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Huawei Mate 50 Pro hands-on: A promising camera powerhouse

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The Huawei Mate 50 Pro is the latest and greatest smartphone from Huawei. This is the company’s new flagship offering, which initially launched at the beginning of September. It took the phone a bit of time to arrive to global markets, but it’s now finally here. It’s available to pre-order in the UK, and is looking to spread its influence to more European markets soon. That being said, the Huawei Mate 50 Pro review unit arrived to our offices, and we managed to get our initial hands-on time with it, along with first impressions.

For full disclosure, I’ve been using the phone for about a day before writing this article. I have to be honest, I always expect quality when it comes to Huawei, but this phone managed to surprise me. Its design and camera performance were the two main surprise aspects for me, even though I had high hopes to begin with. Truth be said, these are only initial impressions, I have plenty of testing to do, and quite frankly nothing I say here is final, basically. I’ll lay it all out in the full review.

The Huawei Mate 50 Pro feels great in the hand, it doesn’t feel large or bulky at all

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Let’s start with the design. The Huawei Mate 50 Pro model that we got is made out of metal, glass, and vegan leather. It has an orange-colored vegan leather backplate, which matches a bronze-colored frame and camera island. That is complemented by a curved glass panel on the back. The display is protected by Kunlun glass, and Huawei vouches for its toughness. We’ll see. The first thing I do when I receive a phone for review is remove the plastic screen protector, if there is one. That way, we can all get the best idea of what the screen looks like, feels, holds up, and how the fingerprint scanner performs.

The Huawei Mate 50 Pro is not a small device, not at all. In fact, it includes a 6.74-inch display, and it’s quite large. Truth be said, it doesn’t feel as large. I’ve used smaller devices that feel both larger and bulkier than this. It doesn’t even feel like it weighs 205 grams, and it does. Huawei did a great job when it comes to weight distribution on this phone, and I cannot stress that enough. The phone sits really nicely in the hand, and that vegan leather back is only a plus. It makes the phone sits nicely in the hand without giving you the feeling of holding a bar of soap. It doesn’t slip around, and feels premium at the same time. That’s definitely a winning combination.

The camera setup looks promising, and the initial camera samples are excellent

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What about the cameras? Well, I’ve been shooting pictures since yesterday, and my initial impressions are excellent, actually. I expected a good camera, as I usually do out of Huawei phones, but I did not expect this. The Huawei Mate Xs 2 and P50 Pocket had good cameras, but ever since the Huawei P50 Pro, they weren’t class-leading. Well, the Huawei Mate 50 Pro sure does seem promising. The main camera is called the Ultra Aperture XMAGE camera, and it features a unique lens with variable aperture. There are 10 steps available, and this camera performs great. I really don’t want to spoil anything for the review, nor did I spend nearly enough time with the camera, but the initial images are truly impressive, in both day and night.

There are actually three cameras on the back here, plus a color temperature sensor. In addition to the 50-megapixel main camera that we just mentioned, there’s also a 13-megapixel ultrawide camera, and a 64-megapixel periscope telephoto camera. Images from the telephoto and ultrawide cameras also look promising, as do the macro shots. I spent a lot of time taking macro shots today, in fact, they’re that good. There’s a lot to test out here, and I barely scratched the surface, but it seems like my caution due to the XMAGE imaging rebrand was unfounded.

You get two secure biometric solutions, and they both worked great for me… thus far

What else is there to say? Well, the Huawei Mate 50 Pro comes with advanced facial scanning, which seems to work very well. So does the phone’s in-display fingerprint scanner, which is an optical scanner. It is extremely fast and accurate. So you have two excellent biometric solutions to choose from here, which is a rarity. This is basically the only modern phone that offers both, without one of them being not-as-secure, yes, I’m looking at you, Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro. The facial scanning does mean you have to put up with that notch at the top, but quite frankly, it’s not as tall as it may seem, and I got used to it almost immediately.

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There’s a lot more to say here, but let’s save all that for the full review. I’ll continue using the phone, and put it through its paces. Let’s see what else it has to offer. While you wait for that, however, feel free to check out the attached images, to take a closer look at the phone.

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