Huawei continues to prove that they’re in the smartphone flagship race with or without Google by their latest Huawei P50 Pro smartphone.
Despite the US ban, Huawei stood its ground by coming up with Mates and P series. And the latest P50 Pro pushed into a new level in terms of design, build, mobile photography, and features.
However, the absence of Google Mobile Services (GMS) and 5G is still a negative point to the P50 Pro. In this Huawei P50 Pro review, we will talk about all the aspects of the smartphone and whether the lack of GMS and 5G makes it any less appealing or not.
For people in a hurry, here’s the good and the bad side of the android smartphone. Take a quick glance!
- Attractive design to go with sturdy built quality.
- I’d say Huwei P50 Pro has a competent main Camera
- Snap Dragon 888 chipset is great to have within the price.
- 120Hz AMOLED Screen is perfect for HD gaming and movie binging on mobile.
- This device charges fast and has a good battery life to boot!
- You wouldn’t find 5G compatibility with it.
- Google won’t offer you the apps you need. This is a bummer!
Did I Like Design and Build of the Phone?
You mean, the overall look of the device, how comfortable it was, and other things that come with the build? Well… kind of.
People admire Huawei’s great ambition for making sleek smartphones. First time I laid my eyes on this machine, I understood why. P50 Pro is a genuine beauty. Classy-looking glass design, circular camera modules on the back (which apparently Huawei calls ‘Dual Matrix Camera design’), and a curved screen surely made me fall in love with the phone in the first place.
According to some people, the camera bump on the back is weirdly large. Since I am an optimist technophile, I will say the weirdly large camera bump makes P50 Pro unique. But… um… yeah. It’s large and it can get uncomfortable at times. Mostly, with sweaty hands.
Moving on, the device weighs 195g and it feels super comfortable. Huawei claims that the P50 Pro is lighter than its predecessors and also a better fit in the hand.
There are three mics on the device (two on top and one on bottom). Also, a USB-C port, SIM and Micro Chip tray, a speaker, and an infrared sensor. The left side of the phone is empty while the right side has a power button and a volume rocker.
The smartphone is IP68 certified, meaning it is both dust and water resistant. So, you don’t have to worry about throwing it off into a pool or an ocean. But be careful though, you need to ensure the phone doesn’t go under 1 meter deep or stay in the pool for more than an hour.
Did I forget to include the color options? I did, didn’t I? Well, Huawei P50 Pro comes in four colors, Cocoa Gold, Pearl White, Charm Pink, and Golden Black.
How Good is Huwei Pro50 Display?
The Huawei P50 Pro has a 6.6-inch AMOLED curved display with a resolution of 1228 x 2700 pixels which goes up-to 120Hz screen refresh rate. The higher refresh rate makes swiping and scrolling more responsive and smoother than ever.
Also, the display shoots up to 300 Hz touch screen sampling rate, meaning superb gaming experience. Furthermore, the panel is brighter than its previous model P40 Pro.
The luminous colored screen is appealing to the naked eyes. The AMOLED panel offers accurate and rich colorimetry. It supports 10-bit colour and HDR 10+.
I tested the screen quality with some hi-res regular and animation videos. To my surprise, I found it almost 100% accurate. The color combination is great, so is the overall experience.
There is a fast and reliable under display optical finger-print scanner. The scanner is super-responsive to wake-up and unlock the phone. You can set your screen refresh rate from 120Hz to 60 Hz while you’re not interacting with the phone. This way you can achieve a better battery life.
Apart from setting the screen refresh rate, you can also set your phone’s brightness level or change into a whole new screen mode. You have options to adjust the screen into Dark Mode, Eye Comfort Mode, and Color Temperature Mode according to your needs.
How Good are EMUI 12 (Android Interface) and GMS Replacement?
After the US Ban on Huawei back in 2019, they released their own mobile OS, HarmonyOS, for selected devices. But right now, HarmonyOS is the biggest mobile operating system for the Chinese tech giants. It is available for all of their latest smart devices, even in P50 Pro.
Right now, HarmonyOS version P50 Pros are only available in China. For the rest of the world, the smartphone comes running on Emotion UI 12 (EMUI 12). The OS is based on Android 11. Hence, the user interface is a similar face for the android users.
The unavailability of Google Mobile Services (GMS) is a big “NO” for hardcore Android users. As a result, a lot of people have taken their hands off from Huawei after the US ban. However, Huawei tried their best to be in the game with their imperfect replacement, HMS (Huawei Mobile Services).
Imagine replacing Robert Downey Jr. with Tom Cruise as Ironman. Both of the actors are legendary. But as Ironman, nobody comes closer to Downey Jr. Just like this, HMS is good and comparable to GMS in a lot of ways. But doing your daily chores at ease, nothing comes closer to GMS.Huawei’s AppGallery is not as good as the Google play store.
I must tell you, a lot of apps are unavailable and buggy. Excessive ads in the Appstore just gave me a big headache. You will find Huawei’s own Petal Search and Petal Map (As a replacement of Google Search and Google Map) in the phone. One thing to hope is that Huawei is still trying its best to improve AppGallery.
