Huawei continues to mold its product lineups — particularly its wearables — shaping it to fit into the lives of its beloved consumers — Huawei fans and alike.
Of course, there are still factors to consider before deciding on a smartwatch. So let us help you figure out by tackling matters that you might be dying to find out.
In this review, we’ll detail my experience wearing this watch — the hiccups and the wonders encountered after wearing it for a few weeks. Together, let’s find out if the Huawei Watch 3 is really your GadgetMatch.
Comfort is key
The Huawei Watch 3 is beautifully designed, no doubt. While it exudes a classic appeal, the watch can suit different occasions. And it has a plethora of straps to choose from so you can mix and match. Although the availability depends on the region.
In my case, I didn’t have a choice aside from the black and plain fluoroelastomer strap. What I did was find a way to ship straps from China to get more designs that are apt for my style.
Anyhoo, let’s talk comfort. Regardless of the straps, comfort is key when it comes to smartwatches. It’ll be wrapped around your wrists for a long time, and it’s important to never have any issues with its heft and your skin.
Thankfully, the Huawei Watch 3 doesn’t feel heavy despite having a bigger watch case. What I find worrisome is how bulky it is for both my wrists and daily activities. It gets in the way sometimes — accidentally brushing metals, walls, and other furniture.
I appreciate not feeling any weight while wearing it, but it looks too big for me. Nonetheless, if you have thicker wrists, the watch case size won’t matter. And there are workarounds on how you can prevent your smartwatch from bumping stuff and from getting scratched.
Leave your phone behind
Like most smartwatches, you can connect the Huawei Watch 3 to your smartphone via Bluetooth. Just pair your devices and you can receive notifications, text messages, and calls.
But you can also connect the Huawei Watch 3 on a WiFi connection or a data hotspot. The smartwatch runs on HarmonyOS and comes with several apps; some are built-in and some are downloaded via AppGallery. Personally, I enjoy navigating Petal Maps — Huawei’s very own Maps — because frankly, it’s pretty much the same as Google Maps.
Wearing the Watch 3 made me use my phone less, seeing how I glance at my wrist to check who messaged me. And from those moments, I decide if the person is important enough to stop whatever I’m doing and pick my phone up to respond.
Receiving calls is also fun if you want to act like you’re a spy sent on a mission in whatever Sci-Fi film. Except, I don’t like it when people near me can hear the person on the other line.
If you’re looking for a different way to leave your phone and rely only on your smartwatch, the Huawei Watch 3 supports eSim technology.
Unfortunately, eSims are only available to postpaid plans on select carriers in my country, which I don’t have because I use a prepaid sim with large data allocation. If you’re a postpaid subscriber, just ask your carrier for an eSim and they’ll help you set it up. That way, you can use your mobile number simultaneously — on your watch and on your smartphone.
If you still need more understanding of how eSim technology works, you better read our explainer.
Matches with everyone else
No, I’m not talking about how the smartwatch can match anyone in terms of style, appearance, and personality. Although, that could be the case because it could. But that’s not the point here.
The Huawei Watch 3 is perfectly compatible with all kinds of smartphone users — whether you’re a Huawei loyalist, a Samsung fanboy, a die-hard Xiaomi bunny, or an Apple-ogist.
Thing is, even though the Huawei Watch 3 runs on HarmonyOS, all you need is the Huawei Health app. And it’s downloadable on AppGallery, Play Store, and the App Store.
I paired the watch with several devices in my arsenal. From the Huawei Mate 20 Pro, Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro, and even the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2. It easily syncs important data from your watch, and then you can preview it through the Health app.
More importantly, it’s uncomplicated to navigate even if you use a different ecosystem. As an Apple-ologist pointed out, the Huawei Watch 3 looks the same as the Apple Watch with only minor iterations from its design.
Although, we’re not surprised. Huawei openly expressed how they look up to Apple for inspiration… and probably imitation. But, whatever. Apple’s products are always user-friendly and won’t fry your last three brain cells — perfect for himbos like me.
As long as Huawei makes their products user-friendly too, I’m down with all of it. Based on experience, they make fantastic hardware and it’s a sweet treat if their software and user interface follows one of the best.
From swag to sweat
The Huawei Watch 3 can be a smartwatch for any occasion, assuming you have the perfect strap to suit different settings. During my stint, I used my China-bought Milanese strap when I met with friends and hop on a date. A silver accent works for me since I wear silver rings and earrings.
