With our overview of the ecosystems proposed by the various brands we come to talk about Huawei, the Asian giant that has recently reached the top among smartphone manufacturers, but which paradoxically in recent months has given a vigorous acceleration to the development of the ecosystem outside the phones, partly driven by the difficulties caused by the US ban.
Last July Huawei formalized what it calls 1 + 8 + N, an extremely pragmatic way to identify its ecosystem of products and services, with "1" identifying the smartphone, cornerstone of "Seamless AI Life", "8" marks the place of consumer products that interface with it primarily such as headphones, watches, tablets, notebooks, etc., finally N stands for that ever-increasing and indefinite number of home automation and IOT devices connected through Huawei's HiLink service.
In this in-depth analysis we see which are the main products of the ecosystem and what can be the added value in their use.
Let's start from the best part and at the same time from the thorniest part. Huawei smartphones are valuable products, there is no doubt about this, the top of the P40 Pro range is a smartphone with a successful design, great build quality, power, hardware completeness and an important photo compartment.
However, there is the non-marginal question of Google's services and Apps absent: we talked about it on several occasions in the reviews, in an in-depth guide and a few days ago to take stock of the App Gallery, the alternative store to that of Google equipped on Huawei smartphones. Things are progressing well and compared to a few months ago the available apps are increasingly integrated with HMS (the Huawei API layer alternative to Google's GMS), however some limitations remain which, depending on the needs, could be decisive .
However, if we want to take a look at the range of products, let's not dwell further on a topic already widely debated and let's move on to the products, among the smartphones we offer you two choices: Huawei P40 Pro and Huawei P30 Pro.
With P40 Pro you will have the latest top of the range released, a clearly more expensive but very complete and modern smartphone. It has recently received some important updates that have improved the photographic sector, a security also in terms of autonomy and a design that convinced from the first moment.
- HUAWEI P40 PRO REVIEW
The cheapest but still quality alternative is Huawei P30 Pro, we recently talked about it for the launch of the New Edition 2020, a refresh of the 2019 flagship with more memory. It is a project with a year on its shoulders but still convincing from various points of view and currently with a value for money that is tempting. To be taken for its great photographic skills, performance and autonomy, a very good smartphone with tested software and updates that over time have managed to maximize its potential. Last but not least, it is a smartphone with no limitations regarding Google's services and apps, but it can take advantage of all the specific functions of the Huawei ecosystem.
- HUAWEI P30 PRO AFTER 1 YEAR
Huawei has historically reserved an eye for the tablet sector. The latest born on the high end is Matepad Pro, a very complete tablet, equipped with high-end hardware, support for the nib and a really successful design. Everything at the top also on the connectivity side, lots of software functions also oriented towards productivity and an audio sector capable of making a difference on the competition.
Also for him there is to highlight the absence of Google and GAPPS services, a not insignificant detail, even if compared to smartphones here you can live more easily with the limitation. The stylus and a keyboard sold separately are also available for Matepad Pro.
An alternative to Matepad Pro is the Matepad 10.4, available in WiFi or WiFi + LTE version starting from 279 euros, also with strong multimedia skills and good general equipment on the hardware side.
- HUAWEI MATEPAD PRO REVIEW
Huawei MatePad Pro review: without GApps but with a lot of 420 character
Android 14 May
After some exploration in the world of WearOS, Huawei threw itself on a proprietary operating system for its smartwatches, no longer pure but hybrid, with clear aptitudes for the world of sports. The proposals are basically two at the moment: Huawei Watch GT2 and Huawei Watch GT2e.
The design changes between the two, GT2 is equipped with a speaker and costs 50 euros more on the price list. GT2e has a sportier look and can monitor as many as a hundred different activities.
The strengths of these watches are certainly the autonomy, the quality of the AMOLED panel and the ease of use in the menus. The Huawei Health app is also excellent and must be installed on the paired smartphone, complete and clear in the information collected. Activity monitoring with precise cardio, blood oxygenation measurement, barometric altimeter is also very good.
The limits are the intrinsic ones in a hybrid smartwatch if we look at sports: the impossibility of planning workouts and expandability with accessories. Regarding the "smart" side, with these products they can receive notifications but do not respond, for this reason we consider them more "hybrids" than pure smart watches, but the positive aspect is in autonomy clearly better than any WearOS, Tizen or Apple Watch.
- HUAWEI WATCH GT2 REVIEW
- HUAWEI WATCH GT2e REVIEW
Huawei Watch GT 2 review: super autonomy and beautiful 242 display
Mobile 19 Oct
Huawei Watch GT2e review: detects 100 sports activities 66
Mobile 25 June
In a sector very rich in proposals, Huawei is playing its cards with the Freebuds 3, true wireless earphones that are interesting from different points of view, one above all theunique to be equipped with active noise reduction while having a non-in-ear conformation.
