In review: Huawei P50 Pro

In review: Huawei P50 Pro

After Huawei had presented the P50 series in China some time ago, it was thought that the device would no longer be coming to Europe. That’s what it did, though. What can the high-end device do? […]

Huawei also launched its flagship, the P50 Pro, in Europe at the beginning of this year – with a delay that is probably also caused by Corona and the trouble in the supply chain. The Chinese continue to rely on their phone as the heart of the ever-growing Huawei ecosystem, which for the well-known reasons has to do without the Google services that usually accompany an Android phone.

Unpacked

However, this does not detract from the other qualities of the phone, for example the look: the P50 Pro – in our case “Cocoa Gold”, but also available in the color “Golden Black”, consists of a slim and elegant case and fits well in the hand. With dimensions of 158.8 x 72.8 mm and a weight of 195 g, it also fits seamlessly into the ranks of its competitors.

As with many Huawei flagships of recent years, the volume buttons and the power button are located on the right side, while the USB-C port and the SIM tray have been installed on the bottom. Both on the top and on the bottom, there are speakers, the fingerprint sensor was attached under the display. Similar to the Oppo Find X5 Pro, the edges are slightly curved, but not steep waterfalls like the Mate 30 Pro from 2019.

The back of the phone has a polished metal surface that mirrors. There are two camera modules installed in each case. To our friends, however, these do not stand out as much as with other devices. However: the back is very susceptible to fingerprints. It’s a good thing that Huawei – in addition to the 66 watt power supply and USB-C charging cable, again comes with a transparent silicone case.

Hardware

About the screen itself: The P50 Pro comes with a 6.6 inch screen – 0.1 inch smaller than the competitors from Apple and Oppo, even 0.2 inch smaller than the S22 Ultra from Samsung. However, this is not a disadvantage at all, on the contrary: it is easier to use and narrower than the competition – in addition, these maximum 0.2 inches more display offer no real added value.

The display has a resolution of 1228×2700 pixels and achieves a pixel density of 450 ppi. Huawei installs an OLED screen with a 120 Hertz refresh rate. This makes friends while scrolling and browsing. To save the battery, you can set the refresh rate to “Dynamic”, which adjusts the refresh rate to the activities on the phone.

In terms of hardware, Huawei has hardly changed anything compared to the 2021 release in China: the Huawei P50 Pro is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 chipset, which can be found in most flagship phones of 2021. The chipset is combined with 8 GB of RAM and 256 GB of storage space. Apparently also possible: the storage capacity can be expanded with a Nano Memory (NM) card from Huawei.

Due to the format similarity with a Nano-SIM, it can simply be inserted into the second SIM compartment – of course, only one compartment for a SIM card remains. However, a bitter pill has to be swallowed with the hardware: the device does not offer 5G support. This is also related to the restrictions that Huawei is currently facing.

Best of all, Huawei has been working on connectivity between devices in its own ecosystem. So, if you have a Huawei laptop or tablet or a MateView monitor, these devices can be easily connected to your Huawei phone and to each other and thus exchange data seamlessly.

On the other hand, there is the annoying embargo story: as with all Huawei phones in the recent past, the P50 Pro also runs Android, but without Google services. Huawei is trying to compensate for the lack of these services and the Google Play Store (with continuous progress) – both with the Huawei App Gallery and with Petal Search – but it is still a nuisance that can become a big problem for users, depending on their know-how. This is especially true if you are not at home in the world of sideloading and messenger services such as the popular WhatsApp can only be obtained via Petal Search. Gmail, Google Maps and similar services are also sometimes only accessible via the browser, but not as an app.

Nevertheless, one has to find words of praise for EMUI: the icons look good, the widgets are practical and the OS in general very pleasant and logical to use.

Battery

The P50 Pro houses a 4360 mAh battery. Although this does not exactly cause big eyes – the competition sometimes uses 5000 mAh + batteries – but thanks to the non-Pro iPhones and their mini batteries, we know that the software also has its share of battery life. And this benefits Huawei: since the phone does not support 5G, for example, the battery capacity, or its half-life, is easily enough through the day.

Frequent users, GPS users or hotspot addicts who may have to connect the device to the power again in the evening can take comfort: thanks to 66 watts, the battery will be back to around 80 percent in half an hour. And even the device can be charged wirelessly – with an impressive 50 watts. This time, however, Huawei has dispensed with a reverse charging function, in which another phone can release its power wirelessly.

One of the highlights of every Huawei flagship – at least since the P9, is its camera. The so-called “dual matrix design” of the P50 Pro houses several sensors, above all the main camera, which consists of a total of four sensors. The primary sensor is a 50 MP camera, which has an optical image stabilizer. It is accompanied by an additional 40 MP monochrome camera.

In addition, there is an ultra-wide-angle lens with 13 MP, as well as a 64 MP telephoto lens with OIS. The latter allows a 3.5x optical zoom, a 10x hybrid zoom and a 100x maximum digital zoom. The stabilization of such strong zoom levels succeeds quite well, of course there are slight delays. The pictures are distinguished by a strong contrast, and the edges are sharply sharpened. With the double lens, Huawei also achieves a strong low-light performance.

The front camera of the Huawei P50 Pro has a resolution of 13 megapixels and can use autofocus with eye tracking. The pictures are convincing, are characterized by very strong colors in the standard settings. Especially objects in the background appear very sharp.
Videos can be recorded with both the front and the main camera in 4K at up to 60 FPS.

Conclusion

It’s not that hard to classify the Huawei P50 – it’s a great phone, especially in terms of the cameras, the display and the user interface. However, the lack of Google services, app availability and the resulting circumstances do not make it any easier. If the Google ecosystem is important and sideloading is not one of your strengths (which it takes for apps like WhatsApp or Instagram), you might want to consider buying one.

In addition, 5G is missing – also a downer. However, if you already own a Huawei laptop, smartwatch or screen, the device is a strong addition – and in and of itself a top phone.

*Florian Bodoky is a neo Apple user, audio enthusiast, PCtipp YouTuber, tech bargain hunter and coffee machine overachiever

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