Consider these things before you buy a Huawei phone

If you haven’t been living under a rock, by now, you should have read about the trade tension between China and the US. You should also be aware that the US government isn’t particularly fond of Huawei in concerns of privacy and security. The US government had initially banned the US government officials from buying the Huawei phones and other Huawei products. It then stopped Huawei from setting up 5G network infrastructure in the US. None of this mattered to us, the Nepalese living in Nepal. But of recent, there has been a new development that you should be aware about if you are thinking of buying a new Huawei phone. And here’s all you need to know.

There’s tons of information regarding this news- Google has revoked the Android license from Huawei after the US government mandate. There’s also an update in this news where Huawei has received a 90-day provision where all of its new phones will be getting the Android operating system and the existing phones will be getting software updates (only for 90 days, after that it’s just security update and patches). Beyond that, there’s really not much information. We don’t know when or if this ban will ever be lifted.

While it’s really devastating for Huawei as a brand, it can be just as bad for you as a customer. Sure, I feel bad (and sad) to know what’s happening with Huawei. They were, without a doubt, one of the few brands in the mobile industry that made significant progress in the mobile-tech. It’s also no secret that Huawei is one of the first brands to come up with a foldable phone. They also introduced game changing fast-charge tech to the smartphone arena. And let’s not forget that they are pioneer when it comes to mobile phone photography. With all the innovation that the company has brought, it’s definitely not a good news for any of us.

I haven’t written such article for quite a while now but feel that it’s important I do. I see a lot of tech reviewers and online portals still praising Huawei and recommending customers to buy Huawei phones. And this is where I want to step-in.

If you already have a Huawei phone, it’s fine. You will probably enjoy the phone just as much as everyone else with an Android phone. There’s not much you can do about it and there’s really no reason for you to panic. But for anyone who is looking to buy a new phone, I highly recommend you not to do so.

Again, I pity what has happened to Huawei but that doesn’t mean you have to suffer. And just because a reviewer praises a Huawei phone doesn’t mean you go outright and buy it- there are tons of options out there. And even if you are a hardcore Huawei fan out there- just test out phones from other brands. Trust me, you will love them.

Here are few of the reasons why you shouldn’t buy a Huawei phone in Nepal. 

1) Software update

Unless you are buying a budget phone (under Rs. 10,000) and don’t expect your phone to be updated to the latest and greatest version of Android, you should avoid buying a Huawei phone. For one, after 3 months (more like 2.5 months at this time of me writing this article), your phone will not be getting Android software update on your new Huawei phone. It’s not fault of Huawei (or Google) for that matter since Android (an American company) has to comply with the US regulations. And after 3 months, Google has to cut its ties with Huawei.

Do remember that most mid-range and flagship Android phones get software update for 2 years and if you buy a Huawei phone, you definitely won’t be getting that. But on the bright side, Google has confirmed that it will still provide security patches to Huawei phones, so your phone will still be secure.

2) Huawei phones aren’t cheap

I am not saying that Huawei phones need to be cheap in order for you to buy them. But they aren’t priced aggressively in a way that it is going to be worth buying given the situation. There’s no reason for you to gamble when you can find phones that are just as good (or better) at similar price points and with similar features.

If Huawei priced their phones lower given the current situation, it would be a good reason for you to consider the phones from the brand. But no, the brand has no consideration of lowering the price of their phones. So, why not check out other phones from other brands?

3) Resale Value

Smartphones aren’t particularly known to have good resale value but if you buy a Huawei phone, just know you will be getting really low value when you finally decide to sell it off. If you buy a new Huawei phone now and plan on selling after a couple of months, you can expect to lose as much as half of its value! How do I know? Well, here’s a screenshot of how people are reacting to ads on Huawei P30 Pro, the company’s flagship phone.

huawei-price-drop-nepal-no-android
The P30 Pro ad on Hamrobazar seems to be getting quite a bit of attention!

While I assure that you really don’t have to worry about selling the P30 Pro for Rs. 20,000, just know that because of this Huawei and Android situation, the prices of the phones from Huawei is going do drop significantly when compared to similar priced phones from other brands.

4) It’s not only Android that Huawei will be missing out on

Sure, Huawei losing Android license is the biggest news and something that the media is focusing on heavily. But if you look closely, all the other US based companies are going to cut-off its ties with Huawei. That means, in some point of time, Facebook, YouTube, Microsoft and zillion other US companies with revoke access to their services if you are using a Huawei device. 

Just yesterday, we heard that Facebook apps (including Messenger, Whatsapp and Instagram) won’t come pre-installed on Huawei devices. And this may just be the beginning. While things may ease off, chances are the situation can get worse. A few weeks ago, Microsoft silently pulled off Huawei laptops from the Microsoft store

5) The future is uncertain

Consider yourself lucky that you are reading this post before you go out and empty your pockets on a Huawei phone. Like I said earlier, it will be great if US recalls its Huawei ban but you should ask what if doesn’t? Are you willing to take the risk? If I were you, I wouldn’t. 

Huawei seems to acknowledge that Android is something that it will have to let go and it’s already developing in-house Oak OS. It will be a replacement to Android and trust me, when it happens it’s not going to be good. I am not only speculating, I know. How? Well, just look at what happened to Amazon Fire phone and Blackberry OS. Both of those OS could side-load Android apps but, at the end, it really didn’t matter. They had problem with software update for apps and, most of the times, the side-loaded apps didn’t work all that well. I fear that the same is going to happen to Huawei as well. 

I have nothing against Huawei Nepal nor do I have any grudge against tech community who are recommending Huawei phones. It’s just that when you look from customer perspective alone, there’s really few reason for you to buy a Huawei phone as of now. Either you should wait for the ban to be lifted (which doesn’t make sense and it may never happen) or just buy a phone from a competing brand. Don’t go for the Huawei ads you see all over Facebook and celebrity endorsement (I have to admit Huawei Nepal is quite good at that) and all the good photos taken from the P30 Pro. You definitely don’t want to regret. 

This is my personal opinion on the Huawei Android ban situation. What’s yours? Let me know in the comment section down below. 

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