In video. A phone without the Google Apps.

(Article updated with working YouTube videos)

Just yesterday I tried to get a Honor 9X Pro to be a bit more “Googley”. I had a small element of success but things do tend to get worse, as I’ll explain here.

Sadly, due to a ban on Huawei (and therefore Honor) working with American companies, there’s no Google Play. There’s no YouTube app. There’s no Gmail app. No Google Drive., no Google Maps app. It all seems a bit frightening for buyers who’ve grown accustomed to a certain out-of-the-box experience, however – for some people you can still find a way around, albeit via an internet page instead of an app.

A lot of my “day to day” apps weren’t listed in the replacement app store. As an example, the Sainsbury’s Groceries app isn’t there. The Huawei AppGallery also doesn’t have the Lloyds Bank app, or the app for my gym, or Plex, or BBC iPlayer, or Netflix.. or Spotify… or Mixcloud.. or Shazam.

So, I have a couple of videos for you. First, let’s have a look at how “Googley” I can make it..

So, that goes… OK, but I’ve got a load more apps that I use on a daily basis. Can I get close to the experience I have with my existing smartphone? With big-name and highly-used apps ?

Well, this is how that went…

As you can probably tell from the last few seconds of the video above, this is just crippling. Huawei and Honor have a colossal job ahead of them. There’s so, so, soooo many apps which are simply not available. Not just the odd “specialist” app, but major, popular apps that people simply demand and expect.