Before the US sanctions came into force, Huawei was on the verge of becoming the world’s No. 1 in the smartphone market. But the arrival of these sanctions has greatly reduced the manufacturer’s ability to produce good smartphones.
A first wave of sanctions initially prevented the builder from doing business with American companies (unless obtaining a permit issued by Washington). As a result, Huawei was no longer able to preinstall Google apps and services, including the Play Store, on its smartphones.
Then, a second wave of sanctions prevented Huawei from sourcing from non-American companies that use American technology. From that moment, sourcing components for its mobiles was more complicated for the manufacturer.
For example, today Huawei can no longer source the Kirin chip from TSMC. Its recent smartphones use Qualcomm Snapdragon chips. But the authorization obtained by Qualcomm only concerns 4G chips, and therefore Huawei smartphones do not have 5G.
Huawei is the king of photography, despite everything
Despite everything, Huawei continues to excel in the field of mobile photography. In October, the DXOMark site, the reference in the field, tested the latest high-end smartphone from the Chinese manufacturer, the Huawei Mate 50 Pro.
And according to the criteria of this laboratory, it is, to date, the best smartphone for taking photos and videos. The Mate 50 Pro is ahead of Google’s Pixel 7 Pro, Honor’s Magic4 Ultimate, as well as the iPhone 14 Pro Max.
The Mate 50 Pro is equipped, on the back, with a main sensor of 50 megapixels (Sony IMX766, optical stabilization) with variable aperture between f / 1.4 and f / 4.0, an ultra wide-angle of 13 megapixels (f/2.2) and a 64-megapixel periscope telephoto lens.
With or without Leica
According to DXOMark, the camera takes quality photos in all situations, even in low light. The laboratory also praises the merits of the variable aperture, as well as the quality of the ultra wide-angle, and the zoom.
In any case, this status shows that despite the constraints it has to manage, Huawei is still capable of innovating. In addition, it should be remembered that unlike previous models, the Mate 50 Pro is not stamped Leica. The latter is now working with another Chinese manufacturer: Xiaomi.
In other words, Huawei no longer needs Leica to make good cameras.
Without Google apps or 5G!
Despite the fact that the Mate 50 Pro takes excellent photos, this one is unlikely to win over the crowds, since it makes do with a 4G modem for connectivity. Even in China, Huawei’s market share is collapsing. And it has already ceded its Honor brand, so that it can free itself from American sanctions.
However, it is rumored that Huawei is currently looking for solutions to circumvent US sanctions in order to offer new 5G smartphones. One of the solutions explored would be the use of less advanced chips that could be made by Chinese companies.
But as this may affect performance, Huawei would also consider using special shells, equipped with eSIM technology and antennas, which could connect its devices to 5G. Regarding the software part, since Huawei cannot preinstall Google apps and services, it has already developed many alternatives (including an app to replace Google Maps).