The revolution in smartphone photography is catching pace. Newage smartphone manufacturers are resolute and showing-off their camera prowess. Huawei is no exception. After months of news and rumours, Huawei’s latest flagship smartphones P20 and P20 Pro are official now. The world’s third largest smartphone maker has packed the device with advanced AI skills and a good bunch of camera sensors.
Both the devices are most likely pioneers of smartphone photography, but Huawei P20 Pro steals the show with intelligent photography and state of the art camera technology. With P20 Pro, Huawei has introduced world’s first Leica Triple Camera: 40 MP RGB, 20 MP Monochrome and 8 MP Telephoto cameras on the back of the device. Yes, it has a triple rear camera setup. It is arguably the most innovative and exciting device, in terms of camera tech, we’ve seen in a while.
The above claim is testified by DxOMark, as the Huawei P20 Pro has set a new milestone for the major players of the smartphone camera. With an overall camera score of 109, P20 Pro has outperformed its closest rivals, such as iPhone X, Galaxy S9+ and Google Pixel 2 by a significant margin. It has a photo sub-score of 114, whopping 10 points more than the Samsung Galaxy S9+, and a video score of 98 points that makes it outscore the Google Pixel 2 which was on the top of DxOMark’s video ranking.
But, what’s all the fuss about triple camera anyway? Is there something that the dual cameras in the majority of latest flagship devices are not capable of doing?
Let’s debunk the epic camera system.
How very many imaging tricks do we need?
Huawei P20 Pro: The Epic Triple Camera
Huawei P20 Pro has pushed the boundaries of creative mobile technology with world’s first Leica triple camera that wreaks quality. It is engineered to make aesthetic vision meet a brilliant camera system to capture rich and detailed images at any time. It stands out among its peers in several ways –
- The main camera is an astounding 40 megapixel with the f/1.8-aperture lens. The 1/1.7″ RGB sensor is unusually large – approximately twice than that of Samsung’s S9 Plus (1/2.55″). The main camera sensor uses a Quad Bayer structure and captures 20% more light than the sensors used in most of the competition. The main sensor is helped by a B&W sensor which catches more photons. This way it helps users to capture less noisy photographs in the low light conditions.
“If you had an area of a table and put 40 little buckets on top and it was raining, it would take a longer time to get an inch-worth of rain in the bottom of each than it would if you had 10 buckets four times the size. And that’s essentially what we are doing. Using light fusion to combine four smaller pixels together to make a much larger pixel, and therefore enhance our capability of absorbing light into the sensor” said marketing manager Peter Gauden.
- The second camera is 1/2.78″ monochrome sensor with a f/1.6-aperture lens. The total pixel count is 20 megapixel. The monochrome lens helps in depth estimation for a perfect bokeh effect. It also delivers decent zoom details. Click more and better photographs and videos with blur background.
- The third camera is an 8-megapixel telephoto module with 1/4.4″ RBG sensor and f/2.4 aperture lens. It offers Optical Image Stabilization (OIS), and longer reach than Apple and Samsung devices. It allows 3x Optical Zoom and a 5x hybrid zoom.
Huawei uses Light Fusion technique which helps in generating brighter and clearer pixels by combining the data from four adjacent pixels into one. It is also capable of recording 720p super slow-motion videos at 960 fps (Frame Per Second). The P20 offers a max ISO of 102400 that can click even at 1 Lux – a little more than moonshine. It is astonishingly high as for the phones that even offer ISO setting the typical limit is around 6400.
Huawei P20 Pro: Beauty With The Best Technology
The company is using the term “Master AI” that has helped in taking the photography experience above and beyond. Apart from object recognition and automatically detecting the scene being shot, the P20 (Pro or otherwise) will tap into different modes and settings depending upon the photo being captured. There is also a ‘predictive focus’ that ensures that the focus remains precise during motion in the frame. Surprisingly, it also has 19 different subject modes to chose from. The AI- image stabilization (AIS) will assist you with various photography subjects like different kinds of food, pets, landscape, etc.
The Huawei P20 (and Pro) runs on its homemade Kirin 970 processor chipset, which also integrates neural processing for certain tasks like initiating Face Lock in less than a second. One other remarkable features in the P20 Pro is the dual-tone paint job that displays a luminescent colour progression. Although the gradient colour tone is only available in Twilight and Pink Gold.
Huawei sports a 24MP front camera with autofocus, which also uses Light Fusion. It misses out on the 3.5mm audio jack but has the predictable notch – hated, criticised then copied – where the selfie camera is placed. Yet it doesn’t lack the home button. The P20 Pro comes with 6.1″ Full HD+ OLED display, and the smaller sibling P20 is a 5.8″ LCD display.
Huawei launched both the smartphones at an event in Paris, France. P20 Pro will be available on sale from 6th April for EUR 899 with 6GB RAM and 128GB storage. The P20 went on sale yesterday at EUR 649 with 4GB RAM and 128 GB storage. Also, there is a Porche Design variant with higher resolution and 512GB storage priced at EUR 2095 available from 12th April.
All said, the Huawei P20 Pro can be a game changer for the upcoming smartphone camera generation. Huawei has overshadowed its direct rivals in virtually every category with its triple camera and smart AI. However, it would be interesting to see if the company is able to make people fall for it by its unbeatable marketing tactics. Only the time will tell if smartphone users find Huawei P20 Pro a great value for money.