEO Richard Yu made at the Mate 30 launch event led people to believe users would be able to unlock the devices’ bootloaders to make installing Google apps easier. Then, a Huawei spokesperson reaches out to Android Authority to clarify these comments, stating that Huawei has “no plans” to unlock the bootloader on Mate 30 series devices. Until the trade ban lifts, the Huawei AppGallery remains the best way to get apps on these devices.

Monday, September 23:

A sketchy way to install Google apps on Mate 30 devices surfaces: A workaround discovered on Reddit allows users to run Google apps on Mate 30 devices using a third-party Chinese development platform app called LZ Play. To do this, LZ Play requires extensive permissions that go almost as far as root access. The best part is that LZ Play isn’t monitored or vetted by Google whatsoever. Sounds legit, right? If you can’t catch the sarcasm, you probably shouldn’t do this if you own a Mate 30.

Thursday, September 26:

Huawei ships 5G base stations without US components: Despite the trade ban, Huawei still maintains its status as king of the 5G hill. On top of that, the company announced that it’s producing its 5G-enabled base stations without US parts, and it will double its current production rate in 2020.

Friday, September 27:

US government reports it’s unlikely to give Huawei another 90-day reprieve: Huawei’s current 90-day reprieve is valid until November 19, and Rob Strayer, the State Department’s deputy assistant secretary for cyber policy, reveals that Huawei shouldn’t expect another one after that. Apparently, the United States government is unlikely to renew the temporary waiver, which permits Huawei to do business with US-based firms. Not only that, but Strayer says the United States could even increase the severity of punishments related to Huawei’s business.

Thursday, October 10:

White House approves some sales to Huawei: US President Donald Trump gives the green light to begin approving licenses for US firms wanting to deal with Huawei. These licenses would allow firms to supply “non-sensitive” goods to the Chinese company, but it’s unclear if any US entities have actually received any.

Thursday, October 17:

Huawei reveals impressive Q3 year-on-year growth: Huawei announces its Q3 business results, boasting a 24.4% increase over last year’s earnings through Q3. The company also reveals it has a yearly revenue of CNY610.8 billion (~$ 86.1 billion) and a net profit of 8.7%.

Monday, October 21:

Huawei may have found a workaround to get its 5G technology into the US: A Huawei exec reveals the company is in talks with various US-based firms regarding patent licensing for its 5G tech. Licensing Huawei 5G technology to US firms may make it possible to bring it stateside before the end of the trade ban. This would be a clever workaround, but the US government could always change the rules and stop even patent licensing, though that is unlikely.

Related: How can Huawei release new phones with Google apps?

Wednesday, October 23:

Huawei hits 200m smartphones shipped in 2019: Huawei announces that it has shipped more than 200 million smartphones globally 64 days earlier than last year. This is even more impressive in light of its current trade ban. This high shipment volume is likely due to strong performance in China since people don’t use Google’s services there. It makes you wonder what the company could have achieved if the trade ban was not in place.

Friday, October 25:

Huawei will still be able to use next-gen Arm technology: Chip designer Arm confirms it will continue supplying Huawei despite the trade ban since the key chip technology in its next-gen architecture originates from the UK rather than the US. This means Huawei’s upcoming phones will be able to stay on the cutting edge.

Monday, October 28:

UK set to grant Huawei access to parts of 5G networks: The US insists that Huawei’s network infrastructure represents a security threat. But UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is reportedly set to grant Huawei access to the country’s “non-contentious” parts of 5G networks anyway. This could complicate the UK’s relationship with the US, which previously pressured its allies to drop Huawei from all 5G networks.

Tuesday, October 29:

Continued fear of Huawei and ZTE leads to increased tensions: To further distance the US from Huawei and ZTE, the FCC releases a statement that it will vote on two proposals November 19 to prevent US companies from doing business with them. The FCC claims this is in the name of national security, but Huawei insists it is not a security threat and wants to find a better solution to the issue.

Thursday, October 31:

Huawei continues to close the gap to Samsung: Reports show that Huawei has grown annually by almost 30% in Q3 2019, while Samsung only grew by up to 11%. This isn’t wholly representative of the future since Huawei’s Q3 shipments outside of China were limited mainly to devices certified before the trade ban. Samsung could still take some of Huawei’s market share as the trade ban rages on.

Monday, November 4:

US companies could get Huawei licenses soon: In June, President Donald Trump said US companies would be able to conduct business with Huawei after receiving the proper licenses. Now, the US government says these licenses will be coming soon. There is no timeline for these license approvals, but hopefully, companies get the green light before the end of the year.

Related: 180 days into the US ban, is Huawei too big to fail?

Wednesday, November 13:

US Attorney General William Barr says Huawei and ZTE are threats to security: Barr says he supports the FCC proposals to push back against Huawei and ZTE. He claims they “cannot be trusted,” citing pending federal criminal charges against Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou and ZTE’s violation of a previous US trade embargo with Iran.

Friday, November 15:

Huawei likely to get another extension: The US Department of Commerce is expected to extend the temporary waiver allowing US firms to conduct limited business with Huawei for another six months. This would enable Huawei and Honor devices that received Google certification before the trade ban to get software updates and security patches from Google until at least May 2020.

Monday, November 18:

Huawei plans to launch P40 globally next year: Even though the Mate 30 hasn’t shipped outside China, it still looks like Huawei plans to ship the P40 worldwide in 2020. We aren’t sure why it would do this since there is no official word on the trade ban coming to a close anytime soon, so the P40 would likely suffer the same Googleless fate as the Mate 30.

