We managed to get our hands on the orange and vegan leather variation, complete with rose gold finishes.
Featuring Huawei’s new XMAGE camera imaging technology, the star of this phone is its powerful camera setup which we’ll be trying out extensively. But before we get into its performance, let’s discuss the specs.
Orange is the new black
With sleek and smooth curved edges along the sides, the 6.74-inch notched screen has an OLED display, a 2616 x 1212p resolution, and a refresh rate of up to 120Hz.
The orange version we have in particular is encased in Kunlun glass, a material Huawei developed to be extra scratch- and drop-resistant. It even obtained the first-ever five-star glass drop resistance certification from Switzerland’s SGS.
To exhibit its strength, netizens have taken to using it to crack walnuts. Huawei has joined in on the fun too, using the same walnut demonstration in its Malaysian premiere launch earlier this month.
The orange version also features a vegan leather rear that feels rather textured yet smooth to the touch. My favourite thing besides the vibrant colour is that it’s totally resistant to fingerprints, something I often struggle with. Plus, the orange is the only version that comes with 8GB RAM + 512GB ROM option.
These extra perks of the orange phone explain why it’s priced higher than the black and silver models at RM5,299, compared to the RM4,499 price tag for the other two colourways.
Paying great attention to the details, the Huawei Mate 50 Pro features a new kind of pattern called Clous de Paris on the ring encircling the cameras. It’s a nice little detail that feels quite premium, though I’m not sure if it adds that much to the overall look of the phone.
Speaking of the overall look, I wasn’t really sold on the symmetrical design at first, but it kind of grew on me. The orange colourway definitely looks the best out of the lot for me, even though some would probably think it’s too loud.
Housed within the rose gold ring is the camera setup includes a 50MP ultra-aperture camera, 13 MP, F2.2 ultra-wide angle camera, and 64MP, F3.5 telephoto camera.
The main camera has laser autofocus, optical image stabilisation, and a 10-size adjustable physical F1.4~F4.0 aperture. Meanwhile, the front camera is a 13MP, F2.6 shooter.
Even though I’m not confident in my photography skills, the Huawei Mate 50 Pro made me feel like a total pro with all its capture modes, including Night, Super Macro, Macro, Master AI, and more.
I enjoyed how the phone quickly recognises the context, such as food or greenery, and adjusts the colours to bring out the best in such photos.
The physical and virtual aperture modes were also really fun to try out, and both have their own use cases.
Using the virtual aperture gives you more control as it lets you edit the focus after shooting, while giving a more pronounced bokeh look. On the other hand, the physical aperture gives a more natural result that mimics a professional camera.
The phone came in clutch during my stay at DoubleTree by Hilton Shah Alam i-City. From the 17th floor, I was able to zoom in and take clear images of construction sites on the ground with the 10x zoom, and buildings in the far distance with the 100x zoom.
Of course, much of this is probably bolstered by the software’s AI, but I find myself not minding it that much.
I was also able to take gorgeous views of the i-City theme park, which is known for its lights, thanks to the phone’s night photography capabilities.
Using the Pro mode, I was also able to capture photos that I otherwise wouldn’t have been able to. I was able to adjust the depth of field and capture a close-up shot of droplets on a window, creating a bokeh effect of the lights from the nightscape.
Other than adjusting the aperture, you can use the Pro mode to adjust settings such as the ISO, white balance, shutter speed, and more.
Oh, and I also managed to take some pretty decent selfies, if I can say so myself.
However, I found that videos with this phone weren’t as great, giving a grainier and more washed-out look. With that said, you can also take videos using the physical or virtual aperture modes, as well as the Pro mode, which gives a higher-quality result.
Let’s take a closer look
Just in case you don’t believe how good the zoom function is, we’ve devised a quick little game here for you. Here, we have a zoomed-in photo, and a zoomed-out photo, and you have to spot where the zoomed-in image is located in the zoomed-out one. Get it?
Here’s an easy one to start with. You can click on the plus sign on the right side of the screen to find the answer.
Did you get that one? Let’s try a harder one. Look very closely!
Okay, we’ve probably graduated from the 10x zoom now. Let’s try a 100x zoom instead. An easy one to start with…
With this phone, you can easily do some sight-seeing without ever having to leave the hotel room.
Moving on to our final challenge, can you spot this AEON building?
How many of those did you get, and how long did it take you to spot each one? I don’t know about you, but these are details I would have likely missed with my naked eye.
Ideal for mobile photographers
While the camera certainly takes the cake for being the most impressive feature on the Huawei Mate 50 Pro, the flagship phone isn’t lacking either when it comes to other aspects.
With its 4,700 mAh battery, I found the battery life to be decent, especially since I was playing with the camera quite intensively.
On top of that, the phone also has a low-battery emergency mode that’ll kick into gear when the battery level drops to 1%. This will give users enough juice for a 12-minute call or three hours of standby. As someone who always forgets my power bank, this is incredible.
The IP68 water and dust resistance rating is pretty standard for flagship phones now. But interestingly, while the silver and black versions are protected against harmful ingress of static water at up to two metres, the orange model can take six metres for up to 30 minutes.
It’s been talked about ad nauseum, but a major downside is still Huawei’s lack of Google services and 5G connectivity. Together, this is cause enough for most people to be hesitant about switching over, especially in this day and age.
But for those looking for a powerful mobile camera, the Huawei Mate 50 Pro is a really solid option. Sure, you might not be able to transfer your photos onto your Google Drive, but there are always workarounds for that.
|Impressive and powerful camera setup that’s ideal for mobile photographers||Video quality can be better|
|Orange vegan leather option is beautiful and boasts greater specs||Only the orange colourway has the added features such as the Kunlun glass|
|Great battery life that supports fast-charging|
VP Verdict is a series where we personally try and test out products, services, fads, and apps. Want to suggest something else for us to try? Leave a comment here or send the suggestion to our Facebook page.