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Analysis of the Huawei P50 Pocket in depth and opinion

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Don’t have time to read the full review? Go directly to the Conclusions section to know what I liked the most and what I liked the least about the huawei P50 Pocket.

Huawei was one of the first brands to launch a foldable smartphone, Huawei Mate X, which opened and closed like a book. A few months ago, the company introduced the Huawei P50 Pocket, which features a more compact clamshell design.

The Huawei P50 Pocket has a 6.9″ internal OLED screen, Snapdragon 888 4G processor, 12GB of RAM, 512GB of storage, wide angle rear cameras (40MP, f/1.8) + ultra wide angle (13MP, f/2.2). ) + Ultra Spectrum (32MP, f/1.8), front camera (10.7MP, f/2.2) and 4,000 mAh battery with fast cable charging (40W).

The Huawei P50 Pocket is on sale in Spain for an official price of €1,599, although you can find it cheaper on Amazon. After using it for several weeks, I present my in-depth review.

analysis Index

  • Design
  • Screen
  • Performance
  • connectivity
  • Biometrics
  • Battery
  • Software: Google Services
  • Software: EMUI 12
  • Software: Applications
  • Multimedia
  • cameras
  • calls
  • Precio
  • Conclusions

design and construction

The Huawei P50 Pocket is a very compact phone when closed. The company has managed to reduce its dimensions to 87.3 × 75.5 × 15.2 mm when folded, making it slightly thinner than the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3 5G at 86.4 × 72.2 × 17.1 mm. Its weight is 190 grams.

When closed, it fits perfectly in any bag or pocket, although it feels thicker than a conventional smartphone. As the inner screen is completely covered, there is no risk of damaging it with keys or other objects.

The Huawei P50 Pocket seeks to captivate the public interested in design and, therefore, its exterior has been created in collaboration with haute couture designer Iris Van Herpen, with original patterns and a striking gold tone that give it a touch of sophistication. .

Huawei has incorporated a small 1.04″ circular screen on the outside, which shows notifications and incoming calls, allows you to take selfies with the external camera and gives access to other functions with the available widgets.

For example, thanks to this screen, it is possible to see GPS navigation instructions and control music playback while walking, without having to open the phone.

On the right side we find the power button, which integrates a fingerprint reader, and the volume button, which in my opinion is located too high. On the left side, there is the slot for two SIM cards or one SIM card + one NM Card storage card.

On the lower side we can see a USB connector and the main speaker, while the upper side is free of any element, except for the brand logo.

Opening the Huawei P50 Pocket reveals a large 6.9″ screen with a circular hole at the top for the front camera.

The large size of the screen and its elongated appearance makes it difficult to reach the top of the phone with one hand.

The screen is surrounded by a slightly thicker frame than the one found in other flagships and the bezel is slightly raised from the screen so that when you close the phone, the two halves of the screen do not touch.

The frame is interrupted in the central area, where we find some small pieces of plastic on the right and left in the crease area that prevent a gap from forming under the screen through which dirt could enter when opening or closing the phone.

Bisagra of the Huawei P50 Pocket

If you are wondering if it is possible to open the phone with one hand, my experience says no. I don’t know if over time I would be able to develop a finger skill to do this, but in principle you need one hand to hold the phone and the other to separate the two halves. However, it is possible to close it with one hand.

One of the features offered by the Huawei P50 Pocket is the ability to “sit” the phone on the table. The smartphone is designed so that the screen stays open on its own at any angle, allowing it to be opened in an “L” shape and placed on a table, like a laptop.

In this way, you will no longer have to rest the phone on a glass, a bottle or whatever you catch on the table to take a selfie or make a video call. Now, sometimes it is difficult to stay at a specific angle, since the screen is not held firmly.

The Huawei P50 Pocket is not waterproof, so you should be careful not to accidentally get it wet. Although waterproofing a smartphone with a hinge is complicated, Samsung has managed it in the Galaxy Z Flip3 5G.

Screen

The Huawei P50 Pocket has a 6.9″ OLED screen with a 21:9 ratio and a resolution slightly higher than Full HD+ (1188 x 2790 pixels), which implies a pixel density of 442 dpi.

With this pixel density, the sharpness offered by the Huawei P50 Pocket screen is excellent and you will not be able to distinguish individual pixels.

In my experience, the crease in the center of the screen spends most of the time out of sight. The mark is completely invisible if you look at the screen from the front and is only visible if you look at the screen from an extreme angle and, even then, it can only be seen with a solid white background.

The crease is noticeable when you drag your finger across the screen. The central area is not completely smooth but you notice a small ripple when you run your finger over the crease.

Huawei has incorporated a panel with a refresh rate of 120 Hz. This higher rate translates into greater smoothness when moving around the interface and vertically scrolling the web browser, the photo gallery or in feeds from social networks such as Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.

You can choose between a standard (60 Hz), high (120 Hz) or dynamic frequency. Dynamic frequency uses a rate of 90 Hz in the interface, goes up to 120 Hz when an app or game requires it, and goes down to 60 Hz when displaying a static image.

However, other smartphones are capable of reducing the refresh rate below 60 Hz depending on the content displayed, reaching 24/30 Hz if a video is played at 24/30 FPS or even reducing the rate at 1 Hz if static content such as an e-book is displayed. In this way, battery consumption is reduced, since certain contents do not benefit from a high refresh rate.

In addition to a high refresh rate, the Huawei P50 Pocket has a 300 Hz sampling rate, which is especially interesting if you are a gamer so that your keystrokes are recorded as soon as possible.

In addition to having a high refresh rate, the screen of the Huawei P50 Pocket offers a wide color range, being able to cover 100% of the DCI-P3 gamut.

color spaces. Source: AVSForum

If you’re not familiar with color spaces, all high-end smartphones more than cover the standard Android color space: Rec. 709 / sRGB.

The most advanced try to comply with the DCI-P3 space used in the film industry, and a few aim towards the even wider Rec. 2020 color space, which covers 76 percent of the visible spectrum.

No current panel is capable of displaying the full Rec. 2020 color space, but many panels do cover the DCI-P3 space.

On the other hand, HDR technology increases the dynamic range of color tones displayed on the screen. The panel of the Huawei P50 Pocket is compatible with HDR, so, in theory, we can enjoy compatible content (in practice, it can be a bit more complicated as we will see in the Multimedia section).

To analyze the quality of the screen, I have carried out several tests with the professional software CalMAN Ultimate and an X-Rite i1Display Pro colorimeter.

The Huawei P50 Pocket offers two color reproduction modes: normal and vivid. As its name suggests, Vivid mode offers more vivid colors but, at the same time, less faithful to reality. Normal mode is the one that aims to show colors closer to reality, adapting to the sRGB or DCI P3 gamut depending on the content.

