Honor 50 Review: What’s Old is New Again


honor 50 review top in hand

Honor 50 overview: Honor’s again, and what’s outdated is new once more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.”


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


  • 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 most recent established title to return again. It technically didn’t depart, although, because it was simply sold off by Huawei for an opportunity to thrive by itself.

Since then, Honor has struck deals with Google, Qualcomm, and a number of other different firms that at present can not work with Huawei. This signifies that not solely is Honor again, it now has Google Mobile Services. The Honor 50 is its first smartphone to return with Google Play and all different anticipated apps and companies, so this looks as if a brand new begin. On the opposite hand, Honor might nonetheless be making an attempt to know its personal id after spending so lengthy coupled up.


The model of the Honor 50 you’re taking a look at in our photographs is the “Code” particular version, and it’s every part I wish to see from an Honor telephone. The firm has usually included striking reflective rear panel designs, and this 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 several shades of silver and blue, relying on the angle and the lighting. I believe it appears glorious, but when it’s not for you, the telephone additionally is available in black, inexperienced, or a barely extra delicate, sparkly tone known as Frost Crystal.

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

It’s skinny at just below 8mm and really mild at 175 grams. This, together with the curved display screen and modest 74mm width, makes it very straightforward to carry and use with one hand. The curve is fairly dramatic and is a little bit sharp if you grip the telephone tightly. Build high quality is glorious, 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 nicely.

Yes, the Honor 50 comes with Google Mobile Services onboard

The Honor 50 appears glorious, isn’t heavy, is nicely made, and is available in a wide range of uncommon colours for individuals who wish to make a press release with their telephone. However, in the event you’ve seen and held the Honor 30 Pro, you then’ve additionally seen and held the Honor 50, as the 2 are carefully associated relating to dimension and form.

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

One different factor is that, for Honor’s speak 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 gained’t do a lot to persuade anybody the 2 are firmly and at last divorced.


A 108-megapixel most important 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 is very light-sensitive. In a wide range of conditions, it’ll beneath or overexpose photographs, and the wide-angle digital camera is even worse. On a brighter, sunnier day, the photographs are higher, however some will dislike the way in which it oversaturates blue skies. I don’t thoughts; it actually makes the photographs pop, and I favor that to the miserable tone of the photographs taken when the solar wasn’t shining.

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

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

It’s not one thing I might personally use exterior of the overview, however it actually can be enjoyable in giant teams if you wish to seize every part that’s happening round you. There’s additionally a really easy-to-use modifying suite, which makes making a closing clip fully in your telephone easy. The Honor 50 helps Bluetooth headsets within the video mode, so you need to use these to report sound reasonably than the inner microphone — which ought to lead to higher audio, particularly when capturing at a distance. Oddly, the Honor 50 solely data video in 16:9 or 21:9, however it 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 earth of vlogging. Anyone extra bold or skilled will shortly need extra, because it solely data in 1080p at 30fps in multi-cam mode. I’m unsure it’ll get used fairly often by the typical individual capturing video, although. The Honor 50’s nonetheless digital camera hasn’t impressed me a lot, however software program refinement might enhance its capability over time.


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 need to use Google’s cloud companies. Using the Honor telephone is precisely the identical as utilizing another Android smartphone relating to Google integration.

Honor’s personal MagicUI 4.2 is put in over Android 11. Regarding design and structure, 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 function on Huawei telephones, proper all the way down to a number of the identical icons and animations. That stated, the always-on display screen is one in all my favourite elements of MagicUI, because it’s straightforward 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 companion throughout my time with the telephone.

Screen and efficiency

The Honor 50’s display screen is precisely what we wish from a mid-range telephone right this moment: 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 most recent Google Pixel 6 Pro, exhibiting the identical eye-popping colours with a barely hotter tone — not less than with the Vivid setting energetic. It’s additionally attainable to tweak the display screen’s temperature or choose a mode with sRGB or DC-P3 coloration 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.

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

Battery and charging

I used to be a little bit fearful 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 might swap the telephone off in a single day and it’d have sufficient juice to final the following day. This was particularly spectacular, as I exploit the telephone with the 120Hz refresh charge energetic on a regular basis.

Honor 50 charging port.
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

The 66W SuperCharge quick charging is established Honor know-how 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 function I’d think about commonplace on most mid-to-upper vary telephones right this moment.

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 can 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 return to the U.S. anytime quickly. It may be imported from the U.Okay. or Europe in the event you’re eager.

Our take

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

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

This lack of true newness presents one downside, 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 worth 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 other than 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 exterior the U.S., the Realme GT or GT Neo2 also needs to be thought of. The $449 Google Pixel 5a is value investigating if you’d like a terrific 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 worth vary, the OnePlus 9 combines a terrific display screen, quick charging, an improved digital camera, and nice software program into a reasonably design.

How lengthy will it final?

We are checking in with Honor about its software program replace dedication. To be aggressive, it must ship not 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 is a threat of damaging it in the event you’re unfortunate.

There is one thing else to think about, and that’s the speak of Honor finding its way 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 meanwhile and should not have an effect on the Honor 50 immediately, it’s an unknown which will harm the model’s plan for vast international reintroduction.

Should you purchase it?

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

Editors’ Recommendations

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Post