Huawei has entered the clamshell form-factor foldable smartphone market with the P50 Pocket. The new design with diamond-cut outer case is an attractive alternative to Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip 3, and appears to be targeted at the same “fashion conscious” segment. However, its launch price (approx US$1,400 or £1,050) and distribution might put buyers off, for now.
The outer design of the Huawei P50 Pocket is quite striking. Two circular cutouts – a camera array and a small screen – on the upper wing make it quite recognisable. The firm says it was the gold Premium Edition was designed in collaboration with Haute Couture designer Iris Van Herpen, but its flowing patterns/textures might also age it quite quickly. Other colours available have a more subtle carbon fibre texture style finish.
Continuing our examination of the folded device, users have access to a circular 1.04in, 340×340-pixel OLED display. This is good for alerts and widgets, as well as a viewfinder when taking selfies with the primary camera array. On the topic of the cameras, user have access to the functionality afforded by a 40MP quad-pixel camera, a 13MP ultrawide camera with a 120-degree FOV, and a 32MP “ultra spectrum” camera with enhanced HDR.
Flexing the device presents the user with an expansive 21:9 aspect ratio OLED display with a 6.9in diagonal. This display has a 120Hz refresh, a 300Hz touch sampling rate, and 2790×1188 pixels. Huawei’s hinge design means there is no gap near the centre, but it is too early to judge whether the design is good at minimising any crease. As a side note, the recently launched Oppo Find N foldable appears to have tamed folding-screen crease issues. Huawei’s P50 main screen also has a punch hole selfie cam with 10.7MP.
A foldable like the Huawei P50 Pocket is great for portability, and this device weighs in at 190g, and is 15.2mm thick when folded, or 7.2mm when flexed open.
Moving onto the crucial inner tech specs, and you will find a Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 4G processor with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. The Premium Edition lifts the RAM and storage quotas to 12GB and 512GB, respectively.
Other key tech specs are the device’s 4,000mAh battery, with 40W fast charging, and support for Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2 and NFC. A fingerprint sensor is packed into the side power button, but face unlock is supported too. Huawei’s EMUI 12 is installed, which is based on Android 12. Please remember that Huawei can’t bundle the Google Play Store with this device, so you will pick and download apps via Huawei’s AppGallery.
Lastly, the launch price equates to approx US$1,400, or £1,050, and it is initially available in China with worldwide distribution part of the plans that are not public as yet. The Premium Edition is about $300 more expensive. Before signing off, it most be also noted that Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip 3 has been on promotion at prices under $800 in recent weeks.