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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist


REVIEW: Huawei Mate50 Pro

Most eye-catching about the Huawei Mate50 Pro is its large circular camera module on the back, which houses three lenses.


Huawei still knows how to make stunning hardware. Huawei’s Mate smartphones regularly showcase cutting-edge design, build and features, and this year’s Mate 50 Pro is no exception.

The Mate 50 Pro is one of the best looking and feeling phones I’ve tested  with a frosted silver glass back and just the right amount of curve to the edges of the display to make it feel slim in the hand.

Most eye-catching about the phone is its large circular camera module on the back, which houses three lenses.

Its central positioning means the phone doesn’t rock when on a tabletop but this is a slippery phone, so make sure you put it in a case.

Screen

The Mate50 Pro boasts  big 6.74in OLED screen, which has excellent colours and a high, sharp resolution of 1212 x 2616p.

The Mate50 Pro is armoured by the ultra-reliable “Kunlun Glass”, which boosts drop resistance by 10 times.

Huawei said the “Kunlun Glass” consists of 10 quadrillion-level nanocrystals, the result of composite ion strengthening, which make it more resilient and drop resistant as verified by the first-ever five-star glass drop resistance certification from Switzerland’s SGS.

Durability

The smartphone supports IP68-rated water resistance of up to 6 metres underwater, allowing it to easily handle wet and dusty environments.

It’s a superb panel with a 120Hz refresh rate, though it does not have the LTPO tech that allows other phones to scale down the rate to 1Hz as appropriate to conserve power.

Huawei’s auto settings only allow the phone to go between 60Hz and 90Hz.

Cameras

The Mate 50 Pro’s standout feature has to be the revamped camera system featuring what Huawei calls the Ultra Aperture XMAGE Camera.

That’s housed in a symmetrical Space Ring design and wrapped in the company’s orange Vegan Leather. It’s all rather spiffy.

Inside the ring, users will find a powerful rear triple camera consisting of a 50MP primary sensor, a 13MP ultra-wide lens and a 64MP periscope telephoto camera.

It’s the first phone ever to have a lens whose aperture can be manually changed between more than two stops.

You can select ten steps between f/1.4 and f/4.0in the camera app’s pro mode, or let the system pick for you in auto.

The front-facing camera is not too shabby either, taking great selfies. It also allows the user to make use of face scanning for biometric security.

What’s really impressive is it has a 66 fast watt. You can really charge this phone quickly

Battery life is of significant importance to smartphones and the Mate50 Pro does not fall short.

Battery

It packs a 4700 mAh battery and offers 66W wired SuperCharge and 50W wireless fast-charging solutions to strike an optimal balance between battery life, fast charging and portability.

“Moreover, with an innovative low-battery Emergency Mode that activates when the battery level falls to 1%, SuperEnergy Boosting enables the Mate50 Pro to extend standby time by three hours or 12 minutes of call time.

Colours

The Mate50 Pro has two different types of rear covers, glass and vegan leather.

The glass cover is available in two colours, Silver and Black.

The vegan leather version comes in Orange which Huawei said is inspired by the “radiant orange rays of the sun”.

Huawei and Google

And finally, if you are worried about Google, don’t stress.

There’s been a lot of talk about Huawei not having the Google Play Store on it, however, Huawei have overcome it and have done an impressive job with their app gallery.

The Mate50 Pro comes pre-installed with the Huawei AppGallery which has become the third-largest app marketplace in the world.

It boasts a wide selection of global and local apps, is available in more than 170 countries and has over 580 million active monthly users.

Pricing and verdict

Huawei is offering the Mate 50 Pro with 256GB internal storage in black or silver with both models starting at R24 999.

The Vegan orange is only available with a storage capacity of 512GB with a price tag of R26 999.

The Huawei Mate 50 Pro has a great set of cameras, good speakers and a bold design. But it’s a 4G phone that costs as much as the top phones on the market.

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