Following a few recent teaser looks, Chinese mobile tech giant Huawei has launched its latest take on the folding phone, the P50 Pocket. The stylish clamshell handset brings a small outer notification window, some intriguing camera technology, and a flush fold.
Though until fairly recently, the P50 Pocket might have been viewed as a serious rival to the Galaxy Flip 3, but thanks to US sanctions Samsung can rest a little easier. And as Huawei is no longer able to offer full access to Google’s Android platform, the new flagship smartphone runs the company’s own HarmonyOS.
Users can look forward to a gap-free fold when popping the handset in, well, a pocket though, which is a bit of an improvement on the Flip 3. The outer housing is home to a triple camera block comprising a 40-MP True-Chroma main camera with a F1.8 aperture, a 13-MP ultra-wide with a F2.2 aperture and a 32-MP “ultra-spectrum” camera, also with a F1.8 aperture.
Those camera modules combine with a multi-spectrum sensor, an “ultra spectrum illuminator” and an autofocus laser to form an “Ultra Spectrum Camera Matrix” that can help tease out natural tones while also enabling a fluorescent photography mode for capturing details and colors not visible to the human eye. And as well, as still images, the array supports 4K UHD video capture or Full HD for super slow motion at up to 960 frames per second.
Next to the cameras is a 1.04-inch circular OLED window for glancing at notifications, schedules, the weather, fitness metrics, turn-by-turn navigation or even just to check the time.
When unfolded into smartphone mode, the main OLED screen across the hinge measures 6.9 diagonal inches at 21:9 aspect, and has a refresh rate of up to 120 Hz, a resolution of 2,790 x 1,188 pixels and a touch sampling rate of 300 Hz. It’s also reported to support the DCI-P3 color gamut “for authentic tones and picture.”
A Nano Optical Layer has been included to reduce glare, and Huawei reckons that the handset “unfolds without any sign of creasing.” There’s a 10.7-MP holepunch selfiecam in the main screen too, though users may opt to use the main camera in combination with the touch-enabled notification window for the prospect of higher resolution selfies.
Inside, Huawei has opted for the Snapdragon 888 4G mobile platform with an octa-core processor and Adreno 660 GPU – so yes, no 5G here. The standard P50 Pocket comes in white with diamond dappling and has 8 GB of RAM and 256 GB of storage, while a premium gold model sporting a feather-like shimmer to the outer housing bumps that up to 12 GB of RAM and 512 GB of storage.
Rounding out the key specs, there’s a 4,000-mAh battery and support for 40-W charging (though an optional SuperCharge cable and charger is needed), Bluetooth 5.2 is included with support for high-resolution streaming courtesy of the LDAC codec, Wi-Fi 6 is cooked in as well, and the phone can be unlocked using a face scan or fingerprint reader to the side. And as a privacy measure, the camera, microphone or GPS can be disabled when the device is folded in the pocket.
The P50 Pocket is available in China now for a starting price of 8,988 yuan (~US1,400 – though this phone won’t be available to US markets).
Product page: Huawei P50 Pocket