The 50 is the first smartphone Chinese manufacturer Honor has produced since it split from its parent company Huawei. This means it has regained the opportunity to use Google’s apps, including Google Maps and Google Pay, as well as the Google Play app store, which remain unavailable to new Huawei phones due to continuing restrictions put in place by the US government. Read our Honor 50 Review.
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However, you’ll be disappointed if you were expecting this divorce to produce a phone that continues Honor’s reputation for combining value for money with top performance.
There’s not much wrong with the phone, but it doesn’t do enough to stand out from rivals that cost around the same price, such as our current favourite the Xiaomi Poco F3 (reviewed in Issue 608) or the OnePlus Nord 2 (see Issue 613).
The OLED screen makes everything you do look terrific
The phone measures 7.8x74x160mm (HxDxW) and is relatively light, weighing just 175g. The curved screen makes the device comfortable to hold, and the subtle angling at the sides reduces the chances of accidentally touching the edge of the screen and inadvertently triggering an action.
The screen itself is bright, with impressive contrast and vivid colours. The 6.57in OLED panel – with a resolution of 2340×1080 pixels and a 120Hz refresh rate – makes everything you do on screen look terrific and is one of the phone’s standout features.
Inside there’s a Snapdragon 778G processor. It performed almost identically to the OnePlus Nord 2 in our benchmark tests, with a multi-core score of 2,850 compared with the Nord’s 2,757. However, it’s a long way behind the 3,303 achieved by the Snapdragon 870 running in the Xiaomi Poco F3.
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The main camera has a 108-megapixel sensor, which – after pixel-binning at a rate of nine to one – produces 12-megapixel photos to ensure you’re getting the best results. We found shots were bold and bright, even in low light. The 8-megapixel ultrawide camera is fine for capturing open spaces, but pictures aren’t quite as vivid and lack the detail of those taken by the main camera.
It left the Nord 2 trailing in battery life, lasting 7 hours 40 minutes in our video-playback test, which is nearly an hour longer.
A great OLED screen but its overall performance lags behind our current favourite.
Best Honor 50 prices ?
Xiaomi Poco F3
The 256GB model has a faster processor that gives its performance a significant boost