Honor's upcoming V40 flagship smartphone may be the first one to bring back Google Mobile Services to the company's phones since its former parent company Huawei was added to the United States' entity list. Earlier in the week, reports suggested that Honor would be adding Google services to its phones in the future, but there was no indication it would happen so soon - the Honor V40 is scheduled to be revealed on January 22 in China.
Huawei was added to the U.S. entity list back in 2019, forbidding American companies from doing business with both Huawei and Honor. That's why every Huawei and Honor phone we've reviewed since then has shipped without Google services, and instead relies on Huawei's own ecosystem and AOSP.
While the company has made some progress in making those phones more usable, such as the recent addition of Petal Search to install apps from multiple sources on the web, the weight of Google services in Western markets is hard to overlook. Back in November, under unrelenting pressure from the U.S. government, Huawei made the last-ditch decision to sell its Honor brand to a Chinese consortium to free it from the restrictions of the ban.
The Honor V40 was scheduled to be announced in China at the start of the week, but the date was pushed back to January 22. It's rumored to pack a MediaTek Dimensity 1000+ chipset and have a 6.72-inch display with a 120Hz refresh rate. The Chinese version of the phone likely won't ship with Google services, but we may hear about support for them in international markets sometime soon.