Huawei’s foldable P50 Pocket has a circular outer display that’s perfect for notifications

Huawei has officially announced the P50 Pocket, a collapsible shell-style smartphone with a circular 1-inch external display for quick access to notifications and widgets. The device is launching in China today, although US sanctions (meaning Huawei can’t use key technologies like Google’s Android operating system) mean the P50 Pocket won’t have any impact in West.

Huawei teased the handset earlier this month with a photoshoot focused on the P50 Pocket Premium Edition that appeared in Harper’s Bazaar China. This version of the device was created with the Dutch designer Iris van Herpen. It has a gold or silver finish and a 3D pattern on the exterior surface typical of van Herpen’s work, resembling feathers or leaves.

The P50 Pocket is Huawei’s third foldable phone, but the first to use a clamshell design.

Huawei’s sales pitch for the P50 Pocket focuses, unsurprisingly, on the device’s pocket-size capability.

When unfolded, the Pocket’s OLED screen measures 6.9 inches, with a 21: 9 ratio and a refresh rate of 120 Hz. The device weighs 190 grams and is only 7.2mm thick. (Huawei compared it to the iPhone 13 Pro Max which weighs 238 grams and is 7.65mm thick). It has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 4G SoC, 4000mAh battery, and runs Huawei’s Harmony OS 2.

The P50 Pocket’s main camera array features a 40-megapixel main sensor, a 13-megapixel wide-angle lens, and a 32-megapixel “super spectrum” lens that Huawei says captures a greater range. colours. There’s a punch-hole camera built into the main screen, but Huawei notes that the phone’s foldable design makes it more convenient to use the main camera for taking selfies, with the 1-inch cover screen doubling as a viewfinder. .

The outer circular screen of the P50 Pocket can be used to display various apps and widgets.

Access to basic information such as step-by-step instructions can be done in a more discreet manner.

Huawei positions that same “cover screen” as a big part of the P50 Pocket’s appeal. In addition to showing notifications or the time, the screen can be used for widgets, allowing users to control music, follow instructions, and more. So, for example, if you’re using your phone to navigate to a new city, the cover screen will show discreet, step-by-step instructions, rather than forcing you to open the large main 6.9-inch screen to check your position.

The P50 Pocket also features a new hinge that leaves no space between the screens when folded. This compares favorably to devices like the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3, which is another flip-flop but has a slight tapered gap when folded. The P50 Pocket also has face unlock on the main screen and cover, and a side fingerprint unlock sensor – handy when many people are still wearing masks during the pandemic.

The P50 Pocket folds completely flat, while Samsung’s Z Flip 3 has a slight tapered gap.

A standard edition of the P50 Pocket goes on sale today in China with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage for 8,988 (around $ 1,400), while the premium version, with 12GB of RAM and 512GB of storage. , sells for 10,988 (approximately $ 1,700). The standard edition is available in black and white, while the premium edition is available in silver or gold.

During a presentation, Huawei Consumer Business Group CEO Richard Yu said the clamshell design offers a more refined approach to foldable devices. “It’s very delicate and exquisite,” Yu said. “We want to bring you elegance, on the go. “

Shirlene J. Manley