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Huawei unveils the P50 series, and there’s a good reason why that camera is so big

Huawei has just revealed the P50 and P50 Pro smartphones, and while many of the specs are impressive, it’s the camera that will grab the most attention.

While Huawei’s flagship smartphone launches have lost some of their lustre since the Google Mobile Services were unceremoniously stripped from the manufacturers’ devices, the Huawei P50 series launch showed that the Chinese brand certainly still has a lot of top-notch hardware to offer, particularly when it comes to camera tech.

Related: Huawei P50 images are out, and the internet is roasting the quirky camera

While there was plenty of mockery to go round when the unwieldy dual camera module first appeared online (not least from Recombu itself in the article linked above), Huawei has revealed the reasons for its enormous size.

Dubbed a ‘Dual-Matrix Camera system’, Huawei claims that the snappers can offer unique clarity and a high dynamic range thanks to hardware boasting multiple lenses and a 10-channel multi-spectrum sensor, enhanced with software including Huawei XD Optics and the XD Fusion Pro Image Engine.

The former of these is a feature that the manufacturer describes as “physics-defying”, as it can fix optical errors and reproduce fine details in order to restore up to 25% of the image signal, while the latter boasts a new Super Colour Filter System, True-Chroma Image Engine and Super HDR technology to improve detail, colour and dynamic range.

The standard P50 will have a 50-megapixel main camera (f/1.8), a 13-megapixel ultrawide lens (f/2.2), and a 12-megapixel telephoto snapper. Meanwhile the Pro edition augments this system with a 40-megapixel mono camera (f/1.6) and an upgrade to the telephoto camera, with this one boasting 64 megapixels and an f/3.4 aperture.

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Of course, these premium devices have more to offer than just a camera, and the display upgrades are particularly noteworthy.

The P50 Pro offers a 6.6-inch curved OLED display with a refresh rate of 120Hz, a 300Hz touch-sampling rate, and 1400Hz high frame rate PWM dimming to protect users’ eyes. The P50 also packs these promising technologies, though on a smaller 6.5-inch flat screen with just a 90Hz refresh rate.

Despite some impressive specs, the handsets are not without their flaws, even accounting for the software headache that sees the company launch its own-brand Harmony OS on the smartphones, rather than Android.

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For one thing, the P50 has a 4,100mAh battery and the Pro version packs a 4,360mAh cell, both of which seem relatively modest given their flagship status. Even more surprisingly, neither of the models will offer 5G connectivity, with both stuck on plain old 4G.

The devices are unlikely to launch in the UK given the software stand-off, but the starting price for the Huawei P50 is CNY4,488 (£500), and the starting price for the Huawei P50 Pro is CNY5,988 (£660).





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