Huawei P50 pocket folding phone review: The beautiful symmetry of technology and art

PROS:

  • Stylish and elegant design
  • The crease-free hinge folds the phone flat
  • Impressive camera performance and output

CONS:

  • No official dust and IP rating

EDITOR’S QUOTE:

The Huawei P50 pocket masterfully embodies the symphony of art and technology in a design that seamlessly connects form and function.

Beauty and power that fits in the palm of your hand, literally.

Smartphones are, at their heart, computing devices, but thanks to advances in technology, manufacturing and design, manufacturers are free to go beyond utilitarian purposes. These devices, in fact, have become so ingrained in our lives that they are now almost an extension of ourselves. They have become an expression of our personality and uniqueness, reflecting tastes, passions, aspirations and perception. We are now in an era where the design of a smartphone is becoming more than just a marketing point, but a critical part of a buyer’s decision-making process. Sometimes, the things people want are opposites: big screen but pocket friendly, luxurious but affordable, powerful but uncomplicated. It’s a delicate balancing act that very few smartphone manufacturers have managed to pull off, but which the Huawei P50 Pocket manages with the grace of royalty.

Designer: Huawei and Iris van Herpen

aesthetic

We’ve seen our fair share of luxury phones, especially from companies whose business revolves around dressing up ordinary smartphones with extravagant parts and designs. To say that they often look handsome and almost ugly would not be an understatement. The Huawei P50 Pocket, the brand’s first clamshell foldable phone, is thankfully none of those, exuding an aura that’s almost ethereal yet sublime in its beauty.

The secret of the Huawei P50 pocket is the symmetry that permeates its design, both in concept and execution. As a phone, it folds horizontally exactly in half, resulting in an almost perfectly square device that you can easily slide in and out of your pocket or bag. Each half of the phone is also symmetrical, except for the presence of buttons, and the two circles on its cover form a perfectly balanced square.

You can feel and see the balance throughout the design and shape of the phone, especially with the Premium Gold edition. Gold is not something you can easily find in nature, it is often used as a product of mechanical and artificial processes. It is often a symbol of the wealth and power of technology, such as the technology used to etch micro 3D patterns on glass. Yet at the same time, the subtle and flowing patterns on the back of the phone resemble the leaves and irregularity of life. Designed in collaboration with the famous haute couture designer Iris van Herpen, this motif represents a symbiosis, a balance and symmetry, between two seemingly opposite ideas, the power of the latest technology and the artistic beauty of nature.

Even when the surface of the pocket P50 is broken by two circles, there is still an unmistakable element of harmony and symphony. These two rings are a nod to the groundbreaking Huawei P9 that raised the company’s profile in the field of mobile photography. Both rings are completely identical in size, but also in marked contrast. One lies on the back of the phone, displaying vivid colors and dynamic images. The other is mostly black and unchanging, but rises from the surface to put itself in focus, literally and figuratively, as it houses the phone’s powerful cameras.

The Huawei P50 Pocket is truly a work of art, but its elegance is not loud or overbearing. It conveys its presence in harmony and symmetry, both in form and theme, attracting opposites to dance on its surface in a delightful play on form and light, the latter thanks to Huawei’s innovative 3D microsculpture design which creates a unique duo. one-sided 3D design. And just as importantly, it also brings the balance that smartphone users need, offering powerful technology that looks stylish, especially when folded close and pocketed in style.

Tidiness

A well-designed smartphone should not only be a beauty to look at, but also to hold. As a tool you’ll use day after day, folding and unfolding several times a day, a foldable phone like this needs to be comfortable to use and inspire confidence in its longevity. In other words, ergonomics also play a critical role and, fortunately, the Huawei P50 Pocket does not disappoint here either.

The purpose of a foldable phone, especially a clamshell phone, is to improve the portability of the device without sacrificing its utility. Thanks to the P50 Pocket’s slim profile and foldable design, it does just that, whether it’s open or closed. When unfolded, its light and slim body won’t weigh your hand down, although some may prefer to hold it with two hands, just like any phablet these days. When folded closed, the P50 pocket is a fascinating pocket device that you may still be able to use, thanks to that Screen Cover below the camera island.

