How to use a smartphone without Google services (for example, Huawei P40 lite E)

Since the fateful decision of US President Donald trump about the bath of American services for the company

Huawei has already passed more than 10 months. During this time, the company in various ways maintained a market presence. Including released new models with certification of last year's devices, which allowed her to maintain a presence on the shelves and sales, while developing services for developers (Huawei Mobile Services or HMS) and filling the application store. But day X has arrived. Although the U.S. government is still playing the nerve by delaying the start of the sanctions, Huawei has already launched the first models without GMS (Google Mobile Services). They will be sold in Ukraine. In the hands of the publisher gg turned out to be the first two such models, Huawei P40 lite and Huawei P40 lite E. Using the example of the younger Huawei P40 lite E, we find out if there is life on an Android smartphone without Google.

Instead of the foreword

Huawei P40 lite E is the first Android smartphone inmy hands without Google services. Prior to this, I had no such experience. Therefore, I was especially interested to see how the corporation of good penetrated my life.

I use many Google services. I log in to third-party applications using a Google account, I use Gmail as personal and work mail. Google Docs - for working on documents, as this allows you to always have the latest up-to-date version of the file handy and manage editing rights for different users. I keep notes on Google Keep. I use Chrome as the main and only browser with my Google account on several devices. Even on iOS, I feel a little uncomfortable. It’s hard to find a more Google-addicted person than me, and the more interesting this experiment is for me.

But if you find even more google addictedit will be difficult for a person, then with a reverse degree of involvement everything is different. Although in Ukraine Google is a favorite search engine and, in general, the popularity of corporate services in our country is quite high compared to its neighbors, I’m sure that the average Ukrainian has less dependence. Many people use the same Facebook for authorization on third-party services, do not bother with the choice of a browser on a smartphone, and are generally more tolerant of everything new, which does not require active and complex assimilation. Therefore, in this case, I will act as a kind of extreme user.

What is able AG-smartphone Huawei

AG stands for AppGallery, a proprietaryHuawei app store, which for some time are preinstalled on all smartphones of the company. From the box, the user receives a device that already has all the basic functions of a smartphone - mail, browser, application store, organizer (alarm clock, calculator, calendar, recorder, notes, file manager, etc.). There are also standard things like a music and video player, FM radio, weather, a compass, a news section (from Microsoft) and a Microsoft Office application. That is, the owner of the smartphone will not just not be left without Google Docs, but will receive the best solution on the market at the moment.

To download applications from the store and accessAll Huawei services need HuaweiID. Surely, those who previously used the brand's smartphones already have it, so it will be enough to log in. If not, registering it is simple, you need a mail or phone number. And it is better that, and that, double authorization is more secure, and Huawei insists that users protect their data. Then everything follows the same principle as in a smartphone with a Google account. HuaweiID will be a tool to enter many services and applications.

Gmail can be configured in the Email application. The interface and the principle of operation are slightly different, Gmail gestures are not supported, but in some ways it is even more convenient, a matter of habit.

There is a section with topics. In general, everyone has it. The themes are the same as in previous brand smartphones.

The browser is very beautiful visually, it's the sameminimalistic design as in Chrome. In it, you can log in with your Google account to access some services (we’ll talk more about this later). But there is one inconvenience. If you use Chrome or something else on your laptop, there will be no synchronization between browsers. This complicates the work with search history and bookmarks. On the other hand, among my friends there are many people who are unhappy that Google is actively collecting their personal information and would like to at least not share data from a smartphone. For such people, the Huawei browser is a clean plus.

Finally, the cloud. Huawei has launched its own, so you can live without a Google drive. Buyers of the P40 lite line will receive standard 5 GB for free and another 15 GB as a gift for a year.

What applications are in the AppGallery and what is the service

Huawei is actively working on store developmentapplications are already much more than six months. As of the end of last year, according to Huawei, about 80% of users' content needs were closed in AppGallery. For example, there are applications of all major banks and financial services (Privatbank, monobank, Portmone), video services (Megogo, Divan.TV, Oll.TV), New mail, trading floors (OLX, Prom, Rozetka, Kasta, Shafa, Pokupon, Comfi, Metro, Citrus), all three mobile operators, the Camera of Ukraine application, Kabanchik and much more. Unfortunately, there is no place where it would be possible to see local applications, because in the same section "Food", the further you go, the more Chinese services in Chinese. When you turn it on for the first time, AppGallery offers to download some applications (are you chosen by popularity?), And the selection, in my opinion, is strange.

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Of course, there are not many Ukrainian services either. These are travel applications such as Booking, Ryanair, Alibaba Travel, etc. But it is the Chinese (maybe other Asian) travel services here that the overwhelming majority. There are alternative browsers (Opera, etc.), Chinese services (TikTok, Aliexpress, etc.), applications Zara, Amazon. The sections with games and applications for children are simply bottomless. The sections “Business”, “Cars” and others are also immense. Among the applications, there are many familiar faces on Google Play, but I have not used much of this. It’s sad except in the “Communication” section, because most of the services familiar to Ukrainians have American roots.

