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  • Cheryl Tan

Huawei P50 Pocket Review: A Folding Phone That Folds FLAT!

Looking at this, you might realise it’s quite similar to another folding phone that was released previously, but this is the Huawei P50 Pocket, and in some ways, it’s even better, but only if you don’t need specific Google services.

Designed in collaboration with fashion designer Iris Van Herpen, the Huawei P50 Pocket Premium Edition comes with a textured gold body that not only looks premium but feels very sturdy and durable as well. On the outside, you get two circles, one being the raised camera bump and the other being the Cover Screen that allows for the user to frame selfies even with the phone closed, check the weather, calendar and receive basic notifications.

That being said, the phone folds shut with no space between the two halves, which results in a slim and small folded footprint of 8.73cm by 7.55cm, with a thickness of just 1.52cm, compared to the thickest part of the nearest competitor, which is 1.71cm. It also snaps close with a satisfying sound and it’s easy to flip it open with just a thumb. There’s actually also the P50 Pocket White, which is the normal edition, but this won’t be coming to Singapore.

When you unfold the phone, you get a large 6.9-inch OLED screen inside with a 442 PPI density in a 21:9 aspect ratio. The screen is bright and crisp, and with the 21:9 aspect ratio, it’s excellent whether you’re using the phone to watch shows or if you’re scrolling through a long web page. The main screen has a refresh rate of 120Hz while the Cover Screen outside is at 60Hz, which, honestly, is more than enough for it.

Since it’s a folding screen, there’s still a slight crease when you look at the screen from certain angles, but as long as you’re looking at it dead-on, you definitely can’t see it. Something that we noticed with this phone as well, is that if the phone is left unfolded for a certain amount of time, the screen’s crease actually flattens out and isn’t as prominent to the touch anymore. While we can’t guarantee that this will last for the entirety of the phone’s life, it’s definitely something interesting.

Inside, it’s powered by the Snapdragon 888 4G chip, which, while isn’t the newest and greatest, it’s still more than enough and the phone runs incredibly smoothly, thanks also to the 12GB of RAM in the Premium Edition. The normal edition, though, only has 8GB of RAM, which should still be more than enough. As for storage, the normal edition comes with 256GB while the Premium Edition comes with 512GB.

The one thing you might notice is a problem here is that the phone only supports 4G. As many people would know, Huawei’s recent phones are all limited to 4G, so that’s something that we hope will change in the future since 5G is getting more and more widespread. The phone is also running on Huawei’s EMUI 12, so still no HarmonyOS 2.0 yet.

With a quick test on Geekbench, our unit scored 787 for the single-core test and 2432 for the multi-core test. While it’s not the best, it fared slightly better than phones like the Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra in the single-core test, although it’s far behind the same phone in the multi-core comparison.

As for connectivity, as mentioned earlier, there’s only 4G on this phone, and it supports Bluetooth 5.2 as well as Wi-Fi 6. However, the USB-C port on the phone is only USB 2.0.

The speakers on the phone are just alright, they do get decently loud and it’s perfectly fine for games and such, but for a better experience, it would still be better to use earbuds.

Coming to the cameras, they’re all clustered in one circle, with a 40MP main camera, a 12MP ultra-wide lens and a 32MP ultra-spectrum camera. The photos are surprisingly good, even though the lenses aren’t Leica-branded as they are on the P50 Pro. While the colour reproduction is definitely the most neutral and accurate on the iPhone, the P50 Pocket does a very nice job of boosting the colours and saturation to make the photo a bit more vibrant. The P50 Pro, on the other hand, had a bit of a tinge to it, although it’s easily editable and perfectly fine for most users.

There’s also a 10.7MP selfie camera, although it really doesn’t make much sense to use that camera when you can simply close the phone and use the rear cameras that are better for a selfie, thanks to the Cover Screen. It’s definitely convenient, and this is a major plus point for the P50 Pocket.

As for battery life, there’s a 4,000mAh battery inside which is more than sufficient to last an entire day. Unfortunately, there’s no wireless charging, although there is 40W wired fast charging.

When it comes to price, that’s where it gets dicey. Here in Singapore, we’re only getting the Premium edition and it’ll come in at S$2,398, although the normal version retails at RM5,999 in Malaysia. At that price tag, it’s certainly quite a bit more expensive than the nearest competitor, and as for whether it’s worth it, I’d say that you might be willing to fork out that extra cash if you like the design and if you absolutely don’t want a gap when the phone is folded close.

Personally, though, we think it’s a bit too expensive. The biggest barrier to entry for foldable phones right now is the price, and the P50 Pocket is Huawei’s first folding phone in this form factor, so hopefully, future iterations will get cheaper as they go along.

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