Huawei introduces P9 with new photo technology

Above: New BFFs. Huawei’s Richard Yu takes a selfie with actor Henry Cavill at the end of the company’s launch event for the P9 in London on Wednesday 06, April. Photo by Mark Lyndersay.

Huawei, the Chinese technology company which has been building mobile Internet infrastructure in Trinidad and Tobago over the last decade dropped its most compelling argument yet for consumers to consider its smartphone line.

At the Battersea Evolution, an event facility in London’s Battersea Park, the company introduced the newest in its line of photography focused mobile phones, the P9 and P9 Plus, developed in partnership with the German camera manufacturer, Leica.

The new device represents an evolutionary enhancement on the design of the company’s other mobile devices and the P9 is incrementally thinner and smaller than both previous cameras and its competition, the Samsung S7 and iPhone 6, which were the benchmarks that Huawei CEO of Consumer Business, Richard Yu used as points of comparison for the new product.

The list of new features is long. More battery capacity, a sandblasted metal finish achieved using brushed hairline technology that gives the device a subtle glowing texture.

But the highlight of the new device isn’t its smartphone features; it’s the camera system that Huawei and Leica have developed to radically improve the quality of photographs the new phone captures.

Along with design cues inspired by Leica, a new user interface that makes use of the camera maker’s digital camera fonts and significantly improved camera capture software, Leica has collaborated on a unique twin-lens, twin sensor capture system that the company tested extensively with 15 international photographers and two movie stars during development.

The two cameras gather more light and pass them to two different sensors, one capturing RGB data and the other capturing a monochrome version of the same image. 

Large photographs on display at the event launch demonstrated the DSLR quality dynamic range and action stopping qualities of the dual lens system and a new dedicated image signal processor built into the Kirin processor that powers the phone device.

Mr Yu saved his final surprise for the end of the 90 minute launch event, first announcing a videotaped message from Scarlett Johansson, one of the two film stars contracted as spokespersons for the P9.

The other star, Henry Cavill, most recently seen in the film Batman v Superman was present, prompting a strong response from a large media audience which until then had been politely appreciative of the company’s announced features.

Mr Yu presented Mr Cavill who had experienced some difficulties with his teleprompter but handled them with good grace, with his own P9 device as the event came to an end.

The P9 has a starting price in Europe of 599 euros.

View sample images from the new phone here.

About Mark Lyndersay

Mark Lyndersay is a writer and photographer based in Trinidad and Tobago. He writes editorial leaders for Guardian Media Limited, for whom he has written more than 1,300 since 2001, feature writing and reviews and his column, BitDepth, which has examined personal technology issues continuously over the last 20 years. As a photographer, he divides his time between commercial assignments and annual report photography and personal projects like Local Lives, which examines the backstory of life and culture in Trinidad and Tobago.

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