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The best Huawei phones you can buy right now

Huawei may lack Google support, but has plenty of great options!
November 13, 2021
Huawei logo metal
Robert Triggs / Android Authority

Huawei quickly climbed up the ranks to become one of the most popular smartphone brands in the world. It was easy to see why, as the firm serves up great budget devices and cutting-edge flagship phones.

Unfortunately, the US trade ban against the company has resulted in the firm tumbling down the list in terms of popularity. This ban means all phones released in the last two years lack Google Mobile Services.

Are you still keen on Huawei’s phones, even if they don’t have Google support? Maybe you want the most recent phones with Google integration? Either way, we’ve got you covered with our list of the best Huawei phones.

The pros and cons of Huawei phones

Huawei Logo 2020 2
Robert Triggs / Android Authority

Every smartphone manufacturer has its strengths and weaknesses, and Huawei is undoubtedly known for doing well in some departments.

For starters, Huawei is one of the most popular smartphone makers among photography enthusiasts. They’ve been pushing standards in this industry for years. Their sensors have gotten bigger, and their tech more advanced. They surprise us with stunning camera systems every single time.

Furthermore, Huawei knows how to make a good-looking phone. Premium materials adorn the higher-end versions, but their budget devices are still looking very nice. Talking about budgets, while they make some stunning high-end devices, Huawei has plenty of experience in the mid-range and budget smartphone market. They have great offerings across the whole spectrum.

More: Huawei’s fall, what we’ve lost, and what we’ve gained

Now, nothing is perfect, and neither is Huawei. They fall behind in some areas. We’re particularly not fond of EMUI and HarmonyOS. The UI can be a bit convoluted and is mainly made for Asian markets. It’s a matter of preference, but we like cleaner interfaces that more closely emulate stock Android.

Of course, we can’t forget about the big elephant in the room: lack of official Google Apps support. This is still an issue unless you go with an older device. This means you won’t get Google services like Gmail, Google Maps, and the Google Play Store. At least not out of the box.

Lastly, it can now be argued that Huawei devices are getting harder to get, especially in the USA, where the ban continues to be in effect. Of course, there are always ways to get a hold of these devices, but it won’t be through any mainstream retailers or manufacturers. There are rumors Huawei may be working on a workaround, though.

The best Huawei phones:

Editor’s note: We will be updating this list of the best Huawei phones as new devices come to market.

Huawei Mate 40 Pro

Huawei Mate 40 Pro hero shot of the back
Ryan-Thomas Shaw / Android Authority

Some of Huawei’s top flagships right now are the Mate 40 phones, and they pack some impressive hardware for the most part. The Mate 40 Pro was the one to become much more popular outside of China. That means the 3.5mm-toting Mate 40 and the dual telephoto-packing Mate 40 Pro Plus nearly missed global markets.

Also read: The best camera phones available

Nevertheless, the Mate 40 Pro delivers a 90Hz OLED screen, a high-end Kirin 9000 SoC, and a 4,400mAh battery with 66W wired and 50W wireless charging. Huawei’s phones are known for their camera credentials, and the Mate 40 Pro doesn’t disappoint here. You’re looking at a 50MP RYYB primary camera, a 20MP ultra-wide lens, and a 12MP 5X periscope camera. Meanwhile, a 13MP selfie snapper is available on the front.

Google support isn’t available here, but this is still the best Huawei flagship available in global markets right now.

Huawei Mate 40 Pro specs:

  • Display: 6.76-inch, 2,772 x 1,344
  • SoC: Kirin 9000
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 128/256/512GB
  • Cameras: 50, 20, and 12MP
  • Front camera: 13MP + 3D ToF
  • Battery: 4,400mAh
  • Software: Android 10

Huawei P50 series

HUAWEI P50 Series Keynote image 2

Previously one of Huawei’s most famous phones, the P series went much more unnoticed in 2021. Likely thanks to the inconveniences the lack of Google apps presents. But even without all of Google’s services, the Huawei P50 and Huawei P50 Pro managed to captivate plenty of those who were paying attention.

Related: Huawei buyer’s guide

Once again, the company has put together really nicely built handsets with high-end specs and cameras that compete only with the best. The P50 Pro comes with four sensors. The standard one comes in at 50MP and has an f/1.8 aperture. Then there’s a 64MP 90mm periscope zoom, as well as a 13MP ultra-wide. The company has also added a 40MP monochrome sensor for capturing more detail.

What’s more interesting is that the lower-end P50 actually gets a 12MP periscope camera with a 125mm focal length. This means it can zoom in further, optically. Both devices come with stunning performance and gorgeous builds, and their prices reflect that.

Huawei P50 Pro specs:

  • Display: 6.6-inch, 2,700 x 1,228
  • SoC: Kirin 9000
  • RAM: 8/12GB
  • Storage: 128/256/512GB
  • Cameras: 64, 50, 40, and 13MP
  • Front camera: 13MP
  • Battery: 4,360mAh
  • Software: HarmonyOS 2.0

Huawei P50 specs:

  • Display: 6.5-inch, 2,700 x 1,224
  • SoC: Snapdragon 888
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 128/256GB
  • Cameras: 50, 13, and 12MP
  • Front camera: 13MP
  • Battery: 4,100mAh
  • Software: HarmonyOS 2.0

Huawei Mate X2

Huawei Mate X2 review half open internal screen standing on table
Kris Carlon / Android Authority

Huawei’s latest foldable marks a significant departure for the company, as it adopts the same in-folding design pioneered by Samsung’s Galaxy Fold series. It’s a sensible move, though, as it protects the foldable screen from any damage. And our own Kris Carlon noted that Huawei’s foldable offers larger internal and external screens than Samsung’s device.

