Huawei P50 Pro Review: Better Late Than Never


Between the corporate’s US-imposed restrictions, the worldwide pandemic and the continuing chip shortages, there was once a second the place it felt as although the Huawei P50 sequence would by no means see the sunshine of day.

Devices did ultimately arrive within the corporate’s local China (in August 2021) however virtually a yr on from their anticipated launch, most effective now do world markets in any case have hands-on no less than one of the most entries within the sequence: the Huawei P50 Pro.

Likely on account of the P50 line’s tough highway to marketplace, the Pro+ style that punctuated the highest of 2020’s Huawei P40 circle of relatives is nowhere to be noticed amidst this technology (even supposing we’ve as an alternative gained the folding P50 Pocket), rendering the P50 Pro essentially the most succesful typical bar-style phone that the corporate recently provides.

Design and construct

  • Great construct high quality
  • Thin and lightweight for its dimension
  • Underwhelming end choices

As with the opposite entries within the P50 sequence, the Pro showcases the corporate’s newest ‘Dual-Matrix Camera Design’; punctuated by means of the 2 huge round digicam modules placed one above the opposite within the height left nook of the phone’s reflective glass again.

The modules themselves are then sat atop a stepped pill-shaped component, however even with this means, the digicam bump is negligible and the format intriguing; with 3 of the phone’s 4 rear sensors within the height module and the telephoto snapper, flash and autofocus formula placed throughout the decrease.

While Huawei presented the phone in 4 colors – Cocoa Gold, Pearl White, Charm Pink and Golden Black – it is the gold and black variants which might be essentially the most broadly to be had across the world.

Huawei P50 Pro top edge


An IR blaster may also be discovered alongside the P50 Pro’s height edge, subsequent to a part of the speaker and microphone arrays

Cocoa Gold (as pictured/reviewed) does not subvert expectancies like Huawei’s standard array of attention-grabbing finishes has a tendency to or even calling it gold turns out like a stretch; with a silvery mirror-like look that includes “a touch of tea,” as one Huawei consultant described it.

What’s great is the design crew’s colour-matching talents, with a complementary steel body that follows the contours of the phone’s rounded facets whilst embracing a decidedly Oppo-like flat height and backside edge. Although the shiny end is unsurprisingly liable to fingerprints, Huawei does come with a clear versatile case in-box to mitigate this factor fairly and it nonetheless approach you’ll experience your selected colourway too.

Huawei P50 Pro profile

Despite wearing a bigger battery than its predecessor, it is each lighter (195g vs. 209g) and thinner (8.5mm vs. 8.95mm) than 2020’s P40 Pro; helped by means of that svelt steel body, and a curved glass back and front. The general impact is a refreshingly skinny and light-feeling flagship with top-notch construct high quality, and IP68 mud and water resistance besides.

Display and audio

  • Stunning curved-edge OLED show
  • Middling in-display fingerprint sensor
  • First P sequence phone with a 120Hz refresh charge

Part of that gratifying hand-feel comes from the truth that, in contrast to a lot of different top-tier competitors, the P50 Pro is not an enormous phone.

Its skinny body surrounds a 6.6in curved-edge panel that – for the primary time within the P sequence – makes the soar to a 120Hz refresh charge; offering super-smooth visuals. That’s accompanied by means of a 300Hz contact reaction charge (nice for gaming) and 1440Hz PWM dimming keep an eye on (supposed to cut back eye pressure, in particular at decrease brightness).

Huawei P50 Pro display home screen close up

Huawei’s additionally driven its show generation additional by means of integrating 10-bit coloration toughen and – even supposing it does not stretch into 4K territory, like Sony’s Xperia 1 line – the 2700px by means of 1228px answer leads to a crisp 450ppi. Pair this with outstanding viewing angles (to not point out minimum brightness drop-off when seen off-axis) and it makes for one of the most nicest smartphone shows round, at this time.

The front-facing digicam has moved from its predecessor’s pill-shaped offset dual-sensor providing to a some distance much less obvious, centrally-positioned unmarried snapper, whilst the optical in-display fingerprint sensor sits low at the panel and works effectively sufficient, however may well be advanced – when it comes to each reaction time and reliability (there may be the choice of snappy RGB camera-based face liberate too).

That luxurious show is accompanied by means of a stereo speaker pair, with speaker grilles set into each the highest and backside edges of the phone (when held in portrait). There’s an intentional bias towards mids and prime frequencies from the highest speaker, whilst the ground delivers audio with extra bass, which isn’t unusual the place stereo smartphone audio system are involved.

