Huawei may bring back the P30 Pro to cure our thirst for Google apps

Evidence has emerged that Huawei may be ready to launch a revised version of its 2019 P30 Pro flagship smartphone. Huawei’s official consumer site in Germany mentions a P30 Pro New Edition in a series of terms and conditions, alongside listings for the P30, P30 Pro, and the P30 Lite New Edition. What’s special about this? If the P30 Lite is anything to go by, the P30 Pro New Edition will have Google Mobile Services installed.

The P30 Lite New Edition was released at the end of 2019, and although the official page doesn’t mention the presence of Google Play and other Google services, reviews and unboxing videos have shown the phone with the app store and Google’s services installed on the phone. How is this possible? After all, the U.S. government has banned U.S. companies from doing business with Huawei, which has stopped it from working with Google.

It’s an interesting workaround. The P30 series launched before the problems that saw Huawei accelerate plans for its own app ecosystem, and are therefore devices approved by Google. This approval means they can use all Google’s services and apps, which are missing from the Huawei P40 Pro and other subsequent releases including the Mate Xs folding smartphone. Huawei needs time to build its own app store, but during this period, it also needs to sell phones which are attractive to those who require Google’s services.

The P30 Lite New Edition may have been successful enough to prompt Huawei to give the flagship P30 Pro a slight refresh for 2020, but how will it change the phone? The answer is unknown until Huawei confirms the device, but don’t expect too much. Huawei likely can’t change the overall specifications drastically and still retain Google certification and approval. The P30 Lite New Edition was identical to the original P30 Lite apart from 6GB of RAM rather than 4GB, and a software update to EMUI 9.1 for example. The P30 Pro’s amazing camera will still be there, however, and it remains one of our favorite camera phones, despite being more than a year old.

Demand for smartphones deemed “old” may not be that high, especially when they have been superseded by the manufacturer. However, if the P30 Pro New Edition is priced competitively, it may draw enough attention from those who can’t justify the cost of a brand new Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus or OnePlus 8. The Huawei website mentioning the P30 Pro New Edition indicates the new phone will launch on or around May 15.

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