back to article Huawei's first Google-free phone stripped and searched: Repair not too painful... once you're in

The good geeks of iFixit have ripped open Huawei's first Google-free handset, the Mate 30 Pro, to find a serious battery powering the big screen and sophisticated camera setup. The mobe has a 6.53" curved OLED display, a Huawei Kirin 990 processor with 8-core CPU, 16-core Mali-G76 GPU and a neural processing unit. It also has …

  1. Benson's Cycle

    Not trying hard enough

    Didn't they find the mysterious chip embedded in the board that reports back to China? Bloomberg will be unimpressed.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Not trying hard enough

      I've heard that Huawei records your search history, location data and email content, then shares it with the government. No, wait, that's Google.

    2. J27 Bronze badge

      Yeah...

      You don't need hardware just for that. Phones have all the necessary hardware already, all you need is to bury your bugs in the software.

      1. Benson's Cycle
        Facepalm

        Re: Yeah...

        I would never have guessed. (My view is if you need the joke icon it wasn't funny.)

  2. xyz

    The battery!

    I bought a pay as you go y6 2019 a couple of weeks ago because it was dirt cheap and the stand out thing is the battery. If the one in this phone is anywhere as good as the one in my phone, you'll be amazed. All day usage and it drops by 20%. It is serious energy storage and as I live off grid under solar i really appreciate it. I also feel a bit subversive having a phone made by people Google et al hate.

  3. Vulture@C64

    A phone that doesn't use Android is very attractive. I'd never use Android, it's the most leaky and unsafe operating system going.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Vulture@C64

      The phone is running Android 10 according to GSMArena.

      I'm guessing it's AOSP though since it is Google free.

  4. cracked and broken

    Locked bootloader

    I gave up Huawei when they stopped providing unlock codes for the bootloader. The hardware is nice but if they treat me like a child I will go elsewhere.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Locked bootloader

      Yup, without that and root I cannot block ads properly and use a vpn at the same time. I cannot remove unwanted apps easily (if at all), use a proper firewall, make proper backups. Also cannot install Xprivacylua.

      1. Lostintranslation

        Re: Locked bootloader

        That settles it for me then.

    2. BillG
      Stop

      Re: Locked bootloader

      If the bootloader can't be unlocked, and if the Android OS is deliberately hardened to prevent even systemless rooting, then it's not your phone, it's the manufacturer's phone.

      Android 10 supports encrypted program and data areas accessible only by the manufacturer, and even supports updating/patching your phone in the background without user knowledge (and if you can't root the phone, you can't stop it). I, too, would go elsewhere.

    3. Kiwidude

      Re: Locked bootloader

      I agree, they do make good hardware however I'm in the same boat that I've given up on them due to the bootloaders being locked. I personally like to have a choice of Lineage OS, AOSP, Havoc OS or the many others that are out there. At least I know that other have reviewed the code and removed most of the Google bloatware while at the same time extending the battery life and adding some additional features that are useful.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Still no Moron Mode

    ...40MP, f/1.8 CineCamera..

    With all those pixels available most owners will still record video in portrait mode.

    Make default setting to record video in landscape format but only show the middle bit if the phone is held vertically while recording. I doubt if most people will notice the reduced resolution on playback.

    This will get rid of vertical letterbox videos shown on news broadcasts, etc.

    1. Benson's Cycle

      Re: Still no Moron Mode

      I used to think that mode arose because the button on iPhones more or less enforced the portrait format. It's quite difficult to hold an earlier iPhone in landscape and work the button. That would tell the average person that they were intended to use the camera in portrait. On Sony phones the camera button is located where the shutter button would normally be on a 35mm camera in landscape, which seems obviously sensible. Sensible enough anyway that I make videos in landscape without having to think about it, because that's how it falls naturally to hand.

      So, please, not moron mode but Apple mode.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Still no Moron Mode

        However Apple user implies moron !!!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Still no Moron Mode

          How dare you suggest that all Apple users are morons! It's only 99.99% of them!

        2. werdsmith Silver badge

          Re: Still no Moron Mode

          Apple user often implies Android avoider left with no other choice.