Huawei may have some inside information that leads it to believe the trade ban will be over or diminished by the P40’s launch. It could also just be gambling on its own mobile services, or it could even keep the internals of the P40 line similar enough to the P30 line that it wouldn’t require a new GMS license. Unfortunately, that would mean the company’s 2020 flagship will be merely a rehash of this year’s, but at least it would have Google apps.

Tuesday, November 19:

Huawei gets another 90-day reprieve from the US government: The US government has extended the temporary general license that allows US firms to do business with Huawei by another 90 days. This means devices released or licensed before Huawei was placed on the US Entity list will be able to receive essential software and security updates until at least March 2020.

Wednesday, November 20:

US government has made decisions on Huawei licenses: According to Reuters, the United States government is finally sending out approval and denial letters to some of the 290 US-based firms that requested special permission to work with Huawei. We don’t know which companies are approved or denied yet, but the very fact that licenses are going out at all is significant news as we’ve been waiting months for this to happen.

Friday, November 22:

Huawei can once again use Microsoft software: The US trade ban against Huawei meant that the company couldn’t pre-load Windows and other Microsoft software on its Matebook laptops and hybrid devices. Fortunately, Microsoft has now confirmed that the US Department of Commerce has approved its application to export “mass-market software” to Huawei.

The FCC votes to make Huawei and ZTE’s lives even harder: The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) unanimously votes to designate Huawei and ZTE as national security risks. This means US rural carriers receiving money from the FCC’s annual $ 8.5-billion Universal Service Fund can’t purchase Huawei and ZTE’s equipment or services, and they must also remove and replace existing equipment purchased from these companies.

Monday, November 25:

Huawei announces its iPad Pro competitor — the MatePad Pro: Huawei announces its high-end tablet — the MatePad Pro — will go on sale in China early next year. It features an Apple-like detachable keyboard and stylus, and it runs EMUI 10 atop Android 10 with no Google Services. Can a “pro” tablet really compete without “pro” software? Huawei seems to think so; at least in China.

Related: Huawei thinks it can still be number one without Google services

Monday, December 2:

Huawei Mate 30 contains no US parts, still not good enough for US gov’t: A recent teardown of the Huawei Mate 30 reveals that the device contains no hardware originating from the United States. Despite this, the US government is still considering increasing its chokehold on Huawei by expanding the reach of the Entity List to prohibit Huawei from buying products from foreign companies that are allied with the United States.

Wednesday, December 4:

The US could block Huawei from using dollars: In a move to further sanction Huawei, the US government could be preparing to ban it entirely from the US financial system. This would place the company on the Treasury Department’s Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) list, making it nigh impossible for Huawei to complete transactions in US dollars. This could also cripple many US allies who rely on the company for their 4G networks.

Don’t miss: Maybe Huawei should abandon official Android

Thursday, December 5:

Huawei sues the FCC: Huawei announces it’s suing the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC), filing the petition in the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Huawei is challenging a recently-passed FCC order baring rural American carriers from using federal subsidies to purchase equipment from Huawei and ZTE. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai defends the agency’s decision, stating the two companies pose a security threat to the US’ communications networks and communications supply chain.

Huawei launches Nova 6 series of devices: Despite the trade ban shenanigans, Huawei still pushes forward, announcing the latest Nova 6 and Nova 6 5G handset. These devices offer flagship experiences in many ways, including the Kirin 990 chipset, 8GB of RAM, up to 256GB of storage, and one of the best selfie cameras on any smartphone currently available. The device launched in China, so the lack of Google Services shouldn’t be too big of a deal for this device.

Tuesday, December 17:

Huawei P40 series 2020 launch confirmed: Huawei CEO Richard Yu confirms the launch date of the upcoming Huawei P40 and P40 Pro handsets. The company will globally launch the devices at an event in Paris toward the end of March 2020 even though the devices still won’t come with Google Services. It will still run Android since Huawei’s Harmony OS won’t be ready for the limelight just yet.

Related: Want a telescope with that phone? The Huawei P40 Pro might be the answer

Thursday, January 16, 2020:

Trump administration could block more sales to Huawei: According to a Reuters report, Huawei could be in for more trouble with the US government. The Trump administration is reportedly nearing publication of a rule that could further block shipments of foreign-made goods to Huawei. Under current regulations, the US can require licenses or block exports of high-tech products shipped to China from other nations. The rule states that this can happen if US-made components make up more than 25% of the value of that product. Now, the American government is mulling to lower that limit to 10% only for tech exports to Huawei. Looks like the US is out to squeeze the Chinese firm even more than it already has.

The US Commerce Department has reportedly sent the rule to the Office of Management and Budget. If other government agencies support it, the rule could become final in a matter of weeks creating more problems for Huawei.

Monday, January 20, 2020:

Huawei lands a Google maps alternative: Since the trade ban prohibits Huawei from utilizing Google services, the company was left without a solid Google Maps alternative. Fortunately, the Chinese manufacturer has finally lined one up by signing a deal with TomTom. The agreement means Huawei can use TomTom’s mapping, traffic, and navigation software in lieu of Google Maps technology. It also means Huawei can use TomTom’s software to create its own smartphone apps, potentially opening the door for a Huawei-branded mapping solution (e.g. Huawei Maps).

