Home / Technology / Gadgets /  Honor 20-series launches today at 6:30 pm: Will it receive Google updates?

Honor has been one of the more quieter brands this year in terms of coming up with new smartphones. So far this year, we have only seen the launch of Honor View 20 from the Huawei sub-brand.

However, they are all set to launch their latest flagship series at an event in London today, the Honor 20.

The Honor 20-series will consist of two smartphones—the Honor 20 and Honor 20 Pro. The series will succeed the Honor 10 that was launched last year.

The smartphones are expected to come with top-of-the-line specifications, in line with what the OnePlus 7 and the upcoming flagship from Redmi (the Redmi K20) would have to offer.

Quad-cameras and the HiSilicon Kirin 980 chipset would be the major talking points of the two devices. While the chipset would be common on both, the Honor 20 and 20 Pro, the difference would lie in terms of camera.

Both smartphones are expected to pack 48MP primary camera, 16MP super-wide-angle camera, and 2MP macro cameras. However, Honor 20 Pro's fourth sensor might be an 8MP telephoto camera, while the Honor 20 will pack a 2MP depth sensor instead.

Other than that, the smartphones are expected to carry forward a similar gradient glass back design from the Honor 10. The smartphones would be a bit bigger, however. The Honor 10 was extremely pocketable, standing only 5.89 inches tall.

Honor 20 and 20 Pro's LCD display will have a circular cutout notch to make space for the front facing camera.

In terms of memory and storage configurations, we can expect the two smartphones to max out at 8GB RAM and 256GB internal storage.

This brings us to the elephant in the room, the operating system and support for future updates.

Last week, the Trump administration added Huawei to its "entity list", which means US-based companies cannot provide technology to Huawei without gaining government permission.

Due to this, Google withdrew the Chinese telecom giant's Android license yesterday. Honor is a sub-brand of Huawei, so it too will be affected by this.

The Android license allows Huawei to use Google’s Play Store, Play Protect (the in-built malware scanner on Google Play), Security Updates and more on its phones. Losing it means future Huawei (and hence Honor) phones will not have these apps, along with others like Google Maps, YouTube and more.

The company, though, has access to the open source parts of Android, also called the Android Open Source Project (AOSP). This means Huawei will still be able to build its own operating system (called EMUI) based on Android but without Google services, as it does in China where Google services are banned/blocked.

Security updates, too, will be available only when Google makes them available to the AOSP project, which could mean a considerable delay compared to other OEMs who do have the correct licenses.

Huawei has said that it will continue to provide security updates and after-sales services to its existing smartphones and tablets, but it is not clear if its smartphones would receive Android Q updates later this year.

Further, the Honor 20-series devices are new, no doubt; but they have been developed for at least a few months now. This might put the new smartphones in the "existing" list, meaning they might continue to receive security updates and after-sales services.

We have reached out to Honor for a response on this matter.

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