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What just happened? Huawei has just launched the P50 Pocket foldable for the Chinese market. Priced at 8,988 yuan (~$1,411) for the 8GB/256GB base model, the P50 Pocket is an expensive rival to Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip 3, but with some added design flair and powerful specs that match or beat Samsung’s foldable.
Huawei touts a proprietary hinge for the P50 Pocket, enabling a zero-gap design when the phone is folded and opening up a 6.9-inch OLED screen to display 2,790 x 1,188 pixels at 120Hz. As with almost all 2021 Android flagships, the P50 Pocket is powered by an SD 888 SoC that's paired with either 8GB/256GB or 12GB/512GB of memory and storage. It also has Huawei’s Nano Memory card support for expanding up to a further 256GB.
On the outside, the P50 Pocket has two big circles that house its triple-array camera system and a one-inch cover screen. The latter can show date/time, display from a variety of widgets like weather, alarm, calendar and music player, or configured to show info from third-party apps.
The cameras, meanwhile, include a 40MP wide main sensor, a 13MP ultrawide and a 32MP ‘Ultra Spectrum’ sensor to enable what Huawei calls ‘Fluorescence Photography.’ The selfie camera is a 10.7MP unit housed in the centrally positioned punch-hole display.
Like the Z Flip 3, the P50 Pocket uses a side-mounted fingerprint sensor but has a slightly larger 4,000mAh battery (vs. 3,300mAh) and 40W fast charging support. Huawei’s much higher price tag than its main Samsung rival could make it a tough sell, but the lack of Google apps and services is what might hold it back from becoming a mainstream option in the foldables category.
Huawei’s Android-based HarmonyOS is also fairly behind in terms of OS market share, and if the OEM ever decides on a global launch, the P50 Pocket will have an uphill task of competing with established rivals like Galaxy Z Flip 3 or newer foldables like the Oppo Find N that have Google services on board.