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Huawei launches two new flagship smartphones

Published 06/04/2016

Richard Yu said P9 users can now capture images with unmatched clarity
Richard Yu said P9 users can now capture images with unmatched clarity

Chinese smartphone giant Huawei has launched two new flagship smartphones that it says will give users the "best smartphone photography experience".

The two new devices, the P9 and larger P9 Plus both have dual camera lenses, and were engineered in partnership with German camera firm Leica.

The Chinese technology giant also unveiled a new wearable, the TalkBand B3, which tracks the wearer's movement but also can be used to make and receive calls.

Speaking on stage at the launch event in London, Huawei's Richard Yu said: "Huawei is excited to give P9 users the best smartphone photography experience by leveraging the unrivalled capabilities of Leica, the leader in the world of imaging for more than 100 years.

"Consumers around the world use their smartphones to take billions of pictures each year, making photography critical to user experience.

"P9 users can now capture images with unmatched clarity, richness and authenticity, with a masterfully-designed and powerful smartphone that looks and feels incredible."

Huawei were keen to emphasise how powerful the camera on the P9 and P9 Plus is, often comparing it with big name rivals Apple and Samsung - at one point claiming the sensor in the P9 camera lets in 270% more light than the camera on the iPhone 6s - a feature that makes it easier to take photos in low light.

The partnership with Leica is also a rarity for technology companies. Currently only Sony - who also make their own high-specification cameras, work with a camera manufacturer on the lenses in their smartphones.

Rob Kerr, mobiles expert at uSwitch.com said Huawei was now beginning challenge the established brands with its devices.

"One of the new kids on the block - along with other Chinese challenger brands like Xiaomi - Huawei has managed to raise Apple's hackles: the launch of the cheaper iPhone SE could be read as the tech giant's attempt to claw back some of the younger users it lured away," he said.

"Therefore, stalwart mobile makers are not going to like the launch of the flagship P9. Compared to the iPhone 6s it's slimmer, and boasts a bigger display with better colour saturation, so it could well prove to be a large thorn in the iPhone's side. But it's the battery capacity - almost twice the size of the 6s - that is the real killer."

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