Huawei has just unveiled its P50 Pocket, the brand’s latest iteration in the very closed sector of folding smartphones.
In the small world of folding smartphones, there are currently two schools. That which relies on a vertical folding to offer a display worthy of a mini-tablet, as for the Galaxy Z Fold or the Mate X from Huawei, and another more discreet until then: that of “clamshell” smartphones. Inspired by this iconic from the 2000s, and a bit also from the Totally Spies compoudier, the Galaxy Z Flip has established itself as a benchmark in the field, even if some brands have since tried to appropriate this format. This is the case of the Motorola Razr 5G or even Oppo which formalized its Find N a few days ago.
This trend has not fallen on deaf ears, and Huawei has therefore logically decided to adapt it on its own. The Chinese brand presents this Wednesday, December 23 its P50 Pocket, with an ambitious design, but still without Google services and 5G.
Meet art and technology
“When art and technology collide”. This is how Huawei defines its new iteration in the folding smartphone market. If the design of Galaxy Z Flip, and its various variations was already particularly ambitious, Huawei is pushing the cursor even further, by offering Premium versions textured in gold or silver. A look that will not please everyone, but which allows the youngest of the manufacturer to stand out from the competition. In collaboration with designer Iris van Herpen, this Premium edition features a texture “foliage” on its outer shell. The classic versions are offered in black and white (without the Iris van Herpen design).
But the main strength of this P50 Pocket is undoubtedly its external display screen. Arranged at the back of the phone, under the photo block, it allows you to consult your notifications without having to open the device. Users will also be able to follow GPS guidance or simply change music through the player. Circular, it measures 1 inch and fits quite well into the ensemble. It also promises to be a big help for selfies with the main camera.
A concession on performance?
The P50 Pocket displays good qualities. First, when unfolded, the main screen (6.9 inches) has a 21: 9 aspect ratio and a refresh rate of 120 Hz. That’s as much as the Galaxy Z Flip 3. Otherwise, the device weighs 190 grams for only 7.2 mm thick. For comparison, the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 displays 183 grams on the scale for 6.9 mm of thickness.
Side autonomy, it will be necessary to count on a battery of 4000 mAh. Otherwise, we obviously find facial recognition, as well as a digital sensor on the side. At a time when the mask is still required in many places, this addition is quite practical.
Under the hood, the Pocket includes a Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 SoC, incompatible with 5 G. However, the founder’s 2021 vintage processor is powerful enough to satisfy demanding users. The Pocket will ship in two separate versions with 256 or 512 GB of storage. It incorporates Wi-Fi 6 compatibility as well as Bluetooth 5.2 and NFC.
Thought for the photo
Who says flip smartphone necessarily means photography. Because yes, it is the main selling point of the manufacturers, the possibility of taking selfies thanks to the external screen as well as a facilitated videoconference installation (when the smartphone is bent at the right angle). The P50 Pocket does not fall short of its commitments, at least on paper.
It includes a 40-megapixel main sensor, a 13-megapixel wide-angle lens and a 32-megapixel “super-spectrum” lens. Huawei announces that the latter can capture a greater range of colors and therefore adapt to many situations. At the front, it is a punch that acts as an internal camera, to take selfies without the mirror mode on the back or simply during visio. It displays 10.7 megapixels.
In China, the P50 is available today with 8 GB of RAM and 256 GB storage at 8,988 yuan, i.e. a little over 1200 euros. The Premium version (12 GB of RAM and 512 GB of storage) is offered at 10,988 yuan (1526 euros). However, devoid of Google services and with Harmony OS 2 as the operating system, it should not be emulated on the old continent.
Moreover, it has so far, no launch in Europe or the United States has been formalized. It must be said that since the American sanctions taken against it, the firm has struggled to impose itself outside its borders. In 2020, the manufacturer saw its sales collapse by 43% compared to 2019. As tempting as the P50 Pocket is, it will undoubtedly be difficult to make people forget the absence of Google services on board.