Huawei has just unveiled its latest flagship smartphone: the P20 Pro. And just as the rumors and leaks that have been floating around the Web for weeks predicted, the new model is the first smartphone to feature a triple camera setup.

Like in previous Huawei models, the camera has been developed in cooperation with Leica, and a main RGB sensor is accompanied by a high-resolution monochrome imager that serves several purposes: it provides depth estimation for the simulated bokeh effect, improves detail and noise levels by merging multiple shots, and helps with digital zooming. New on the P20 Pro is a third, dedicated tele-camera.

That said, Huawei hasn't just stuck a third sensor and lens onto its existing dual-camera system, the P20 Pro is more innovative than that in several ways:

  • The main camera comes with an unusually large 1/1.7-inch sensor, which is approximately twice the size of the smaller sensors in most direct competitors. At F1.8 the aperture is not the largest, but thanks to the increase in sensor surface the P20 Pro's main sensor is still capable of capturing around 20 percent more light than most rivals.
  • The main camera sensor also features a Quad Bayer structure with a total pixel count of 40MP. It outputs data binned in 2 × 2 pixel units, resulting in 10MP image output with better detail and lower noise levels.
  • The P20 Pro’s optically-stabilized tele-camera offers 3x zoom factor—approximately a 80mm equivalent focal length—significantly longer reach than the 2x tele-modules in the iPhone X, Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus, or similar high-end devices. Huawei has been able to implement this longer reach while the 20MP monochrome is already contributing to decent zoom quality at 2x, allowing the tele to focus on 3x and larger magnifications.
The Huawei P20 Pro triple camera: Main camera at the center, monochrome camera on the left, tele module on the right.

Huawei claims significantly better low-light capabilities of the large main sensor, with ISO values up to 102400 allowing for usable exposures in very dim conditions. Other imaging features include phase detection and laser assistance in the AF system, predictive focus, motion detection, and a zero shutter lag for minimal delay before capture.

The rest of the specifications are worthy of a high-end device as well. The P20 Pro is powered by Huawei's Kirin 970 chipset and 6GB of RAM, it offers a 4,000 mAh battery with quick-charge, and features 128GB of internal storage. Images can be viewed and composed on a 6.1-inch Full View display with minimal bezels.

The P20 Pro will be available in Europe from April for 900 Euros (approximately $1120 USD)—no information on availability in other regions has been released yet. In addition to the P20 Pro, Huawei has also launched the P20 smartphone, which is powered by the same chipset but comes with a smaller 5.8-inch screen and a more conventional dual-camera module. It will retail for 650 Euros (approximately $800 USD).