In today’s era of social media, many of us turn to videos to tell a story or share our thoughts. I remember the first time I started blogging, I was only able to express my thoughts with words and supported by pictures. And when social media apps like Instagram started, we can share our favourite moments with pictures and keep them as our daily photo “diary” while sharing it with the rest of the world.
And then, we moved on to videos. But shooting videos is not that simple. First, you have to shoot the video, and then you may have to do some editing with a limited but free app or pay the extra money for an upgraded pro level video editing app. Either way, it is still a tedious task for some.
Now with the release of the new Honor 50, most of the post-editing tasks are reduced. And Honor 50 can now help you with shooting some awesome videos within the native camera app. Best of all, you can shoot with both front and back cameras simultaneously. Read more on this later and you will know why the Honor 50 is known as a vlogging phone.
First Look and Design
- Dual ring camera setup
- Curved waterfall display
- OLED display
- Unique colour options
Getting straight to the Honor 50 design, my first impression was positive. I received the Honor Code colour option for this review. I have some mixed feelings with this colour option. I like it, but sometimes I don’t because of the “HONOR” word splashed all over it. But in the end, I find it to be unique and has its own personality.
The 6.57” screen is gorgeous, and comes with an OLED display with curved edges. We techies know this as the waterfall display, which is common for most flagships. Having a curved display on this mid-high range Honor 50 is a good call, elevating the phone’s status to be more premium.
At the top of the display, there’s the punch hole 32MP selfie camera right in the middle. Good thing it doesn’t come with a notch. And I still can’t decide whether I prefer the selfie camera to be on the left, right or in the middle of the display. It almost doesn’t bother me anyway.
The Honor 50 also comes with an under display optical fingerprint sensor near the bottom of the display. The sensor responded quickly and accurately. I never have to re-scan my thumbprint whenever I unlock the Honor 50. So that’s a plus point.
Around the back, there’s the obvious dual ring camera setup. To be honest, I like the camera setup on this Honor 50. The dual ring made it look like a “real” camera or at least feels like it. The main 108MP shooter sits on its own in the top ring, in a large ample area all by itself. The other 3 cameras (ultrawide, macro and depth camera) sit in the lower ring.
The camera bump protrudes quite a bit but I didn’t mind it at all. There is a silicone case that you will get in the box to safely protect the phone in case of any scratches. And the camera bump at the back is well flushed with the case so the phone won’t wobble on the table.
On the right side of the phone, there’s the volume rocker near the top half and the power button right below it. The sides are protected by a stainless steel frame but because of the curved design, the frame is rather thin on the sides. Speaking of sides, there’s nothing on the left side of the phone.
Looking at the top, there’s only one of two microphone holes located here. At the bottom however, there’s the SIM card tray, USB-C charging and data port and a bottom firing speaker grille. Oh, and there’s the other microphone hole here. Two microphones means stereo video recording. But alas, the Honor 50 doesn’t come with a stereo speaker nor a 3.5mm audio jack.
The Honor 50 feels snug in my hand. Nice to hold and the size is just about right. Due to the slim sides and corners, it feels a little sharp in my palm but that somehow gives a better grip from the sides. I am able to operate the Honor 50 single handedly without any problems but those with smaller hands will need both hands to be comfortable.
Performance and Daily Usage
- Powerful Snapdragon 778G SoC
- 8GB RAM and up to 256GB storage
- 120hz screen refresh rate
- Google Mobile Services
- 5G and WiFi 6 ready
The biggest and best key point that I would like to emphasize is that the Honor 50 comes with Google Mobile Services (GMS). And thank God for that. After GMS being absent for a while from Honor devices, it is now back on the Honor 50.
It’s not that I don’t like Huawei Mobile Services (HMS) and Harmony OS, but I use GMS all the time, especially with my cloud storage and documents. I keep all my notes on Google Keep, my photos on Google Photos and so on. So without GMS, I felt a little lost. So I am happy that the new Honor 50 comes with GMS.
Having said that, the Honor 50 still has that Harmony OS feel to it with all the OS skin and layout especially with the large icon sets and style. The Android 11 based OS runs smoothly here, all thanks to the ample 8GB of memory.
The brain on the Honor 50 is a Snapdragon 778G which to me is currently the best mid-range chipset for any mid-range smartphone. It is 5G ready and will be a great future proof chipset for more devices to come. If I were to compare the SD778G with Dimensity 800 or so, I still prefer the SD chip. It is fast and capable. And I’m glad the Honor 50 is powered by it.
My daily usage experience has been great with the Honor 50. Multitasking is a no brainer. Battery lasted me almost 2 days before I had to plug in the charger. And charging up with the included 66W fast charging brick takes about 20 minutes to reach 70% and 45 minutes to fill up to 100%.