Vivid mode takes advantage of the full color gamut of the OLED panel, offering an impressive breadth of colors, covering approximately 100% of the DCI P3 color space.

Now, if we activate this mode, we will notice that the colors are over-saturated since the vast majority of Android apps are created thinking that the screen has been calibrated for the sRGB gamut.

That is why Huawei calls this mode Vivid. Although the colors are unreal, many people prefer to see more vibrant colors, even if they are not true to reality, than duller real colors. This mode also has another important advantage and that is that it is very useful when we use the phone in broad daylight since, under the sun, the colors lose strength.

The drawback of seeing oversaturated colors is that you can buy an item on the web (clothes, furniture, accessories, etc.) thinking that it is one color and be surprised when it arrives at your home. Or retouch photos on your mobile only to later find out when you send them to someone else that the colors aren’t as vivid as you thought.

With this mode active, the color fidelity turns out to be quite good, since the average error is 3.6 dE (below 4 dE it is considered excellent and, above 9 dE, it is unacceptable) and the maximum error is 7.5 dE. , versus the DCI P3 color gamut. The problem is that, as I mentioned, most Android apps target the sRGB color space.

In this color mode, the screen covers 91% of the DCI P3 space, and the color temperature turns out to be 7,303ºK, which implies a bluish tone that is noticeable in applications with a white background, such as the browser. There is a certain tendency for manufacturers to make their screens blue since, instinctively, warm colors are associated with old things (like old paper) and cold colors with modern things.

Fortunately, Huawei has added a white color setting called Color Temperature that allows you to alter the level of red, green, and blue on the screen. In this way we can reduce the level of blue and get quite close to the ideal value of 6,500ºK.

 

Vivid Mode: Color fidelity vs.

Vivid Mode: Front cover at DCI P3 gamut

Vivid Mode: Color temperature

Vivid Mode: Gamma

Display test results in Vivid color mode

In Normal mode, fidelity is excellent, automatically adapting to the sRGB or DCI P3 color space to display realistic colours. In this mode, the average error when displaying sRGB content turns out to be very low, 1.3 dE, and the maximum error is 3.5 dE, which is also quite contained.

The color temperature of the screen in Basic mode is 6,348ºK, a value slightly below the reference level of 6,500ºK, but not excessively.

Normal mode: Color fidelity vs. sRGB

Normal Mode: Coverage against sRGB

Normal Mode: Color Temperature

Normal mode: Gamma

Display test results in Normal color mode

According to my own measurements, the maximum brightness of the Huawei P50 Pocket panel is around 560 nits with maximum brightness in manual mode, but it increases to 726 nits if we set the automatic mode and we are under a bright environment.

This is a high brightness value, although not as high as that offered by some other high-end smartphones, which even exceed 1,000 nits.

In this comparative graph, the maximum brightness value is reflected with the screen illuminated at 100% in white, since it is the usual way to measure and compare the brightness of a screen.

The black color is very deep, to the point that the colorimeter has been unable to measure any level of brightness. This means that the blacks are really black and the contrast is theoretically infinite. One advantage of such a deep black color is that when watching a movie, the black bands around the image appear completely black. Also, black pixels don’t drain battery power, so Android’s dark mode makes a lot of sense on OLED screens.

OLED screens have a peculiar behavior when viewed from an angle. On the one hand, the light emitters are closer to the surface, and this makes the contrast and brightness vary less when moving from the center, but on the other hand, the Pentile matrix causes the colors to be distorted.

In the case of the Huawei P50 Pocket, the viewing angles are wide and the colors are hardly altered when looking at the screen from an angle.

Huawei has incorporated the functionality of turning on the screen with a double touch to see if we have pending notifications, as well as the functionality Show Always on Screen. This functionality shows the time / date, battery level and app notification icons on the lock screen.

However, since the screen is usually not visible, this functionality is not as useful as in other smartphones.

Always On Display (or, as Huawei calls it, Show Always On Display) 

The phone has a reading mode that filters blue light to reduce eyestrain. It can be activated manually or, if we prefer, we can program the start and end time.

Huawei has included high-frequency PWM dimming at 1,440 Hz, which is a superior technology to DC Dimming as it prevents screen flickering at low brightness levels while maintaining color fidelity.

Even being imperceptible to the eye, this flicker gives some people a headache. Other smartphones resort to DC Dimming which, by acting on the power supply of the screen circuit, reduces flickering at the cost of deteriorating image quality.

Outside, we find a small circular OLED screen of 1.0.4″ and resolution 320 × 320 pixels (328 dpi).

As I have already mentioned in the section on this design, this screen shows useful information through widgets and allows you to take selfies. Available widgets include Camera, Mirror, Current Weather, Today’s Agenda and Calendar

The outer screen always remains off (except when it is charging) and only shows information when it is pressed: date, time and pending notifications (it is possible to see individual notifications by dragging down). I would have liked to see the possibility of activating the Always Active Display.

Performance

The Huawei P50 Pocket has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 processor, which was the most powerful in 2021, but has now been surpassed by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1.

It is worth noting that, as we will see later, this is a variant of the Snapdragon 888 without 5G connectivity, so it is limited to connections to 4G networks. For the rest, it is the same chip that we found in other 2021 flagships.

The Huawei P50 Pocket has 12 GB of LPDDR5 RAM, which is enough to be able to have several applications open at the same time. It is true that some competitors even offer 16 GB of RAM but, in my opinion, it is more of a marketing issue than a real improvement for users since in practice there is not much difference.

Until not long ago, today’s most powerful mobile devices used LPDDR4X RAM with a data transmission speed of 4,266 Mb/s.

The speed of 6,400 Mb/s allows the LPDDR5 memory to transfer 51 GB of data, that is, approximately 14 Full HD video files (3.7 GB each) in one minute.

LPDDR5 memory has been designed to reduce its voltage according to the operating speed of the processor to maximize power savings. The low consumption characteristics allow the LPDDR5 RAM to offer reductions in energy consumption of up to 30 percent, which has an impact on autonomy, although memory is not exactly the element that consumes the most.

The Huawei P50 Pocket comes with 512 GB of storage, so I have no complaints here as it should be more than enough for anyone’s needs.

Additionally, this storage can be expanded using a type of card called an NM Card. This card is a Huawei proprietary format that is the size of a nano-SIM card, and whose price is well above traditional microSD cards.

Not everything is good news in the hardware, since the USB-C port is a USB 2.0 type, which is disappointing since other smartphones incorporate USB 3.2 ports that are much faster when transferring data from / to the smartphone. To get an idea, USB 2.0 is limited to 480 Mb/s, while USB 3.1 can reach 20 Gb/s.

