Huawei P50 Pocket Review


With Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip 3 flying off cabinets, it’s no marvel to peer pageant heating up for smaller, clamshell-style foldables. The P50 Pocket is Huawei’s first take at the shape issue – regardless that its fourth foldable phone total – and there’s lots right here to offer Samsung pause for concept.

Huawei’s {hardware} is lovely spot on, with a foldable exhibit and hinge that put the Z Flip 3’s to disgrace, subsidized up through a formidable digicam and lengthy battery lifestyles – two of the Flip’s large vulnerable spots.

Unfortunately, the P50 Pocket has its personal issues, and so they’re acquainted ones. Huawei’s well-publicised industry restrictions imply that the phone lacks each 5G and give a boost to for Google apps and services and products. Those are primary drawbacks, particularly for a phone that begins from €1,299.

Design & construct

  • Gapless folding hinge
  • Textured finishes
  • No waterproofing

In wide strokes, the P50 Pocket adopts an overly equivalent design to Samsung’s Z Flip telephones, with a big exhibit that folds vertically to go away a nearly sq. phone when closed.

Huawei P50 Pocket folding

There are a couple of variations regardless that. For one, the P50 Pocket is a little bit greater in each measurement. It’s nonetheless extraordinarily pocketable – therefore the title – however that is surely a bigger phone than its rival. I individually want the moderately smaller Samsung, however your mileage might range.

The larger distinction lies within the new ‘Multi-Dimensional’ hinge. This subtle model of the mechanism discovered within the greater Mate X2 foldable pushes the centre of the exhibit out right into a drop-shaped area when folding, which each reduces the crease at the display screen and permits the phone to near completely, and not using a visual hole between the 2 halves when it’s folded close.

That would possibly not sound like a large deal, however the seamless hinge provides vastly to how polished and top class the phone feels, and from minute one this phone feels a minimize above Samsung’s efforts in that appreciate no less than. If not anything else, it offers the Korean corporate a transparent goal to attempt for within the subsequent Z Flip.

Huawei P50 Pocket closed

That stated, Samsung nonetheless has the threshold in other places. For one, the P50 Pocket can’t keep open at any attitude. It will open completely flat, and could also be lovely solid round 90 levels, however at different angles the display screen gained’t reliably keep in position, and can slowly shift below the power of gravity.

The P50 Pocket additionally has no IP ranking to talk of, which means there’s no legit coverage from water right here in any respect – fold this within the tub at your peril.

One oddity is the phone’s finishes. When Huawei introduced the phone in China in overdue 2021, it got here in 3 colors, however the black fashion hasn’t survived the soar to the worldwide marketplace. Instead, consumers can have to choose from a typical white model of the phone, or a top class gold fashion which comes with a €300 surcharge. Admittedly, this does be offering further RAM and garage, too.

Huawei P50 Pocket gold premium

Both variations of the phone are textured. The white fashion is moderately dimpled throughout its floor, whilst the Premium gold model has wavy ripples, it appears impressed through magnetic fields. This is the fashion I’ve been checking out, and I’ve to mention that the feel is my least favorite a part of the phone’s aesthetic. The gold color could also be a stunning fingerprint magnet, which surely detracts from the polish in other places.

One ultimate observe at the construct – as an alternative of an under-display fingerprint scanner, right here you’ll discover a reader constructed into the phone’s energy button at the aspect. You too can use face liberate if you happen to want, each when the phone is open and closed.

Display & audio

  • Large 6.9in major exhibit
  • Minimal crease
  • Circular 1in quilt exhibit

Huawei has leant into the ease of the foldable shape issue to maximize the scale of the P50 Pocket’s major display screen. The 6.9in display screen is correct on the higher finish of what you’ll to find in any phone – it is larger than the 6.8in exhibit at the Galaxy S21 Ultra – so that you’ll must be comfy the usage of a large display screen to get on with this.

What you get is a 120Hz OLED, and symbol high quality is superb – there is no primary high quality compromise from the foldable shape. Expect vivid colors, deep blacks, and nice viewing angles all spherical.

Huawei P50 Pocket hinge

I’ve discussed already that one of the most advantages of Huawei’s new hinge is a discounted crease at the exhibit itself. The bend remains to be there if you happen to glance intently, nevertheless it’s truly no longer noticeable if you happen to’re having a look on the phone head-on. You can really feel it as you scroll and spot it within the photograph above however, once more, it’s adequately subtle that it’s impossible to hassle you.

That’s simply the primary exhibit regardless that. You additionally get a smaller, 1.04in round exhibit at the out of doors of the phone. This is most commonly used as a mini always-on exhibit for when the phone is closed, however you’ll additionally swipe thru for media controls, the elements, your calendar, or the digicam, as a way to take selfies or report video the usage of the primary digicam setup.

Huawei P50 Pocket cover display

It additionally provides the abnormal technique to take a look at whether or not you’ve calmly implemented your sunscreen, with one of the most cameras measuring UV gentle reflections out of your pores and skin to determine the place sunscreen is and isn’t. It’s the definition of a distinct segment characteristic however, hiya – it really works, and all of us use sunscreen from time to time, so why no longer?

