Huawei P50 Pro Review hero shot

The Huawei P50 Pro is their latest flagship phone that’s launched in Malaysia alongside the P50 Pocket foldable. Where the latter is intended to be an ultra compact phone for the fabulously fashionable, the P50 Pro focuses on Huawei’s traditional strengths by whacking in the best camera optics and hardware that their foundries could muster into a smartphone. Here’s our Huawei P50 Pro review where we put their wunderkind to the test.

Huawei P50 Pro Review hand

Huawei P50 Pro review – What’s in the Box, Build and Design

Out of the box, our Huawei P50 Pro review sample came protected in a neat plastic sleeve and came with a relatively comprehensive ensemble of kit that is increasingly scarce in recent times for smartphones. 

In addition to the P50 Pro itself which comes with a preapplied screen protector, you get a free casing, a 66W Huawei Supercharge charger, a USB-C charging cable as well as the customary literature and token SIM eject pin.

Huawei P50 Pro Review items

Our Huawei P50 Pro Review sample features a 66W charger and cable, a pre-applied screen protector and a casing to go with the phone proper.

Just factoring the costs of acquiring these accessories separately already knocks a substantial portion off its RM4,199 asking price; even more so if you factor in its ongoing preorder programme that tosses in RM2,100 in free gifts including a free GT 2 Pro  smartwatch worth RM1,199.

The backplate of the P50 Pro is lavished with their typical attention to quality for their flagship phones with a combination of glass and metal with gently curved edges all around that offers excellent tactility with a premium feel though this is tempered by the classic problem befalling phones made of glass and metal as they attract fingerprints aplenty, necessitating frequent wipedowns.

Our Huawei P50 Pro review sample came in a shade of what they call Golden Black which revolves around a highly reflective black finish with bronze accents on the True-Form Dual-Matrix camera array and the subtle Huawei logo monogram emblazoned in a vertical stripe on the phone. Alongside the Huawei monogram, they’ve also added in the Leica logo as a testament to their partnership with the brand in crafting the optics and camera setup of the P50 Pro. 

Huawei P50 Pro that’s coming to Malaysia rear p50 pro preorder

Departing from the typical squarish camera housings seen in other competing phones, Huawei this time around has opted for a highly distinctive look with their quad camera array housed in two rounded camera housings that evoke the look of an old film camera with each rounded housing edged with metallic bronze trim. There’s still a modest camera bump but the provision of the bundled casing resolves the issue nicely. 

The left side of the phone is otherwise bare with the right side features a power button and a volume rocker. Up top, the phone features an IR blaster that enables it to control other appliances like air conditioners and the like. On its base, the phone features a USB-C 3.1 charging port, a SIM card tray and a grille for one of a matching set of stereo speakers.

On its front, the Huawei P50 Pro features a luscious 6.6-inch OLED display that curves on its edges to meld seamlessly with the rest of the chassis with a crisp 1228 x 2,700 pixels resolution, a high 120Hz refresh rate, a responsive 300Hz touch sampling rate and support for the DCI-P3 colour gamut though there’s no official stated numbers as to how colour accurate the phone’s display is save for a stated ability to offer up to 1.07 billion colours. The display also features an under-display fingerprint reader for biometrics.

Huawei P50 Pro Review front

The phone features exceptionally slim bezels all around and a small punch hole for the front-facing 13MP selfie camera, granting the display a generous 91.2% screen-to-body ratio.

As far aesthetics and design go, Huawei hasn’t lost their touch and the P50 Pro is a showcase of their craft with fittings and a tactility that make it an aesthetically pleasing match for any other flagship phone in the market. It’s also rated for IP68 water and dust resistance too which makes it all more durable against potential liquid-related mishaps.

