Honor is back with the Honor 50 – and this time there's Google onboard


Honor has launched the Honor 50, its latest smartphone, at an event in China. While initially launching for the Chinese market, Honor has confirmed that it will have a full global launch, seeing the return of Google services.

When Huawei was put in the US Entity list in 2019, Honor as a subsidiary was caught up in the ban. Honor subsequently became an independent company, opening the door to suppliers and providers that remain inaccessible to Huawei.

That means that you’ll be able to get the Honor 50 globally, with the Magic UI interface running over the top of Android and all those Google services in place. That could be hugely significant, as it restores appeal to Honor’s devices that was missing because of the previous ban.

Honor has said as much to us in a statement: “Honor devices will undergo Google’s Play Protect certified security review and compatibility testing process to ensure they are ready to run apps from Google and the Google Play Store. Honor devices will therefore have the option to have Google Mobile Services (“GMS”) preinstalled on compatible devices, in accordance with Google’s licensing and governance models.”

There are two devices in the series, the Honor 50 and Honor 50 Pro. The different between these devices appears to be the OLED screen size, with the Honor 50 getting a 6.57-inch display and the Honor 50 Pro larger at 6.72-inches, with a 2576 x 1236 pixel resolution.

Both support 120Hz refresh rates, with 300Hz touch sampling.

Again reflecting the acceptance of US companies, Honor is now working with Qualcomm, so there’s the Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G 5G sitting at the heart of this phone.

The Honor 50 gets a slightly larger battery at 4300mAh, while the Pro has a 4000mAh battery – the reason appears to be the charging rates offered. While the regular phone will charge at 66W, the Pro will charge at 100W, which is super fast.

But Honor would rather you pay attention to the cameras. There are dual selfie cameras on the front of the Pro, with the justification being that one can take great detailed selfies, with a 32-megapixel resolution, while the 12-megapixel camera has a wider angle, perfect for video. The Honor 50 only gets the single 32-megapixel main selfie camera.

This reflects the growing popularity of services like TikTok or Instagram Reels, with front camera being used for a lot more these days. There’s also the option to use your Bluetooth headset in video capture to boost the audio.

There’s a smart wide-angle shifting option, so if you can’t fit everyone in the picture, it can adjust the view shifting over to the wider lens to give you the better shot when it detects more faces.

Honor isn’t hiding anything around the back of the phone with two huge rings on the back housing the cameras. The top is the home of the new 100-megapixel main camera, with a 1/1.52in sensor, f/1.9 aperture.

The second ring houses the 8-megapixel ultra-wide, 2-megapixel macro and 2-megapixel depth camera – which sounds a little like Honor is cramming in too many lenses to make it sound impressive.

That’s pretty common in this segment of the market where there’s a lot of competition on the spec sheet. Pre-orders have opening in China, but we’ll be hearing more about the international availability and prices on 25 June.


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