Huawei P50 Pro bottom USB-C

Overall loudness is decent, with out distortion, and the audio system be offering gratifying readability and vary too. More bass is consistently favored with regards to cellular audio and the P50 Pro does not do a lot to deal with this, whilst there’s a level of stereo separation, despite the fact that the speaker bias makes issues really feel moderately unbalanced.

There’s no headphone jack or USB-C to three.5mm adapter in-box, so over/on/in-ear audio is highest accomplished wirelessly (take a look at our Best true wi-fi earbuds chart for some profitable suggestions).

While Huawei makes no point out of the Acoustic Display generation first carried out at the P30 sequence, the loss of a discernable earpiece and the truth that masking the highest speaker grill does not seem to have an effect on name high quality means that some variation of the program might persist at the P50 Pro.

Clarity and quantity are decent, even supposing sound leakage may be an excessively actual trait of the phone, so do not be expecting so that you can have a personal dialog in quiet atmosphere.

Software and lines

  • EMUI 12 on world model (no longer HarmonyOS)
  • Awkward workarounds for non AppGallery apps
  • Clean, customisable, easy-to-use revel in

If you’ve gotten been following along side Huawei’s tale of past due, you’ll be able to know that HarmonyOS is the corporate’s newest and largest cellular running formula. You’ll in finding it working on the whole lot from the hot MatePad 11 to the Huawei Watch 3 and it is even to be had at the P50 sequence, however most effective in China.

Internationally – as at the style examined right here – the phone comes working EMUI 12, which long-time Huawei customers will know as the corporate’s skinned model of Android. EMUI on this newest incarnation (in step with Huawei) runs on remodeled underpinnings, in keeping with the AOSP (Android Open Source Project) construct of the platform and, in fact, utterly lacks Google Mobile Services.

Huawei P50 Pro front

The world P50 Pro’s EMUI 12 revel in nonetheless feels decidedly like most up-to-date Android telephones (it is in keeping with Android 11) in addition to HarmonyOS 2, for that subject. The major differentiator is the iOS-like notifications and keep an eye on centre, break up into two discreet sun shades; accessed by means of swiping down from the highest left and height proper facets of the show, respectively.

EMUI additionally has a definite white-on-blue coloration scheme (except you utilize the system-wide darkish mode) and lines an identifiable aesthetic in spaces like its app iconography, animated always-on show components and settings menu.

Huawei P50 Pro settings menu

Coming from the common Google-laden Android phone, you’ll be able to in finding an instantaneous substitute for the entire key apps and reports you would be expecting: the Huawei AppGallery replaces the Google Play Store, the Huawei Assistant replaces the Google Assistant (whole with its voice elements), Huawei Music provides its personal paid streaming subscription, motion pictures and TV displays may also be streamed, rented and acquired in the course of the Huawei Video app and Google Maps has been changed by means of the Chinese corporate’s personal Petal Maps.

If you might be no longer beholden to Google, the transfer to EMUI at the P50 Pro should not pose any actual drawback; it is a whole ecosystem in its personal proper. However, for the ones already entrenched in america tech massive’s apps and products and services, leveraging them at the P50 Pro is an workout in intensive hoop-jumping.

Beyond TikTok and Snapchat – which got here pre-loaded at the Pro – of the 20-something apps I downloaded (together with Facebook, Instagram, Netflix, Twitter, Spotify and Discord), whilst all of them labored to various levels, Huawei’s personal app retailer directed me to obtain 11 of the ones from a third-party supply (specifically APKPure), whilst an extra 8 have been most effective usable as internet apps (or ‘Quick Apps’, as EMUI manufacturers them).

Huawei P50 Pro Quick Apps


EMUI 12’s Quick Apps characteristic a lightning bolt subsequent to their icons

Although some Google apps may also be downloaded by the use of websites like APKPure (comparable to Google Maps), you’ll be able to be not able to log in together with your Google account credentials and thus no longer be capable of get right of entry to stored settings/places and so forth. When it involves apps from third-parties that depend on Google products and services, choices like WhatsApp serve as however you will be unable to tug in any iOS or Google-based chat back-ups; that means you will have to get started from contemporary.

While Huawei has made strides to strengthen the full revel in of pulling in apps from disparate assets, conserving them up to date will also be a problem; with some up to date APKs wanting to be reinstalled over present entries, to not point out apps from outdoor the AppGallery cannot be up to date within the background; requiring handbook affirmation of set up.

Performance

  • No 5G
  • Great efficiency
  • Hardware already seems to be dated

The distinctive set of cases tying Huawei’s arms referring to sides of its product building – just like the enforced absence of Google Mobile Services – is identical driver in the back of the debut of the strange Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 4G that powers the P50 Pro.

