Huawei Mate 50 Pro presented: Smartphones with satellite SMS
With the Mate 50 and Mate 50 Pro, Huawei has presented its first smartphones that can send text messages via satellite.
In early September Google's Android chief Hiroshi Lockheimer announced that satellite connectivity was coming to Android smartphones with Android 14. Huawei isn't waiting, and has unveiled the Mate 50 and Mate 50 Pro, which can send text messages via satellite.
Satellite text messaging and ten fades
Huawei uses the Beidou satellite system for the Mate 50 - effectively the Chinese counterpart to GPS (USA) or Galileo (EU). However, Beidou only reliably covers the Asian region. Global coverage is still being developed and could be a long time coming after a cooperation with the EU satellite system Galileo failed years ago. The feature is likely to be used only in emergencies due to low bandwidth similar to the iPhone 14.
If texting in dead spots doesn't appeal to you, the Mate 50 Pro might win you over with its 5.74-inch OLED display with a maximum refresh rate of 120 hertz. The Mate 50 offers 5.7 inches and 90 hertz. Both smartphones have eight gigabytes of RAM and the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 - albeit in a 4G version.
The main 50-megapixel camera and the ultra-wide 13-megapixel camera are identical on the smartphones. The main camera offers a variable aperture with ten f-stops. The third camera on the Mate 50 Pro is a telephoto camera with 64 megapixels and a 200x digital zoom. On the Mate 500, it is "only" a 100x digital zoom - and, most importantly, only a resolution of 12 megapixels on the telephoto camera.
Huawei is still launching smartphones without Google services in Europe despite the US boycott - most recently the Nova 10 Pro. But the Mate 50 (Pro) is likely to require further tweaks to the global version. As an LTE model without 5G, it might not stand a chance in its price range. In addition, the satellite connection would have to work beyond the Beidou system or would be missing in Europe.
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