Huawei P20 Pro triple cam smartphone ‘can see in the dark’

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Huawei’s latest smartphone can take photos in near-dark conditions without using its flash or a tripod.

The P20 Pro takes exposures lasting up to six seconds to get enough light.

It then uses artificial intelligence to deliver sharp images and avoid the blurring and smearing normally associated with employing this technique handheld.

The Chinese company recently told it could soon become the world’s bestselling smartphone brand.

At present, it is in third place behind Samsung and Apple, with US telecom networks’ refusal to sell its handsets proving an obstacle.

Like Samsung’s Galaxy S9-series phones – which recently went on sale – Huawei’s pitch to consumers for the P20 Pro is largely based on its new camera capabilities.

But while the South Korean company’s S9+ made the leap to having two lenses on its rear, the P20 Pro is distinguished by being the first mainstream phone to feature three.

“Huawei doesn’t have the brand Samsung or Apple have, so it’s almost had to go the extra mile in terms of the product,” said Ben Stanton, from the technology consultancy Canalys.

“And it’s nice to see it taking the lead with some of the hardware it’s producing.

“But the thing with camera technology is that unless you are looking at side-by-side comparisons [of photos] it can be very hard to tell which device is better.

“So, Huawei has its work cut out to sell some of the new features.”

The P20 Pro will cost 899 euros including tax ($1,115; £788).

That is less than both the Galaxy S9+, which costs 949 euros, and the iPhone X, which starts at 1,149 euros.

As a result, a photo of the inside of a dim bar, for example, can end up looking brighter and more detailed than it appeared to the human eye.

But quirks can occur.

In one test was involving a person stood against a dim background, the frame selected of their face had them blinking despite the fact their eyes had been open for most of the six-second exposure.

One industry-watcher, who is impressed by the new phone, said that was not necessarily good news for its rivals.

“Huawei is going to throw everything that it’s got at Europe now, because it needs to make up the sales volume expectation that it had in the US,” said Ben Wood.

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