Finder's team looked into more than a dozen of Huawei's most recently released devices and selected these top picks based on customer reviews left around the web. We checked out each phone's key features and specifications to determine which would be most suitable for every category.
While it might not be the newest Huawei phone on the block, the P30 Pro brings by far the most to the table in terms of features and the overall Android experience. With an impressive batch of cameras, plenty of performance and a great design, the device is the best overall Huawei phone money can buy.
The P30 Pro edges out its newer and more advanced counterparts thanks to Google Mobile Services, something you won't find on Huawei's new handsets. Not only do you get all of Google's core apps like Gmail and Google Maps, but you also get the freedom to download millions of programs straight from the Play Store without any messing around.
Huawei is world-renowned for its phenomenal smartphone cameras, and the P30 Pro still performs well against the latest smartphones. The detailed 40MP wide-angle camera stands out from the rest, but there's also an ultra-wide-angle and telephoto lens there. There's even 50x zoom for long-distance shots and a Time-of-Flight camera that helps add depth to photos.
In 2021, the P30 Pro is by no means a perfect phone. For starters, it's running on technology that's more than two years old. While it was up there at the time, the Kirin 980 processor pales in comparison to the flagship chips of today, and its screen has a refresh rate of just 60Hz, so you miss out on those smooth animations. It's hardly going to be "future-proof", especially when you consider it lacks support for 5G networks, too.
Buyers are pretty big fans of Huawei's P30 Pro, with the handset earning a 4.7 out of 5 star rating from more than 3,000 reviews on Google. Alongside the budget-friendly Y9 Prime (2019), that makes the ageing flagship the most highly rated device on this list. Generally, customers were big fans of the phone's responsiveness and loved the screen's quality and size. Most of the complaints about the device centred on Huawei's preinstalled software and interface.
If you're interested in the P30 Pro, you can read our full review of the impressive last-generation phone.
As Huawei's newest flagship smartphone, the Mate 40 Pro packs some pretty impressive tech into its large chassis. With some of the best-performing hardware on the market and incredible cameras, the Mate 40 Pro is the best new Huawei phone you can buy.
The Mate 40 Pro stands out thanks to its three impressive rear cameras. There's a sharp 50MP main camera, a 20MP ultra-wide shooter and a telephoto camera with 5x optical zoom and up to 50x digital zoom. Video hasn't been neglected, with a range of features designed to keep it stable and in focus.
Some manufacturers do their best to slim down or hide the camera bump that's typically visible on most modern smartphones. Huawei decided to be unique and did none of that, instead opting to slap the giant ring right in the middle of the device. Thankfully, the setup will protect the camera's lenses, but it'll stick out and lift the phone on a table.
Huawei equipped the Mate 40 Pro with its Kirin 9000 processor, giving it plenty of performance for everything from everyday browsing to heavy multitasking and gaming. It also means the handset supports 5G networks right out of the box.
There's no doubt that the P40 Pro is one of the most impressive smartphones on the market in terms of hardware. Unfortunately, it's seriously held back by what's missing in the software department. Unlike the P30 Pro, the Mate 40 Pro lacks access to Google apps and services, including essential apps like the Play Store. Instead, you've only got Huawei's lacklustre AppGallery at your disposal, which has nowhere near as many apps as Google Play. There are some workarounds, but they require a lot more hassle and are nowhere near as simple as clicking "install".
The vast majority of people who ended up buying a Mate 40 Pro loved their device, with it earning a 4.6 out of 5 rating from more than 50 reviews on Google. Users were enamoured with the phone's overall design and the capabilities of that massive camera unit but weren't quite so in love with the lack of apps offered by the AppGallery.
Huawei's P series of phones have always been some of the best that the company makes, and this is no different. With a sleek design, plenty of performance and support for 5G mobile networks, the P40 Pro is the runner-up best Huawei phone money can buy.
Huawei designed the P40 Pro to look and feel remarkable, with a curved display meant to make the screen look more immersive, and a stylish, refractive matte rear. There are very few distractions on the handset's exterior, except for some Huawei branding, the camera bump and the selfie camera cut-out on the front.
The P40 Pro differs from its older sibling and best overall Huawei phone, the P30 Pro, as it offers support for super-fast 5G mobile networks. While the availability of 5G in Australia is a little limited right now, having a P40 Pro means you can use the technology once it becomes available.
