What you need to know
- The P50 series flagship phones will reportedly be the first to ship with Huawei's Android alternative 'HarmonyOS' out of the box.
- Huawei is expected to begin updating its existing phones to HarmonyOS next month.
- The P50 series phones are expected to be unveiled sometime in the second quarter of the year.
Back in September, Huawei confirmed that it will be updating all its phones running EMUI 11 to HarmonyOS "when it becomes available." According to a now-deleted Weibo post by Fast Technology, the first phone to come with HarmonyOS 2.0 pre-installed will be the P50 (via GizChina).
Huawei launched HarmonyOS as its Android alternative in August 2019, just a few months after the company and its affiliates were added to the U.S. Commerce Department's "Entity List" by the Trump administration. While a recent report suggested that Huawei's HarmonyOS is actually an Android fork, the company has denied the claim and insists that the OS is "not a copy of Android."
Just like Huawei's previous flagship phones, the P50 series is expected to come with class-leading camera hardware. As per leaker Rodent950, the P50 series phones could feature an all-new 1-inch Sony IMX800 image sensor, which would be a significant upgrade even when compared to the very large 1/1.28" type sensor used in the P40 and Mate 40 series phones. In terms of design, the P50 Pro is rumored to feature a curved display with a tiny hole-punch cutout for the front camera.
While the P50 series will be the first to ship with HarmonyOS out of the box, the company's older phones are expected to start receiving the HarmonyOS "upgrade" from April. The HarmonyOS developer beta has been available for the company's best Android phones — including the P40 series, Mate 40 series, and the MatePad Pro since December last year.