This May Be the First 'Android' Phone Without Google’s Android

(Image credit: Huawei)

After vehemently denying that it won’t use its own OS in a consumer product, reports indicate that Huawei will use the new Harmony OS in the Huawei Mate 30 Lite. 

The custom Android-but-not-Android operating system that will in theory replace Google’s OS in the event that the distribution license for Android gets denied by the U.S. government.

The report comes from Slashleaks contributor Teme, who has dropped the list of all of Huawei's upcoming flagships as well as their operating systems. Launching in mid-September, he claims, the Mate 30 and Mate 30 Pro will run Android 10 with the usual Huawei’s EMUI 10 facelift. 

But there will also be a Mate 30 Lite, equipped with the quadruple sensor camera setup and 6.26-inch display with a punch-hole selfie camera. This model will also run Android 10 and EMUI 10 in its international version. In China, however, it will reportedly run Harmony OS aka HongMeng OS.

In the past, rumormongers claimed that Harmony OS was based on Android and would run Android applications, something that other companies like Microsoft have unsuccessfully tried to do in the past. However, the company hasn’t mentioned this feature at the Huawei Developer Conference 2019 that started today. No major third-party app developer support has been announced yet.

(Image credit: Gizmochina)

Huawei claimed its new OS has cryptography and privacy measures built-in deep into its heart (no word of Chinese government backdoors like the US government wants to install in all American apps and phones). The company also boasted that the microkernel-based distributed OS runs 60 percent faster than Google’s Android, but we will wait and see how it actually runs.

According to Huawei, Harmony OS will run across all its devices, from Internet-of-Things devices to smartwatches to candybar phones to foldables. This is a Holy Grail that Google has been chasing for a long time as part of its Fuschia OS initiative.

What’s in the Huawei Mate 30 Lite?

According to Gizmochina, the Mate 30 Lite will use a 48-megapixel primary sensor, with 8-MP sensor for the Ultra-wide lens, and two 2-MP sensors, one presumably for the telephoto lens. We can only speculate what the second sensor is for, but judging by the company’s past history, it will likely be a monochrome sensor designed to increase night photography performance.

The Mate 30 Lite will be equipped with a Kirin 810 octa-core processor, 6MB/8GB of RAM and 128GB/256GB storage depending on the model, munching on a fairly large 3,900mAh battery.

Jesus Diaz

Jesus Diaz founded the new Sploid for Gawker Media after seven years working at Gizmodo, where he helmed the lost-in-a-bar iPhone 4 story and wrote old angry man rants, among other things. He's a creative director, screenwriter, and producer at The Magic Sauce, and currently writes for Fast Company and Tom's Guide.