The port is OTG compatible, so you can plug in a USB-C key and access it like external storage. It also supports DisplayPort 1.2 to project the screen on a monitor or TV.

I have put the Huawei P50 Pocket through some performance tests to see how it fares against other high-end phones, and below are the results of each test.

In the AnTuTu v9 benchmark, it has achieved a result of 583,375 points, a high score, although already widely surpassed by this year’s flagships.

In the Geekbench 5 benchmark focused on processor performance, it has achieved 760/2,450 points in the single/multi-core tests, which are lower than expected results.

In the PCMark 3.0 general performance test that measures performance when performing everyday tasks, it has obtained a score of 10,049 points. 

In the storage section, the phone scores high in AndroBench tests for read and write speeds.

Next, we are going to see the results in various graphic tests to check the expected performance in games.

In the GFXBench test with traditional APIs, the phone has achieved good results, although far from what the best smartphones of the moment obtain.

In GFXBench tests based on modern low-level, high-efficiency APIs (Metal/OpenGL and Vulkan), the phone once again performs well, albeit below the most powerful smartphones this year.

In the new 3DMark Wild Life Unlimited test, the phone has also achieved a not very high result, below other phones with the same chip.

To check the graphics performance on a daily basis, I have tested several demanding 3D games — Real Racing 3, Asphalt 9 and Call of Duty Mobile.

Using GameBench software, I have been able to measure various performance parameters on these games in actual play.

Do you know GameBench Pro? GameBench Pro is the industry’s leading tool for measuring game performance on Android and iOS smartphones. If you want to know more, you can visit their website.

The games get a stable rate between 50 and 60 FPS in Asphalt 9, Call of Duty, Real Racing 3. These are good values, but I am surprised that Real Racing 3 did not achieve values ​​of at least 90 FPS, as in other high-end smartphones.

GamingFPS (average)FPSF Stability Min-Max %CPU / %GPU

Asphalt 9 56 100% 48-60 11% / 23%
Real Racing 3 50 100% 49-51 7% / 9%
Call of Duty 60 100% 55-60 10% / 20%

(*) Game quality settings:

Asphalt 9: Graphics quality set to “high”
Real Racing 3: Default graphics quality
Call of Duty Mobile: Graphics quality “very high” and frames per second set to “very high”

In general, the Huawei P50 Pocket has achieved good results in the benchmarks, as expected given that it has the most powerful chip from last year. It is true that this year’s smartphones with Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 outperform it, but today, we have more power in the phones than we really need.

In fact, on a day-to-day basis, I haven’t experienced any signs of lag when moving around the interface, opening apps, or switching between tasks, and I wouldn’t be able to tell the performance of this phone from that of other Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 flagships.

In addition to punctual performance, it is important to know if the phone is capable of sustaining this performance over time or if it is reduced by the increase in processor temperature.

In the CPU Throttling test that measures the drop in CPU performance after 15 minutes of sustained load, the phone has obtained a quite improvable result, since the performance only drops to 66% at the end of the test.

The 3DMark Wild Life Stress Test measures the variation in graphics performance after 20 minutes of running the test.

Here the phone has obtained a quite improvable result of 52%, which means that the graphics performance noticeably worsens after a long period of use.

Like all high-end phones, it gets hot under heavy load, especially when playing 3D games. In the Huawei P50 Pocket, I have measured a temperature of 42ºC in certain areas of the rear surface after playing a few games, so the phone feels warm in the hand.

In order to optimize performance, Huawei embeds an application called Optimizer that analyzes the phone’s status and offers various ways to improve the phone’s performance.

Among others, this application can propose to close certain actions to reduce energy consumption, delete large files or rarely used applications to free up space, or disable Bluetooth if there is no device to link.

This same application also allows you to block calls and messages from certain sources, restrict the use of mobile / WiFi data by apps, reduce data consumption by limiting connections in the background, control applications that can show floating notifications, check for viruses , and manage battery consumption.

connectivity

The Huawei P50 Pocket supports Bluetooth 5.2 and WiFi 6. It does not support WiFi 6E, the new protocol for WiFi networks that makes use of the 6 GHz band for better performance, in those regions where it is allowed.

Today, there are hardly any routers compatible with this frequency band, and those that exist are quite expensive, but it is to be expected that they will drop in price over time.

One of the Achilles heels of the Huawei P50 Pocket is that it is not compatible with 5G networks, but its connectivity is limited to 4G. This limitation stems from the US veto and is a significant absence for a high-end smartphone that you will be able to use for several years, especially as 5G networks become more popular.

Nowadays, being realistic, not having 5G connectivity is not a serious problem, since it is rare that you need a higher bandwidth than you can get with 4G or that you require a latency as low as that promised by 5G networks. . However, we cannot deny that it sounds strange to buy a smartphone of more than 1,000 euros without a feature that many mid-range smartphones incorporate.

In the version I have tested, the SIM compartment offers space to insert two SIM cards, so you can carry two numbers at the same time. Surprisingly, Huawei has not incorporated the possibility of using an eSIM.

What we do find is the possibility of making calls using WiFi, being possible to configure the preference: mobile networks or Wi-Fi. Logically, it is necessary for the operator to offer this functionality, which comes in handy if you are in an area with poor cell coverage, but with a good WiFi network.

In tests I’ve run, network speeds over both Wi-Fi and cellular have been good.

The Huawei P50 Pocket reached 300 Mbps download and upload speeds in Wi-Fi 5 with a 300 Mbps fiber optic connection. In the cellular connectivity test, 50 Mbps download and 37 Mbps upload speeds were achieved with a Movistar 4G in my house. For reference, the values ​​I get in 5G with other smartphones are no better.

Huawei offers an intelligent setting called Smart Data Saver, which allows you to reduce data consumption by preventing apps from using data in the background and limiting the data of apps that are in use. However, when this option is activated, there may be delays in receiving messages and emails. In any case, exceptions can be defined for apps that should not be restricted.

Huawei has included support for a good number of positioning systems: GPS, Glonass, Galileo, Beidou, QZSS and NavIC. In addition, it supports dual-frequency GPS (L1 + L5), which means that it achieves more precision when locating the phone.

In my tests, the Huawei P50 Pocket quickly connects to satellites outdoors, and although it takes a little longer indoors, the accuracy is just as good.

Biometrics

While Huawei’s high-end smartphones usually incorporate a fingerprint reader under the screen itself, Huawei has chosen to include a traditional fingerprint reader on the power button.

This reader allows you to unlock your phone by placing your finger on the power button, without the need to press the button.

