Huawei P50 Huawei P50

Reviews

Huawei P50 review: A story of green flags and a major red flag

It’s 10 but…

Published

on

Dating, more than going on dinners and hanky panky, is a practice of assessing green flags and red flags. Whether we like it or not, every person we’re going to try to date will come with pros and cons. Nobody’s perfect. Entering a long term relationship is a matter of deciding whether we’re willing to live with the cons in favor of the pros. Sounds a lot like buying a smartphone, right? 

Karlo, will you be my smartphone? 

That’s because dating in the hopes of being in a long term relationship is a lot like buying a smartphone. Smartphones aren’t cheap. They’re investments that require plenty of thought and analysis before making a purchase. That’s why while reviewing the Huawei P50, I asked myself… 

Is this a smartphone I can commit to in the long run?

Let’s find out by studying the green flags and the red flag of the Huawei P50.

Green Flag #1: Looks that will make you blush

Huawei P50

You should never judge a book by its cover, but it’s still important to have a good cover nonetheless. Standing out in the smartphone world in 2022 matters. Thankfully, the Huawei P50 is a device that did not skimp on its looks.

The phone comes with your punch hole design upfront, which is a standard at this point.

Huawei P50

What makes the P50 unique is its camera design at the back, with two large circles that house its triple camera setup. It may be polarizing for some, but it’s undeniably a look that will stand out in an ultra competitive flagship market. Completing its look is a glass back that screams premium.

Huawei P50

Huawei’s P50 is also a delight to use in the hand. It carries enough weight that it feels premium but it isn’t heavy to the point of discomfort. It’s a comfortable everyday device that you can easily carry around in your pockets. 

Green Flag #2: Performance that just works

Huawei P50

As a corporate man who travels for leisure, I didn’t get a chance to test the complete power of the device. Instead, I assessed its performance based on how it felt according to my everyday lifestyle. In a sentence: The Huawei P50 just works.

Barely any stutters were felt during the review process, even when exposed to various everyday scenarios. It held itself well as a hotspot device during a remote work day and it performed smoothly during a trip to Balesin Island. 

You won’t have any problems running multiple social media apps and even Spotify on the P50. While others may complain that its performance is too bland, sometimes you just need a device that sticks to the basics and remembers the primary function of a smartphone: a multimedia communication device. That in itself is already a win.

Green Flag #3: A camera that competes with the best

Huawei P50

Cameras can make or break a flagship smartphone. That’s why while testing the P50, I took the opportunity to do a blind smartphone camera test between Huawei’s flagship and one of 2022’s top smartphones (let’s call this Smartphone N). 

The results were interesting. 

A = Huawei P50
B = Smartphone N

Huawei P50

A = Smartphone N

B = Huawei P50

A = Huawei P50

B = Smartphone N

A = Smartphone N

B = Huawei P50

A = Smartphone N

B = Huawei P50

Huawei P50

Surprisingly, considering how highly touted Smartphone N’s camera is, Huawei won 3 out of the 5 blind tests I shared on my Instagram page.

 

It won daylight shots by a landslide and the selfie blind camera test was neck and neck. It lost out on the night mode test, however, but not by much. While blind smartphone camera tests aren’t the best way to assess a phone’s camera, it’s at least a more objective way of comparing shots done by opposing rivals based on the personal interests of the consumer. 

Most consumers like brighter shots with colors that pop. In this case, the P50’s main camera does that well in good lighting conditions while also showcasing some good dynamic range. Some shots can look too saturated, but never to the point that you’d dislike its results. 

The same goes with its selfie camera, however with a bigger caveat. Since its selfie sensor isn’t as good as the setup on the back, the saturation is much more evident. Details are a bit more washed out, which can bother at least pixel peeping consumers. For most consumers, however, they’ll be perfectly fine with its selfie stills.

There are other things to nitpick with the P50’s camera, however, First is how its tendency to saturate shots hurts its night mode stills.

Night shots are tricky. While you want as much light as possible to come in, you don’t want your stills to come out with unnatural looking results. This is where the P50 struggled as it brightened up night shots too much, to the point where the processing looked very evident. 

Another is its choice of wide angle lens. While it does come out with great results, it doesn’t capture enough compared to the wide angle shots of other cameras. It’s a shame this was the case, given how good its shots were.

Nitpicking aside, this is a superstar camera that can compete with the best of the best. In fact, its camera alone could have catapulted it close to phone of the year territory. But its red flags forced me to rethink that thought.

Red Flag #1: Lack of Google Services

Huawei P50

You likely knew it was coming, but we need to mention it either way. It’s the biggest red flag the entire Huawei brand faces today and the promising P50 is held back by its lack of Google Services.

