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HUAWEI P20 Pro: World’s first triple camera explained
The HUAWEI P20 Pro is a far more complicated beast, boasting three cameras — a main 40MP sensor, a monochrome 20MP sensor, and an 8MP telephoto lens to assist with zoom at 3X and beyond. The 40MP main sensor doesn’t feature OIS, instead using a software-based alternative. The camera uses pixel binning to combine data from four 1µm pixels into a single larger 2µm pixel to create a 10 megapixel image that should theoretically capture more light and therefore produce less noise-prone pictures.
For the shootout, we looked at four particular areas. First, we compared detail capture from the 40 and 41 megapixel sensors to see which makes the most out of this super high resolution. Then we moved on to low light performance, to compare how the huge pixel count affects noise and detail when light is limited. Third, we examined how HUAWEI’s pixel-binning capabilities stack up against Nokia’s oversampling. Finally, we compared Nokia’s lossless zoom technology to HUAWEI’s Hybrid Zoom feature.
All of the pictures are captured using the default camera modes, leaving the automatic software to handle ISO, shutter speed, and all that — barring the one or two instances where it’s otherwise stated. The images in the article are crops, so I encourage you to check out the full-scale samples at the link below.
See the full-sized images hereMore megapixels mean more detail
Since both cameras can shoot with more megapixels than any other smartphone, we’re going to start with a long-range shot to see just how much detail is on offer with this high-resolution photography.
The 100 percent crop of a distant building allows us to compare which phone can pick out brickwork and other fine details at a distance. The HUAWEI P20 Pro does a better job in this regard, offering superior definition and shadowing of the bricks, highlights on the tree leaves, and a much more accurate white point. The Lumia’s presentation is noisier both in the sky and looking at the tree texture. There’s minimal shadowing detecting on the brickwork, and less depth and definition overall. The Lumia’s orange off-color white balance was common in many of the other outdoor shots I took too. It’s likely due to the other content in the uncropped image.
This isn’t a slam dunk for the P20 Pro though. Looking at the roof, there are some obvious color artifacts, possibly as a result of oversharpening or, perhaps more worryingly, problems with the sensor or electronic noise. Either way, this appears to be a side effect of the camera’s ability to pick out more highlight detail than the Lumia.
In this flower close up the color balance is much closer between the two, making it easier to focus on the differences in detail and sharpness. The P20 Pro’s image picks out finer details on the petals and again boasts more pronounced highlights and shadows. HUAWEI’s sharpening algorithm hardens the edges, producing a somewhat pixelated look on the green leaves. Meanwhile, the Lumia 1020 presents a much softer image with some noticeable noise and blotchy color, which is particularly bad when looking at the center of the rose.
When cramming such a high megapixel count into a smartphone-sized sensor, the risk of noise from crosstalk, electronic circuits, and other sources increases greatly, even in well-lit shots. The P20 Pro surprisingly beats out the larger pixels of the Lumia, showcasing a combination of technological improvements and the company’s denoising algorithm. Looking at the sky in the same bright outdoor shot highlights the differences between the two — the P20 Pro is much cleaner. Noise is an issue that will pop up a few times going forward.
Low light performance
Peeping in at the 100 percent crop reveals a very different story. The Lumia 1020 is very noisy and struggles with finer details, while the P20 Pro exhibits surprisingly little noise given the lack of light. As a side note, the Lumia’s automatic settings opted for an 800 ISO and 1/9 second shutter for this picture. The P20 Pro performed better with a lower 640 ISO and faster 1/20 second shutter, hence the cleaner picture.
However, we again see HUAWEI’s more aggressive de-noise and sharpening algorithms come into play, which produce some unsightly hard edges and a more pixilated look around our Android figurine.Pixel binning vs oversampling
Unlike the Lumia 1020, HUAWEI’s handset doesn’t default to the 40MP mode out of the box. Instead, 10 megapixels is the standard resolution and is also what’s used for the handset’s other shooting features, like Hybrid Zoom and Night Shots. For the same reason Nokia included an automatic 5MP image with every snap, these file sizes are much more share-friendly too. This conveniently also lets us compare how HUAWEI’s pixel binning technology stacks up against the Lumia’s oversampling technology when shrinking images down. Theoretically, switching to 10 megapixels should improve the low light performance of the P20 Pro, because the larger pixels are able to capture more light.
Related: HUAWEI P20 Pro: Taking a photo in complete darkness
The P20 Pro’s straight 10MP shot does a better job picking out fine details than the Lumia’s 40MP-to-5MP oversampling in this instance. Look closely at the text and grooves on the cartridges.
I should also note it took four shots for the Lumia to stop massively overexposing the image, due to the high contrast between the grey subject and black background. The Lumia also oversaturated the colors, which is a problem for the high contrast, red-on-black text. However, once you step back from the 100 percent crop, the differences are barely noticeable.
This far more difficult overcast outdoor shot shows a much bigger gap between the two. To see how the sensors handle exposure and dynamic range, we picked the clouds above the red tree as our focal point which revealed how much darker foreground detail the two cameras can preserve.
The Lumia’s image is still very soft but the camera did a very good job capturing the shape of the distant leaves even at 5 megapixels, thanks to the oversampling. The P20 Pro offers much more striking highlights but the sharpening overpowers the distant details, resulting in a harsher look. Interestingly enough, taking this picture at 40MP on the P20 Pro removes the oversharpening effect and produces a picture much closer to the Lumia 1020.
The roles reverse when examining the closer details of the tree trunk. The Lumia washed out almost all of the finer grooves and color differences in the bark, while the P20 Pro’s 10 megapixel resolution picked them out without issue. The reason for these differences comes back to the debate about pixel count versus pixel size. Larger pixels capture more light and suffer from less noise, so they tend to make the most of their resolution and dynamic range. Meanwhile higher pixel counts allow for better detail capture in theory, but have to contend with optimizing around the lighting conditions. The P20 Pro’s monochrome sensor also boosts the dynamic range of its pictures, no doubt helping here.
