At long, long last. We’re finally set to see the debut of HarmonyOS, the Android alternative that Huawei has been promising ever since the onset of their ongoing issues with the U.S. Department of Commerce. The OS is currently at the third stage of beta testing, with a fourth and final beta update reportedly arriving on the 31st of March 2021.
Now, finally, Huawei has confirmed that an official HarmonyOS update will arrive in April 2021—and the first phone to get the release will be the company’s new foldable phone: the Huawei Mate X2. Keep in mind that the Mate X2 ships with Android 10 out of the box, but you’ll be able to update to HarmonyOS once the official OTA update is pushed to your device.
Unfortunately (for those of us residing outside China), the Huawei Mate X2 is still only officially available in Huawei’s home market. More HarmonyOS-compatible devices are expected to receive the update in the months to come, with Huawei Central earlier publishing a list with over 30 smartphones, two tablets, and even smartwatches that will run on the new OS. This includes most of the company’s recent releases, so it’s safe to say that Huawei is going all-in on its new operating system.
Huawei has been talking about the ecosystem features and seamlessness that HarmonyOS will bring to the table, and the beta program also included AIoT devices—so this probable multi-platform release makes sense. HarmonyOS has, in the past, been included on non-smartphone devices such as Honor’s Vision Smart TV. As for the smartphone aspect of HarmonyOS, certain beta testers have reported that Huawei’s “new” OS is actually a simple fork off Android—although we have not tested this out for ourselves yet.
Regardless, all of this mystery should be cleared up soon. If/when the Huawei Mate X2 ever reaches local shores, or when the upcoming Huawei P50 series is launched, we’ll probably get the first official look at Huawei’s alternative to Android. It’s certainly a huge challenge ahead for the Chinese company, and one that it has seemingly been preparing for over the last couple of years or so.
Will we finally see a new competitor rise up against iOS and Android? Only time will tell. So, what do you think? Would you update to HarmonyOS if you had the choice? Would you still buy non-Android Huawei smartphones? Let us know in the comments.
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