Huawei's triple camera beats the competition

Huawei's triple camera beats the competition

Not only Samsung, Huawei is also focusing heavily on the camera this year with its new smartphone: the P20 Pro is the first smartphone to hit the market with three main cameras. The combination of 40-megapixel camera, 20-megapixel camera and 8-megapixel telephoto lens should enable users to use high-quality zoom levels, among other things.

In addition, the P20 Pro with the help of artificial intelligence to help the user with the recording by the camera app automatically default settings. In our first hands on that has worked well with portraits – in the test, we check to what extent the AI ​​chooses more settings and if they are a good idea.

We also want to know, of course, how the P20 Pro beats in comparison to the current competition. Huawei showed on the presentation of the smartphone current test results of the DxO camera benchmark, in which the P20 Pro the Galaxy S9 + of Samsung by ten points – in the DxO benchmark are the worlds. In the test shows that Huawei has rightly stated with the numbers: The P20 Pro has in certain settings a superior picture quality.

For comparison, we have the Galaxy S9 + from Samsung, Sony’s new Xperia XZ2 and from the house of Huawei the Mate 10 Pro snapped – the main focus of the comparison, however, is on the devices from Samsung and Sony. Our shooting situations are manifold: we took pictures in daylight, in bad lighting conditions and also at night.

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ROHDE & SCHWARZ Meßgerätebau GmbH, Memmingen
Fresenius Medical Care Germany GmbH, Bad Homburg
Basically, the P20 Pro uses an advanced dual camera like Huawei used to. Two lenses with the same wide-angle focal length are added to the new device with a telephoto lens that allows a threefold optical zoom. In contrast to the P10 and Mate 10 Pro, Huawei has also increased the resolution of the RGB sensor: instead of 12 megapixels, the sensor now has 40 megapixels. The supporting monochrome sensor still has 20 megapixels.

The five-time zoom of the P20 Pro is good quality. From a standard shot like this …
Five times zoom with good quality

The new pixel wealth allows us to use a threefold optical zoom and a fivefold digital zoom with improved quality. Huawei calls this “Hybrid Zoom” , which implies an involvement of the telephoto lens. How exactly does the hybrid zoom, Huawei could not tell us – but the 40-megapixel sensor of the main camera seems to play a crucial role. The concept itself is not new and has already been used by Nokia in its 808 Pureview.

In practice, the five-time zoom is a practical matter: Especially in daylight details are displayed more clearly than in the other test participants – Huawei draws in the P20 Pro simply lossless magnification of the 40-megapixel sensor. In bad light, however, this zoom method is expected to reach its limits: Due to the lack of light, the overall recording quality is worse, which is why the magnification of course, is also less good than in daylight.

We must be careful if we press the trigger too fast after switching to the five-fold magnification: The P20 Pro needs a short moment to visually improve the zoomed-in image. This change to better sharpness and finer details can be seen well in the preview image; if we press the trigger too early – that is, before the image is optimized – we get a qualitatively much worse shot.

The optical triple zoom in our test can only match the Galaxy S9 +: It has a dual optical zoom. The Xperia XZ2 has only a single main camera. It is interesting that the quality of the zoom lens on Samsung’s smartphone is better than that of the P20 Pro – even if we zoom in the finished image to the same detail size. We have to zoom in the Galaxy S9 + stronger, the detail quality is still better. The telephoto lens of the P20 Pro is in our opinion the weakest part of the camera design. As if Huawei knew that, the lens is also not used in the default setting for portrait mode, which we will come to later.

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