Wednesday, January 22, 2020:

Huawei claims it can ‘survive further attacks’ from US: In the heat of the US trade ban, Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei told attendees of the World Economic Forum that he expects the US to step up its actions against the firm in 2020. But Zhengfei goes on to say that if this happens, “the impact on Huawei’s business would not be very significant” and that he is “confident that we can survive even further attacks.”

Read also: Huawei leaves Apple behind as it becomes second-largest OEM in 2019

Friday, January 24, 2020:

US says it could soon clamp down even harder on Huawei: Just as Zhengfei expected, the US government announced it would likely take more severe action against the Chinese manufacturer in 2020. US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross says there are proposals to step up the trade ban against Huawei, preventing more US-derived components from being sold to the firm. There is no official word on when exactly the Department of Commerce wanted to implement these new policies.

US Defense Dept. rejects making Huawei ban more restrictive for the time being: Shortly after the US Department of Commerce expressed plans for the government to tighten its grips on Huawei, the US Department of Defense shut down the proposal, claiming it could do more bad than good. This is either the first or one of the very few times that a government agency has prevented the Huawei ban from growing in breadth since the ban began in May 2019.

Thursday, January 30, 2020:

Huawei may not use Google apps even if it can: A Huawei representative was quoted saying that the company will not use licensed versions of Android with Google app support even if the United States lifts the trade ban. In a statement to Android Authority, Huawei neither confirmed nor denied this accusation. If Huawei truly has no intention of using Google apps again on its phones, it could seriously jeopardize the company’s standing as the second-largest smartphone manufacturer globally.

Read also: Huawei launches a lawsuit against Verizon

Friday, February 7, 2020:

US plans to support, promote Huawei competitors: US Attorney General William Barr suggested investing in Huawei’s competitors as another tactic to combat the Chinese tech giant. Barr thinks US firms investing in companies such as Nokia and Ericsson is one of the best ways to challenge Huawei’s dominance in the telecommunications equipment market. This means the government doesn’t just want to keep the US and its allies from doing business with Huawei, but it wants to directly support and endorse the competition.

Huawei could pre-install 70 popular Android apps on its smartphones: According to a shaky source, Huawei could be planning to ease the sting of Google-less devices by preloading popular applications on its smartphones. If the company pre-installs dozens of the most popular apps on its handsets, consumers might not need Play Services or even to sideload APKs on their own.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020:

Huawei Mate 30 Pro set to launch in UK without Google apps: About five months after its initial launch, Huawei finally announced the UK release of the Mate 30 Pro, but the device will land without Google services. The device went on sale February 20 exclusively at Carphone Warehouse for £899 (~$ 1,162).

Related: Huawei, Oppo, Vivo, Xiaomi join forces to challenge Play Store monopoly

Thursday, February 13, 2020:

US officials accuse Huawei of being able to tap into its mobile equipment via backdoors, while Huawei calls these allegations illogical: The US government maintained that Huawei is a security risk, and officials claimed the government has evidence Huawei has been able to access US mobile networks for more than a decade. An angry Huawei claimed these accusations “don’t adhere to any form of accepted logic in the cyber security domain.” The company went on to say it “has never and will never covertly access telecom networks, nor do we have the capability to do so.”

US government releases its Huawei indictment: The United States Department of Justice filed its 56-page Huawei indictment, formally accusing the Chinese technology company of various crimes, including intellectual property theft and conspiring to steal trade secrets from competitors. With this filing, it appears there is no end in sight for the Huawei trade ban.

Friday, February 14, 2020:

US government cuts Huawei’s latest license extension in half: Huawei’s previous trade extension was handed out in November 2019, and it was valid for 90 days. On Feb. 14, the Department of Commerce gave Huawei another extension, but this time for only 45 days. A shorter extension does not look very promising for the future of US-Huawei relations, and it further diminishes hope of Huawei phones regaining Google services any time soon.

Read also: Huawei’s Google Mobile Services replacement is finally nearing wider launch

Huawei dares US to share evidence of alleged crimes: The US government’s formal indictment contained serious legal accusations against Huawei, but it didn’t provide much evidence to support those claims. Huawei maintained its innocence, telling the US to make any of its evidence against the company public. “Don’t hide it, don’t be shy. Publish it, let the world see it,” said Huawei’s cybersecurity chief John Suffolk.

Thursday, February 20, 2020:

US government could restrict Huawei’s access to smartphone chipsets: Further sanctions by the Trump administration could restrict Huawei’s access to smartphone chipsets. The proposal aims to sever the company’s business relationship with chipmakers like Taiwan’s TSMC, one of Huawei’s main chip suppliers. Interestingly, a remark from President Trump insinuates he isn’t in favor of clamping down on Huawei’s supply of processors.

Wednesday, February 20, 2020:

Google still wants to work with Huawei: Android and Google Play Vice President Sameer Samat says Google has applied to the US government to resume business dealings with Huawei. If the US government approves this application, Google should be free to offer Google Mobile Services and other services on Huawei devices. There is no word on when we can expect the government to either approve or reject Google’s application.

