Honor 50 assessment: Honor’s again, and what’s previous is new once more

MSRP $615.00

“The Honor 50 represents the newly independent brand’s return to Android phones with Google Mobile Services onboard. While that’s big, the rest of the phone doesn’t feel especially fresh, despite the mad color scheme and finish.”

Pros

  • Beautiful 120Hz AMOLED display screen
  • Fast charging
  • Lightweight and sensibly sized
  • Fun video modes with simple enhancing

Cons

  • No wi-fi charging
  • No water resistance
  • Single speaker

Comebacks are surprisingly frequent in cellular tech, with Nokia, BlackBerry, and even Palm all returning after a interval away — to various levels of success. Honor, as soon as owned by Huawei, is the newest established identify to come back again. It technically didn’t depart, although, because it was simply bought off by Huawei for an opportunity to thrive by itself.

Since then, Honor has struck offers with Google, Qualcomm, and several other different corporations that at the moment can not work with Huawei. This implies that not solely is Honor again, it now has Google Mobile Services. The Honor 50 is its first smartphone to come back with Google Play and all different anticipated apps and companies, so this looks like a brand new begin. On the opposite hand, Honor may nonetheless be making an attempt to grasp its personal identification after spending so lengthy coupled up.

Design

The model of the Honor 50 you’re taking a look at in our pictures is the “Code” particular version, and it’s all the things I wish to see from an Honor telephone. The firm has usually included placing reflective rear panel designs, and that is in all probability its brightest and most eye-catching but. The H, O, N, and R letters give the design depth and sparkle in numerous shades of silver and blue, relying on the angle and the lighting. I feel it seems glorious, but when it’s not for you, the telephone additionally is available in black, inexperienced, or a barely extra delicate, sparkly tone referred to as Frost Crystal.

The back of the Honor 50.Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

It’s skinny at slightly below 8mm and really mild at 175 grams. This, together with the curved display screen and modest 74mm width, makes it very simple to carry and use with one hand. The curve is sort of dramatic and is just a little sharp once you grip the telephone tightly. Build high quality is superb, with the glass display screen and rear panel becoming flush with the metallic chassis. The stadium formed, dual-level digital camera housing, which has twin round modules on the again, actually suits in with the Code’s reflective letter O design as effectively.

Yes, the Honor 50 comes with Google Mobile Services onboard

The Honor 50 seems glorious, isn’t heavy, is effectively made, and is available in quite a lot of uncommon colours for individuals who wish to make a press release with their telephone. However, for those who’ve seen and held the Honor 30 Pro, then you definately’ve additionally seen and held the Honor 50, as the 2 are carefully associated on the subject of dimension and form.

The curved edge of the Honor 50.Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

One different factor is that, for Honor’s discuss of the telephone representing its “Independence Day” and its particular cut up from Huawei, the similarity in design and specification between the Honor 50 and the brand new Huawei Nova 9 is placing. It received’t do a lot to persuade anybody the 2 are firmly and at last divorced.

Camera

A 108-megapixel primary digital camera leads the present on the Honor 50, and it’s joined by an 8MP wide-angle digital camera and a pair of 2MP macro and depth cameras. The selfie digital camera has 32 megapixels and a 90-degree viewing angle. Honor is pushing the digital camera system as one for aspiring vloggers and has included a number of totally different video modes that make the most of all of the cameras on the identical time.

The Honor 50's camera module.Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

First, let’s speak about stills. The 108MP digital camera may be very light-sensitive. In quite a lot of conditions, it can underneath or overexpose pictures, and the wide-angle digital camera is even worse. On a brighter, sunnier day, the pictures are higher, however some will dislike the way in which it oversaturates blue skies. I don’t thoughts; it definitely makes the pictures pop, and I favor that to the miserable tone of the pictures taken when the solar wasn’t shining.