The Huawei P50 Pro runs on Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 chipset. This is one of the best high-end SoC (System on a Chip) that is available on the market. As a result, the UI is great! Don’t worry, tanking games (the ones that heat up your CPU) run trouble-free.
Though it is a pity that you won’t be able to get a lot of popular games on the AppGallery, you can still play Chinese Versions of such games. I am a big fan of Asphalt 9: Legends. The device lets me play the game in maxed-out settings at constant frame rates. I played the game for several hours without severe heating or slowing down issues.
I barely felt any heat during normal use. However, I felt a little heat while playing games but it was usual. As for the temperature, it never rises more than 30 Degree Celsius. The phone has a Thermal Throttling Technology that enables it to control temperature like a pro.
For this reason, I was able to do high-end tasks and play high-end games like PUBG Mobile without any interruption. All in all, no heating issues and expected flagship performance from the high-end smartphone.
//In different benchmark comparisons, P50 Pro surpassed all of its competitors (Galaxy s21 FE, Pixel 6, Xiaomi 11) in multi-core performance//
Huawei never disappoints in terms of camera. Their great reputation continues with the P50 Pro. The phone has dual-matrix rear camera technology with two big symmetrical rings to cover all the sensors and lenses. It consists of four rear cameras and a selfie front camera.
A bit more on Huawei P50 Pro Camera
- 50 MP primary Camera with wide-angle OIS
- 64 MP telephoto camera
- 13 MP ultra-wide f2/2 aperture camera
- 40 MP monochrome camera
- 16 MP front camera with autofocus and wide photo view
P50 Pro has a new camera technology called XD optics. The technology applies image processing to reform different optical errors. This helps to boost the image signal that passed to the computational algorithms by 25 percent.
As a result, the Huawei P50 Pro is able to capture great photos with sharp and accurate colours. In the daylight, the rear camera works more than great. True to life colours, fine contrast, plentiful details, and the right amount of sharpening makes the images more realistic than ever.
Low-light pictures are extraordinary too. The pictures I took had the right amount of exposure, exceptional colour saturation, plenty of details. I used Night Mode to capture some photos and hoped for better results. To my surprise, I found Night Mode effects are mostly NEXT-TO-NO. A little bit more saturation, less highlights, trimmed unusual shadows, and that’s it.
Aside from the NOT SO GOOD night mode, moving photos are not up to the mark either. I found some focusing issues on moving pictures.
Apart from these two problems the smartphone has a great rear camera set. The only front facing 16 MP wide-angle camera clicks one of the best selfies in the market. Primary wide-angle mode enables it to click the most superb selfies ever. Accurate colors, accurate contrast, accurate saturation, accurate sharpness; the native wide-angle selfie mode is all about accuracy.
Ok, How is the Video Quality Then?
Lastly, the P50 Pro is able to record videos in 4K in 30 frames. It also features dual video recording with front and rear cameras at the same time. Videos are bright, accurate, well-saturated, and seem natural in my eyes. If you’re a videographer, you will find a lot of video features in P50 Pro to help you. You can edit your captured videos directly in the Gallery using the PetalClip tool.
So, in conclusion, it is safe enough to say I am impressed with the overall camera performance.
Despite being thinner than its predecessor, the P50 Pro has a bigger battery. The phone packs a 4360 mAH battery which is capable of going on for 1.5 days without charging. You’d need good android chargers, of course. When I used the phone for casual usage, little gaming, and browsing, it took me more than 12 hours to reduce the charge from 100% to 20%.
It seemed like EMUI’s heavy power consumption had a little influence. So, looking at all the facts, it is a pretty great performance for a 4360 mAH battery. The battery accepts 66W wired fast charging and 55W wireless fast charging. It takes only 50 minutes to recharge from zero to a hundred via wired charging. However, I only needed to charge my phone up to 70% to survive a full day.
My Two Cents on Ram, Memory Capacity, and Price
When it comes to audio quality, the P50 Pro is awesome. It has a pair of stereo speakers. The speakers’ output is loud, clear, and rich. The device also has three noise cancellation mics ensuring better calling experience.
The smartphone comes in both 8GB and 12GB RAM variants with 256GB and 512GB internal memory. The 12GB variant is only available with 512GB internal memory. However, there is a Nano Memory card slot available for external memory expansion (upto 256 GB).
The P50 Pro 12GB/512GB variant is still unavailable to the global market but all other versions are available. The 8GB/256GB variant comes at around $1100 and 8GB/512GB at around $1350.
What Do I Have to Say in the End?
Looking at all the features of Huawei P50 Pro, I can say that the phone is amazing. It is one of the best camera phones ever. Some of its camera features are something that we haven’t encountered yet. Moreover, it has features like water resistivity, Hi-Res AMOLED display, Hi-End chipset, stereo speakers, and fast charging. However, all of P50 Pro’s competitors have the same features at the same price range.
On the other hand, P50 Pro doesn’t have Google Mobile Services and 5G connectivity like its competitors. So, if you buy another smartphone with the same price, you get to keep GMS and 5G along with other flagship features. Still, if you want to try something new or you don’t mind leaving GMS or you’re a big Huawei fan, the P50 Pro is a nice flagship phone that you certainly can buy.