Huawei reportedly played down a lack of 5G support caused by US restrictions in its latest high-end handsets, as the vendor launched its Harmony OS-powered P50 series handsets for the Chinese market.
Although its previous P-series devices were 5G compatible, the P50 uses a Snapdragon 888 4G chipset. Some versions of the P50 Pro will have a 4G Kirin 9000 processor instead.
The company has had supply chain constraints following US restrictions and, as a result has had limited access to components for its latest handset.
Reporting from the launch event, Nikkei Asia noted Huawei consumer business group CEO Richard Yu blamed the sanctions for the lack of 5G options for its latest devices, but pointed to the combination of 4G, Wi-Fi 6 and AI algorithms providing performance on a par with 5G.
Both P50 devices have similar specifications, with the Pro variant including a slightly larger screen at 6.6-inches (compared with 6.5-inches) and greater battery capacity at 4360mAh rather than 4100mAh.
The P50 Pro also comes in a greater number of colour and internal memory options. Both versions have a 50MP main camera and various software and hardware elements targeted at providing high-end photography features.
Both sport the company’s Harmony OS 2, which launched in June and is also being pushed out as an update to some of its older handsets. Huawei noted as of yesterday (29 July) the operating system had been installed by more than 40 million users.
The devices were unveiled at a Chinese language event with limited international promotion compared with its previous flagship launches from the range.
In a statement on the launch, Yu said the devices represent “a new chapter in Huawei’s history of camera excellence, as well as a paradigm shift in mobile photography, aesthetic design and all-scenario experiences”.
The company noted it used its in-house XD optics technology which Yu claimed constituted “kicking off a new era of smartphone photography”.