I have a fashion savant in my life who’s always advised me to match my metals. And I wore that principle to my heart. You don’t need to wear expensive jewelry and accessories to look expensive. Your watch should just go well with every other metal on your body.
On Huawei’s official website, the Steel and Leather straps work perfectly for your casual settings. You might want to consider those when you try to mix and match your outfits.
Coming home, I switch to my black, fluoroelastomer strap. It’s a durable yet comfortable rubber apt for physical activities and humid weather.
As I’ve said earlier, comfort is key and that’s the case for the Huawei Watch 3. Despite the bulky size, surprisingly, it doesn’t get in the way of my workouts. Not once did I feel anxious about my watch brushing off with my weights and other metals.
Speaking of weights, the Huawei Watch 3 accompanied me in my strength and conditioning training. All the essential tracking and features helped me complete my program, prompting me to change my habits to make fitness a sustainable activity and eventually, a lifestyle.
From sweat resistance that pushed me to continue with my routines, timers and stopwatches that aided me in measuring my tempo, the sports tracking mode that helped me understand my patterns, to all-day monitoring with blood oxygen, heart rate, temperature, and even sleep — the Huawei Watch 3 has it all.
Packed with salient health features apt for the current era, the Huawei Watch 3 might make you wonder: Do they really work? And do we even need them?
At first, I was cynical with all the mumbo jumbo presented in smartwatch campaigns. But after my experience, I had a change of heart. Wholeheartedly, I would say yes — they work and we need it.
Starting with the basics, it has the usual features found on any smartwatch. You can track your step count, calories burned, and your heart rate. It also reminds you to get up and move after a period of inactivity.
There’s also a feature where you can track your stress levels, and probably help you cope and manage your stress. As for me, it didn’t particularly help but maybe someone out there can benefit from it. The important thing is there’s a tool that could possibly help.
What I loved the most is the sleep report I receive every morning. Tracking my sleep helped me understand my patterns — which is a key factor I consider before going on my day or performing an exercise routine.
Checking my reports helps me decide if I’m going for two cups of coffee throughout the day, if I’m well-rested enough to execute intense forms during training, or if I need to take more naps.
While all of these reports are summarized and can be previewed using your smartwatch, the intensive details are listed on the Huawei Health app.
Since it consistently tracks and monitors various data, the Huawei Watch 3 constantly consumes the battery life, just like any device that’s connected to Bluetooth, WiFi, and performing background activities.
True to its promise, it has a 3-day battery life that accompanies you in your daily activities. Switching it to ultra-long battery life mode extends it up to 14 days, except I don’t really see myself using this mode in the future.
Charging it is fairly quick. I left it charging after an hour of napping, and when I woke up, I saw it fully charged — ready to be slapped on my wrist again.
Is this watch a match?
But then again, I wish it had a longer battery life like the Huawei Watch GT 2 Pro. If the Huawei Watch 3 can last up to two weeks, it could’ve been my GadgetMatch.
It’s a versatile smartwatch that you can add to your collection of watches. So well-rounded and user-friendly, it works without any tinkering involved. All you have to do is wear it and watch how it performs feats that might elevate your lifestyle.
The Huawei Watch 3 retails for PhP 18,999 — a price tag befitting a premium smartwatch. If anything, Huawei found itself its very own Apple Watch.
Brazenly, I would say the Huawei Watch 3 felt like the Apple Watch of all Huawei smartwatches. It simply works, and it’s beautiful, powerful, and functional in its own right. Complete with an ecosystem that you can enjoy for a seamless AI life.
It’s also user-friendly, stylish, and leaning towards yuppies with a balanced lifestyle than geeks and techies basking in gadgets and other forms of technology.
The Huawei Watch 3 is available on Huawei Store and authorized platforms such as Lazada and Shopee, as well as Huawei Experience stores and other retail partners.
Huawei P50 Pocket review: Glass cannon-esque bombshell
She’s a beauty and a beast, but with reservations
The Tiger is out! Huawei’s daring new smartphone has marked its advent outside China, bringing a form factor and experience we’ve all seen coming.
Meet the Huawei P50 Pocket — the newest addition to the P-series, only it folds like your familiar flip phones. It’s got a clamshell form factor, an exquisite design, a picture-perfect camera system, and perhaps, a similar flagship Huawei experience we’ve come to love.
