At some point during the first quarter of the year 2021, we should see the release of the next-gen Huawei P50 series which will be another interesting upgrade over the previous model – P40 series released back in 2020.
One thing the P-series are known for is their great cameras and that’s usually Huawei’s target with the P series and this is notable since the release of the P10 series up until the P40 series that debut last year.
But what else would make this year’s version of the device amazing and interesting to the point that you wouldn’t mind spending your top Dollars on the device.
Huawei had bragged about releasing its own mobile operating system since 2019 when it got axed by the Trump administration over collusion with the Chinese government and that hasn’t been reversed as of now which led to the termination of the Google Mobile Service (GMS) on the Huawei’s Android-powered device.
The software will definitely be a big drawback for the Huawei P50 series and this is already leading to the brand’s reputation being on the decline especially outside of its local market where GMS was never useful.
One thing for sure is the fact that the next-gen P50 series will be another marvelous hardware however, we wonder what could change in terms of the designs of the device since Android smartphone makers are known to always swap the designs every year compared to Apple that sort of stick with the same over a period of 2 to 3 generations of their devices before swapping them out.
The Huawei P50 series isn’t making much headlines before Xiaomi is obviously taking the crown from Huawei as the GMS-less EMUI software built ton top of the Android AOSP which is used by Huawei is generally useless outside of China even though some users who are avid fans of Huawei don’t mind sticking with their favorite and side loading Google services.
Just in case you’re one of the big Huawei fans out there, what are on your list of preference for the Huawei P50 series when it’s released at some point this year.
Well majority of the content of this post will be based on assumptions and rumors as there isn’t anything official about the device just yet but we’ll do well to keep the post updated as often as possible.
Update: The Huawei P50 might have the largest camera sensor ever used in a smartphone, and we also have an idea of what types of cameras the range might have.
Huawei P50 release date and price
As mentioned earlier, the release date of the Huawei P series is usually within the first quarter of every year and history could repeat itself this year.
There have been actual rumors that the device could debut by between Mach 26th and 28th even though the possibility of the device being announced by March 26th is more likely.
This was also the period when the Chinese tech giant release it’s previous models such as the P40 and the P30 while the P20 series was released on March 27th of the year 2018.
Shipping could take about two weeks depending on the output and production capacity of the company. With that, the Huawei P50 series could hit shelves as soon as April because Huawei unlike Sony like to move fast.
Now as for the price point, nothing is official but if we’re to judge by the previous model, the base model Huawei P40 came with a US$900 price tag and the P50 too could start with that price point.
As for the P40 Pro model, it came with a much higher price tag which was in the range of US$1,100 while the third model the P40 Pro+ was sold about US$1,57.
And it’s highly possible that Huawei will include the third option “Pro Plus” this time around with the release of the P50 series and the highest variant will definitely cost more because it’ll have all the features that couldn’t be found on the base and mid-range model.
What about the Design and display
There have been a few 3D render of what the Huawei P50 could appear like but it’s definitely going to be another curved smartphone either at the front or at the back.
The previous model had this “overflowing” design whereby the screen curved at every edges of the device which was cool for the Full HD+ display and that could just be the same with the release of the next-gen P50 series because it doesn’t seems Huawei will be parting ways with the “Horizon Display” just yet.
There is a single-lens punch-hole for the front-facing selfie camera at the top center this time around in reminiscent of the Galaxy S21 series unlike the P40 series which had its camera cut-out at the top-left side of the display.
The reason for the pill-shaped hole-punch camera cut out on the previous model is due to the presence of the ToF sensor beside the 32MP selfie camera which is meant to take stronger 3D scanning of your face – similar to Apple’s Face ID which is the reason for the persistence of the wide notch on iPhones till date unless Apple could reinvent the wheels.
You can also see power and volume buttons on the right edge.
According to the source, the Huawei P50 Pro has a 6.6-inch display, and an overall size of 159 x 73mm. That would make it almost exactly the same size as the Huawei P40 Pro. The source of this image and information is Steve Hemmerstoffer (@OnLeaks) – a leaker with a good track record, so it could well be accurate.
There is also a supposed picture of the Huawei P50 shared by SlashLeaks and the picture showed a single-lens punch-hole camera at the top-left corner of the screen but this is said to be the base model.
As for the back of the device, there appears to be a large rectangular block on the back which houses the back camera.
The quality of the photo can’t prove objectively what we should expect when the device is finally announced later on this month.
Huawei P50’s Camera and battery
What’s even more important about the device would be the camera because that’s what the P series are made for right?
While there isn’t much official leaks we’ll be basing this on rumors from sources such as Rodent950 which claimed that the standard Huawei P50 will come with an ultra-wide and telephoto lenses and then the high-end P50 Pro will replace the telephoto lens with a periscope sensor which will allow for a much better zooming experience and then there is higher-end P50 Pro Plus which will have all the camera sensors: ultra-wide, periscope and the telescope sensors as well as a time-of-flight sensor – kind of all-in-one for the Pro Plus.
