When Google announced its new interface movements in Android Q, I got a sense of déjà vu because I had already seen them in Huawei & # 39; s EMUI. And when Google openly revealed the back of the upcoming Pixel 4 phone last night, I was reminded again of a Huawei product, this time the Mate 20 Pro last year, with the same square camera module filled with lenses. If I combine the two together, I cannot help but feel that the things that Google is cooking for us at the end of 2019 will be a renewal of what Huawei has delivered a year earlier. That's not a knock on Google, but a sense of appreciation for how far ahead Huawei has been.
China & # 39; s leading smartphone maker may not always get it right, and it's currently trapped in a nasty cross-over in the trade war, but it happens to be one of the most aggressively groundbreaking tech companies we have now.
Huawei took more than a few risks with the Mate 20 Pro. The company bets correctly that people would like it with the large rear camera module, and most have considered it a feature that adds character rather than an ugly eyesore. Huawei also launched its 7nm Kirin 980 processor on that phone, which has been a success in subsequent Huawei and Honor devices, and remained perfectly competitive with the Qualcomm Snapdragon flagship 2019. Then there are the other firsts for Huawei handsets, such as the fingerprint sensor on the screen, the curved edges and the Face ID function for unlocking facial expressions.
Far away from a physical home button, Huawei adjusted its EMUI interface to accept gestures. The Mate 20 Pro has the generic swipe up from the bottom to go to the home screen or enter multitasking, but it also accepts a swipe from both sides of the screen as a replacement for pressing the Bounce button. Long after I finished my review of the Mate 20 Pro, I instinctively reached for that & # 39; back & # 39; gesture on other Android phones. It is not necessarily intuitive, but once you get used to it, it feels like the most natural action.
Three of the great new features of Google with the Pixel 4 are already present in the Mate 20 Pro: Android Q adds a very similar sideways swipe gesture, the Pixel 4 has a similar square camera recess full of many sensors, and rumors point out Google is working on a similar unlocking technology.
Do I mean that Huawei invented all this and just copy Google? Not at all. Huawei has a glorious history of preventively copying upcoming functions from other leading smartphone designers – especially with the Mate S in 2015, which complemented Force Touch before the iPhone (and before anyone at Huawei had any idea what to do with the tech ). There is a chance that Huawei may already have been aware of the upcoming Android Q gestures last year, and it has perhaps also caught the breath of the expected square camera module of the next iPhone, resulting in the design choices it made in the Mate 20 Pro. That is a cynical experience, but it is possible.
But most importantly, Huawei had a chance on a lot of that technology before anyone else did. To a certain extent, Google is Huawei & # 39; s jacket tails about these flagship functions. Both Google and Apple are expected to have a solid square camera array, and both already have market data on how the general consumer will respond before launching their products. Google & # 39; s Android Q movements will also have benefited from an open beta test of something very similar to them in Huawei & # 39; s EMUI. Both Google and Huawei have spoken enthusiastically about their mutually beneficial collaboration around Android.
I find the prospect of a Mate 20 Pro from Google super exciting, and I have two reasons why. First, Huawei's original phone is still one of the best Android devices on the market, but its appeal is only marred by the inclusion of Huawei on a US black list that threatens access to future Android updates. Secondly, I just trust Google to do it all better. Huawei has proven itself to be the fearless pioneer looking for risky risky technical bets, while Google has consistently deterred from the very latest with its Pixel devices.
Ok, so maybe I have another reason: Google & # 39; s fat unveiling of the Pixel 4 four months before launch is a sign of confidence. Company says it straight forward: "Wait until you see what it can do." With that move, Google immediately took over the leak story and the expected expectations for the performance, not just the looks, of the next device. I fully expect the company to stop peeing with the paltry 4GB RAM of its 2018 device, destroy the awful Pixel 3 XL notch and any lingering doubts (usually caused by Huawei) about whether it has the best smartphone camera has to be eliminated.
For anyone in the United States, where Huawei is not allowed to sell his phones, the promise of a device that matches the performance of the Mate 20 Pro, while being expanded with Google & # 39; s cleaner Android and longer update support, should be heavenly music.
The Pixel is about to add greater versatility to its superlative camera, whether the extra lens is super wide or telephoto, and Google is in a combative month before the phone is released. As someone who loved the Mate 20 Pro from Huawei, I can't wait to see how much better Google will do with the same basic formula.