Related: Google warns against sideloading its apps on Huawei devices

Monday, March 2, 2020:

Proof emerges that Huawei violated trade sanctions: Reuters obtained proof that Huawei engaged in a trade deal with Iran in 2010 involving the sale of computer parts and other technology originating in the United States. The sale included physical technology products created by Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, Symantec, and Novell which would directly violate US trade sanctions. The proof of this deal comes in the form of two packing lists and other documented correspondence between Huawei and an Iranian company called Mobile Telecommunication Co. of Iran (MCI, or sometimes MCCI). If these documents get verified by other parties, they could become evidence used against Huawei in the current trade ban dispute.

Don’t miss: Huawei in 2020: So many questions

What will happen with Huawei next?

Stay tuned to Android Authority to find out.

Android Authority

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Apple AirPods Pro vs Huawei Freebuds 3: The pro or the clone?

True wireless earbuds have been some of the most popular releases of the last few years, but it can be tough to figure out which ones are best for you. With the newest crop of ‘buds featuring active noise cancelling, we’re putting two of the most recent options against each other: the Apple AirPods Pro and the Huawei Freebuds 3. While you can’t really go wrong with either, there are still some things you should know before you pick one or the other up for yourself. Let’s get into it.

Which one has a better design?

Huawei Freebuds 3 on top of P30 Pro phone and AirPods Pro on top of iPad Pro Apple logo

The AirPods Pro and the Freebuds 3 are similar in many ways, right down to preference for their own source devices.

Let’s start with obvious. The Freebuds 3, like the Freebuds before them, are an obvious clone of the AirPods 2. They feature the same design right down to the one-size-fits-all open-air approach to fit. Having reviewed the original AirPods, I have the same problem here regarding fit. The Freebuds 3 just would not stay in my ears no matter what I tried. Like the original AirPods, the Huawei Freebuds 3 either fit perfectly or they don’t fit at all. In our review, Bogdan said he didn’t have any issue wearing them. Similarly, both David Imel and Kris Carlon described a perfect fit when trying them. I was not so lucky, as just bending over to tie my shoes caused them to fall out of my ears. If you can get your hands on a pair to try, make sure they fit before buying. Apart from fit, the Freebuds 3 do a great job mimicking the premium Apple aesthetic right down to the metal cap on the bottom of the stem.

White Freebuds 3 and AirPods Pro on a red background

Both earbuds have sensors on the inside and outside that allow them to auto-pause when one is removed from your ear.

On the other hand, the AirPods Pro features a brand new design that most people will still find familiar. Just like the good ‘ol wired earbuds of the past, the AirPods Pro come with three different silicone eartips – large, medium, and small. This change helps account for the variety in human ears, meaning they’ll comfortably fit a wider range of people. Not everyone will find a perfect fit, but Apple finally seemed to realize how important a good seal is for blocking outside sound from reaching your ears. There’s even a fit test that you can take in order to make sure that you’re using the correct eartips. To no one’s surprise, this test can only be done from an an iOS device.

Both white charging cases pictured from above on a wood desk

The AirPods Pro and the Freebuds 3 both come with super portable charging cases that snap shut magnetically.

The cases for each pair of ‘buds are similar, though not identical. The AirPods Pro has a rectangular case while the Freebuds 3 have a circular case, but both are super easy to use and even easier to carry around in your pocket. The smooth white plastic is fairly similar on both, and the lid snaps shut almost exactly the same. There’s even a similar metal hinge on there back of both cases. Taking either pair of ‘buds one out of its respective case is almost the exact same experience. Magnets help both earbuds snap into place so you don’t have to worry about whether or not they’re charging.

Between the new design that prioritizes a better fit and the fact that the Freebuds 3 design is just a rip off of the original AirPods, this was a pretty easy one to judge. The AirPods Pro wins this category by a landslide.

Winner: AirPods Pro

Which true wireless earbuds have better active noise cancelling?

The primary feature Apple and Huawei tout for their earbuds is active noise cancelling, so let’s compare. The way to read the graphs below is easier than it looks. All you need to know is that the higher the peaks, the more noise is being cancelled. The closer the line is to 0dB (or if it’s flat), the less outside noise is being cancelled.

The winner here is obvious: it’s the AirPods Pro. While the Huawei Freebuds 3 claims to offer up to 15dB of noise reduction, it’s hindered by the open design that, by default, allows outside noise to leak in. While it is fairly effective in certain situations, such as when you’re sitting in a room with a running fan or microwave, it doesn’t completely mask the noise. It just makes it sound a little quieter.

The AirPods Pro, on the other hand, do a really good job with ANC as you can see by the bumps between 100Hz -1,000Hz on the graph. This is where most ambient noise resides, and while the AirPods Pro ANC won’t completely negate the drone of an airplane engine or train, which tend to lie in that sub-100Hz range, it’s more than good enough to make your everyday life just a little quieter.

Moreover, the AirPods Pro have a transparency mode that lets you hear what’s going on around you. The Freebuds 3 don’t have a transparency mode, so if you seek a little bit of practicality from your headphones then the AirPods Pro are the way to go.

Winner: AirPods Pro

Which one sounds better?

When it comes down to it, these are both still earbuds and sound quality is still important. Obviously, neither is going to give you reference-level quality or over-ear amounts of bass due to the small drivers inside, but that doesn’t mean they sound bad. For earbuds, they both actually sound pretty good, though they take different approaches.