As for audio, it’s going to be no marvel to listen to there’s no headphone jack right here. The precise audio system are…high quality. Phone audio system hardly wow, and those are a ways from the most productive anyway. Expect minimum bass and a tinny high quality to the top notes – nevertheless it’ll do the activity for the bizarre little bit of song or a couple of YouTube movies.

Specs & efficiency

  • Snapdragon 888 4G
  • Up to 12GB RAM and 512GB garage in Premium fashion
  • No 5G

Huawei stays hamstrung through US-enforced industry restrictions, and this has a selected impact at the chips the corporate can use. As a outcome, the P50 Pocket is powered through Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 888, however a 4G model of the chip – which means there is not any 5G give a boost to within the phone in any respect.

At least that could be a robust chip, albeit one who’s a 12 months previous. Here it’s joined through 8GB of RAM and 256GB of garage within the common model of the phone, whilst the Premium Edition will get 12GB RAM and 512GB garage, which is helping justify the €300 top class for it.

Curiously, in my benchmarking the Pocket didn’t set up the similar ranges of efficiency we’ve noticed from another Snapdragon 888 telephones. This may partially be defined through tool compatibility, however no less than a part of the issue appears to be heat-related, with the phone getting heat temporarily all through checking out.

For the typical person this gained’t subject one bit. The phone remains to be completely rapid, and robust sufficient to deal with any app it is advisable throw at it. It will truly most effective trouble energy customers and severe cell avid gamers, who will probably be higher suited through a phone that’s been designed to stick cool moderately than simply glance cool.

Beyond the loss of 5G, different connectivity choices are forged, with Bluetooth 5.2, Wi-Fi 6, and NFC all integrated.

Camera

  • 40Mp, f/1.8 major digicam
  • 13Mp, f/2.2 ultra-wide digicam
  • Fluorescent taking pictures mode

For all its infamy in different spaces, Huawei remains to be rightly famend for growing one of the crucial greatest digicam {hardware} within the smartphone business.

With that during thoughts, it’s no marvel to peer severe specifications right here. This isn’t Huawei’s highest digicam – the P50 Pro and Mate X2 must duke it out for that honour – nevertheless it’s critically spectacular, and very easily higher than the fundamental shooters within the Z Flip 3.

Huawei P50 Pocket camera

There are 3 major lenses right here, however most effective two are energetic choices on your core pictures, so that is truly extra like a twin digicam, with a 40Mp major shooter and a 13Mp ultra-wide, which is able to each be used to report video at as much as 4K answer in 60 frames consistent with 2d.

They’re supplemented through a 32Mp ‘Ultra Spectrum’ digicam. This isn’t in fact used to take footage by itself however as an alternative, along side a separate multi-spectrum sensor, provides intensity and color knowledge – together with colors past the visual spectrum – to assist the 2 core lenses ship higher footage with richer color main points.

That might sound like not anything greater than fluff and jargon, however the effects do talk for themselves, and pictures from each common rear lenses listed here are improbable, particularly in excellent lights prerequisites. That color vary particularly is truly glaring, with delicate shifts in tone and coloration that no longer each rival may seize.

Huawei P50 Pocket camera test

Low-light and night-mode footage are excellent however no longer essentially nice. There’s no optical symbol stabilisation right here, which is most probably the primary limitation. That makes it trickier for the digicam to stay evening mode pictures crisp and deal with exposing gentle assets appropriately. Still, at the major digicam effects are first rate, regardless that the fewer stated in regards to the ultra-wide in low gentle the easier – each evening mode shot I took in this lens got here out both horrendously shaky, totally under-exposed, or each.

In addition to the standard vary of digicam modes – slow-mo, landscape, monochrome, and extra – Huawei has additionally integrated a novelty: fluorescence. With the assistance of an ‘extremely spectrum illuminator’ (which necessarily simply appears to be a mini UV gentle) you’ll seize glow-in-the-dark footage in darkish settings, which is indubitably a novel possibility for a phone.

Huawei P50 Pocket cover display selfie

For selfies, you get a call. You can use the ten.7Mp punch-hole selfie digicam to take pictures as you typically would, however you’re at an advantage shutting the phone and the usage of the duvet exhibit to take pictures with the primary lens in portrait mode – and even report video. Controls are stripped again, so that you gained’t be capable of use the ultra-wide or turn on evening mode, however 9 instances out of ten this may increasingly nonetheless ship the most productive effects.

Battery & charging

  • Better battery lifestyles than the Z Flip 3
  • Fast 40W stressed out charging
  • No wi-fi charging

One perk of Huawei making the P50 Pocket a little bit larger than the Z Flip 3 is that it leaves area for a larger battery too.

The 4000mAh capability right here isn’t huge, nevertheless it’s significantly higher than the 3300mAh Samsung controlled. The result’s that the Pocket is well a full-day instrument, and can stretch a little bit longer if truly had to.

Huawei P50 Pocket

The 40W stressed out USB-C charging is rapid too, able to charging the phone again up temporarily when you want it.

