The lack of Google and GMS is a factor that’s causing many people to believe that Huawei phones are no longer a viable option. We take a look to see if the lack of the Google Play store and GMS will affect how we use the new Huawei P40 Pro in a day, from morning to night.
Let me put it out there first, I have never used a Huawei phone before this. When I first got the phone, I thought that it generally felt good in the hand and the Deep Sea Blue colour variant has a pretty interesting sheen on the back that looks greenish, blue or even purple under certain lighting conditions.
First off, let’s prep the phone by doing the Phone Clone process between my old phone and the new Huawei P40 Pro. Some apps get transferred over, some don’t, but most of my essential social media apps and messaging apps like Instagram and WhatsApp work.
I typically take public transport to the office, but on this day, I’m running a bit late, so I pulled up the TADA app to see if I can get a ride to the office. It comes up to a total bill of $13, which is actually slightly lower than the fare from Grab, which is surprising!
It’s payday, so I need to check my bank statement to make sure my claims got processed correctly. With the UOB Mighty app, I’m able to log in easily and securely, so that’s a big plus.
With all that done and still a good 20 minutes left in the cab ride, I decided to start replying to messages received overnight on WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. Again, these aren’t apps natively available on Huawei’s AppGallery yet, but by using the Phone Clone app, they all work quite flawlessly on the P40 Pro.
While entering the office, it’s time to start clearing my work emails. There’s no native Gmail app on the phone, but Gmail accounts work perfectly fine in Huawei’s Email app, so I managed to get a headstart on my workday.
It’s always good to keep abreast of the latest developments, so I took some time to skim through the headlines on the CNA and ST mobile apps and see if there were any announcements that I missed.
Once lunch hour rolls around, I head out for a quick bite. Reminded by my family that I need groceries to cook at home over the weekend, I decided to get some foodstuffs delivered. While my preferred app, Amazon Prime, isn’t yet available on the Huawei AppGallery, there’s FairPrice and RedMart on the Lazada app. I managed to find what I needed on FairPrice, and even spent a bit of time scrolling through the electronics section on Lazada.
Since there’s still a bit of time left, I wanted to watch some videos before heading back to the office. Again, no native YouTube app, but I’m able to pull up YouTube in the browser and watch videos from there. My only gripe is that I’m unable to zoom into the video, leaving me with black bars on the sides, but hey, at least YouTube is usable.
The rest of the workday goes by in a blur, and at 5pm, my friend asks me out for dinner. Using Chope, I found a nice restaurant nearby and booked a table.
I’m not a big fan of walking and it’s a bit too near for a cab, so I searched for a bus route with SG Dr Bus, which is also natively available on the AppGallery. There are other bus route planning apps, but I’m a big fan of SG Dr Bus and the clean UI.
The stored value in my EZ-Link card is almost empty, but I won’t be passing by an MRT station to top it up. My colleague suggested to just top it up through the app, but he wasn’t sure if Huawei’s AppGallery would have it. I searched and managed to find the app, so I quickly downloaded it to top up my card. Thankfully, it works fine, and my card wasn’t declined when I got on the bus.
After having a satisfying dinner with my friend, I thought it was time to post something on social media. Snapping photos with the phone is quick and easy, although the phone without the case is a little slippery. After a quick edit on Camera360, I uploaded the images of my food up on Instagram and Facebook.
These social media apps aren’t available on the AppGallery either, but it cloned over from my old phone without a hitch and everything works well. I can view Instagram and Facebook Stories, like photos and videos and pretty much do anything I did previously with my old Samsung phone.
I knew dinner would end late and since I need to get home quickly, I thought far enough ahead to book a cab in advance. ComfortDelGro is also natively available on the AppGallery so I made an advance booking for a cab at 9pm, which was pretty much exactly when I finished dinner.
Reaching home, I had a look back on my day. Even though there were moments when I couldn’t use my favourite apps for certain activities, there were plenty of alternatives on the AppGallery that did the job just as well. So is the P40 Pro worth getting without Google? Personally, I think that the phone works fine for people who don’t live, breathe and bleed Google services. And even the more important stuff like YouTube and Gmail can be accessed, just not through native apps.
This content is brought to you in partnership with Huawei.