Without Donald Trump, Huawei would probably have had a good chance of becoming the leading smartphone manufacturer in the world. But that will not work for now. The Chinese must refrain from subcontracting all American products due to sanctions imposed by the US Administration. These include not only chipsets from ARM, but also software from Google, Facebook and Co. Thus, even all smartphone flagships of the Chinese should be worthless overnight for the European clientele.
At this circumstance does not change the introduction of the new Huawei operating system “Ark OS” nothing, which is also based on the open-source Android operating system. Because important for smartphone users are primarily updates and the Google Apps including Play Store and of course the well-known social media and messaging services. For the customers, this is bad news at first, because the devices went in recent years, especially because of the good price-performance ratio very often on the (virtual) counters. Especially the devices of the second brand Honor, which were sold primarily via the online trade and thus partly even cheaper than the Huawei smartphones themselves were offered.
In no particular order, we list some alternatives to Huawei’s smartphones.
Although Huawei was quite convincing in terms of quality and price performance, even before the Trump administration’s Android ban, there were good reasons to avoid the Chinese manufacturer’s smartphones. A key reason for this was the user interface Emotion UI (EMUI). The individual adjustments made by the manufacturer led again and again to the fact that the Huawei and Honor devices received updates only late or not at all.
So, if you’re looking for an alternative vendor, you might want to consider a device from the Android One program or at least switch to a vendor that can provide system updates for as long as possible. The following manufacturers leave a positive impression in terms of quality, hardware, software and price in this regard.
The Finns had some time ago adopted Windows Mobile or Windows Phone and returned with many new devices. This time in cooperation with HMD Global pure Android feeling without adjustments and an update guarantee. For example, the somewhat older model Nokia 3, which was delivered with Android 7 Nougat in 2017, will receive an update to Android 9 Pie this month in Germany. That’s a decent performance for a device, which is now available for some 80 euros in the trade.
Incidentally, corresponding update guarantees are also available for all other new or future models from the manufacturer. In terms of workmanship and equipment, the Finns can keep up with Huawei, both in the lower and in the middle-class price segment.
The currently introduced entry-level device Nokia 2.2 is also worth a look, especially since this device is likely to be considered with regular updates.
Some time ago, Google had the smartphone business of Motorola to Chinese manufacturer Lenovo sold. Presumably one would have to be careful here as well because it is by no means certain that Donald Trump after ZTE and Huawei will not even take Lenovo into the hands of a third major Chinese manufacturer.
Nevertheless, Motorola is still characterized by an excellent price-performance ratio and has, in contrast to Huawei at least the advantage that there are quite fast Android updates. In addition, Lenovo also promises that it should stay with a pure Android without individual software adjustments. So, for example, if you decide to buy a current device from the G series, you should enjoy your smartphone even longer. However, if you want to ignore the background of current political uncertainties before buying a Chinese device, there are other alternatives.
By the way: The Motorola G7 Power with its 5000 mAh strong battery leads our top 10 of the smartphones with the best battery performance in 2019.
Also interesting is the presented in May Motorola One Vision with 21: 9 display and punch hole. Details for an under-300 smartphone to check out a detailed review.
BQ from Spain is one of the few European manufacturers that combine good hardware and software at attractive prices. In particular, the Aquaris series, such as the good one-year-old BQ Aquaris X2 Pro, performs comparatively well and there are also regular updates, as BQ and Nokia participate in the Android One program.
The devices are always cheap to get promotions or with discounts and coupon codes in relevant online stores. Like the aforementioned manufacturers, BQ dispenses with major individual adaptations to Android except for a few own apps, which is why familiar user experience is guaranteed here as well.
BQ is particularly interesting in the area of low and mid-range smartphones. Another big advantage is that BQ has a comparatively good customer service despite some favorable prices.
Beware of Amazon!
Alleged bargains appear again and again, for example on Amazon. Of the China smartphones but you should also leave aside Huawei as far as possible fingers. Many devices, such as those from manufacturers such as Blackview or Ulefone, often contain bloatware or, worse, a backdoor (vulnerability).
In addition, there are often cases in which the batteries start to burn or otherwise inferior hardware was installed. Not to mention a lack of security or system updates. With smartphones, it pays to invest one or two euros more, in any case, especially since the corresponding devices are used every day and thus also security-relevant data is transmitted or stored.
The Huawei P30 Pro is the current flagship of the Chinese manufacturer. Users looking for an alternative in the high-end segment can look at the Samsung Galaxy S10 +, which has already fallen considerably in price. The upper-range smartphone, we also have the OnePlus 7 Pro with pop-up camera compared.