The one actual unhappiness here’s that Huawei didn’t come with wi-fi charging. From a sensible viewpoint, higher battery lifestyles is most probably a larger precedence for the general public, nevertheless it nonetheless rankles to discover a phone that prices greater than a grand and nonetheless doesn’t give a boost to Qi charging.

Software

  • Runs Huawei’s EMUI 12
  • No give a boost to for Google apps or services and products

Huawei’s industry woes no longer most effective save you the corporate from obtaining 5G chipsets, in addition they make it not possible to license the total suite of Google services and products.

As a outcome the P50 Pocket, like any contemporary Huawei telephones, can not run any of Google’s apps or get admission to the Google Play Store. That’s in spite of operating on Huawei’s EMUI tool, which is in line with the open supply parts of Android 11.

Huawei P50 Pocket EMUI

The results of all it is a compromised enjoy. Between the Huawei App Gallery, phone cloning gear, and the Petal Search app, it’s imaginable to put in some – in all probability maximum – of the Android apps you’d typically use, together with standard choices like Twitter, Instagram, and WhatsApp. They gained’t consistently replace themselves regardless that, so that you’ll need to manually replace and re-install apps to stick forward of any safety considerations and new options.

You can’t get any of Google’s personal apps, regardless that the workaround of including a house display screen shortcut to the internet variations of Gmail and Google Maps does alleviate that relatively.

Perhaps the larger headache is that many third-party Android apps depend on Google’s servers for login, syncing, backup, or different options, and regularly those apps merely gained’t run at the P50 Pocket. It’s laborious to expect which apps will run and which gained’t, so if you wish to make the P50 Pocket your major phone then you’re going to be taking a raffle that one of the crucial apps you depend on merely would possibly not serve as for you.

Huawei P50 Pocket

It’s additionally laborious to mention what long-term tool give a boost to to be expecting. In China, Huawei’s telephones now run the corporate’s personal HarmonyOS, and in all probability ultimately this phone will transfer to that tool – regardless that at the floor no less than there’s little to drag Harmony and EMUI aside.

With Huawei restricted to the open supply portions of Android, it’s additionally no longer transparent how intently it’s going to apply long run primary Android model updates, or for a way lengthy it’s going to proceed to replace the P50 Pocket with new options and safety patches.

Price & availability

The P50 Pocket is to be had now the world over, regardless that the rollout is going on steadily in every nation – the most productive wager is to visit the Huawei website online to peer if it’s to be had the place you’re.

In Europe, the phone is available in two variations:

  • 8GB RAM + 256GB garage in white: €1,299
  • 12GB RAM + 512GB garage in gold: €1,599

That’s obviously lovely pricey. To make the most obvious comparability, the Galaxy Z Flip 3 starts from £949/$999/€1,049, and the similar 256GB fashion prices £999/$1,049/€1,099.

The P50 Pocket without a doubt has a awesome folding mechanism and hinge, and is reinforced through a extra robust digicam and higher battery. That would indubitably be sufficient to justify the upper worth, however when you issue within the loss of wi-fi charging, waterproofing, 5G, and Google apps, Samsung’s possibility starts to appear to be significantly better worth.

Huawei P50 Pocket

Check out extra of the most productive Huawei telephones for the corporate’s different contemporary choices, lots of which might be to be had within the West – albeit additionally with out Google services and products.

Verdict

The P50 Pocket tells a well-recognized tale. Huawei has put in combination some improbable {hardware} right here, with a hinge mechanism that’s past Samsung’s highest efforts, forged battery lifestyles, and a strong digicam setup.

There are minor niggles – I don’t love the glossy finishes and it’s a disgrace that Huawei couldn’t fit the Z Flip 3’s waterproofing and wi-fi charging – however in the long run the massive drawback stays that there’s no 5G connectivity and no give a boost to for core Google apps and services and products.

At a cut-throat worth it will make sense to sacrifice the ones, but if the nearest competitor is less expensive and extra fully-featured, the P50 Pocket is an overly laborious promote.

More than anything, that’s a disgrace. Huawei has knocked it out of the park right here, and it’s most effective forces out of doors the corporate’s keep an eye on that hang the P50 Pocket again.

Specs

Huawei P50 Pocket: Specs

  • EMUI 12
  • 6.9in Full HD+ (2790×1188) foldable 120Hz OLED exhibit
  • 1.04in (340×340) 60Hz OLED quilt exhibit
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 4G octa-core processor
  • 8/12GB RAM
  • 256/512GB inner garage
  • 40Mp, f/1.8 major digicam + 13Mp, f/2.2 ultra-wide digicam + 32Mp, f/1.8 extremely spectrum digicam
  • 10.7Mp, f/2.2 selfie digicam
  • Side-mounted fingerprint scanner
  • 2D face popularity
  • Wi-Fi 6
  • Bluetooth 5.2
  • GPS
  • NFC
  • 4G LTE
  • USB-C
  • 4000mAh non-removable battery
  • 40W stressed out charging
  • Unfolded: 170 x 75.5 x 7.2mm
  • Folded: 87.3 x 75.5 x 15.2mm
  • 190g



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