Look carefully, although, and the pictures can lack element — there’s proof of extreme processing, too. On a extra optimistic be aware, I like the alternatives of Portrait and Aperture modes, which add a bokeh impact to both individuals or objects. Plus, the sting recognition is stable.

The multi-camera video modes shoot with two cameras on the identical time, so you’ll be able to create video combos with the primary rear digital camera and the selfie digital camera, together with simultaneous recording, a picture-in-picture window, and different combos. It’s a gimmick, but it surely does work. Although, the interface is a bit cumbersome and gradual, so that you’ll want some endurance to grasp the controls.

It’s not one thing I might personally use outdoors of the assessment, but it surely definitely could be enjoyable in giant teams once you wish to seize all the things that’s happening round you. There’s additionally a really easy-to-use enhancing suite, which makes making a closing clip fully in your telephone easy. The Honor 50 helps Bluetooth headsets within the video mode, so you should use these to document sound slightly than the interior microphone — which ought to end in higher audio, particularly when taking pictures at a distance. Oddly, the Honor 50 solely data video in 16:9 or 21:9, but it surely does assist 4K at 30 frames per second (fps).

The Honor 50’s nonetheless digital camera hasn’t impressed me a lot

There’s enjoyable available with the Honor 50’s video digital camera, however provided that you’re dabbling on the planet of vlogging. Anyone extra bold or skilled will rapidly need extra, because it solely data in 1080p at 30fps in multi-cam mode. I’m undecided it’ll get used fairly often by the typical particular person taking pictures video, although. The Honor 50’s nonetheless digital camera hasn’t impressed me a lot, however software program refinement could enhance its means over time.

Software

Yes, the Honor 50 comes with Google Mobile Services onboard. This means it has the Google Play Store, Gmail, Google Maps, Messages, and all the opposite anticipated apps. Plus, you signal into your Google account throughout setup so you should use Google’s cloud companies. Using the Honor telephone is strictly the identical as utilizing some other Android smartphone on the subject of Google integration.

Honor’s personal MagicUI 4.2 is put in over Android 11. Regarding design and format, it hasn’t modified a lot in comparison with MagicUI 3.1, which was put in on the Honor 30 — this simply has added Google-ness. There are different hints to Honor’s previous, with the always-on display screen sharing the identical customization because the characteristic on Huawei telephones, proper right down to a number of the identical icons and animations. That stated, the always-on display screen is one in all my favourite components of MagicUI, because it’s simple to personalize it, and knowledge is clearly proven on the lock display screen.

I haven’t skilled any reliability or app issues with the Honor 50, and notifications have come by way of with out a difficulty. It has been a gradual accomplice throughout my time with the telephone.

Screen and efficiency

The Honor 50’s display screen is strictly what we wish from a mid-range telephone right now: it’s an AMOLED panel with a switchable 60Hz or 120Hz refresh charge; has a 2340 x 1080-pixel decision and 300Hz contact sampling; and it’s colourful, dynamic, and responsive.

Honor 50 screen.Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

It even manages to match very favorably with the newest Google Pixel 6 Pro, displaying the identical eye-popping colours with a barely hotter tone — no less than with the Vivid setting lively. It’s additionally potential to tweak the display screen’s temperature or choose a mode with sRGB or DC-P3 colour maps if it’s to not your liking. Jo Yuri’s Glassy video jumps off the display screen, however the telephone loses factors for its single speaker on the underside of the telephone.

Video on the Honor 50.

Gaming on the Honor 50.

Honor has fitted the Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G processor with a 5G modem, and my assessment mannequin has 6GB of RAM. It’s a quick performer, however the working system by no means feels snappy, and I’ve discovered it will probably stumble when closing video games and different power-intensive apps. This is presumably a software program optimization problem slightly than a scarcity of processing guts. Honor’s personal GPU Turbo X tweaks make it nice for gaming, and I’ve loved Asphalt 9: Legends lots, significantly as a result of the telephone is mild to carry and the display screen is beautiful. It’s a disgrace it doesn’t have stereo audio system to essentially shut out its media means.