The P20 Pro relies heavily on oversharpening in its 10MP mode, but its detail capture is a match for Nokia’s oversampling.
The next shots are in low light. To compare the pixel-binning effect, We switched the P20 Pro over to manual camera mode to lock in the ISO and shutter speed settings between the 40MP and 10MP shots. We’re also comparing the Lumia 1020’s 38MP to 5MP sample to see if the oversampling algorithm has any effect on low light performance. Before delving in, note that both phones did an excellent job at exposing the picture, making the environment appear much brighter than it actually was.
Nokia’s old Lumia 1020 is a little noisy, as is typical in low light, but overall does a surprisingly good job capturing the finer details. There’s absolutely no difference between the 38 and 5 megapixel images, however, reaffirming that this rescaling takes place entirely in post and doesn’t improve image quality or low light performance.
The pixel-binning technology in the HUAWEI P20 Pro’s 40MP main camera shows a notable improvement to low light performance. The regular 40MP shot is the noisiest of the bunch and lacks a lot of detail across the vinyl cover. Switching to the 10MP mode (enabling pixel binning), the vast majority of the noise disappears and there is a notable jump in the amount of detail captured. The 10MP pixel-binned shot is the best looking of these snaps by a wide margin, proving HUAWEI’s technology isn’t just a marketing gimmick.
Pixel binning greatly improves the P20 Pro’s performance in low light shots.
Lossless vs Hybrid Zoom
The earlier themes are echoed once we start zooming in. The Lumia 1020’s 5MP zoom is a match for cropping in on its 38MP image, confirming that this is a lossless zoom. As a result, the image is clean from noise and scaling artifacts associated with more common smartphone digital zoom. It looks great, even if the overall presentation is still rather soft.
The P20 Pro’s Hybrid Zoom is even better, offering up a wider dynamic range with superior highlights and shadowing, and a notably sharper overall image. You can see a white halo (a typical sharpening artifact) around the leaves in the upper left of the image. Given that this is a software-based zoom (the 3X telephoto lens isn’t used at this zoom level) from a 10MP image, the detail capture is quite astounding, even if the sharpening might be rather excessive. Many of the blemishes and discoloration on the old brickwork glossed over by the Lumia is well distinguished with the Pro’s Hybrid Zoom.And the winner is …
The Lumia 1020 had a lot more trouble with exposure than the P20 Pro. In high contrast scenes and overcast outdoor pictures, the Lumia 1020 would often struggle with blown-out highlights, taking multiple shots and some trial and error to get the right balance. This was problematic with four-second shutter times for each picture — by the time we’d hit the right exposure the outdoor lighting conditions had changed, making a number of outdoor pictures I took useless for a comparison.
Shooting with the HUAWEI P20 Pro is simply a better experience. It’s faster, spends less time struggling with exposure, and has plenty more options to experiment with, which we haven’t even touched on here.
On the whole, the P20 Pro takes better 40MP pictures too. Outdoor white balance is far more realistic and the detail captured at range is almost always superior. It suffers from less noise, and its dynamic range is notably better too. Low light is a closer tossup, depending on the lighting type, but switch to the P20 Pro’s 10MP pixel-binned option and it emerges as the clear winner.
You're reading 40 Megapixel Shootout: Huawei P20 Pro Vs Lumia 1020
As far as we’re aware, the main camera sensor inside the HUAWEI Mate 20 Pro is essentially the same as the P20 Pro. It’s a 40MP, 1/1.7-inch sensor with 1.0µm pixel sizes that can be combined via pixel binning to produce 2µm 10MP shots for better light capture. The lens retains a f/1.8 aperture and 27mm focal length.
Camera shootout samplesDetail at a distance
A 40-megapixel camera is overkill for most shooting situations, but it’s really good for capturing extra detail in long distance and macro shots. That’s what we’re predominantly going to test here, looking for fine details, as well as general color balance and exposure.
First, a full-frame outdoor shot. The most obvious difference here is the color balance. The Lumia 1020 opts for a warmer, more colorful pallet than the Mate 20 Pro. However, the Mate 20 Pro gets the nod here for its more realistic look. The Lumia 1020 oversaturates the grass.
Closer inspection of the 100 percent crop reveals very similar levels of detail between the two cameras. The Mate 20 Pro has its pros and cons here. While there’s a smidgen of extra detail and highlight capture on the roof tiles, the sharpening and denoising algorithms ruin other aspects of the image.
This is particularly noticeable in the shadows. While the Lumia 1020 presents smooth shadows on the side of the house, the Mate 20 Pro creates a spackled, painted-looking effect that’s not very realistic. The tree is also captured much more clear on the Mate 20 Pro, while the Lumia presents a very soft image that almost blurs the branches into the sky. Although HUAWEI’s extra clarity comes partly from the use of some sharpening in its post-processing pipeline.
Unfortunately, the Lumia 1020 becomes increasingly noisy and smudged looking towards the edges of the image. It’s not unusual for camera resolution to be superior in the center of a camera frame, but the 1020 suffers from this problem quite noticeably. The Mate 20 Pro holds up a little better at the edges (see the grass and leaves in the image below), but we can again clearly see the heavy denoise algorithm working on the branches and shadows.
Time for another outdoor example, but we’ll save some space and just look at the crop this time. Key things to look for in this picture is the clarity of the metal bars on the left, the noise and clarity of the text on the right, and the depth of the blacks in the shadows underneath the sculpture.
Here the Lumia 1020 appears sharper in the foreground, particularly on the top left of the crop and around the edges of the sculpture. However, the background on the right of the crop is noticeably noisier and less defined than the Mate 20 Pro’s photo. It’s clear HUAWEI’s heavier reliance on denoise post-processing works better in some areas than others, and it doesn’t look very good on straight lines. Overall the colors are both pretty good.
One final outdoor crop. Again, the Mate 20 Pro’s details pop more than the Lumia’s, but this is again a mix of post-processing and some small improvement to its resolvable resolution. The straight lines on the brickwork appear to suffer from HUAWEI’s denoise algorithm once again, but the sharpening does pick out some extra dynamic range in the texture detail. The Lumia is noisier than HUAWEI once again, which can be easily observed in the sky. There are definitely pros and cons to each camera here.
