Everybody has a phone now, in fact, quite a few of us have multiple phones. Over the years the market has fluctuated and shifted, but we're at a point where a lot of the big phone manufacturers out there are brands that we've known of for years. Honor, and their Honor 50, enters the market in the strangest of ways though - it's a brand we know, but the manufacturer used to be a label, a sub-company, while it now stands independent of its former Huawei parent company.
So, the Honor 50 is, in some ways, a debut device; A courageous foray into the European market and at an affordable, mid-range price point too. But, on the other hand, this is a company that has marketed plenty of other phones and devices over the years; So there's an expectation there for them to not only step forward from the issues (be that diplomatic, or technical) that they had in the past, but also to push forward technologically.
With dimensions of 160mm x 73.8mm it actually comes in a little larger than the iPhone Pro Max 11, due to its height. That said, there's a thin black border around the screen, and the curvature of the screen on the sides is quite subtle, so the screen is about standard for a phone in this size range. I've never actually been a fan of curved screen phones because I have a permanently broken thumb which means I sometimes miss with gestures and inputs.
I was pleased with the Honor 50's curved screen, despite the opportunity being there, there were not any misclicks, and while the gesturing in from the side is present, the gripping fingers and thumbs don't seem to conflict with the swiping required to use them. In fact, the only issue I had with the screen was that sometimes it decided it was locked and other times in a simple standby, always-lit mode, these seemed to have different unlock procedures, which I didn't manage to fully figure out during my time with it.
The curved screen feels surprisingly responsive and I didn't have any weird experiences when using the phone to play games. The refresh rate was really good, and the phone ran games like Genshin Impact, Wild Rift and Cookie Run: Kingdom well; I didn't experience any odd slow-down or delayed loading times. One thing that I did notice is that the edges of the screen seemed darker, due to the nature of the screen, although that didn't really cause me any issue, but might if it comes to taking precise photos.
The cameras though, they're the real centre point here. Both the front and rear cameras have a lot of different uses on the phone and each features a pull-out wide-view. The main camera, the rear camera, has a 108mp sensor and features a 10x zoom, even at 10x elements were distinguishable which is more than can be said for max zoom on other devices. There are smaller cameras included too, which help with exterior and close-up shots. I'm a sucker for pulling focus onto close-up objects in photos, and this phone really delivers on that. Interestingly though, it really, really compensates for low-light, much more than my iPhone 11. I've not decided on whether this is a good thing on not yet, but if you take selfies and group photos at night, rather than scenic shots, then this as default will likely be welcome.
That's also present on the portrait, front-facing camera. Bokeh and Beauty features are present, but even with both of these dialled down, there's a bit of compensation done by the camera when in a slightly-lit room in the evenings. Blemishes, freckles and moles can be lost quite easily due to this, which is probably great if you're sharing online but is a little bit odd. While it does this, it'll take an almost perfect detail from the stuff going on around you — a book behind you might have a fully legible title — but your freckles are gone.
As a final note, the Honor 50 is another victim of the recent anti-audio jack movement. There are USB-C headphones included, which is great, and you can - obviously - grab an adapter, but this still feels like a bit of an odd trend that is spreading through the industry quickly.
If you're looking for a phone that can capture video and photos in a variety of interesting ways, can function well at night, runs games and media well, and has a pretty great battery then you can't go wrong with the Honor 50.