The Huawei P Smart 2021 mobile phone is a solid and versatile entry-level smartphone. In our test, we examine whether this impression is also confirmed in practice. We’ll also take a closer look at the Huawei AppGallery and check how convenient it is to use a Huawei smartphone without Google Services and Play Store.
Huawei P Smart 2021 Outline
We think the arrival of the Huawei P Smart 2021 in stores across the world will be a decidedly important event for the Chinese giant. In short, we all know the situation between the US and China. And even if the market for medium-sized smartphones has never been full of interesting alternatives this year, the arrival of the new P Smart 2021 is not only benefiting and offering to users more choices, but also gives Huawei the ability to make the world understand, once and for all, that it can do it on its own, in a market segment where it has always been a protagonist, but with a more than a mature device without Google services: because if until Huawei P Smart 2020 Huawei was able to insert the GMS, with the 2021 version it had to give it up completely in favor of its HMS.
But now it is no longer the same as it used to be and with its Beyond 490 million users active, approx. 100,000 apps available and more than 261 billion downloads Between January and August 2020, Huawei’s AppGallery (in the shortest possible time, let’s be honest ) developed into a more than valid alternative to the Google and Apple stores: All banking apps arrive one after the other and are also available SkyGo e DAZN for Huawei smartphones.
In addition, the Huawei P Smart 2021 has a display that already achieves Full HD + with 2400 x 1080 pixels. This makes the lush 6.67-inch screen ideal to have fun with one of the increasingly popular online casino slots apps and games out there or have a video session on the go or during all sorts of waiting times.
A positive development in 2020 concerns the size of the installed batteries. Entry-level and mid-range cell phones in particular have recently been getting batteries with a capacity of more than 4000 mAh. This is usually enough for a running time of around one and a half days, provided you use the smartphone “normally”. If you watch several films or play complex games, the time will of course be shorter.
The battery in the Huawei P Smart 2021 now offers a whopping 5000 mAh, which you can use for two days. More so, the built-in battery can be quickly charged with 22.5 watts. According to Huawei, the cell phone should be able to charge enough energy in ten minutes to enable two hours of video playback.
The point is: will the New Huawei P Smart 2021 be able to hold the throne of the king of middle / lower smartphones without a GMS? And above all, will it be able to convince people that you can still live without GMS?
Huawei P Smart 2021 Without Google Services
Maybe you have already read about it and still have questions, maybe you are hearing about it for the first time. But here’s a brief summary of how Huawei mobile phones differ from other Android smartphones and why.
Since 2019 a conflict has been dragging on between the USA and the Chinese telecommunications specialist Huawei. The United States has banned American companies from doing business with Huawei in the course of this dispute. The group is still allowed to install the basic structure of Android on its smartphones since it is open-source software. Google services like the Play Store, from which you usually download your apps, have since been blocked.
And how does that work then?
At this point, you may be wondering where you should get your apps and how such an Android smartphone should work without Google. So: The blocked services are certainly not easy to replace. With around 200,000 employees worldwide, Huawei is probably one of the few companies that are easily able to find a solution to this problem within a reasonable period of time.
The “solution” in this case is called “Huawei AppGallery”, and in our test of the Huawei P Smart 2021, we check how practicable the Play Store alternative is. So let’s take a look at the differences between a standard Android smartphone and which apps are available for the Huawei phone.
No Google Play Store, but still lots of apps?
We were very curious to see how close the manufacturer is to the usual user experience and whether it still plays a role that Google services are missing.
One thing that has not changed and that is incomprehensible to us: The AppGallery starts with an advertisement and only gives you a view of the alternative app store after a few seconds. Since it is not easy to see the list of available applications without a Huawei mobile phone, we are listing well-known apps here that caught our eye in the AppGallery within the first few minutes:
Communication and society
- TikTok, Snapchat, Telegram
- Tinder, Mail.ru, GMX
News and information
- Tagesschau, ZEIT Online, SZ.de
- KATWARN, Wetter.com, Focus Online
Sport and entertainment
- ProSieben, Sat1
- Kicker News, FC Bayern App
Productivity and practicality
- Microsoft Office, TeamViewer, StepStone Jobs
- Head chef, CEWE
- VLC for Android, Kodi
Travel and navigation
- Lufthansa, Eurowings
- Booking.com, HRS
- Here WeGo, TomTom Go Navigation
And What About WhatsApp, Facebook, and Fortnite?
Just because apps are not listed in the Huawei AppGallery doesn’t mean you can’t download them. If you search for WhatsApp in the AppGallery, you will not find the app directly. But you land on the website of the app, from where you can download and install the messenger on the Huawei P Smart 2021. The same goes for Facebook. Epic Games offers an installer for Fortnite in the Huawei AppGallery. If you have installed the app, you can install Fortnite and Battle Breakers from it. That’s a few more clicks, but it works fine.
But that’s not all! The possibilities that Huawei offers you to set up a smartphone like the P Smart 2021 are endless so that you can feel completely comfortable with it. For example, some well-known apps are replaceable in our opinion. The fact that the Chrome browser is not available in the AppGallery is not a problem for us, as there are enough alternatives. One possible solution: Opera is available in the Huawei AppGallery. You can also find Chrome via the “AppSearch” program and can also use this browser.
However, there are still some apps that we miss. This is where another source for apps comes into play: The Huawei P Smart 2021 has a search bar or the Petal Search app that you can use to search for apps, and this search is quite powerful. You can use it to find, download, and install Spotify, DB Navigator, and even the YouTube app. But even if this answers the questions about a lot of apps, the petal search does not clarify all open points.
For example, many banking apps are also not available. Here you have to switch to the web interface of the respective bank in the browser. Another, but no less important, point is that the sources for apps suggested by Petal Search are not the usual official channels. You have to explicitly allow the installation of apps from unknown sources, and even Huawei’s Petal Search knows before installing such an app that you may expose your mobile phone and your personal data to greater risks.
Conclusion: There is a catch
WhatsApp, taking photos, navigation apps in standard use cases will definitely get along with the P Smart 2021. Especially if you only want to use apps that are already available in Huawei’s AppGallery anyway.
But: The lack of Google services and the Play Store is still a noticeable difference to other Android devices. If you like to work with your smartphone and try something out, you can have fun with the Huawei P Smart 2021.
But if you value the simplest possible operation and the simplest and most secure access to all known apps, including regular updates, then you should consider alternatives.