So you’re looking to buy a new smartphone. And Huawei is on the list of brands you’re considering. That’s a good place start: Huawei has a great selection of high spec phones at competitive prices. But which model should you choose? What’s the best choice if you’re into photography? Or gaming? Or looking for that budget purchase? And how are all these phones affected by the US trade ban? Check out our Buyer’s Guide below to help you select the perfect Huawei phone for your needs.

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Top Huawei Smartphones Price List 2021

Top 10 products Price Store
Huawei nova 3i ₱ 9,990.00 Shopee
Huawei P30 lite ₱ 11,990.00 Lazada
Huawei Nova 5T ₱ 6,000.00 Shopee
Huawei P30 Pro ₱ 28,493.81 Shopee
Huawei Nova 7i ₱ 7,000.00 Shopee
Huawei nova 3i 128GB Black ₱ 13,556.00 Shopee
Huawei Y9 Prime 2019 ₱ 8,000.00 Shopee
Huawei Y9 (2019) ₱ 9,900.00 Shopee
Huawei P30 ₱ 19,464.00 Shopee
Huawei Mate 20 Pro ₱ 17,500.00 Shopee
Most Popular
Huawei nova 3i

Cheapest at Shopee ₱ 9,990.00 Go to Shop

How to choose the best Huawei Phone 

Huawei is one of the best phone brands. Known for their flagship P and Mate series, and for the mid-range Nova, a Huawei phone may just be your perfect day-to-day companion.

To help you navigate your purchase, we’ve organized our guide into four sections:

1. Is Huawei a good choice for a phone?

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Huawei is the world’s second-largest phone manufacturer. Since the release of their first phone in 2009, theyve built a reputation for creating extraordinary models which push the boundaries of smartphone technology.They changed the playing field back in 2016 when, in partnership with Leica, they introduced the Huawei P9, one of the first phones with a double-lens system. They followed this success with the introduction in 2018 of the P20 Pro with a triple-lens shooter. Multiple-lens cameras are now standard in the industry, with brands such Samsung and Apple adopting the same technology in their models.

Another reason Huawei phones are so popular is because of their quality and price point. Huawei has great flagship products which can go toe-to-toe with Apple and Samsung. But their strongest products, at least for Filipinos, have always been their mid-range phones. The Nova series, for example, is one of the most popular Huawei phones in the Philippines given its great specs and mid-range price.

2. What should you look for in a Huawei phone?

Your phone will be your companion for the next two to five years so it’s important to choose wisely. Youll need to find a phone which is suited to your phone requirements and habits. Here’s are some key specs you should look at when looking for smartphones:

Performance

At the top of the list of things you should consider when choosing a phone is the phone’s performance.

A phone’s performance is determined by three key things: 

  • Chipset is the “brain” in your device which handles all the programs on your phone. Phones are run on different platforms such as Qualcomm, MediaTek, or Apple Bionic. In the case of Huawei phones, they use HiSilicon processors, Huawei’s inhouse chipset. For HiSilicon processors, the rule of thumb is the higher the Chipset number, the more processing power you get.
  • CPU (central processing unit) is the main processor in your phone’s Chipset in-charge of running tasks. The CPU is divided to cores”, with each core capable of processing data. The higher the number of cores, the more processing units the CPU can simultaneously handle, the faster your phone can run Apps. For example, a quad-core processor, with four core, runs faster than a dual-core given twice the number of cores. Most smartphones today, including models in the budget category, are equipped with octa-core processors.
  • RAM (Random Access Memory) is the ability of your phone’s chipset to store temporary data from your apps so it can be quickly accessed by your phone’s CPU. As such, RAM determines how fast your phone can load and run apps, and the smoothness of the user interface. RAM is represented in gigabyte (GB), the higher the RAM, the better. To enjoy modern-day smartphone use, it is recommended you have at least 4GB RAM. 

