How to access Google services on the Huawei P50 Pocket

Huawei launched its P50 Pocket foldable smartphone to the South African market earlier this year.

This smartphone is positioned as a strong competitor in the foldable smartphone market — particularly in the clamshell design segment.

It has the size of a conventional smartphone when unfolded, including a 6.9-inch main display with a 120Hz refresh rate.

When folded, it has a small 340 x 340 display that lets you check your notifications and view basic information without needing to unfold the device.

The P50 Pocket packs a powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 processor, up to 12GB RAM, and 512GB storage, while its 4,000mAh battery and 40W SuperCharge support position it strongly in this segment.

The Google question

All of this sounds impressive, but it does not consider the biggest concern many South Africans will have about buying a Huawei smartphone — their lack of Google Mobile Services (GMS).

To counter this, Huawei developed its own Huawei Mobile Services (HMS) suite.

HMS has improved substantially since it was first introduced and now supports an impressive range of Google services across all of its smartphones.

Here are examples of how this works:

  • Google Play Store — Huawei’s App Gallery gives you access to almost all of your most-used apps – including social media platforms such as WhatsApp, Facebook, and Instagram, as well as South African apps like Takealot, Mr D and major banking apps.
  • Gmail — You can send and receive emails using Gmail by configuring your account details using the default Huawei email client, Outlook for Mobile, or any other email client.
  • YouTube — Huawei smartphone owners can watch YouTube in their browser, using a web shortcut on their home screen, or through various 3rd party YouTube apps.
  • Google Search — Simply set as the homepage of your Huawei browser, and you are set to go.
  • Google Maps — Google Maps can be sideloaded via 3rd party app stores like APKPure, and you can also use Huawei’s Petal Maps and navigation apps like Waze (which Google owns).
  • Google Drive — You can move your data from Google Drive to Huawei Cloud and then use the latter.

This shows that while Huawei smartphones like the P50 Pocket might not use GMS, they still support most popular apps and offer a great user experience.

Final thoughts

The Huawei P50 Pocket is an impressive player in the foldable smartphone market thanks to its vast range of flagship features.

It offers impressive performance, and although it does not run GMS, it still allows you to access most of your favourite apps.

If you are interested in buying a foldable or flagship smartphone, it is worth your while to visit your nearest cellular store and see how the P50 Pocket works with HMS — you may be impressed with what you experience.

Huawei P50 Pocket

Huawei P50 Pocket
OS Android 12, EMUI 12 (no GMS)
Display Main: 6.9-inch 2,790 x 1,118 OLED with 120Hz refresh rate
Cover: 1.04-inch 340 x 340
Processor Snapdragon 888
Storage 256GB/512GB
Rear camera 14MP + 13MP + 32MP
Front camera 10.7MP
Connectivity  Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2
Ports USB-C
Cellular 4G
SIM Dual Nano SIM
Biometrics Side-mounted fingerprint reader
Battery and charging 4,000mAh
40W wired charging
5W reverse wireless charging
Dimensions and weight Unfolded: 170 x 75.5 x 7.2 mm
Folded: 87.3 x 75.5 x 15.2 mm

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How to access Google services on the Huawei P50 Pocket