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HUAWEI’s latest flagship smartphone once again gets everything and the kitchen sink thrown at it in terms of design appeal, camera features, under-the-bonnet performance, and value. It strikes the right balance in terms of being a fantastic phablet that offers a great multimedia consumption experience, while still being grippable and easy enough to handle without having to need Lebron James-sized hands, measuring in at
162.1 x 75.5 x 8.5 mm and tipping the mobility scales at 209 g.

You get a large 6.74″ OLED screen that helps the performance of mobile gaming fans and delivers a buttery smooth user experience thanks to its 120 Hz refresh rate, while also obtaining great detail as a result of its 428 ppi density (2616 × 1212 resolution).

Under the stylish bonnet, you get equally potent performance thanks to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 4G Mobile Platform that provides an Octa-core (1 × Cortex-X2 clocked at 3.2 GHz + 3 × Cortex-A710 clocked at 2.75 GHz and 4 × Cortex-A510 running at 2.0 GHz) processing power and is coupled with 8 GB of RAM and 256 GB SSD storage (expandable via NM SD Card, up to 256 GB). This provides a smooth and snappy mobile user experience while gaming, multitasking, and navigating EMUI 13.

For anyone still fearful that they may not be able to get their trusty Andriod application on this device, our two weeks with the smartphone proved that HUAWEI has made a great deal of progress on this and is closing all the mobile ecosystem gaps of the past. HUAWEI’s Petal Maps is a very handy alternative to Google Maps or Waze, whilst Petal Search allows you to locate an app that might not as yet be on the company’s ever-growing AppGallery, by simply searching for it via Petal Search to get an APK or other alternative source and Bob’s your Uncle, you can get it right from your search results – quite handy. Last but not least, there is GBox which enables HUAWEI smart mobile device owners to run Andriod apps from the likes of Google (Google Maps, Google Earth, Google search, YouTube), Meta (Facebook, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp), and Disney (Disney+).

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Happy snapper – class-leading photography on the go

HUAWEI has always led the way when it comes to smartphone photography and thanks to its sophisticated software and AI capabilities coupled with class-leading hardware in the form of a 50 MP Ultra Aperture Camera (F1.4~F4.0 aperture, OIS), 13 MP Ultra-Wide Angle Camera (F2.2 aperture), and 64 MP Telephoto Camera (F3.5 aperture, OIS), the Mate50 Pro managed to knock off our previous camera king off its perch in the form of the HUAWEI P50 Pro (https://www.smetechguru.co.za/quick-review-of-huaweis-p50-pro/).

The key feature of the smartphone photography king is its XMAGE camera system consisting of the OIS-equipped 50MP Ultra Aperture camera that makes use of an adjustable SLR-style physical aperture, with six blades offering 10 selectable steps – in Pro mode – from f/1.4 (more light – shallower depth of field) to f/4.0 (less light – broader depth of field). It is joined by a 13MP f/2.2 ultra-wide angle (120˚ field of view) camera with macro capability and a 64MP f/3.5 periscope telephoto (3.5x optical zoom) with OIS (optical image stabalisation). This is all capped off by the laser autofocus unit, a multispectral sensor to help enhance colour accuracy and a dual LED flash. Consequently, HUAWEI’s Mate 50 Pro currently sits atop the smartphone camera rankings at DXOMARK.

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Selfie shooters are not left out of the fun since the front camera on this smartphone is a 13 MP Ultra-Wide Angle Camera (F2.4) + 3D Depth Sensing Camera allowing for great shelfies/groupies to be captured or crystal clear Zoom sessions/Teams calls to be had.

Also onboard this flagship smartphone specs ride is a decent 4700 mAh battery that charges quickly thanks to HUAWEI’s 66W supplied USB-C adapter that is way snappier than the Samsung and Apple equivalents. The accident-prone smartphone users will also appreciate its IP68 splash, water and dust resistance which translates to being able to handle immersion in static water of up to two meters (Silver and Black variants) or six meters (our Orange model) for around 30 minutes – Gauteng thunderstorms and poolside drops be damned.

What you won’t get is 5G which some might say does not make it very future proof but we say that 5G connectivity is still extremely limited locally, so in reality there will be few opportunities to care about the differences is theoretical download speeds of 5G vs LTE.

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Final word

Ultimately, HUAWEI’s Mate50 Pro offers value, smart design, class-leading camera performance, blistering performance, and acts as a fantastic multimedia consumption and creation device. It is definitely one of the most innovative smartphones that sticks to the traditional form factor (non-foldable device). It goes for a recommended retail price of R 24,999, which undercuts the competition quite a bit in the form of Apple’s iPhone 14 Pro Max (R30 000) and Samsung’s Galaxy S23 Ultra (R31 000).

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