Huawei P50 Pro ,4360 mAh battery, 256 GB storage, 8 GB RAM

 

Huawei P50 Pro
Huawei P50 Pro

Huawei announced its P series devices back in the summer of 2021. Various factors caused global shipping to take so long - chip shortages? lower staff numbers?, well, who knows - but the flagship P50 Pro is now available, bringing with it mighty impressive cameras, but of course only the last-generation Qualcomm Snapdragon processor.
Due to Huawei being outside the Google Services loop, the P50 Pro experience is more-or-less similar to that of a typical Android phone, but there's no access to Google Play Store, so some apps might not be available. This could prove to be a deal-breaker for the majority of users, or can Huawei's App Gallery and Petal Search provide adequate workarounds?

Design

  •     Size: 158.8 x 72.8 x 8.5mm / Weight: 195g
  •     Color options: Golden Black, Cocoa Gold
  •     Water and dust resistant rated IP68
  •     Made of glass and aluminum

Huawei has accomplished a decent job of making its flagship slab look unique when it comes to glass rectangles. That is when viewed from the back. A 'Dual Matrix' camera system consists of two circles, each containing a camera. 

The top circle contains the main, mono, and ultrawide cameras, while the bottom circle contains the periscope zoom and LED flash. On the back of the phone, each circle has its own metal ring, both attached to a large protrusion shaped like a pill. There is no doubt that it dominates the back of the phone. 

Apart from that, the P50 Pro is similar to many other premium smartphones. Both the front and back are made of glass and aluminum, with curved edges on the glass. There is no indication that Huawei is quite ready to join the recent trend of moving back to completely flat screens. Still, it's not alone: Oppo's Find X3 Pro has taken a similar approach. 

The curved approach has its pros and cons. One pro is that it makes a large phone seem smaller. On the negative side, typing with the onscreen keyboard is more difficult, plus accidental touches are more common.

Huawei's case isn't so much accidental touches as it is accidentally activating the 'back' gesture when you are trying to interact with something near the edge of the display. On the other hand, the curved screen edge makes it difficult to activate the 'back' gesture intentionally. 

In any case, the phone looks and feels like a top-notch device. Everything about it feels high-quality. There's so much precision in how it's been designed and put together. 

Display

  •     6.6-inch OLED display with curved edges
  •     At 2700 x 1228 pixels (450ppi) 
  •     Refresh rate up to 120Hz

The OLED display on Huawei's flagship may not have QuadHD resolution, but with 450 pixels per inch, it makes it more than sharp enough. Detail is crisp, even small details such as small text, while thin, curved lines, even when viewed up close, look smooth.

It is also quite large, measuring 6.6 inches diagonally. Although it is not the largest, it strikes a comfortable balance between widescreen and a small form factor. It is an OLED screen, so it offers all the features that so many want: it is bright, vivid, and delivers a high contrast ratio. 

What we particularly like about it is that it is not oversaturated. While the colors are vivid, they do not push into hyperrealism. No matter what angle you look at them from (well, ignoring the outermost curves of the screen), they seem restrained.

This display also has a 120Hz refresh rate, so in areas of the interface that have been optimized, it appears smooth and fluid. The majority of flagship devices feature 120Hz refresh rates these days.

App Gallery/EMUI - What's the state of Play?