      2. TeeCee Gold badge
        WTF?

        Re: Still no Moron Mode

        That's interesting.

        For an encore, could you explain what it is that causes some utter fucktards[1] to walk around with one end of their phone stuck in their ear while the rest of it sticks out at 90 degrees while using it?

        [1] Regardless of who or what they really are, it's impossible to do this without looking like an utter fucktard.

        1. Benson's Cycle

          Re: Still no Moron Mode

          Oh, I know this one.

          It was invented by Reality TV where the participants making phone calls had to hold the phones in such a way that the camera could focus on their faces, and the sheep out there thought that was the cool way to do it.

          I also think the awful parking you see today is because people believe from television that it never takes more than three seconds to find a space and park your car.

    2. Steve K Silver badge

      Re: Still no Moron Mode

      Erm...Not sure that will work...?

      The phone will still be held portrait anyway?

      1. Martin an gof Silver badge

        Re: Still no Moron Mode

        The phone will still be held portrait anyway?

        Yeah, but there's enough pixels in those sensors for the phone to record 1080 or even 4k video in Landscape, whichever way around the phone is held. For those occasions where Portrait really is wanted, make it an option on the camera menu, but one which reverts next time it's used.

        Or maybe always record Landscape but "pretend" to record portrait. There could be an extra bit of meta information in the file which tells the phone to play back in portrait (i.e. chopping out the middle bit of the Landscape image), but if you send the file to the BBC their players will ignore it :-)

        M.

    3. stuartnz

      Re: Still no Moron Mode

      obligatory xkcd

      1. Benson's Cycle

        Re: Still no Moron Mode

        This is one where I disagree with Munroe.

        Old people and people who actually learned photography...

    4. Adrian 4 Silver badge

      Re: Still no Moron Mode

      I don't much mind if the picture's taken in portrait mode, when the subject is portrait-shaped. What I detest is a blurry side trimming extrapolated from the picture content to make it 'fit' a normal screen.

    5. largefile

      Re: Still no Moron Mode

      I just don't understand why there isn't a user setting to choose a default video orientation. At least then, once someone realizes that's not how it should be they can default to the phone locked in landscape for video with portrait mode just a button push away if that's really what they want.

  6. cantankerous swineherd Silver badge

    record portrait on phone, consume portrait on phone.

    1. tcmonkey

      This. It always struck me as odd that people complain about portrait video so much. If you do most of your watching on a phone, it’s only natural to record in portrait mode. Yes it sucks if you’re on a landscape device, but that’s not how many people are watching these days.

  7. JohnG

    It is a pity that, on being ejected from Google's domain, Huawei didn't choose an open source alternative. It would have helped allay fears of Chinese spying and they could probably have enjoyed take up by users keen to experiment and have more control over their phones.

    1. IGotOut

      Maybe because Linux phones have been a complete flop. People still want apps they can use.

      1. Graham Dawson Silver badge
        Headmaster

        Android is Linux you silly sausage.

        1. werdsmith Silver badge

          Android is an OS built on a modified version of a Linux kernel, but it’s not Linux for me.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hard no

    I cannot trust Huawei technology as the Chinese government, as it is today, cannot be trusted.

    This phone may well cure piles and cancer, but still no.

    1. Jan 0
      Black Helicopters

      Re: Hard no

      Which 'phone producing country has a government that you trust?

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. avilacha

        Re: Hard no

        The one that was elected, maybe ?

    2. Dedobot

      Re: Hard no

      Year and half with xiaomi rendme5+ ,I can say yours causa is perduta, better start learning Chinese.

      Chinese reached the point from where they're unstoppable in the market and technology fields. Sadly , this means nothing short of war. The West will not let another center of "superpower". Same for Russia - they are "friends" with China due to short term goals, pocking the US , but one third of the Russian strategic arsenal is positioned to the South - East. Add to this the inside Asian struggles. We already see the signs . Just pray the confrontation not escalate beyond the present "hybrid" fashion.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Mobile phones

    Tracking devices that make calls, etc.

    Who really needs them?

    People won't wear ID badges or carry ID cards, but electronic tagging 24/7 is cool?

