Huawei is rumoured to be gearing up for a new version of its popular Mate range of smartphones, the Mate 50. This is despite the fact that the latest 'P' model hasn't yet launched outside of China.
Nevertheless, we’ve gathered together all the latest news and rumours surrounding the Hauwei Mate 50 series, including whether it will actually be released at all.
When will the Hauwei 50 be released?
Huawei has seen some disruption to its release schedules in 2021. The long-anticipated P50 Pro was expected to be announced in the spring, but after delays it finally appeared in July as a China-only release, with global availability confirmed for "early 2022".
This has led to several news outlets reporting that the Mate 50 may have been cancelled altogether, partly due to the worldwide chip shortage and also because of the continued battle between the Chinese company and the US government.
Others have stated that it’s simply delayed and will arrive at some point during 2022.
Usually, the Mate range is introduced around September time or slightly later with the past two generations making their debuts in the Autumn:
- Mate 40: November 2020
- Mate 30: September 2019
It seems unlikely the Mate 50 will get a 2021 launch - even if that's only in China - but we have seen reports, notably from Chinese tech site IT, that suggest Huawei could be planning a release in Q1 of 2022.
Again, this may only be in China, as it did with the P50 series, but if it does arrive in the Far-East in the Spring, then it may make its way to the global market by the summer.
How much will the Huawei Mate 50 cost?
With no official pricing yet (or confirmation that the Mate 50 range will even arrive), we need to look to the last generation for some clues.
Huawei offers three versions of the Mate 40 range, the 40, 40 Pro and 40 Pro+, but they aren’t all available in all territories. Due to the US-ban, you can’t buy Huawei phones in North America unless you import them yourselves. So, prices can be hard to estimate due to taxes, customs charges and so forth.
In the UK, Europe, and Australia the only available handset is the Mate 40 Pro, which will set you back the following amount:
- Huawei Mate 40 Pro: £1099/€1199.99/AU$1999
In China, as you’d expect, there’s the entire range available, with the following prices:
- Huawei Mate 40: 4999 Y (approx. £574/US$780/€675)
- Huawei Mate 40 Pro: 5899 Y (approx. £677/US$920/€796)
- Huawei Mate 40 Pro+: 8499 Y (approx. £975/$1330/€1147)
From this we can speculate that the Huawei Mate 50 models might cost the following:
- Huawei Mate 50: £799/US$1099/€939
- Hauwei Mate 50 Pro: £1099/US$1500/€1199.99
- Huawei Mate 50 Pro+: £1299/US$1775/€1499
What new features will we see in the Huawei Mate 50 devices?
With the Mate 50 being essentially mythical at this point, there isn’t a lot to say about it. That said, we’ve still managed to find a few rumblings from other reporters who have some idea of what you might see when the handsets finally make it to market.
GizmoChina says that the Mate 50 range will run on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 898 chipset, although because of sanctions imposed by the US government, Huawei is expected to only offer it with 4G rather than the 5G of which it’s capable. The Mate 40 Pro offered 5G because it used Huawei's own Kirin 9000 processors.
Of course, there’s no certainty that it will swap to Qualcomm Snapdragon silicon for the next generation. It has already said it is building its own fabrication plant so it doesn't have to rely on third party maker TSMC.
The bad news is that this won't be able to manufacture chips for phones for a while. According to an FT report, the plant will start off making 28nm chips for IoT devices - and that there's a long way to go before it can make the 7nm processors used in today's phones.
GizmoChina also reports that the Mate 50 devices will feature LTPO displays, which seems to be in line with other new phones we’re expecting to see in the first half of 2022. These panels are more energy efficient than existing ones, have a potentially higher maximum brightness, and offer variable refresh rates up to 120Hz.
We’ve also seen similar rumours from industry display expert David Naranjo who tweeted a list of phones expected to use LTPO in the next year.
With the announcement of iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max having a variable refresh rate up to 120Hz marks 20 models that are current and rumored that use LTPO OLED panels from SDC. pic.twitter.com/5wlbsl2HF1— David Naranjo (@DSCCDave) September 16, 2021
Perhaps the most bizarre rumour, again from GizmoChina, is that the Mate 50 will support satellite connectivity for texts (SMS) when normal cellular networks are not possible. This seems crackers to us, so maybe take it with a large pinch of salt.
One intriguing idea comes in the form of the concept video for the Huawei Mate 50 Pro created by designer HoilNDI. He used various leaks and speculations about the upcoming model to put together an excellent video that has the new phone sporting two huge circles on the rear that are home to a triple camera section and an LED flash and depth camera area.
Whether the Huawei Mate 50 looks anything like this or not remains to be seen, but hopefully it won’t be too long until we find out. One thing is certain though, until the Chinese company can make peace with the US and get back its access to the Google Play Store and all the apps within, it will just be excellent hardware that’s held back by a lack of the best apps most people use (outside of China, that is).
To see what other devices the Huawei Mate 50 range will need to overcome, read our guide to the best smartphones.