Here’s is quick guide comparing flagship, mid-range, and budget performance specs:

Category

RAM

Huawei Hisilicon Chipset

Processors

Flagship

8GB and above

Kirin 980 and 9000

Octa-core

Mid-range

4GB-6GB

Kirin 800

Octa-core

Budget

2GB-4GB

Kirin 600 to 700

Octa-core

Camera 

Another factor you should consider when looking for a phone is its camera. A camera’s quality is measured in megapixels (or MP). The higher the MP, the more detailed the photo image the camera can capture.

n addition to the MP, you should also consider the number of lenses the phone has. Most Huawei phones see today have double- or triple-lens cameras. These extra lenses specialize in certain capture modes such as optical zoom or wide-angle. While the standard today is a triple-lens set-up, there are Huawei phones -- like the Nova 7i and P40 series – which have four lenses. If you are big on taking photos using your phone, we would recommend you get a phone that has at least three lenses. 

The final consideration when looking at the camera is the software the camera uses. Since modern smartphones have two or more lenses, the role of the software is to stitch the images captured by each lens into a single photograph. Camera AI also plays a role in recognizing objects in the shot which helps with background blur and beautify effects. If you’re choosing a phone with two or more lenses, make sure that the camera AI and software is well-optimized with the hardware. A sample or comparison shot will help you gauge how well the software processes images.

Battery life 

Battery life is determined by battery capacity and power usage.

Battery capacity is the amount of power your phone can hold. It is measured in milliampere-hour (or mAh). The higher the mAh, the more power the battery can hold. Ideally, you would want your battery to last the whole day in a single charge. The standard for many Android phones today should be no less than 2,500 mAh for budget smartphones. Flagships and gaming phones can go as high as 4,000mAh. But of course, your usage habits also impact battery life since majority of the phone’s power goes to the screen, GPS, and network connections. If you game a lot on your phone, you will need upwards of 3,000-3,500 mAh.

When considering the battery, you also need to consider charging. A phone which supports fast charge is always great to have. The average fast-charging standard today is 75% in 20 minutes and full charge in 30. A key indicator that a phone supports fast-charge is when it supports Type-C connection. Other battery features include wireless charging and reverse charging (which transforms your phone into a power bank, allowing you to charge other phones). These features are often reserved for flagship phones.

Screen

Screen size selection boils down to preference. Many people prefer smaller screens for one-handed use while others want a more phablet experience. Keep in mind, the bigger the screen, the bigger the phone, the more battery it uses. Most Android phones nowadays, including Huawei, have an average of 5.6-inch of screen. If you want your phone to look more premium, opt for a bezel-less screen or phones with 90% or higher screen-to-body ratio.

Another thing to note about a phone screen is its display type: AMOLED or LCD. The key difference between the screen technologies is how the light is generated on the screen. In LCD screens, a backlight is used to generate the brightness, with the light being shone through thin films and mirrors and to produce color. In AMOLED screens, each pixel has its own light source and therefore, able to display colors pixel by pixel.

When it comes to screen technology, there is no clear winner. But here’s a quick comparison of the two:

Screen type

Pros

Cons

AMOLED

  • Vivid colors which pop
  • Deep true blacks (pixel can switch off)
  • Energy efficient on dark mode themes
  • Flexible hardware
  • More expensive
  • Less durable
  • Pixels get burned over time

LCD

  • Bright whites thanks to LED backlights
  • Accurate real-life colors
  • Reliable and well-established technology
  • Great viewing angles
  • More affordable
  • Blacks not as deep
  • LCDs are not flexible
  • Makes smartphone thicker since needs backlight

Storage 

You will most likely want to store your photos, your videos, your contacts and load Apps onto your phone. The amount of storage your phone has will determine how much of this you can save. Data is measured in gigabytes (or GBs) the higher the GB, the more storage capacity. Modern phones today often have internal memory which is built-in within the phone. For budget-phones, they would typically come with 16GB memory. If you know you are going to be storing a lot of photos, videos, and use a lot of apps, you can go for higher 32GB or more.

