Huawei unveils the P20 and P20 Pro with world’s first Leica triple camera set up

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Huawei have unveiled the P20 and P20 Pro handsets at the Grand Palais in Paris, featuring the world’s first Leica triple camera set up that boasts a 40MP RGB sensor, 20MP monochrome shooter and an 8MP sensor with a telephoto lens on the rear of the device and is also capable of 5x Hybrid zoom.

The P20 achieves pretty remarkable results in low light thanks to a triple-sensor unit, the biggest of which is a 40MP sensor, and very large 2um pixels, flooding the image with light, even in near-pitch black conditions. Huawei claims about four times the light is captured when compared with rival smartphones. This resolves to a 51,200 maximum ISO, compared to 6,400 ISO on the Samsung Galaxy S9 and Apple iPhone X. The Pro’s units feature f/1.6 and f/2.4 aperture.

The photos it can take in low light are partly down to the hardware, and partly down to “AI image stabilisation”, with the phone taking an eight-second exposure then weeding out artefacts and blur. Zoom is also highly impressive – Huawei claims a 3x lossless zoom – producing readable results from text at a distance.

Huawei CEO Richard Yu said:

“We look for inspiration from artists to continuously evolve our approach to design and innovation.

“The Huawei P20 Series builds on the legacy of our collaboration with Leica. With a breakthrough triple camera on the Huawei P20 Pro, an advanced dual camera on the Huawei P20, and powerful artificial intelligence on both, today’s most vibrant consumers can capture and share the brilliance of the world around them.”

The 6.1 inch diagonal P20 Pro uses a “19:9” OLED panel that we’re seeing a lot of this year, meaning there’s an iPhone X style notch at the top of the display – although you can turn this off in the phone settings and hide it. Huawei’s own software adapts to the notch, but third party software might not, at least until Android P ships: the next Android will have “display cutout support”. The regular features a non-removable 3,400mAh battery with a 4,000mAh for the Pro.

The regular P20 features 4GB RAM and 128GB non-expandable storage, and the Pro has 6GB RAM and 128GB. The devices are powered by Android 8.1 on Huawei’s 10nm 64-bit Kirin 970 CPU: it has four Arm Cortex A73 cores at 2.36GHz, and four Arm Cortex A53 cores at 1.8GHz, plus an Arm Mali-G72 MP12 GPU.

The Pro is rated water and dust resident to IP67, but the regular P20 is only rated IP53. Only the Pro gets the 7MP telephoto lens.

Audio fans will also dread the loss of the 3.5mm stereo jack. Instead, they’ll be asked to hook up to the USB-C jack via an adapter, or go wireless with Bluetooth headphones.

Also missing is a microSD card slot, to expand storage beyond the 128GB onboard. Though that is plenty of capacity for most users, those who take a lot of images will be concerned. After all, with the camera capable of 40MP, they will using up storage fairly quickly with their image files.

The P20 Pro will cost 899 euros including tax ($1,115; £788).

Huawei P20 and P20 Pro specs

CategoryHuawei P20Huawei P20 Pro
Operating SystemAndroid 8.1, EMUI 8.1Android 8.1, EMUI 8.1
ProcessorHuawei Kirin 970Huawei Kirin 970
Battery3,400mAh non-removable
Huawei SuperCharge
4,000mAh non-removable
Huawei SuperCharge
Display5.8-inch 2240×1080 RGBW LCD
16:9 aspect ratio
6.1-inch 2240×1080 OLED
18:9 aspect ratio
Front camera24-megapixel
Rear cameras20MP (mono) f/1.6 + 12MP (RGB) f/1.8
1.55-micron pixels
40MP RGB (1/1.7-inch sensor) + 20MP mono
8MP f/2.4 OIS 3X telephoto
Headphone jackNoNo
Wireless chargingNoNo
Fingerprint scannerFrontFront
Face recognitionYesYes
Water resistanceIP53 (splash resistant)IP67 (water + dust-resistant)
ColorsTwilight, Black, Midnight Blue, Pink GoldTwilight, Black, Midnight Blue, Pink Gold
Dimensions149.1 mm x 70.8 mm x 7.65 mm155.0 mm x 73.9 mm x 7.8 mm



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