Huawei P50 could usher in Android alternative for Huawei flagships

HarmonyOS is set to replace Android on Huawei flagships like the Huawei P50

Huawei P40
(Image credit: Huawei)

Last year, Huawei confirmed it would update its phones that use EMUI 11 to HarmonyOS. A since-deleted Weibo account has offered more information: the Huawei P50 has now reportedly completed the testing period of running HarmonyOS 2.0 Beta 2 and is moving onwards to Beta 3. 

It's already been a busy year for Huawei, launching the sleekly foldable Huawei Mate X2, as the market gears up for an influx of folding and flipping phones, with the likes of the Galaxy Fold series, Samsung Galaxy Z Flip, and the Motorola Razr 2020, having already released their own models. 

If the HarmonyOS information holds to be true, then the Huawei P50 will be the first phone from the Chinese multi-national to arrive with HarmonyOS pre-packaged and installed with the phone. Initially, HarmonyOS launched as an alternative to Android but has been met with claims that there’s no discernible difference between Huawei’s HarmonyOS and Android. And there isn't a great deal.

All of this before Trump reprimanded the company, adding Huawei and its associates to the US Commerce Department's Entity List – a list which offers information around those “engaged in activities that could cause an increased risk of the diversion of exported.” It’s hardly been plain sailing for the Chinese firm.

Much like the Huawei P40 and other Huawei flagships, the Huawei P50 is expected to carry the jaw-dropping camera capabilities of its predecessor. Meanwhile, the Huawei P50 Pro is rumored to hold a curved profile, slimmer bezels, with a small hole-punch for the front camera, if recent reports are to be believed.

Although there’s no concrete information on this yet, the Huawei P50 may get a new 1-inch Sony IMX00 image sensor, with the Chinese firm expected to launch three new P-series smartphones, as follow-ups to the Huawei P40, Huawei P40 Pro, and Huawei P40 Pro Plus.

Seeing as the Huawei P50 could be the first to launch with the pre-installed HarmonyOS, it may leave no choice for users to seek a device from our best Android phones if they don’t fancy getting hitched to HarmonyOS just yet. That said, HarmonyOS appears so closely related to Android that any concerns are probably redundant.

Older models are expected to get the HarmonyOS update from April, following on from the Huawei P50 series, which is expected to launch in the first half of 2021. In the meantime, you can check out our best Huawei phones and T3 will keep you in the loop with any more nuggets of information in the run-up to the release. 


Luke Wilson

Luke is a former news writer at T3 who covered all things tech at T3. Disc golf enthusiast, keen jogger, and fond of all things outdoors (when not indoors messing around with gadgets), Luke wrote about a wide-array of subjects for, including Android Auto, WhatsApp, Sky, Virgin Media, Amazon Kindle, Windows 11, Chromebooks, iPhones and much more, too.