Yesterday’s Honor launch in China revealed three impressive versions of its new Honor 50 smartphone. The former subsidiary of Huawei appears to have big aspirations as an independent company, and these new smartphones are certainly a sign that they mean business.
In addition to the Honor 50, there is a trimmed down Honor 50 SE and a flagship Honor 50 Pro which boasts some extra features. All three models follow a very similar design, with a large near-bezel-free display and two large circular camera bumps on the rear that are modeled on an old twin-lens camera.
While these launches often result in phones that only see the light of day in China, it was also confirmed that the Honor 50 will be released internationally at the end of the month, including the UK, Europe and South Africa – though not the US or Australia.
- Spatial Audio and lossless available for Android devices with Apple Music Beta
- Huawei Watch 3: the stunning new Harmony OS smart watch
- The OnePlus and Oppo merger could be just what the companies need
The Honor 50 features a 6.57-inch OLED (2340x1080) waterfall display that angles down over the sides of the phone. The screen also has a 120Hz refresh rate and 300Hz sample rate.
The first of the two circular camera bumps is taken up by a giant f/1.9 lens, behind which is the 108MP 1/1.52inch sensor that acts as the main camera. This, it seems, can use nine pixels in one to create a 12MP image with DSLR-like qualities. The lower circle contains the 8MP wide-angle, 2MP macro and 2MP depth of field cameras, plus the LED flash.
On the front, the Honor 50 features a high-resolution 32MP f/2.2 punch hole camera. This is designed for v-logging and can switch from a 78-degree field of view to a wide-angle view when needed for group shots. Meanwhile, the software allows you to record from multiple cameras at once, including the front and rear options. You can also use a headset to provide the microphone for any audio captured.
Super-fast charging is available, allowing the 4300mAh battery to be fully charged in 45 minutes using the 66W charger, and can take it to 70% charge in 20 minutes. Inside, the Honor 50 features the Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G 5G processor and a Turbo X GPU. There are also dual SIM slots, 8GB RAM and a choice of 128GB or 256GB storage models.
The price in China for the Honor 50 starts from 2699RMB (£302/$423/AU$554), though I suspect the price will be higher internationally.
The Honor Pro is the flagship model but features a similar spec list to the Honor 50. It does have a larger 6.72inch OLED (2676x1236) waterfall display, while maintaining the 120Hz refresh rate and 300Hz sampling.
While the rear camera array is identical, the front features a second wide-angle 12MP f/2.4 camera. This second camera is designed more for video but also allows the phone to switch to the wider view when needed.
The other main difference in the Honor 50 Pro is the fast charging. This ups the ante even further by thanks to a 100W Super Charge. This allows for a full charge in 25 minutes, or to 90% in 20 minutes. It does feature a slightly smaller 4,000mAh battery though.
The Honor 50 Pro comes with 8GB RAM and 256GB storage and is priced RMB3699 (£413/$578/AU$759) in China. There are currently no plans to make this model available globally.
Honor 50 SE
The SE version is very much a stripped-down version of the Honor 50. It features a larger 6.78-inch (2388x1080) display but this is an LCD screen rather than OLED and doesn’t feature the same waterfall design. It still has a 120Hz refresh rate but lists a lower 240Hz sample rate.
The main camera is a very slightly lower 100MP, while the second bump is filled with a single 8MP wide angle lens. The 2MP Macro lens and flash sit outside of the bumps and there is no depth of field lens. The front camera is a single, lower res 16MP unit too.
It uses the same 66W charge as the Honor 50 but thanks to the smaller 4000mAh battery, can provide a full charge in 37 minutes. The Honor 50 SE is powered by a MediaTek Dimensity 900 chip, rather than the Snapdragon CPUs in the 50 and 50 Pro, which help with the cost saving, though offers a very comparable performance overall.
The Honor 50SE features 8GB RAM and 128GB, it is priced RMB2399 (£268/$375in China with no plans for a global release.