By looking at the  frequency response graphs for both pairs of earbuds, you can see that the AirPods Pro tends to have a slight bump in the low end (pink), which means that bass notes will sound a little louder when compared to other notes. Compare that to the Freebuds 3, which has a sharp dip in the low end that trails off in the deep lows, and it’s easier to understand why the Freebuds have such weak bass response. This is most likely due to the open-air fit of the Freebuds 3, while silicone eartips help seal up the AirPods Pro. By physically blocking your ear canal, rather than just sitting in it, the AirPods Pro are able to keep a lot of those low-end frequencies in your ear instead of leaking them out.

This concept also applies to outside sounds coming in. Where the AirPods Pro block outside sound by physically being in your ears, the Freebuds 3 let sound in easily, making it harder for you to hear the low-end notes of your favorite songs.

Apple AirPods Pro man wearing true wireless earbuds

The earbuds fit snug in the ear canal now thanks to dedicated nozzles.

That said, the story changes a bit as we move up the frequency response graph. Where the Huawei Freebuds 3 appear to have a relatively flat line in the mids (pink to green), meaning there is no extra emphasis given to those notes, the AirPods Pro line is a little bumpy in that area. This means instruments like guitars and vocals, which reside in these frequencies, will sound a little clearer and more natural on the Freebuds 3 since there is little to no extra volume given to them.

The highs were more emphasized in the Freebuds 3 when compared to the AirPods Pro, so cymbals and certain aspects of human vocals should sound a little louder. That makes sense since the design of the Freebuds 3 allows outside noise in. The extra emphasis in the highs should help you hear those extra details.

Man holding Huawei Freebuds 3 earbud by the stem and placing in his ear

The Huawei Freebuds 3 have a touch-sensitive stem that you can tap for playback controls or to activate the active noise cancelling.

So which one sounds better? As always, sound quality mainly comes down to preference, but in this situation, it also helps to think about the use case. The AirPods and Freebuds are probably going to be used as an everyday pair of ‘buds that you’ll carry everywhere. Because of that, you’ll likely get a better experience from the AirPods Pro since the ear tips allow for better isolation from the outside (even without the active noise cancelling.) The passive sound isolation will also come in handy if you tend to listen to bass-heavy music, as lower notes are the hardest to hear when there’s outside noise leaking in. Whether I’m listening to music or the AA podcast, I prefer the isolation in this situation just because it fits what I listen to a little better.

Winner: AirPods Pro

Let’s talk microphones

We have to talk about microphone quality. You can see on the graphs above how the Huawei Freebuds 3 have a slight emphasis in the low end of the vocal range. The result here is that lower voices will be picked up by the microphone easier than with the AirPods Pro. Still, this is one of those things that it’s easier for you to just hear for yourself. It’s a close call, but we’re giving this one to the Huawei Freebuds 3.

Winner: Huawei Freebuds 3

Which one has the better connection?

AirPods Pro and Freebuds 3 earbuds in hand with lights in the background

The Freebuds 3 have a slightly longer stem than the AirPods Pro since they were designed to look like the original AirPods, not the newer model.

Part of the issue with Bluetooth earbuds, in general, has always been connection strength. There’s nothing fun about the song you’re listening to cutting out, or the audio of the YouTube video you’re watching failing to sync properly. This led manufacturers to seek workarounds, which both Apple and Huawei have done for their respective true wireless earbuds.

The Apple AirPods have the H1 chip inside, which not only allows for a strong connection between both earbuds and your source device, but also makes the initial pairing process much easier. As soon as you open up the case a card will pop up on your iOS device that lets you click to connect automatically.

Glossy white Huawei Freebuds 3 on the P30 Pro smartphone

The earbuds come in two colors: black or this glossy white.

Similarly, Huawei has the Kirin A1 chip inside its ’buds with Bluetooth 5.1. This allows each earbud to receive audio data from the source device individually, resulting in shorter lag and fewer skips. Overall, the A1 chip makes for a good experience, one that even rivals the seamless experience of AirPods. The Huawei Freebuds 3 also have a copycat pop-up card to pair easily with your Huawei device. To pair with non-Huawei devices, you’ll have to hold down the Bluetooth pairing button on the side of the case for two seconds to enter pairing mode, and then connect via the phone’s Bluetooth menu.

As far as connection strength goes, I had no issues with skipping or stuttering for either of these. The respective radios inside held up nicely to everyday use. Both worked fine whether my phone was in my pocket or across the room, and the only time they disconnected was when I intentionally tested the range. I was able to push both to around 40 feet with a wall or two in between before the connection lapsed. As long as you’re not expecting to leave your house without your source device, then you shouldn’t have any issues.

Both Apple and Huawei offer the best experience to those who choose to use matching products. When it comes down to it, this one is too close to call.

Winner: Draw

Which one is easier to use?

Man taking the Huawei Freebuds 3 out of white charging case with P30 Pro in the background

The Freebuds’ charging case is slightly larger than the AirPods, but it’s still super portable.

Whichever pair you choose, you likely won’t have many issues using them. They both pair seamlessly with their respective devices, both have an auto-pause feature when one earbud is removed from your ear, and both snap back into their respective charging cases perfectly. On top of that, they both have a very strong connection that results in basically no skips and stutters.

Apple AirPods Pro earbuds stem hand

An indentation on each stem indicates where you may press to control playback and switch between listening modes.

What about playback controls? Both have the same basic playback controls, and both lack true volume controls.

I found the squeezable stem of the AirPods Pro consistently worked perfectly. Comparatively, the tap-sensitive Huawei Freebuds 3 was a little hit or miss. I found myself double-tapping the Freebuds two or three times before they performed the correct function. True, these issues were few and far between, and for the most part the controls work fine, but I had almost no issues with the AirPods Pro and its squeezable stem.

