The Honor 50 In The Test: Stylish Design Under A New Flag
The Honor brand is back. As a subsidiary of Huawei, Honor was drawn into the vortex of the US trade dispute and, for a long time, was no longer allowed to deliver smartphones with a licensed Android operating system. To circumvent the ban, Honor was sold to a Chinese consortium. As a result, the new Honor 50 (for price comparison) now offers complete access to all Android apps again. And the brand has not deteriorated in the short absence: The Honor 50 is again a robust mid-range smartphone with solid test values - but it is pretty expensive, at least in the 256 GB version.
Since we tested the Honor 50 and the new Huawei Nova 9 (for testing) simultaneously, the similarity between the two smartphones is, of course, noticeable. The devices, which now come from different manufacturers, are very similar. This is particularly noticeable on the rear of the camera module with its distinctive double ring design. Fundamental differences can only be found in the inner workings. Overall, the case of the Honor 50 looks high-quality, and the artistry is excellent. The bezel-less display is curved on the sides. The plastic back also looks chic.
The smartphone measures 16 by 7.4 centimeters and is, therefore, one of the medium-sized devices. With a thickness of 10.4 millimeters, it is slim and weighs much, namely only 175 grams. The Honor 50 looks sleek and modern overall. The version with less memory is available in three colors: Black (Midnight Black), Green (Emerald Green) or an Honor logo design in pastel colors. The cell phone model with more memory comes in black or glitter.
Bright 120 Hertz Display, But Weaknesses In The Color Space
The OLED display does very well in the test. The 6.6-inch display area and the resolution of 2,340 by 1,080 pixels result in a decent pixel density of 391 PPI and a format of around 20: 9. Honor has also given the mid-range smartphone a 120 Hertz refresh rate. This makes scrolling extremely fluid, especially with text. The display’s maximum brightness is measured at 736 candelas per square meter, enough for use in the sunshine and HDR. The checkerboard contrast under laboratory conditions is 165 to 1, which is also solid. When it comes to coverage of the vast DCI-P3 color space, Honor promises the full 100 percent, but we only measure 87 percent. This is a little and could be noticeable in videos – but less so in everyday life.
Not Exactly High-End, But Solid Performance
With the Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G, the Honor 50 has a decent mid-range processor. This has a total of eight CPU cores with different clock frequencies (maximum 2.4 GHz), supported by an Adreno-642L graphics chip. Our test device is also equipped with 8 GB of RAM; the somewhat weaker Honor 50 comes with 6 GB. The smartphone does well in the PCMark benchmark; the result of 11,972 points roughly corresponds to that of the Samsung Galaxy S20. The app performance is, therefore, excellent. The Honor 50 is significantly weaker in mobile gaming; only 33 frames per second are achieved in the graphics benchmark.
Complete Android, 5G And Also Otherwise Contemporary
As a result of the spin-off from Huawei, the Honor 50 not only comes with full Android functionality but can also use the chip’s 5G modem again. You can access the 5G network via both slots of the dual SIM function. When receiving data via LTE, a maximum of 1,200 Mbit / s is possible. The fast WiFi 6 standard is available in the WLAN network (IEEE 802.11ax). You can pair wireless accessories via Bluetooth 5.2, and NFC is also part of the equipment.
The more expensive Honor 50 that we tested has 256 GB of internal storage. The cheaper variant comes with 128 GB. There is no built-in memory card slot to expand the memory. The interface for the charging cable and cable headphones is USB-C. Instead of USB 3.1, only the older USB 2.0 standard is available here. This can be noticeable in the speed of the data transfer.
Face recognition is possible via Android; the fingerprint scanner for unlocking is displayed. There is no dust and water protection.
Since the Honor 50 is no longer affected by the Android ban of ex-mother Huawei, you can use all Google Play apps again, including security-related applications such as banking apps. Instead, Honors surface modification called Magic UI is used. The speaker’s sound quality is okay, but there is no authentic stereo sound.
108 Megapixels For Perfect Camera Images
A quad camera with a 108-megapixel sensor is built into the distinctive double ring construction on the back of the Honor 50. In addition to the primary lens, wide-angle, macro and bokeh functions are available. The maximum possible image resolution is 12,032 by 9,024 pixels, but you will usually not use that. The pixel binning function is preset – several pixels are combined to improve quality, and you get an optimized 12.6-megapixel photo. The sensor struggles with delicate structures. However, in the subjective evaluation, the images are perfect in good lighting conditions and still good in low light.
An optical image stabilizer is missing. A video recording in 4K resolution (3840 x 2160 pixels) is possible, but only 30 instead of the better 60 frames per second. You can take slow-motion recordings in full HD resolution at 120 frames per second. The front camera has a 32-megapixel sensor. You can film in Full HD Plus resolution at 60 frames per second.
Long-Lasting Battery And Rapid Charging Power Pack
The Honor 50’s battery shows excellent test results. Not only is the runtime very good with simulated internet use: the battery lasts for almost 13 hours. The charging time is also short. Thanks to the quick charge function, the 4,300 mAh battery is fully charged in 40 minutes. After 30 minutes on the mains, the battery is already 90 per cent charged, so you have almost no restrictions on use. Only inductive charging is not possible.
An Expensive Mid-Range Device
Even if the Honor 50 proves to be an excellent mid-range smartphone (for price comparison), the price of around 600 euros is relatively high. The Honor leaves a lot to be desired in terms of the price-performance ratio. You can get smartphones with similar test values for half the price. The 128 GB version of the Honor 50 with fewer RAM costs around 450 euros, which is better.
The Honor 50 can come up with many qualities in the test: The 120 Hertz display allows wonderfully fluid scrolling, the performance is convincing for a mid-range cell phone, and the battery not only lasts a long time but can also be charged extremely quickly. Since the mid-range expert Honor is no longer part of Huawei, the brand is no longer affected by the US ban. This means that a complete Android operating system is on board again, and 5G mobile communications are also available. The only annoying thing is the
relatively high price for the mid-range smartphone.
- Good mid-range performance
- Nice 120 hertz display
- Fast battery charging time, long battery life
- Graphics power is not enough for high-end gaming
- Dust and water protection is missing
- Old USB-2 standard