Best Huawei alternatives - and other questions answered

The National addresses some concerns that consumers may have about what comes next

A 3-D printed Android logo is seen in front of a displayed Huawei logo in this illustration picture May 20, 2019. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration
Powered by automated translation

With Huawei facing sales bans in the US and UK, and the fate of Google's Android operating system on its devices uncertain, The National digs into the questions consumers may have about what comes next, and Huawei alternatives.

Are other Chinese smartphone manufacturers safe from US backlash?

Analysts say it is unlikely any others will face the sort of blacklisting Huawei has endured. Chinese brands such as Oppo, Xiaomi and Vivo each captured about 8 per cent of global market share in 2018, and none are in the race to manufacture 5G equipment – a sticking point as the US levies allegations of espionage against Huawei.

Which smartphone maker stands to gain the most from this conflict?

South Korea’s Samsung is expected to pick up most of Huawei’s customers if the US goes through with a ban on selling to the company. Samsung’s flagship phones Galaxy S10+ and Note 9 provide the best alternatives to Huawei’s best-selling P30 and P20 series phones. “If [barring Huawei from using Android] really happens, it will open new opportunities for brands like Samsung,” said Anshul Gupta, research director at US researcher Gartner.

What are the most cost-effective Android options?

Huawei sells about half of its smartphones outside China and has a stronghold in the budget market. Cost-conscious Chinese competitors such as Xiaomi, Oppo, Vivo and Lenovo - that offer enough options in less than $400 (Dh1,470) - will be the best alternatives for consumers looking for budget Android phones.

What are the best Android options for a consumer looking for premium features?

Huawei phones are known for their advanced cameras, stylish design, powerful processor and bigger battery. For consumers looking for premium phones while spending not more than $600, Chinese brand OnePlus would be the best option. Google’s Pixel is best for consumers who are fans of smart cameras while Samsung phones score higher in style and overall performance.

What is the status of Android for Huawei customers?

On Monday, the Trump administration backtracked on the immediate banning of Huawei – allowing the company to access the Android operating system from Google until August 19 – after US technology stocks tanked. Once this grace period is over, however, new Huawei smartphones will not have access to Android’s app store or operating system, or popular Google apps like YouTube, Google Maps and Chrome.