Huawei isn’t done yet with the Mate series even though the company had a fall-out with the general public after it got sanctioned by the US government back in 2019.
According to a new report, the company is planning to debut its Mate 50 Pro by Sept 28th which will be next week.
The device is expected to spot some high-end specifications including the recently announced Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chipset, a blazing-fast display, and other cool specifications that will be discussed in this post.
For those wondering what brand Huawei is, it’s a once popular Chinese smartphone brand that once owned the Honor brand until it sold the brand in 2020 due to the US sanctions.
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Its Android license was also revoked by Google because the US government forbids them from working with the Chinese company which prompted Huawei to go with its own proprietary software called the HongmengOS or HarmonyOS which is currently in its third version.
The sanction definitely hurt Huawei’s sales across the globe considering the reliance of billions of smartphone users on Google Mobile services such as the Gmail service, Google Search, Google News, and other Google-owned products within the GMS ecosystem.
Huawei’s response to this apart from building its own operating system included developing its own Huawei Mobile Service or HMS which had everything that was on the GMS such as Huawei’s Petal Search, an AI-powered personal assistant called Celia, Huawei Mail, Huawei App Gallery with millions of applications, Huawei ID, and so much more.
All of these would work for fringe users who hate Google but would rather hand their data to a Chinese company while on the other hand are Chinese consumers who don’t need a GMS in the first place because the search giant was banned from operating a number of its services in the far-east Asian country.
There have been rumors about Huawei selling its Mate smartphone line-up and just focusing on its telecommunication business and software services but it seems the company is still seeing a light at the end of the tunnel even though there is no sure sign that the US will ever revoke the sanctions it placed on the once world second-largest smartphone manufacturer by sales.
But apart from the context, the Huawei Mate 50 series has been expected to debut since the year 2021 when the company released the P50 series but due to chip shortage, the company had to scrap the release totally.
Also, Huawei’s HiSilicon Kirin was barned from using ARM architecture which ultimately affected the production of Huawei’s own processors for its high-end devices.
The Kirin chipsets are known for their high capabilities and reliability which places them next to the popular Snapdragon chipset until Huawei has to rely completely on Qualcomm now since it can’t make its own chipset anymore.
So what’s new about the Huawei Mate 50 Pro? Well, there isn’t anything super-spectacular. In my opinion, I think the Mate lineup peaked in the year 2019 when it debuted with a stock Android sans GMS.
There was a lot of buzz around the device back then and whether Huawei would bounce back. Although there were ways by which many people were able to sideload Google applications on their Mate 30 series back then, the device’s design was in fact spectacular with the horizon display and the powerful camera.
The new Mate 50 Pro looked a bit more like the much older Mate 20 Pro which was released back in 2018 with a notch and a curved display.
I think Huawei going back to the notch despite the fact that Apple has in fact ditched it (not entirely though) in favor of a pill-shaped cut-out which Huawei devices were known for; which looks like a regression. But without any further ado, let’s talk about the specifications of the next-gen Huawei Mate 50 Pro.
- Protected with Huawei Kunlun Glass
- IP68 Water/Dust Resistant
The dimension of the Huawei Mate 50 Pro has 162.1 x 75.5 x 8.5mm (6.38 x 2.97 x 0.33 in) while the device weighs about 205g or 7.23oz.
The physical structure of the device as mentioned earlier looks pretty similar to the older Mate 20 Pro with the curved display and a wide notch at the top of the screen to house the device’s front-facing camera and FaceID sensor.
It’s also certified IP68 making it water and dust-resistant up to 6m for about 30 minutes.
Being a premium smartphone, it’s normal that the frame is made out of aluminum while the front and back are both made of glass materials.
Huawei in fact built a special strong glass for this device called the Kunlun Glass. The durability of this display compared to the likes of Gorilla Glass Victus+ is debatable.
On the right side of the device are the volume rocker and the power button. Huawei has ditched the software-only volume control on this device unlike the Mate 30 Pro back in 2019 which faced a lot of backlash due to the inconvenience that removal caused many users.
At the bottom of the device, you’ll find its USB-C port at the center and the speaker grilles right beside it. There is definitely no 3.5mm headphone jack because premium smartphones are not supposed to have it.
Color options of the device include Black, Silver, Purple, and Orange.
Other cool hardware components on the Mate 50 Pro include sensors such as Face ID, fingerprint (under display, optical), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, barometer, compass, and color spectrum. It also has a BDS Satellite Message feature which can be used to send messages when out of range (just like we have it on the new iPhone 14 series).
Apart from all these, there isn’t so much to be talked about regarding the hardware component of the Mate 50 Pro.
- 6.74-inch OLED display
- 120Hz refresh rate
- 1212 x 2616 pixels resolution
Apart from Samsung, Huawei also made great displays and that is evident in the display technology of the Mate 50 Pro which comes with a moderately large 6.74-inch OLED display with 1B colors to enhance content consumption to the fullest.
The display also has a 120Hz refresh rate as it should but there isn’t any information on whether the display is based on the LTPO technology.
Also, there isn’t any other released information regarding the internal components of the display. However, we know that the display has a resolution of 1212 by 2616 pixels with a 19.5:9 aspect ratio which approximates 428 PPI density.
I mentioned earlier that the display is protected using Huawei’s own Kunlun Glass which is pretty new. The company recently demonstrated how tough the Kunlun Glass really is and on the stage, it is expected to withstand some pressure while keeping the OLED display safe.