The P40 Pro comes with 256GB of onboard storage, but if that's not enough, you've got the option of adding some external storage. Unfortunately, the handset doesn't use the widely accepted MicroSD card format, and instead uses Huawei's NanoMemory standard. While NanoMemory is smaller, it's also significantly more expensive than MicroSD.
Like every other Huawei phone released within the last year or so, you won't find any mention of the Google Play Store or other Google apps on the P40 Pro. Huawei has replaced what's missing with its in-house services and the Huawei AppGallery, but it pales in comparison to the features and app selection found on phones with Google Mobile Services.
Huawei's P40 Pro earned a rating of 4.2 out of 5 from more than 900 reviews on Google. Buyers were happy with the phone's build quality and premium feel, and were pleased with its photo and video quality. Many weren't as impressed with the phone's lack of Google Mobile Services and suggested that even though some workarounds exist, they can be more of a hassle than anything else. Some also mentioned that Wi-Fi connectivity could be a bit patchy.
If the P40 Pro piques your interest, you can get a better idea of what the phone's like to use and how it performs by reading our full review.
Huawei only makes a few phones that fall into the mid-range category, with the company focusing on budget and high-end devices for the most part. Still, it proved it's able to make a phenomenal mid-range phone with the Nova 5T, which includes an incredible camera setup and is a great performer.
At this mid-range price point, the Nova 5T packs in some serious performance. The Kirin 980 processor is the same as the one found on the P30 Pro, which was a top-of-the-line handset just two years ago. While that tech has aged since then, it's still plenty powerful and will hold up against almost everything you could throw at it.
The Nova 5T has a seriously impressive camera array, with four rear cameras for everything from super-wide-angle shots to macro photography. One of those cameras is a depth-sensing camera, so your shots get that little bit of extra detail. The selfie camera is also impressive, boasting a 32MP sensor.
The Nova 5T gets let down by its screen, which is just a basic LCD panel rather than the prettier AMOLED panels seen on many other mid-range Android phones. Its FHD+ resolution is what you'd expect, but not anything to write home about, and it runs at a refresh rate of just 60Hz. The screen isn't the only place Huawei cut corners, with nothing that makes the handset stand out from the crowd. There's no wireless charging, it lacks expandable storage and you won't find a water resistance rating on it either. Fortunately, for $699, it's still relatively good value, and sales make it even better.
The Nova 5T is one of Huawei's most-liked devices, boasting a 4.6 out of 5 rating from more than 500 reviews on Google. Buyers were impressed with the phone's camera, battery life and performance, particularly given the phone's price point. Many reviews mentioned how great the side-mounted fingerprint reader was, too. There wasn't much negative to say about the Nova 5T, except maybe for the lack of expandable storage.
Huawei makes devices that fall on all ends of the price spectrum, but there's just one standout for those on a tight budget. The Y9 Prime might be starting to show its age, but with decent specs that put it ahead of the latest batch of entry-level handsets from the manufacturer, it's the best budget Huawei phone you can still get.
On the back of the Y9 Prime (2019), you'll find a triple camera setup capable of capturing some pretty impressive shots for the price. There's a 16MP primary shooter on top of an 8MP ultrawide and 2MP depth-sensing camera. That depth-sensing camera isn't actually for taking photos, though. It works alongside the other cameras and Huawei's image processing algorithms to add a bit of charm to the other images the phone takes. There's also a pop-up selfie camera, which you don't find on many devices these days.
The phone also boasts a decently sized 4,000mAh battery, which is quite a lot considering the lower-power hardware on the handset. In our review, we found that getting the phone to last through the entire day wasn't a challenge, probably thanks in part to Huawei's battery management algorithms.
The Y9 Prime is one of the oldest phones Huawei still sells, having released in mid-2019. The hardware inside this thing will be more than two years old by the time it's in your hands, which is a long time for entry-level hardware. On the plus side, its age means you can enjoy the delights of Google Mobile Services, so at least you won't have a hard time installing apps.
The Y9 Prime (2019) isn't the sturdiest phone in existence, with no water resistance rating to speak of and no special protective glass. It's also got a pop-up selfie camera, which is well-designed and built to withstand drops and pressure, but it's never going to stand up to rough treatment quite as well as a standard under-display camera as you find on most phones.