The Tiger will rise again
Huawei is no stranger to the foldable experience. In 2019, it went toe-to-toe with Samsung’s Galaxy Fold, starting a foldable war we’ve kept tabs in. Alas, Huawei somehow lost during its brouhaha in the United States against the former president Donald Trump. The loss of Google Mobile Services severely affected the market share, despite Huawei’s brilliance in producing excellent hardware.
Three years in, the Chinese company is making strides in pushing its own operating services and ecosystem. The HarmonyOS has been widely marketed in China and beyond. In some way, people are easing up to their new experience with Huawei. (It gets easier, people!)
That’s why there’s no wonder Huawei hopped in with a clamshell phone to match Samsung once more, which seemed to be unchallenged in the category. The P50 Pocket is the Chinese company’s fourth attempt at a foldable smartphone, albeit at a clamshell design. Away from the X-series that rivals the likes of the Galaxy Fold.
A piece of luxury
I received the Premium Edition of the Huawei P50 Pocket, which, frankly, stunned me with its box. It’s got a packaging featuring a pattern of glossy and hollow cuts, probably to tell us there’s a cutting-edge technology waiting.
Opening the box, you’ll find the Huawei P50 Pocket laid out like your regular slate. However, let’s skip past it and check what else’s inside.
Underneath, there is a thin layer of a board with the same design as the cover, paying homage to the world-renowned haute couture designer Iris Van Herpen, who co-designed the Premium Gold colorway.
It comes with a cable and an adapter, unlike most flagship smartphones nowadays. They come in white, though, in case you’re expecting the accessories to be coated in gold, much like the phone.
One look at the Huawei P50 Pocket Premium Edition, or P50 Pocket for brevity, and you’ll probably get the same, initial impression. It’s elegant.
The sculpted patterns, guided by the principle of symbiosis presenting the fusion of technology and nature, add depth to the body. Iris Van Herpen’s touch turned everything into gold, literally and figuratively. The design changed the look and feel of the P50 Pocket as compared to its White colorway, which focuses on the brilliance of shining, shimmering diamonds.
I remember the year 2016 when most smartphones painted their colors in gold. I bought the Huawei P9 simply because it’s coated in that magnificent color. One can say gold is an outdated color to paint for smartphones in this age, but I digress. The right texture, shade, and material can reorient its aesthetics.
Devil is in the details, babe
There’s more to the P50 Pocket than its exquisite clamshell design. I like how it’s thin, slender, and perfectly symmetrical to my eyes. It’s comfortable to hold — folded or unfolded.
When folded, the size is enough to caress on your palms à la Sylvie Grateau on Emily in Paris. It opens smoothly any way you want it, thanks to its hinge’s mechanism. And its heft when folded didn’t feel like I’m going to drop it accidentally.
My only gripe is how the screen made a creaking sound whenever I shut the clamshell phone, even if I do it gently. It made me uneasy.
On another note, using it as a slate gave me mixed feelings. For starters, it’s taller than the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE and the Honor 50 — smartphones I recently enjoyed.
I used the unfolded P50 Pocket with my two hands, and thankfully, the fingerprint scanner is within reach. The volume rockers are a bit higher so it’s quite difficult to adjust the sound during music playback. But that might just be me and my tiny hands.
Nevertheless, I thoroughly enjoyed the engineering know-how and the careful thought that this phone went through. I personally enjoyed the slim silhouette, and the lighter weight when unfolded which Huawei calls a Multi-Dimensional Lifting design.
Sheep in wolf’s clothing
The P50 Pocket is stacked with all the essential features a foldable phone should have. It has a tough hinge which, according to Huawei’s claims, employs materials like a Zirconium-based liquid metal.
I can’t vouch for the durability and the mechanism’s reliability. But what I do know is it feels different as compared to my experience with the Galaxy Z Flip3 5G. The P50 Pocket doesn’t offer any resistance when opening and closing. The hinge might be far too smooth that I can open it with just one hand.
I’d feel more secure if I always have to open it with my two hands. More importantly, it doesn’t come with any IP rating to give me peace of mind.
Sure, you’re not supposed to dip your devices into a pool or drop them into the dirty ground. But foldable phones look and feel fragile enough, and if it doesn’t have any dust or water resistance — the general population would be too iffy to consider a foldable phone no matter how gorgeous they look.