Several times when entering the store, the applicationshowed ads of some games and services. This, of course, is a minus compared to Google Play. Huawei has promised to support developers, giving them opportunities for advancement. Obviously, this is one of such opportunities, but on the part of the user it is perceived differently as an attempt to earn extra money on it. For myself, I have not seen relevant ads for the entire time using AppGallery.

Another nuance that I did not really likespecifically here, this is the lack of tips with similar applications. For example, if I would like for me to put a selection of similar Ukrainian applications when I put out the “Rosette”. Following Booking - mixed in other large international services, but not local or Asian, which for me are not relevant. But alternatives are easier to find manually or in the appropriate section.

What is missing in smartphones without GMS

For me, a smartphone is at least 50% workinga tool with which I can do something important on the road or in other places when the laptop is not at hand. Of the usual services for me to work or for life, or simply relevant now, I did not find the following in AppGallery:

  • Slack
  • Trello
  • Whatsapp
  • Pocket
  • Skype
  • Uklon
  • Prometheus
  • Fatsecret
  • Dropbox
  • Raketa
  • Auchan
  • Glovo
  • Luxoptics

If in the list above you find something that is critical for you, then the next section of this text is for you.

Also, while there is a problem with streamingaudio services, of the popular found only Deezer. But recently in Europe launched a paid streaming service Huawei Music, in Ukraine it is not yet available. But most likely, it is a matter of time and copyright protection, since if competitors work, there is some demand for the service. In addition, in our country you can still listen to a free library of tracks.

With games, it seemed to me, the choice is also wrongrich, I'm not a gamer, I was looking for something old, which I played a few years ago (Angry Birds, Temple Run, Real Racing), not here. There are some alternatives. With toys like preference, bones, etc. also not a lot, I found checkers, but the programmer wrote them with crooked hands. But again, all your favorites can be found from other sources.

Not everything is simple with cards. The store has MapsMe, and at the HMS Core presentation, company representatives said they were working on maps. As far as one can judge from the Apple epic with its own cards several years ago, everything is not so simple and fast, but realizable. But MapsMe is quite popular.

In the near future we should expect the appearance of Uklon and monobank.

There are no contactless payments, but again inDecember, it was said that the process of launching Huawei Pay in Ukraine is underway, everything cannot be done at one time. On the other hand, judging by the fact that in the segment up to 7,000 hryvnias there are still many smartphones without NFC, contactless payments are not yet necessary for a certain category of users. Payments in applications are already implemented by Huawei tools.

Phone Clone, or how to put familiar applications on your Huawei smartphone if they are not in the AppGallery

Most likely, if you read this text, you havealready have a smartphone and you think about it. to buy a new Huawei device that no longer has Google services. So, you can transfer everything (well, almost everything, there will be exceptions, more about them later) to the new device using the Phone Clone application. It needs to be installed on the previous device, it will pull up music, contacts, applications and other content. In fact, everything, except, in fact, GMS, even Google Analytics suffered from me, though it didn’t work.

Now for smartphones without Google services Huaweiprovides special service support for installing applications for free. The store helps to set up HuaweiID and transfer data from an old smartphone using Phone Clone, help with installing what the user needs. If, for example, a smartphone is purchased online, all this can be done in one of the Huawei service centers within a year after purchase. But it is worth remembering that this service is provided only once for free.

Install apps using APK

Google consistently strives to weanusers to install applications using APK-files, appealing to the fact that such files are not protected from viruses and can harm the smartphone and user data. But if you recall how often viruses pop up on Google Play, then the argument does not look very convincing. Applications on Huawei smartphones are manually tested before they get into the AppGallery, I don’t know if this guarantees more security than Google Play verification, but at least it is not worse.

If some application is not in the AppGallery and withUsing Phone Clone, it didn’t get to the smartphone (for example, you found something new), then you can try installing using the good old APK-files. Huawei promises protection with built-in antivirus. But there is no better defense than your own mindfulness. Therefore, referring to this method, I recommend that you do not download files anywhere, look for them on the website of the desired service. Many give access to the boot file on their own resource. For example, you can download the APK file for Facebook from the official site at this link, and WhatsApp - at this.

Downloading from the Internet is at your own risk and fear,Often you can search for APKs on or Apkpure, these are more or less reliable sources and there is nothing there. There are no nuances with the installation - everything is just like on a regular Android-smartphone, which are Huawei smartphones. The APK-file for Instagram, for example, can be downloaded on Apkpure or use the quick-access web version via a shortcut on the smartphone’s desktop. Instagram recently introduced the Progressive Web App, the web version of the service can do the same thing as the application.

