In 2019, the Honor brand introduced its first significant worldwide phone, the Honor 20, and the Honor 50 is that device’s successor. A company-wide prohibition on using Google applications applied to all Huawei devices, including Honor, at the time. When Huawei sold the Honor sub-brand to a Chinese business in January 2021, Honor regained access to these applications.
For all its good intentions, Honor isn’t exactly making a roaring comeback on the world scene. Even while the Honor 50 is a good smartphone, it isn’t anything special.
Yes, that’s correct. In addition to its initial summer debut, the Honor 50 is a carbon copy of the Huawei Nova 9, introduced internationally in September 2021 and identical in style and features but for the primary camera. As a result, the Honor 50 isn’t a game-changer when it comes to Android smartphones.
The Honor 50 doesn’t need to reinvent the wheel, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be an adorable wheel in some instances, as it is. The Honor 50 offers a vibrant screen, two effective cameras (the 108MP primary and 32MP selfie cameras), and a battery that lasts long. It also boasts a well-designed user interface, is comfortable in hand, and is powerful enough for most of our gaming demands.
The underlying problem with the Honor 50 is that it doesn’t do enough to stand out from the pack. No specific selling factors or characteristics make it simple to suggest this mid-range smartphone in today’s competitive market. Despite its multifaceted nature, it is an amateur in every field.
Even down to its size, weight, and back camera design, the Honor 50 is identical to the Huawei Nova 9. Even though the two firms have divorced, it’s clear that they haven’t completely moved on.
The gadget is 160 x 73.8 x 7.8 mm in size and weighs barely 175 grammes. Because of its curved screen, this phone is easy to grasp with one hand, yet its edges have a modest angle that helps to avoid snafus. The power button on the right side is a nice touch, and it’s simple to get to. USB-C is utilized for charging and data transmission; however, there is no 3.5mm headphone jack on the phone. If you’re a lover of wired audio, you’ll either need a USB-C adapter or wireless headphones.
In addition to black, silver and green hues (the latter of which might seem grey in some lighting conditions), the phone is also available in white and rose gold finishes. There’s also a pearlescent variant with Honor’s name emblazoned over the back; this model may take some getting used to.
The camera bump on the phone’s back consists of two rings, the upper one housing the primary camera lens and the bottom one housing the three additional lenses and the flash module. The bumps on the phone’s back aren’t very noticeable, but they’re prominent enough to cause the phone to wobble when placed flat.
There is no IP rating for the phone, and Honor warns on its FAQ page that “the Honor 50 does not provide water or dust resistance.” As a result, you should avoid putting the phone in water and cover it to keep it clean and free of debris.
The Honor 50’s display is a big hit with us. FHD+ resolution, 120Hz refresh rate, and 300Hz touch input rate make this a 6.57-inch OLED display. A cut-out breaks up the edges of the display curve and for the front camera at the top edge.
When the average display on a phone price is so beautiful, it’s not wrong to have some mediocre specs. Playing games and watching films on the monitor was enjoyable, thanks to its vibrant colour palette and impressive maximum brightness.
We’d suggest the Honor 50 to those who aren’t blown away by high refresh rates since the phone’s motion appeared even smoother than on other 120Hz screens. It seems that the software animations in the user interface were built to match this rapid pace of progress.
The always-on display option didn’t always work for us, which was a display problem. We couldn’t understand why it worked sometimes and not other times — phones with AODs often turn it off when the device is face down, but that wasn’t our experience with the Honor 50. However, after a few more weeks of testing the Honor 50, we still have no idea what’s going on with this particular problem.
There are four cameras on the back of the Honor 50, but although the primary camera is excellent, the rest of the cameras aren’t quite up to it. As a result, the primary camera uses 9-to-1 pixel binning, which means that the camera merges all nine pixels into one to produce the best picture possible. To capture 12MP photos, the sensor must be able to see a lot of light.
Even in low-light conditions, the photographs shot by its primary camera appeared bold and vivid, which isn’t something we can claim with all 108MP camera phones. When photographing close-ups, autofocus is swift, and the depth of field seems realistic.
However, we were able to take lovely photos of fireworks and flames that weren’t as overblown or hidden as we’ve seen on other phones we’ve tried, thanks to the primary camera’s low-light capabilities. However, with Xiaomi’s Redmi Note 10 Pro and Realme’s 8 Pro already out there, Honor’s scene-optimization AI might make this phone one of the finest with a high-resolution sensor.
The 8MP ultra-wide, 2MP depth-sensing, and 2MP macro lenses are next on the list. Generally, the primary camera’s photos are more vibrant in colour and resolution than those taken by the secondary camera.
Phone companies are increasingly integrating low-quality auxiliary cameras such as this one that doesn’t provide much value, and the 2MP camera is the actual weak point here. This camera’s depth sensor didn’t appear to contribute anything new to our conventional lens view, and the macro images were blurry and distorted.
When it comes to photography, the Honor 50’s 2MP dual-camera setup is noticeably lacking. If it were replaced with a Xiaomi-style specialized macro camera or even a telephoto snapper, the phone would be a lot easier to recommend.
We’re most enthusiastic about the Honor 50’s 32MP selfie camera, which we hope you’ll enjoy using. Enhanced lighting and shadows help subjects stand out, while natural-looking depth effects make images seem fantastic.
If you’re looking for a phone that can take great selfies even in low-light situations, go no further than Samsung’s Galaxy S7 Edge. As with any other Snapdragon 778G phone, video recording can go up to 4K at 30fps or 1080p at 60fps. Unless you’re a professional cameraman, you generally don’t need a higher performance.
There are also several other modes worth mentioning: multi-video, which lets you simultaneously record from both the front and back cameras; aperture, which is a spin on the ‘Portrait’-style method but designed for objects; storey, which lets you shoot multiple short video snippets and then edit them together with music; and timelapse, which enables you to record a sequence of images and then combine them into a video. However, we didn’t find ourselves employing any of these modes regularly when filming or taking photos.