Nevertheless, using the P50 Pocket as a slate can be quite marvelous. It uses a 6.9-inch flexible OLED panel with a 21:9 aspect ratio — making it perfect for watching cinematic videos or scrolling through your favorite apps.
I watched Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings on the P50 Pocket, and I’m glad I didn’t strain my left arm — thanks to the phone’s lightweight design.
The dreaded crease becomes unnoticeable unless you look at the screen at a very low angle. You can feel it when you scroll in the middle, but you’ll grow into it over time.
While I’ve learned to settle back into compact phones, the unfolded P50 Pocket lets me delight in any content I want to consume with its taller screen. It has a 120Hz refresh rate so you can enjoy a smooth motion when multitasking, browsing on social media, or even playing games.
Jacked up with power and insane heat
Speaking of games, I played Honkai Impact to showcase the P50 Pocket’s power and performance. It is exceptional. After all, it’s still a flagship smartphone — just donning a different form factor.
My Premium Gold unit came with 12GB RAM and 512GB of internal storage, equipped with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 4G processor. That might be one of the dealbreakers, especially for Huawei loyalists considering this foldable. In this age, we’ll need a 5G-capable smartphone for future-proofing.
On another note, the P50 Pocket tends to heat up easily. Whether it’s because of the games I played, the environment I was in (like going outside on one hot, sunny day), or when charging up its battery. The heat is just insane.
Still, Huawei’s prominent long-lasting battery life is evident in the P50 Pocket. Even with a 4000mAh battery capacity, I didn’t have to worry about my phone draining easily even if I’m constantly playing music.
I managed to last a day even with heavy use — and I didn’t even bring my power bank. With its 40W Huawei SuperCharge, you only need an hour to get it back to a hundred percent.
Ah, the cover screen. It’s much like the Galaxy Z Flip3 5G’s cover display — only round and bigger. It gives you access to important notifications that you can preview at a glance, as well as widgets you might deem important in your everyday life.
But what I do like about it the most is its cameras. Taking selfies on the cover screen will require the P50 Pocket to use its rear cameras: a 40-megapixel True-Chroma camera, a 13-megapixel Ultra-wide-angle camera, and a 32-megapixel ultra spectrum camera.
I like how the selfies turned out, and I honestly enjoyed taking them than the selfie camera situated on the punch-hole, which only uses a 10.7-megapixel ultra-wide-angle lens.
Just look at these cover-screen selfies.
Now, look at these selfies taken using the front-facing camera found on the punch-hole.
They’re warm, a little bit saturated for my liking, and create unnecessary smoothening that blurs some details.
Continuing the P-series’ legacy
Back at the rear cameras, we know how well-revered the P-series is. For years, Huawei’s camera hardware continues to excel and improve. And we’re certain you’ll love how much the phone captures plenty of details.
Flagship experience we’re familiar with
If you haven’t used one of the Huawei phones released from 2020 to the present, then you might find it difficult to transition to a new interface with a different setup. In China, the P50 Pocket runs on HarmonyOS 2.0. Outside, it uses EMUI 12. But one thing’s clear, there are no Google Mobile Services.
There are plenty of workarounds that we’ve detailed in the past, but it still seems daunting to try to navigate a Google-less smartphone experience when most of our lives, we’ve been reliant on it.
Despite the struggles, the AppGallery — in lieu of Google’s Play Store — is aggressively working on bringing more apps that most people use.
APKPure, which we use to install third-party apps, doesn’t need to be searched on the browser anymore. When you search the apps you like in the AppGallery and discover they’re not yet available, the store will offer the right link to an APK that you can install.
For what it’s worth, the Huawei flagship experience is still the same. It’s got the power, speed, and performance you’d expect out of a flagship smartphone — foldable or not. You just need to tinker a little bit since it’s made easier now, and if you’re up for the adventure, using the P50 Pocket will be a breeze.
Is this your GadgetMatch?
The Huawei P50 Pocket is an exquisite attempt for a flip phone, and it poses a magnificent promise. There are plenty of pros and cons that you might want to consider. It’s gorgeous, sure, but there’s something more to the P50 Pocket than its looks.
You can call it a beauty and a beast, but with reservations for reasons we already know. These are the GMS issue, a seemingly fragile hinge mechanism, and the lack of dust and water resistance.
For the package it offers, it might not be enough to break your wallets for a smartphone that perfectly fits your pocket. The P50 Pocket (8GB/256GB) retails for EUR 1,299 while the P50 Pocket Premium Edition (12GB/512GB) retails for EUR 1,599.
