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Huawei P50 and P50 Pro buyer's guide: Everything you need to know

The Huawei P50 series is here bringing powerful imaging hardware. Here's all the info you need!
By
July 22, 2022
Huawei P50 Pro rear panel in hand
Kris Carlon / Android Authority

Thanks to the Huawei ban, the company has fallen out of favor in the smartphone industry. After briefly hitting the top slot of worldwide manufacturers in 2020, the company has dropped so far down the list that it’s not even in the top five anymore. Still, Huawei hasn’t stopped launching phones, and the Huawei P50 series is the newest high-end series from the company.

Below, you’ll find everything you need to know about the P50 and P50 Pro. Be sure to bookmark this page, as we will add more information when the phones eventually make their way out of China.

See also: The best Huawei phones you can buy right now

Huawei P50 series at a glance

HUAWEI P50 Series Keynote image 4
Huawei

Huawei officially launched the P50 series on July 29, 2021. It launched two main versions of the phone — a vanilla model and a Pro model — and a special edition variant. Here’s the basic info you need on each one.

Huawei P50

The vanilla model is the cheapest of the three variants. It comes exclusively with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 chipset, although Huawei docked that CPU down to only support 4G networks. It also has fewer rear camera lenses than the Pro models, a smaller battery, lacks wireless charging, and is limited to a 90Hz refresh rate.

See also: Huawei P40 Pro review

Don’t think that it’s not powerful, though. Its 50MP primary camera sensor is a solid piece of hardware, and it comes with a minimum of 8GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage. It also features 66W wired charging, which should charge up its 4,100mAh battery from empty to full in around 30-40 minutes.

The P50 starts at 4,488 Chinese yuan (~$695) and costs 4,988 yuan (~$775) for the model with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage.

P50 Pro

Huawei P50 Pro home screen in hand
Kris Carlon / Android Authority

The Huawei P50 Pro is the true powerhouse 2021 flagship from the company. It comes in two flavors: one with a 4G-locked Snapdragon 888 and another with the 5G-capable Kirin 9000. The Kirin 9000 is weaker than the Snapdragon 888, but some might prefer it for its 5G capabilities.

See also: Huawei P40 Pro Plus review

As usual, the star feature of the newest P-series Pro is the camera. It has a quad-lens system on the back with a 50MP main, a 13MP ultrawide, a 64MP telephoto, and a 40MP monochrome sensor. Huawei is touting this system’s color accuracy as one of its big selling points.

Overall, the P50 Pro is a better phone than the vanilla P50 in just about every way. Of course, it’s also more expensive. The P50 Pro goes for €999 for the model with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage or £1,099 in the UK. There are more storage variants available in China and other markets — check out pricing in China below.

  • 5,988 — SD888 model with 8GB/128GB
  • 6,488 — SD888 model with 8GB/256GB
  • 7,488 — SD888 model with 8GB/512GB
  • 6,488 — Kirin 9000 model with 8GB/256GB
  • 7,488 — Kirin 9000 model with 8GB/512GB
  • 7,988 — Kirin 9000 model with 12GB/512GB

Huawei P50 Pro Special Edition

In years prior, Huawei would launch a “Pro Plus” variant of its flagships. This year, though, the P50 Pro is the highest-end model for the general consumer. However, the company is launching a Special Edition model of the Huawei P50 Pro. It comes with the Kirin 9000, 12GB of RAM, and 512GB of storage. However, what else sets this apart from the top-end P50 Pro is unclear.

The Special Edition is undoubtedly more expensive than the top-of-the-line P50 Pro. The Special Edition model lands at 8,488 Chinese yuan (~$1,315), significantly more yuan than the spec-equivalent P50 Pro (7,988 Chinese yuan). We’ll need to wait and see what makes the Special Edition so unique.

Huawei P50 Pocket

Huawei P50 Pocket white
Hadlee Simons / Android Authority

And now, for something completely different. Huawei’s P50 Pocket is a P50 through and through, with two circular bumps on the back, but only one serves as a camera unit. The other is a small display to keep you updated on notifications and the like because the P50 pocket is a foldable clamshell.

That’s right, instead of adding new specs, Huawei turned its latest flagship into a powerful folding option to face off against the Galaxy Z Flip 3. Pricing in Europe starts at €1,099.

Are the Huawei P50 phones worth buying?

Huawei P50 Pro camera bump closeup 2
Kris Carlon / Android Authority

Unfortunately, the P50 series has faced the same issues as most other new Huawei phones since May 2019. The Huawei ban prohibits the company from integrating any products from US-based firms, including Google. That means none of the phones in the P50 series will have Google apps, including the Google Play Store itself.

Related: Survey says you’d buy a Huawei phone again if Google support returned

Additionally, outside of China, Huawei is unable to support 5G smartphones. That’s why global variants will only support 4G, even though the Snapdragon 888 is onboard.

With this in mind, it is hard to recommend anyone outside of China buy this or any modern Huawei phone. That being said, the hardware here does seem to be quite interesting, and the designs of the phones are undoubtedly unique. If you’re a die-hard Huawei fan, these might still be great options if you can live without Google apps.