Winner: AirPods Pro

Which one has the better battery life?

This section is probably the easiest to gauge. On background, we test all headphones at a constant output of 75dB, which is just below the levels that can result in noise-induced hearing loss. Once we’ve achieved a volume of 75dB, we play a mix of music on repeat until the battery dies. With this method, the AirPods Pro lasted 5 hours and 6 minutes when connected to an iPad Pro. Apple claims that the charging case will give you about 24 hours of extra listening time.

Close-up shot of the USB-C and Lightning inputs on the charging cases of the Huawei Freebuds 3 and Apple AirPods Pro

The Huawei Freebuds 3 charge via USB-C, which gives them the edge over the AirPods Pro when it comes to futureproofing.

The Huawei Freebuds 3 managed to get about 4 hours and 7 minutes running the same test connected to a P30 Pro. The charging case provides another 20 hours of listening time and only takes about an hour to charge up from zero to one hundred.

As far as the earbuds are concerned, the AirPods Pro outperforms the Freebuds 3 by an hour. That said, the Freebuds 3 charging case is hands down the one I’d prefer. While both cases are made of fairly similar (cheap-feeling) plastic, and both can charge wirelessly with any Qi-wireless charger, the Freebuds 3 charging case uses the (industry standard) USB-C. Apple opted for its own Lightning connector, which is the same cable current iPhones rely on. Thanks to the USB-C future-proofing, the Freebuds 3 case is more appealing.

Winner: Draw

Should we talk price? Yeah, let’s do it.

One single earbud of the AirPod Pro and Freebuds 3 side by side on a brown wallet

The earbuds look similar, but the new AirPods Pro have a slightly shorter stem and silicone ear tips for a better fit.

One of the most important factors to consider when buying something is the price. While the AirPods Pro and the Sony WF-1000XM3 are both great true wireless earbuds with active noise cancelling, they both also cost $ 249. That’s a tough pill to swallow for most people. Huawei’s move to price the Freebuds 3 just slightly below that at around $ 220 makes them a hair more affordable. Not exactly cheap, but definitely more competitive — especially considering how similar the products are.

Winner: Huawei Freebuds 3

So should you buy the AirPods Pro or the Huawei Freebuds 3?

So yes, the AirPods Pro win in this tit-for-tat battle. Whether or not they are right for you depends on a few things. If you’re an iOS user the answer is obvious. You’ll get the most out of the AirPods Pro, since you’ll be able to make use of all the features. Similarly, Huawei users will get slightly better sound quality from the Freebuds 3, thanks to optimized pairing with the company’s phones.

That said, it’s no secret that Huawei is going through a bit of a rough patch here in the US and, at this time, the Freebuds 3 aren’t available stateside. In addition to which platform you prefer, depending on where you live may also play a role as you decide on one over the other. If you live in Europe, the Freebuds 3 are available to buy via Amazon or through Huawei.

Availability aside, there is one aspect where the AirPods Pro soundly defeat the Freebuds 3, and that’s active noise cancelling. The AirPods Pro is significantly better in this category. The only other pair of true wireless earbuds better than the AirPods Pro at active noise cancelling are the Sony WF-1000XM3 ’buds.

So if you’re on Android, live in the US, or just want similar features to the AirPods Pro, then the Sony’s currently your best bet.

Apple AirPods Pro Apple’s first noise-cancelling true wireless earbuds.
Apple’s high-end wireless earphones include features like active noise cancellation and transparency mode so you can still hear the world around you.

Huawei Freebuds 3 True wireless earbuds with active noise cancelling from Huawei
Huawei’s Freebuds 3 true wireless earbuds might be AirPods clones, but they actually surpass Apple’s earbuds in a few areas.

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Huawei and ZTE’s hopes in the US hit another roadblock

Huawei Mate 30 Pro Huawei Logo

In a letter published November 13, U.S. Attorney General William Barr said Huawei and ZTE “cannot be trusted.” Barr published the letter in support of two FCC proposals hoping to push back against the two companies.

In the letter, Barr cited the pending federal criminal charges against Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou. The U.S. Department of Justice indicted Huawei on 13 counts earlier this year, including money laundering, onstruction of justice, and sanction violations. Meng was named in the lawsuit and charged with bank fraud, wired fraud, and conspiracy to commit bank and wire fraud.

Barr also referenced separate criminal charges of trade secret theft, fraud, and obstruction of justice. According to authorities, Huawei stole T-Mobile’s intellectual property and offered employees bonuses based on how valuable the stolen information was.

Also read: The US might soon make Huawei’s life more difficult

As for ZTE, the company violated the U.S. trade embargo with Iran and was initially banned from using U.S. parts in its products for almost a decade. However, U.S. President Donald Trump intervened and lifted the ban.

Because of these issues, Barr said the U.S. “should not signal that Huawei and ZTE are anything other than a threat to our collective security.”

He also backed the FCC’s two proposals to prevent U.S. companies from doing business with Huawei and ZTE. One proposal would prevent companies receiving money from the FCC’s annual $ 8.5 billion Universal Service Fund from purchasing Huawei and ZTE equipment. The second proposal would instill a process for certain rural wireless carriers to remove and replace equipment from the two companies.

The FCC will vote on the proposals November 19.