Very comfortable, light, with a very good audio and decent autonomy, but above all with active noise reduction. They can be worn for a long time without causing discomfort and at the same time immerse the user in a pleasant but safe silence. Here, this is the key to interest: you are relaxed with active noise reduction, but you can still hear outside noises without risking being run over by a car or not hearing a call of danger.
There are also some smart functions such as the automatic "play-pause" when removed from the ear or customizable functions with a double tap. If combined with a Huawei smartphone they have the plus of the integration of the management app directly within the system settings, a nice connection animation and practically 0 latency.
Huawei Freebuds 3i review: few waivers with less than 100 euros 142
Mobile 11 Jul
Huawei Freebuds 3 review: I replaced the Airpods after 2 years 715
High Definition 08 Nov
Over the past two years, Huawei has taken the lead in the notebook world. In a few months the lineup of proposals has been expanded and, to date, offers opportunities for all needs and budgets.
The medium-low range is represented by the Matebook D line, declined on 2 sizes 14-15 "both with AMD Ryzen 5 3500 processors. It starts from 649 euros in the price list for the 15 inches and 699 euros for the 14, an excellent balance between performance and autonomy, components capable of satisfying most of the basic productivity needs, always with an eye to design and materials.
More or less at the same price we find the Matebook 13, with the same processor of the Matebook D line but overall better materials and equipment, as well as obviously rather compact dimensions.
Moving to a higher end we find Matebook 14 and Matebook X Pro 2020, with 10th generation Intel processors and impeccable build quality. Matebook 14 has fully convinced us for the value for money, equipped with an interesting hardware package thanks above all to Nvidia's MX350 GPU, full set of ports, excellent trackpad and keyboard.
The top of the range Matebook X Pro 2020 has been updated with new Intel CPUs while the proven MX250 GPU has remained, compared to the Matebook 14 it offers 2 Type-C ports, one of which is thunderbolt and a superlative LCD display with 2K resolution, touch screen and large brightness to avoid annoying reflections outdoors.
Huawei MateBook X PRO 2020 review, always beautiful and now with Intel 10th Gen 543
Huawei 08 May
Huawei Matebook 13 review with Ryzen 5: at 599 euros it is a best buy 499
Huawei 24 June
MateBook 14 review: it is the best among Huawei 400 notebooks
Huawei 17 Jul
Huawei MateBook D14 (2020) review, difficult to do better at 699 euros! 414
Windows 12 Feb
There is no ecosystem without a series of connected services that can exploit its potential, Huawei has worked in recent years to add value to this sector and slowly we are seeing the first concrete steps in different areas.
We can only start from here, the alternative store is essential to offer a good user experience on Huawei smartphones. Compared to a few months ago, several new apps have arrived and some temporary ones have, so to speak, entered the round of direct updates from the App Gallery.
In other words, we are now seeing real progress aimed at stabilizing the apps on the App Gallery as if it were the Play Store: they download from there, update from there, without the need for external links or other stores to install. Gradually most of the basic applications for the use of the smartphone are reaching the App Gallery and, to date, the only real shortcoming is represented by the Google apps, still only partially usable.
There is work to be done on the availability of games, while day after day the offer for banking, travel, food delivery and social apps increases. We took stock recently in the video below.
This service is very interesting but above all admirable the choice of Huawei to try to build from the bases a true proprietary ecosystem like what Apple and Google have done. To tell the truth, Huawei Music was born in iTunes style, that is compatible exclusively for Huawei and Honor devices, designed as an added value for those who own devices in the house.
It was launched in March in Europe with a starting catalog of over 50 million songs spread over 1.2 million songs and hundreds of thousands of playlists. Tested for a few weeks, all things considered, it performed well, it is complete on new releases while it sins a bit on minor or local artists.
Among the strengths there is certainly the simplicity of use, thanks to a well-organized graphics, consistent suggestions and an easy navigation function. There are also some additional features such as "party" mode to use multiple phones such as different synchronized sound sources, custom and settings-rich audio tuning, ability to download songs and cut them at will, sound identification of songs, custom covers and much more.
The price is set at 9.90 euros per month but offers and free evaluation tests for a few months are available continuously (now they are 6 months free until August 31st).
This perhaps little-known service was made available in Italy already towards the end of 2018, it is a streaming service on demand that can boast a fair multimedia catalog and includes other services such as DailyMotion, Rakuten TV, Film Box, The Explorers.