One final note. The branches on the left in the Lumia 1020 picture seem slightly purple, a telltale sign of chromatic aberration from the camera lens. The effect pops up with the Mate 20 Pro, but to a lesser extent. The Mate 20 Pro isn’t immune from problems in this picture though — there’s a clear border on the top edge of the building.
This doesn’t appear on the branches, where the Mate 20 Pro produced a noticeable halo, and it’s clear the sharpening effect isn’t as strong as before. This could be the result of the sharpening and denoise algorithm, or perhaps from multi-frame exposure stitching.Macro shots
However, there’s an odd haloing effect around the edge of the leaves in the Mate 20 Pro picture. It’s tough to tell if this the result of a typical oversharpening problem or a side effect of multi-frame exposure processing. The highlights are arguably also slightly overexposed in this image, which some purists certainly won’t care for. The painting effect of the denoise algorithm can also be noticed on some of the leaf textures.
In this final shot, again the HUAWEI Mate 20 Pro comes out clearer, albeit with some rather strong highlights. Although most of the details are again like for like. The Nokia Lumia 1020 seems to have a little trouble keeping everything in focus, seemingly because of trouble with light capture, which is indicated by the rather large amount of noise near the bottom of the crop.
Overall, the Mate 20 Pro captures a smidgen more detail but is much heavier on the post-processingLow light performance
Performance in low light is simple enough to judge. Less noise is obviously desirable, as long as an excessive denoise algorithm doesn’t brush over details. The P20 Pro was rather overzealous in that regard last time we tested, but the Mate 20 Pro has clearly dialed back the level of denoise processing applied.
This example is a clear win for the HUAWEI Mate 20 Pro. Not only is the noise far less pronounced, but the color balance and exposure are notably better too. There is still some noise present, but that’s normal for such small pixel sizes in very low light. The Lumia 1020 struggled to focus with light any lower than this and clearly suffers from a substantial amount of grain. We can also see colors leaking across pixels, resulting in poorly defined edges around our little Android figure. Say what you will about about mobile camera technology development over the past five years, low light performance has improved substantially.The scientific method
If you’re not a fan of this subjective testing I’ve also put both phones through our camera testing suite, where we can accurately measure color accuracy, resolvable resolution, noise, and more. Here are the results.
Based on the numbers from our lab, the HUAWEI Mate 20 Pro is the better shooter in detail capture, noise, and color accuracy. The Nokia Lumia 1020 still performs reasonably well by today’s standards, but the image quality towards the edges of the frame prevents the camera from fully realizing the benefits of its high-resolution sensor. At the very least, we can conclude HUAWEI’s work on the lenses and color processing in the Mate 20 Pro pay off.
In real-world shots, we see the scientific analysis clearly reflected in the level of detail and colors from our sample shots. That being said, some lingering issues with HUAWEI’s sharpening and denoise algorithms prevent this from being a home run. The situation has improved from the P20 Pro, but there’s clearly still room to further tweak HUAWEI’s camera setup. Even so, it’s the best 40MP smartphone shooter in town.
Here are the Android phones with the best battery life
The black magic didn’t stop there, as the company grafted a complex optical image stabilization solution using ball bearings onto the Lumia 1020. Nokia even included a leaflet in the phone’s packaging, assuring users the rattle was nothing to be concerned about.
Microsoft reined in the megapixels with follow-up devices. Later Lumia flagships all featured more traditional 20MP shooters and computational photography smarts instead.
The same people worked on the P20 Pro
It’s a good time for a follow-up to the 1020. Phones have better sheer silicon horsepower, complex processing software, and much better camera sensors. Sure, it didn’t come from Microsoft or HMD Global, but it’s not as strange as you may think that HUAWEI released such a reminiscent phone.
The Chinese colossus opened an R&D facility in Finland in 2023 devoted to photography, among other areas. As PhoneArena initially pointed out, several people working for HUAWEI have their roots either at Nokia or specifically working on the Lumia 1020. Perhaps the most important Nokia person at HUAWEI is former Nokia and Microsoft imaging head Eero Salmelin, who serves as the director of imaging and video technology at the Chinese brand.
That influence is noticeable. Both the Lumia 1020 and the P20 Pro try to solve similar smartphone camera problems — though in different ways.
A high-res camera as a means to an end
HUAWEI P20 Pro: too much of a good thing?
“There is pixel binning at a very deep level, resulting in a standard Bayer layout with two green pixels, one blue pixel and one red pixel, all joining to make one single larger pixel. This is accomplished through co-engineering between HUAWEI and Leica,” the company told Android Authority‘s Kris Carlon earlier this month.
At the most basic level, pixel binning involves the data from various pixels being combined, which is fundamentally similar to Nokia’s solution.
Resolution options for the HUAWEI P20 Pro.
It’s a pity HUAWEI didn’t take after the Nokia 808 here by allowing you to choose a variety of pixel-binned resolutions, such as 5MP. Perhaps it’s the architecture of their current solution (using three cameras), but a 5MP shot could theoretically gather data from eight pixels instead of four. Regardless, our reviewers didn’t seem to be complaining.
Building better smartphone zoom
The HUAWEI P20 Pro delivers zoomed-in snaps that are usually better than conventional digital zoom.
One of the biggest issues with telephoto cameras is that they generally offer terrible low-light performance. HUAWEI decided to use an 8MP f/2.4 telephoto snapper on the P20 Pro and fuse data from several cameras to deliver up to 5x hybrid zoom.
Much like Nokia’s lossless zoom, hybrid zoom is not quite at an optical level of quality, but it beats traditional digital zoom and holds its own against telephoto cameras. However, the P20 Pro unfortunately doesn’t seem to support hybrid zoom for video, which the Lumia 1020 did, with 1080p footage topping out at 4x zoom and 720p hitting 6x zoom.
