With the Honor 9X set to launch in Malaysia, there has been some doubt on whether or not it will be launched with Google Apps. As Honor is under Huawei, who has been under strict restriction due to the US ban, and Huawei has recently launched their flagship smartphone without Google. it seems certain that Honor would be going down the same path.
Not quite, it seems. The Honor 9X will launch with Google Apps, as SoyaCincau has pointed out several tech media in Europe that have received their review units and have revealed that they do have Google apps on the device - even the Play Store. It looks like Honor had the devices certified by Google before the license was revoked. Honor did this by merely upgrading the Huawei P Smart Z, which had already received its certification long before Trump's ban took place.
For those unaware the Huawei P Smart Z is the same model as the Huawei Y9 Prime 2019, which is currently available in Malaysia. The difference between that and the Honor 9X is that instead of a 16MP main camera, there's a 48MP sensor. Instead of a dual-tone look, there's a holographic X pattern design for the rear, similar to the Honor View 20.
Through this roundabout way, the Honor 9X was able to launch with Google apps. The European version does come with some downgrades though; the processor running on Kirin 710F instead of Kirin 810, and the finger-print sensor is mounted on the rear instead of the side.
It's still uncertain whether we will be receiving the European version in Malaysia, as the teaser has yet to reveal the full specs on what we will be receiving, and the specs we listed were those from China. But even with the downgrades, this may be better than to get a high spec Android smartphone that lacks Google apps. Until then, we will have to wait for Honor to make an official announcement.