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Best Huawei phones 2021: find your perfect Huawei

Best Huawei phones
(Image credit: Huawei)

After the best Huawei phones on the market? We've picked out the best of the bunch and rounded them up here so you can see quickly what's ideal for you. 

There is a catch when it comes to Huawei, though. Since a trade ban from the US government, Huawei phones aren't so tempting any more. The ban means the latest Huawei phones can’t run Google Mobile Services and don’t have the Google Play Store. Compared to other Android smartphones, this makes them a tough sell to those living in Western markets and keen to use Google products.

If you're looking for the best Huawei phones, we've picked out the best of the bunch and rounded them up so you can see at a glance what's ideal for you.

That situation might improve soon though with the launch of HarmonyOS 2 meaning that Huawei phones could benefit from some useful changes that you just can't get anywhere else. You still won't enjoy the benefits of the Google Play Store et al, but it could still offer some other advantages.

It's definitely worth taking note as ever since 2018’s excellent P20 Pro, Huawei has sold more phones in Europe than before thanks to its range of great handsets. The manufacturer has demonstrated that it can hold its own against the likes of Samsung and Apple when it comes to making the best phones in the world. It just needs to figure out its Google related issues.

If you can look past that, our list is full of some great Huawei phones including the Huawei Mate 40 Pro and the Huawei P30 Pro. There's also finally the news that the Huawei P50 has a launch date albeit only in China for now. Launching July 29 over there, we're still waiting to find out more about when it arrives in markets like Europe and the USA. 

So, for now, this list is as up to date as it can be, and it also includes a number of older Huawei handsets that still offer Google apps and the Play Store -- something that gives them an advantage over newer handsets. This includes the Huawei P30 Pro, which we still think is the best Huawei phone out of the entire range despite being over two years old. 

The Huawei P30 remains a great handset with an amazing zoom camera, fantastic display, and class-leading battery life. If your budget is tighter, you can even get most of the P30 Pro's features in the Huawei P30 too. 2018’s Mate 20 Pro is a great option as well, with Huawei’s mid-range phones like the P Smart (2019) also offering slick design in an affordable package. Read on to find out why these are the best Huawei phones.

Best Huawei phone 2021 at a glance:

  1. Huawei P30 Pro
  2. Huawei Mate 20 Pro
  3. Huawei P30
  4. Huawei Mate 40 Pro
  5. Huawei P40 Pro
  6. Huawei P40
  7. Huawei Mate 30 Pro
  8. Huawei P40 Pro Plus
  9. Huawei Mate 20
  10. Huawei P20 Pro
  11. Huawei P30 Lite
  12. Huawei Mate Xs

Best Huawei phones

Huawei P30 Pro

(Image credit: Huawei)

1. Huawei P30 Pro

The P30 Pro is the best Huawei phone you can buy right now

Specifications
Release date: March 2019
Weight: 192g
Dimensions: 158 x 73.4 x 8.4mm
OS: Android 9
Screen size: 6.47-inch
CPU: Kirin 980
RAM: 8GB
Storage: 128/256/512GB
Battery: 4,200mAh
Rear camera: 40MP + 20MP + 8MP + ToF
Front camera: 32MP
Reasons to buy
+Fantastic cameras+Eye-catching design
Reasons to avoid
-Display 'only' Full HD-EMUI lacks polish

The Huawei P30 Pro is the best Huawei phone you can buy right now. It's also one of the best phone we've used when it comes to photography, with the cameras being the P30 Pro's real party piece, providing staggeringly good 5x and 10x zoom, and a digital 50x zoom with gets you insanely close to objects far off in the distance. Its low-light capabilities are also top-notch.

The large 6.47-inch screen on the P30 Pro may 'only' have a Full HD+ resolution, but it's bright, clear and colorful providing an excellent canvas for your apps and games.

There's no worry when it comes to the P30 Pro potentially running out of juice, the battery life here is excellent. We regularly got to the end of the day with 30% or more left in the tank.

The P30 Pro not only sets a new standard for Huawei, it sets a new standard for the entire mobile industry. Its cameras are quite simply astonishing, the design is eye-catching and the power plentiful. It’s a true flagship smartphone.

Read more: Huawei P30 Pro review

Huawei Mate 20 Pro

(Image credit: Huawei)

2. Huawei Mate 20 Pro

An outstanding all-round handset

Specifications
Release date: November 2018
Weight: 189g
Dimensions: 157.8 x 72.3 x 8.6mm
OS: Android 9
Screen size: 6.39-inch
Resolution: 1440 x 3120
CPU: Kirin 980
RAM: 8GB
Storage: 256GB
Battery: 4200mAh
Rear camera: 40MP + 20MP + 8MP
Front camera: 24MP
Reasons to buy
+In-screen fingerprint scanner+Great triple cameras
Reasons to avoid
-The UI needs refinement-High price

The Huawei Mate 20 Pro is a brilliant all-round phone, offering up a heady mix of design, power and performance with a few party pieces thrown in too.