The Google ecosystem is something that’s ingrained into the lifestyles of most consumers. The commitment to the ecosystem varies per person. But just having yourself be dipped to a part of this system is already a big deal with your overall tech experience. 

There are two parts to this experience which are especially important to the casual tech consumer. 

Red Flag #2: Incomplete media consumption experience

Smartphones, aside from being a communication device, are tools we use to consume media. There are a number of apps that work on the P50 such as Spotify and Netflix, but it misses out on a very important app: YouTube. 

It may just be one app, but it’s the app that is the most universal across all consumers. Losing out on YouTube feels like losing out on an entire media consumption experience. Sadly, given Huawei’s current predicament concerning Google Services, it’s an important app that can’t be enjoyed on the P50. 

Red Flag #3: Incomplete work stream offered

Huawei P50

Smartphones embody the saying, Work Hard, Have Fun. If the fun comes from multimedia, the working hard comes from the work tools smartphones offer. 

Unlike media consumption, there are only a select number of apps that run widely-used work applications. One of the top tools happens to be part of the Google ecosystem: GSuite.

You can’t use Gmail , Google Sheets, Docs, or any other apps that are a part of this system. This was especially difficult for me, as my employer uses GSuite as part of its workstream. This made it difficult for me to use the P50. When I’d go mobile, Huawei’s flagship was limited to being a hotspot source while I used Smartphone N for work-related tasks.  

Is this your GadgetMatch? 

Huawei P50

It feels like there’s an overarching, unanimous answer to this question, but like most relationships, this question needs to be answered with more nuance. 

Committing to the Huawei P50 — priced at PhP 39,999 — is a gargantuan task. It’s especially difficult for users whose daily lives center around Google Services. If you’re a heavy user of at least one Google app, I’d recommend you steer clear of purchasing this device. The trade-off may not be worth it. 

However, if Google apps aren’t a big part of your day-to-day life, then purchasing the P50 wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world. You’re getting a smartphone that feels good on the hand, looks very good, performs well, and has a camera that competes with the best of the best. 

Nuance matters in this discussion. But there’s that part of me that can’t help but say, “If only this phone didn’t have those red flags.” 

We can’t live with the ifs. We have to live with reality. This is the reality Huawei faces and it’s up to tech consumers whether they can commit and say ‘I Do’ to the P50 as their GadgetMatch.

Reviews

vivo Y35 review: Y series upgraded

Published

on

vivo Y35

We know that the Y series is vivo’s entry-level line of smartphones and is among their highest selling variants to date. So, it does feel confusing that the vivo Y35 still belongs in this category as a lot of its features already belong to a higher class. 

It has everything a Y series should be but also a lot to take it to the next level.

That’s exactly what we’re going to discuss as we talk more about the identity crisis this phone is having and why it actually is pretty good.

Specs

A quick recap of the specs before we proceed. The vivo Y35 is running on the Snapdragon 680 chipset with 8GB RAM plus 8GB of extended RAM, it also has a large internal storage of 256GB and is being powered by a 5,000mAh battery with a 44W Flash Charge.

Designed like a Y series and that means beautiful

vivo Y35

The way this phone is designed looks and feels almost exactly like vivo’s other entry-level offerings. It’s not necessarily a bad thing since their designs are recognizably attractive and are pretty well built.

With this one, the size feels slightly thicker and heavier on the hands. It can be both a blessing and a curse especially for people with bigger hands. I like that it feels a bit chunky. It makes it easier to grip though it also bulges a bit in my pants’ pocket.

vivo Y35

It’s commendable that for a relatively affordable phone, I feel proud to bring out even in sophisticated engagements. Contrasting the camera module’s dark gray mirror finish with the Dawn Gold colorway of the whole body is picture-perfect.

Plus, I greatly appreciate that they finally went with a matte textured back case which doesn’t attract smudges.

Responsive Display 

vivo Y35

If you place the Y35 side by side with other budget phones from vivo, you’ll probably think they’re all using the same screens. Most of them still have a chin and a dew drop front camera design. But on paper, most of them slightly differ. 

The one on the Y35 is a 6.58-inch, full HD+, IPS display but now boasts a 90Hz refresh rate. So it does feel a bit more responsive adding to its overall user experience.

vivo Y35

Given that this isn’t AMOLED, we can’t expect it to have the same vibrance of that kind. But at least the viewing angles are decent and colors are nicely saturated.

Outdoor usage may be a bit of a struggle but not to the point that it gets annoying.

Battery and Charging is its best feature

One of the highlights on the Y35 is its fast charging capabilities. vivo claims this phone can charge up to 70 percent in just 34 minutes. It’s quite unusual to experience in this category of smartphones.

Based on my personal test, the 44W Flash Charge on this was able to get a 20 percent increase in just ten minutes of charging. And from 15 percent, it took a whole hour and two minutes for it to get fully charged.

