Review: Huawei P50 Pocket Fashionista Folding Smartphone

The Huawei P50 Pocket is part of the latest flagship P-series lineup of smartphones from the Chinese phone maker. The folding smartphone offers a large display when unfolded yet offers a compact form factor when folded into half.

When folded, the Huawei P50 Pocket becomes compact and fits snugly in the trouser pocket or a ladies purse.

When folded, the Huawei P50 Pocket becomes compact and fits snugly in the trouser pocket or a ladies purse.

The design of top-end smartphones is fraught with trade-offs between desirable characteristics that tend to contradict each other in terms of manifestation.

Most of us desire a large display and long battery life yet baulk at the resultant bulkiness and weight.

My Take

The Huawei P50 Pocket is a head-turning flagship smartphone that offers a large display when unfolded and a compact form factor when folded – along with a stunning design that befits any fashionista.

We desire powerful performance and beautiful design yet keel over at the higher price tag.

So the design process by the phone maker and the buying decision often comprises a set of trade-offs between the things we desire in a smartphone.

The Huawei P50 Pocket removes the need for some of these trade-offs.

It offers a large 6.9-inch display when unfolded yet folds into a compact form factor that fits snugly in the trouser pocket without poking at uncomfortable places and threatening to slip out.

At 190g, it is not particularly heavy and has a large 4000mAh battery with 40W Huawei SuperCharge capability. Only wired charging is supported.

And as a flagship smartphone, has top-tier hardware for top-notch performance, including Huawei’s forte in smartphone cameras.

 

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Freshly unboxed Huawei P50 Pocket. Even the box is exquisitely designed.

Design-wise, the P50 Pocket comes in either White or Premium Gold.

Normally I eschew gadgets that come in gold finish, because they usually scream “obiang” – old Singlish term for “tastelessly gaudy”.

The White version (in this picture) of the Huawei P50 Pocket looks elegant while the Premium Gold version which I have looks classy without looking opulent or gaudy.

The White version (in this picture) of the Huawei P50 Pocket looks elegant while the Premium Gold version which I have looks classy without looking opulent or gaudy.

But I must say the world-renowned haute couture designer, Iris Van Herpen, did a swell job with the gold motif design for the Premium Gold version of the P50 Pocket.

The understated motif is sculpted onto the surface of the gold finish so you feel the relief with your fingers and see the nice play of lights reflecting off the three-dimensional surface.

I find the design suitable for both genders.

The P50 Pocket is not designed to be a budget phone and is targeted at the well-heeled fashionista who desires a flagship smartphone that not only performs great but looks terrific as well.

So the price tag is not trivial. Remember the trade-offs?

This would make a fantastic Valentine’s Day present for either gender.

Read on for more details.

About that hinge

So the biggest question that I have for folding phones and tablets is always whether the hinge and folding screen can withstand the frequent folding and unfolding of the device in daily usage.

Having used the P50 Pocket for more than two months, I’m happy to report that neither the screen nor hinge has shown any signs of damage due to wear and tear.

The screen at the folding region still looks seamless when unfolded while the hinge still feels smooth when folding and unfolding.

Huawei boasts that the hinge in the P50 Pocket uses Zirconium-based liquid metal and 2,100MPa Ultra-high Strength Steel for greater strength in the folding mechanism and to improve shock resistance.

The Multi-Dimensional Hinge folds nicely so that when folded, there is no gap at all.

The P50 Pocket is thinner (7.2mm) than most phones when unfolded so that when folded, the resulting thickness of 15.2mm still didn’t feel particularly thick.

Main Display

The slender 20:9 aspect ratio is great for watching cinematic content and makes it comfortable to hold and operate the phone using one hand.

The OLED panel has a pixel density of 442ppi with 1.07 billion colours and support for the P3 wide colour gamut.

 

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The Huawei P50 Pocket doesn’t need a tripod. Folding it halfway props the camera up nicely.

The display supports a refresh rate of up to 120Hz, as well as 300Hz touch sampling rate for fluid visuals and more accurate response.

Furthermore, the 1440Hz PWM dimming support ensures users’ eyes are always protected.

All these result in a vivid display for immersive viewing even for extending durations.

Cover Screen

On the other side of the main screen is a double-ring design comprising the main camera module and the Cover Screen.

When the P50 Pocket is folded, the main camera module can be used for taking high quality selfies while the Cover Screen offers a few functionalities that you can use without having to unfold the phone to use the main screen.

The circular Cover Screen (340 x 340 pixels) works independently of the main screen (FHD+ 2790 x 1188 pixels) and reminds me of the watch display of Huawei’s smartwatches.

On standby, the Cover Screen displays the date and time and can be unlocked using either the eye-detection or fingerprint sensor at the side of the phone.

Swiping left or right provides access to the music playback controls, the camera for taking selfies, the mirror function (with sunscreen test) and weather widget.

Swiping down shows the notifications, schedule and calendar.

Cameras

The Ultra Spectrum Camera module in the P50 Pocket comprises a 40-megapixel True-Chroma Camera, a 13MP Ultra Wide Angle Lens Camera, a 32MP Ultra Spectrum Camera, a 10-Channel Multi-Spectrum Sensor, an Ultra Spectrum illuminator and an AF Laser.

The 40MP and 32MP cameras have apertures of f/1.8 while the 13MP camera has an f/2.2 aperture.

 

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Shot with Huawei P50 Pocket. Nicely exposed.

The Ultra Spectrum Camera Matrix works with the Huawei XD Fusion Pro image processing engine to produce better images with more detail and depth even in low light.

The Ultra Wide Angle Lens Camera has a 120-degree Field of View and can be used to record stable handheld videos (folded and unfolded) because of the new-generation AIS Pro image stabilisation solution.

 

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Shot this cat with Huawei P50 Pocket in a really dark basement lift lobby. Quite surprised how well it turned out.

The P50 Pocket offers a new photography mode – its Ultra Spectrum illuminator helps it capture the invisible fluorescent light emitted by many plants, animals and rocks in nature.

Another new feature is the use of the Mirror App in the Cover Screen to check if the sunscreen on your face is evenly spread.

When unfolded, the P50 Pocket has a 10.7MP Ultra Wide Angle front camera with f/2.2 aperture.

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4 Responses to “Review: Huawei P50 Pocket Fashionista Folding Smartphone”

  1. Ryan Seet says:

    How much is the P50 Pocket. I’m thinking of getting one for my mom for Mother’s Day.

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