If you’re wondering why it slows down after 70%, it is usually to save the battery’s lifespan. It will “trickle charge” towards the end. Also reducing the chance of damaging the battery and the charger itself.
But, 70% is enough to last me the whole day. I have the Honor 50 in my hands 85% of the time during the day. It is a snappy device and I kinda like the feel of it. And performance wise, it’s great.
You can have up to 120hz screen refresh rate with the Honor 50. You can either set the display to dynamically adapt to your usage and swipes for a smooth experience, or you can have it set permanently to 60hz refresh rate to extend your battery life through the day. But having it at 120hz is a really great smooth experience.
I tested the Honor 50 to run my usual PUBG Mobile game. With this, I am able to see and feel how it performs under heavy graphic stress and long gaming sessions. Good thing that this device is 5G ready, but we don’t have any 5G network that is ready to use yet. And with WiFi 6, this is the next best thing.
Overall signal connection is great. Most of the time I got 20ms ping while on PUBG, which is great. Anything more than that is not good. I am also able to set the graphic to the highest setting and I’m happy to say, the Honor 50 performed well for gaming.
There’s no significant drop in graphic quality nor does it have any lag. The graphics are rendered smoothly, making me a happy gamer. But when it comes to audio, the Honor 50 only has a bottom firing speaker. I wish it would have a stereo speaker setup for better gaming experience. As for wired earphones, you won’t find a 3.5mm audio jack here. You will have to rely on a wireless earphone for that.
The Honor 50 scored 496486 on Antutu and that is a good score for performance and gaming. The Snapdragon 778G does a good job and it is one of the mid-range SoC that’s on my current favourite list.
A good reminder, the Honor 50 is not made specifically for gaming, but more for photography and video recording. It’s best for vlogging, which I find is true. It is capable for gaming, but it’s even better if you love vlogging. If you want to stand out in your social media circle, the Honor 50 is made for that.
Camera and Vlogging
- 108MP camera
- One-Take video mode
First of all, I like the rear main camera layout. The double ring made the Honor 50 to look like a camera from the back. Having the single 108MP camera in it’s own camera ring is great. And I love the camera app even more. With the new Honor 50, taking photos and videos is a whole lot of fun.
With the new camera app, you will be able to capture with both front and rear cameras simultaneously whether in photo or video format. This is one of the features you will find in the Honor 50. It also has a picture-in-picture mode for you to easily capture your own reaction to your subjects’ action. This works best with videos.
While the main 108MP shooter is great, let’s not forget the other three rear camera setup. In the bottom ring, there’s the ultra wide angle camera, the macro camera and a depth sensor camera. The 32MP front selfie camera is good too. With that said, you can have a look at the sample photos below.
How vlogging comes into play is with the built-in camera features. With just a single tap with One-Take mode, you are ready to capture your own curated video without having to do much. The app will do everything for you – from adding music, slow-mo shots, double camera shots, front and back camera shots, special effects – all done by the Honor 50. Once it’s done, you can immediately upload to your social media networks if you wish to.
This reduces your post-editing time and that means less headache for you. This is actually my most favourite feature of the Honor 50. Auto video shoot, I call it. One tap and you’re ready to go. Well, there are more taps that you can do if you’re choosing other auto video modes. But everything is there ready for you. Now you know why it’s a vlogging phone.
Most of the shots I got from the Honor 50’s camera are usable. A point to note, it will not shoot at 108MP with the main camera. At default, it will only shoot at 64MP. You will have to select the “Hi-res” mode from the camera app settings to activate the 108MP sensor.
All in all, camera performance is good. I hardly use the ultra wide angle camera on the Honor 50. And not much with the macro mode. I simply enjoy shooting with the main camera instead, and with the selfie camera too. The photo and video quality from the Honor 50 will be right up your alley.
The new Honor 50 is a fun device to use. It looks great. The Honor Code colour variant that I was using is a head turner, thanks to the Honor logo splash at the back. It may look weird to some, but it looks nice to me.
The snappy and responsive OS is all that I’m grateful for in a smartphone. Also with reliability and battery endurance. The Honor 50 checks out all the right boxes. The only thing it doesn’t have that we might need nowadays is the IP67/68 ratings for that extra waterproof and dustproof protection.
My overall experience with it has been fun. My daily tasks like social media and emails are done quickly. And I love the fact that GMS is back on Honor. I know many of my friends are happy with this news as well. And I’m sure they will like the Honor 50 too.
If you’re looking to upgrade your device, the Honor 50 is something you can consider. If you’re into video creations, look no further. With its awesome video creation tool, you will spend less time editing and more time sharing your videos online. Of course if you’re into photography, you won’t be disappointed with the results too.
The new Honor 50 is available for purchase now at HiHonor, which is Honor’s official webstore. Head over to HiHonor for more info or purchase: Buy HONOR 50 – Honor Official Store (MY) (hihonor.com)