Creating better stabilization than ever beforeDoes it represent the apex of mobile photography?
The P20 Pro’s camera specs on paper alone make it worthy of recognition, but as our coverage shows, actual photo quality can be fantastic as well.
Is it actually better than the Lumia 1020, though? Our shootout answers that question.
Of course, many smartphone enthusiasts will want to know the daily performance of these devices. Thus, this comprehensive review looks at the performance of these smartphones. It considers the camera, gaming and battery life as well as design.Huawei Mate 50 Pro Vs iPhone 14 Pro Camera
When it comes to mobile phone images, both Huawei and Apple are difficult to defeat. Both have their own unique image styles and their own audiences. Therefore, for consumers, choosing a style that you can accept is often more important than looking at hardware parameters. Therefore, we will not say too much about the parameters.
Huawei Mate 50 Pro is equipped with a 13-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera, a 64-megapixel periscope telephoto camera, and a 50-megapixel super-optical camera. It also supports proximity light sensors, laser focus sensors, 10-channel multi-spectral sensors, XMAGE Huawei images, etc. The iPhone 14 Pro comes with a 48-megapixel main camera, a 12-megapixel telephoto camera, a 12-megapixel ultrawide and a TOF 3D LiDAR scanner. This smartphone also comes with a new ProRAW mode. This mode gives images that are much better and also much larger in size.
Simply put, the highlights of the Huawei Mate 50 Pro are variable aperture, F1.4 large aperture, Huawei XMAGE image style and a 200x zoom range. As for the iPhone 14 Pro, it has a better 48MP main camera, supports ProRAW mode, and the sensor size also improves.Daytime Images
First of all, in the daytime with good light, you can clearly see the difference between the two. The iPhone 14 Pro is still in the “high-saturation style”, the sky is bluer, and the building tone is relatively simple. However, when the photo was taken, the sun was almost setting, but the iPhone 14 Pro did not restore this scene.Ultra-wide-angle proofs
In terms of ultra-wide-angle, the control of colour temperature by the two basically continues the style of the main camera. The iPhone 14 Pro is still more beautiful, and the Huawei Mate 50 Pro is generally warmer, but the colours are richer, especially since the colour reproduction of the sky is very good.
In addition to different styles of colours, the resolution of the ultra-wide-angle of the two is quite satisfactory. Although, the edge details have some declines, but the overall performance is acceptable. In addition, the control of ultra-wide-angle distortion should be praised. Both are excellent.Main camera images
This time, the iPhone 14 Pro adds a new mode called ProRAW. When this mode is active, the details of the proofs will rise sharply. Of course, RAW photos store more information. They are often used for photo creation, professional photographers, or photography enthusiasts who like to retouch their own pictures.
Generally, they will be used more. If you also have an iPhone 14 Pro in your hand, then try to adjust some photos you like. However, it is important to note that ProRAW images are quite large. A single image could be 75MB minimum. Have this in mind while using this modeNight main camera proof
In the night scene, both flagships show a very good night scene purity, and the picture is full of details. Although the overall colour style is very different, each has its own flavour. We can’t tell which one you will prefer.
In addition, the overall performance of the Huawei Mate 50 Pro is better in the processing of highlights and shadows. For example, in the lower-left corner of the screen, the iPhone 14 Pro is already black. It is difficult to see the appearance of the building without zooming in. However, the details of the Huawei Mate 50 Pro are very clear and the brightness is higher.
It is important to note that this situation does not mean that the night scene of the Huawei Mate 50 Pro is necessarily better. Of course, if you prefer bright and colourful night scenes, the Huawei Mate 50 Pro is obviously more in line with your needs.Conclusion
In conclusion, all the ideas above are simply those of the tester after using the camera of both smartphones. Both the Mate 50 Pro and the iPhone 14 Pro perform very well in day and night photography. However, the camera output style of both smartphones are unique. The Huawei Mate 50 Pro pursues the details of the picture, whether it is the brightness, colour or light and shade of the picture. Compared with the iPhone 14 Pro, it is different. Therefore, in most scenarios, the look and feel of the Huawei Mate 50 Pro is actually better.
Anyone who has been reading GizChina for some time will know that once I’ve fallen for a phone I just continue to use it no matter what else launches. Eventually, I do move to a new device, but that new phone needs to be something special to get me to switch.
A few weeks ago Huawei sent over the flagship Mate 10 Pro for me to review, it’s a great phone with stunning photography features, amazing battery life and a quality look and feel, but is it all enough?Huawei Mate 10 Pro Review – Design
We’re at the peak of phone design and while that might sound exciting it actually isn’t really. Don’t get me wrong, the Huawei Mate 10 Pro is a good looking phone and is made of some of the best materials around and to a standard other phone makers could only dream of, but it’s hardly a unique looking phone is it.
In addition to the rear fingerprint scanner, the glossy rear of the phone is home to dual Leica cameras, LED flash and laser focus module. Those components are highlighted on the rear of the phone and sit on a slightly lighter colored band to the rest of the phone.
The highly polished finish continues on to the metal frame of the Huawei Mate 10 Pro making up the smooth chassis where a power button, volume control, SIM tray, IR remote and USB Type C plug are all found. You keen-eyed readers will have noticed that I missed the 3.5mm headphone jack. Well, that’s because there isn’t one on the Mate 10 Pro. What you do get though are some of Huawei’s own Type C in-ear headphones (they’re rather good too!).
Huawei has made sure that the Mate 10 Pro looks and feels premium while ensuring that the all screen phone is comfortable to hold, and they’ve succeeded, but be warned that the glossy finish is susceptible to attracting fingerprints and greasy marks, and the smooth finish means that losing your grip or your phone sliding off a table is more likely to happen. Within the first hour of owning the Huawei Mate 10 Pro, I’d already managed to lose grip and it also managed to slide off a table, luckily both times I was able to catch the phone before it hit the ground.
