While this has to be labelled with the “finally” phrase to explain how long many have waited for the release of this device, it came at a time where nobody seems to care about Huawei smartphones any longer but it’s not their fault this time around because the smartphone market has gotten so competitive in recent times thanks to other Chinese brands like Xiaomi, Oppo, OnePlus all which released amazing smartphones this year alone.
But let’s not focus on Huawei’s ordeals right now as it falls from grace and lost its momentum. The company continues to strengthen its own ecosystem thanks to its newly released HarmonyOS which some have argued to be a forked version of Android which Huawei has said it’s not.
The P50 series despite the serious difficulties it had to go through just to make it to release, the device is pretty cool still. It’s definitely in the same range as other premium-tier smartphones like the Galaxy S21 Ultra or the iPhone 12 Pro or OnePlus 9 Pro. Huawei never fail to deliver when it comes to hardware and everyone of us who have used their devices at a recent past know that to be true.
The new flagship device comes with powerful camera system, really bright display and a hole-punch camera cut-out to accommodate the device’c front-facing camera and lastly, its powered by a Snapdragon 888 processor instead of some high-end Kirin chipset.
The arrival of the device makes me wonder if the company still plan to release its other high-end flagship later on this year – the Mate 50 series.
For those unaware, Huawei was banned by the US government back in 2019 because of the brand’s alleged ties with the Chinese government and that sparked a whole lot of controversies and back and forth in the political-tech space but we won’t go into that right now.
The Chinese brand got crippled by the US sanctions which led to an extended wait for the release of the P50 series – something which is usually not the case. The main reason is due to enormous Kirin chip shortage leading Huawei to look elsewhere as the device is being powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 chipset – a high-end and pretty fast chipset.
Qualcomm as granted permission to sell chips to Huawei just last year as way to further boost the American-made chipset across the globe however, not all the P50 series were powered by the Snapdragon 888 chipset as there are some that are also being powered by the Kirin 9000 chip as well.
In terms of specs, the device comes in two storage variants which includes 8GB of RAM and 256GB of ROM or 12GB of RAM while the ROM is up to 512GB.
There is a 6.6-inch OLED panel with 120Hz refresh rate and 1228p resolution on the P50 Pro while the base model, the P50 comes with a slightly lowered specs such as a 6.5-inch OLED panel with 90Hz refresh rate and 1224p resolution.
Since the P50 Pro is the higher one, it comes with a slightly bigger battery which is 4,360mAh while the base model carries a 4,100mAh battery and both can be charged fast up to 66W while the P50 Pro can be wirelessly charged up to 50W. In terms of protection, you get IP68 water and dust resistance to keep the device’s component safe from accidental drop in water.
The major design change on the device is the new dual circles at the back of the device which houses the camera system. The P50 Pro comes with four rear cameras which are 50-megapixel main, 64-megapixel telephoto with a 3.5x optical zoom, a 40-megapixel monochrome, and a 13-megapixel ultra-wide while the P50 base model comes with a triple rear camera setup that consists of a 50-megapixel main camera, a 12-megapixel telephoto with a 5x optical zoom, and a 13-megapixel ultrawide. Both have 13-megapixel selfie cameras.
One thing you’ll notice is the absence of 5G and that’s because the US sanction also affected this as well. During the keynote, Huawei consumer business CEO Richard Yu made it known that the sanction meant that “5G phones are beyond our reach, and we have to go with 4G by removing the 5G module from our chip design.” Doesn’t sound good for Huawei’s brand and I wonder if this will affect the overall sale of the device.
And speaking of sales, the P50 Pro comes with a price tag of CN¥5,988 (about US$927) for the base model with 8GB RAM and 128GB storage and the device will go on sale in China on August 12th.
Also the first models to ship will come with the Kirin 9000 processor while those with Snapdragon 888 chip will be released later in the year. The P50 starts at CN¥4,488 (about US$695) for the base 8GB RAM and 128GB storage model and sales will start by September.
The date of international release is still unknown and that makes me question whether Huawei will be able to go further at releasing further flagship devices this year such as the Mate 50 series even though the company earlier released the Mate X2, a foldable smartphone which is still pretty new in the smartphone market.