Huawei’s P50 lineup is powered by HarmonyOS 2 but lacks 5G

Some models use Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 888 chipset.


Huawei has revealed the P50 and P50 Pro, its first flagship phones that use HarmonyOS 2 from the outset. The company started rolling out the operating system to its existing devices in early June.

The switch to HarmonyOS was made in part due to US sanctions that have hit Huawei. Along with slowing down manufacturing and hobbling the company’s ability to source components with American technology, the restrictions led to Google shutting off Huawei from official Android updates. Huawei switched to an open-source version. It was also prevented from using Google apps and services on its most recent phones. There have been suggestions that HarmonyOS is actually a fork of open-source Android.

The sanctions also seem to have impacted Huawei's choice of processor in the latest handsets, too. The P50 and one of the P50 Pro variants boast Qualcomm's Snapdragon 888 4G chipset with Adreno 660 graphics. Qualcomm received permission in November to sell some chips to Huawei. The other models use Huawei's own Kirin 9000 processor, but there's no mention of 5G support for any of the devices.

The P50 and P50 Pro, which are aimed at the Chinese market, boast 6.5-inch and 6.6-inch displays, with 90Hz and 120Hz refresh rates respectively. Both devices use the same hole-punch front-facing 13MP camera.

The P50 Pro's rear camera array includes 50MP color and 40MP mono True-Chroma lenses, a 13MP ultra-wide and a 64MP telephoto camera. The P50 has a 50MP True-Chroma camera, a 13MP ultra-wide and a 12MP telephoto lens. The devices are IP68-rated for their splash, water and dust resistance.

The phones both support 66W super-fast wired charging, and the P50 Pro offers 50W wireless charging. The P50 has a 4100mAh battery, while the P50 Pro has a 4360mAh capacity.

The P50 starts at 4,488 yuan (approximately $695) for a model with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. It'll be available in September. The P50 Pro, meanwhile, will be available broadly on August 12th, starting at 5,988 yuan (about $927) for the same memory and storage capacity as the base P50. Huawei hasn't clarified if or when it'll sell the devices outside of China.

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