Memory can sometimes be increased using an external memory card. Unfortunately, most of the newly released phones have non-expandable memory. This is because manufacturers are worried memory cards are not properly optimized for the phone and can cause the phone to lag.

Additional Phone features

Additional phone features should also be taken into consideration when looking for a phone. These are outside of the usual specs like camera or performance, but most modern smartphones today support some of these features:

  • Security Features help you keep data on your phone secure. There are two key technologies to look out for:
    • Face Recognition uses AI and infrared camera to scan your eye or facial features to create a pattern. The phone then allows you to unlock it using your retina or your face.
    • Fingerprint Recognition functions like Face Recognition but recognizes your fingerprint using either ultrasonic or optical sensors. You can normally register up to five fingers to unlock your phone.
  • IP Rating or Ingress Protection is a grading system designed to gauge how much resistance your device has against dust or water. Here’s a good article which explains about IP Rating system.
  • Ports are connection points to allow your phone to connect it to other devices. Three common ones to look out for are:

Port

Do you need this?

Headphone jack

  • Although less common now, 3.5mm headphone jacks are a plus for smartphones since they allow you to use a headphone or headset without Bluetooth.
  • Music-lovers and gamers appreciate an extra headphone jack since it allows for better quality audio and microphone connection.

Type-C Port

  • The standard when it comes to charging ports - support fast charge and fast transfer rates when you connect your phone to your PC or laptop.

MicroSD slots

  • MicroSD slots allow you to insert an SD card into your phone to expand its memory.
  • Since microSD slot was phased out, look for hybrid slots which convert your 2nd sim card slot into a MicroSD slot.
  • Gaming Buttons: Reserved mostly for gaming phones -- like the ones from Razer and ASUS ROG -- extra buttons on the side functions as trigger buttons that allow you to game seamlessly without using your screen.

With these factors, you should be able to determine which Huawei phone suits your needs. We suggest you make a checklist so that you can compare different models. Don’t forget to consider your smartphone habits, as well as specs and features, and most importantly, your budget!

3. What do I need to know about Huawei and Google?

The first question that comes to mind about Huawei phones is “can I still use Google services on the phone?”. Above is a video from Tech Guru Marques Brownlee explaining why Huawei was banned in the United States.

What is the Ban All About?

To provide some context, in May 2019, the US President issued an executive order banning use of telecommunications equipment from foreign firms deemed a national security risk. Whilst the order did not mention Huawei, the US Department of Commerce created an “Entity List” related to the order which does refer to Huawei.

The ban covers two areas: (1) US operators like T-mobile, Verizon, and AT&T are prohibited from buying networking equipment from Huawei; and, (2) an entity ban that covers Huawei suppliers like Windows, AMD, Intel, and Google. In addition to banning US companies from working with Huawei, the US government is also putting pressure on companies outside the US like Arm and TSMC to halt their business with Huawei.

Whilst the ban is in place, Windows, AMD, and Intel did secure special licenses allowing Huawei to continue manufacturing Huawei laptops running on Windows. As such, there is a lot of speculation that the US is focusing on Huawei’s: smartphones and networking business.

How will it affect Huawei phones?

The US ban means any phone released by Huawei after May 15, 2019 does not have access to Google Mobile Services (or GMS), and will not come with pre-installed Google apps like the Playstore, Youtube, or Maps. Since your new Huawei model will not have access to Google Play, Apps popular in the West (such as Facebook and Instagram) cannot be installed natively (using your phone’s pre-installed app store). Furthermore, Apps that rely on GMS (including Google location services, Safety Net for banking, and Firebase) cannot be run.

So, what if I have an existing Huawei phone? Thankfully, the ban only covers new devices and old phones would function as normal. It would still have access to Google Playstore and would still receive regular security updates.

Phones Affected by Ban

Phones Not Affect by Ban

P40 series,

Mate 30 Pro

Mate Xs

Matepad Pro

P20 / 30 series

Mate 10 / 20 series

P Smart series

The ban has had a bigger impact in the US than Asia given the Apps which are most often used. For example Grab is still supported on Huawei while Uber is no longer supported (given its use of GSM). As such, outside the US, Huawei continues to thrive despite not having GSM.