  1.     App Gallery and Petal Search pre-installed
  2.     No Google Play Services
  3.     EMUI 12 software
  • The experience of using any piece of technology is not just dependent on the hardware. Huawei has produced some of the most technologically advanced smartphones on the market for years. There is a bit of a snag with the software experience. The reason isn't obvious. 
  • By now most people are aware that Huawei's phones are no longer compatible with Google Play Services since mid-2019. This means, among other things, that there's no Play Store, no Google Maps, no Gmail, no Google Photos, and a few other default services are unavailable. Huawei has been working very hard to develop solutions since the initial ban. 
  • Huawei's App Gallery for starters is slowly and surely adding more popular apps to its official store. Apps like Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram are still missing, as well as banking apps from some of the most popular banks in Europe. 
  • The fact that they aren't on there doesn't mean they aren't there. On the App Gallery, for example, you can now find apps from Starling, Revolut, Monese, and Curve. There are no Barclays, Lloyds, Natwest, or Monzo on the list, so most of the population does not have access to those institutions. TikTok, Snapchat, Tinder, and Telegram are all very popular in their own categories as far as social networking and messaging are concerned. There is no longer an absence of options.
  • The fact that an app isn't officially available on the App Gallery doesn't necessarily mean you can't install it. Petal Search comes preinstalled with the most popular free apps and allows you to easily search for - and download/install - APKs (which are Android app packages). Among them are Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp. Huawei's software performs a safety check on the files before installing them, so they are not always official sources.
  • Additionally, Huawei phones include Phone Clone as part of their setup, which connects to your old phone and lets you transfer your installed apps. The workaround includes apps that aren't already in the App Gallery, so it's not a perfect solution (but it's better than nothing).
  • I don't want to paint a rosy picture, but Petal Search and Phone Clone both have issues.
  • You'll be stuck with older generation hardware if you don't install apps from the App Gallery.
  •  Second, some apps won't transfer if their APKs aren't available. Bank apps can't be installed for security reasons, and many games can't be installed for the same reason.
  • Thirdly, even if apps are transferred/downloaded, there is no guarantee they will work. The Huawei system is not compatible with some games that use Google for progressing, logging in, and saving progress. For instance, Call of Duty Mobile is not compatible. It's definitely hit and miss in this regard, however, since although it says Google Play is required, Real Racing - one of the most popular racing games - does work. 
  • Huawei has created its own well-rounded solutions to address default essentials such as email, photos, and maps. Using Petal Maps, you can find navigation, public transportation, weather information, and real-time traffic updates. You can even hail a ride directly from the Bolt app with the Bolt tie-in. Huawei Docs lets you edit and create documents, while Huawei Email lets you manage emails with most email providers, including Google. 
  • Strangely, this particular reviewer seems to be in that niche of customers who aren't too badly affected by Google Play's absence. We could do pretty much everything an Android phone could do, with Starling and Telegram, and APKs of Slack, Spark Mail, and WhatsApp. But that wouldn't work for most people.
  • The lack of apps is not the only software quirk. To launch the control center, users must swipe down from the top right, while to access notifications they must swipe down from the top left. Huawei has adapted its EMUI system to work similarly to Apple's iOS. It is the hardest part of the phone for a right-handed person to reach with the thumb when using the phone one-handed. Other Chinese manufacturers are following a similar path, with Xiaomi also offering similar features in its software.
  • Huawei's Home Screen does not display notification details when you swipe anywhere on it, unlike most other Android makers. Instead, you will launch the search tool, which cannot be changed. Additionally, the search tool features auto-filled suggestions for apps, top searches, irrelevant ads, and trending news topics - making it a confusing experience. We feel it should not be that way at all. Some of the settings can be adjusted to filter out some of the nonsense. A search tool should be just that: for search, rather than a platform dominated by advertisements for ads, services, and news. 
  • EMUI is sadly filled with ads. Many times, you are served a full-screen ad when you open App Gallery. Various pre-installed apps contain advertisements to varying degrees. Huawei Health, Petal Maps, and Huawei Wallet all have them. The top apps folder - a feature common to Android UIs - provides suggestions for downloads. 
  • However, EMUI 12 has its refreshing moments despite this frustration. The iconography, coloring, and spacing of apps all feel very mature. The colors and patterns of Samsung's One UI or the latest Google Pixel launcher are quite stark in comparison. That's why we like it.
  • The new expanding folders are a feature we particularly like. By holding and tapping 'enlarge', you can create a folder that takes up more space but does not require tapping. In the small folder view, app icons are about halfway between full-sized ones and the little ones. But most importantly, you can launch them directly - you don't have to first open the app folder - so you can group similar apps together so they're accessible quickly. 

Performance and battery

  • Platform: Snapdragon 888, 8GB of RAM, 256GB of storage
  • The battery capacity of 4360mAh, 66W supercharging, 50W wireless charging

Since the P50 Pro is technically a 2021 phone with a delayed international launch in 2022, it is no surprise it uses the Snapdragon 888 processor for the international version (it is 2020's Kirin 9000 in the Chinese version). That could be difficult to sell to the spec-conscious in 2022, with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processors already being used in phones. 