If you have some extra money lying around, by all means, go ahead and buy it. It can be a premium item that you can add to your collection. But when compared to the foldables out in the market, the Galaxy Z Flip3 5G is still the smarter choice.
For those looking for the same experience such as better cameras, premium design, and flagship experience — you might be better off with a Huawei P50 Pro.
The Huawei P50 Pocket is expected to roll out internationally across key markets from Asia Pacific, Middle East, Africa, Europe, and Latin America.
Huawei P50 Pro review: 5 topnotch cameras, 5 drawbacks
Using a Huawei smartphone in 2022 doesn’t seem bad at all
The Huawei P50 and P50 Pro were teased last June 2021 and got announced in China a month after. After six more months, they finally made their latest flagship available to the rest of the world — Singapore and the Philippines included.
I’m keen on using their newest P-series smartphone as the last Huawei phone I tried was the Mate 30 Pro from 2019. But does this phone deserve the credit for being called a “legend reborn”? Did it actually get better over those years of despair and doubts? Read my honest thoughts below.
In a nutshell
This in-depth review is divided in four (4) parts. You can skip ahead and scroll down depending on what you’re curious about:
- Topnotch cameras
- More great stuff
- The drawbacks
- Is the Huawei P50 Pro your GadgetMatch?
For the spec-obsessed, here’s a rundown of the P50 Pro’s internals between the Chinese and Global version:
|P50 Pro (China)||P50 Pro (Global)|
|Display||6.6” 120Hz OLED||6.6” 120Hz OLED|
|Processor||Kirin 9000 5G
|Snapdragon 888 4G
66W Wired SuperCharge
50W Wireless SuperCharge
66W Wired SuperCharge
50W Wireless SuperCharge
|Operating System||HarmonyOS 2.0||EMUI 12 (Android 11)|
|Colors||Black, Gold, White, Pink, Blue||Golden Black, Cocoa Gold|
I’d like to talk about its cameras first since its the main highlight of this flagship.
For conscious mobile photographers, the Huawei P50 Pro consists of five cameras: four at the back and one in front.
- 50MP f/1.8 wide (PDAF, Laser AF, OIS)
- 13MP f/2.2 ultra-wide
- 64MP f/3.5 periscope telephoto (PDAF + OIS)
- 3.5x optical zoom
- 100x digital zoom
- 40MP f/1.6 B&W sensor
- 13MP f/2.4 front camera
If you look closely, you’ll find the lens and its sensors all along that monstrous dual-circle camera layout. Fortunately, the LEICA partnership is still here.
Consistency is key
Unlike flagship smartphones I’ve reviewed in the past, the cameras of the Huawei P50 Pro are pretty consistent across the board.
Whether you use ultra-wide, wide, or the periscope telephoto lens during day time, it will provide you great results with little to no adjustments in color and contrast.
In the example above, both the ultra-wide and wide lenses performed like it came from a single sensor with the right amount of highlights and shadows. Even the AWB (Auto White Balance) looked similar. Other phone brands aren’t consistent with how they process their images despite having great camera sensors and chipsets.
Surprisingly, all lenses performed coherently even at night. The vast camera array of the P50 Pro proved to be topnotch with that consistent look.
And yes, that bokeh effect works on closer subjects (like that cute stray cat) even when it’s already past golden hour.
There are times where zooming out gets a better overall shot. Shooting the greenery through ultra-wide night mode actually helped in emphasizing the scenery better than what the main lens produced.
Sometimes, you don’t even need to shoot with night mode on to get desirable results. For instance, this indoor shot was taken just via Auto Mode. Both the wide and telephoto shots still looked good and consistent.
The main star of the show
Using the main (wide) angle lens should be enough for most occasions. Whether it’s for food, places, or portraits, the P50 Pro delivers well.
Even when they’re not taken using Portrait mode, the amount of subject-object segmentation is clear especially with that creamylicious bokeh at the back.
For an even wider view
I prefer using the ultra-wide lens mostly in perspective and landmark (pun intended) shots.
By framing the shot first before hitting the camera shutter button, the P50 Pro will surely produce great shots that doesn’t need any adjustments prior posting on social media.
Zooming in is my very best friend
Admittedly, I’ve used the P50 Pro’s periscope telephoto lens more than the wide lens for most subjects.
