Huawei’s position in the smartphone business has fallen sharply due to US sanctions. That’s why the company is sinking lower and lower in the table of the ranks of the largest smartphone manufacturers. But still I would say the ban is not stopping Huawei to release the the flagship smartphones. Because we know that the company is working really hard to release the upcoming Huawei P50 series, the latest in its photography centric line of phones. These are going to be milestone devices for Huawei because they’ll be the first to not run android.
Huawei P50 Series Features
The P50 series will instead use Huawei’s own Harmony OS 2.0 which is technically different but still capable of running android apps from what we’ve seen so far from leaked harmony OS builds running on the Mate 40 Pro. The core look and feel hasn’t changed a whole lot since the previous EMUI 11 though we can see a redesigned quick settings panel and an IOS style app library feature plus some pretty neat expandable widgets.
Essentially Huawei is free to do whatever it wants with harmony OS and from this it appears they’re leaning into much more of an iPhone like design language.
Despite not technically being an android phone you can still expect the same level of android app compatibility as any recent Huawei phone, which is to say stuff will generally work but obviously there’s no play store and apps that rely on google play services might misbehave.
Display & Design
We’ve already seen plenty of rumors and renders of the upcoming Huawei P50 and the P50 pro respectively. But those were only the renders not the real thing. But now we’ve the best information on the Huawei P50 and P50 pro comes from ONLEAKS and Digital Chat Station, those are one of the best leakstar out there and shared some live pictures of the Huawei P50 series.
So here you can see a clear look at the Huawei regular P50. I know the images look like they could be showing the real phone but he called it a third party model. So that presumably means a dummy unit used by a company such as a case maker that would want to know what the phone looks like ahead of the launch to make its accessories. And usually dummy units are supplied by the phone manufacturers itself or at least you can say based on specs provided by them.
So there is a high chance that the phone shown in these images is an accurate representation of the Huawei P50. But there is no guarantee right now. Anyway the photos show a design that’s much like we’ve seen before in the renders. For both devices you’re looking at a familiar curved glass front and back panel with a hole punch camera though this time relocated to the center of the panel. It’s also interesting to note the lack of a double space selfie shooter this time around unlike the P40 pro with Huawei apparently settling for a single front facer. Also revealed these renders is an IR blaster on the top frame.
Around the back is where things really get interesting though. There is a large camera block hosting two massive circles on the rear and these circles are housing multiple lenses like two lenses in each and it looks quite good and unique to me.
Both P50 phones feature this enormous double spaced camera module and at present no one really knows what Huawei’s going to do with its new camera system. The P-series has often been used to showcase new imaging technology in Huawei phones. So one possibility is the rumored one-inch Sony IMX 800 sensor occupying at least one of those gigantic camera bulges. And if the rumors are accurate this would be the largest sensor in any smartphone.
With a phone like the p50 an excellent main camera is table stakes. What’s going to be more interesting is what happens with those secondary cameras the ultra wide which got a significant upgrade in last year’s phones and the telephoto.
In 2020 only Huawei’s pro plus phone’s got 10 times super telephoto capabilities with other models maxing out at a five times optical and with the Samsung Galaxy S21 ultra bringing some serious heat with three times and 10 times zoom capabilities. Huawei’s top end cameras will need to do something special in order to compete.
The main area to build on I think is autofocus and low light quality with those secondary cameras. Last year’s P40 pro Plus had some incredible zoom capabilities but it struggled with hand motion and clarity and darker scenes especially when you compare it to the latest Samsung flagship of this year. It’ll also be interesting to see how selfie performance is balanced with the move to a single front-facing camera this time around.
In terms of processing power we’d expect the p50 series to be powered by the same homegrown Kirin 9000 chipset as the mate 40. Even though Huawei is sitting on an apparently very finite supply of these chips as us restrictions stop it from manufacturing any more of them.
Other core specs remain to be seen and there haven’t been any reliable leaks yet on ram storage or battery capacity. Huawei has been relatively conservative when it comes to all three in the P series in recent years instead choosing to compete on price and photographic prowess.
At the very least we should probably expect the same 66 watts super fast wired charging the debut in the Mate 40 Pro along with a likely bump up to 120 hertz display in line with current android flagships. But we may need to wait a little longer than you might think for the Huawei P50 and P50 pro even though the p40 series is now more than a year old.
According to reliable Huawei leaker Rodent 950 the devices are set to break cover in late June. The P50 pro plus which if history is any indicator may be the only model to offer that is covered at 10 times super superzoom may also be delayed further into the summer according to the same tipster.
So would you be tempted by the Huawei P50 pro and its possibly revolutionary camera hardware or would you be put off by the lack of google compatibility and potential app difficulties let us know in the comments.