    1. Chris 125

      Re: Mobile phones

      Well, I do. To stay in touch with my family, to use websites when I'm away from home (booking travel, weather etc), to listen to music, navigate.

      Sure, yeah, I know the alternative is to send the family postcards, carry a map and a walkman and use a payphone (after checking I'm not being followed).... but that's a shit alternative.

      It does irritate me that every single post about a phone on here brings out the tinfoil hat brigade. Understand this: the government does not care where you are or what you're doing, unless you're a person of interest. And if you were, you wouldn't be posting on a forum - AC or not.

      1. Kiwi Silver badge
        Black Helicopters

        Re: Mobile phones

        Understand this: the government does not care where you are or what you're doing, unless you're a person of interest. And if you were, you wouldn't be posting on a forum - AC or not.

        But I am a POI. I mean for a start I say some nasty things about the corrupt NZ pigs. I have no doubt they're interested in me, though perhaps as a harmless venting old codger shouting at clouds in a desperate bid to rid my lawn of pesky kids...

        I'm also someone who values my privacy, so while I do use a mobe it's a dumbphone. I'm aware it can still be tracked so it doesn't necessarily go everywhere with me.

        I travel a fair bit as well.. Seem to get by making arrangements via email and websites without a phone. I sometimes take a tablet with me which does much better nav work and of course is great for calling the family.. When you're looking at your boyfriend on a long-distance video call, well, let's just say you want the screen as big as you can get it... (Got to remember to make sure I check who is calling me before I start the show - don't want me old Aunty getting an unexpected bonus!)

        Sometimes I still carry a laptop as well, depending on if I'll be creating or just consuming.

        Having de-googled toys helps a lot. I'd trust a Chinese firm long before I trust the yanks, a scumbag yank corporation, or the NZ pigcunts.. And really, if you're using electronics somewhere along the way you're having to trust the Chinese - as much as I want to buy locally made products built with local components it's a simple fact of life, most of our stuff comes from Chinese labour farms.

        Time to go.. My love-fest of the NZ police farce probably means I'll have a chopper or few passing overhead again in the coming days.. Guys, you know where I live, come in for a coffee and a chat.. I won't bite, promise.. Unless you're kinky...

        (probably shouldn't do a late junk-food binge just before posting after a stressful weekend...)

  10. Chris 125

    Hands up...

    ... who honestly believes the Chinese government cares at all about what you do. I cannot fathom for the life of me what you lot get up to on your mobile phones that would be of interest, they might have a rather large population but I doubt half of them are sitting with headphones on looking at a copy of your screen waiting for you to google "how to overthrow a a government".

    1. Kiwi Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: Hands up...

      ... who honestly believes the Chinese government cares at all about what you do.

      I'd say there's a good chance the the Chinese and several other governments are collecting every scrap of data they can on each of us, at least as far as they can afford. Some probably also run automated software to try and marry up our El Reg posts with profiles on other SM sites and the like. An individual interest - not unless I do enough things to raise enough flags. Automated? Probably.

      But, aside from the likes of my last post and my abilities to do other horribly nasty things[1], I doubt I seldom personally appear on their radar.

      And while I value privacy, I also realise that the more data they have to sift through, the harder it is for them to find anything of any value. I personally like to have as much value-less stuff that raises just enough flags that someone has to look at it, I'm not interesting enough for anything more than the most basic scrutiny but I am interesting enough I have to have a person take more of a look at me (unless I've been flagged as "Boring old harmless codger - ignore!"

      About the only thing I've chosen to NOT look up recently was a video on casting gun barrels. In the current NZ climate of press-based anti-gun fearmongering (not an owner/user/interested party, but hate gubbermental knee-jerks) I think that'd be a stretch beyond even my stupidity. Perhaps could take my level of scrutiny from "Ignore" to "visit and chat too".

      [1] I've worked in chemistry, carpentry, and engineering (sometimes all at the one place). I have learned a lot of skills that can be used to make my own tools[2], build stuff, and cook stuff; and could use those skills for good or ill.

      [2] Mechanical, electrical, chemical and software... To a limited fashion of each of course, but an imperfect hammer can still be used to hit nails or heads to a functional (or ending-functional) level.

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