In hard-to-reach areas such as buildings and structures (architecture), I prefer zooming in and see what’s the best frame before capturing one.
It’s also very useful in scenarios that require rapid movement such as flying birds, as well as trees, grasses, and flowers getting hit by the breezy wind.
Most of the food shots I took were also captured using the zoom lens more than its wider counterpart.
The more I zoom in, the more I can focus on the intricate details of the food. It’s also helpful in hiding the phone’s annoying shadow when taking a photo through the main lens.
I’m a real sucker for golden hour shots. Even with just auto mode, the P50 Pro was able to capture these scenes just like how I see them in person. Truly astonishing.
Cafés at night also looked more warm and cozy just by pinching in onto the composition and focus on the shop’s decor instead of capturing the usual full façade.
Finally, the P50 Pro truly stunned me when I was able to take a clear shot of the moon — both in 30x and 100x. Even though it was digitally zoomed and the camera preview looked messed up, its AI algorithm produced such detailed moon shots even with just using Auto mode. No need to buy a telescope just to capture the whole full moon view.
Night mode saves the day?
While we’re already on the topic of night photography, I just also want to hype up Huawei’s Night Mode feature.
That heading might sound stupid but in situations where abundant source of light is missing, the Huawei P50 Pro was still able to process and display dark shots into something beyond the naked eye.
While true-to-life shots are what we want, activating night mode especially after sunset and in pitch dark areas are recommended for better night shot output.
I actually haven’t used any tripod nor any accessory in shooting those stars. All you need is to breathe, stay calm, be firm, and let the less than a second processing of the P50 Pro do its night mode magic for you.
Et voilà! With the right amount of passion and patience, you can also take great night time photos if ever you’re planning to buy this smartphone.
It can either mean “auto focus” or “as f***”. Whichever came to mind, I just want to point out that its Phase-Detection Auto Focus (PDAF) system, Laser AF, and OIS work wonders!
Whenever I ride my bicycle or sit at the back of a tricycle, the P50 Pro doesn’t miss a focused frame. This also adds a motion effect while the subject in-focus is still focused.
Even your pets in motion can be captured in an instant with its quick shutter release. Mind you, it works in both wide and zoomed modes.
Too warm? Or just right?
We all have our preferences in photos. Sometimes, I just feel like the P50 Pro produces warmer shots than what I see in reality.
But sometimes, having a warmer tone in photos adds more life to them.
AI (sometimes) hates you
Or maybe I was just right all along. The P50 Pro tends to produce warmer shots whenever night mode is turned on.
The same goes when AI is turned on while trying to capture food photos.
Whether it’s the green salad or these ensaymada buns, the P50 Pro’s AI algorithm over-enhances photos compared to what I see in real life.
Night mode also brightens up photos a bit too much. When I know it’s too much, I turn off night and AI mode completely.
When in doubt, just use Black and White
If you want to add more drama to your shots, the B/W sensor of the P50 Pro can result to well-toned monochrome shots.
Two lens modes for the price of one
More great stuff
1. Eleganza extravaganza
The Huawei P50 Pro screams elegance and sophistication. From its shiny back and metal railing, it looks and feels like any other premium flagship.
The colorway that I have is the Cocoa Gold. But when you actually see it in person, it looks more silver-y with some hints of bronze. It’s hard to explain but If feel my photos did the phone’s color some justice anyway.
The most eye-catching feature for me isn’t actually the color, rather the camera cutout itself. Looking back at the Huawei P9 with its dual-camera design, Huawei made a “legend reborn” with the P50 Pro by having what they call the “Dual-Matrix” camera design.
While most of you might not be a fan of it (some of my friends even pointed out it looks like a washing machine and dryer combo), I’m a fan of its form that goes hand-in-hand with the overall ergonomics of the phone.
Holding the phone one-handed isn’t a sore at all!
Whenever I hold it, it feels surprisingly light but with the right amount of heft. Whether I use it for calls, chats, social media, shooting photos, and even playing games, the phone is comfortable to hold.
2. Astounding audiovisual experience
Probably one of the biggest features of the P50 Pro is its 6.68-inch OLED display with a punch-hole cutout. Let us remember that the Huawei nova 4 was one of the first smartphones to introduce the display tech.
If you remember the P40 Pro from 2020, it had a dual notch at the left side. Now, Huawei has also decided to move it into the center just like Xiaomi did with their recent 11T and 12 series. Its refresh rate was also bumped up from 90Hz to a 120Hz panel for a smoother and snappier UI navigation.
