These are the Huawei smartphones receiving the EMUI 9.1 update

EMUI, short for Emotion UI, has been Huawei’s own take on the extensive customizations that device makers do to Android in order to not only differentiate themselves from the competition and stand out but also to offer more value to users, since 2012.

As such, every now and then, the company updates EMUI to keep up with the times while adding new functionalities and features. The latter is the case with EMUI 9.1, released with Huawei’s new 2019 flagship devices, the P30 and the P30 Pro, last month.

I say that because as far as looks go, EMUI 9.1, as I interacted with it on the Huawei P30 Pro and even the standard P30, is unchanged from the EMUI 8.0 that runs on my aged Huawei Mate 9. Or the EMUI 9.0 that runs on the Huawei P30 Lite that I am currently reviewing. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it, right?

Where EMUI 9.1 makes a big difference, however, is how it handles things under the hood. Things may look the same on the surface but underneath, the ground has shifted. For instance, with EMUI 9.1, Huawei has finally made the migration to the new file system it teased mid-last year, EROFS (Extended Read-Only File System).

EROFS is said to have significant performance improvements over the F2FS file system that Huawei, just like every other Android device maker of note, had been using previously (for the geeks in the house, ext4 hasn’t been an Android darling for a while. Even Google dumped it for F2FS in the third generation Pixel smartphones).

For instance, the random read speed is said to be at least 20% faster on EROFS when compared to the file system it is replacing. With a better compression mode that focuses entirely on speed and performance, there’ll even be more storage space to spare under the new file system (this is one of the reasons why you need to watch Silicon Valley and follow a startup there pioneering a fast compression algorithm).

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A new file system aside, EMUI 9.1 also brings with it more security to the system, Huawei’s own more elaborate virtual assistant, support for GPU Turbo 3 (translation: better handling of games without compromises in performance or battery life), Huawei Vlog (basically, a video editor, Huawei’s own iMovie) and better support for some features available on Huawei’s new devices like taking advantage of the Time of Flight sensor on the P30 Pro to provide accurate measurements with the AR measure app (for reference, Apple introduced a similar AR app for measuring objects called Ruler, last year at WWDC).

Back to security, it is where a neat Huawei P30 Pro feature, demoed at MWC 2019 (with hilarious epic fail moments to boot), also gets to function with EMUI 9.1 taking advantage of NFC on Huawei devices to unlock car doors and allowing users to share the key with up to 5 other users. The same NFC pairing also lets users share photos and videos to their Huawei laptops faster.

If all that sounds good so far then you will be glad to know that some of those features, the necessary hardware permitting, are coming to the following Huawei devices if what is circling in the Chinese social media space is anything to go by:

  • Huawei Mate 20
  • Huawei Mate 20 Pro
  • Huawei Mate 20 X
  • Huawei Mate 20 RS Porsche Design
  • Huawei Mate 20 Lite
  • Huawei Mate 10
  • Huawei Mate 10 Pro
  • Huawei Mate RS Porsche Design
  • Huawei Mate 9
  • Huawei Mate 9 Pro
  • Huawei Mate 9 Porsche Design
  • Huawei P20
  • Huawei P20 Pro
  • Huawei P10
  • Huawei P10 Plus
  • Huawei Nova 4
  • Huawei Nova 3
  • Huawei Nova 3i
  • Huawei Nova 2S
  • Honor Play
  • Honor 10
  • Honor Play 8A
  • Honor View 10
  • Honor View 10 Lite
  • Honor Note 10
  • Honor 9
  • Honor V9
  • Honor 8X
  • Huawei Nova 4e
  • Huawei Nova 3e
  • Huawei Enjoy 9 Plus
  • Huawei Enjoy 8 Plus
  • Huawei Enjoy Max
  • Huawei Enjoy 9S
  • Huawei Enjoy 7S
  • Huawei Enjoy 9e
  • Honor 9 Lite
  • Honor 8X Max
  • Honor 20i
  • Honor 9i
  • Honor 7X
  • Huawei MediaPad M5 10.1
  • Huawei MediaPad M5 8.4
  • Huawei MediaPad M5 8.0
  • Huawei MediaPad M5 Pro 10.8
  • Huawei MediaPad 5T 10.1
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While the Huawei P30 Lite is not listed above, that the Nova 4e, which is its exact copy, is listed means that the update will still make its way to the less endowed member of the P30 series. The other devices in the series arrived running EMUI 9.1.

Did your device make the list?

Have something that you believe I need to have a look at? Hit me up: echenze [at]