As the identify implies, the phone makes use of the similar 5nm chipset discovered within the majority of 2021’s highest and brightest smartphones, alternatively, that suffix highlights some other abnormal facet impact of the corporate’s incapacity to paintings with positive US-affiliated applied sciences: no 5G.

Why this newest P sequence cannot experience some great benefits of 5G connectivity, whilst different moderately fresh Huawei gadgets – like its predecessor, the Mate 40 sequence and the foldable Mate X2 – may, stays unclear however it is some other disappointing quirk of the P50 Pro.

As you may be expecting, in trying out the Pro proves completely comfy turning in an improbable flagship-class revel in, alternatively, the chipset at its core already rests within the shadow of no longer one (the Snapdragon 888+) however two (the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1) successors.

Battery and charging

  • 1.5 day battery existence
  • 66W rapid stressed out charging
  • 80% price in half-hour

Despite being thinner and lighter than its predecessor, Huawei’s controlled to squeeze the easiest capability battery right into a P sequence tool but, with a 4360mAh mobile throughout the P50 Pro.

EMUI is understood for its heavy-handed background energy control and whilst this did not seem to affect daily usability, app release instances or normal efficiency, it’s most likely the explanation in the back of the phone’s spectacular longevity, in comparison to in a similar fashion specced gadgets. Screen-on time that persistently approached 8.75 hours is not to be sniffed at both.

What’s extra, the phone carries around the Mate 40 sequence’ excellent charging setup; with 66W stressed out charging toughen, as much as 50W wi-fi charging toughen and opposite wi-fi charging; perfect for topping your Huawei Freebuds again up, whilst out and about.

Huawei features a 66W SuperCharge adapter in-box that refills the phone to over 80% price in simply half-hour and completely fees the P50 Pro in round 45 mins. While that is spectacular in and of itself, the phone’s charging prowess is additional strengthened by means of the truth that you’ll be able to most effective want about 60% to 70% price to make it thru a complete day usually use.

Cameras

  • Versatile quad rear digicam setup
  • Some inconsistencies in video
  • Rich imaging toolset

One of the cornerstones of any Huawei flagship is its digicam and the P50 Pro’s Dual Matrix design homes an intriguing collection of sensors; led by means of an optically-stabilised 50Mp ‘True-Chroma’ number one snapper.

Pulling from a couple of generations again within the P sequence lineage, the Pro additionally integrates a devoted 40Mp monochrome sensor (which amongst different issues informs the phone’s ‘monochrome’ taking pictures mode), whilst a 13Mp ultrawide and a 64Mp periscopic telephoto sensor (with 3.5x optical magnification) spherical out the lenses at the phone’s rear.

Huawei P50 Pro camera test

As the ‘True-Chroma’ branding alludes to, higher coloration accuracy is a core focal point of this technology’s digicam formula; with the addition of a 10-channel multi-spectrum sensor (to go with the broader coloration gamut toughen afforded to the P3-compliant show), along different extras; like laser autofocus.

Between the purpose of and overview, there are a few further applied sciences operating to strengthen symbol high quality; with ‘Huawei XD Optics’ reportedly correcting mild mistakes earlier than the picture processing section. The corporate’s ‘XD Fusion Pro’ symbol engine then takes over, designed to smarten up coloration, dynamic vary and element, earlier than serving up the overall symbol.

There’s so much to like in regards to the photographs that the P50 Pro captures. Photos have a tendency to supply extra muted, herbal colors, in comparison to key competitors, whilst the HDR processing used does effectively to retain symbol data from across the brightest and darkest spaces of body, despite the fact that it isn’t somewhat as succesful as a designated few fresh entries (take a look at our rundown of the most productive digicam telephones for extra).

Huawei P50 Pro back angled

For all of the processing that Huawei shouts about although, the P50 Pro outputs photographs that seem softer and no more processed than what you would be expecting from the likes of Samsung, Google and even Apple. It appears like an intentional determination, quite than some demonstration of a technical merit/downside, and if you happen to just like the sound of pictures that trades ‘pop’ for authenticity, then the P50 Pro may ship anything nearer in your tastes.

Low mild taking pictures in this Huawei is, as ever, very competent – providing up effects that means the skills of the Pixel 6 sequence, alternatively, footage may also be captured in a fragment of the time, which impresses.

