There's an old saying: when life brings you lemons, make lemonade – and the unveiling of New Zealand's latest 5G phone shows that Huawei is really fizzing up the smartphone world.
Huawei's Mate 30 Pro 5G is being unveiled in a landmark launch – notable for what it brings (5G) and what it doesn't (Google Mobile Services).
You could say this isn't just a phone launch, it's a whole new direction. The thing is – you must have a new phone to access the new 5G world which is why the Mate 30 Pro 5G is being launched now.
First reviews are referencing the "sensational" hardware, looks and performance of this phone but one of the most interesting considerations is how Huawei have moved on from Google. Those apps were a casualty of the US-China trade war but Huawei have cleverly adapted.
For a start there is Phone Clone, Huawei's brilliant make-life-easy app for swapping Android phones. You simply install the free app on both phones. Then use the old phone to scan the QR code that appears on the new phone. Select the data to be cloned and start the migration – it's quick and clean.
This will transfer the majority of apps from your old phone to the new Huawei Mate 30 Pro 5G – Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram and Spotify, among other daily-use apps like your banking, airline, your news site of choice. Life is returning to normal.
So what do you get when you pay for your Mate 30 Pro 5G at JB HiFi or PB Tech where it will be available today?
Forbes magazine senior tech contributor David Phelan has been using one and filed a pre-review snapshot earlier this month: "…the hardware is spectacular. It has a gorgeous 6.53in OLED display which curves right round the edges of the phone's long sides in a pleasing waterfall effect, for a start.
"The elegant design lacks hardware volume buttons. Instead, you tap the edge of the phone and a volume slider appears onscreen. There are three cameras: two with 40MP resolution, a telephoto with an 8MP sensor and a Time of Flight lens.
"It has facial recognition to unlock the handset and one neat extra: if it spots someone looking over your shoulder, it automatically hides the private content such as notifications."
The Huawei browser can be used for the very few apps that may not work after being cloned – Uber being one. You simply go to the Huawei browser and look up the Uber website. Save the website to your home screen. Believe it or not, it will function exactly like a quick app.
Then there is the Huawei AppGallery. It is evolving at a remarkable pace and is already being used monthly by 390 million people round the world. Here you can pick up Tik Tok, Viber Messenger, We chat, Booking.com, WPS Office, new games and much more.
As more and more apps appear, users may not depend solely on Google to create great apps, especially when Android is already available as a piece of open-source software.
Phelan also tested the phone just with the apps in the Huawei App Gallery: "….although the experience was good, there were some apps I couldn't manage without. The Huawei Phone Clone app was good at transferring my data and many apps simply enough, though those not supported on the phone won't work. There were apps I could pick up from the Amazon Android store, which is simple to download.
"Finally, I turned to the internet for help. It turns out there's a plethora of YouTube videos showing how to get everything from Google on to the phone. It's actually easy to do this and my phone is working tremendously. But, easy though it is, it's still an extra task which other phones don't require.
"I've been using the Mate 30 Pro for more than a week and will review it shortly (early indications are that the hardware is just sensational, by the way)."
5G has been grabbing headlines ever since it was launched in New Zealand at the end of last year and, for those who haven't yet quite got their heads around its potential, tests show 5G will offer 5-10 times download speeds in the future.
The Mate 30 Pro 5G is both 4G- and 5G-capable and buyers are future-proofing themselves for when 5G truly kicks in. That, plus Huawei's first phone in a new era, might add up to some surprisingly good lemonade…