Huawei P50 and P50 Pro hands-on review

Last Update 2021-07-29

In a launch event in China today, Huawei finally unveiled the Huawei P50 series, the company’s newest flagship lineup. It succeeds the Huawei P40 series from last year and offers several exciting upgrades, including an intriguing design, improved performance, and upgraded camera hardware. Huawei’s P series is known for bringing cutting-edge camera innovations, and the new Huawei P50 and Huawei P50 Pro are no exceptions.

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Huawei P50 Price in Australia

Price and availability

The Huawei P50 Pro starts at 4,488 yuan (about $695) in China, while the Snapdragon 888-powered P50 Pro starts at 5,988 yuan (about $927). Huawei's P50 Pro Special Edition, which comes with a Kirin 9000 chipset and 512GB of storage, is priced at 8,488 yuan (about $1,313) in the country. The Huawei P50 Pro will go on pre-order tomorrow, and the first units will ship on August 12. The Huawei P50 will be available in September, starting at CNY 4,500 ($700/€590) for the 8/128 GB model; the 8/256 GB one will go for CNY 5,000.

Design and display

The Huawei P50 features a flat-edge OLED screen that's 6.5 inches diagonally. There is a central cutout for the front camera on the top edge. The resolution is 1228 x 2700, while the refresh rate is 90Hz and the touch input is 300Hz. The Huawei P50 Pro comes with mostly the same display specs, but it's slightly bigger at 6.6 inches and has a 120Hz refresh rate. Unlike the 'vanilla' phone, its screen curves at the edges. The phones look pretty similar (other than the display) with the rear cameras housed in two large circles on the back. The devices have USB-C ports, but no 3.5mm headphone jacks. The devices also come with an IP68 rating.

Cameras

The Huawei P50 Pro houses a quad-camera setup on the back with Leica branding. Huawei says the cameras are equipped with the company’s new Dual Matrix camera system, which combines a 10-channel multi-spectrum sensor, Huawei XD Optics, and XD Fusion Pro image engine for improved image clarity and high dynamic range. The primary shooter is a 50MP sensor with OIS, and it’s accompanied by a 64MP periscope camera which offers 3.5x optical zoom and up to 100x digital zoom, a 13MP ultra-wide cam, and a 40MP monochrome sensor. The Huawei P50, on the other hand, arrives with a triple camera module, consisting of a 50MP primary sensor, a 13MP ultra-wide shooter (which also doubles as a macro lens), and a 12MP telephoto lens. Both phones come with 13MP front-facing cameras (f/2.4 aperture) for selfie experience.

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Huawei P50 Pro in Australia

Software, processor, and battery

On the software front, the Huawei P50 series runs the company’s HarmonyOS 2 (based on Android) with Huawei Mobile Services (HMS). Due to Android license revocation following the US trade ban, Huawei still can’t bundle Google Play Store on its devices. The phones come with Huawei’s AppGallery instead. Under the hood, the Huawei P50 is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 SoC. It comes with 8GB of RAM and will be available in 128GB and 256GB storage variants with support for storage expansion via an NM memory card slot. Huawei is offering the P50 Pro in two processor variants – its own Kirin 9000 and Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 888. However, both variants have their modems limited to 4G connectivity. The Huawei P50 series also comes with an in-display fingerprint scanner, Bluetooth 5.2, IP68 dust and water protection, a USB Type-C port, and stereo speakers. Both phones also differ in the battery department. On the Huawei P50 Pro, you get a 4,360mAh battery, while the regular P50 gets a slightly smaller 4,100mAh battery. Both phones support 66W wired fast charging, but only the Pro model features wireless charging support.