Video – most often one of the most most powerful sides of a Huawei phone’s digicam skillset, in comparison to maximum Android telephones – has a few cracks right here and there that I wasn’t anticipating. While steadiness is first rate, there may be a clumsy visible skip when transferring between sensors while zooming that feels extra pronounced than on earlier entries within the sequence.

Colour steadiness in video additionally confirmed indicators of indecisiveness, with the full body showing extra washed out than anticipated and a few components reputedly flickering out and in of coloration correctness. It’s a trait that carried throughout to the 13Mp selfie snapper too, which does not be offering the similar dynamic vary or consideration to processing because the rear sensors, despite the fact that it does a tight process at dealing with publicity.

Huawei P50 Pro selfie camera

Software-wise, there appear to be some present signature Huawei digicam options that, for no matter reason why, are not provide at the P50 Pro. Its predecessor’s mirrored image removing device has it seems that pale away, whilst vintage taking pictures modes, comparable to ‘mild trails’ have long past (despite the fact that fresh additions just like the ‘aperture’ mode and the power to recreate the impact manually in ‘professional’ mode fill the void).

The post-capture modifying toolset seems extra powerful than ever, with an object removing device that imitates the Pixel 6 sequence’ Magic Eraser and timeline-based video modifying that comes with each automatic and handbook gear that come with velocity ramping, keyframes and extra.

While the imaging {hardware} on be offering turns out decent and dependable, it may well be that a couple of post-release instrument updates are had to iron out the inconsistencies discovered within the P50 Pro’s symbol and video processing.

Price and availability

After a well-documented and drawn-out trail to marketplace, Huawei was once in any case in a position to introduce the P50 and P50 Pro to Chinese audiences on 29 July 2021, with the telephones occurring sale the next month (12 August).

For markets additional afield, of the 2, most effective the P50 Pro has since noticed launch on the time of writing. Initially attaining pre-order in a lot of markets around the Middle East and Asia (round mid-January 2022), while making its solution to Europe on the finish of the month (December 26).

In maximum areas, the best way to get your arms at the Huawei P50 Pro is to move at once to Huawei’s personal web site, with the world style costing €1,199 in Europe (to be had in one 8GB RAM + 256GB garage configuration).

Verdict

The Huawei P50 Pro does not lose issues for a similar causes maximum different telephones do: underwhelming cameras, a nasty show or deficient efficiency – for essentially the most phase, the ones characteristics are all very good right here. The struggles it faces are, at this level, well-documented and uniquely Huawei; brought about by means of cases past the achieve of the corporate’s affect however ones that deeply have an effect on merchandise just like the P50 Pro.

As such, it is those very cases – no longer any type of ineptitude – that truly prevent the Huawei P50 Pro from being an another way obtrusive advice.

In 2022, a flagship in keeping with the former technology’s {hardware}, underpinned by means of the former model of Android (with out a transparent replace roadmap), a painfully prime worth – regardless of the loss of anticipated flagship options like 5G – and the continuing absence of Google integration (that such a lot of customers across the world depend on), all undermine the arduous paintings that Huawei has obviously poured into the P50 Pro, and that’s the reason an actual disgrace.

Specs

Huawei P50 Pro: Specs

  • 6.6in 2400 x 1224 curved-edge OLED
  • 300Hz contact sampling charge
  • 120Hz refresh charge
  • 1440Hz prime body charge PWM dimming (reduces eye pressure)
  • 1.07B colors
  • 450ppi
  • Kirin 9000 4G/Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 4G processor (varies by means of launch window/marketplace)
  • 8GB or 12GB RAM
  • 128GB, 256GB or 512GB garage
  • NM card-expandable as much as 256GB
  • 50Mp f/1.8 ‘True-Chroma’ major w/ OIS
  • 40Mp f/1.6 ‘True-Chroma’ monochrome
  • 13Mp f/2.2 120° ultrawide
  • 64Mp f/3.5 periscopic telephoto w/ OIS (3.5x optical zoom, most 200x zoom vary)
  • 13Mp f/2.4 100° front-facing hole-punch digicam
  • HarmonyOS 2.0/EMUI 12 (marketplace dependant)
  • Stereo audio system
  • IP68-certified
  • Dual-SIM
  • 4G
  • WiFi 6
  • Bluetooth 5.2
  • NFC
  • USB-C (USB 3.1)
  • 4360mAh battery
  • 66W rapid stressed out charging
  • 50W wi-fi charging
  • Dimensions: 158.8 x 72.8 x 8.5mm
  • Weight: 195 grams
  • Colours: Cocoa Gold, Pearl White, Charm Pink, Golden Black, Dynamic Sky Blue (varies by means of marketplace)



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