Even with the blacklist, can I still have Google on my Huawei phone?

But don’t worry. If you do need to access these services and you can find a way to install the apps, you should be able to run them smoothly. There are native solutions and there are also those that require a little bit of technical knowledge.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Option 1: Using the Huawei App Gallery / Browser

To make sure new Huawei phones remained desirable, Huawei developed the Huawei App Gallery. The Chinese tech giant has also invested $1 billion to enrich the selection of apps available. Microsoft Office suite, Amazon, Whatsapp, and Snapchat etc are already available for download within the Huawei App Gallery. You can also use it to download the email and calendar app available (if it’s not pre-installed) to access your Google mail and events. You can also use your phone’s browser to access Youtube and Google Drive, although it may not be as intuitive as if accessed via an app.

Option 2: Using a third-party app

If you really need to have all the software installed to your new Huawei phone, you can use third-party programs. The Phone Clone app allows you to copy all the app files from one phone to another. All you need to do is download the program on both phones and run it on both devices, then copy all the apps you need.

If you don’t have another phone to clone apps from, you can also use 3rd party software to install Google Play Store. These apps include APKMirror, APKPure, or Chat Partner. Install the app, (either sideloading or natively from the App Gallery, if available). As a reminder, sideloading apps does not void your phone’s warranty, changing the phone’s source code by rooting will. Run the 3rd party app and detect the device, tap on Repair now, then Activate. Finally, restart your phone and you should be able to see a Google Play Store on your phone.

4. What are the best Huawei smartphones in the Philippines today?

Despite the dispute with the US Government, Huawei phones retain a huge following around the world. With strong sales in countries like the Philippines, India, South Korea, Russia, Germany, and China, Huawei continues to develop new phones that can compete with big names in the smartphone industry. We have picked our favorite Huawei models based on expert reviews and specs.

Best Overall – Huawei P30 Pro

For the best overall Huawei phone we chose the Huawei P30 Pro.

Image courtesy of Huawei

Although the P30 Pro came out in 2019, it comes to no surprise this is at the top of the list of best Huawei phones today. The P30 Pro ticks all the boxes in terms of build, battery, prowess, camera, and price. The phone is an upgraded design of the P20 Pro but with all the best features of the Mate 20 Pro. It excels in design with the triple-color gradient and takes a lot from Samsung in terms of aesthetic. It features an IP68 rating which means it is water-resistant with expandable storage, and a responsive on-screen fingerprint scanner.

One thing to look out for with this phone is the EMUI skin (on top of the Android OS) needs more work. For example, settings are difficult to navigate and sometimes you need to push the home button twice to go back to the home screen. In addition, the speaker / microphone layout is not the best (with it possible to mute the sound with a single finger) and camera lens bump is quite large, meaning the phone wobbles when laid flat.

P30 Pro Specs 

Release date

March 2019

Screen

6.47 inches, 1080 x 2340 pixels

Main Camera 

Triple-lens 40MP+8MP+20MP Leica Optics

Front Camera

Single-lens 32MP wide-angle

RAM

6GB / 8GB

Internal storage

128GB / 256GB / 512GB

Chipset

Kirin 980

Processor

Octa-core

Built-in OS

EMUI 10

Battery Capacity

Non-removable 4,200mAh Li-Po

Pros

Cons

  • High-performance camera
  • Night-mode camera is groundbreaking
  • Spectacular premium design
  • Big battery
  • Expandable storage
  • EMUI needs finesse
  • No headphone jack
  • Design provides less grip
  • Only 1 speaker output
  • Big camera bump

Best Budget-friendly – Huawei Y9a

If you’re budget-conscious, we recommend the Huawei Y9a.