Tied with the P30 Pro for the highest-rated Huawei phone on this list, the Y9 Prime (2019) earned itself a 4.7 out of 5 rating from more than 700 reviews on Google. Buyers were impressed with the handset's battery life and couldn't fault the camera given the phone's price. Some users were disappointed by the lack of NFC (which means you can't make mobile payments) and fast charging.
Like many device manufacturers, Huawei makes massive phones. The Y5p, though, is a step in the other direction with a screen that's just 5.45 inches across. Thanks to its much smaller display than most handsets and its slim form factor, the Y5p is the best compact Huawei phone you can buy.
The budget-friendly Y5p is very light and doesn't take up much room either. It weighs just 144 grams and has a much smaller screen than most phones on the market today at 5.45 inches. The Y5p isn't just the smallest phone in Huawei's lineup, it's also the cheapest. Buying one of these new at its retail price will set you back $169, and with sales and discounts dropping it below $150 at times, it's one of the most affordable handsets you could buy.
As a cheap phone, you'd expect Huawei to have cut some corners, and to no one's surprise, that's exactly what the company has done. The Mediatek processor is incredibly weak and will probably show signs of struggle as soon as you start to do anything other than browsing. Complementing the poor processor is just 2GB of RAM onboard, limiting the phone's multitasking potential even further. You've also only got 32GB of storage to play with, although there's space for a MicroSD card if you're in need of a little extra room. That 2,920mAh battery is pretty small too, but it probably won't make too much of a difference with entry-level components like these.
Unlike Huawei, the single rear camera on the Y5p is disappointing. While it is the manufacturer's entry-level handset, the 8MP sensor produces some of the least impressive photos you can find from a Huawei phone today.
It's also important to note that since the Y5p is a new device, it doesn't come with Google Mobile Services so you won't get access to the Play Store.
The Y5p has a 3.8 out of 5 rating on Google from more than 250 reviews, with customers praising the device for its design, battery life and camera quality. The bulk of the complaints for the device come from the lack of Google Mobile Services and how that can make getting apps difficult.
It's not often that you see a folding phone out in the wild, but Huawei couldn't let Samsung take all the glory. Refined from the previous generation model, the Mate Xs comes with a tablet-sized 8-inch display and high-end components, making it the best folding Huawei phone money can buy.
The main selling point of a phone like this is its folding screen, which has been improved since last generation to make it more durable. The phone's folding mechanism is a bit different from others, with the screen wrapping around the back of the device when it's all tucked away. This differs from Samsung's Z Fold2, which has entirely separate screens for the folded and unfolded modes. The plastic display measures up at 6.6 inches while folded and expands to become an 8-inch behemoth. At that size, it's closer to being a tablet than anything else.
Driving that massive screen is Huawei's Kirin 990 5G SoC. It's a pretty powerful processor, so the handset performs just about as well as any other flagship smartphone on the market today.
There's a hidden cost of the massive displays: it's a seriously hefty phone. The Mate Xs hits the scales at around 300 grams, which is almost double that of the iPhone 12, and is still about 100 grams heavier than most of Huawei's other top-of-the-line handsets.
Even though the majority of people would stick to regular smartphones anyway, the price of the Mate Xs is enough to scare people away from the technology. The giant folding phone will set you back $3,999, which is in no way justified. It's incredibly hard to justify the cost of Samsung's Galaxy Z Fold2, but even that is still a whopping $1,500 cheaper than this. The Z Fold2 also has the enormous benefit of coming with Google Mobile Services, too. The Mate Xs, like other recent Huawei phones, does not. So while the Mate Xs might be an engineering marvel, its price and shortcomings make it one of the worst-value-for-money phones on the market.
The Mate Xs scored poorly in our review, primarily because of its exorbitantly high price, screen and lack of app availability. If this sort of bleeding-edge tech is up your alley, you'll probably want to do a little more research and make sure you're sure of your purchase before you take the $3,999 plunge and buy it.
Huawei has a reputation for putting a lot of effort into the cameras on its phones, with even budget handsets packing quite impressive sensors. With three standout Leica cameras capable of capturing clear photos, the Mate 40 Pro is the best Huawei camera phone you can buy.
