Those who thought the end of Huawei was near without Google services, well, they were wrong. The Chinese manufacturer is back, and wants to innovate even more with the first smartphone ever with a mechanically variable rear camera aperture.
For years, Huawei has stood for high quality smartphones, innovation in the market and, above all, incredible cameras in every price range. A brand that dominated the market and filled all the shelves, until the famous Google services ban hit it.
Without the Google ecosystem, many thought it was the end for them: impossible to go on without the Play Store. There was a crisis, it’s true, but Huawei never stopped, betting everything on its own ecosystem. And recently it has recovered, so today it wants to take back the market with a spectacular blow.
Coming out is the brand new Huawei Mate 50 Pro. In addition to ‘pro’ features, it has a killer feature: it is the world’s first smartphone with a mechanical variable camera aperture, to come close to a professional camera. Let’s see what this phone is, what it looks like, how much it will cost and where to buy it.
Simply top of the range: Huawei Mate 50 Pro wants it all
The data sheet of the new Huawei smartphone is top-of-the-range in everything. The features are very high-end – as the price will also show – and they make no concessions as far as they can. Only a single element is missing.
Let’s first see what it has:
- 8 GB RAM, plenty for everything – no virtual RAM, it doesn’t need it;
- 256 GB of internal memory (perhaps a 512 version will arrive in the future), expandable up to an additional 1 TB;
- snapdragon 8 Gen. 1 processor, modern and very powerful, only in 4G version;
- abundant 4700 mAh battery;
- 66 W super fast charging (approx. 30 minutes) with cable;
- 50 W wireless fast charging.
The display is OLED with faithful colours and absolute blacks, beautiful 120 hz refresh rate (for the smoothest viewing), Full HD+ with 1212×2616 pixels for a size of 6.74 inches. As is usual for top-of-the-range devices, we have a very large smartphone: over 16 cm in height and weighing 205 grams.
In short, a high-performance phone, a battery that even when squeezed lasts well over a day, a beautiful screen, giant capacity. It only has one flaw: it does not have 5G, because the 5G module is one of the banned components for this company. If you can make this waiver (and pay the price), the rest is outstanding.
The world’s first smartphone camera with mechanical variable aperture
The features described above are crucial, of course, but Huawei Mate 50 Pro wants to challenge the world with one thing: photos. The camera set-up is truly dreamy.
Let’s start with the killer feature: this is the world’s first smartphone with mechanical variable camera aperture. It means that the main camera lens can physically change aperture, thanks to tiny magnets; thus the distance, the focus, the bokeh, will be given by a real lens that opens and closes, not by a software effect.
This dramatically improves the shots, and brings them closer to professional cameras. Probably the best camera you will see in any smartphone on the market. The main cam, in summary, has:
- 50 Megapixels;
- diaphragm that physically moves from f1.4 to f4.0 with as many as 10 intermediate steps;
- optical stabilisation;
- XD Fusion Pro engine;
- 4K recording at 60 FPS and the ability to switch cameras during a video shoot.
And that’s not all. The Mate 50 Pro doesn’t miss a thing on the rest of the compartment. We have a stunning 64 MPX telephoto (i.e. physical zoom) camera with 3.5x optical zoom, then a 13 Megapixel, 120-degree wide-angle camera, and finally a 13 Megapixel front-facing camera.
Complete, as is right for a top of the range – and by the way, if you’re looking for a ‘top’ for Black Friday deals and discounts, here are a few tips to keep an eye on.
Can it be used without Google services?
High specs and dreamy photos, the only thing missing is 5G. But you may wonder if the Mate 50 Pro can do it for you: will the phone be usable without the famous Google services? Will it have the apps you need?
The answer, after so many years, is yes. Huawei has built a great ecosystem that allows it to have the essential third-party apps (via their App Store) and everyday utilities (maps, browser, mail, etc.).
There might be a little something missing, yes. It is not 100 per cent complete, of course. There is not the availability of apps like in the Play Store, true. But it has expanded a lot, it’s almost ready; and via Petal Search you can find apps via APK from reliable sources and install them even if they are not in the Huawei Store.
If you are not a Google addict and think you can do without Maps and GMail, the arrival of the revolutionary camera might be a good time to try Huawei again. The lack of Google in the background also makes your battery last longer.