Huawei P50 Pro review – Specifications

The Huawei P50 Pro for the Malaysia market comes with only one RAM/storage variant and in two colourways – Cocoa Gold and in the case of our review sample, a shade of Golden Black. The hardware consists of:

Price RM4,199
Display 6.6-inch OLED, 1,228 x 2,700 pixels, 120Hz, 450ppi, 91.2% screen-to-body ratio
Processor Snapdragon 888 4G
Memory 8GB RAM/256GB storage
OS EMUI 12
Camera 50MP F/1.8 True-Chroma Camera w/ OIS, 40MP F/1.6 True-Chroma Mono Camera, 13MP F/2.2 Ultra wide angle camera, 64MP F/3.5  telephoto camera w/ OIS, 3.5x optical zoom [rear] / 13MP F/2.4 [front]
Battery 4,360 mAh with 66W fast charging, 50W fast wireless charging
Size/Weight 158.8 x 72.8 x 8.5mm / 195g
Huawei P50 Pro Review – Specifications

In terms of hardware, the Huawei P50 Pro can give other phones a run for their money in terms of its display, memory, cameras and battery capacity though it falters primarily in terms of its processor and its firmware which consist of a Snapdragon 888 processor limited to a 4G modem and their own EMUI 12 running under the hood.

EMUI 12 operates in a fashion that Android users would be familiar with and takes a few pages off Apple’s iOS design language with left/right drop down menus for system shortcuts and notifications but draws apps from Huawei’s own AppGallery app store while adding in enhanced functionality to pair up with other devices in their own ecosystem like their displays, tablets and their laptops.

While they’ve made inroads and have vastly expanded the breadth and depth of their AppGallery store with enough apps to cater to most eventualities needed by Malaysians from Grab to Shopee, it lacks direct access to Google mobile services and by extension the Google Play store.

Fortunately, they’ve managed to circumvent this limitation and expanded the options and features available in EMUI and their Huawei Mobile Services (HMS) with analogues or alternatives to cater to all the usual Google staples and what can’t be sourced can be sideloaded by searching for it via their Petal Search app.

Users dead set on staying in the Google ecosystem can still gain a compromise of sorts via their GSpace app that emulates a P30 Pro to enable users to install Google applications like Gmail, Youtube and the like in a virtual sandbox. What this means is that the P50 Pro’s Achilles heel isn’t as big as it’s made to be and can be dealt with though it needs you to jump through a few extra hoops.

Huawei P50 Pro review – Performance and Benchmarks

When subjected to synthetic benchmarks the P50 Pro scored the following synthetic benchmarks:

3D Mark Wild Life 3,498
3D Mark Wild Life Unlimited  5,538
3D Mark Wild Life Extreme 1,500
3D Mark Wild Life Extreme Unlimited 1,436
Geekbench 5 single-core score 822
Geekbench 5 multi-core score 2,639
Geekbench 5 OpenCL score 4,791
PCMark Work 3.0 10,095
PCMark Work 3.0 battery life 10 hours 27 minutes
Huawei P50 Pro Review – Benchmarks

The proven Snapdragon 888 processor delivers a predictable performance envelope and 8GB RAM is sufficient for the vast majority of tasks expected of a smartphone. Our Huawei P50 Pro review sample tackled everything asked of it in a pleasantly smooth fashion when subjected to field tests. It’s able to swap through over a dozen open tabs in their own browser app, smoothly play Call of Duty Mobile on the highest settings and edit videos on Capcut. 

Huawei P50 Pro Review base

Getting about in EMUI is a smooth affair and most sections are self explanatory with direct analogues to how Android handles things. The Huawei AppGallery is considered relatively mature at this point in time and most apps required are available on the app store itself with those that aren’t accessible via their Gspace workaround or sideloading via other app repositories like ApkPure. However, some areas still have a few rough edges especially in how it handles ads. The moment you turn on the App Gallery, it flashes a non-skippable ad which is irksome to say the least.

The Huawei P50 Pro’s curved OLED display did not disappoint with good clarity under direct sunlight while delivering punchy colours and smooth animations with its fast 120Hz refresh rate.

Movies and games were tackled in a delightful fashion with excellent colour rendition and pin sharp detail while the paired stereo speakers were able to competently tackle casual tasks like a quick whirl on YouTube or a quick runthrough on your Spotify playlist with sufficiently loud volume and a fair amount of detail to fill a small room with your tastes in music or lack thereof.