As of now, there isn’t a real-life test of the toughness of the display but I expect it to be on par with the Gorilla Glass Victus+.
The display is curved on the sides while there is a notch right at the top of the screen.
The reason Huawei is still using either the notch or pill-shaped cut-out on its high-end smartphones is due to the Face ID sensor the device has.
Compared to traditional face unlock that comes built with Android camera software which is used by big brands like Samsung on its S22 Ultra and other brands including Xiaomi and OnePlus with the noticeable tiny hole-punch camera cut-out, the pill-shaped cut-out is meant to house more hardware at the same time just like the way Apple was able to implement it on its new iPhone 14 Pro series.
But I also think the notch is meant to tell a Huawei smartphone apart since they are literally the only mainstream smartphone maker still using the notch apart from Apple but I digress.
One thing though is that the EMUI has a feature to hide the notch which turns the entire top area black. That way, you can forget about the notch and focus on other places that matter.
The Camera Specification
- Triple rear camera sensor
- Can record 4K videos at up to 60FPS
The Huawei Mate 50 Pro comes with a triple rear camera system which is made up of a 50MP primary sensor with a wide-angle lens and features such as f/1.4 – f/4.0 aperture while the sensor itself measures about 24mm – allowing it to perform the wide-angle shot conveniently. It also has optical image stabilization OIS and laser-based autofocus.
Then there is a bigger 64MP periscope telephoto sensor also with OIS and a 3.5x optical zoom capacity. The sensor measures a whopping 90mm and has an f/3.5 aperture.
Lastly, there is a 13MP ultrawide-angle sensor measuring about 13mm and can cover up to a 120-degree angle. It has an f/2.2 aperture but doesn’t have OIS like the aforementioned duo.
The rear camera module is circular similar to what we’ve been having since the Mate 30 series back in 2019.
The arrangement of the camera sensors this time around is quite different from the previous model which was in rectangular form.
The camera sensors are arranged in front of one another while the LED flash at the top-center part of the circle.
The camera is capable of recording 4k videos at either 30fps or 60fps. It can also record 1080p videos at 30/60/120/240/480fps or 720p videos at 960fps, and even the super-slow 720p video at 3840fps.
Up front, there is a single 13MP ultrawide sensor with an f/2.4 aperture as well as a ToF 3D depth sensor for biometric functionalities. The front-facing camera is capable of recording 4K videos at 30/60fps and 1080p videos at 30/60/240fps.
It also has all the Huawei shenanigans such as the Night Mode, HDR, Panorama, and Super-slow motion.
The Huawei Mate series is known for its video recording capability and that will be put to test when I lay my hands on this device physically. Also, how the camera can match up against competitors like the recently-announced iPhone 14 Pro or the OG Galaxy S22 Ultra.
- EMUI 13 (International); HarmonyOS 3.0 (China)
- Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1
- 8GB RAM
- Adreno 720 GPU
The HiSIlicon Kirin suffered the same fate as the parent company itself which is why Huawei is opting for third-party chip makers such as Qualcomm for its Mate 50 Pro.
The device is powered by the Qualcomm SM8475 Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 (4nm) chipset which has been seen on other high-end premium smartphones released during the second half of the year.
The device has 8GB of RAM for its dual memory options such as the 256GB version and the 512GB variant. There is also support for Huawei’s own nano-memory which is shared with the device’s SIM slot.
The Mate 50 Pro that runs the HarmonyOS 3 is being sold in China while the one running forked Android 13 OS with the EMUI 13 user interface is being sold on the international market.
The good thing about the EMUI 13 is that people have found a way to install Google-owned applications and services on their non-GMS Huawei smartphones. So there shouldn’t be a big problem in that regard.
- 4,700mAh Li-Po battery
- 66W fast wired charging
- Supports wireless and reverse wireless charging
The 4,700mAh battery is a big plus even though there are rumors of OnePlus planning to release its next-gen OnePlus 11 Pro with a 5,000mAh battery.
I also think the 66W fast charging support is another great thing to have on the device even though there is no certainty whether Huawei will include a charger in the box when the device is shipped.
The wireless charging of this device is also fast at 50W while it also offers support for reverse wireless charging at 5W.
Huawei didn’t give any figure about how many minutes or hours it would take to charge the device from zero to 100% using either the wire or the wireless charging method. But from my own discretion, I think it should be within the 1-hour range.
Huawei Mate 50 Pro versus…
Although Huawei smartphones, even the high-end ones are now fringe smartphones on the international market (maybe not so in China) which means only core Huawei fans and enthusiasts are likely to purchase the expensive Mate 50 Pro.
However, the device can still be matched up against other high-end smartphones on the market such as the OnePlus 10 Pro, the Galaxy S22 Ultra, or even the Pixel 6 Pro, and should carve out its spot among these powerful devices.
The Honor Magic 3 Pro and the next-gen Magic 4 Pro also took some of the Mate’s old glory considering the fact that the Honor brand seems to be the new Huawei in China and across the globe as the company is seeing tremendous growth even threatening the already brands such as Xiaomi, OPPOm or ASUS.
In the camera department, I can’t say the Huawei Mate 50 Pro will beat the camera system of the Pixel 6 Pro or the new iPhone 14 Pro Max’s camera out of the box even though they all have the unique value that sets them apart.
One thing about the iPhone series is its consistency and that is something that even Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra cannot entirely fathom.
At the end of the day, Huawei isn’t going to be getting the fair chance it needs to thrive or compete against its peers in the fierce smartphone market.