Serial smartphone leaker Evan Blass is on a roll over the past few days, and he appears to have gotten his hands on materials that suggest that the Huawei P11 could ship with a unique camera setup. In the tweet included below, it seemed clear that the next device in the Huawei P series could feature a triple-lens, 40 MP rear camera setup with 5x hybrid zoom, as well as a 24 MP front camera.
Is the next Huawei P-series going to be an imaging powerhouse? A digital artist at one of the company's creative agencies added these "PCE Series" ads to their portfolio — claiming 40MP, 3 lens rear (5x hybrid zoom) + 24MP selfie, all Leica-co-developed. pic.twitter.com/t8w3VlL55L
— Evan Blass⁷ (@evleaks) December 6, 2017
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Huawei P11 Camera
This most recent rumor is based on images created by a digital artist working for one of Huawei’s creative agencies. While it’s not clear how exactly Blass obtained these pictures, the fact that the images have since been removed from the source seems to suggest that the information is legitimate.
The information also reveals that the cameras may be once again developed in cooperation with photography company Leica. The use of a trio of rear cameras hasn’t really been seen before, so how the lenses would be configured — in terms of specifications like sensor setup and aperture size — is anyone’s guess.
As one of the early adopters of the recent dual-camera trend with the P9 in April of 2016, it makes sense that the company may be leading the charge with a trio of cameras in the Huawei P11. The P9 camera was co-engineered by Leica, and Huawei has employed their expertise in every successive major flagship’s camera technology. The lenses may not be the only trick that Huawei has up their sleeves, however, as the company has been targeting AI-based improvements for its cameras. Paired with the new lens technology mentioned above, the Huawei P11 could shape up to be one of the best phones on the market for taking beautiful photos.
It’s important to remember, however, that a higher megapixel camera doesn’t always necessarily mean better performance. Devices with high MP lenses sometimes perform poorly in low-light conditions, so it’s not always the best option. In this case, less can be more, but considering Huawei’s success due to a partnership with Leica, it’s likely the camera will perform admirably in most any situation.
After this recent leak, some consumers a little concerned given Huawei’s recent philosophy when it comes to releasing new flagships. Commenters pointed out that the company seems to just add more power or needlessly increase certain specifications rather than truly innovating. It is true that Huawei has yet to offer something unique that will drive sales in a Western market, but will this trio of cameras actually be enough?
As mentioned above, 40 MP for a camera can be useless depending on the size. It’s likely that the camera will function well, considering Huawei’s partnership with a leader in camera technology, but we somehow doubt that it will provide huge improvements over high-end lenses currently on the market.
We hope that the decision to go with this unique camera setup didn’t detract from advancements in other areas of the phone. While the Huawei P11 will definitely provide more power and a sleek design, that’s not really enough to compete in a market that’s saturated by the likes of Samsung and Apple. Huawei is incredibly popular in its home country of China, but as with all successful businesses, leadership wants to continually expand their reach. Neglecting to provide a reason for Western consumers to pick a Huawei device over the tried and true Samsung models would be a serious misstep. A great camera may honestly not be enough in a sea of capable competitors.
There’s no clear idea on when the Huawei P11 will release. However, the company released the P10 in February of 2016, so it’s pretty likely we’ll see the P11 in Q1, 2018. Until we receive an official announcement, these rumors are still a little unreliable. Still, considering how impressive Blass’ track record has been with leaks over the past few years, it’s likely that this unique three camera setup will make a debut. Whether this new technology will be a trendsetter or a flop remains to be seen, but if it can truly deliver higher quality pictures, it will likely be here to stay.
But with a release just a few months away that coincides with releases from more established companies, it’s still unclear whether Huawei has what it takes to capture the attention of an increasingly savvy consumer base. With Apple innovating with the new Face ID, and companies like Samsung and LG demonstrating foldable screens, it’s going to be an uphill battle that will be difficult to finish if three cameras is all the Huawei P11 has to offer.