In the tests that I have carried out, the fingerprint reader has worked well as long as you place the central area of ​​the finger on the sensor area, since if you place it slightly tilted, it does not work or takes longer to recognize. The unlocking speed is very fast, as usual in this type of readers.

Huawei P50 Pocket fingerprint recognition

Huawei has also included a facial recognition system that uses a 2D image, so it is not as secure as the 3D recognition of the iPhone or certain Android smartphones.

It is possible to have fingerprint and face recognition active at the same time, so we can use the one that suits us best at any time. Facial recognition is activated as soon as you open the phone, making it more comfortable than placing your finger on the fingerprint reader.

Battery

The battery of the Huawei P50 Pocket has a capacity of 4,000 mAh, which is not as generous as that found in other “conventional” high-end smartphones. However, it is much larger than that of the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3 5G, which remains at 3,300 mAh.

To check the autonomy, I have carried out the battery test of the well-known PCMark test: Work 3.0.

ℹ️Info: A reflection on autonomy tests

Given the importance of the screen in battery consumption, it is important to calibrate the screens with a colorimeter (or a similar instrument) at the same absolute level of brightness (it is not valid to set it to 50%) if you want to obtain comparable autonomy results. between devices.

Otherwise, the results may be greatly affected by the brightness level of each smartphone’s screen and are therefore not comparable. I mention this here because not all analyzes take this into account, and in this test, absurd values ​​are sometimes seen.

In the case of PCMark: Work 3.0, the test itself indicates that the test must be performed with the screen calibrated at 200 nits for the results to be comparable. This is how we carry out the autonomy tests on smartphones.

PCMark Work tests the autonomy of the terminal when performing a mixture of daily and demanding tasks, since the test simulates browsing web pages, writing texts and inserting images, applying filters to photographs, editing videos and data manipulation.

Given the impact that the refresh rate has on the autonomy of smartphones, I have carried out this test twice: once with the refresh rate fixed at 60 Hz and another with the frequency at 120 Hz.

In the test with the screen configured at a refresh rate of 60 Hz, I have obtained a result of 7 hours and 36 minutes, which is a value that does not stand out compared to other high-end smartphones.

If we adjust the refresh rate to a frequency of 120 Hz, the autonomy is reduced to 6 hours and 11 minutes, which is a fairly significant drop of around 20%. In case of setting the dynamic frequency, the result is practically the same, since it achieves 6 hours and 9 minutes.

On a day-to-day basis, the autonomy of the Huawei P50 Pocket is simply correct, being far from spectacular. Other smartphones with larger batteries and an adaptive refresh rate achieve greater autonomy.

Huawei has embedded a tool to manage power saving within the Optimizer app.

Power saving mode disables auto sync, disables touch feedback, disables system sounds, reduces visual effects, shortens screen timeout, restricts background app activity, reduces system performance, and disable Voice Activation for AI Voice.

In the screen settings, there is also a feature called Smart Resolution, which allows you to automatically or manually reduce the screen resolution to save battery life, although, in the case of a 6.9″ screen, it does not seem advisable to reduce the resolution below Full HD +.

When it comes to charging the smartphone, the Huawei P50 Pocket has SuperCharge cable charging technology at 40W, which is quite fast, although not as fast as other rivals — among them, its brother Huawei P50 Pro, which charges at 66W.

In my tests, the complete charging process has taken only 1 hour with the included charger (yes, you read that right, Huawei is one of the manufacturers that still includes a charger in the box).

Huawei P50 Pocket charging process

The Huawei P50 Pocket does not support wireless charging, which is a significant absence for a smartphone in this price range. Huawei may have decided to do without this technology to make room for a larger battery.

Software: No Google Services

The Huawei P50 Pocket runs EMUI 12 based on Android 11 but, due to the US veto, it lacks Google services and arrives without the Play Store app store.

Instead, Huawei has included its own version of Google Mobile Services (GMS) called HMS (Huawei Mobile Services) and its own app store App Gallery, from which you can download many apps.

The Huawei P50 Pocket comes with the App Gallery store pre-installed

The number of apps that are adapted to use HMS is still very low, which can be a problem for certain users who need to use a specific app that requires Google services — note that not all apps require Google services. Google to work.

Similarly, the App Gallery has many Chinese apps, but not so many international apps and even fewer local apps from, for example, municipalities, universities, gyms, associations, museums or schools in Spain.

Note: It’s pretty tiresome to see a 3-second ad almost every time you open the App Gallery, as if searching for apps there isn’t enough of a hassle.

What apps can we find in the App Gallery? Most of the apps present are little known outside China, although there are some notable exceptions such as Twitter, Tinder, Snapchat, Mi Movistar Air Europa, AliExpress, Ryanair, TikTok, Amazon, Booking, El Tenedor, Orange TV, Atresplayer, Mi Movistar , laSexta, As, Idealista, Tax Agency, Marca, La Liga, Telegram, Banc Sabadell, BBVA or Evo Banco. All of these are in the Huawei store.

Now, none of the following popular apps can be downloaded from the App Gallery at the time of writing this article: WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, Uber, Cabify, Spotify, Alexa or Netflix. Nor did we find any Google apps such as YouTube, Google Maps, Gmail or Chrome, nor hardly any apps for airlines, banks, health devices, video/music streaming, messaging, etc.

What the App Gallery does is, in some cases, open a quick app, which is the web version of the app, or redirect the download to an external app store like APKPure or APKMonk. Now, you will have to install the app itself from the store to ensure that the app is automatically updated when the developer releases a new version.

Downloading the app from APKPure, APKMonk or any other app store is not complicated, but it is not always enough. Some apps require Google services (GMS) to work properly.

For example, at home, I use the tado° app to control my smart home thermostat. This app makes use of the phone’s geolocation capabilities (if no one is home, the heating doesn’t turn on). This app can be downloaded easily, but when you run it, it shows an error about the lack of Google services.

I also use the Eufy Security app to control my home security cameras. This app also uses geolocation to send alerts only when it detects movement and no one is home. Although the app itself works, it is not possible to use geolocation.

Similarly, the Netatmo Home+Security app, which I use to control some cameras and door sensors I have at home, indicates that notifications are not available because Google Play services are not working.

These are just a few examples of apps that are important to me, but don’t work on the phone due to the lack of GMS services and the app’s lack of compatibility with HMS services. For me this is a problem as there are no alternative apps unless I switch devices.

 

App Security

App Tado

App Eufy

Apps that require Google services

Another added problem is the push notifications since, even if you install the app from the outside, in many cases the push notifications do not reach the phone. This can be a problem for, for example, bank apps that show a notification that you must press to confirm a card payment on a website.

If you are used to using your phone in the car, you can also forget about Android Auto, since it is not available on the Huawei P50 Pocket.