Image courtesy of Huawei

The Huawei Y9a is the successor to the Huawei Y9 Prime 2019 and the Y9s. Right off the bat, the Huawei Y9a looks great with its ultra-glossy plastic back with a gradient effect. The color selection also looks amazing and would appeal towards a younger market. The biggest selling point for this phone however is its full notch-less experience with its 6.6 full HD IPS LCD panel. Watching videos or playing games on this phone is a whole new experience. The camera also functions well thanks to its quad-lens system. It features a 64MP main shooter, 2MP depth sensor, 2MP macro camera, and 8MP ultra-wide. The fast-charging is also a great feature that restores battery at 70% after 30 minutes – not the fastest, but for the price point, it does the job. The battery is also a massive 4,200mAh which can last more than a day.

The notch-less design prompted Huawei to incorporate a pop-up camera into the design. This can be a problem because (1) dust and particles can easily accumulate inside where the camera is stored and therefore, not water resistant and (2) it is an accident waiting to happen and (being prone to snapping or the motor degrading over time. To accommodate the pop-up camera and screen, Huawei decided to compromise its processors by using a Helio G80 instead of a Helio G90T as many of its contemporaries are using. Don’t worry, the Helio G80 is a gaming-oriented processor. The phone also runs smoothly, even when performing demanding tasks. Like with most Huawei phones, the Y9a does not have Google Mobile Services and instead features the Huawei App Gallery.

Huawei Y9a Specs  

Release date

September 2020

Screen

6.63 inches, 1080 x 2400 pixels

Main Camera 

Quad-lens 64MP + 8MP + 2MP + 2MP

Front Camera

16MP Motorized pop-up

RAM

6GB / 8GB

Internal storage

128GB

Chipset

MediatekHelio G80

Processor

Octa-core

Built-in OS

EMUI 10.1, no Google Play

Battery Capacity

4,200mAh or 4,300mAh (depends on region)

Pros

Cons

  • Quad-lens camera with unique circular design
  • Big battery
  • Notch-less display experience
  • Super-fast charging
  • Headphone jack
  • Pop-up camera mechanism
  • Lower spec chipset compared to contemporaries
  • No Google Mobile Services (GMS)

Best for photography - Huawei P40 Pro 

For fans of taking photos, the Huawei P40 Pro may be for you.

Image courtesy of Huawei

We chose the P40 Pro Plus thanks to its stunning photography and camera specs. The P40 Pro features a quad-camera system with a 50MP main shooter with a 1/1.2” sensor and OIS (optical image stabilization), 40MP ultra-wide lens, 12MP 4x optical periscope with two light sensors. This allows the P40 Pro to take crisper and more vibrant images. The selfie camera is also great by capturing every detail possible thanks to its 32MP wide-angle lens. The P40 Pro is a versatile phone for taking photos whether you want professional-looking images or simply capturing more high-resolution photos.

Although it may be a great camera phone, the P40 Pro does not support 8K video unlike its contemporaries. The camera bump is also very prominent. Like with the rest of other Huawei phones, it only has one output speaker at the bottom which can be easily covered by a finger. Since it came out in 2020, the phone does not have Google Mobile Services.

P40 Pro Specs 

Release date

March 2020

Screen

6.58 inches, 1200 x 2460 pixels

Main Camera 

Triple-lens 50MP + 12MP + 40MP Leica Optics

Front Camera

32MP wide lens

RAM

8GB

Internal storage

128GB / 256GB / 512GB

Chipset

Kirin 990 5G

Processor

Octa-core

Built-in OS

EMUI 10, no Google Services

Battery Capacity

Non-removable 4,200mAh Li-po 

Pros

Cons

  • Stunning photography and camera specs
  • Curved display
  • Fast performance 
  • Big battery

  • No Google Services
  • Poor speakers, no headphone jack
  • Lacks diverse apps outside China
  • Big camera bump
  • No headphone jack
  • No 8K video

Best performance - Huawei P40 Pro Plus 

For a high-performance phone, we recommend the Huawei P40 Pro Plus.