K-Pop music videos are known for their bright and color-popping visuals. Thanks to the display’s 1B colors, the P50 Pro was able to show colors that my IPS monitor cannot even produce.
I was even able to watch Netflix’s 그 해 우리는 (Our Beloved Summer) in its full glory. How? I’ll explain more later.
Was even able to play a 4K HDR copy of Disney’s Encanto. The moment I played it, that’s when I realized the P50 Pro has one of the most immersive and true-to-life smartphone displays out there.
Its stereo speakers are also loud enough with a decent amount of bass and treble. TMI but it’s the perfect device companion whenever I take a shower so I can sing while the music is playing. And if you’re worried about accidental splashes and submersion, it has IP68 water and dust rating too.
3. Once an Android, still an Android
While the new HarmonyOS 2.0 is making waves in China, Huawei still decided to ship the global version with EMUI 12 based on Android 11. If you’ve grown into Huawei’s custom Android skin, this wouldn’t be a problem. I even enjoyed navigating through the phone’s UI even if I’m accustomed to Apple’s iOS.
With the presence of the Huawei AppGallery, I was able to download most apps I use in my other phones: Telegram, Viu, 9, Lazada, Shopee, GCash, and other local banking apps.
If you’re still worried about other apps that are not found in the AppGallery, there’s also APKPure integration. That’s what I used to download APK versions popular streaming apps such as Netflix, Disney+, Apple Music, Spotify, and more.
If you’re worried about missing your social media apps, don’t worry as you can also install Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Slack, Discord, among others.
I was even able to download Genshin Impact and Call of Duty: Mobile with ease. If you’re worried about updates, installing the APKPure app will notify you just like Google’s Play Store.
4. Speedy performance
After installing those graphics-intensive games, I immediately tested how the P50 Pro performs. As we all expect, Snapdragon 888 performed great. There’s even a dedicated Game Booster tab whenever you open a game so you can turn off unwanted notifications and take screenshots or screen recordings at ease.
Asphalt 9 is always the best racing game to test out in any smartphone — though it’s a different case if you own Forza Horizon 5 and are subscribed to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate.
Although Genshin Impact was stuck with medium settings, playing it still felt smoother and more responsive. And if you wish to bump up the graphics quality, you’ll just end up overclocking the smartphone — which you don’t want to do since this is a device with a chipset that isn’t user-replaceable (unlike PC rigs that can be replaced when the overclocked chipset breaks).
For people who continuously whine about Snapdragon 888’s overheating issues, sorry to break it to you but I didn’t experience any significant heating or lagging issues when I played these games.
5. Small yet long-lasting battery
With just a 4360mAh battery, most of you wouldn’t expect a full-day of battery life with moderate usage but my experience begs to differ.
I was able to binge-watch three episodes of 모범택시 (Taxi Driver) in Netflix continuously from 35% before the phone died. If I’ll do the math for you, that was more than three (3) hours worth of video playback.
If that isn’t believable enough, I also went out with this phone to take a lot of sample photos plus some social media updating in-between. Believe it or not, it only managed to consume 15% of its overall percentage. This is also safe to say that the 4G-only Snapdragon 888 was efficient to save battery life in times where you don’t play hard on it.
1. 2021 flagship with a 2019 back
Despite loving its dual-matrix camera design, I’m not a total fan of this finish. While there’s an included silicon case in its packaging, dust and smears still accumulate over time.
I haven’t even started yet but it’s difficult to clean its back when I did beauty and usage shots for this device — even when I used a soft microfiber cloth for it. I’d rather have a “boring” matte back over a shiny back that’s ultra-glossy and smudgy that made waves until 2019.
2. Not all curves are pretty
I used to love curved smartphone displays way back when Samsung announced the Galaxy S6 Edge in 2015. But after realizing it’s more of an aesthetic rather than function, it became more of a “gimmick” for me.
I don’t think having a curved display means “premium” especially when most phone brands slowly transitioned their flagship smartphones back to flat displays for durability and better display legibility.
During those instances where you’re surrounded with uncontrollable bright lights, those make the curved display more prominent. It may be immersive for some, but it’s distracting for me. It’s also just more expensive to get repaired if ever it gets knocked down on the floor and shattered.
And should I also mention that its in-display fingerprint scanner sometimes require multiple presses in order to get recognized?
