Huawei's triple-lens P20 Pro uses AI to make your photos better

The new flagship combines a three-lens main camera with a 24-megapixel selfie snapper.
Written by Steve Ranger, Global News Director

Huawei has unveiled two new smartphones, the P20 and P20 Pro, with a major focus on the updated camera.

The new smartphones, which run Android 8.1 Oreo, were launched at an event in Paris.

The P20 Pro has a 6.1-inch, 2,240-by-1,080 OLED screen and a 4,000mAh battery, but the real departure is the camera system. The P20 Pro's main camera is a Leica triple-lens unit that, according to Huawei, has the highest total pixel count on any currently-available smartphone. It comprises a 40-megapixel (MP) RGB sensor, a 20MP monochrome sensor and an 8MP sensor with a telephoto lens.

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The P20 has a 5.8-inch, 2,244-by-1,080 LCD screen and a dual-lens main camera comprising a 12-megapixel RGB and a 20-megapixel monochrome sensor. It has a 3,400mAh battery.

Both of Huawei's new handsets have a 24MP selfie camera.

Huawei said the Kirin 970 processor automatically identifies more than 500 scenarios in 19 categories and selects photography modes and camera settings. It also enables what the company described AI-Assisted Composition, providing "intelligent suggestions" to frame group shots and landscapes. The chip also powers other features like the ability to take a photo of an object and then find it for sale on Amazon.

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Forrester analyst Thomas Husson said: "By augmenting an advanced Leica triple camera system with artificial intelligence, Huawei is raising the bar on smartphone photography innovation. The partnerships with Prisma and Amazon to deliver AI-powered services on top of Android OS are a sign in the right direction but it remains to be seen how differentiated the user experience is, especially for consumers in the various European countries."

Huawei said it sold 153 million smartphone last year and invested $10.4bn in R&D. The company is the world's third largest smartphone maker. However, its efforts to find a foothold in the US have so far failed.

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