It builds on the excellent P20 and P20 Pro offering up even more screen, enhanced triple rear cameras and an in-display fingerprint scanner.

The Mate 20 Pro packs a huge 6.39-inch display giving you a large amount of space for gaming and movies, and its QHD resolution and HDR10 support ensures everything looks great. There is a wide notch at the top of the display though.

It also boasts three cameras on the rear, nabbing the excellent 40MP wide-angle and 8MP telephoto lenses from the P20 Pro - but the third sensor is new. It's an ultra-wide 16MP snapper allowing you to cram even more of your surroundings into each shot.

The Mate 20 Pro is a full-featured phone for a full-featured price - it even has a few tricks you won’t see elsewhere, and more powerful specs than most of its competitors.

Read more: Huawei Mate 20 Pro review

Huawei P30

(Image credit: Huawei)

3. Huawei P30

Another top Huawei phone

Specifications
Release date: March 2019
Weight: 165g
Dimensions: 149.1 x 71.4 x 7.6mm
OS: Android 9
Screen size: 6.1-inch
Resolution: 1080 x 2340
CPU: Kirin 980
RAM: 8GB
Storage: 64/128/512GB
Battery: 3,650mAh
Rear camera: 40MP + 16MP + 8MP
Front camera: 32MP
Reasons to buy
+Great camera+Powerful processor
Reasons to avoid
-No wireless charging-P30 Pro is superior

The Huawei P30 has a smaller screen than the P30 Pro, and makes do with just the three rear cameras and a maximum zoom of 30x, but it's still one of the best Huawei phones around.

With a 6.1-inch display the P30 is a little easier to manage in the hand than its larger sibling, and with a Full HD+ and plenty of colour it's a top smartphone screen. You can expect to get excellent battery life from the Huawei P30, with the phone often lasting a day and a half on a single charge without issue.

While the three cameras on the rear aren't quite as good as the four on the P30 Pro, they still offer up an impressive shooting experience with 5x, 10x and 30x zoom and great low-light abilities.

There's heaps of power, a handy headphone jack (something the Pro can't boast) and a more manageable form factor for one-handed use. And of course, it's a little cheaper too.

Read more: Huawei P30 review

Huawei Mate 40 Pro

(Image credit: Huawei)

4. Huawei Mate 40 Pro

Technically, a great Huawei handset

Specifications
Release date: November 2020
Weight: 212g
Dimensions: 162.9 x 75.5 x 9.1 mm
OS: Android 10
Screen size: 6.76-inch
CPU: Kirin 9000 5G
RAM: 8GB
Storage: 256/512GB
Battery: 4,400mAh
Rear camera: 50MP + 12MP + 20MP
Front camera: 13MP
Reasons to buy
+Great camera+Excellent design
Reasons to avoid
-Limited apps-Expensive

Easily one of the best phones around in terms of hardware, the Huawei Mate 40 Pro suffers for the lack of Google apps and Play Store but if you simply want great photos and a gorgeous screen, this is the one for you. 

It moulds into your hand perfectly thanks to its curved design that feels great, and it handles pretty much everything you throw at it enthusiastically. Photography wise, it takes fantastic photos and has an extensive range of tools to enhance them further.

However, with the lack of Google apps support, you will be restricted with what you can download to this phone, and it does feel rather pricey to be so limited. 

Read more: Huawei Mate 40 Pro review

(Image credit: Huawei)

5. Huawei P40 Pro

The P40 Pro has superb cameras, but it’s hampered by its software

Specifications
Release date: March 2020
Weight: 209g
Dimensions: 158.2 x 72.6 x 9mm
OS: Android 10
Screen size: 6.58-inch
CPU: Kirin 990
RAM: 8GB
Storage: 128/256/512GB
Battery: 4,200mAh
Rear camera: 50MP + 40MP + 12MP + ToF
Front camera: 32MP
Reasons to buy
+Phenomenal battery life+Brilliant cameras
Reasons to avoid
-Frustratingly limited software-Big camera bump

The Huawei P40 Pro should be the best handset Huawei has ever made. After all, it’s an upgrade on the Huawei P30 Pro in most ways, with a superb quad-lens camera, phenomenal life from its 4,200mAh battery, and a stylish design, with curved glass on all four front edges.

You also get flagship power from the P40 Pro’s Kirin 990 chipset, plus a great screen with a high 90Hz refresh rate.

So why isn’t this Huawei’s best phone? Because like other recent Huawei handsets it lacks Google Mobile Services, meaning no Google apps (such as Maps) and more importantly no access to the Google Play Store. So you have to get your apps elsewhere, and the selection is more restrictive.

