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Innovation

Huawei's Mate 50 Pro with variable aperture camera gets an international launch

Innovative hardware, but expensive considering the absence of Google Mobile Services and 5G support.
Written by Charles McLellan, Senior Editor on
Huawei Mate 50 Pro
Image: Huawei

Huawei's Mate series of flagship-class smartphones has always been a showcase for handset innovation, and this year's Mate 50 Pro continues that tradition, introducing a 50MP Ultra Aperture camera with a 10-size adjustable physical aperture. Unveiled in China on September 6, the Mate 50 Pro has now launched on the international market. 

Huawei continues to labour under the weight of US sanctions, which explains the absence of Google Mobile Services and lack of 5G support in the Mate 50 Pro's Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chipset. The Mate 50 Pro also uses Chinese-made Kunlun Glass rather than Gorilla Glass to protect the 6.74-inch, 120Hz OLED display.  

Compared to the Chinese version of the Mate 50 Pro, the international model runs EMUI 13, based on open-source Android, rather than HarmonyOS 3.0, and lacks satellite messaging support due to its use of the Beidou system. 

Here's how the Mate 50 Pro stacks up against its Mate 40 Pro predecessor: 



Huawei Mate 50 ProHuawei Mate 40 Pro
Dimensions75.5mm x 162.1mm x 8.5mm75.5mm x 162.9mm x 9.1mm (glass back)/9.5mm (leather back)
Weight209g (glass back), 205g (vegan leather back)212g
Colourssilver, black (glass back), orange (vegan leather back)silver, white, black, green, yellow
Display6.74-inch OLED, 2616 x 1212 pixels (428ppi), 120Hz refresh, 300Hz touch sampling, 10-bit colour (1.07bn colours), 100% DCI-P36.76-inch OLED, 2772 x 1344 pixels (456ppi), 90Hz refresh, 240Hz touch sampling, 8-bit colour (16.7m colours)
Dust & water resistanceIP68IP68
ChipsetQualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 4GKirin 9000 5G
RAM8GB8GB
Internal storage256GB, 512GB128GB, 256GB, 512GB
External storageHuawei NM slot (shared with SIM)Huawei NM slot (shared with SIM)
OSopen-source Android + EMUI 13Android 10 + EMUI 11
Google Mobile Servicesnono
Rear cameras50MP Ultra Aperture (f/1.4-f/4, OIS)• 13MP Ultra Wide Angle (f/2.2) • 64MP Telephoto (f/3.5, OIS)50MP Ultra Vision (f/1.9) • 20MP Cine (f/1.8) • 12MP Telephoto (f/3.4, OIS)
Front cameras13MP Ultra Wide Angle (f/2.4) • 3D Depth Sensing Camera13MP Ultra Vision Selfie (f/2.4) • 3D Depth Sensing Camera
Battery capacity4700mAh4400mAh
Battery charging66W wired • 50W wireless • 7.5W reverse wireless66W wired • 50W wireless • 5W reverse wireless
Price€1299 (8GB/256GB, silver/black) • €1399 (8GB/512GB, orange leather)€1199 

The Mate 50 Pro is available in silver or black with a glass back, or orange with a vegan leather back. It offers flagship-class IP68 dust and water resistance, with the glass-back versions certified for immersion in up to two metres of water for up to 30 minutes and the leather-back version able to be submerged in up to 6m for the same amount of time. Huawei also claims a five-star glass drop resistance rating from Switzerland's SGS for the Kunlun Glass screen. 

The headline feature, though, is the 50MP Ultra Aperture camera, which uses six blades and 10 positions to vary the size of the camera's aperture – from f/1.4 to f/4.0. In Auto mode the aperture is selected for you, while Professional mode lets you achieve exactly the required depth of field.

Also: Best cheap 5G phone 2022: No need to pay flagship prices for quality devices

The other rear cameras are a 13MP ultra-wide angle/macro camera (f/2.2) and a 64MP periscope telephoto camera (f/3.5) with 3.5x optical zoom and optical image stabilisation (OIS). The front camera, a 13MP ultra-wide angle unit (f/2.4), occupies an in-screen notch along with a 3D depth-sensing camera for face authentication. There's also an in-screen fingerprint sensor. 

The Mate 50 Pro is powered by a 4700mAh battery and supports wired charging at 66W, wireless charging at 50W and reverse wireless charging at 7.5W.

Huawei Mate 50 Pro: silver & black
Images: Huawei

The Huawei Mate 50 will cost €1,299 (~$1,250 / £1,160) in silver or black with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, or €1,399 (~$1,350 / £1,250) in orange with 8GB/512GB. 

There's no word from Huawei on the international availability of other variants such as the Mate 50, 50E or Mate 50 RS Porsche Design.

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