Although the Snapdragon 888 isn't the latest and greatest processor, it's still very capable. Fast, it runs games smoothly, and it can handle any task you throw at it.

Huawei has long been a champion of battery efficiency as well. The phone has a capacity of only 4360mAh, which is a bit lower than average. However, with moderate usage, it can comfortably last a day.

We'd still finish before bedtime with over 40 percent left over even with three hours of screen time a day. However, that may be skewed slightly due to fewer- energy and time-consuming apps available. You'll be able to use your phone for the rest of the day, even if you're a heavy phone user.

Exceptional camera abilities

Rear quad cameras:

 The main lens (23mm) has a 50-megapixel sensor, f/1.8 aperture, laser autofocus, phase detection autofocus (PDAF), and optical stabilization (OIS).

  •         A zoom lens (3.5x/90mm) with 64MP, f/3.5, PDAF, and OIS
  •         The wide-angle lens (13mm) has 13MP, f/2.2, and PDAF
  •         On the mono lens (23mm) is 40MP, f/1.6

Front-facing camera with 13MP.

Huawei's phone cameras have been among the best on the market for several years now, if not the best. It seems that the company consistently combines excellent hardware with advanced computational processing to deliver stunning results. It's no different with the P50 Pro.

With the main, ultrawide, and telephoto lenses joined by a monochrome/black and white camera, the camera setup is unusual.

When snapped in decent light, the main trio of cameras delivers well-balanced results with good detail, natural (but not boring) color reproduction, and good handling of highlights and contrast. The results are pretty consistent regardless of whether you use the ultrawide, main, or zoom.

Aside from the interface, the camera app is similar to most, providing an easy-to-use zooming control down one side. For quick selection, there are four focal lengths: wide, 1x, 3.5x (this is the exact zoom ratio of the periscope lens), and 10x (by using information from multiple lenses and digital processing). By tapping the icon on the screen, you can switch between these focal lengths instantly.

You can also hold and drag the icon up or down to zoom more precisely. The periscope zoom allows you to zoom all the way up to 100x. Though we wouldn't recommend it. Whenever you zoom in past the 10x mark, images start taking on an oil-painting-like quality.

Take a look at the photos below of a charger lying on its side showing off fine markings and text. It appears that the camera has determined the detail, but has then drawn over it to make it appear sharper. Rather than a photograph, this effect makes it appear like a drawing.

The details are sometimes not faithfully captured even when using a 10x zoom. This seems to be the case only when the object being photographed has complex textures and fine lines. For example, when photographing canvas.

Despite this, it is still an excellent tool to use when photographing far-off subjects, as it provides much better detail than a camera that only relies on digital zoom.

There are few phone camera systems available on the market that are as capable of taking photos in low light. Even without switching to the night mode setting, getting a good shot at night and with minimal light is easy. As soon as the system detects the night scene, it can take a bright, detailed shot - completely handheld. That's where optical stabilization comes into play.

It's still beneficial to use night mode occasionally, however. Especially when the lighting is dim. It does a better job of stabilizing, ensuring you won't see any squiggly lines from light-based movement within the scene.

Huawei still has 'Pro' mode, which allows you to easily adjust settings manually. When you want to take a shot of the stars, you can set it up on a tripod and capture the exposure for 30 seconds. It can produce some great results.

Conclusion

Huawei's P50 Pro shows how much of a loss the current US trade ban has caused. Many people can't find the apps they want without Google Play Services here - and Huawei's App Gallery / Petal Search can't solve everything (but, in many instances, it can plug most gaps).
In terms of hardware, the P50 Pro is one of the most advanced flagships on the market - particularly on the camera side, where it excels - and that's still the case despite its delayed international launch.
It's also a lot of money to ask for a product that doesn't do everything most people will want. The asking price in Europe is also a lot above the €1000 mark. This is unlikely to happen. I think it would be difficult for most people to recommend this phone due to its high price.

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Mr.Wael

Hi, I'm Wael, and I love blogging about everything that has to do with technology,Business, and public life, especially smartphones. It's been about 5 years that I've spent in this field. Hopefully, you will find my information helpful. Feel free to contact me anytime and I will respond as soon as possible. Accept my greetings.

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