Huawei’s flagship P50 Pro and folding P50 Pocket launches worldwide: Missing key feature


Huawei once used to be among the top smartphone players worldwide in terms of sales, though the US sanctions have hit the brand pretty hard. But, the Chinese tech giant still ships some of its smartphones outside its home country, and it has just announced the global launch of the P50 Pro and P50 Pocket. According to Huawei, the smartphones will be available in “key markets across Asia Pacific, The Middle East & Africa, Europe and Latin America.”

Huawei P50 Pro

Huawei launched the P50 Pro smartphone in China last year. The global version of the smartphone will be powered by the Snapdragon 888 chipset, unlike the Chinese version that uses the company’s own Kirin 9000 SoC. Huawei P series smartphones are known for their camera performance, speaking of which, the P50 Pro rocks a quad-camera setup with a unique dual-ring design and Leica’s branding at the rear. It comprises a 50MP primary camera, a 40MP monochrome lens, a 13MP ultra-wide, and a 64MP telephoto.

The phone features a 6.6-inch OLED display with 2,700 x 1,228 screen resolution, a 120Hz refresh rate, and a punch-hole cutout at the top to house the 13MP selfie camera. The P50 Pro gets its juice from a 4,360 mAh battery that supports 66W Huawei SuperCharge and 50W Huawei Wireless SuperCharge fast charging tech. It will be available in two colorways: Golden Black and Cocoa Gold, both in a single storage option with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of internal storage.

Huawei P50 Pocket

The Huawei P50 Pocket is a clamshell foldable smartphone similar to the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3. The rear design of the smartphone looks identical to the P50 Pro, albeit instead of cameras, it packs a rear screen in one of the rings. The first ring houses a 40MP primary camera, a 13MP ultra-wide lens, and a 32MP “ultra spectrum camera.” The second ring has a 1-inch circular display, smaller than the one on Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip3. The primary display of the smartphone is a 6.9-inch OLED panel with a 21:9 aspect ratio and 2,790 x 1,188 resolution. It supports up to 120Hz refresh rate and 300Hz touch sampling rate, and a 10.7MP selfie shooter sits at the top in a punch-hole cutout.

The P50 Pocket gets its power from a 4,000 mAh battery with support for Huawei’s 40W SuperCharge fast charging. The phone will be available in two variants. There’s a “regular” version with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of internal storage, available in both black and white colorways. But there’s also a premium edition made in collaboration with designer Iris van Herpen, with 12GB of RAM and 512GB of storage.

These phones also have the expected limitations as a result of the US government’s ongoing beef with Huawei. The global, Snapdragon-powered versions of the P50 Pro and the P50 Pocket will be restricted to 4G networks and won’t be getting 5G support. Furthermore, the lack of Google services means that the phones use Huawei’s apps and the AppGallery instead of Google’s apps and the Play Store.

The (starting) prices of these smartphones put them toe-to-toe against Samsung’s Galaxy S21 Ultra and Apple’s iPhone 13 Pro Max. The P50 Pro is priced at €1,199 ($1,353 approx), whereas the P50 Pocket starts at €1,299 ($1,446 approx), and its Premium Edition costs €1,599 ($1,805 approx). Samsung’s Galaxy S22 lineup is also set to launch next month with rumored similar prices. It will be interesting to see how the year-old-chip-powered 4G Huawei P50 Pro and P50 Pocket match up against the more recent 5G-equipped competition — in the markets that get them, anyway. As usual for Huawei post-sanction, folks in the US have to sit this one out.