Opening and closing your phone is something you’ll naturally do several times a day, and there’s no reason to worry about the hinge coming off, which we’ll get to in a bit. Suffice it to say, the hinge is solid and gives a satisfying feel every time you fold and unfold the phone. While it’s certainly possible to do those actions using just one hand, some people may find it difficult or a little unsettling. To open the phone with one hand, you’ll need to insert your finger into that narrow space between the two halves, and some may worry about accidentally damaging the foldable screen. To fold the phone closed, you may need to adjust your hand slightly to push the top half, which can lead to some unfortunate accidents.

Fortunately, the phone isn’t as fragile as its luxurious appearance might suggest, and it’s made from durable materials all around. It doesn’t have an official IP rating for dust and water resistance, but that doesn’t mean it will die on its first encounter with water. Huawei has taken measures to protect the phone from intrusion and may have decided that the expensive certification was not worth the cost. Its glass back may make it look slippery to some people, but the narrow bezel also makes it easier to grip with your hand. Huawei also offers a clear case to provide additional protection without hiding the attractive appearance of the pocket P50.

performances

Of course, the Huawei P50 Pocket is not just a fashion accessory. It’s a smartphone that should meet people’s needs when it comes to web browsing, communication, social media and even gaming. Huawei gives this foldable beauty all the power to deliver and then some. Considering how light and thin it is, it’s almost unbelievable that it manages to cram a 4,000mAh battery inside. Don’t let the numbers fool you, a day’s use is enough to get you through. And when you do need to find that charger, 40W fast charging technology will minimize downtime so you can get up and go about your day as quickly as possible.

While the phone’s intricate designs and luxurious finish give it its personality from the back, it’s the foldable display that gives it its defining feature from the front. After all, what would a foldable phone be without a foldable display. As one of the pioneers in this field, Huawei has been able to advance the technology and design of flexible panels ahead of the competition. The result is a large and equally beautiful screen that brings pleasure and comfort to the eyes, whether you are browsing social media, watching your favorite shows or simply reminiscing about your last “revenge trip” experience. Best of all, that flexible screen barely shows any of the wrinkles that tend to mar others of its kind.

This feat was made possible by Huawei’s newest multi-dimensional hinge that creates that famous water drop shaped cavity when the screen is folded. This is also the reason why, unlike other folding clamshells, the P50 Pocket is able to fold completely without any gaps. At the same time, a new design for lifting multi-dimensional links is responsible for raising that part of the screen and staying flat without increasing the weight of the phone with unnecessary components. Watching the screen rise and fall is almost mesmerizing, and you don’t have to worry about doing it over and over again thanks to the use of zirconium-based liquid metal and 2,100 MPa ultra-high-strength steel to build the hinge, bringing both durability and reliability of the mechanism.

The hinge offers enough resistance to not make it feel flimsy, but it won’t get in the way when you’re using the phone. However, it doesn’t support variable angles and will either fold closed or fully extend if you don’t leave it open at a right angle. This position is best for taking selfies or multitasking with a video, and is unlikely to have significant use for leaving the phone open at odd angles anyway.

Value

It’s hard to fully compare the Huawei P50 Pocket to other foldable phones, because while they share the same basic form and function, Huawei’s piece goes beyond just being a gadget that fits in your pocket. At a time when smartphones are starting to look alike and become extensions of our personalities, the P50 Pocket is both a statement and a testament to what these devices can and should be. It is, like its overall design, a symphony of art and technology that you can display proudly and then fold up and tuck away in your pocket.

It’s not cheap, mind you, and there are other considerations beyond the scope of this review that can make or break people’s decisions. It’s quite a heavy investment, which fortunately is made to last a very long time. In terms of design, it’s definitely worth its weight in gold, even if you grab the equally stylish White edition with its sparkling diamond-inspired design.

verdict

It’s hard to fully compare the Huawei P50 Pocket to other foldable phones, because while they share the same basic form and function, Huawei’s piece goes beyond just being a gadget that fits in your pocket. At a time when smartphones are starting to look alike and become extensions of our personalities, the P50 Pocket is both a statement and a testament to what these devices can and should be. It is, like its overall design, a symphony of art and technology that you can display proudly and then fold up and tuck away in your pocket.

It’s not cheap, mind you, and there are other considerations beyond the scope of this review that can make or break people’s decisions. It’s quite a heavy investment, which fortunately is made to last a very long time. In terms of design, it’s definitely worth its weight in gold, even if you grab the equally stylish White edition with its sparkling diamond-inspired design.

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