Will Huawei’s dual-lens P9 help it win over global market?

China’s largest smartphone maker Huawei launched its flagship P9 smartphone in London on Wednesday, aiming to add to their growth trend in the smartphone market with the new product.

“Consumers around the world use their smartphones to take billions of pictures each year,” said Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei Consumer Business Group, at the launch conference. “Huawei is excited to give P9 users the best smartphone photography experience by leveraging the unrivalled capabilities of Leica.”

Richard Yu
Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei Cosumer Business Group, at the launch conference. Photo from Huawei’s Sina Weibo

The P9 features dual camera lenses created in partnership with German optics maker Leica, which is known for its high-quality cameras. It looks as though Huawei is leveraging the photo-shooting function on its handsets to make some gains.

According to Huawei, the P9’s rear lenses are a red-green-blue (RGB) lens and a monochrome one. The RGB lens is used to collect color information, while the monochrome one is for capturing detailed graphics. Both of them have a 12 megapixel sensor.

Huawei claims using these two lenses will allow the P9 to capture more light and thus generate higher-quality photos comparable to those taken by a single-lens reflex camera (SLR).

Huawei P9 has dual camera lenses on its back. Screenshot from Huawei.com

“Leica and Huawei share an uncompromising commitment to imaging excellence,” said Leica’s CEO Oliver Kaltner, “and our partnership will put outstanding photography into the hands of more consumers around the world.”

Huawei P9 is offered in two versions with six color options. The phone has a 5.2-inch 1080P display screen and 3,000mAh battery. It uses 2.5GHz Hisilicon Kirin955 processor. The P9 is also the first P series phone with a fingerprint scanner, which is located on its back.

The 3GB internal memory plus 32GB flash memory version of the P9 is priced at EUR 599 (USD 685), and the 4GB plus 64GB version is EUR 649. Huawei also launched a 5.5-inch P9 Plus with a 3,400mAh battery and 4GB plus 64GB memory, which is priced at EUR 749.

Huawei P9. Screenshot from Huawei.com

According to a report by American market research firm IDC in January, Huawei made 32.4 million shipments in Q4 2015, ranking third among the world’s top five smartphone vendors, following Samsung’s 85.6 million and Apple’s 74.8 million.

“We have the chance to be number two within two to three years, with market share of over 20 percent,” Yu said, according to a report by American news website Fortune. “We may rise to number one in less than five years.”

Along with the phones, Huawei also released a new TalkBand B3 in three versions.

Huawei’s P9, P9 Plus smartphones and B3 wristband will go on sale in 26 countries including China, the UK and Germany on April 16. In China, the P9 can be pre-ordered on Thursday through online channels including its official site and China’s major online shopping platforms JD.com and Tmall.

(Top photo from Huawei’s Sina Weibo)

AllTechAsia Staff

AllTechAsia is a startup media platform dedicated to providing the hottest news, data service and analysis on the tech and startup scene of Asian markets in English.

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