More foldable coverage: The best foldable phones you can buy in 2021

In any event, the Mate X2 is flagship-level in many ways. There’s the Kirin 9000 5G SoC, 90Hz refresh rate for both panels, and a 4,500mAh battery with 55W wired charging. Photography is another strength for the foldable, packing an impressive quad-camera set-up featuring a 50MP RYYB primary camera, a 16MP ultra-wide snapper, and two telephoto shooters (12MP 3X and 8MP 10X).

There are a few downsides to the foldable, though, and it starts with the lack of Google integration. But it also lacks the Z Fold 2’s wireless charging and ultra-thin glass protection. Nevertheless, foldables like this are one reason why we hope Huawei’s US ban is eased.

Huawei Mate X2 specs:

  • Foldable display: 8-inch, 2,200 x 2,480
  • Cover display: 6.45-inch, 1,160 x 2,700
  • SoC: Kirin 9000
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 256/512GB
  • Cameras: 40, 16, 12, and 8MP
  • Front camera: 16MP
  • Battery: 4,500mAh
  • Software: Android 10

Huawei P30 Pro

P30 Pro back standing up (37 of 60)

Like the idea of the P50 Pro but need full Google support? Then the Huawei P30 Pro should be up your alley. Huawei’s older flagship is over two years old now and doesn’t have the latest chipset or a high refresh rate screen, but it’s still got loads of features.

The P30 Pro has a 4,200mAh battery with 40W wired charging and 27W wireless top-ups. So it should last for a long time and charge in just over an hour. We also get an IP68 design, reverse wireless charging, and an in-display fingerprint sensor.

More: The best budget camera phones

The P30 Pro stood out back in 2019 thanks to its low-light performance, and you can still expect some good shots in 2021 when the sun goes down. It also excels at zoom, delivering a 5x periscope camera that tops out at 10x hybrid zoom (and 50x digital). It’s a great phone if you can ignore its age!

Huawei P30 Pro specs:

  • Display: 6.47-inch, Full HD+
  • SoC: Kirin 980
  • RAM: 6/8GB
  • Storage: 128/256/512GB
  • Cameras: 40, 20, and 8MP + 3D ToF
  • Front camera: 32MP
  • Battery: 4,200mAh
  • Software: Android 9.0 Pie

Huawei Nova 9 series

Nova 9 2
Tristan Rayner / Android Authority

The midrange market has been all the hype since last year, and Huawei sure isn’t staying behind. The Nova 9 series includes a couple of devices that offer great value for the price. These are the Huawei Nova 9 and Nova 9 Pro.

The Pro version was made mainly for China, so it was only released in a HarmonyOS 2.0 version. Meanwhile, the Nova 9 reached Europe, so it comes in two variants: one with HarmonyOS 2.0 for China, and an EMUI 12 version for other markets. Sadly, neither has Google services.

Still, both have plenty to offer. They come with Snapdragon 778G chipsets and 8GB of RAM, making for pretty good casual performance. They also feature quad-camera set-ups, a good battery, and 32MP front-facing cameras (of which the Pro version has two).

Huawei Nova 9 Pro specs:

  • Display: 6.72-inch, 2,676 x 1,236
  • SoC: Snapdragon 778G
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 128/256GB
  • Cameras: 50, 8, 2, and 2MP
  • Front camera: 32 and 32MP
  • Battery: 4,000mAh
  • Software: HarmonyOS 2.0

Huawei Nova 9 specs:

  • Display: 6.57-inch, Full HD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 778G
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 128/256GB
  • Cameras: 50, 8, 2, and 2MP
  • Front camera: 32MP
  • Battery: 4,300mAh
  • Software: HarmonyOS 2.0

Huawei P Smart 2021

p smart 2021 render colorways 1

Want to save even more? The Huawei P Smart 2021 is one of the best Huawei phones to get at a low price. Unlike the previous iteration, the new P Smart is seemingly focused on enlarging everything, from display size to battery capacity, in a bid to entice Western buyers who may be put off by the lack of Google services.

Read: The best budget phones you can buy

Visually, the new P Smart is reminiscent of the Huawei P40 line, featuring a large rectangular camera array at the rear with a punch-hole camera in the top-center of the screen. That screen measures 6.67 inches, much larger than the P Smart 2020’s modest 6.2-inch display. The device’s size also allows Huawei to slap in a 5,000mAh battery. Again, that’s some 1,600mAh larger than the P Smart 2020.

Internally, the Kirin 710A powers the phone alongside 4GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage. The latter can be bolstered by a microSD card, too.

Huawei P Smart specs:

  • Display: 6.67-inch, Full HD+
  • SoC: Kirin 710A
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Storage: 128GB
  • Cameras: 48, 8, 2, and 2MP
  • Front camera: 8MP
  • Battery: 5,000mAh
  • Software: Android 10