Huawei shows off flagship camera phone

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Huawei promised a new type of camera phone at a launch event in Paris

Smartphone-maker Huawei has been showing off its new handsets at an event in Paris.

The controversial Chinese company is keen to gain market share from Apple and Samsung, as well as more users in Europe.

The two phones- the P30 and the P30 Pro – go on sale in April, with a UK starting price of £699.

The launch comes in the middle of a political storm for Huawei over alleged links with the Chinese government.

Chinese President Xi Jinping is also currently in the French capital, holding trade talks.

Huawei’s Android-powered P30 Pro has four rear cameras, including one that uses artificial intelligence to create better exposures.

It also claims to offer “outstanding low-light performance” and boasts a five-times optical zoom on the eight-megapixel SuperZoom camera.

“We’re going to completely rewrite the rules of smartphone photography,” Peter Gauden, the company’s global senior product marketing manager, told those at the event.

CCS Insight mobile analyst Ben Wood said: “Without a doubt, the five-times zoom lens is an outstanding feature.

“Magnification is achieved by stacking five lenses in a ‘periscope’ configuration.

“Our initial tests with the device were extremely promising.

“If marketed effectively, the camera could form a major point of differentiation for the P30 devices over rivals from Apple and Samsung.”

But he added that clever camera technology might not be enough to persuade consumers to upgrade.

“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,” Mr Wood said.

More specs:

  • The P30 Pro has a giant 6.4in OLED screen with a notch containing a 32-megapixel selfie camera
  • It also has an optical in-screen fingerprint scanner at the bottom of the screen
  • It costs £899 with 128GB of storage or £1,099 with 512GB
  • The P30 will sell for £699 for 128GB of storage
  • Both phones are powered by the HiSilicon Kirin 980 processor
  • They will both support 5G

Smart glasses

Huawei also launched a pair of “smart” sunglasses that will work as a Bluetooth headset for users to take phone calls.

“It’s an interesting move by Huawei and essentially provides glasses or sunglasses that are an alternative to ear buds,” said Mr Wood.

The launch comes as Huawei faces scrutiny from governments around the world over fears that its telecoms network equipment represents a security threat.

The US and Australia have blocked local companies from using Huawei to provide equipment for their 5G networks, with several European telecoms operators considering removing Huawei equipment from their networks.

There are concerns over how closely Huawei works with the Chinese authorities, with critics pointing to China’s National Intelligence Law, which requires companies to support and cooperate with national intelligence work.

Huawei’s founder, Ren Zhengfei, is a former People’s Liberation Army officer.

The company denies any wrongdoing.

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