As such, the Huawei P40 Pro finds itself in the awkward position of being a lesser handset than its predecessor. But the hardware is great, so if you can live without Google on your phone then it’s still well worth considering.

Read more: Huawei P40 Pro review

(Image credit: Huawei)

6. Huawei P40

Well priced but hampered

Specifications
Release date: June 2020
Weight: 175g
Dimensions: 148.9 x 71.1 x 8.5 mm
OS: Android 10
Screen size: 6.1-inch
CPU: Kirin 990 5G
RAM: 6/8GB
Storage: 128/256GB
Battery: 3,800mAh
Rear camera: 50MP + 8MP + 8MP
Front camera: 32MP
Reasons to buy
+Top battery life+Great set of cameras
Reasons to avoid
-Severely limited software-No wireless charging

If you want in on the hardware design and solid cameras of the P40 series but are still cautious that they don't support Google Mobile services, you might want to go for this regular P40 considering it's cheaper than the Pro and Pro Plus.

There's no wireless charging or high refresh rate display but the design is among the best in the market and the triple camera set up takes stunning photos and videos. The Kirin 990 chipset is 5G ready, and the battery life is incredible.

But with no access to the Google Play Store or Google services it remains limited for the Western market. 

Read more: Huawei P40 review

(Image credit: Huawei)

7. Huawei Mate 30 Pro

When excellent isn’t enough

Specifications
Release date: September 2019
Weight: 198g
Dimensions: 158.1 x 73.1 x 8.8mm
OS: Android 10
Screen size: 6.53-inch
CPU: Kirin 990
RAM: 8GB
Storage: 128/256GB
Battery: 4,500mAh
Rear camera: 40MP + 40MP + 8MP + ToF
Front camera: 32MP
Reasons to buy
+Stunning edge-to-edge display+Excellent battery life
Reasons to avoid
-No Play Store-Screen curve creates vignetting

The Huawei Mate 30 Pro was one of the earliest casualties of the Huawei ban – so there are no Google apps on this phone, and there’s no access to the Google Play Store.

If you can get past the restricted software though, there’s some very good hardware here, including a stunning edge-to-edge waterfall display, great battery life from its 4,500mAh battery, and an excellent quad-lens camera, which outperforms most rivals in low light situations.

The Huawei Mate 30 Pro also has the same chipset as the Huawei P40 Pro, so performance is similar, and it packs most other flagship features, such as water resistance and wireless charging.

Read more: Huawei Mate 30 Pro review

(Image credit: Huawei)

8. Huawei P40 Pro Plus

The best smartphone camera system

Specifications
Release date: June 2020
Weight: 226g
Dimensions: 158.2 x 72.6 x 9mm
OS: Android 10
Screen size: 6.58-inch
CPU: Kirin 990 5G
RAM: 8GB
Storage: 128/256/512GB
Battery: 4,200mAh
Rear camera: 50MP + 40MP + 8MP + 8MP + ToF
Front camera: 32MP
Reasons to buy
+Best cameras on a smartphone +Premium hardware 
Reasons to avoid
-No Google apps and services -Very expensive 

This phone is every bit as good as the P40 Pro and then goes the extra mile with even better cameras. We think it has the best camera system on any smartphone in 2020, with some breathtaking capabilities that put it ahead of many standalone compact cameras on the market.

It can shoot optically stabilised stills at 10x zoom and is a photographer’s dream. But without access to the Google Play Store and Google apps and services, it’s considerably hampered for daily use for all but the most tech-savvy or patient.

It means the phone won’t play nice with your Gmail account, won’t work with third party apps like Uber that use Google Maps and won’t link up to any Wear OS wearables. Even though it packs the best cameras around, 5G and great battery life, the P40 Pro Plus remains a tough sell, particularly at the asking price. 

Read more: Huawei P40 Pro Plus review

Huawei Mate 20

(Image credit: Huawei)

9. Huawei Mate 20

Could be your best Mate

Specifications
Weight: 188g
Dimensions: 158.2 x 77.2 x 8.3mm
OS: Android 9
Screen size: 6.53-inch
Resolution: 1080 x 2244
CPU: Kirin 980
RAM: 4/6GB
Storage: 128GB
Battery: 4,000mAh
Rear camera: 12MP+16MP+8MP
Front camera: 24MP
Reasons to buy
+Excellent battery life+Incredible power for the price
Reasons to avoid
-Full HD+ screen resolution is low-No IP68 water and dust resistance

The standard Huawei Mate 20 may be worse than the Huawei Mate 20 Pro, but it’s still a strong phone in its own right and it’s cheaper too.

Other than the lower – though still high – price, highlights include a 4,000mAh battery which in our tests delivered excellent life, and top-end power, thanks to the use of an octa-core Kirin 980 chipset and up to 6GB of RAM.

The Huawei Mate 20 also has a triple-lens camera on the back. This isn’t the same selection of lenses as its Pro-level sibling, but still makes for a versatile setup.