It is possible to subscribe to a VIP subscription of 4.99 euros per month (three-month free trial) which unlocks access to some content, alternatively you can rent films and content at different prices if necessary, prices range from 0 , 99 euros to 2.99 euros.
As for Huawei Music, here too the interface is simple and full of suggestions, the service is exclusive to Huawei and Honor products.
HUAWEI CLOUD (DRIVE)
In the triptych of services, Huawei Cloud could not be missing, dedicated to cloud backup for Huawei and Honor users. The user has 5GB of free space on which to back up data, photos, personal settings. The offer is then completed by plans for 50, 200, 2048GB with annual, monthly, semi-annual payment and various offers that change from time to time.
The same service also allows you to locate the device in case of theft, remotely delete data or block. Finally, the synchronization function between multiple devices of the backed up files is convenient, it is particularly effective in case you have a notebook and a smartphone, to keep data synchronized without worries.
Prices start at € 11.88 per year for 50GB, € 26.91 for 200GB and € 83.92 per year for 2TB.
Huawei's offer of devices and services is really vast, just think that we have mentioned only the main ones, that is some of the members of 1 + 8 + N leaving out the various home automation products, smart speakers, sensors and entertainment devices.
Now let's focus on the advantages, or on the integration between the various products that creates what Huawei calls Seamless AI Life.
INTEGRATION OF WEARABLE DEVICES INTO THE SYSTEM
Huawei watches, headphones and other wearable devices are compatible with all Android smartphones and iPhones, however there are some advantages in using them together with other products of the house.
For watches you will have additional functions such as multimedia control of the phone or remote shooting, for headphones automatic play / pause, firmware updates and integration of device settings into the system settings of the smartphone.
You will never have to download additional apps and the updates will happen silently without you noticing. The settings will then be backed up in the cloud space so it will not be necessary to repeat them for each connected device.
The PC Manager app is installed on all Huawei and Honor notebooks, which contains the functions dedicated to the ecosystem, in particular, it can work together with a smartphone or tablet. In turn, smartphones and tablets enjoy some possibilities of simplified interaction, let's see in more detail what it is.
By opening PC Manager there will be the item "My phone", the relative tab contains various features dedicated to Huawei and Honor smartphones.
- Multi-Screen Collaboration: allows you to view the smartphone screen on the PC and interact with it through the touchpad or any touch display when present. The connection is via WiFi Direct and the latency is really low. Not only interaction with the display but also the possibility of using the keyboard, very convenient.
- Instant hotspot: with this function you can use your smartphone as a portable modem by sharing internet data via Bluetooth, once activated you will no longer have to worry about anything, the management will be automatic.
- OneHop: on the latest generation Huawei notebooks, an NFC tag allows you to instantly activate Huawei Share and take advantage of sharing files, photos and videos in a few moments. From the phone, select the photos or videos to share, or open the document with WPS Office and then simply place the smartphone in correspondence with the tag to instantly send the content to the PC.
- Recent files and clipboards: through a pop-up quick panel always available in the Windows notification bar, you can review the latest documents opened on the smartphone and the copied notes. Without further action it is possible to copy text to the smartphone and simply paste it on the PC (right click -> paste). Conversely, you can copy text from your PC and paste it on your smartphone.
- Automatic backup of photos and videos: very useful feature to keep the images and videos captured from your smartphone on your PC synchronized. Activated the option, every time the smartphone is connected the new multimedia files will be sent to a specific folder of the notebook, the transfer will take place via WiFi Direct so it will be very fast and totally silent.
TABLET AND SMARTPHONE
Multi screen collaboration is also available on MatePads, in this case the smartphone screen is projected onto the PC screen via Bluetooth. Once the connection has started, you can safely put the smartphone on standby and the projection will continue to work, the audio from the smartphone to the tablet will also be moved and you can even phone only with the tablet.
Huawei's ecosystem is becoming something more and more interesting and probably the US ban has given a good boost to this expansion. There are still some territories to explore, from home automation to Smart TVs where Huawei can have its say, thanks to a ready-made substrate, as confirmed by Mr. Duan Mengran, Director of All-Scenario Solution Dept. "Every day we work to expand our ecosystem of products and services thanks to HiLink and Huawei Share technologies, we want to offer our users all the technologies necessary for connected life, it is our priority right now".
If on the products the catalog is already valid and vast, on the functionalities there is still room for improvement. We would like to see in the future a wider collaboration between tablets and notebooks and between wearables and other devices, for example a more effective management of the audio between headphones and speakers of different products.
We are however confident given the great work that Huawei is carrying out and curiosity is a lot about what the future holds for us.
The best Galaxy of 2020? Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus, on offer today from Emarevolution for 635 euros or from Amazon for 720 euros.