More posts about Huawei

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Huawei Mate X isn’t even out in West, but Mate Xs is confirmed for 2020 launch

Huwei Mate X Edited unloded on table 1

The Huawei Mate X has only just launched in China, coming in at ~$ 2400, but the company is already looking forward to 2020.

Huawei announced the Mate Xs at the Chinese Mate X event this week, according to Droidholic (via GSMArena). This particular model differs from the standard Mate X by offering a Kirin 990 chipset instead of the older Kirin 980. The Kirin 990 debuted in the brand-new Mate 30 series, while the Kirin 980 appeared in the Mate 20 and P30 family.

This isn’t the first time we heard about a Mate X with a Kirin 990 though, as the company’s Richard Yu told journalists at IFA 2019 that it was considering a chipset upgrade.

The Huawei Mate Xs is also coming next year.Droidholic

There’s no word on any other changes between the Huawei Mate Xs and Mate X, so those wishing for periscope zoom or the Mate 30 Pro‘s 40MP ultra-wide camera will need to keep wishing.

Huawei reportedly noted that the tweaked foldable phone would launch in March 2020. It’s unclear if this is a Chinese or global launch, but the US trade ban situation would likely play a big part in determining this. Huawei is unable to pre-install Google services on its new devices as a result of the ban. But a global launch would certainly be more likely if the ban is lifted by then, allowing Huawei and Google to work together once again.

We’ve contacted Huawei for more information regarding the Mate Xs, and will update the article accordingly. Nevertheless, it looks like the foldable phone war will be heating up in 2020 as well.

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The Samsung Galaxy Fold doesn’t need to beat the Huawei Mate X to market

Samsung Galaxy Fold hinge on table

The Samsung Galaxy Fold was already a controversial smartphone well before review units of the device were sent out earlier this week. Much was made about how the phone itself was highly expensive — nearly $ 2,000 — and that it had a very visible crease in the middle of its display when in unfolded tablet mode.

However, it’s safe to say none of us were prepared for the rush of Galaxy Fold screen failure reports that hit the interwebs on Wednesday. Media outlets like CNBC, The Verge, and Bloomberg, along with popular YouTube tech reviewer MKBHD, all reported that the larger inside screen stopped working after only a day or two.

The Samsung Galaxy Fold up close and with a bump under the display. The Verge

While at least a couple of these units failed because a protective film on the display was removed, it looks like the screens on the Galaxy Fold units given to CNBC and The Verge failed because the displays themselves broke down. Check out this commentary from our colleague Scott Adam Gordon for more information.

Samsung has already announced it plans to “thoroughly inspect these units in person to determine the cause of the matter.” However, it also indicated that the April 26 launch date for the Galaxy Fold will go on as scheduled. This doesn’t sound like a good idea at all. It leaves Samsung open to potentially getting a lot more of these display failures with consumer units.

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It’s impossible not to think about how Samsung responded to the battery failures on the Galaxy Note 7 when you think about this current situation. The good news is the Fold doesn’t seem to be at risk of causing fires and massive destruction to property because of its display issues. However, we are still talking about one of the most expensive phones ever made for general consumers. The fact that Samsung seems to be hell bent on moving forward with the Galaxy Fold launch seems irresponsible.

A damper on the foldable phone trend?

Folded Huawei Mate X with Dgit on display

At the moment, we only have one other confirmed launch for a foldable phone in 2019: the Huawei Mate X. It’s design is different than the Galaxy Fold, with an outward folding form factor. However, some people seem to prefer its design over that of the Galaxy Fold. At the moment, the Huawei Mate X is due for release sometime this summer in Europe, for a price that’s actually more than the Galaxy Fold at 2,299 euros (~$ 2,600). However, we have already seen that Samsung has sold out of its first shipments of the nearly $ 2,000 Galaxy Fold so the high price of the Mate X might not be a huge obstacle.

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Android Authority contacted Huawei for comment on the Galaxy Fold issues. The company declined to offer a comment.

Breaking in new technology and design features in a smartphone can sometimes be a hit-or-miss proposition. At the moment, it looks like Samsung is trying to rush out the Galaxy Fold before it’s fully ready, just to beat the Mate X to market. (To be fair, the Royole FlexPai actually came to market a few months before the Galaxy Fold as the first flexible display smartphone, but in a very limited capacity).

The Galaxy Fold needs a time out, for now

Samsung could survive a launch of the Galaxy Fold, at least financially, if it had to recall the device later, as Scott suggested in his article. But that doesn’t mean the company should release a faulty phone.

Samsung should take a step back and reevaluate its release strategy for the Galaxy Fold. There’s no harm in delaying the launch to make sure that the faulty units sent to media outlets were outliers. If the company decides to continue with the launch, and then many more screen failures are found by regular consumers, that will give Huawei a ton of free PR for the launch of the Mate X later this year. It could claim, and quite accurately, that it didn’t want to rush its foldable phone out until it was ready.

This whole situation with the Galaxy Fold is a bit of a shame. Despite the high current costs and the possible design issues, foldable phones could be one of the most promising trends in this industry. Making a device that works as a smaller phone and expands to a larger tablet for more serious work is a no-brainer.

It’s more important to be the best, not the first.

We have been promised foldable phones for literally years, but the practical and reliable technology to go along with that promise always seemed to be just out of reach. Samsung may have felt pressure to get the Galaxy Fold out earlier than planned due to the release of the Huawei Mate X. That pressure may have caused more hardware problems than Samsung could overcome at this stage.