Luckily, all is not lost, since there is an app in the App Gallery called Gspace that enables a virtual space on your phone where you can install and use apps that require Google services “fairly” normally.

Gspace

Gspace

Gspace

In my tests, the apps inside Gspace work really well, even reaching the point where the Netflix app can play content in Full HD and with HDR support inside Gspace, while it cannot do it from outside Gspace (it does not detect the Widevine L1 certification).

 

Inside Gspace

Outside Gspace

Inside Gspace

Outside Gspace

However, using any app in Gspace has the drawback that it is necessary to open Gspace first and then the app in question every time you want to use it. On the other hand, Gspace is a third-party app that we have no control over what it does with our login or activity data.

In addition, Gspace has other important limitations, such as the fact that all apps running inside Gspace are, from the EMUI point of view, the same app, Gspace. This means that you don’t have granularity when it comes to setting how notifications should be displayed for each individual app running under Gspace, setting data or battery usage limits for each app, etc.

The easiest solution would be to be able to install Google’s GMS services to use many applications. This is where things get complicated since installing GMS is not easy for a common user. There are some old tutorials on the internet, but I don’t know if they are still working.

In addition, any method to install Play Store and GMS requires downloading and installing APKs from the Internet whose origin is not a reliable source, as they are not supported by Huawei, Google or any company. Therefore, nothing would prevent these apps from having malware that records your activity, sends your passwords, etc. I do not mean to spread fear, but the reality is that we are installing system apps and services of unknown origin.

In any case, installing the GMS services may not be enough to enjoy any app. In the past, with other Huawei smartphones, installing the Play Store and Google Mobile Services did not prevent the device from showing up as not certified under Play Protect, limiting the functionality of certain apps.

Huawei is keen to power its own HMS services and plans to encourage developers to customize their apps. Until this happens, however, using apps that require Google services is an odyssey for the average user.

Software: EMUI 12

The Huawei P50 Pocket runs Android 11, and on top of the operating system, Huawei has embedded its own EMUI 12 customization layer. Although Huawei has developed its own HarmonyOS operating system, it is not rolling it out to smartphones outside of China.

When Huawei introduced EMUI 12, it highlighted its new minimalist design, with blocks featuring rounded corners and smooth color gradients. The new user interface is mainly designed with three colors: black, white and blue. They are used for almost every element throughout the entire system.

This new version of EMUI introduces new animation effects that more realistically reflect phenomena such as gravity and magnetism, and look especially good on the high refresh rate screen.

One of the novelties that EMUI 12 brings is the progressive adjustment of the size and thickness of the font, which you can customize to your liking. This improves the visual experience and makes interface labels more visible.

Focusing on the interface, the leftmost page of the home screen, if enabled, is Assistant Today, a place where you can find news, weather, app suggestions, health information, battery information, etc. It is possible to customize this screen with sources of information to your liking.

 

Assistant

Assistant

Assistant

Assistant Today

One aspect that I really like about EMUI 12 is the large folders, which take up the space of four icons and hold up to 9 apps. You don’t need to open the folder to launch an app, just tap on its little icon.

As in iOS, EMUI 12 offers the Notification Center and the Control Panel completely separately.

The Notification Center is accessible by dragging down from the top left corner of the screen, while the Control Panel drops down when you drag down from the top right corner of the screen.

This panel shows an audio playback control, WiFi connection, Bluetooth connection, quick settings, and a section called Device+.

The Device+ concept is similar to the Super Device in HarmonyOS. It consists of associating several devices so that they work as one.

Nearby devices signed in to the same Huawei account are automatically detected and appear in that section, ready for you to tap to link.

For example, you can tap on the icon of a MatePad tablet to start multi-screen collaboration with this device. So you can make calls, send messages or view photos from your phone on the tablet screen.

Or if you click on a MateBook, you can edit the phone’s files using the laptop’s larger screen.

And if you want to enjoy content on an even bigger screen, Device+ is also compatible with Huawei Smart TVs.

Another interesting feature is the Distributed File System, which allows access to documents or photos on the phone from a laptop as if it were another local drive. Here’s an example where the phone is wirelessly connected to the computer and its contents appear as drive E:

Phone files accessible as a local drive and phone desktop in one window

Huawei introduced high-quality video calling over WiFi or mobile data with MeeTime in EMUI 10.1 and enhanced it with EMUI 11. Now, with EMUI 12, Huawei goes a step further by allowing calls to be transferred between devices — for example, you can transfer a call to a nearby HUAWEI Vision TV while you talk without interruption.

Lastly, EMUI 12 comes with improvements in security and privacy. For example, you can enter the password to unlock your phone from the laptop when you are using the Multiscreen collaboration functionality.

You can also set your smartwatch as a trusted device, so your phone will only unlock with your face when it detects you’re wearing the watch.

Software: Applications included

One of the featured apps is Petal Search, which displays featured news and allows you to search. It is similar to the Google app, only it uses its own search engine. On the EMUI desktop there is a toolbar that gives quick access to searches in Petal Search, again emulating the behavior of the Google toolbar.

Petal Maps is also interesting, which is Huawei’s alternative to Google Maps and has many of its features.

 

Petal Maps

Petal Maps

Petal Maps

If you want to migrate your data from another phone, you can use the Phone Clone app to transfer data from any other smartphone (Android or iPhone) to P50 Pocket.

This app transfers data such as contacts, call logs, calendar events, WiFi connections, multimedia files, application data, etc. through a WiFi zone created by the phone itself. It is a very useful tool to transfer the apps that you already have installed and that are not available in the Huawei App Gallery.

The My Huawei app that allows you to access offers, see messages in the community and obtain support, even being able to search for repair centers, make an appointment for repair, etc.

Huawei Wallet allows you to store bank cards, transportation cards, and loyalty/gift cards. As of today, however, it is only possible to store loyalty / gift loyalty cards as well as tickets, but it is not possible to store credit or debit cards.

Huawei has incorporated an application called Health that, as its name suggests, allows us to control our physical activity. The application allows us to set goals for steps per day and weight, record when we are going to exercise, and keep track of the number of steps walked, the distance traveled and the number of floors climbed.

The application can connect with external data sources to better track our physical activity.

To make use of the infrared emitter, we have the Smart Controller app, which allows us to add electrical appliances to which we can give orders directly from the phone. The app includes an extensive trademark database.

Huawei adds its Video app, which offers streaming content of movies, series and events. Huawei offers subscription content (4.99 euros/month), free content and premiere content for rent.

Finally, Huawei has also incorporated third party applications such as Microsoft Office, Microsoft Bing, Trip.com, TrainPal and others.

