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Huawei and Leica collaborate on a smartphone, with integrated AI and a triple lens camera

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Tech brand Huawei has launched a new smartphone series aimed at photography enthusiasts. The P20 series of phones, which comprises three different models, comes with an integrated Leica camera and was co-engineered with the camera company.

One model, the Huawei P20 Pro, has a triple lens camera, which according to Huawei is the “world’s first triple lens on a smartphone”, complete with a telephoto lens with a 5x Hybrid Zoom. The triple camera has an f/1.6 smartphone aperture.

The phone makes use of AI to “understand a scene in real life” and “perfect” images by framing the shot or bringing in a horizon line. AI technology also allows the phone to stabilise footage, minimising the effect of movement – for example, the shake of a human hand – on images. The Pro version of the smartphone boasts 4D Predictive Focus to “predict the perfect photo”, tracking moving objects across the five zones of the frame. AI is also used in the P20 Pro model to optimise battery power, focusing power on the features utilised most frequently by the smartphone user.

At a press conference yesterday, photographer Mel Bles commented: “Leica as a company has such resonance with the photographic world… To have these optical lenses inside a smartphone – I was really intrigued. I felt the camera really responded to my needs and gave me creative freedom, which I think is the most important part of being a photographer.

“Photography used to be the preserve of a very few,” Bles concluded. "Now we can all take pictures and see the world through so many people’s eyes.”

The Huawei P20 Pro will be available to buy in Europe from April, while the P20 is on sale now.

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