Not that I would be all that concerned if the phone had hit the ground as I’m confident that the high-quality nature of the phone would ensure it survived. Using the Mate 10 Pro after using the OnePlus 5 as my personal phone for months is a revelation, the Huawei is leagues ahead in material and finish.Huawei Mate 10 Pro Review – Hardware
Huawei has built a phone that looks and feels like a flagship, and the specs follow this trend.
A 6-inch display in a phone measuring 154.2 x 74.5 x 7.9mm would have been a feat of magic this time last year, but with phone makers going for “full-display” (Huawei call it FullView Display) many smartphones are leveling up in screen size. Huawei has also pushed up the resolution with a 2160 x 1080 OLED display offering a pixel density of 402ppi.
Using a phone with 18:9 display might not sound like much of an upgrade over a standard phone, but you just try to use a 2023 flagship for a few days then move back to your regular screen phone. Chances are that old phone will feel just that, old!
Another nod to this phones flagship intentions is the Huawei Kirin 970 chipset. This is a self-developed octa-core CPU made up of 4 x Cortex A73 2.36GHz + 4 x Cortex A53 1.8GHz cores. The GPU is a Mali-G72 MP12 GP. It’s all good stuff and ensures that Huawei’s Android 8.0 based EMUI runs buttery smooth in every situation.
Speaking of EMUI, from my time using the phone I can say that Huawei has done a great job of creating a super stable ROM with some very nice features. The Mate 10 Pro comes with a ‘tips’ app that teaches you some of the neat gestures that EMUI supports, my favorite being a knuckle tap to capture a screenshot. EMUI also has a killer camera app, but I’ll tell you more about that below.
While I’ve enjoyed EMUI I do find that sometimes I get a notification dot (on an app icon or in the settings) but I’m unsure as to what I’m being notified too.
Again, only last year a sub 8mm phone with 4000mAh battery would be a pretty rare sight but Huawei has managed this with the Mate 10 Pro. The battery is enough to give the Mate 10 Pro a full 2 days of battery life on a single charge and thanks to the fast charge feature can be topped up in no time at all.
While the battery life is very impressive I’m still not sure if this is due to the fact Huawei has made a great job of optimisation or if it has something to do with the data connection. Like all modern Android phones, the Mate 10 Pro is an LTE smartphone, but it also has the worst signal strength of any phone I have ever owned! Compared to any other phone I have tested the Mate 10 Pro is the only phone that has ever left me with no signal what-so-ever in areas where I usually have full bars. On the other hand, the WIFI signal is very good and while I’m not usually able to receive WIFI in my bedroom the Mate 10 Pro manages too just grab the backend of the signal.Gizchina News of the week
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WIFI phone calls are supported on the Mate 10 Pro too, but I found the quality to be patchy when testing this out, but this could have been down to our office WIFI. Another feature that Huawei has built in is a WIFI assistant that is meant to be smart enough to help you switch between networks or even between WIFI and DATA on the fly. Due to the poor LTE (and 3G and 2G) performance of the Mate 10, I ended up turning this feature off.
Beneath the dual Leica rear cameras is a fingerprint scanner. There’s not much to say about this other than it is fast and accurate.
If you check out the photos of the Mate 10 Pro you’ll see that Huawei has added a built-in IR remote but there is no 3.5mm headphone jack. Instead, you have to use the USB Type C plug in the base along with the supplied USB Type C headphones. And for those of you wondering, audio is amazing!
Other notable features include NFC, dual SIM support and options for either 4GB RAM + 64GB ROM or 6GB RAM + 128GB ROM.Huawei Mate 10 Pro Review – Camera
IF you’re looking at the Huawei Mate 10 Pro as your next phone then the chances are you are drawn to this phone for the stunning camera specifications.
Huawei has teamed up with Leica once again on the Mate 10 Pro with the main cameras being a 20-megapixel monochrome sensor with secondary 12-megapixel RGB sensor both with F1.6 apertures.
Other phone brands might leave the camera specs there and call it good, but Huawei has taken the cameras to the next level with OIS, PDAF, Laser focus and Depth Auto Focus! The dual cameras will let you take native black and white photos (a feature I’ve played with very little) and also gives the phone 2 x optical zoom.
The front camera is a fixed focus F2.0 8 megapixel sensor. I prefer the fact that the rear camera is the main focus of the Huawei Mate 10 Pro, other phone makers have been adding better front sensors to their devices but I’ve found performance to be lacking. Huawei has got it the right way around with both the front and rear cameras offering great performance in all situations.
In addition to the hardware, the Mate 10 Pro also has a feature-packed camera application that uses AI to assist you to take the perfect shot.
In auto mode, the Mate 10 Pro will use its dedicated AI chip to determine what you’re about to shoot and adjust the settings to suit. Pointing the Mate 10 Pro at flowers means the camera app switches to a ‘nature’ setting and shows a small leaf icon. Point the camera at food and the setting switch automatically to food mode. Other modes include pet, person, text and night. If the app doesn’t recognize the subject no icon will show and you’ll be shooting in a regular auto mode.
You can trick the AI, for example, a stuffed toy shows up as a pet, and photos of food will also get the food setting to show up. I’ve still not been able to get the pet setting to show when taking photos of my brother though, but I continue to try.
As for performance, the Huawei Mate 10 Pro is the best camera phone I have ever used! The photos are simply stunning in all situations and the amount of detail the camera picks up is truly unbelievable. Check out some photos samples below.Huawei Mate 10 Pro Review – Photo Gallery What I love about the Huawei Mate 10 Pro
The dual Leica camera, F1.6 aperture and clever camera AI are incredible!
Battery life is a solid 2 days of heavy use.
Audio is sublime.What I don’t like about the Huawei Mate 10 Pro
Data connectivity is dreadful.
Smart WIFI/Data switching isn’t all that smart.
Odd notifications that don’t seem to notify me of anything.Huawei Mate 10 Pro Review – Conclusion
Huawei has made a top of the line phone that boasts features that everyone will love and appreciate. The cameras are incredible and for the first time, I feel that a phone is getting to DSLR beating levels of performance. Battery life is surprisingly good too, although they did take out the 3.5mm headphone jack to get a larger battery in the phone.
