Huawei unveils photo-focused new flagship device

Image credit: Huawei
Huawei has introduced two new flagship devices, including the P30 Pro, which features the world's first 5x optical zoom smartphone camera.

Chinese smartphone manufacturer has revealed two new flagship devices that are set to hit shelves next month, including a handset the firm promises will "revolutionise" how people think about photography on their phone.

The gadgets, the P30 and P30 Pro, were unveiled at an event in Paris this week and will be available to buy from April. Prices start at £699 for the P30 and climb as high as £1,099 for the top-of-the-range P30 Pro.

While both gadgets feature the usual upgraded set of specs, including promises of faster performance and better battery life, the standout feature of the P30 Pro is its approach to capturing pictures.

The handset features the world's first 5x optical zoom fitted to a smartphone, up from the 3x zoom featured on the previous P20. It achieves this through a periscope-like set of prisms that reflect light across the width of the phone, making room for the required lenses without the need for added bulk.

Speaking at the launch, Peter Gauden, the company’s global senior product marketing manager, said: "We're going to completely rewrite the rules of smartphone photography, and we can do this because we own the complete ecosystem within the smartphone. All the little elements, not just the camera."

This references the fact that the P30 Pro features entirely Huawei-made processors and other chips, instead of buying them in from third parties.

Elsewhere, the P30 Pro boasts a 6.47-inch OLED display with a small teardrop notch for the 32-megapixel front-facing selfie camera and an in-screen fingerprint sensor. Huawei has also removed the earpiece speaker in favour of "electromagnetic levitation", which creates sound by vibrating the screen itself, turning the entire display into a speaker.

Commenting on the new device, mobile analyst at CCS Insight Ben Wood said the new camera features are impressive and could help it stand out from rival devices from Samsung and Apple.

However, he questioned whether it will be enough to get current P20 users to upgrade, noting: "Like rival smartphone makers, the company faces a tough challenge to convince people that there is enough differentiation in the new devices to justify upgrading, particularly given their premium price tags."

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