Not entirely the same as vivo’s claims but still remarkably fast. Especially if we consider that most entry-level phones do take more than two hours to get fully charged.

This means we can now change our overnight charging habit to just charging before we prepare ourselves for leaving the house.

vivo Y35

Battery performance was also fairly good. I managed to use this mostly on data connection, streaming a whole bunch of YouTube videos in a four-hour bus trip to Baguio and I ended the whole day still with 58 percent battery remaining.

That’s pretty decent for a 5,000 mAh battery if you ask me.

Built for Multi-Tasking 

vivo Y35

Aside from the large RAM and storage, there really isn’t much to go crazy about the Y35’s hardware and performance. Apps run more or less the same as other Snapdragon 680 powered phones. But the benefits of having more RAM is quite noticeable.

It can surely handle running apps side by side on multi-window mode but not absurdly responsive. It also manages to return to apps I have running in the background without having to wait for it to load all over again.

vivo Y35

I assume games may have also benefited from the large available RAM as Call of Duty: Mobile is able to run lag-free at very high settings with high FPS enabled. 

vivo Y35

But I feel that among the games I’ve tried, Genshin Impact had a more significant benefit from its specs. Despite being very demanding, the Y35 seemed pretty comfortable handling this game at its default setting with no noticeable slowdowns.

At medium setting, slowdowns did become evident but dropping a few settings to low made the game run at nearly its full speed. I even managed to configure some settings to a combination of high graphic options and this worked out pretty well, too.

Cameras that take Insta-worthy snaps 

vivo Y35

Like the display, I was also expecting the camera to be the exact same one that came with the Y35’s more affordable siblings. With 50MP for its main camera, 2MP bokeh shooter, 2MP macro camera and 16MP selfie camera, on paper, these do seem very similar.

But having the chance to use a lot of them, I can say that that isn’t the case. Image quality has improved but not so drastically.

 

 

 

 

It often gets the colors where I want them and looks Insta-worthy but so long as we manually adjust the exposure slider. Not doing so will mostly result in an overly exposed image which isn’t too appealing.

I noticed that it still has difficulty capturing details in background subjects like leaves of trees. However, I may belong in the minority who actually likes the look of its softness. It kind of reminds me of old digicams which make some shots feel nostalgic if that makes sense.

What I really liked was the ability to recover quickly after taking a shot. I think this could also be a product of its hardware specs and not the camera itself. Whatever it is, it helps ease shooting. The Y35 manages to snap at fast moving subjects allowing me to catch candid moments as it happens.

Is the vivo Y35 your GadgetMatch?

vivo Y35

Priced at PhP 14,999 as of writing, the vivo Y35 does seem to be pushing against the boundaries of the entry-level category. For just a little bit more, a lower mid-range phone isn’t too far off which would likely be better in most cases.

Having this consideration in mind, I think the Y35 would be an ideal fit for people eyeing a budget phone who are willing to stretch their pockets a bit for more features.

vivo Y35

It’s fast enough for daily tasks and games. and is capable of capturing the moment with its decent cameras. It’s also a fast and vibrant display, and best of all, it charges fast and won’t easily die down on you. Plus it also looks really nice, albeit with the notch design.

Basically, it’s a phone that gets the job done with a few extras here and there. Maybe vivo can consider calling this a Y series Plus or Pro? 

The vivo Y35 is available in Dawn Gold or Agate Black colors at their Shopee, Lazada, Tiktok Shop and vivo e-store and all vivo Concept stores nationwide.

Continue Reading

Accessories

Apple AirPods Pro 2 Review

Is it worth the upgrade?

Published

on

After years of waiting, Apple has finally updated their AirPods Pro from 2019.

The AirPods Pro 2nd Generation may look like its old predecessor, but it offers more than what its “unchanged” look.

There’s an upgraded H2 chip, better ANC, longer battery life, a charging case with speakers and MagSafe, and more!

But are these features worth the upgrade?

Or is it better for a first-time AirPods user to invest on the AirPods 3 instead?

Head over to our in-depth Apple AirPods 2 review to feed your curiosities.

Continue Reading

Accessories

Apple Watch Ultra Unboxing and Review (Part 1)

Is it really worth your hard-earned savings?

Published

on

After several years of waiting, an Apple Watch dedicated for explorers, adventure-seekers, and elite athletes is finally here!

Lo and behold, the new Apple Watch Ultra.

While just being a first product of its kind, it actually offers features that can rival its popular competitors.

But is it worth your hard-earned money considering its price tag starts at a whopping US$ 799 / S$ 1199 / ₱53,990?

Watch how Michael Josh unwraps the new watch in the latest Apple Watch Ultra Unboxing and First Review.

Continue Reading

Trending