What is annoying though is the very poor data connectivity. While a strong WIFI signal is much appreciated, the fact that I’m more surprised to have a signal rather than not is a very bad sign. There are times I simply cannot use my phone, and while the camera, audio, and screen are stunning, a phone isn’t all that much use if you can’t call anyone or connect to the web.
I’m hoping with all my heart that an update will pop up to resolve the poor data issue, but as of the time of writing that has yet to come.
Robert Triggs / Android Authority
Google’s image processing prowess has long earned the company a reputation as one of the best at mobile photography. That accolade has been tested in recent years, owing to stagnant hardware and high-flying competitors. But with the Google Pixel 6 Pro, we saw a return to form for Google and the smartphone camera industry in general.
To put the phone to the test, we pitted Google’s handset against the ultra-premium Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max and Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra smartphones — two of the best photography handsets of 2023. They also cost $200 or more than the Pixel 6 Pro, so a win here for Google’s handset would represent exceptional value for money as well.
While we’ll be talking you through our image analysis, be sure to check out the well over 200 full-quality image samples in this Google Drive folder for yourself.
Editor’s note: The Pixel 6 Pro is no longer the latest Google phone on the market. It has since been replaced by the
The Pixel 6 Pro is no longer the latest Google phone on the market. It has since been replaced by the Pixel 7 Pro , which launched in October 2023.Pixel 6 Pro camera: What you need to know
The Pixel 6 series’ headlining camera feature is the significantly larger image sensor on offer compared to the Pixel 5. For four whole generations of the Pixel series, Google stuck with the 12MP Sony IMX363 primary sensor. With the Pixel 6 series, however, the company finally opted for much more modern hardware in the form of a 1/1.31-inch, 50MP sensor. In simple terms, this means that the Pixel 6’s primary camera is capable of capturing much more light and detail compared to its predecessors.
Related: Why camera sensor size is more important than more megapixels
The Pixel 6 Pro also features a 4x telephoto camera, something that wasn’t previously present on the Pixel 5. Finally, the selfie camera received some incremental upgrades as well, with the Pixel 6 Pro moving to an 11.1MP sensor versus the Pixel 5’s 8MP and gaining a slightly wider field of view. However, it’s worth noting that both of these upgrades are exclusive to the flagship Pixel 6 Pro. The base Pixel 6 doesn’t come with a telephoto camera and maintains the old 8MP selfie camera.
Pixel 6 Pro camera specs
As usual, we’ll start with the quintessential parts of any good photograph — color, exposure, and white balance. Let’s get right to our batch of samples from the main cameras.
As we’ve come to expect from Samsung, its camera loves a bit of punch and you can definitely spot vivid yellows, greens, and reds in our first very colorful snap. The effect isn’t as over the top as in previous years but it’s definitely the punchier of the three. Both Apple and Google add some strong blues to the first snap, and Google takes its exposure up a little notch, which you can see in the scene’s blacks. It’s actually hard to make out the Nintendo Switch controller logo in the iPhone’s picture. Generally speaking, Samsung is the punchiest, and Apple is the most color-conservative of the three.
Moving outdoors, things change quite dramatically when it comes to Apple’s handset. The iPhone’s hues are consistently on the cooler side, with more noticeable greys and bluer-looking skies present when taking pictures outdoors. It may be cold and drab in my homeland here in the UK, but this effect is over the top. Apple also aims for a high contrast effect, with notable deep shadows around the red phone box and exaggerated highlights on the ground leaves. Similarly, the water ripples and flower highlights are cranked up in our lake-scape, but this somewhat washes out the background image. The camera’s exposure isn’t always spot on, as you’ll no doubt see throughout the rest of this shootout.
Google and Samsung’s results are warmer. The Galaxy S21 Ultra tends towards the reds a little, while Google’s color pallet sometimes verges into the yellows, which you can definitely spot in the leaves and wood of both the outdoors snaps. They’re also both a little better with their exposure, avoiding overly dark shadows or clipped highlights in these outdoor scenes.
Don’t forget: All the photography terms you should know about
As you probably expected, all three phones snap great-looking pictures indoors and outdoors. There’s certainly nothing glaringly wrong with the way any of these flagship phones present their pictures, but they do each produce a slightly different look.Detail
With 50MP and 108MP high-resolution cameras, we might expect ultra-fine details from the Pixel 6 Pro and Galaxy S21 Ultra, respectively. However, all three of these cameras output 12MP images, with these two utilizing pixel binning to combine light data from multiple adjacent pixels. This is just as well, as we doubt any of these sensors can actually resolve such a high resolution because they’re likely to be diffraction-limited. The iPhone’s image sensor utilizes a more traditional Bayer filter. Does that make a difference? Let’s take a look at some 100% crops.
Starting with a well-lit macro shot, there’s very little to tell between these three phones. The iPhone is the least detailed in the first sample, with notable smudging on the leaf. We make out far more fine details with the Pixel 6 Pro. Meanwhile, Samsung’s flagship provides the best overall focus and a decent level of detail, but fine lines aren’t quite as crisp as Google’s photo.
These different levels of detail capture and sharpening are much more noticeable in the second shot of a book. The iPhone’s text is barely legible and there are clear signs of noise cleanup on the image panels. The S21 Ultra shows signature signs of sharpening halos around the text, so it’s the Pixel 6 Pro that’s the cleanest here, albeit still a little heavy on the sharpening.
The Pixel 6 Pro and Galaxy S21 Ultra capture impressive levels of detail.
Turning to more complex scenes and we see a wider variety of detail capture issues across all three phones. The Pixel 6 Pro is rather smudged looking in the tree shot, with some noticeable blockiness that could be a result of insufficient light capture. Unfortunately, you can spot this effect in quite a few pictures captured by the Pixel 6, particularly in dimmer lighting conditions. The Galaxy S21 Ultra is slightly cleaner in terms of noise but with a slightly more noticeable sharpening pass on the grass and trees. The iPhone 13 Pro Max is the softest and most natural looking in this outdoor shot, albeit with some clear signs of noise too.
