Last Tuesday morning in Paris, Huawei revealed its new flagship smartphone series, the Huawei P20 and Huawei P20 Pro. Staged at Paris’ historic Grand Palais, the launch of the P20 Series commanded an audience of hundreds of mobile phone and technology enthusiasts to no surprise, as the company’s leaps in bringing to market powerful, efficient and sleekly designed handsets have gotten rave reviews over the past few years. So much so, last year the Chinese smartphone maker surpassed Apple to be the second largest smartphone brand in the world.
Paris – the city of lights – was a befitting location to unveil the P20 Series as light was a major inspiration for two of the phone’s marquee features, low or no-light photography and face unlock recognition in the dark. “It [the P20] can see in the dark. It can see more than humans can.” said Richard Yu, the company’s Chief Executive Officer and by this he was mainly referring the phone’s Leica triple camera and 5x Hybrid Zoom (the world’s most powerful zoom) on the HUAWEI P20 Pro, and a Leica dual camera on the HUAWEI P20 which enables the device to capture more light, resulting in the capture of more details. As for the face unlock feature, the P20 phones and the iPhone X are the only handsets that process face unlock recognition in the dark. These features alone push the P20 phones past all other handsets in the market, including Samsung’s recent launch the Galaxy S9.
Huawei’s collaboration with Leica is the reason for its pioneering abilities in the smartphone camera arena. The P20 Pro’s Leica triple camera offers the highest total pixel count on a smartphone available in the market, a 40MP RGB sensor, a 20MP monochrome sensor and an 8MP sensor with telephoto lens. To bring credibility to the prowess of the P20’s camera Huawei enlisted British fashion photographer Mel Bess to testify about her intrigue with the mobile phone. At the top of Mel’s list was the pro mode’s ability to play with aperture and the showcase of images she captured with the P20 Pro demonstrated not only intrigue but possibilities for seasoned photographers and amateurs alike.The mobile giant offers this feature in most of their handsets, most recently the Mate 10, which excited all the pros who used that phone. As for ease and efficiency in capturing professional images, Huawei’s significant investment in technology helps any novice capture stunning photos and singularly sets the company apart from in this regard.
When Huawei launched the Mate 10 last October, the mention of Artificial Intelligence (AI) elicited much hype – the AI capabilities were astonishing. With the P20 though, the ante has been upped (all due to its Kirin 970 processor). On the photography side AI automatically identifies over 500 scenarios in 19 categories selecting photography modes and settings delivering the capture of images with a professional edge. Previously the AI System (AIS) enabled the camera to recognize types of object, for example, food. Now it recognizes the types of food and automatically applies image tweaks. Additions to the AI system include automatic steadying of handheld shots (i.e. no need for a tripod), AI-Assisted Composition which provides suggestions to frame group shots and landscapes and what can be considered a slam dunk for motion photography: 4D predictive focus. In the 4D predictive focus mode, the camera predicts moving objects and focuses on them to capture small details of the object(s) in motion. That’s super cool.
While we’re still messing about with the Mate 10 the P20’s launch has captured all our attention. Here are a few aspects of note that sets the P20 Series apart:
Selfie Game Strong: An 24MP selfie camera with AI beautification and 3D portrait lighting that offers 3D enhancements, enhances skin tone and outlines minor facial details.
Giving Face Quick: The face unlock technology found on the P20 is faster than Apple’s Face ID
Fashion-Forward: The phones come in two new colourways, Twilight and Pink Gold. The twilight is fantastic with a gradient pattern that shifts from purple to teal.
Stronger Longer: It’s 4000 mAh battery lasts longer and recharges faster (in20 minutes to be exact).
Super Slow Motion Realness: The P20 Series has super slow motion option which can increase the camera’s frame rate to 960fps for 0.2 seconds to get a Matrix-like effect.