The Huawei P50 Pro maintains the smartphone series' reputation for excellent photography. Its quad cameras produce some of the best photos I have seen taken with a smartphone. But as with recent Huawei phones, its lack of Google apps and services is a potential deal-breaker. In addition, the P50 Pro supports only 4G connectivity, unlike its rivals. If you aren't heavily tied to the Google ecosystem, the P50 Pro is worth considering. But do try it out first at a Huawei store for yourself.
- 6.6-inch OLED display (2,700 x 1,228 pixels, 120Hz)
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 4G chip with 8GB RAM and 256GB storage
- 50MP main camera, 40MP mono, 13MP ultra-wide, and 64MP telephoto
- 4,360mAh battery (with 66W fast charging)
The P50 Pro brings back the monochrome camera last seen in 2018's P20 Pro. Besides taking true black-and-white photos, this 40MP secondary camera helps with low-light photography. And indeed, night performance was amazing. Photos look detailed with some of the most vibrant colours I have seen for low-light images. They also had relatively low levels of noise. In good lighting conditions, photos turned out crisp and detailed. Colours were rich and mostly true to life, with just a dash of pop that make the photos stand out. The telephoto lens was very usable at 10x hybrid zoom — the P50 Pro captured a surprising amount of detail even at a distance. It works even better at 3.5x optical zoom with its periscope zoom lens. I was also impressed by the ultra-wide camera. Photos again had very little noise and the colours were also spot-on.
Design-wise, Huawei has gone with a curved screen for a sleek, near bezel-less appearance. This 6.6-inch OLED display is bright and lively with a dynamic refresh rate that switches automatically between 60Hz and 120Hz. The screen resolution, too, can also adjust itself to save power. Coupled with the P50 Pro's high-end Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 4G chipset, the phone feels responsive and buttery smooth. Its glossy and reflective back, though, is a fingerprint magnet. But I find the dual circular camera modules that hold the phone's rear cameras unique and eye-catching. Other flagship features like IP68 water and dust resistance, wireless charging and reverse wireless charging are all supported.
Huawei has gone to great lengths to ensure users can access popular online services, albeit though the browser. Included in the browser are a bunch of convenient web shortcuts or web apps to Facebook, YouTube, Tiktok, and more. Is it the same as using the native app? No, but it's a decent workaround. Huawei AppGallery store has also amassed a good selection of apps for Singapore users, including the indispensable Singpass, superapps like Grab as well as apps from local banks and telcos. Shortcuts for these apps have already been created on the P50 Pro for your convenience — you simply need to tap to install them on the phone.
The Huawei P50 Pro clocked 10hr 10min in our video-loop battery test. That's merely decent. Overall, the phone has many positives but one big downside. Since I use Google Workspace, the lack of Google apps on the P50 Pro is a bridge too far for me. But those who are less invested in Google's ecosystem may find Huawei's workarounds and the phone's excellent photo-taking performance sufficiently persuasive. Especially if you're comfortable with installing APK files to get apps that aren't available yet in the Huawei AppGallery. The P50 Pro is available from Shopee and Lazada as well as from local resellers and telcos at S$1,548.
Note: Review unit provided by Huawei.
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