Image courtesy of Huawei

In 2020, Huawei came out with the P40 Pro Plus to offer a flagship phone features and performance. Compared to the P40 Pro, the P40 Pro Plus look like the P40 Pro except for the weight and build material. Thanks to its Kirin 990 chipset however, the P40 Pro Plus is at the top 10 fastest smartphones today based on Antutu benchmarking. It also has a flagship 8GB RAM which is a standard for a phone of this caliber. This ensures that you have a smooth experience, even while running high-spec apps. Like with the P40 Pro, the phone has 40W wired and wireless charging for quicker charging. For comparison, the iPhone XS Pro Max can only do 18W of wireless charging.

It may be one of the fastest phones out there, but it suffers the same setbacks as with all Huawei phones. The camera bump is large and would need extra protection. The phone also doesn’t capture and support 8K video – something Samsung has introduced with the S21 Ultra. The high price point can also be a big problem especially given this phone doesn’t have Google Mobile Services.

P40 Pro Plus Specs

Release date

March 2020

Screen

6.58 inches, 1200 x 2460 pixels

Main Camera 

Quad-lens 50MP + 8MP + 8MP + 40MP Leica Optics

Front Camera

32MP (wide)

RAM

8GB

Internal storage

256GB / 512GB

Chipset

Kirin 990 5G

Processor

Octa-core

Built-in OS

EMUI 10.1, no Google Services

Battery Capacity

Non-removable 4,200mAh Li-po

Pros

Cons

  • High-end build
  • Exceptional camera
  • Well-optimized performance
  • Fast wireless charging
  • Big battery capacity

  • Camera bump
  • No Google services
  • High-price point
  • No 8K video

Best Huawei phone for gaming - Huawei Mate 40 Pro 

Our best choice for gaming phone is the Huawei Mate 40 Pro.

Image courtesy of Huawei

The Mate 40 Pro, along with the rest of the series, features powerhouse specs that’s perfect for heavy games. Alongside its flagship 8GB RAM, octa-core processor, and Kirin 9000 chipset, it is also built for 5G connection, so you get low ping when online gaming. With this phone, you can have a stable internet connection to avoid getting disconnected or additional lag. It also has a massive battery 50W fast charging, so you don’t miss anything while you’re gaming. What separates this phone from the rest of the models in this series is the Kirin 9000 5G chipset which is the first 5nm SoC. It supports a ground-breaking 24-core Mali-G78 GPU optimized for an immersive gaming experience.

The only problem with this phone is access to those games thanks to having no Google Play services. This is a huge factor as a gaming phone for me since you will not have easy access to popular games such as PUBG, Genshin Impact or CODM, etc. The Huawei AppGallery does have games but are primarily catered to their Chinese market and not so much on popular gaming apps from the west.

Huawei Mate 40 Pro Specs 

Release date

October 2020

Screen

6.76 inches, 1344 x 2772pixels

Main Camera 

Triple lens 50MP + 12MP + 20MP Leica Optics

Front Camera

13MP (ultrawide)

RAM

8GB

Internal storage

256GB / 512GB

Chipset

Kirin 9000 5G

Processor

Octa-core

Built-in OS

EMUI 11, no Google Services

Battery Capacity

Non-removable 4,400mAh Li-Po

Pros

Cons

  • Powerhouse Specs
  • OLED Display 
  • Massive battery capacity
  • No Google Play Services
  • No headphone jack (for in-game comms)
  • RAM and Screen could be better

In conclusion

Huawei is a great smartphone brand that has a lot of smartphones to choose from. Whether you’re a gamer, a selfie lover, or simply looking for a budget smartphone, you can find a great one one from Huawei. If you need help comparing models and their price points, check out iPrice. We’ll help you find the online store with the best offers and the cheapest price.

Marjorie Mae Mendoza

iPrice Tech Writer

Marjorie (MJ) is iPrice Tech Writer in Residence. Always on the hunt for the inside scope on the newest smartphones, computers, and electronic devices, MJ provides a no-holds-barred analysis on what’s hot (and what’s not) in the latest tech releases. In her free time, MJ enjoys first-person video games and digital illustrations.
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