Today, in an email to Android Authority, Huawei South Africa confirmed that it will release at least two new smartphones by the end of this year that will feature a fully-licensed version of Android. That means Google apps will be on board.
One of the two smartphones in question is the Huawei Nova 5T, which is an incremental upgrade over the previously-released Huawei Nova 5. The Nova 5T will come with a quad-lens camera setup on the rear and a single selfie shooter on the front for a total of five cameras. The phone was launched in Malaysia this week as well, suggesting we’re in the midst of a wider roll-out.
The other new smartphone is the Huawei Y9 S, a previously unannounced device that will also be an incremental upgrade over its predecessor, the Huawei Y9 Prime (2019 edition). Huawei was mum on details regarding the Y9 S, simply saying it will come with “innovative technology.”
An earlier leak suggests the Y9 S will have a 6.5-inch display, 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of storage. It’s unclear whether the phone will offer a notch, or a pop-up selfie camera like the Y9 Prime 2019.
Huawei says these two devices will launch in South Africa (and presumably in additional countries) before the end of 2019, and both devices will “still be supported by Google.” It’s not clear how the company can launch these devices with Google support as the Huawei ban instituted by the United States government remains in place and is not country-specific. Theoretically, Huawei shouldn’t be able to release a new Google-supported device anywhere in the world, as its Google’s status as a U.S. organization that mandates the ban, not the country where devices are sold.
It’s entirely possible however that the two devices received Google certification before the U.S. trade ban complicated matters. It isn’t the first time a Huawei phone with Google support was widely launched after the ban though, as was the case for the Honor 20 series and Y9 Prime 2019.
The fate of Huawei’s next big flagship — the Huawei Mate 30 series — is still up in the air. Current rumors point to a September 18 launch date for those smartphones.
Update: We tweaked the headline and article to clarify that new Huawei phones with Google support aren’t limited to South Africa only. We’ve also noted that Huawei has previously released new phones despite the U.S. trade ban.