Multimedia

The Huawei P50 Pocket has two speakers, so it offers stereo sound. One of the speakers is located next to the USB Type-C connector, and the other is located in a very narrow grille at the top of the screen.

The sound is powerful and clear, with a fairly balanced volume, although the lower speaker sounds more powerful, as usual.

While some previous Huawei models included Dolby Atmos support to play sound encoded with Dolby’s AC-4 audio codec, Dolby Atmos is not present on the Huawei P50 Pocket. This could be due to the US veto as Dolby is a company based in that country.

Huawei has dispensed with the traditional headphone jack, so we will have to use USB-C headphones (like the ones that Huawei includes in the box) or Bluetooth, or use a USB-C to 3.5 mm adapter.

If you are used to listening to music with headphones, you will be happy to know that Huawei includes a 3D audio technology that it calls Histen.

This technology allows you to enjoy various playback modes through headphones: automatic, 3D audio, natural and standard. The Huawei P50 Pocket also incorporates a ten-band sound equalizer with several preset modes.

Now, keep in mind that the Huawei P50 Pocket is not compatible with aptX and aptX HD audio codecs but only with SBC, AAC, LDAC and LHDC.

The Huawei P50 Pocket incorporates its own music playback software with an interface that allows you to view songs by title, album, artist and folder. The application offers several interface design options, as we can see below.

 

Music App

Music App

Music App

Music App

Music app of the Huawei P50 Pocket

The app allows you to create playlists and mark songs as favorites, as well as access sound settings from the app. However, the music player is not capable of automatically downloading cover art from the Internet, nor is it possible to play music that is stored on other network devices.

The app also gives access to Huawei Music, the company’s Internet streaming music service. The subscription costs €9.99/month but you get a 3-month free trial.

Huawei incorporates a functionality called Sound Booster, which has a curious purpose, since it allows you to listen to what is happening around you with more intensity, turning the phone into a remote microphone that transmits the audio to your headphones or a Bluetooth speaker. Does it sound like a tool to listen to conversations from a distance? Well, a little, yes.

The Gallery app is used to view and play the photos and videos stored on the phone. The new app incorporates AI capabilities to create Memories (dynamic albums based on the date, time and location of photos) and Discover (automatically classify photos based on content).

The application also allows you to edit the images using various basic tools to crop, adjust the color, modify the contrast, etc. Nothing new that we haven’t seen before.

 

Gallery

Gallery

Gallery

Gallery app

Huawei has included a specific app for video playback, and the phone is capable of playing compatible files smoothly thanks to its processor.

Huawei has included its own Videos app that offers a subscription service for €4.99 per month to watch movies, series and documentaries.

With some streaming apps, like Netflix, I have had some problems, because even though the phone is Widevine L1 certified, Netflix does not recognize it and therefore playback is limited to SD resolution (and forget about HDR, of course). ).

Photo camera

The Huawei P50 Pocket comes with a rear camera with three lenses:

  • 40MP wide-angle camera with f/1.8 lens, laser autofocus
  • 13 MP ultra wide angle camera (120º) with f/2.2 lens and autofocus
  • 32MP Ultra Spectrum camera with f/1.8 lens and autofocus

Huawei has included its True-Chroma image engine, which the company says improves clarity and light visibility to bring out natural details and vivid colors for incredibly realistic photography.

Unlike other high-end smartphones, we do not find a telephoto camera. It also does not have a depth camera for capturing images with a bokeh effect or augmented reality apps, although we have already seen on other smartphones that this camera is not necessary to get good portraits.

If you are an expert user, you will be happy to know that Huawei includes a Professional mode that allows you to manually adjust parameters such as ISO sensitivity, focus point, white balance, exposure time and more. We can also save images in JPEG and RAW format for later editing.

wide angle camera

The wide-angle camera has a 40 MP sensor with a Quad-Bayer filter and an f/1.8 aperture lens, but without optical stabilization. It has PDAF autofocus and laser focus assist.

By default, the camera takes screenshots at 10 MP using pixel binning functionality to reduce noise, although it is also possible to shoot at the full resolution of the 40 MP sensor.

The wide-angle camera allows you to take excellent shots in good light conditions, as we can see in these examples, where vivid colors, a wide dynamic range and high sharpness are appreciated.

Pictures taken in bright conditions with the wide-angle camera

In low-light conditions, the Huawei P50 Pocket’s wide-angle camera maintains good image quality, containing noise well and preserving a high level of detail. The colors of the photographs remain vivid and true to reality.

Below are several photos taken by the wide-angle camera in low light.

Pictures taken in low light conditions with the wide-angle camera

Huawei incorporates a Night mode, which allows you to take brighter night photos without a tripod at the cost of a longer capture time.

Although in the automatic mode (“Photo”) the photos are taken quite quickly, it seems that Huawei applies the Night mode in some way, since the differences between the captures taken in the automatic mode and in the Night mode are really minimal.

Below, we can see some screenshots taken in the automatic mode and in the Night mode.

regular mode

night mode

regular mode

night mode

regular mode

night mode

regular mode

night mode

Difference between photos taken in normal mode and night mode

ultra wide angle camera

The ultra wide-angle camera has a 13 MP resolution sensor with an f/2.2 lens and autofocus. What is most striking about this lens is that it has a huge 120º angle of view, superior to other ultra wide-angle cameras that I have tried.

It does not have optical stabilization, but this is not so necessary in this type of camera since, having such a wide angle, the small movements of the hand do not translate into such large displacements in pixels.

This camera provides great versatility when it comes to capturing photographs of landscapes or architecture, although due to the confinement to which we are subjected I have not been able to take these types of photographs. I personally find the ultra wide angle camera very useful as it allows you to take much more spectacular pictures than the normal camera.

Below are some examples of photos taken with the wide-angle camera, which offers vivid colors, good contrast, wide dynamic range, and better nighttime performance than we typically find on other phones. Night mode is also available on this camera, but again the differences from auto mode are minimal.

Pictures taken with the ultra wide angle camera

The Huawei P50 Pocket’s ultra-wide-angle camera offers a Macro mode, which allows you to get closer to objects at a distance of 2.5 cm. Next, we can see some examples.

Photos taken with the Macro mode of the ultra wide-angle camera

Ultra Spectrum Camera

If you are wondering what the Ultra Spectrum camera is, it is a camera for fluorescence photography. The camera uses ultraviolet fill light, and when re-irradiated by certain materials, ultraviolet light emits fluorescent colors that can be captured as uniquely styled photographs.

In practice, the only utility that I have seen for this camera (and it is not particularly useful either) is to make use of the sunscreen test functionality that helps you know if you have spread the cream all over the camera or if there are areas of the which are uncovered.

