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  • Fitri Aiyub

Huawei P50 Review : Right Where It Belongs

So here we are taking a full lap once again with another range of smartphones, but this time in the Huawei P series. We had a really good experience with the P50 Pro and its 64MP periscope camera but might be missed in this mid-range version of the P50.

Nonetheless, the bells and whistles that came in the pro variant are still present here including a Snapdragon 888 chipset, the well respected Leica optic Dual-Matrix camera construction with XD Fusion, as well as other familiar traits found in both the P50 Pro and P50 Pocket. Does this make it a formidable choice for users looking for a slightly cheaper price tag? Or does making some minor cutbacks appeal less overall?

For starters, the approach for removing the mirror-like finish found in the P50 Pro feels like a much wiser decision considering how it may have looked like a stunning design on its own, but practically it was a major fingerprint magnet and a bit ostentatious for some who aren't keen in drawing too much attention. This Cocoa Gold colour-way and a muted matte finish is much preferred to our eyes and even feels better in the hands. Even its screen has been stripped down from the over-the-edge curved design to now a flat-edged 6.5 inch display. Overall, this really does make quite a significant difference in how much more manageable it now feels and oddly more refined, despite the cutback from the 6.6inch display in the pro variant. Either way, you still get an 88% screen-to-body ratio with reasonably thin bezels and a punch-hole cutout housing the 13MP front facing camera. The 6.5inch True-Chroma OLED still retains a very punchy, bright output – supporting P3 wide colour gamut reaching up to 1 billion colours – topping at 90Hz refresh rate and a 300 Hz touch sampling rate. Noticeably a step down from a 120Hz, yet still manages a 458 PPI density showing overall consistent colours from edge to edge of the screen and makes a very smooth viewing experience. This might be a deal breaker to some, especially for those who might be looking for an all-rounder that could also match gaming specs of higher refresh rates. Sound experience however still comes with stereo speakers and produces considerably loud outputs reaching up to 89db and averages around 65db on our audio tests. Watching movies or videos should relatively feel immersive and truly has clean highs and mids for dialogues or speech driven content. Music tracks on the other hand, may lack in depth and might be a hit and miss if you're looking for something with better low-end outputs. With 8GB of RAM, Snapdragon's 888 and Adreno 660 our Geekbench scores record a decent 917 for Single-core and 3154 for Multi-core. Not exactly the highest performer of its class but sits quite closely to the likes of a Samsung Galaxy S21+ while still outperforming it in Multi-core scores.

Even our 3D Mark WildLife tests manage an overall score of 5865 and gets an average frame rate of 35.1 and does 86% better than all devices. Temperatures show very reasonably linear readings of 40° but may increase after longer periods of graphics rendering or gaming situations.Nonetheless, our experience on a few rounds of Call Of Duty did get warm to the touch but nothing too unbearable till we had the need to put the phone down. Contrastingly to the pro variant is in it's cameras which consists of 50MP wide, a 12MP periscope telephoto camera – losing out on the 64MP periscope and the 40MP True-Chroma camera found in the P50 Pro. Which in our experience, made a world of a difference when it came to image computations. Regardless, it's still equipped with Huawei's XD Fusion and produces very sharp images with the 50MP wide. Colours may not exactly stack up to the likes of its pro variant losing out on the 40MP True Chroma camera that managed highlights and shadows much better in daylight scenarios.

In some instances, it did feel a little muted than expected realising how most Huawei outputs are usually higher in contrast and vibrance shown in the Nova series. Possibly a post-editing feature Huawei may have been considerate of for users looking to edit their photos after the fact but we'd give it a commendable pass producing consistent outputs throughout different zoom lengths. Video outputs as well translate these same faults with lacking some vibrance but still retaining sharpness at 4K25fps and tops at 4K60fps while being capable of higher frame rates up to 960fps@1080p Battery life had a shorter life than expected reaching up to only about a day worth of use with its 4100mAh battery capacity. Fortunately, it still comes with a 66W fast charger in the box and should get you back to 100% in approximately 40 minutes.The Huawei P50 comes with Android 11, 8GB RAM, and storage options of 128GB or 256GB and has a starting price of RM2999 or S$998. Considerably priced if we must say given how its aimed to be a P series mid-range variant, but you could as well look elsewhere in Huawei's lineup such as the Nova 9 priced at only RM1799, which also came with a 50MP camera, a 120Hz OLED display and even a slightly bigger 4300mAh battery. Albeit being a much older phone being released as of late October last year, it really depends if it matters to you whether the latest phones on the market drives your purchasing decisions, or do the specs outweigh pricing values.To us, the P50 really resembles quite a lot of the Nova 9 with some features of the P50 Pro and some comparative graphics performance that is much better than the Nova 9. Ideally, the P50 Pro would be your best bet at an all-rounder and not to discount its better cameras. Then again, if you really looked at it from an overview, then the P50 sits right where it belongs. Question is, should Huawei make another Special Edition to this series to compete with the Nova 9? Mmmm.. let's hope they don't.


Written by Fitri Aiyub

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