Perhaps more interestingly, this source also claims that a Sony sensor dubbed the IMX800 is destined for inclusion in the range. This is apparently a 1-inch sensor, making it the largest yet in a smartphone, which in turn should allow for higher quality images and potentially better low light photography.
Main + ultra wide + tele Main + Ultra wide + periscope Main + Ultra wide + tele + periscope + ToF https://t.co/5IWs05O3p6
In terms of the features and specifications, nothing much is known and even GSMArena’s spec-sheet is based off the previous model’s features.
But there are some things we can expect from the device and that includes the P50 series being powered by Huawei’s Kirin 9000 chipset which is the same that powers the current Mate 40 series.
This is the company’s first 5nm chipset, a move which has lead to an improvement in performance, as you’d expect.
There were reports that P50 series will use this chipset, but previously TechRadar reported that Huawei might desist from the usage of the Kirin chipset due to the ban on the company as it might no longer be able to source components for the chipset after 2020.
There have been rumors that Huawei’s devices made in 2021 could be powered by MediaTek’s chipset or maybe partner up with Qualcomm but there isn’t anything official or reported about these claims but what’s obvious is the fact that Huawei could have stockpiled enough of the Kirin chipset which it could use for its next-gen smartphones.
Another source has also now pointed to that chipset – though only for the Huawei P50 Pro and Huawei P50 Pro Plus. They claim the standard Huawei P50 will use the lesser Kirin 9000E chipset, and will fill the role of a ‘Lite’ model.
This source also mentions a “new ultra-sensing camera system”, but it’s not clear what exactly they mean by that.
But things doesn’t look great for Huawei on the long-run unless it’s able to figure out a good relationship with the US government and get it’s bans lifted in order to continue partnering with Google and use US-made technologies which could aide further development of the Kirin chipset.
As for the software, it’s nothing other than the Android AOSP and would definitely be the current version 11 but it’ll be based off the Huawei Mobile Service or HMS which the company had created to entirely replace the Google Mobile Service after it was banned from working with the American company.
According to Sina (a major Chinese news site) the Huawei P50 range will run Harmony OS, though even if this is accurate, it’s possible that it will only do so in some parts of the world, with other regions still getting Android and XDA-Developer noted that the Huawei’s Harmony OS is in fact a dumped Android that just got renamed and tweaked up and disguised as an Harmony OS.
But here’s what I’d love to see in the P50 series
Though there isn’t much known about the next-gen P5- series, we can only speculate and expect what we’ll love to see about the device when it debut later on this month which is why I’ve compiled my own list below.
1. Can we get the Google Mobile Services back?
This is definitely a no-go area for now but until Huawei is able to smoothen out its relationship with the US government, it’s chances of ever reaching a larger audience and holding its position as one of the biggest smartphone makers around the world is in jeopardy.
Even without Google, don’t make it too obvious that our devices lacks the standard GMS which our other friends are enjoying. Thanks to the Petal search and the ability to sideload apps on the Huawei devices, this might not be a big problem to some people after all.
2. A 120Hz refresh rate on all models
While some phones – such as the OnePlus 8 Pro and Samsung Galaxy S20 – have 120Hz refresh rates, the most any handset in the Huawei P40 range manages is 90Hz, and the base P40 has just a 60Hz refresh rate, which feels distinctly lacking for a high-end handset that costs so much.
That should change with the release of the next-gen P50 series as the refresh rate should be in the 120Hz range for a premium device that’ll cost US$1K and more.
3. A sharper screen
The resolution of the previous Huawei P40 isn’t so encouraging at just 1080 x 2340 which is of course a FHD+ resolution but compare that with the QHD+ capacity on the Galaxy S20 which was 1440 x 3200. Even the high-end Huawei P40 Pro Plus become with a 1200 x 2640 resolution for a “Pro Plus”…that’s disappointing.
There’s no need to go overboard – at a certain point extra pixels won’t do much unless your eyes are pressed up against the screen, but matching Samsung here would be a good start. And given that even the basic Galaxy S20 has a high resolution, we’d like even the basic P50 to do so as well.
4. Proper water resistance on the base P50
I think for the base models, Huawei doesn’t always seems to care too much because they usually market the Pro models much more than the base models but that shouldn’t deprive the base model from some high quality features such as a proper IP68 certification.
The standard Huawei P40 though has just an IP53 rating, which means it should be able to survive a splash, but not much more.
As for the P50 base model, there should also be the IP68 rating and it shouldn’t be about the price only but also the quality of the product which the Chinese should take into account in order to offer the best of the best this year.
5. Wireless charging on all models
Wireless charging is now so common that Apple had the gut to pull off the power bricks from the current iPhone 12 models. Though we might see that as well with the release of the P50 series since both Samsung and Xiaomi have joined the bandwagon so soon, wireless charging should be a normal thing on the entire P50 series his time around unlike the previous model whose “Pro and Pro Plus” models only offered this additional perks.