Huawei's new P30 smartphone series features camera system co-developed with Leica

The Huawei P30 series smartphones boast a photo sensor that takes in 40 per cent more light than conventional ones and has an RYBY sensor that allows the cameras to let in more colours.
The series, which was unveiled on March 26 in Paris, comes with an image sensor that Huawei says can take in 40 per cent more light than conventional sensors.
The series, which was unveiled on March 26 in Paris, comes with an image sensor that Huawei says can take in 40 per cent more light than conventional sensors.PHOTOS: HUAWEI

PARIS - Chinese smartphone maker Huawei aims to rewrite the rules and change the perception of mobile photography with its latest P30 series, which has a powerful camera system co-developed with German maker Leica.

The series, which was unveiled on Tuesday (March 26) in Paris, comes with an image sensor that Huawei says can take in 40 per cent more light than conventional sensors. This allows users to take multi-frame, long-exposure photographs that look clear even in low light.

The camera system in the P30 Pro and P30 phones is a departure from traditional RGB image sensors, which use the three primary colours of red, green and blue to take pictures.

The camera uses an RYBY image sensor that adds yellow to the mix, which Huawei claims allows its phones to absorb more colours.

The P30 Pro, which builds on its predecessor P20 Pro, has four cameras at the back: a 40-megapixel wide angle camera, a 20-megapixel ultra-wide angle camera, an 8-megapixel telephoto camera and a new time-of-flight camera, which allows it to take pictures with greater depth. It also has a 32-megapixel front selfie camera.

The device also boasts a 5x optical zoom, 10x hybrid zoom and 50x digital zoom, which Huawei says is made possible through its periscope design.

The standard P30 has a similar camera set-up, but without the time-of-flight camera.


CEO of Huawei Consumer Business Group Richard Yu introducing the company's P30 series smartphones in Paris on March 26, 2019. ST PHOTO: HARIZ BAHARUDIN

Leveraging its research and development efforts in artificial intelligence (AI), Huawei has built-in technology in the P30 Pro that it says can predict the path and motion of photography subjects, which will enable users to capture smooth photographs without blur from movements.

CEO of Huawei Consumer Business Group Richard Yu said in a media statement: "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."

The P30 Pro, which is covered with glass on both its front and back with a metal frame in the middle, is about 8.4mm thick and has a 6.47-inch Oled screen. The P30 has a similar design but is slimmer with its 7.6mm thickness and its 6.1-inch Oled screen.

The standard version also lacks the dust and water resistant feature of the Pro, which Huawei says can withstand a depth of 1.5m in water for up to 30 minutes.

Battery capacity varies between the two phones too. The standard P30 has a smaller battery capacity of 3,650mAh, compared to the Pro version which has 4,200mAh.

Despite their differences, Huawei says that both phones can charge more than half of their battery capacities in half an hour using its fast-charging technology. In just 30 minutes, the P30 Pro can charge to 70 per cent, while the P30 can charge to nearly 60 per cent. Both can be recharged wirelessly too.

The phones also feature an advanced biometric scanner that is said to be able to unlock the phones within 0.5 seconds, faster than any other Huawei products.

Both the P30 Pro and P30 come with an updated version of Huawei's GPU Turbo - the company's software that increases the phone's performance when certain games are launched. These include popular titles like Mobile Legends, PUBG Mobile and Rules of Survival.

If users find that the internal storage on the P30 Pro (256GB) or the P30 (128GB) is insufficient to store all their photos, music, videos and apps, they can increase the capacity by up to another 256GB using Huawei's own nano memory cards.

Introduced last year, these cards replace the microSD and are designed to fit a nano SIM card slot.

Just like Huawei's Mate 20 series, both the P30 phones contain the company's Kirin 980 processor chip, which has two neural processing units compared to one on the previous Kirin chip.

These units perform the intensive calculations needed for AI use quickly and efficiently.

AI is used for tasks like real-time translation of foreign languages which involves pointing the phone's camera at text in an unfamiliar language. It works even without an Internet connection, unlike many translation tools.

The P30 series smartphones will be available at major consumer electronics stores in Singapore on Apr 6.

The P30 (with 8GB RAM and 128GB storage) is priced at $998, while the P30 Pro (with 8GB RAM and 256GB storage) costs $1,398.

There is also a special edition of the P30 Pro that comes with 512GB of storage that will be sold exclusively on Huawei's official store on e-commerce platform Lazada for $1,698.

Colour options for both phones include breathing crystal, aurora and black.