Portrait / Aperture mode

Huawei offers two modes that emulate the bokeh effect:

  • Aperture mode allows you to adjust the lens aperture between f/0.95 and f/16 at will, both when taking the shot and afterwards.
  • Portrait mode allows you to choose the shape of the bokeh (circles, hearts, swirl, disks, etc.) and adjust the level of beauty. It is also possible to adjust the lens aperture (the bokeh effect) afterwards.

Portrait mode allows you to choose between 1x, 2x and 3x zoom, but in all cases the wide-angle camera is used given the absence of a telephoto camera.

This means that if you take Portrait at 2x or 3x zoom, you’re doing software upscaling, so the result in terms of sharpness is going to be pretty poor. On the other hand, taking portraits with a wide-angle camera is not a great idea, as if you get too close to take a close-up, it distorts the face quite a bit.

Below, we can see sample images taken in Portrait mode with 1x zoom at a certain distance to prevent the face from looking distorted. If we zoom in on any of them, we can see that the Huawei P50 Pocket generally does a good job of separating the subject from the background and creating a natural blur, except for some areas around the hair.

Photos taken in Portrait mode 

The Huawei P50 Pocket can not only take portraits of people, but also of other objects, as we can see in this example.

Video recording

The Huawei P50 Pocket can record video up to [email protected] with the main camera, and up to [email protected] with the ultra wide angle and selfie camera. In no case is it possible to record [email protected], like some other high-end smartphones.

Electronic stabilization stabilization is available on all cameras.

In addition, the Huawei P50 Pocket allows you to record video in time-lapse modes, slow motion at 240 fps and even dual video with two cameras at the same time.

An interesting aspect is that it is possible to select whether we want to save the videos in the traditional H.264 format or in the more modern H.265 format, which reduces the size of the videos without reducing quality, but is not as compatible.

Below, we can see some videos recorded with the Huawei P50 Pocket during the day at [email protected] and [email protected], which offer good image quality with high contrast, vivid colors and good dynamic range.

Videos recorded in good light conditions

Next, we can see some videos recorded at night. In both cases, the image looks quite dark, but overall the quality is good.

Videos recorded in low light conditions

Frontal camera

Before talking about the front camera, it is worth noting that one of the advantages of this folding smartphone is that it is possible to use the rear cameras to take selfies using the outer screen to adjust the frame.

In this way, it is possible to take selfies with much higher quality than other smartphones.

Using the rear cameras to take selfies

Once this caveat has been made, we will talk about the front camera that is inside the phone. This camera has a 10.7MP sensor with an f/2.2 aperture lens.

Huawei offers two framing settings for selfies: 1x and “W” (wide angle). These two frames correspond to different focal lengths, that is, they allow you to take individual or couple selfies.

As for video, the front camera allows you to record even at 4K resolution at 60 fps. Although it does not have a front flash, it is capable of lighting the screen in a very intense white color when taking a selfie to emulate the presence of a flash.

As you can see in these images, the quality of the selfies is high. Other smartphones have a lower dynamic range and background skies appear white, but the Huawei P50 Pocket correctly exposes the entire image, as can be seen in some of these examples.

Selfie taken with the front camera of the Huawei P50 Pocket

The front camera also offers a Portrait mode in selfies, but interestingly, it does not apply the bokeh effect of blurring the background of the image. Instead, what it offers are different lighting effects and Beauty mode.

It is strange that Huawei has not included a Portrait mode to use (with “bokeh” effect) in the front camera, considering how people like to take selfies.

Finally, as a curiosity, it is possible to “sit” the phone to take a selfie, either with the front camera or even with the rear camera, without having to look for other support than a flat surface.

voice calls

The Huawei P50 Pocket features multiple noise-canceling microphones to eliminate background noise and improve sound quality during calls.

In the tests that I have carried out, the quality of the voice is correct and we have been able to hold conversations perfectly in moderately noisy environments without difficulties.

The Calls and Contacts app are the same, with separate tabs for the dialer, contact list, and favorites.

Precio

The Huawei P50 Pocket is on sale in Spain for an official price of €1,599, although you can find it cheaper on Amazon.

Its main competitor is the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3 5G ( €1,059), which has a 6.7″ foldable internal screen with Full HD+ resolution, a 1.9″ external screen, a Snapdragon 888 processor, 8 GB of LPDDR5 RAM, 128 /256 GB of UFS 3.1 storage, wide angle rear camera (12MP, f/1.8) + ultra wide angle (12MP, f/2.2), wide angle inner camera (10MP, f/2.4) and 3,300 mAh battery.

Conclusions

Unlike other foldable smartphones that seek to maximize the screen area, the Huawei P50 Pocket is aimed at those looking for a very compact device when closed (87.3 × 75.5 × 15.2 mm) without giving up a large screen when unfolded.

The downside of this design is that, like old clamshell smartphones, you have to open it to interact with it.

Huawei has included a 1.04″ circular outer screen that avoids having to open the phone for certain tasks.

The screen is normally off, and when you double-tap it, it shows the time/date and a pending notifications indicator. Simply drag the screen to access additional information.

Thus, it is possible to consult the list of individual notifications by scrolling and use widgets (music, camera, mirror, weather, GPS navigator, etc.) without opening the phone.

Above the outer screen we find the module that houses the cameras, also circular.

Overall, the Huawei P50 Pocket is a smartphone that stands out for its design and size, so it will be very attractive to the female audience, usually with smaller hands.

Huawei offers the device in a unique gold finish with decorative patterns that add a touch of sophistication. However, it has not provided this device with resistance to water.

Once we open the smartphone (by the way, it is almost impossible to do it with one hand), its large 6.9″ screen with a hole at the top to house the front camera unfolds. The screen has a fairly long ratio, 21:9, so it is narrower and longer than usual.

In the area where the screen is folded in half is the crease. This crease is invisible when looking at the phone from the front and is only very slightly visible if you turn it in either direction. In practice, it is not annoying at all, although it is true that when you drag your finger over it, a small valley is noticeable to the touch.

The internal OLED screen has a resolution higher than Full HD +, which with a pixel density of 442 dpi is more than enough. The display is capable of displaying a wide color gamut, covering not only the sRGB color space but also the wider DCI P3 space.

The screen achieves a high refresh rate of up to 120Hz, and offers a dynamic mode that displays the interface at 90Hz, but can automatically switch to 60Hz when displaying a static image or 120Hz if a game wants it to. However, it is not capable of setting refresh rates lower than 60 Hz to adapt to content and save battery power when such a high refresh rate is not necessary.

In normal color mode, the screen offers spectacular color fidelity as it adapts to the sRGB or DCI P3 gamut automatically. If we opt for the vivid color mode, the color fidelity slightly worsens since, as the name suggests, the colors are oversaturated (although many people prefer intense colors, even if they are unreal).