There is tons of camera hardware and software baked into the Mate 40 Pro, making it an absolute mobile photography powerhouse. The primary shooter is a 50MP camera that can produce super clear shots. It's followed by a 20MP ultra-wide and a 12MP telephoto camera. That telephoto camera can zoom into objects far away with 5x optical and 50x digital zoom. When it comes to video, there's support for shooting in HDR for those vibrant colours, and built-in stabilisation and autofocus helps keep videos looking smooth. There's also a great 13MP front-facing camera for all of your selfie-taking needs.
The Mate 40 Pro does almost everything well, but its screen is a little underwhelming for such a premium device. The handset has a great-looking OLED panel that runs at 90Hz, but it gets eclipsed by the higher-resolution, higher refresh rate Dynamic AMOLED 2X panel on the cheaper Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra.
Like many of Huawei's phones, you won't be downloading your favourite apps from the Google Play Store on the Mate 40 Pro. Due to restrictions, none of Google's apps come pre-installed on the device, and you have to use fiddly processes to get your necessary apps running. Some apps might refuse to run at all. If you're paying $1,999 for a phone, you probably don't want to fight with it to make it work.
The Mate 40 Pro earned a 4.6 out of 5 rating from over 50 reviews on Google, with customers praising the device's camera for both its photo and video quality. Users loved the phone's screen, performance and overall design but were limited by Huawei's AppGallery.
What to consider when buying a Huawei phone
Google Mobile Services
None of Huawei's newly released handsets come with Google Mobile Services, which includes vital apps like the Play Store, due to restrictions placed on the Chinese manufacturer that effectively ban US companies from working with it without approval.
Unfortunately, these restrictions mean that Huawei's newest handsets, like the Mate 40 Pro and P40 Pro, are relegated to using the company's in-house AppGallery instead of the Google Play Store. While that doesn't make using these phones impossible, it's not by any means a complete Android experience. It's a whole lot more fiddly, challenging and less convenient than just buying yourself a phone that isn't restricted. Given some of Huawei's phones cost upwards of $1,000, it's hard to recommend buying them unless you're committed to the ecosystem.
Some of Huawei's older phones, like the P30 Pro, still have Google Mobile Services. So on those handsets, you're free to install as many apps from Google Play as you like.
Huawei's devices come with storage capacities between 32GB on the low end with the Y5p to 512GB on the high end with the Mate Xs. In reality, most of its devices fit somewhere in between, with 128GB and 256GB devices being the most common among the company's lineup.
The story gets a little more complicated when you look at expandable storage on Huawei phones. The company uses its much smaller NanoMemory storage rather than MicroSD, which helps to reduce the amount of space needed for more storage. While that helps Huawei's designers, it's not exactly helpful for consumers who might have to shell out more cash for a less common and more expensive product.
Big screens have played a prominent role in Huawei's smartphones. Most of its modern handsets feature displays in the 6-inch range, making them great for watching videos or navigating websites but may be slightly cumbersome for those with tight pockets or small hands. If you fall into the latter category, you might want to consider an older or more budget-friendly Huawei handset since their screens tend to be a more manageable 5 inches in size.
Huawei has both ends of the smartphone market covered, offering high-end handsets at the $1,000 price point as well as a range of more budget-friendly phones with pared-down feature sets and performance. Unfortunately, most Australian mobile providers don't offer mobile plans for Huawei phones.
Like most other mobile manufacturers these days, Huawei's phones come with USB-C ports that handle the phone's charging and data transfer capabilities. On most of these devices, the USB-C port also acts as a headphone jack as the dedicated 3.5mm jack continues to fade out of use. You'll only find a 3.5mm headphone jack on a couple of the company's budget-friendly offerings. The models that still include the beloved port are the Nova 7i, Y9p, Y5p and Y9 Prime (2019).
We trust our smartphones with an incredible amount of personal information, and it's vital that this information is kept adequately secure from those who would use it against us. Since they're powered by the Android operating system, Huawei's handsets come with quite a few security features baked in, plus the latest models include a fingerprint sensor and a facial-recognition system for preventing anyone other than you from unlocking them.