Battery and charging

I used to be just a little nervous the 4,300mAh battery wouldn’t be highly effective sufficient to last more than a day, however the Snapdragon 778G and MagicUI have to be pretty conservative with vitality. With regular use, I may change the telephone off in a single day and it’d have sufficient juice to final the subsequent day. This was particularly spectacular, as I take advantage of the telephone with the 120Hz refresh charge lively on a regular basis.

Honor 50 charging port.Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

The 66W SuperCharge quick charging is established Honor expertise and really welcome. It zapped the battery to 70% in 22 minutes, which is greater than sufficient for a single day’s use. Unfortunately, there’s no wi-fi charging — a characteristic I’d think about customary on most mid-to-upper vary telephones right now.

Price and availability

The Honor 50 prices 529 euros or about $615 for the 6GB/128GB mannequin, or 599 euros/$695 for the 8GB/256GB mannequin. It shall be able to order from Honor on November 4. Honor’s plans for a large launch aren’t clear but, so don’t count on it to come back to the U.S. anytime quickly. It might be imported from the U.Okay. or Europe for those who’re eager.

Our take

The Honor 50 embodies the phrase “everything old is new again,” as regardless of Honor’s new starting as an unbiased model, the Honor 50 feels very acquainted. The telephone’s form is mainly the identical because the Honor 30 Pro, simply with a unique digital camera mannequin design. MagicUI 4.2 is similar as older variations of the software program, besides with Google added. Even the 66W SuperCharge characteristic is a carry-over from its Huawei days.

Don’t take these as a unfavorable; the quick charging is superb, the software program is dependable, and the design is fashionable and enjoyable. But it does really feel just a little like enterprise as common for Honor, and I wished to see one thing completely brand-new from the corporate. Maybe it will come later, and in that case, the Honor 50 serves an excellent re-introduction to how the model delivers competent, fairly, however not all the time excellent smartphones.

This lack of true newness presents one drawback, although: in the course of the time Honor has been away, the cellular market has modified, and there are much more telephones across the identical value because the Honor 50 that present higher worth and talent. Yes, Google is again onboard, however that simply places the Honor 50 on the identical stage as many different telephones once more. While it’s excellent news for Honor as a model, it doesn’t set the telephone aside from the remaining.

Is there a greater different?

Yes; check out both the OnePlus Nord 2 5G or the Samsung Galaxy A52 5G. Both are barely cheaper than the Honor 50, however you don’t sacrifice something by way of performance or efficiency. If you’re outdoors the U.S., the Realme GT or GT Neo2 must also be thought-about. The $449 Google Pixel 5a is value investigating in order for you an excellent digital camera, and at $599, the brand new Google Pixel 6 additionally challenges the Honor 50.

If you’re not set on an Android telephone, check out the $699 Apple iPhone 13 Mini. As an Android different in the identical value vary, the OnePlus 9 combines an excellent display screen, quick charging, an improved digital camera, and nice software program into a fairly design.

How lengthy will it final?

We are checking in with Honor about its software program replace dedication. To be aggressive, it must ship no less than two years of main model updates and three years of safety updates. The Honor 50 doesn’t have water resistance and isn’t a rugged telephone, so there’s a danger of damaging it for those who’re unfortunate.

There is one thing else to think about, and that’s the discuss of Honor discovering its means on to the U.S.’s Entity List, which might prohibit Google, Qualcomm, and others from working with it. This is the affliction Huawei sought to beat by promoting Honor, and whereas it’s solely a imprecise risk in the intervening time and will not have an effect on the Honor 50 immediately, it’s an unknown which will harm the model’s plan for extensive international reintroduction.

Should you purchase it?

No. While the Honor 50 is completely acceptable, it doesn’t set itself aside from the competitors with a noteworthy characteristic and is lacking some necessities that may be discovered on different telephones for the same value.

Editors’ Recommendations



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