And in some ways the Mate 20 actually has the Mate 20 Pro beat, as its 6.53-inch screen is larger, and it has a headphone port, which the fancier phone doesn’t.

Read more: Huawei Mate 20 review

Huawei P20 Pro

(Image credit: Huawei)

10. Huawei P20 Pro

A real pro for photography

Specifications
Weight: 180g
Dimensions: 155 x 73.9 x 7.8mm
OS: Android 9
Screen size: 6.1-inch
Resolution: 1080 x 2240
CPU: Kirin 970
RAM: 6GB
Storage: 128GB
Battery: 4,000mAh
Rear camera: 40MP+20MP+8MP
Front camera: 24MP
Reasons to buy
+Great battery life+Ultra-flexible camera
Reasons to avoid
-No wireless charging-Minor fizz to the OLED screen

The Huawei P20 Pro may not be Huawei's latest flagship any more, but it still has a lot going for it, with the highlight being its exceedingly impressive and versatile triple-lens rear camera.

That camera allows for 3x optical zoom and proves surprisingly adept at night shots, which is usually a setting that phone cameras really struggle with.

Other highlights of the Huawei P20 Pro include a big, long-lasting battery, and an even bigger AMOLED screen that delivers vivid colors on a large scale.

The Huawei P20 Pro also has a striking design, with a metal frame and a glass back, that optionally comes in a gradient color scheme that sees the colors shift from purple at the top to a turquoise shade at the bottom.

Like any good flagship the Huawei P20 Pro also has facial recognition, a fingerprint scanner and lots of RAM.

There’s no wireless charging and the chipset isn’t quite a match for some flagships, but it’s not far off, and as a complete package the Huawei P20 Pro can compete with any other handset, as its strong ranking in our best smartphones list attests.

Read more: Huawei P20 Pro review

Huawei P30 Lite

(Image credit: Huawei)

11. Huawei P30 Lite

Huawei's mid-ranger is a notch or two below its brothers

Specifications
Weight: 159g
Dimensions: 152.9 x 72.7 x 7.4mm
OS: Android 9
Screen size: 6.15-inch
Resolution: 1080 x 2312
CPU: Kirin 710
RAM: 4/6GB
Storage: 128GB
Battery: 3,340mAh
Rear camera: 48MP + 8MP + 2MP
Front camera: 24MP
Reasons to buy
+Attractive design+Competent camera
Reasons to avoid
-Middling power-Mediocre battery life

Despite having P30 in its name, the Huawei P30 Lite is no match for the rest of the range and nor is it a flagship. Instead it’s a mid-ranger, but it’s quite a good one.

For one thing, it looks good, with a glass-backed design that’s similar to the Huawei P30, down to the notch on the front.

It also has a similarly good screen to its pricier sibling, as it has a 6.15-inch 1080 x 2312 display with a pixel density of around 415 pixels per inch.

Plus it has face unlock, a triple-lens rear camera, an octa-core chipset and 4/6GB of RAM. However, this is a mid-range chipset and not as good as the ones some similarly priced alternatives have.

Overall, it's a solid mid-range handset, but attempting to say it belongs in the same family as the other two P30 devices feels like a little bit of a stretch.

Read more: Huawei P30 Lite review

(Image credit: Huawei)

12. Huawei Mate Xs

The foldable phone done right

Specifications
Release date: March 2020
Weight: 300g
Dimensions: 161.3 x 78.5 x 11mm (folded) / 161.3 x 146.2 x 5.4mm (unfolded)
OS: Android 10
Screen size: 6.6-inch (folded) / 8.0-inch (unfolded)
CPU: Kirin 990
RAM: 8GB
Storage: 512GB
Battery: 4,500mAh
Rear camera: 40MP + 16MP + 8MP + ToF
Front camera: N/A
Reasons to buy
+The best foldable phone design+Flagship level performance
Reasons to avoid
-No access to Google Apps-Very expensive

The Huawei Mate Xs has arguably the best foldable phone design we’ve seen so far, achieved by placing the foldable screen on the outside so it’s always visible.

This allows the Huawei Mate Xs to work effectively as both a 6.6-inch smartphone and an 8.0-inch tablet, and it’s got the specs to carry out both roles, with a high-end Kirin 990 chipset, 8GB of RAM, a 4,500mAh battery, and a great quad-lens camera.

Other than its inevitably high price the main thing that holds the Huawei Mate Xs back is the same issue most recent Huawei phones have – the lack of Google Mobile Services. So while the hardware’s great, the software is at a disadvantage.

Read more: Huawei Mate Xs review

James is a freelance phones, tablets and wearables writer and sub-editor at TechRadar. He has a love for everything ‘smart’, from watches to lights, and can often be found arguing with AI assistants or drowning in the latest apps.