Man at His Best

Huawei Unveils Its Collaborative Smartphone With Leica

Does this pairing yield fruit that's sweet?

BY EDITORS | Jun 11, 2016 | Technology

There were many a-collaboration among tech companies that results in either a match made in heaven or a chimera, a patchwork mystery that leaves others to ponder on why the union even happened in the first place. The smartphone industry is mired with them; the latest being Huawei P9, co-engineered between Huawei and Leica Camera AG.

A better phone camera. That has been the Holy Grail (okay, one of the Holy Grails if we’re counting a longer battery life as well) in the world of smartphone. In the industry, smartphones are getting the Swiss Army knife treatment with having more features crammed into it. Huawei’s teaming up with Leica is par for the course; given the German company’s pedigree in its expert photographic engineering, Huawei s getting that edge in the smartphone race.

Aside from the Leica red dot logo that appears on the P9 or that reports of the phone camera system are “Leica-certified”, other than its thinness and lightness; what should we expect from the Huawei P9?

Reinventing Smartphone Photography

Given the established idea of what a camera phone is suppose to do, how does one reinvent the wheel? For the past several years, the camera system on a smartphone has to balance better sensors with the bulk and weight of the phone.

So, Huawei and Leica decided to rework a new camera module. Start from scratch. The result? The P9 boasts a dual-camera design (both 12-megapixel)—one lens shoot only in monochrome and the other captures in RGB. Working in tandem, the lenses are able to capture richer details of depth and colour; shoot in black-and-white and the phone only uses the dedicated monochrome lens. According to Huawei, the monochrome sensor takes in more light (about 200 percent) so the smartphone should excel in low-light conditions.

Huawei’s proprietary Hybrid Focus tech shoots with lightning speed, accuracy and stability. The camera focusing is calculated with these three considerations—laser, depth calculation, and contrast—to come to a correct result to fit the environment. The P9 also has a wide aperture feature by simulating a shallow depth of field by blurring out everything else that isn’t your focus. Finally, rounding up these photographic hallmarks are the film modes: Standard, Vivid Colors, and Smooth Colours.

It won't be on par with the average Leica camera but it is poised to be better than the average camera on a smartphone.

Find out more about the Huawei P9 here.