Huawei's contentious Mate 30 Pro is going on sale in Australia. Sort of.
The Chinese manufacturer say that local shoppers will be able to pick up the Huawei Mate 30 Pro through the Huawei Authorised Experience Store, Mobileciti and select HappyTel stores from Wednesday 21 November at an RRP of $1599.
Of course, there is a big catch here. First, you have to register your interest via this Huawei Australia website. Then, you have to then be lucky enough to "win" the "opportunity" to purchase the flagship smartphone via a MobileCiti or HappyTel store of your choice for AU$1399.
You do get a set of bonus Huawei FreeBuds 3 for your trouble but that's still a whole lot more of a convoluted process than buying any other smartphone available in Australia. Unlike the previous Mate 20 Pro and P30 Pro, you can't get this phone (on a plan or outright) through any of the major telcos like Telstra, Optus or Vodafone. You can't even get it through Huawei direct.
The terms and conditions for the promotion itself say that "The Huawei Mate30 Pro smartphone will not be available for sale outside of this promotion and will only be available in Space Silver" - which does beg the question of whether or not it counts as a product launch at all.
At a glance, this feels like a play to test the waters and see if anyone in Australia will actually buy the device in spite of all the controversy around it and the Huawei brand.
In case you forgot about it in the months since it was announced, Huawei's latest flagship takes the photography chops of the P30 Pro (review here) and combines it with premium specs and cutting-edge design. The device is powered by Huawei's new Kirin 990 processor, 8GB of RAM, 256GB of storage and a 4500mAh battery.
The caveat here is that the Mate 30 Pro doesn't support Google apps and services nor the Google Play Store. Instead - Huawei say that the device will run on the new version of EMUI10, which is based on open source Android, and you'll be limited to third-party apps available on the Huawei App store. This detail is going to make it incredibly problematic device to recommend, even for those seeking photographic supremacy over what's offered by the Google Pixel 4 and iPhone 11 Pro.
The Huawei Mate 30 - which, again, you can't actually walk into a store and buy - is set to become "available" in Australia from the 21st of November.