New Google-less phone a make-or-break moment for Chinese tech titan
11 March 2020 | Web Article Number: ME202018330
IN what could be a make-or-break move for Huawei’s ambitions in South Africa, the Chinese tech giant has launched its first smartphone here without Google Mobile Services, a result of the ongoing trade spat between the US and China.
While the company’s SA reps are putting a positive spin on things, describing the new Huawei Y7p as a “landmark device”, the jury is still out on how local consumers will react to it not coming with the Google Play Store or any other Google services like Maps, Gmail, or Chrome browser pre-installed.
That’s because, while it runs on a legitimate version of the Android operating system, the trade ban prohibits Google Mobile Services (GMS) and other technology from US-based companies, from being installed on any new Huawei devices.
The company is touting Huawei Mobile Services as a viable alternative to GMS, offering its own messenger, calendar, gallery, web browser and other key apps. But the lack of Google-level mapping and assistant capabilities could be a deal breaker for some.
On the plus side, the Y7p offers some flagship features at an extremely budget-friendly price - R3,499.
These include a 48MP primary rear camera, complemented by an 8MP ultrawide and 2MP depth sensor. It’s powered by a 4000mAh battery, which Huawei claims will deliver close to two-days battery life in medium use.
It has a 6.39-inch display with 1560×720 resolution, with the 8MP punch-hole selfie camera in the top left corner. Other specs include a Kirin 710F chipset, 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage which can be beefed up using the microSD card slot. There’s a microUSB port for data exchange and charging, and a 3.5mm headphone jack - a feature missing on most recent high-end phones.