Huawei is well-known for serving up some of the best cameras you can find on a smartphone, and it doesn't neglect its less expensive models either. There's an incredible amount of tech in the huge camera modules that you'll find on the back of the company's flagship phones, including telephoto lenses capable of up to 50 times digital zoom, ultra-slow-motion video and sensors that can capture 50MP of detail.
Selfie camera quality
There's no doubt that Huawei impresses with its main shooters, but it doesn't miss a beat with its selfie cameras either. Even on its relatively budget devices, the company puts plenty of effort into the front-facing camera. The Y9 Prime has a motorised selfie camera that pops up when it's ready to be used, and that's a sub-$300 phone. But its top-of-the-line devices have tons of selfie cam features baked in, such as 4K video and slow-motion video, as well as intelligent sensing that switches to an ultra-wide mode when taking selfies as a group.
Network speed and support
Huawei has started to bring 5G to its newest devices as a standard feature, with the P40, Mate Xs and Mate 40 Pro sporting support for the speedy network. Unfortunately, since 5G is only on Huawei's newest phones, you'll have to choose between having the fastest download speeds or access to Google's apps and services. You'll also have trouble buying a Huawei handset from a network since no major carrier stocks the company's devices.
Fast charging/wireless charging
Huawei's SuperCharge technology allows users to charge up their phones rapidly, with the flagship Mate 40 Pro capable of drawing up to 66W from the wall compared to the 40W from last generation. SuperCharge technology is available on just a few of Huawei's devices, such as the Mate Xs, Nova 7i and P40 Pro.
It took Huawei a while to hop on the wireless charging bandwagon, but now it's onboard, it's pushing the technology to new heights. The company has started including super-fast wireless charging on its top-of-the-line phones, with the Mate 40 Pro being capable of charging at up to 50W wirelessly, a massive jump over the capabilities of other wireless charging phones like the Samsung Galaxy S21 and Apple iPhone 12.
If you're tired of having to charge your phone one or more times a day, you're going to have a tough time finding a Huawei handset that won't leave you at least a little bit frustrated. Between the large displays and the snappy processors, most recent Huawei phones are limited to a single day of use at best before needing a recharge.
Many of Huawei's high-end devices, like the Mate 40 Pro and P40 Pro, boast impressive IP68 water and dust resistance ratings, allowing the device to be submerged at a depth of 1.5 metres for up to 30 minutes. Some of its less expensive devices, such as the standard P40, have lower IP53 ratings which only certify it to be resistant to dust and splashes in specific situations.
Unsurprisingly, the company's more budget-centric devices don't have any water resistance to speak of, and you definitely shouldn't trust the wildly expensive Mate Xs folding phone anywhere near water.
Huawei's phones are pretty quick, but they're not using the same processors as most of the Android market. For the most part, the company uses processors made by its subsidiary, HiSilicon. These Kirin-branded chips frequently trade blows with their Snapdragon and Samsung Exynos counterparts, so you're not all that disadvantaged just because it's not the same silicon as on other devices. Huawei uses slower Mediatek processors on some of its entry-level phones, something that's common at that price point.
Still, each phone performs slightly differently, so you should check out some real-world benchmarks like you can find in our reviews before making your decision.
1 Brands considered
13 Products compared
8 Best products chosen
We checked out all 13 of the phones that Huawei currents lists on its website to find out which are the best.
We chose these top picks based on our in-house reviews, reviews left by customers online and by looking at product specifications.
The products on this list are chosen by our editorial team and are not selected based on commercial relationships.
We checked out each device Huawei has on offer here in Australia to work out which are the best for you to get your hands on.
When making these picks, we carefully looked into all of the little details that can make a phone great. More specifically, we checked out the device's performance, cameras, compatibility with Google Mobile Services, build quality, design, battery life, screen size, display quality, network support and value for money.
After we wrapped up our extensive research of each product, and after reading hundreds of customer reviews (as of April 2021), we wound up with what we think are the 8 best Huawei phones currently on the market Down Under.
Jack Baker was a freelance content writer with Finder. Over his time, he worked across a wide range of niches including technology and gaming issues. Jack is keen on PC gaming hardware and peripherals and Android phones, and he's always hunting down the best deals. Before joining Finder, he was the Editor of Tech Snack Media Group, where he spent 2 years running the technology and gaming site. Jack is studying a Bachelor of Business/ Arts majoring in journalism and digital media.
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