Huawei Mate 50 Pro Review: Impressive Flagship Performer!

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Huawei Mate 50 Pro Review

Huawei Mate series has been the bearer of “new” flagship technologies. It basically spearheads all new flagship features, which will then be the source of inspiration for the features of upcoming P and Nova series. Think of it like a “trendsetter” of some sort.

Time and again, Huawei has been trying to introduce new features and innovations that usher new trends to inspire other companies to do the same. From design down to camera performance, Huawei is seen as the undisputed leader in innovation. Does this trend continue with the Mate 50 Pro?

Huawei Mate 50 Pro Review

Design

The Huawei Mate 50 Pro almost retains the classic look of the series. It is however an improved design with added adornments that make it look more premium than its previous generations. One of the interesting design features is the infusion of Clous de Paris pattern, which is normally found on watches and jewelries. It’s a nondescript design choice, and it’s something that can easily be noticed by people who are familiar with it.

Huawei Mate 50 Pro Review

The Symmetrical Space Ring Design that houses its cameras, which I will talk about in a little bit, looks very elegant. It reminds me of the Huawei Mate 30 Pro, which was the last Mate device that I ever owned. Sadly that one had a broken display because I accidentally dropped it. This brings me to its most important design choice that also coincidentally touches on its display, the rock-solid “Huawei Kunlun Glass”.

To understand how it works: Kunlun Glass coating consists of 10 quadrillion-level nanocrystals, which are made possible by composite ion strengthening, 24-hour nanocrystal growth at high temperatures, 108-step micro-crystalline matrix material and panel processing techniques, and 1600℃ platinum smelting technology, which boosts glass durability.

Huawei Mate 50 Pro Review 10

Now, since we’re talking about the display, let me move on to talk a bit it.

The Huawei Mate 50 Pro has a 6.74 inches OLED display with up to 120Hz refresh rate. It also packs 300 Hz touch sampling rate with a resolution of 2616 x 212 pixels. It has P3 Wide Colour Gamut and HDR Vivid compatibility. These specifications make it one of the best smartphones with very accurate display and color reproduction. This is perfect if you want to directly see the quality of the photos and videos you’ll be taking with this device, which brings me to its next best feature – camera.

Huawei Mate 50 Pro Review

Camera

There is a lot of features to discuss on the camera of the Huawei Mate 50 Pro. However, if there’s one thing that I’d like to focus, it would be its groundbreaking Ultra Aperture XMAGE Camera.

Huawei launched XMAGE back in July 2022 to offer users new shooting possibilities. It also offers new filters including original, vivid, and bright. Plus, it provides eight shooting scenarios including True-Chroma Shot, Super Night, Telephoto Shot, Cinematic-like, Super Macro, Fine, Portrait, Large Dynamic Range, and Snapshot.

Huawei Mate 50 Pro Review

The wonder of the Mate 50 Pro is on its Ultra Aperture Primary Camera. The way how aperture settings work on smartphones prior to Mate 50 Pro is that you can only adjust it by certain or specific increments. On the Huawei Mate 50 Pro, you can adjust the aperture between 10 different sizes to the depth of field and bokeh in professional mode. As you can see in the video, the aperture mechanically adjusts depending on the aperture setting. I’ve seen this from another brand before, but nothing like what the Mate 50 Pro can do!

When you combine this with XD Fusion Pro and XMAGE Imaging technologies by Huawei, what you’ll get are shots like this:

Having seen all these photos, I am very sure you can understand why this phone got the current best score by DXO Mark, making it the best smartphone camera to date.

As you may have seen in the sample photos above, apart from its ultra large aperture, other notable features is that it can do 2.5cm macro shooting and telescopic shot with up to 200x zoom range.

Huawei Mate50 Pro Horizontal Shots 02
Huawei Mate50 Pro Vertical Shots 59

Gaming Performance

The Huawei Mate 50 Pro is definitely not just for taking photos and videos. Underneath its classic design and camera performance, is a chipset that can definitely keep up with the competition.

This is powered with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 4G. As you can see, it stacks competitively against other smartphones with the same chipset. Performance-wise, I am able to play games like Tower of Fantasy, Torchlight Infinite, Nikke, and Call of Duty Mobile with fantastic performance and results.

Huawei Mate50 Pro Product Shots 11

You can definitely expect flagship performance on this device with native Android applications. You can also choose to connect a controller like this one from Gamesir or an external Bluetooth controller like this one from 8BitDo. The phone does not definitely scream “gamer” on the outside, but it performs like one on the inside. Again, you can call this phone a nondescript flagship performer.