Fly in the ointment, or authorization using Google

In fact, in front of users of Huawei smartphonesthere is only one problem that seems unsolvable without GMS services. But it is significant - these are services where they are authorized using Google or directly Google services, such as documents, disk, notes, etc. After I installed all the missing applications on the smartphone using Phone Clone, I realized that in many I can not only log in, but even launch them. For example, I had to abandon the application Todoist, Fatsecret, and some others, because they refused to run on a smartphone without a GMS.

Again, there is a solution, there are four of them. The first is simple but crooked. This will launch everything familiar in the browser. The browser is visually and functionally very similar to Chrome, but this is Huawei's own development. In it, you can log in using your Google account in the desired service and continue to use it already in this form. Honestly, in the 21st century the idea is so-so. There is Todoist, and Youtube, and Gmail, and all the other joys of life.

The second - requires effort, but to continue to liveit will become easier, especially for those who are loyal to the brand and plan to buy Huawei smartphones in the future (I doubt that they will disappear somewhere without Google, Huawei has already done a great job and is unlikely to stop developing the alternative). This is to find a replacement for broken applications. Most likely it is at least there, as a maximum - more and more such applications will appear.

The third is the most troublesome for those who use the “you” technique. This is to find instructions on the Internet how to roll GMS and get the most ordinary Android smartphone.

The fourth one does not always work, but in many cases it is registration with the same mail through which authorization was used, and consolidation of accounts.

How a smartphone works without Google services

Google’s services on a smartphone are much morethan just a few applications or an authorization tool. Not without reason, in addition to AppGallery, Huawei has also invested in a set of tools for HMS Core developers. Let me remind you what is included in it. This is an account, a tool for authentication, push notifications, machine learning, cards, applications, wallet and other things. This means that theoretically possible differences in the operation of services, in practice, I did not notice them.

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The Huawei P40 lite E is a very budget smartphone. Its price at the start of sales is 4000 hryvnias. For this money, the user gets 4 GB of RAM, 64 GB of internal memory, a huge frameless screen with a flagship cut-out, a triple 48-megapixel camera, a face recognition system and a 4000 mAh battery. Considering the price, these are excellent features that will help many potential buyers turn a blind eye to the lack of GMS. The closest competitors with comparable characteristics are more expensive by an average of 1000 hryvnias and not all of them already have such a strong brand in the market as Huawei.

In fact, the amount of memory in this particular model isthis is the weakest link after the lack of GMS. With memory, an interesting thing is obtained. The interface works very smoothly, on ordinary Android with so many installed applications, some problems and lags would have already started. Probably, a huge number of background processes are running on Android with GMS and Google pulls information from a smartphone just without stopping. Otherwise, I don’t understand where the difference is.

The second point concerns the internal memory. The screenshot below also shows how much space applications and files occupy on the smartphone. For comparison, I give screenshots from the Huawei P40 lite E and my Android smartphone, which costs maybe 5-7 more applications, or maybe the same. The huge difference in resources is not in favor of a typical Android smartphone.

And this is a screenshot from my smartphone.

I did not notice any problems at workapplications, only what Google services for authorization crashed out, the rest works smoothly. I would like to look at the device in longer operation, but so far there is no such possibility.

With such a difference in performance, I expectedmiracles from the battery, but there were none. The battery discharges at the same speed as it was in Huawei GMS-smartphones with the same hardware. In particular, one and a half days of work can be expected from this model.

I read on the Internet a couple of months ago thatsmartphones without GMS have navigation problems, accuracy is lower than on models with Google services. Unfortunately, due to the quarantine situation, it was not possible to test it well, but at first glance several routes in MapsMe did not find any problems. Either fixed, or they were not there, or they are small, or I'm not demanding enough.

Perhaps from all kinds of bugs (and I reallysearched) noticed only one. After installation, the Asphalt game crashed several times. Probably the same Google services are to blame. In the end, on the third attempt, it started and offered to log in using HuaweiID. Of course, we must remember that all the account information that was available through Google in the application on the AG-smartphone will not fit. Will have to drive again.

Photoshop also swore for the first time, but in the end it started, allowed to log in using an Adobe account and worked perfectly on a budget smartphone with such modest resources.

In the dry residue

I think Huawei is not in vain released in UkrainianThe market is the first AG-model of smartphones in the low and middle price segment, but in the P-series, which attracts with its appearance and name. The price is a very cool argument, and the lower the segment, the more important the iron is in front of the software, and a well-known brand with good characteristics is a deadly argument. Thanks to the service for preinstalling the applications necessary for the user, the company removes the headache from the vast majority of customers. In return, they get really fast devices with good cameras and features for their money. You can find a replacement for Google services, and I'm not sure that most users in our country will feel uncomfortable because of this. The only ones for whom switching to Huawei services will become a problem are users who are used to logging in to applications using a Google account. But it is solvable. In addition, there are minor difficulties only at the very beginning of use, they can be solved. At the same time, the savings when buying an AG-smartphone can pay for it.