The roles reverse in our complex indoor scene. Here, Apple’s latest iPhone is the most aggressive in terms of sharpening and processing, producing ugly highlights and smudged textures. The Galaxy S21 Ultra is the softest here while the Pixel 6 Pro finds itself in between the two, managing to extract the slightly better minor details. Again though, we’re talking fine margins in these cropped examples.
Before leaving this section, I want to highlight a few problems I’ve noticed with the Pixel 6 camera that you definitely don’t see from either of these competitors. Quite a few of the pictures I’ve taken contain artifacts, ranging from random texture smudging to blue and red specular highlights (see some examples below). I believe these are due to the pixel-binned image sensor although they could also be a result of Google’s image cleanup algorithms. These are reasonably rare occurrences but crop up consistently enough that they’re clearly an ingrained problem with the camera.
Overall, the iPhone is regularly the weakest in terms of fine details, while the Pixel 6 Pro seems to struggle with complex textures and has some more glaring but specific issues. The S21 Ultra is the most consistent across all these environments — although either way you have to crop in to spot these differences, and all three will serve most photographers very well for detail.High Dynamic Range
Google’s Pixel smartphones helped pioneer some of the best HDR technology in the business — it’s one of the reasons its previous handset remained competitive despite aging hardware. However, the competition has definitely caught up, so let’s see if the Pixel 6 Pro can recapture the crown.
In our first highly dynamic shot, we see by far the most foreground detail as well as more saturated colors captured with the Pixel 6 Pro. There’s a small amount of highlight clipping, but that’s to be expected when shooting into the sun, and this is present in all three results. By contrast, the foreground trees are completely black in the iPhone 13 Pro Max’s picture, although the phone does capture a little more of the sunrise’s orange hues. The Galaxy S21 Ultra sits just behind the Pixel 6 in terms of exposing the foreground.
It’s a similar state of affairs in this second shot. Again, the Pixel 6 Pro captures the most color and detail in the dark foreground while also balancing the brighter elements of the scene without much clipping, although the phone suffers from some smudging in the finer details which we don’t see from the other two. The strength of the HDR effect is also arguably a little over the top and the shadow areas should be darker.
Camera shootout: Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra vs Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max
The iPhone again is the darkest overall, however, it avoids clipping in the cloud and sky highlights. If the colors weren’t quite so washed out, it would be the most realistic of the three. The Galaxy S21 Ultra again falls in the middle, exposing more of the foreground and providing wide color saturation in exchange for the most clipping out of the three.
The last example is a much closer run competition between the Pixel and the iPhone. Google’s subjects are a little underexposed but the camera doesn’t clip the cloud highlights as strongly as Apple’s handset. Samsung’s Galaxy S21 Ultra offers the best of both — a well-exposed foreground and minimal overblown highlights.
In summary, Google and Samsung offer the more powerful HDR capabilities, although Google’s, in particular, is not always the most realistic look for the scene. The iPhone has the weakest HDR implementation. It struggles with highlight clipping, blacked-out shadows, and washed-out colors far more than the other two handsets.Low light photography
Following on from HDR, low light and nighttime photography is another area that Google’s software prowess helped popularize. Combined with a bigger sensor, we have high hopes for Google’s latest camera here.
However, it’s quite clear that without Night Sight mode enabled, the phone doesn’t capture as much light as its competitors. The first snap below is very dark and lacking in color. The iPhone 13 Pro Max does a better job with exposure, although its colors are still rather washed out and it’s quite noisy. Samsung’s camera is the noisiest of the bunch, possibly owing to an extreme ISO level, but does capture the best colors and exposure here.
Google still leans heavily on Night Mode for low light picture quality.
Turning the lights down lower showcases the same trend, although all three do very well given the lack of light. The Pixel 6 Pro is marginally darker without the aid of Night Mode, although it extracts a slightly better dynamic range than the iPhone 13 Pro Max. It and the iPhone are also a little too yellow compared to the S21 Ultra. Enabling Night Mode sees the Pixel 6 Pro lean more into the yellows, which is a bit of a consistent problem for its camera in the dark. You can manually adjust the temperature before shooting but shouldn’t have to when Apple and Samsung automatically grade the light correctly. Apple’s handset gets the colors spot on with Night Mode enabled.Shooting those ultrawide angles
All three cameras boast ultrawide angle capabilities to fit more into your shot. Right off the bat, you can squeeze more into your scene with the iPhone 13 Pro Max and Galaxy S21 Ultra. Their 120-degree field of view bests the 114-degree field of view on offer from the Pixel 6 Pro. The latter also offers a fixed focus point, meaning it’s useless for macro photography and may look unfocused at long distances too. But let’s take a look at the snaps.
As expected, the Pixel 6 Pro is still wide enough to fit a lot more in. However, the iPhone 13 Pro Max and Galaxy S21 Ultra grant a bigger step back from the main camera. In terms of image quality, Google’s handset offers the best exposure, although the tree texture from its ultrawide camera is a little smudged on close inspection. Samsung’s camera also boasts a decent dynamic range but is too heavy on the denoise and sharpening pass. Apple’s main and ultrawide cameras look a little washed out here, but the details are solid.
See also: The complete guide to ultrawide camera phones
The choice of a wider field of view has its drawbacks, which can be seen in the image below. Detail quality falls off towards the edges of the image for both the iPhone and Galaxy flagships, and there are more obvious signs of lens correction attempting to disguise the warping effect of an ultrawide field of view.
There are no such signs on Google’s narrower camera and it offers the best details here despite its fixed focus point, although that definitely isn’t always the case. It’s also worth highlighting the crushed dynamic range from Apple’s ultrawide lens — it produces very dark shadows and clipped highlights. You’ll see this in other ultrawide snaps in our library.
Unfortunately, Google’s seemingly cheaper wide-angle camera has some glaring problems when it comes to chromatic aberration (purple fringes and halos). You may have already spotted signs in the images above. It’s particularly noticeable in HDR scenes with patches of bright light, such as the examples below.
