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We test the Honor 50: the first cell phone without Huawei yet

Huawei, which has been so affected by the restrictions imposed by the U.S. government, decided to give a second chance to Honor, its brand of economic cell phones. This was sold to a consortium of Chinese companies to avoid disappearing and became an independent company of Huawei. In this way, it has been able to avoid a veto that prevents, among other things, devices from using Google services. After several months in the shadows, Honor began launching smartphones in its home country, and expanded to the rest of the market with the Honor 50, its current – and only – flagship in Spain. Although the Honor 50 is the brand’s most powerful smartphone in Europe, it does not compete against the big flagships of Samsung, Apple or Xiaomi. Battle, instead, against mobiles that are placed by the 500 euros, as the OnePlus Nord 2, the Xiaomi Mi 10T or the Realme GT. And it is that, curiously, Honor’s catalog has always been composed of terminals that offered a balance between price and performance. In a way, it is part of the brand identity that the company has maintained after its exit from Huawei, but it is not the only point.

Independent brand, but not much

The Honor 50 actually retains many key features of its former parent company. Among them, the looks. In fact, I have to confess that as soon as I held the device in my hand, I couldn’t help but notice the strong resemblance to some of Huawei’s most iconic smartphones, such as the P30 Pro. The feeling, mind you, vanished when I flipped the handset over and saw the ostentatious finish on the back, which is very similar to what you get when you accidentally spill a bottle of glitter on a satiny New Year’s Eve dress. Luckily, it’s only one of many finishes it’s available in. Honor 50 Beyond the look, which features a slim frame in a – this time yes – elegant copper color and includes a curved screen on both sides, the Honor 50 also “inherits” from Huawei part of the software. Magic UI, the customization layer included on this device is actually EMUI under another name. The aesthetics, animations and default apps are exactly the same as we see on Huawei smartphones. The main difference, however, is that the terminal does not have the AppGallery, but includes Google Play and, therefore, Google services and applications. Compared to Huawei, arriving with Google services is a huge differential point, although it is not so much against the rest of the manufacturers, such as Xiaomi or Samsung, which also add the application store of Mountain View.

What does this Honor 50 offer?

Honor 50 Leaving aside the resemblance to Huawei smartphones, the Honor 50 stands out in several key features. Among them, the screen, performance and camera. The multimedia section, in fact, is one of the most positive points of this terminal. In terms of specifications, the screen of the Honor 50 is 6.57 inches, has a Full HD+ resolution and a refresh rate of 120 Hz. It also features OLED technology. These are very common specifications in smartphones in this price range, yes, but in most cases, it is synonymous with a good viewing experience. In this case, the panel is sharp, bright and offers good colors that can also be adjusted at the software level. The most negative point, in my opinion, is the double curvature of the screen. While it brings a more “premium” design, it detracts a bit from the viewing experience. In part, because double curvature causes shadowing to appear on the edges when the screen is reproducing light colors. The curved glass also tends to create reflections when light hits the screen. Regarding performance, the Honor 50 has a Snapdragon 778 G, a Qualcomm chip with 5G connectivity and, in this case, accompanied with 8 GB of RAM and 256 GB of internal storage. The configuration speaks for itself, and is that both the processor, as the memory configuration are more than enough to perform the most everyday tasks on a smartphone or play games occasionally. All this, accompanied by a 4,300 mAh battery, which offers all-day battery life.

The camera, an important point

 Width=  Width=  Width= Where the Honor 50 really boasts is in the photographic section. The Asian company has not skimped on lenses and has included four on its rear. The number of sensors rises to 5 if we take into account the 32-megapixel selfie camera. Honor, in addition, multiplies the experience with different video recording and photo capture modes that are available from the camera app. Let’s take a look at the sensor configuration.

  • Main camera of up to 108 megapixels. This high resolution can be applied through a photo mode. By default, images are taken at lower resolution. The sensor has an f/1.9 aperture.
  • Ultra wide-angle camera of 8 megapixels. It is capable of capturing photos at a 120° angle and includes an f/2.2 aperture.
  • Bokeh camera of 2 megapixels. Supports the main lens and is used to enhance background blur.
  • Macro sensor of 2 megapixels for close-up photography. It has an f/2.4 aperture.

We are probably talking about the most versatile camera in its range, and not only for the configuration of the sensors, but also for the multiple modes -such as the possibility of recording video with several cameras simultaneously- and options included in the native app: one of the most complete in a smartphone. Regarding the results: they are correct both in terms of detail and offer, in general, a good color rendition. I miss, however, a little more brightness in scenes where there is no natural light. The ultra wide-angle camera, on the other hand, tends to distort the image on the edges,

Is it worth the Honor 50?

Honor The Honor 50, available from 529 euros, does not offer really differential features compared to the rest of its competition. However, this does not mean that it is a bad purchase option. In fact, it is a good alternative for those users who were already familiar with the interface, finishes and extra features offered by a Huawei smartphone, but who need Google services for their day to day. Keeping in mind, however, that there are very interesting alternatives such as the OnePlus Nord 2 or the OPPO Reno 6. On the other hand, especially if you are considering purchasing this terminal, it is normal that you have doubts about what could happen with this company in the future. Especially considering that the United States is debating whether or not to include this company in the list of entities. Whether we like it or not, this is something that can happen to any company. However, and in the event that it finally happens, it is not something that affects current devices, but their future smartphones. Therefore, it should not be a point of concern. It is virtually impossible that this handset is going to run out of Google services or software updates. In fact, many of the Huawei smartphones that were announced just before the US veto maintain both Google apps and updates to new versions and security patches.

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