The maximum brightness of the screen is around 726 nits (measured with the screen fully illuminated in white), which is a high level of brightness, although below some other high-end smartphones with more than 1,000 nits. Since the panel is OLED, the black color is pure and the contrast is very high (theoretically infinite).

The internal screen offers the Always Active Screen mode that permanently shows the time and other data of interest, but it is not of special interest in a smartphone like this one where the screen is hidden. I would have liked more if the outer screen offered this mode.

Huawei has embedded the fingerprint reader on the side of the phone. Unlocking occurs quickly if you place your finger well in the reading zone. It also incorporates facial recognition, which is more comfortable (although less secure) for everyday use.

The Huawei P50 Pocket has the Snapdragon 888 4G processor. It is the most powerful chip of 2021 and, although it has already been surpassed by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, it still offers more than enough power for any user.

The phone is accompanied by 12 GB of LPDDR5 RAM, a sufficient amount to have no problems when multi-tasking, as well as 512 GB of storage. Huawei has added the ability to expand storage via its proprietary card format called NM Card, which is more expensive than micro-SD cards.

In the benchmarks, the Huawei P50 Pocket gets high scores, although somewhat below other high-end smartphones from last year with the same chip. On a day-to-day basis, it moves quickly and I haven’t experienced any hiccups when moving around the interface, loading heavy apps/games, or multi-tasking.

3D graphics performance is good. I have tested three demanding 3D games such as Asphalt 9, Real Racing 3 and Call of Duty Mobile, and in all of them I have measured very high average FPS rates, around 60 FPS.

In terms of connectivity, the Huawei P50 Pocket comes with WiFi 6, but it does not support the more modern WiFi 6E standard that takes advantage of the 6 GHz band. It is also compatible with Bluetooth 5.2, dual-frequency GPS and NFC.

Unfortunately, it does not support 5G connectivity, so the connection is limited to 4G cellular networks. Although it is rare to see a high-end smartphone without 5G, in practice it is not a serious problem, since 5G networks are not that widespread yet. As an example, the Huawei P50 Pocket has achieved 4G download speeds of 50 Mbps at home, about the same as I get with other 5G smartphones.

The Huawei P50 Pocket has a 4,000 mAh battery which, by today’s standards, is not very generous. In my tests, it has obtained a simply correct autonomy, not as high as that of other smartphones with larger batteries and adaptive refresh rates.

The phone has Super Charge 40W fast charging that can recharge the battery in about an hour, but it lacks wireless charging.

The Huawei P50 Pocket lacks a 3.5mm jack. and therefore does not offer FM radio. It has stereo speakers, and the sound is quite powerful and has a good richness of tones, although it does not support Dolby Atmos or some high-quality Bluetooth codecs such as aptX or aptX HD.

Focusing on the phone’s software, the Huawei P50 Pocket runs EMUI 12 on Android 11. Now, as is known, it does not incorporate Google mobile services (GMS) or the Play Store app store .

Huawei has incorporated its own App Gallery application store into its HMS mobile services, but the range of apps available in the App Gallery is limited. In some cases, when the app is not available in the App Gallery, it offers access to the quick app, which is the web version of the app, or redirects you to a third-party app store such as APKPure or APKMonk.

The main problem I have found is that some apps require Google services to work. This not only happens with many Google apps, such as Google Maps, but also with apps from other developers. For example, some apps I use to control my smart thermostat and home security cameras don’t work without Google services.

There are ways to (partially) overcome this limitation, such as Gspace, which emulates an environment in which apps with Google services can be executed, but it is not as efficient as having native services, since it has some limitations.

Leaving aside the absence of Google services, EMUI 12 brings a modern looking interface with a modern design, nice animations and very interesting functionalities if you are within the Huawei ecosystem, since with Device+ it is possible to combine link devices with each other ( headphones, tablets, laptops) to use multi-screen, access phone files from the computer as another drive, etc.

The Huawei P50 Pocket offers a triple rear camera made up of a wide angle camera (40MP, f/1.8), ultra wide angle (13MP, f/2.2) and Ultra Spectrum (32MP, f/1.8).

Starting with the wide-angle camera, its performance in bright light is excellent. When the light is low, the camera also achieves pretty good captures with a reduced noise level thanks to the Night mode.

The ultra wide-angle camera offers an impressive 120º angle of view, which helps to take good shots of landscapes and buildings. In addition, it also allows you to take Macro photos. Other smartphones neglect this camera and the quality of the images is usually quite inferior at night, but Huawei does a good job.

The Ultra Spectrum camera is still a curiosity, since it is intended for fluorescence photography. This camera uses ultraviolet fill light and allows, for example, to know if you have spread sun cream well on your face. Other uses may include creative photography, although personally I haven’t quite seen the use of it.

The front camera has a resolution of 10.7 MP and captures selfies with good quality. It includes a Portrait mode, but, interestingly, it does not apply the bokeh effect in these shots but only lighting and beauty effects. In any case, since the phone is foldable, it is possible to take selfies using the external cameras.

The Huawei P50 Pocket can record video up to [email protected] with the main camera and up to [email protected] with the ultra wide angle and selfie camera, but it does not support 8K recording. Image quality is good even at night, although it does tend to look a bit dark.

In conclusion, the Huawei P50 Pocket ( €1,599) is ideal for those looking for a powerful, attractive and compact smartphone with a large screen. Now, you must be aware of its 4G cellular connectivity limitations and, especially, the absence of Google services.

The best:

  • Very compact design when closed, which allows it to be carried comfortably in a pocket.
  • Screen with excellent color reproduction, high brightness, high contrast, wide color gamut with HDR support, flicker reduction (DC Dimming) and a high refresh rate up to 120 Hz.
  • Fluidity in the use of the phone thanks to the Snapdragon 888 chip accompanied by 12 GB of RAM.
  • EMUI 12 comes with a modern design and useful features, especially if you have other Huawei devices that support Device+.
  • Rear triple camera with angular, ultra wide angle and Ultra Spectrum camera. Good performance of all cameras even in low light.
  • Front camera with good sharpness and image quality.
  • Fast wired charging at 40W (100% charge in about an hour).
  • WiFi 6 connectivity, Bluetooth 5.2, NFC, Dual GPS and infrared emitter.

Worst:

  • Does not include Play Store or Google Mobile Services (GMS). Some apps, even if you install them externally, don’t work without Googe services.
  • Autonomy below other rivals with larger batteries and/or adaptive refresh rates. No wireless charging.
  • Lack of 5G connectivity
  • no water resistance

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Note: The Huawei P50 Pocket phone has been kindly provided by Huawei for this review.

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