Huawei Mate 50 Pro test: a bitter taste success
Science and Technology

Huawei Mate 50 Pro test: a bitter taste success

Huawei and Leica, it’s over. The German was linked to Xiaomi a few months ago. Therefore, the Chinese brand, known for its smartphone performance in photos, has resumed its work internally, and is now conjuring up Xmage, which is compatible with the hardware and software suite of its terminals. With the Mate 50 Pro, the brand is opening up above all else the concept of variable aperture, between f/1.4 and f/4, applied to its wide-angle optics.

Main unit: 50 MP, f/1.4-f/4, eq. 24 mm

The Mate 50 Pro intends to differentiate itself from regular smartphones with an original system: a variable aperture on a mechanical level, not just simulated by software processing. If it can be set manually, either in the “Aperture” menu, or in the “Pro” capture mode, it is possible – and most commonly – to make use of it daily, since the option is activated from now on. Depending on lighting conditions, the smartphone switches between f/1.4, as for our photos recorded in low light, and f/4, in direct sunlight. This aperture is also used to change the effects of background blur, since several intermediate levels are available (at f/2, for example).

In the face of a very good optical phone, Find X5 Pro also has a 50MP sensor that delivers 12.5MP shots thanks to pixel binningThe Mate 50 Pro hits the mark. The photos are really detailed, the textures are well presented and the colorimetry is especially natural. The contour of the image also has the advantage of being sharp and not too distorted. It is a pity that the smartphone loses points on the unfortunate detail: in certain patterns, it stumbles and fails to faithfully restore the parameters of small elements. Such is the case with our colored balls, which pose difficulties, or lines of text.

Oppo Find X5 Pro (12.5 MP, f/1.7, ISO 254, 1/462 sec)

Huawei Mate 50 Pro (12.5 MP, f/2, ISO 50, 1/132 sec)

These difficulties in managing the outlines of small items are more visible at night, and the flat color areas show some artifacts. However, the overall sharpness is convincing and the colorimetry is fairly normal.

Oppo Find X5 Pro (12.5 MP, f/1.7, ISO 6848, 1/20 sec)

Huawei Mate 50 Pro (12.5 MP, f/1.4, ISO 400, 1/25 sec)

50 megapixel mode

It is possible to exploit each of the photographs of the main sensor to obtain shots of 50 megapixels. Without treatment during pixel binningDay and night, this mode is clearly lacking in interest, and the shots lose quality.

Huawei Mate 50 Pro

Huawei Mate 50 Pro

Ultra-wide-angle module: 13 MP, f / 2.2, eq. 13 mm

When you choose the most expensive smartphones, such as the Oppo Find X5 Pro, very specific sensors are associated with them pixel binning For ultra-wide-angle units, the Mate 50 Pro prefers a “simple” 13MP sensor, which made us fear the drop in quality. The results proved us wrong, because the sharpness is satisfactory to say the least, although some elements suffer from less successful processing and some defects in the image contour. The colorimetry is fair and the level of detail, despite a little smoothing, is high to say the least.

Oppo Find X5 Pro

Huawei Mate 50 Pro

Lowlights are of course more difficult to manage for a smartphone, which nevertheless manages to provide results quite similar to those of the Find X5 Pro – however, remember, content here with a 12.5 megapixel image. Smoothing is visible, as well as distortion and color distortion in the corners of the image, even if we can compromise global distortion at the edge of the scene.

Oppo Find X5 Pro

Huawei Mate 50 Pro (13 MP, f2.2 ISO 1250, 1/11 sec)

Finally, it is worth noting that the ultra-wide angle module is also used to capture very successful macro shots.

Telephoto unit: 64 MP, f / 3.5, eq. 90 mm

The third photo module on the Mate 50 Pro is dedicated to the telephoto lens. The 64MP sensor is accompanied by an optical equivalent of 90mm in 24x36mm, and provides 3.5x magnification compared to the wide angle. A rather interesting set, which allows you to export 16-megapixel shots, without the possibility of reaching 64 megapixels. Compared to Samsung’s Galaxy S22 Ultra, which relies on a 10MP sensor with 3x zoom, the Mate 50 Pro behaves very well, at least in daylight. The sharpness is much less than the wide angle, but the images are very usable.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra ((10 MP, 70mm, f/2.5, ISO 50, 1/100sec)

Huawei Mate 50 Pro (16 MP, 3.5 equivalent, ISO 125, 1/51 sec)

However, at night, the image is overloaded with very present anti-aliasing, artefacts, very imprecise lines and unnatural colorimetry. We’ll give you a comparison with the Galaxy S22 Ultra, whose 10MP can’t bear the weight, in low light, at a higher resolution. However, in the face of the Find X5 Ultra and 2x zoom, the Mate 50 doesn’t perform poorly.

Oppo Find X5 Pro

Huawei Mate 50 Pro (16 MP, f/3.5, ISO 3200, 1/60 sec)

Front unit, portrait and video position

Two front sensors, but only one really usable. It’s a 13MP ultra-wide angle, paired here with the 3D ToF sensor used for depth of field. The quality of the selfies is very good. The exposure, tone and level of detail are very well respected. As with any good Chinese smartphone, you’ll have to watch out for beauty tricks that can be activated by default that tweak your features by smoothing your skin, for example.

For photos, the Mate 50 Pro takes advantage of the wide-angle variable aperture. For this, it is not enough to go to the custom mode, but to go to the mode called “Unlock”. With 4 different apertures (f/1.4, f/2, f/2.8 and f/4), you can get a more or less enhanced bokeh effect, without any software intervention, as is usually the case with smartphones. There is also a “virtual aperture” mode that runs between f/0.96 and f/16. With the same shot value, it’s best to choose the portrait mode at f/1.4 or the default aperture at f/1.4 as well. At f/0.95, the background is really too blurry to offer any natural result. If you want to choose the physical aperture at f/1.4, you will therefore have to get a little closer to your target. Just like a real camera.

On the video side, Huawei’s latest phone allows capturing 4K images at a maximum rate of 60 fps, 1080p at 480 fps or even 720p at 3840 fps. The presence of optical stabilization (OIS) at wide angle and telephoto, with the help of electronic stabilization (EIS) allows the smartphone not to suffer from jerks during shooting. People tracking feature is also integrated to allow you to never miss your goal.

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