Huawei Mate50 Pro Product Shots 14

Oh, and since we’re on the subject of games, I’ve got a tip for you if you’re using a Huawei phone like the Mate 50 Pro. There is now an app that is downloadable that allows you to use Google Play and download apps via Google Play Store – it’s called GBox. It has zero advertisement and I find its user experience much better than other Google virtualization solutions. It can be used in other Android smartphones, and it can be downloaded on Galaxy Store (if you’re using a Samsung device), GetApps, and AppGallery.

Software

One of the things that we want on our phones is to preserve as much available storage as possible. The Huawei Mate 50 Pro has this feature which removes duplicate files without you even noticing it. To my understanding, it tracks the duplicate ones, then it deletes a duplicate copy and creates a symbolic link so users can safely search or view the original file. It also has a feature that compresses infrequently used applications. This feature alone can help you preserve up to 20GB of space, giving you more storage allowance for other important apps and files like your photos and videos.

Huawei Mate50 Pro Product Shots 01

As usual, the phone also has a Super Device feature, which lets you intuitively connect to other Huawei Super Devices. You can just simply drag to connect to specific devices directly through the Super Device interface.

One of the benefits because of the significant upgrade of EMUI 13 is that Multi-Screen Collaboration now supports Multi-Window and split screen functionality, starting with the Notes and Email applications.

Huawei Mate50 Pro Product Shots 15

EMUI 13 on the Mate 50 Pro now also has SuperHub where you easily temporarily store images, documents, and text, and share them in batches across your supported Huawei Super Devices. Here’s everything in action when I tried transferring files from the Huawei Mate 50 Pro to the Huawei Matebook X Pro.

They have also improved the privacy and security features of EMUI 13. The new Privacy settings of EMUI 13 gives you a total view of your security while using the phone. From device and peripheral permission settings to Image Privacy, you have the complete control over what and how apps can access your device and files, plus remove certain information that can pose major issues on your security. You can even lockdown your phone’s privacy using Super Privacy Mode, and you can hide files on a separate passworded space.

Battery

The Huawei Mate 50 Pro lasted for 16 hours and 25 minutes from full charge with 20% remaining in my usage test. This combines streaming and watching videos on YouTube and Disney+, and playing Torchlight Infinite and Nikke on the phone. Having been using my phone as my daily driver, its battery performance is beyond or almost at par with my iPhone 14 Pro Max.

The Huawei Mate 50 Pro now also has another layer of low-battery mode where 1% can still last for another 3-hour standby or 12-minute phone calling once SuperEnergy Boosting is activated.

Verdict

The Huawei Mate 50 Pro, is clearly one of this year’s most power devices. It carries with it several innovative features that make it an amazing flagship daily driver: impressive camera performance, Kunlun Glass (if you’re getting the Vegan Leather variant), and its nondescript flagship gaming performance.

Huawei Mate50 Pro Product Shots 12

While others still see the issue of not having GMS on this device, new solutions to use it on HMS devices is starting to become much easier than before that any Tom, Dick, and Harry can easily do.

Unfortunately, some people would find its lack of 5G a little underwhelming for its PhP58,999 price point. While this is the case, this isn’t exactly a concern for me, personally, because connection is still decent at 4G since the ratio of 4G and 5G devices is starting to even out.

The Huawei Mate 50 Pro is now available for PhP58,999.

9Expert Score
Impressive Flagship Performer!

The Huawei Mate 50 Pro, is clearly one of this year’s most power devices. It carries with it several innovative features that make it an amazing flagship daily driver: impressive camera performance, Kunlun Glass (if you’re getting the Vegan Leather variant), and its nondescript flagship gaming performance.

Build
10
Design
9
Photo
10
Video
9
Connection
8
Software
7
Gaming Performance
9
Overall Performance
9
Battery Performance
8
Price
8
Positive
  • Best flagship camera performance
  • New EMUI 13 is packed with amazing software addons
  • Kunlun Glass on Leather Variant is amazing protection tech!
  • Nondescript gaming performer
  • GBox is usable for GMS workaround
Negatives
  • 4G only
  • No native GMS

Giancarlo Viterbo is a Filipino Technology Journalist, blogger and Editor of gadgetpilipinas.net, He is also a Geek, Dad and a Husband. He knows a lot about washing the dishes, doing some errands and following instructions from his boss on his day job. Follow him on twitter: @gianviterbo and @gadgetpilipinas.

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