3. Where’s 5G?
I know you’re wondering and it isn’t a typo. The P50 Pro is equipped with a flagship-grade Snapdragon 888 — but only with 4G.
The China-exclusive P50 units were shipped with Kirin 9000 — which is a 5nm 5G chip that made its debut through 2020’s Mate 40 Pro. If you’ve been keeping track of the Huawei for the past few years, Qualcomm has offered only 4G chips for Huawei, not those with 5G in it.
With the ongoing global chip shortage that also affected major players such as Apple, Sony, and Intel (and could last until 2023), it’s quite understandable for Huawei to reserve the Kirin chips in their homeland.
But admit it or not, most of us want a smartphone that could last up to three to five years. By then, 5G has continually evolved. And as someone who has experience the instantaneous speeds of 5G and how it helped me do tasks faster such as downloading heavy files for editing or playing intensive games whenever I’m outside, the P50 Pro lacking 5G support is a dealbreaker for me.
Considering its competitive price tag in an already highly-competitive smartphone market full of 5G midrangers and flagships, this is where Huawei might able to make or break a customer’s satisfaction.
4. Super fast charging? Only with Huawei
To fully maximize the Huawei’s super fast charging feature, you only need to use its bundled 66W SuperCharge adapter and USB-C to USB-A cable. I know they’re not the only one as Chinese manufacturers such as Xiaomi and vivo also do the same for their phones. But hey, the good thing is the chargers are still bundled!
Not that third-party chargers and cables won’t totally work, they’ll just charge the P50 Pro slower than what’s advertised. So if you have a large GaN charger and fast USB-C to USB-C cables like I do, forget it. The Huawei P50 Pro will still treat that as a normal 25W charger.
Here are the charging results using the 66W charging brick:
- 3 minutes = 4%
- 5 minutes = 10%
- 10 minutes = 25%
- 15 minutes = 38%
- 25 minutes = 55%
- 30 minutes = 67%
- 45 minutes = 92%
- 50 minutes = 98%
- 55 minutes = 100%
Whereas the third-party chargers and cables took longer as expected for about more than 65~70 minutes as Huawei limits the fast charging capabilities using other accessories.
5. Still, the lack of Google
While it may not be a problem for others, the lack of Google Mobile Services (GMS) is still a problem for most.
As someone who relies on Google apps often such as YouTube, Gmail, Meet, and Drive, it’s hard to justify buying this phone if the user wants the best of everything with Google in it. There is and will always be other Android smartphones out there with Google Mobile Services.
Fortunately, there’s an app that could temporarily fix this issue. By installing GSpace from Huawei’s AppGallery, it will be able to open apps that rely on GMS. Albeit, you have to withstand another layer of pop-up ads before you can use an app — unless you pay for a premium and remove ads for life.
With it, I was able to open and play videos on YouTube, glance at emails on Gmail, upload photos to Drive, and even color-grade photos in VSCO. Just expect casual app crashes in-between.
And with GMS in mind, one more rant is that EMUI doesn’t show music controls on the lock and control center if you play from third-party apps such as Apple Music, YouTube Music, and Spotify — unless it’s played by Huawei’s native Music app.
Is the Huawei P50 Pro your GadgetMatch?
If you’re that eager to own a smartphone with a superior set of cameras, astounding display and speakers, slim and lightweight design, flagship-grade performance with an efficient battery life, the P50 Pro is no doubt the best option for you. But if the lack of GMS, 5G, and other considerable drawbacks affect your purchasing decision, owning a Huawei smartphone simply isn’t for you.
For now, the Huawei P50 Pro has one of (if not the) best cameras in a smartphone today. This might be a bold statement but the P50 Pro can even beat last year’s Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra in terms of camera prowess. But remember, the Galaxy S22 Ultra is just around the corner so we have to wait before we can tell which smartphone has the best cameras in this specific quarter.
The Huawei P50 Pro is currently available in Europe for EUR 1199 (approximately US$ 1337, SG$ 1810, PhP 68,503). Stay tuned for the official Singaporean and Philippine pricing as they will be announced soon.
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Sometimes, all we need is a generic flat-screen TV to fill the void in our living space. But the thing is, you don’t need to sacrifice picture quality alongside a cheaper price tag.
Ranging from 43 to a whopping 75-inches, which Amazon Fire TV between the Omni and the 4-series is your GadgetMatch?
Watch our Amazon Fire TV review to know more.
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