Huawei P50 release date, price, what you need to know and how the P50 Pro differs

We thought we'd be writing this much earlier in the year, but the Huawei P50 series is here: the new flagship line of Huawei phones has been unveiled at an event in China that was streamed worldwide.

The lateness of the launch could be the result of the ongoing chipset shortage affecting many companies; some observers think the Huawei Mate 50 line has been cancelled as a result, although the company hasn't commented on this.

There are two new handsets, with the 'vanilla' Huawei P50 joined by the P50 Pro, both of which ups the specs another notch.

We tuned into the live event, and below we'll bring you everything you need to know about the Huawei P50 and the Pro ahead of our hands-on reviews.

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? Huawei's new line of top-end smartphones
  • When is it out? August in China, later elsewhere
  • How much will it cost? Mid-range pricing for the P50 and top-end for the Pro

Huawei P50 series release date and price

The Huawei P50 and P50 Pro prices have been confirmed for China, and there are a  few different price points for different storage sizes. Firstly, let's look at the standard Huawei P50 prices, as well as conversions in different regions (these won't necessarily be the on-sale prices in those regions).

Huawei P50 price
RAM / Storage China price US conversion UK conversion AU conversion
8GB / 128GB CNY4,488 $700 £500 $940
8GB / 256GB CNY4,988 $770 £550 $1,040

So that's a fairly typical mid-range price in most regions, though we don't expect the conversions will prove fully accurate if or when the device lands in markets outside China. We don't know a release date in China for the standard model just yet.

Now on to the Huawei P50 Pro price.

Huawei P50 Pro price
RAM / Storage China price US conversion UK conversion AU conversion
8GB / 128GB CNY5,988 $930 £660 $1,250
8GB / 256GB CNY6,588 $1,020 £730 $1,380
8GB / 512GB CNY7,488 $1,160 £830 $1,570
12GB / 512GB CNY7,988 $1,240 £890 $1,670

Those conversions suggest some pretty high prices for the Huawei P50 Pro, especially the 12GB RAM version. It's worth pointing out, that there are 4G and 5G versions of the Huawei P50 Pro, but the prices are the same for equal storage options.

The Huawei P50 Pro release date is August 12 in China, with pre-orders beginning earlier. We'd expect a global launch for both the Pro and the Pro Plus at some point in August or September – although the brand typically doesn't sell its phones in the US.

Design and display

Huawei P50 launch

(Image credit: Huawei)

The Huawei P50 has a flat-edge OLED screen that's 6.5 inches diagonally, and broken up by a central cutout for the front camera on the top edge. The resolution is 1228 x 2700, while the refresh rate is 90Hz and the touch input is 300Hz.

The Huawei P50 Pro has mostly the same display specs, but it's slightly bigger at 6.6 inches, and has a 120Hz refresh rate. Unlike the 'vanilla' phone, its screen curves at the edges.

The phones look pretty similar (other than the display) with the rear cameras housed in two large circles on the back. The devices have USB-C ports, but no 3.5mm headphone jacks.

Huawei made a point of stating that the devices are IP68 resistant against dust and water, and also that they're both fairly lightweight, with the standard model weighing 181g and the Pro 195g – that's a fair bit less than your average iPhone, for example.

Cameras and battery life

Huawei P50 launch

(Image credit: Huawei)

Now onto the department Huawei phones are known for: their cameras. The standard P50 has three rear shooters, with a 50MP main, 12MP periscope zoom and 12MP ultra-wide snapper. That's a fair complement of cameras, with the periscope module supporting 5x optical zoom.

The P50 Pro has 64MP telephoto , 50MP main, 40MP monochrome and 13MP ultra-wide cameras – that's a series of very high-res snappers, with the periscope one apparently facilitating a head-scratching 200x digital zoom (as well as 3.5x optical).

The front-facing camera on both those phones is 13MP, so a little low-res compared to the other snappers, but more than you'll need for selfies.

The Huawei P50 has a 4,100mAh battery, while if you opt for the Pro you're getting a slightly bigger 4,360mAh power pack. Both of those figures seem quite modest for a flagship phone, so we hope there are some smart software optimizations to keep the devices ticking over for a decent length of time.

There's 66W wired charging for both handsets, which is pretty fast for a smartphone, though about the same as for other flagships on the market. The Pro also has 50W wireless charging.

Performance and software

Huawei P50 launch

(Image credit: Huawei)

All new Huawei P50 phones run HarmonyOS 2, the company's Android rival that it unveiled earlier in the year. Admittedly the software doesn't feel a million miles from Android, but it brings a few changes.

Firstly, Huawei's AppStore has a fairly limited number of apps on it, although you can work around this by using Petal Search, a way of installing other apps you want from the web.

HarmonyOS was designed to work well in collaboration with other Huawei devices, so if you have a tablet or smartwatch from the company you should be able to make the most of it.

So what about the chipset? In the Huawei P50 it's the Snapdragon 888, the top-end processor available to Android phones – but with one change. It's a 4G version, so neither the Huawei P50 or P50 Pro let you connect to 5G networks.

The Huawei P50 Pro has the SNapdragon 888 4G or the Kirin 9000, giving you a 5G option if you prefer.

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