The HONOR 9X Pro is destined to become the company's first Google-free smartphone. As it'll be the first device that was certified by Google after its parent company – Huawei – was placed on the US government's entity list.
In fact, the HONOR 9X Pro will be the first phone from the company that uses Huawei Mobile Services or HMS.
Now the HONOR 9X and 9X Pro are not actually new smartphones. The company announced them in China recently, but the global launch is set for Monday. After GSMA decided to cancel Mobile World Congress next week.
A Google-Free HONOR 9X Pro is going to be a tough sell
The HONOR 9X Pro being a HMS-based smartphone is going to make it even tougher for HONOR to actually sell the phone. Since every smartphone that is sold outside of China, has Google services built-in, somehow. Even the iPhone has Google apps available in the App Store. But the HONOR 9X Pro doesn't have that luxury unfortunately.
Considering Google is tied into just about everything that most users do on their smartphone, without Google it's going to be a hard sell for HONOR. In China, it's pretty easy, since Google is banned in China. So they are already used to not having Google. And there are also plenty of Chinese competitors that have replaced different Google services.
But in Europe and even the rest of Asia, Google is a big deal. And those are some of HONOR's biggest markets. It's going to be a real test for HONOR, but one that we're sure they can pass.
HONOR 9X Pro being announced on February 24
Despite the cancellation of MWC next week, HONOR is still planning to do its press event. However it will only be streamed online. And it'll take place on February 24.
At this event, we're going to see the HONOR 9X Pro, the new Magicbook laptop as well as a few other devices being announced. It's going to be a great event for HONOR, but it is unfortunate that no one will be attending it in person. Since the fear of Coronavirus forced the GSMA to cancel MWC Barcelona this year. It's going to result in us seeing a lot more companies doing online only events, since they couldn't hold it at MWC Barcelona this year.
A Google-free HONOR 9X Pro is going to take some getting used too. As there's going to be a different app store, different email app, different everything. It's hard to put into perspective how much of a phone is really made up by Google services.