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The best Huawei phones you can buy right now

Huawei may lack Google support, but it still has a few great phones in its lineup!
By
July 25, 2022
Huawei logo metal
Robert Triggs / Android Authority

Huawei quickly climbed up the ranks to become one of the most popular smartphone brands globally. It was easy to see why, as the firm served 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 few years lack Google Mobile Services, making them a lot less interesting to most consumers.

Are you still keen on Huawei’s phones, even if they don’t have Google support? We’ve got you covered with our list of the best Huawei phones. Just keep in mind that there are only a handful of phones on this list, with some of them more than a year old. Due to the trade ban, Huawei hasn’t released a lot of phones over the last few years.

The pros and cons of Huawei devices

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 still look 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.

Now, nothing is perfect, and neither is Huawei. They fall behind in some areas. We’re particularly not fond of EMUI and Harmony OS. The UI can be 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 P50 series

Huawei P50 Pro camera closeup 2
Kris Carlon / Android Authority

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 ultrawide. 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.

More recently, Huawei has entered the foldable flip-phone market with another addition to the Huawei P50 series. The Huawei P50 Pocket comes with similar specs and general performance, but the company has thrown in a larger foldable 6.9-inch OLED screen, which still has a 120Hz refresh rate. Other specs include the Snapdragon 888 chipset, 8GB or 12GB of RAM, and as much as 512GB of storage. The camera system and battery have been slightly downgraded, but the design has significantly improved, and many consider it a fashion-focused handset.


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: Harmony OS 2.0

Huawei P50 Pocket specs:

  • Display: 6.9-inch, 2,790 x 1,188
  • SoC: Snapdragon 888
  • RAM: 8/12GB
  • Storage: 256/512GB
  • Cameras: 40, 32, and 13MP
  • Front camera: 10.7MP
  • Battery: 4,000mAh
  • Software: Harmony OS 2.0

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 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.

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 ultrawide 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. However, just keep in mind that this phone is quite old at this point, but it’s still among the best options if you’re looking for a high-end Huawei device.


Huawei Mate 40 Pro specs:

  • Display: 6.76-inch, QHD+
  • 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 Mate X2

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

Huawei’s 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 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 ultrawide 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 why we hope Huawei’s US ban is eased.

Just keep in mind that the device’s successor, the Mate Xs 2, has already been announced. It offers a faster chipset, improved cameras, and a bigger battery, among other things. However, the device is not available for purchase yet — learn more here. It should go on sale in various European markets in August.


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

Nova 9 series

Nova 9 2
Tristan Rayner / Android Authority

The mid-range 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 Harmony OS 2.0 version. Meanwhile, the Nova 9 reached Europe, so it comes with EMUI 12. 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).

The latest addition to the series is the Nova 9 SE, which offers the least overall. It features the Snapdragon 680 chipset and runs Android 11. However, it does have a leg up in the camera department, sporting the highest resolution main sensor of the three phones at 180MP.

Keep in mind that the Nova 10 and Nova 10 Pro have already been announced, but they are only available in China for now.


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 Nova 9 SE specs:

  • Display: 6.78-inch, Full HD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 680
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 128/256GB
  • Cameras: 108, 8, 2, and 2MP
  • Front camera: 16MP
  • Battery: 4,000mAh
  • Software: Android 11

Huawei Nova 8i

Huawei Nova 8i

The last device on our list of the best Huawei phones is the Nova 8i. It’s a mid-range handset with an affordable price, a great design, and decent specs. The performance won’t blow your socks off, but it’s good enough for average users.

Read: The best budget phones you can buy

The display comes in at 6.67 inches and offers Full HD+ resolution. You’ll find the Snapdragon 662 chipset under the hood along with as much as 8GB of RAM. There are a total of five cameras on the phone — four on the back and one on the front. They should get the job done, although you can’t expect Pixel 6-like quality at this price point.

Other specs worth mentioning include a side-mounted fingerprint scanner, a 4,300mAh battery, and 66W fast charging that should provide a full charge in around 40 minutes, according to Huawei.


Huawei Nova 8i specs:

  • Display: 6.67-inch, Full HD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 662
  • RAM: 6/8GB
  • Storage: 128GB
  • Cameras: 64, 8, 2, and 2MP
  • Front camera: 16MP
  • Battery: 4,300mAh
  • Software: Android 10

If you really can’t live without Google Play Services, and these phones don’t change your mind, then it’s time to take a look at our list of the best Android phones available. Because Huawei is mainly known for its camera capabilities, you might also want to look at our list of the best camera phones to find a worthy alternative.