Huawei Mate 50 Pro

With the Mate 50 and Mate 50 Pro, Huawei is launching the first smartphones with a satellite connection

While we had hoped that the iPhone 14 would be the first consumer smartphone to benefit from satellite connectivity, it ultimately won’t be. Because Huawei was a small step ahead with the unveiling of its new Mate 50 and Mate 50 Pro.

Even though Huawei Still in turmoil due to US sanctions and struggling to entice users with its smartphones without Google services, the Chinese giant continues to innovate. Evidenced by its brand new flagships, Mate 50 and Mate 50 Pro.

If the two smartphones still offer a whole range of technologies, starting with one digital zoom up to 200x and a main lens with an adjustable aperture on the Mate 50 Pro are both devices too and above all able to send SMS messages via BeiDou’s global satellite network.

The Mate 50 and Mate 50 Pro offer satellite connectivity ahead of the iPhone

The iPhone 14, which will be presented in a few hours, will not be the first smartphone that can make calls via satellite. Aside from the deal issue that seems to exist between Apple and its partners, it was Huawei that stole the show by launching the Mate 50 and Mate 50 Pro. These two smartphones are indeed compatible with satellite connection. Note, however, that the satellite network can only be used to contact in emergencies.

That major innovation aside, the Mate 50 and Mate 50 Pro both stand in the purest tradition of Huawei flagships. Each comes with a Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1, 8GB of RAM and a storage capacity of 128 or 256GB (or even 512GB for the Mate 50 Pro). While both are compatible with 66W fast charging, the Mate 50 Pro benefits from a 4,700mAh battery and the Mate 50 from a 4,460mAh battery. As an aside, note that the two smartphones won’t benefit from the 100W fast charging announced last week for Huawei’s Nova 10 Pro, a smartphone that’s sold much cheaper. Also note that the Mate 50 and Mate 50 Pro are like all Huawei smartphones sold for the past 2 years lack of 5G connectivity.

Huawei Mate 50
The Huawei Mate 50.

On the screen side, the Mate 50 Pro is a 6.74-inch device that offers a resolution of 2616 x 1212 pixels. There’s a curved screen on the sides, as seen on previous iterations of the Mate Pro. The Mate 50 offers a screen diagonal of 6.7″ and a resolution of 2700 x 1224 pixels. On the other hand, the Mate 50 Pro achieves a 120Hz refresh rate, while the Mate 50 is capped at 90Hz.

Huawei says goodbye to Leica?

The back of the device is similar to that of the Mate 40 Pro that we reviewed two years ago. On the other hand, the Leica logo is gone, and with good reason. The exclusive partnership between the two brands no longer exists as Leica recently approached Xiaomi with the 12S series.

Despite this small disappointment, we hope Huawei retains its place on the podium when it comes to photophones. Especially since the Mate 50 Pro has it under its belt as it offers an adjustable aperture from f/1.4 to f/4.0. With its main sensor of 50 MP, its ultra wide angle of 13 MP and its telephoto lens of 64 MP (which allows digital zooming in 200x), the smartphone has enough to pull Google’s Pixel 6 Pro or higher than the Oppo FindX 5 Pro… At least on the paper.

Huawei Mate 50 Pro
The Huawei Mate 50 and Mate 50 Pro are both IP68 certified.

The Mate 50, despite appearing at a lower price, also has serious advantages in terms of photography. It has the same characteristics as its predecessor, with one difference: its telephoto lens is only 12 MP.

Both devices have only been announced in China so far. On the price side, it will take time 4999 yuan to purchase the Mate 50 (about 720 euros) and 6799 yuan for the Mate 50 Pro (about 980 euros). It is currently unknown if Huawei intends to market them in Europe and more specifically in France.

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