The effect is plainly spotted between the tree leaves at both the top and left sides of the pictures above. Samsung’s Galaxy S21 Ultra also suffers from a similar issue in the very corners of the lens, but it’s far less pronounced. Halos aside, the Pixel 6 Pro and S21 Ultra again clearly offer better dynamic range from their ultrawide lenses than the iPhone, which again struggles with dark shadows and overblown highlights.
Chromatic abberation severely lets down the Pixel 6 Pro’s ultrawide camera.
Just like the Pixel 5, the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro’s ultrawide camera is a major letdown in quality compared to its main camera, let alone its competitors’ ultrawide implementations. The iPhone is also somewhat disappointing, as it offers decent details and a wide FOV but pictures regularly appear washed out. The Galaxy S21 Ultra is, once again, the most consistent shooter when it comes to its ultrawide lens.
All three phones offer great flexibility with ultrawide and zoom cameras. But when it comes to long-range zoom, Samsung’s dual-camera setup seems by far superior on paper. However, Google’s use of Super Res Zoom does surprisingly well at long range, as you can see in the results below.
Read more: Camera zoom explained — how optical, digital, and hybrid zoom work
Even on a dim, overcast day, all three zoom camera setups manage reasonable exposure, dynamic range, and detail capture, although it’s Samsung’s phone that hands in the more consistent color grading and exposure when moving between zoom levels. Apple’s wide-angle and main cameras underexposed the scene, even for this gloomy day.
In terms of detail, all three cameras are impressive from the wide-angle camera right out to 5x. At least in this first set of shots, the iPhone 13 Pro Max looks the cleanest at 3x, the Pixel 6 Pro is the winner at 5x, and Samsung’s Galaxy S21 Ultra holds on to the finer details best at 10x, as we’d expect given the hardware on offer.
Super-Res Zoom sees the Pixel 6 Pro punch well above its weight at long range.
Switching to a move complex scene gives us a better idea of how detail holds up at intermittent and longer ranges. At around 3x, none of these three cameras is particularly clean in the scene below, with very noticeable over-sharpening from Samsung and a little from Google, too. Apple’s image is lacking detail because the 3x lens hasn’t kicked in, possibly due to the lighting — it can be finicky.
Surprisingly, all three look better at 5x, although Samsung’s image is again oversharp. The iPhone remains competitive here, as the telephoto lens has turned up to help out this time. However, it’s the 4x lens on the Google Pixel 6 Pro that produces the cleanest image by quite a margin.
At 10x, the iPhone 13 Pro Max falls off the pace quite noticeably. The Galaxy S21 Ultra’s 10x periscope camera provides a softer, more natural look than at its previous zoom levels. Google’s Pixel 6 Pro is also very good at such an extreme distance. There’s very little in it versus Samsung’s photo, despite the lack of optical hardware at this distance.
To showcase just how impressive Google’s long-range zoom capabilities are using just 4x optical hardware, here’s a 20x image comparison with the S21 Ultra. Samsung’s phone looks ever so slightly cleaner but the Pixel 6 Pro is clearly capable at extreme zoom distances too.
Although Samsung’s Galaxy S21 Ultra excels at ultra-long range, the images produced between 3x and 10x aren’t of the same high quality. Likewise, Apple’s 3x telephoto sensor is competitive out to about 5x but not much beyond. Google’s Super Res Zoom and 4x lens combination offers the best of both worlds. While below 4x isn’t spotless, it’s at least as good as the competition, and the Pixel 6 Pro keeps the pace with Samsung’s more expensive flagship at long range too. Google’s onto a winner here.
Read more: These photography tips will take your photos to the next level
Outdoor selfies look great no matter which camera you’re shooting with. Skin tones and textures are mostly decent, although the iPhone can add a little too much pinkness to my skin sometimes and prefers a very bright exposure. Google adds some extra pop and sharpening to its selfies and portrait pictures, while Samsung’s results are the softest of the bunch. But overall, it’s down to personal preference which looks the best.
All three phones support front camera bokeh blur and edge detection is very good on all three phones. Stray hairs still trip up these cameras but it’s not as noticeable as in years gone by. Bokeh blur looks nice, although Google’s bokeh looks a bit more like a smudge than a blur in the above example, hence why Apple errs on the side of a brighter exposure — it brings out those highlights that form nice sparkling circles. Google’s camera also pumps up the color in portrait mode and it’s just a fraction too warm here. Likewise, Apple’s is a tad cooler, but that’s more a point of preference than a complaint.
In lower light, Apple’s selfie looks a little noisier, resulting in a degradation of skin texture and tone. The camera is clearly struggling for light, although the bokeh edge detection holds up well. Ditto for the Pixel 6 Pro, although Google’s camera collects much more light and retains a warmer skin tone. The Galaxy S21 Ultra fairs well too, although it looks perhaps a little more washed out than Google’s added portrait pop, and fine face textures are a little smudged.
With a person in our scene, we again see the iPhone 13 Pro Max opt for a brighter presentation, and it captures very realistic skin textures. Although the skin tone is again too warm/yellow there’s the odd error in edge detection both on the hair and the right shoulder. The Galaxy S21 Ultra handles edge detection, white balance, and exposure better but facial textures are too soft. It’s perfectly fine at a quick glance but isn’t a flawless picture on closer inspection.
Google occasionally adds too much pop to its portraits, but they’re still some of the best I’ve ever seen.
This leaves us with the Pixel 6 Pro as the overall best shot here. Hair edge detection isn’t 100% perfect, but the skin texturing is incredibly detailed. The phone also nails skin tone, white balance, and subject exposure, and it’s definitely the most realistic of the three. I’ve taken plenty more photos of friends and family with the Google Pixel 6 Pro that I couldn’t include in this shootout. But I will say it takes some of the best portrait shots out of all the camera phones I’ve used over the years. It can look simply incredible, although my one complaint would be that the phone can apply too much sharpening and contrast in some situations.
2023 shootout: Google Pixel 7 Pro vs Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra cameras tested
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