If you can’t do without Google in your life, though, there are certainly other smartphones available with great cameras and powerful specs. Head down to our alternatives section to read more.

Huawei P50 series specs

Huawei P50 Pro rear panel top half in hand 1
Kris Carlon / Android Authority

As usual, the P50 series features some exemplary specs. Check out how each device compares in the table below.

Huawei P50Huawei P50 Pro
Display
Huawei P50
6.5-inch OLED
2,700 x 1,224 resolution
90Hz refresh rate
300Hz touch sampling
Huawei P50 Pro
6.6-inch OLED
2,700 x 1,228 resolution
120Hz refresh rate
300Hz touch sampling
Processor
Huawei P50
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 (4G only)
Huawei P50 Pro
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 (4G only)
or
Kirin 9000
RAM
Huawei P50
8GB
Huawei P50 Pro
8GB or 12GB
Storage
Huawei P50
128GB or 256GB
No expandable storage
Huawei P50 Pro
128GB, 256GB, or 512GB
No expandable storage
Power
Huawei P50
4,100mAh battery
66W wired charging
No wireless charging
Huawei P50 Pro
4,360mAh battery
66W wired charging
50W wireless charging
Cameras
Huawei P50
Rear:
- 50MP main (ƒ1.8)
- 13MP ultra-wide (ƒ2.2)
- 12MP telephoto (ƒ3.4, OIS, AF)

Front:
- 13MP main (ƒ2.4)
Huawei P50 Pro
Rear:
- 50MP main (ƒ1.8, OIS)
- 13MP ultra-wide (ƒ2.2)
- 64MP telephoto (ƒ3.5, OIS, AF)
- 40MP monochrome (ƒ1.6)

Front:
- 13MP main (ƒ2.4)
Durability
Huawei P50
IP68 rated
Huawei P50 Pro
IP68 rated
Software
Huawei P50
Harmony OS 2.0
Huawei P50 Pro
Harmony OS 2.0
Dimensions & weight
Huawei P50
156.5 x 73.8 x 7.9mm
181g
Huawei P50 Pro
158.8 x 72.8 x 8.5mm
195g
Colors
Huawei P50
Golden Black
Cocoa Gold
Pearl White
Huawei P50 Pro
Golden Black
Cocoa Gold

Phone software and updates

Huawei MatePad Pro 2021 Harmony OS
Robert Triggs / Android Authority

Without access to Google’s services, Huawei was essentially forced to create its own operating system. This landed as Harmony OS. In China, the software you’ll find pre-installed on the Huawei P50 series is Harmony OS 2.0. The rest of the world will get EMUI 12, which is based on Android 11.

Huawei has said that most of its modern devices will eventually get Harmony OS. The company also promises continuous software updates for both Harmony OS and EMUI devices. There’s not much history to back up Huawei’s claims here. For now, though, it’s crucial to understand that the P50 series will not be like any other Android phone you’ve used if you live outside of China.

What are some good P50 alternatives?

OnePlus 9 Pro vs Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra on white table
Luke Pollack / Android Authority

Although the designs and camera systems of the Huawei P50 series are unique, there are plenty of premium flagship phones available that offer stellar imaging and high-end specs and Google apps. Check some of them out below.

  • Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra ($1,199): When it comes to capturing images with a smartphone, there aren’t too many 2022 devices that can compete with the mighty Galaxy S21 Ultra. Not only is it an imaging master, but it’s also a specs beast, with many of its features meeting or exceeding those of the Huawei P50 Pro.
  • Google Pixel 6 Pro ($899): Obviously, a phone from Google will have Google apps. The Pixel 6 Pro also has a terrific imaging system that was one of the best of 2021. It even costs less than the P50 Pro.
  • OnePlus 10 Pro ($899): The OnePlus 10 Pro offers a solid camera system, although not quite as good as the S22 Ultra. However, it does offer equally fast wired and wireless charging standards compared to the P50 Pro as well as high-end specs.
  • Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra (€1,199): Like the Huawei P50 Pro, the Mi 11 Ultra has a unique design. It also offers some excellent imaging and top-tier specs. However, the phone is tricky to get in the United States and some other countries and is still not quite as good of an overall phone as the Galaxy S22 Ultra.
  • Asus ROG Phone 6 Pro (£1,099): If imaging isn’t as important to you as raw power, check out the ROG Phone 6 Pro. Despite its reputation as a “gaming phone,” it could very easily operate as a day-to-day device for power users. You’re certainly not going to get the same high-quality images as you likely would from a P50 Pro, but you’ll get all the power.

Where to buy the Huawei P50 series

Huawei P50 Pro home screen standing on table
Kris Carlon / Android Authority

There are lots of variants of the Huawei P50 series that remain only available in China. In Europe, you can only get the P50 Pro and the P50 Pocket, and even these two aren’t available in every country on the old continent.

You can get them from your local Huawei website and from various retailers including Amazon. Click the links below to check out the pricing.

Once again, be aware that despite being available in Western markets, they still won’t have Google apps on board.


That’s all the information we currently have on the Huawei P50 series. Be sure to bookmark this page, as we will update it with more details as we receive them.