Huawei Mate 50 Pro hot stuff

Huawei Mate 50 Pro brings the intelligence of the variable aperture camera to Europe

Huawei’s latest top-tier smartphone arrived in China last month, and now has the green light to roll out in Europe. With a quad-camera arrangement that uses the world’s first aperture technology, Huawei Mate 50 Pro promises flawless photography for a smartphone, along with top-notch performance.

Heading out is the 50MP main sensor, which has 10 stops, and a physical f/1.4-f/4.0 aperture — something unique in the phone world, and most in common with conventional cameras. It’ll give you the option of intense bokeh, or ultra-clear shooting, while optical image stabilization and an RYYB color filter promise great low-light performance, too.

It’s paired with a good 64MP periscope lens with 3.5x optical zoom, a 13MP ultrawide that doubles as a macro portrait, a proximity light sensor and laser autofocus, which should combine to make it one of the most versatile smartphone shooters ever. There’s also a 3D face-unlocking selfie camera hidden under a notch on the front of the phone.

Design-wise, the Mate 50 Pro is an evolution of the symmetrical “space ring” design seen on previous Mate models, with a massive circular bump for the all-around rear cameras. Either it mixes glass and aluminum if you choose the black or silver color options, or the aluminum and vegan leather on the orange version.

The latter gets the custom-designed Kunlun glass, which Huawei believes is 10x more durable than regular glass and should better withstand accidental drops. It is also water-resistant to 6 metres, while the glass variants are only good up to 2 metres. All versions are IP68 water resistant.

Huawei Mate 50 Pro Orange Vegan Leather Products

Up front, the Mate 50 Pro packs a 6.74-inch OLED display with a 2616 x 1212 resolution, 120Hz refresh rate, and a 10-bit panel that’s good for 100% coverage of the DCI-P3 color space. It will also turn on HDR, and is paired with a set of stereo speakers.

Power comes from the 4G variant of Qualcomm’s flagship Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 CPU, as Huawei is still restricted by the US government when it comes to some devices. It’s paired with 8GB of RAM and 512GB of internal storage, with Huawei’s own NM media card supporting to add additional capacity later.

It will be the first Huawei phone to be launched in Europe with EMUI 13, the company’s latest Android build. It is based on the open source version, rather than any specific version, which means there is no official access to the Google Play Store, but it does share many of the features seen in Android 13, such as extensive theme customizations and a new notification center layout. There is also stacking of widgets and smart folders to make better use of the home screen space.

The 4,700mAh battery is meant to keep the lights on, with 66W wired charging and 50W wireless charging for quick charges. It will also do reverse wireless charging to recharge gadgets like wireless earbuds. Huawei has added a new low battery emergency mode, which starts at 1% and should provide enough power for three hours of standby, or for a 12-minute phone call.

International access may be imminent, but Huawei has yet to reveal exactly when customers will be able to get their hands on one. We know what you’ll have to pay, though: €1,299 (£1,150) for the 8GB + 256GB variant in silver or black, or €1,399 (£1,250) for the orange vegan-leather model with 512GB of storage.

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