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Huawei’s Mate series to return with the Mate 50 next month

Huawei today teased the first new model of its flagship Mate line in years. It’ll be launching the Huawei Mate 50 on September 5, just days before Apple is expected to hold the iPhone 14 launch. It would be the first time Huawei has launched a Mate phone since the Mate 40 in 2020. That’s no surprise. The company’s smartphone business has seen a decline ever since being barred from western markets, with not even sales in its home market of China able to make up for the shortfall.

Huawei made the announcement on Weibo, teasing the September 6 launch. We’re not quite sure what to expect from Huawei on this one. A Mate 50, a Mate 50 Pro, or even a Mate 50 Porsche edition are par for the course. Some other reports claim that Huawei is also planning a cheaper Mate 50E.

Huawei P50 Pro and Honor Magic4 Pro's camera modules.
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

As with all Huawei phones, the Mate 50 will run a modified version of Android that the company calls HarmonyOS. Huawei is still unable to use Android proper, so don’t expect any Google Play apps and services. The company’s replacement app store, the aptly named App Gallery, has seen a steady influx of apps and games over the year, but it’s still nowhere near what you’d expect from a typical Android phone.

As such, Huawei is not expected to bring this phone outside China. If it did, it would still have to contend with the lack of Google services. Sure, it’s a Huawei phone, and it is guaranteed to have excellent cameras, but so are phones from Xiaomi, Oppo, and OnePlus as well as the staples of Samsung and Apple. This doesn’t mean that Huawei’s Mate-inspired technology wouldn’t eventually trickle out of China. Former sub-brand Honor, now an independent company, still uses a lot of Huawei’s stylings. In a year or so, perhaps, the latest Honor Magic phone may yet bring the Mate 50’s best features to Europe and the U.S.

The Mate 50 itself, on the other hand, is not expected to show up.

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