As most people know, rushing things out before they are ready is almost never a good thing in any business endeavor. It’s sometimes a good idea to be first, but it’s always a good thing to be best.

Next: Expecting water resistance from the Galaxy Fold is ridiculous

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Android 7.0 preview leaks for the Huawei P9

Huawei P9 Lite-11

Historically speaking, Huawei hasn’t been the best with updates, taking well over a year to bring the Huawei Mate 7 over to Lollipop. Thankfully, in recent times they’ve gotten a lot more responsive when it comes to updates. If a newly leaked ROM is any indication, Huawei’s future update timeliness is only going to get better. Thanks to a user over at XDA, a leaked beta build of Android Nougat has now arrived for the Huawei P9.

Ordinarily, it might seem a bit early for a new version of Android to leak with so much time left until the official release. But back in April, Google revealed that its Nexus family wouldn’t be the only devices to get a preview build of Android Nougat and announced that Sony’s Xperia Z3 would receive it as well.

Going by the posts over at XDA, as well as YouTube evidence, it looks like Huawei is working with a preview build of Nougat because the leaked files updates the handsets’ stock ROMs instead of flashing it in full. That lines up with what Google and Sony are doing, but it also means you’ll have to fall back to your stock ROM before springing forward with the official version when it releases this fall. And because this leak updates files instead of flashing the ROM, you’ll need to make sure you’re running stock before installing it. The XDA thread includes the P9’s stock files for those running cooked ROMs.

Further supporting the legitimacy, forum users have ran CPU-Z benchmarks and found that, contrary to what’s reported in the About Phone section, the update brings the ROM to version 7.0 and OS kernel version 4.1.18 — and its rocking a security patch from next Friday, Aug. 5. On top of that, there’s the presence of a new version of Huawei’s emotional user interface (EMUI). The changelog for EMUI 5.0 indicates that Huawei is rolling out a multi-user mode, camera optimization and battery management improvements. However, at least one user reported encountering worse battery management.

Are you considering a taste test of Android Nougat of your Huawei handset or have you had your fill of previews on a Z3 or Nexus device?

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Huawei closes in on Apple in China


Right now, the Android operating system is absolutely dominating the Chinese market. To get a snapshot of this, we can look at how iOS smartphones accounted for about 25% of urban sales in 2014, with the Android operating system constituting an overwhelming majority of the remaining 75%. However, Apple is responsible for that entire 25%, whereas Android sales are scattered across a slew of competing companies like Huawei, Xiaomi, Meizu, and Oppo. However, the growth of iPhone sales has been in decline since 2014, and now one of the Android companies is closing the gap.

huawei-logo-mwc-2015-1See also: Flashback and Forecasts: Huawei in 201610

Huawei is the dark horse that everybody is starting to notice. Back in 2014, the scrappy company only sold 5% of Android smartphones worldwide. By the beginning of this year, Huawei had nearly tripled this figure, snagging 14% of the global smartphone market. That’s a pretty massive figure for a company that hardly has any presence at all in the US, and has only recently broken into European markets. Huawei’s invasion of Europe has been pretty damn successful, with their numbers doubling in both France and Great Britain over the course of 2015 to secure a number-four position in brand ranking, while achieving second place in Italy, Spain, and Germany.


But that doesn’t even touch on where Huawei is really killing it, because these guys have quickly become a force to be reckoned with on their home turf of China. While Apple’s growth has slowed substantially since 2014, Huawei has been briskly closing the gap, capturing fully 24.3% of the market. Love ‘em or hate ‘em, this Chinese company is establishing itself as a major global player in the smartphone industry, and they’ve got some crazy momentum on their side.

What are your thoughts regarding the ongoing rise of Huawei? Have you had experience with their products before? Let us know your opinions in the comments below!

Huawei-P8-vs-Apple-iPhone-6-1Next: Apple iPhone 6 vs Huawei P8 – hands on67

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New Huawei handset images leak ahead of IFA announcement

Evan Blass (@evleaks) is back for one of his now-rare appearances, and this time the leakster is giving us a bit of information on what could be Huawei’s upcoming large-screen smartphone, as well as an image. Let’s take a look at it!


As you can see, this is a large-screen smartphone that looks to be the successor to the Huawei Ascend Mate series. It’s not yet verified if this is the branding the device will be released under, though. In fact, not much is revealed about this mysterious smartphone. All Evan Blass could tell us is that the device will be launching at IFA 2015, on September 2nd.

At first it was believed this smartphone would be a part of the D-series and feature Force Touch, but Blass later confirmed neither bits of information were correct, leaving us in the dark.

What we can capture from the image is that the new Huawei handset will come with a sizable display, a fingerprint reader on the back and what looks to be a full metal body. We had actually seen a leaked video of this phone before, but we couldn’t confirm its validity. I mean, even the branding in the back was off, but now that this image is around we can see a huge resemblance.

Maybe the weird brand in the video is just being kept as a place-holder, something Huawei has been known to do in the past. Just remember all this information is unofficial, so don’t hold your breath on the image, the video or any of this information just yet.

We are sure more leaks and rumors will show up before IFA, so keep it tuned to the Android Authority home page for more details to come. Also, you can be sure we will be in Berlin covering all the goodies, so you will hear from us as soon as this phone goes official (if it does).

Other Huawei videos!

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