Huawei unveils its Galaxy S10 killer

  • Image courtesy of Evan Blass
Date:26 March 2019 Author: Brendon Petersen Tags:, , , ,

The Huawei P30 Image courtesy of Evan Blass

Huawei’s new P30 series – the P30 and P30 Pro – were unveiled today at an exclusive launch event at the Paris Convention Center.

The new devices are the company’s most advanced camera smartphones to date and are able to rival professional cameras according to Huawei thanks to their innovative Huawei SuperSpectrum Sensor, an extreme optical Huawei SuperZoom lens, a new Time of Flight (TOF) camera, and better OIS and AIS image stabilisation technology.

Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei Consumer BG, said, “The latest Huawei P30 Series represents a breakthrough after decades of digital camera technology development that will rewrite the rules and reshape the perception that consumers have of mobile photography. Innovations such as the Huawei SuperSpectrum Sensor and SuperZoom Lens allow us to push the envelope of not just photography, but videography as well – a frontier long overdue for disruption. The HUAWEI P30 Series will set the pace for the next several generations of smartphones.”

With an emphasis on photography, Huawei claims that the P30 series will “change people’s perceptions of smartphone photography,” which is quite a lofty statement from the company that has already redefined it. To achieve this, the P30 Pro has been equipped with a new Leica Quad camera system – as depicted in the leaks prior to the launch – which consists of a 40MP main camera with Huawei SuperSpectrum Sensor, a 20MP ultra-wide angle camera, an 8MP telephoto camera, a Huawei Time-of-Flight (TOF) Camera, along with a 32MP front camera

While most smartphone camera setups utilise an RGB or RGBG array, the P30 Pro uses a 1/1.7-inch Huawei RYYB (red yellow yellow blue) SuperSpectrum Sensor which deviates from the traditional RGBG Bayer filter by replacing the green pixels with yellow ones. This configuration yields a maximum ISO rating of 204,800 and 409,600 on both the Huawei P30 and Huawei P30 Pro. This fundamental shift in sensor technology – along with the use of larger pixels – means that Huawei’s new handsets will deliver unparalleled photography and videography experiences across a wide range of scenarios and lighting conditions.

The wide angle lens has an f/1.6 aperture sensor which delivers brighter ultra-wide images thanks to its collaboration with the large RYYB sensor and Huawei AIS + OIS. Huawei has also optically stabilised the main and telephoto lenses to ensure that you have steady handheld shots captured with more detail than ever before.

Incredible zoom functionality was one of the most highly teased features of the P30 Pro leading up to the launch and Huawei has delivered. The new SuperZoom Lens supports high fidelity magnification up to 5 times optical zoom, 10 times hybrid zoom and an incredible 50 times digital zoom, which it achieves through a periscope design which uses a prism element in the telephoto camera bends light at a right angle to maximise focal length while minimising camera height and without disrupting device design.

Unique to the P30 Pro is Huawei’s new Time-of-Flight (TOF) Camera that captures depth-of-field information to deliver precisely accurate image segmentation. Huawei says that “precise distance measurement allows for the simulation of multiple levels of bokeh—from a focused background to a creamy, Leica-style blur—highlighting the subject in any scenario.”

Complementing all of this is Huawei’s AI HDR+ which gives the front and rear cameras the ability to combine multiple photos taken in quick succession to optimise overexposed and backlit selfies. There’s also a Super Portrait Mode which can capture tiny details down to the hair strands on a subject’s face. This mode combines depth information, 4-in-1 pixel binning and proprietary algorithms to produce outstanding images with a defocused background and a highly detailed subject, taking portraits to the next level.

Still photography has evolved in leaps and bounds while smartphone videography has stagnated. This is set to change with the new rich suite of video features included on the P30 series which Huawei claims will usher in a new era of studio-grade videography. The SuperSpectrum Sensor enables spectacular low-light video capture so nighttime scenes come out crystal clear and Huawei’s AIS and OIS now support stabilisation for all video capture settings – including 4K videos at 60fps, while the SuperZoom Lens allows for crisp close-ups. There’s also an AI Movie Editor which automatically identifies action highlights and gives users the tools to add background music and special effects, such as time-lapse and slow motion.

Pushing the boundaries even further, Huawei has introduced a Dual-View mode to bring a whole new perspective to videos. The Huawei P30 Series devices let you use two of the rear cameras to record different videos simultaneously and in Dual-View mode, you can capture both an ultra-wide angle clip and a zoom shot – offering a panorama on the right and a close-up on the left of the screen.

Design has been one of the pillars of the P series and the P30 Series builds on this heritage. Taking Master architect Tadao Ando’s quote – “exquisite designs speak to the soul” – to heart, the P30 Series design is inspired by nature and the use of new and novel materials. Both the 6.1-inch Huawei P30 and 6.47-inch Huawei P30 Pro are available in classic Black and three new gradient finishes—Amber Sunrise, Breathing Crystal and Aurora, created with a new high-yield inkjet process that Huawei pioneered.

Opting for a Dewdrop notch instead of a hole-punch display, the FHD+ (2340×1080) display is uninterrupted aims to provide the maximum display area in an aesthetic, symmetrical front view.

Camera and display might be the focus of the P30 series but that doesn’t mean that the company has neglected the overall smartphone experience.

According to Huawei, innovation is core to the company’s DNA, which is why the P30 and P30 Pro are packed with industry-leading new features that set them apart from the competition in power, performance and efficiency:

  • The P30 Series offers the ultimate performance with top-class efficiency due to the Huawei Kirin 980 processor. The 7nm Kirin 980 with a Dual-NPU supports faster image recognition.
  • Underneath the near bezel-less front glass is an In-Screen Fingerprint Sensor for quick and secure identity authentication. Huawei P30 Pro also features the Huawei Acoustic Display Technology, introducing an in-screen maglev speaker for high-quality earpiece audio.
  • The Huawei P Series is shipped with EMUI 9.1, which now introduces an Extendable Read-Only File System (EROFS) that greatly improves the read speed of the storage device. The latest OS also supports Huawei Share OneHop for seamless file sharing between Huawei smartphones and PCs.
  • 40W supercharge and long-lasting battery mean these devices will go for more than a full day of intense work.
  • The Huawei P Series includes a graphene film cooling system that manages heat efficiently and effectively.
  • Both devices come packed with a suite of advanced wireless communications capabilities supporting Dual SIM and Dual VoLTE connectivity; specific features may vary depending on regional availability.
  • The Huawei P30 series will be launched in South Africa on 3 April 2019 where colours, pricing and on-sale dates will be announced.

We’ll be live from that event with all the local information about Huawei’s new flagship devices.

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