Overall battery life is excellent and actual usage figures follow closely behind the tested benchmarks. In PCMark’s battery life test, it managed a respectable 10 hours and 27 minutes of battery life and this was borne out via a whirl around town. With data or WiFi on, constant social media use, texting, a few minutes of phone calls, light gaming and heavy camera use, it still managed to last 10 hours or so of use from dawn to dusk. 

Charging it with the bundled 66W charger was wonderfully swift and fully charged itself from dead zero to full in 38 minutes though the proviso for this kind of charging speed requires you to use their bundled cable and the charger as well.

Perhaps the biggest elephant in the room here is the lack of 4G in the P50 Pro but at this point in time, at least for Malaysia, 5G rollout isn’t going to be huge enough in the near future for it to be a factor but the biggest ace up the P50 Pro’s sleeve is where they traditionally holds dominance – their cameras.

Huawei P50 Pro review – Cameras

Our Huawei P50 Pro review sample comes with the best hardware they can muster which consists of a quad camera arrangement dubbed the True-Chroma camera system built around a primary 50MP camera with OIS backed up by a 13MP ultra wide angle camera, a 40MP mono camera and a 64MP camera with OIS and 3.5x optical zoom and a combined maximum 100x hybrid zoom. 

Huawei P50 Pro Review rear ultrawide

Auto mode with rear camera using ultrawide angle camera

Huawei P50 Pro Review 3.5 zoom

Rear camera on auto mode at 3.5x zoom

Huawei P50 Pro Review 100x

100x zoom on the rear camera on Auto. The zoom is impressive enough to view the siding on the distant TRX building.

In terms of technology, Huawei is revisiting their prior setup that was seen on the Huawei P20 Pro which used a mono camera to capture better detail here in the P50 Pro.

Huawei P50 Pro Review ultrawide garden

Take note of this photo on ultrawide mode and notice the menu on the distant end of this garden taken with the P50 Pro

Huawei P50 Pro Review 100x

Our Huawei P50 Pro review sample was able to capture legible text on a menu on the other end of the garden in 1 Utama mall.

Ultimately, the phone is capable of shots at up to 100x hybrid zoom and up to 4K@60fps video while the front 13MP camera is also capable of capturing up to 4K@60fps video. 

Huawei P50 Pro Review food macro

Huawei P50 Pro Review ultrawide indoors

Auto mode with rear camera indoors using ultrawide angle camera

If aught else, image quality for both snaps and 4K video are delightful affairs on the P50 Pro with good dynamic range and detail along with smooth footage though it veers slightly on the dynamic side of the spectrum especially when capturing night shots.

Huawei P50 Pro Review dim light

Indoors using the rear camera on auto in dim light

Huawei P50 Pro Review night mode auto

Huawei P50 Pro Review night mode 2

Huawei P50 Pro Review stump outdoors low light

Under low light scenarios, the P50 Pro is capable of salvaging quite a bit more detail than competing phones. You can check out our video below to get a glimpse of the results compared to an Apple iPhone 13 Pro.

Should you buy the Huawei P50 Pro?

The Huawei P50 Pro represents an unorthodox but highly polished offering with excellent build quality, good performance and long battery life that stands out from the crowd with a fantastic True-Chroma camera array that offers superb camera quality even in dim light conditions and with chart-topping zoom capabilities.

Hitech Century Silver award

This is tempered by the fact that it lacks 5G connectivity and the lack of Google apps though the former isn’t going to be a major factor in Malaysia for the next few years and the latter can be dealt with via their Gspace app. 

Huawei P50 Pro Review hero shot

Huawei P50 Pro review sample courtesy of Huawei Malaysia. Available online at https://consumer.huawei.com/my/phones/p50-pro/specs/

Huawei P50 Pro
4.2
  • Display
  • Performance
  • Cameras
  • Battery Life
  • Value

Huawei P50 Pro

The Huawei P50 Pro is a well built phone with smooth performance and excellent cameras though the lack of 4G and Google mobile services (which can be circumvented somewhat) are points to consider.

Pros

Excellent build quality Solid performance Excellent cameras Great battery life AppGallery offers necessary apps for Malaysians  

Cons

No 5G connectivity Only one storage variant available in Malaysia GSpace app needs